The Wicked Sisters of Appalachia

Today’s tale takes us deep into the mountains of Southwest Virginia, where a legend tells of two sisters whose very souls seemed woven from the darkest threads of the mountains. In this episode of MountainLore, we delve into the sinister saga of these two, whose wickedness was whispered to be the devil’s own handiwork.  

Even in death, the sisters’ legacy of terror refused to be buried, haunting the place they were buried with eerie sightings and chilling sounds that serve as a grim reminder of the evil spirits that some say still roam these Appalachian hills.  

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The Hollow Branch Witch Trial

One summer, many years ago, a small community in the mountains of Kentucky suffered through the worst drought any of them had ever experienced. Searching for a cause for their misery, they found one: an older woman who lived at the head of their holler, Hollow Branch, who many had whispered had unearthly and evil powers based on her reputation as a healer, or granny woman.

Before long this granny woman was on trial for being a witch and for bringing the drought down on Hollow Branch.

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Sweet dreams, podcast listeners.

The Water Witch

There are those in these mountains who have an ability to find good underground water with nothing more than two sticks or wires to guide them. Years ago a good dowser was worth his weight in gold.

Some of these folks had other abilities, which you’ll find out about in today’s tale…

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The Witch’s Revenge

One of life’s lessons is “respect your elders.” A lot of folks ignore that advice, earning them not much more than a scolding or a shake of the head from folks.

If the elder in question, though, has the power of witchcraft at their disposal, you’d best remember that life lesson…unless you want to reap some REAL consequences.

That’s the lesson of today’s tale.

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The Murder Of Mother Boggs

This week we have a true story about a West Virginia man tried for murdering an old woman who he claimed had “witched” him, forcing him to fly her to the moon, among other things.

It’s a fascinating look at the beliefs of the time about witches in that part or Appalachia.

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The Black Cat

Many years ago in the mountains of North Carolina, it’s said an old woman who lived by herself in a cabin had the power to turn herself into an evil black cat.

Today we tell that tale.

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Sweet dreams, podcast listeners…

A Bluefield Witch Story

There’s a witch story that’s been told for years by folks in the area around Bluefield, West Virginia.

Back around the turn of the 20th century, it’s said, there was a small boy who stopped eating all of a sudden. He wasn’t sick, though, he just didn’t want to eat. His parents were rightly concerned for him as he lost weight, but the boy wouldn’t eat anything at all, no matter what his mother fixed.

Every few days, though, a neighbor of the family would stop by to visit the boy and would bring him food, which he “ate like a pig.” This man was the only person the child would take any food from.

The boy’s father grew suspicious about this man so he devised a way to get to the bottom of what was going on.

He drew a picture of the man and tacked it to the wall. He then took a ten penny nail and drove it into the wall through the head drawn in that picture.

The man didn’t show up the next day. It turns out that he had been stricken quite suddenly with a splitting headache the day before. Figuring out what he was dealing with, the father then pulled that nail out of the picture’s head and miraculously the man’s headache disappeared!

Not only that, but the boy instantly regained his appetite and never again went without food.

This man, you see, wasn’t a man but a witch who had cast a spell on the boy, just for fun. The driving of the nail through his likeness let the witch know that the boy’s father knew who and what he was. It also made the witch aware that the boy’s father could cause him harm if he didn’t leave the man’s son alone.