Browsing All posts tagged under »witchcraft«

The legend of “Wizard Clip” (Smithfield/Middleway), Jefferson County, West Virginia

October 31, 2011 by

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Laid out ca. 1794, and better known as Smithfield or Middleway, Wizard Clip has a peculiar story, related by Confederate veteran, clerk, and author Thomas Kemp Cartmell (1838-1930), in his book, Shenandoah Valley Pioneers and their Descendants (1909)… One of the newcomers was Adam Livingston, who purchased desirable property in the vicinity of this village, […]

… and, also revisiting the family witch story…

October 31, 2011 by

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One of my great-great grandfathers, Charles Robert “Tanner” Hillard, has a rather interesting story tied to one of his brides. A Confederate veteran, Hilliard began his married days, five years after the war, in 1870. The rather sad part about those years, however, is that he ended up outliving four of five brides, remarrying in […]

Early Valley historian, Samuel Kercheval (ca. 17?? – 1845), on witchcraft

October 31, 2011 by

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From Samuel Kercheval’s A History of the Valley of Virginia (original date of publication, 1833), pages 280-281: I shall not be lengthy on this subject. The belief in Witchcraft was prevalent among the early settlers of the western country. To the witch was ascribed the tremendous power of inflicting strange and incurable diseases, particularly on […]

“The Red-Headed Witch of Ingham”… and more

October 29, 2010 by

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With only two nights left after tonight, October is getting away from me. Not wanting to miss a few more opportunities to address the topic of ghosts and witches in the Blue Ridge, I’ve got one more about witches that you might find of interest. Once again, one of my favorite story-tellers, Jacob R. Seekford, […]

“water of many turns”

October 9, 2010 by

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Just the other day, I made reference to the Lenape/Delaware word “Conococheague“, which means “water of many turns.” Funny, but that pretty much summarizes the way I write this blog… not to mention the fluid nature of many blogs. The content can turn, twist, and completely shift, without warning. It’s more a reflection of what […]

The “fire witch”

October 9, 2010 by

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Just 146 years ago yesterday, the episode known as “The Burning” drew to a close in the Shenandoah Valley. Gen. Phil Sheridan had cut a swathe from Augusta County, north into Rockingham, Page, and Shenandoah Counties before coming to a halt around Strasburg, Virginia. No doubt, the devastation to the “breadbasket of the Confederacy” was […]

How did the doctor “take care” of the witch?

October 8, 2010 by

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Just thinking back to how the doctor “saw to it” that the witch that “cursed” my great-great grandmother would be “in hell by morning.” Frankly, we will probably never know his method, and will wonder about the wide range of possibilities. Still, Samuel Kercheval did mention a couple of methods by which one could “cure… […]

More on the old-time belief in witches in the central Shenandoah Valley

October 4, 2010 by

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Alright, picking-up from my post from Saturday, I was thinking that maybe I need a little more information supporting the claim that I made that witches were more common in 19th century Page County (and the central Shenandoah Valley) than some may realize. So… In February 1930, in his “Jacob’s Well” column, Jacob R. Seekford […]

So, finally… this Confederate vet and the witch…

October 2, 2010 by

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    One of my great-great grandfathers, Charles Robert “Tanner” Hillard, was born on October 3, 1844 (in fact, that will be 166 years ago… tomorrow), a son of Jacob (1784-1864) and Phoebe Elliott Hilliard (ca. 1822-???). As for the Civil War part goes… Charles’ younger brother, Jacob, hired himself out as a substitute (for […]