Browsing All posts tagged under »witches«

When Dr. Henry Ruffner gave his “bah, humbug” to German superstitions

October 30, 2014 by


Since it’s Halloween Eve, I figured I would fall back on an article that I read in the past year, which was written by a Shenandoah Valley author. I’ve mentioned Henry Ruffner in this blog before, mostly because of the famous “Ruffner Pamphlet” and how it pertained to slavery in antebellum Virginia. Yet, as with all […]

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

October 29, 2010 by


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


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 […]

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

October 8, 2010 by


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


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


    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 […]


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