Ozark Encyclopedia – D – Dirt

From bird’s nest used as a gargle – “Mrs. May Kennedy McCord, of Springfield, Missouri, says that some people gather dirt from the nest of a mockingbird that is setting on three eggs, no more, no less. They dissolve this dirt in lukewarm water for a gargle, which is supposed to relieve any sort of throat trouble.” ~Randolph OMF 134

Graveyard dirt used by witches to kill – “Some witches are said to kill people with graveyard dirt, which is dust scraped from a grave with the left forefinger at midnight. This is mixed with the blood of a blackbird; a raven or crow is best, but a black chicken will do in a pinch. The witch ties this mixture up in a rag which has touched a corpse and buries it under the doorstep of the person who is to be liquidated.” ~Randolph OMF 272

Dirt used to stop bleeding – “If you cut your finger, put it in fresh plowed dirt.” ~Parler FBA II 2025

Grave dirt for a wart – “To get rid of a wart you must slip out of the house on the night of a full moon, dig a silver spoonsfull of earth from the grave of one who has been dead over 100 years, rub the dirt on the wart, and slip back into your house unnoticed.” ~Parler FBA III 3631

Parler, Mary Celestia Folk Beliefs from Arkansas (FBA)

Randolph, Vance Ozark Magic and Folklore (OMF)

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