Woodpecker Woman

Once there was an old woman living up on the mountain, who kept to herself mostly. The folks down in town all called her "Red Cap" because of the little crimson hat she wore. Some people visited her when they were sick because everyone around knew she could work the plants and heal any disease.... Continue Reading →

Ozark Charmbook – To Beat Witches

These types of charms are some of my favorites. It works on a sympathetic connection between the one working the charm and the "witch" on the other end who, at least in theory, has done some sort of harm that warrants such a response. There are a lot of charms in this genre, most often... Continue Reading →

285: Witch Animals

Witches have long had associations with certain animals. In the Ozarks we inherited a folk tradition from European, African, and Native sources, so when we talk about witch animals we have a wide variety to mention. First we can talk about white and black animals and their supernatural associations. Often black animals, like crows, ravens,... Continue Reading →

Day 219: The Things that Ride You

Ever woken up in the morning feeling worse than when you went to bed? Chances are a witch rode you like a human mule while you were asleep. Occurrences like this are far from uncommon in Ozark folklore. It’s a common story trope; a witch who can use an unknowing mortal (male or female) as... Continue Reading →

Day 188: Ozark Ghost Tales: Headless Ghosts

From Vance Randolph's "Ozark Magic and Folklore": "Much has been written about the 'headless ghost of Nickerson Ridge,' but I have been unable to get much information beyond that published by my old friend Otto Ernest Rayburn, the author of 'Ozark Country'. It appears that Tomp Turner, who lives near Kimberling Bridge on White River,... Continue Reading →

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