Ozark Encyclopedia – H – Horseshoe

To protect a house from witchcraft – “Probably the commonest way to keep witches out of the house is to nail a horseshoe over the door; this is regarded as a sort of general prophylactic against witches, bad luck, contagious disease, and other evil influences. Many hillmen insist that it doesn't work unless the open... Continue Reading →

Ozark Encyclopedia – D – Dishrags

Dirty or stolen dishrag for curing warts – “One school of wart catchers place their trust in dirty dishrags, and some healers say that they require stolen dishrags. After touching each wart with the rag, one either buries it secretly in the earth or hides it under a flat rock, being careful to replace the... Continue Reading →

Ozark Encyclopedia – C – Copper

Importance of copper wire - “Dr. Hershel Shockey, an osteopath who practiced in Stone county, Missouri, during the Second World War, told me that he saw a young man with some rare skin disease brought into an osteopathic clinic in Kansas City. This patient was a hillbilly from southwest Missouri. Told to strip, he took... Continue Reading →

Ozark Encyclopedia – B – Bible

The Bible along with an almanac were likely the only two books in the hillman’s cabin. The Bible was not only for keeping record of births, deaths, and family affairs, but also contained powerful healing verses for those in the know. Connected to certain marriage divinations. Used as a physical talisman against witchcraft, nightmares, etc.... Continue Reading →

Ozark Encyclopedia – B – Beans

Used in curing warts – “A schoolteacher in Barry county, Missouri, believes that the best way to get rid of warts is to rub them with a green bean leaf until each wart looks green and then go to bed without washing your hands. Another common theory is that it is only necessary to touch... Continue Reading →

Ozark Encyclopedia – B – Beads

Bodark beads worn for summer complaint – “Dr. C. T. Ryland, of Lexington, Missouri, told me that he was called to see a sick infant in a family from south Missouri. The child had what was called ‘summer complaint,’ with a high temperature. Noticing a string of yellow wooden beads around the baby's neck, Dr.... Continue Reading →

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