Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Witch Hunt in Mississippi

Printed Friday the 15th of June 1900 in the Evening Post out of Charleston, South Carolina
Curious Case of Superstition in Mississippi
It is not easy to believe sometimes that “the world does move.” When one reads of a “witch hunt,” which took place recently in one of the United States., it seems quite like the story of Salem witchcraft days. The actors in the medieval drama were white men and women in the State of Mississippi, and the witch hunt was within thirty miles of a large school for white people carried out by the Women’s Home Missionary Society.
A woman who became suddenly ill announced her belief that she was bewitched, and her friends consulted an old negro “witch doctor” in the place. He investigated that place with all solemnity, and declared that a dead tree in the yard was the home of the evil spirit, and that if it were burned the spirit would be obligated to take refuge in the body of the witch, who then might be discovered. By an unfortunate chance an old woman in the neighborhood was found to be ill and it was ascertained that she was the witch. So a party of men with dogs and guns went to her house and drove her before them to the home of the woman who was “bewitched.”

They kept the poor old creature there without food or drink from Monday until Thursday, trying to make her confess. Finally she was taken to the county poor house, after the question of killing her had been seriously discussed, as the “witch doctor” decided that the evil spirit would go with her to the poor house. The one ray of brightness in the story is the fact that the persons engaged in the affair were indicted by the grand jury and heavily fined for assault and battery. –New York Tribune.