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Witches, Boogers, And Haints

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Southern Culture

Booger, Witches, And Haints

I have always been interested in paranormal activity, and who isn’t curious by the ways of the witch. So, in saying that, it was very easy for me to pick such a topic as booger, witches, and haints. To be perfectly honest, I’ve always wanted to be haunted. I figured as bad as I wanted it, it would have happened by now, but no such luck. In that case you will usually find me fulfilling my inner need for paranormal activity by watching related topics on T.V., such as Sylvia Brown, John Edwards, or Paranormal State. All of which I highly recommended, especially if you are a doubting person. I can remember as a child every time my cousins and I would always have to break out the scary tells as soon as it was bed time. Little did we know we were caring out a long standing southern tradition of ghostlore and folklore.

One might ask, why so much ghostlore in the south? There are several reasons.

” The Civil War left a tragic spirit hanging over the region and gave birth to tales of ghost armies and haunting belles. The Voodoo religion and trying to understand the unknown has lead to the creation of many tales. Folklorists and storytellers preserve the heritage of supernatural tales in the region.” (Dixon)

The isolation of the mountain communities helped to protect the traditions and stories from alteration and persecution from outside. Even though the mountains are being modernized, the folklore and magic are still apart of the culture of the mountain community. As far as witches go, the history is very old, and it’s been carried on in the mountains since they were first settled by pioneers.

“The pioneers brought their magical ways with them from Ireland and incorporated them with Cherokee beliefs when marriages between to races started. People believed the magic was good and natural. Because of certain practices and sayings, researchers were able to prove the magic came from Europe. Many practices suggest European influence, but the belief in the three goddesses and the Christian devil eliminate any doubt of the origin.” (Irvin)

My people believe that the supernatural arts of the mountain folk are very useful. I would agree that the magic is useful, good, and natural.

I would like to first talk about the boogers, and the haints. The foxfire book was very interesting. It took me on a front porch journey of ghost tales. What I mean by that is the whole section was very southern people telling their own run in, or run outs with ghost and such. The language was the most interesting. I consider my self a very country talking person, and many strangers upon hearing my voice will instantly say, “Where are you from?” Even still it was kind of difficult to read. Overall, most of the people interviewed had a very scary story to tell, and they believed in it whole heartingly. There were a few that had a scary story, but had explained it away to natural occurrences. Those same people were the ones who referred to the Bible. One woman said the Bible destroyed the foundation of such things. I understand were she is coming from if referring to boogers, or strange beings, but I believe a haunting is a haunting. I think a lot of ghost tales come from something called an imprint. An imprint is stamped into time when something very tragic happens, like a murder in a home, and then the persons moving into that home, experiences that imprint. Not actually a haunting, but an imprint. Imprints can be layered. Meaning you can experience more that one at a time. But they can be just as scary as an actual haunting. A haunting is were some spirit is actually bothering you, doing things to get at you. I think areas where people died during battles of the civil war, are probably some of the most haunted places, because the people died so tragically. In saying that, while researching online, I quickly noticed most southern states have web pages that contain a list of haunted places, and famous ghost tales special to their state, lots of interesting stuff.

Now I would like to expand on the witchy side of things. There are two categories of witches in the mountains, granny women and water witches. The granny women, also referred to as witches, practice something commonly referred to as Appalachian granny magic. These women are usually Christian elders of the community, and not from a certain class. They are the ones that people go to with their problems. “A cauldron displayed in a granny witch’s front yard lets people know that her services are



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