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Witch's Grave... Do you have one in your town?


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#1 DukeofBoogie

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 07:31 AM

The tour I'm going to be giving next month is going to include an old local legend about a witches grave. It got me thinking that this is one of those great urban legends that you'll hear similar versions of in every town across the globe. It has all the essential elements needed. There's The witch hung from a tree, and the curse upon all who trod upon her grave, and spirit sightings thrown in for good measure.

Do you have a witch's grave in your neck of the woods? Residents of Salem MA, you don't count, lol.
http://www.facebook....59567008?v=wallhttp://www.cdbaby.co...eblackriverboyshttp://www.zoarcivilwar.com/In great deeds something abides. On great fields something stays.....Spirits linger, to consecrate ground for the vision place of souls. And reverent men and women from afar, and generations that know us not and that we know not of, heart-drawn to where and by whom great things were suffered and done for them, shall come to this deathless field, to ponder and dream; and lo! The shadow of a mighty presence shall wrap them in its bosom, and the power of the vision pass into thier soles.-Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain


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#2 TheresaRHPS

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 10:50 AM

Hehe, I don't have any of these legends close to me (that I know of, anyway) but there's a fairly famous one in WV ghost-lore called the Witch of Highland. Here's a write-up on the legend from my site, which also includes a video slide-show featuring the grave, cemetery and chapel:

Located in Marion County, the small community of Mannington hosts one of WV's most popular urban legends: The Witch's Grave at Highland Cemetery.

Highland Cemetery and its chapel sit off a rural road deep in Marion County. Abandoned for years, the chapel itself has its own legends. Locals tell of a Satanic cult that used the chapel for worship. Visitors and thrill seekers to the chapel noted a stark absence of crosses and Christian iconography throughout the chapel, in addition to a sense of creepiness and unease. An attendance bulletin board is rumored to read the same number as the number of people in the visiting party, changed with each new group by unseen, and possibly, inhuman hands.

Perhaps the abandoned chapel became a hub of alleged Satanic activity due to a much older urban legend surrounding one of the interred citizens of the cemetery. Highland Cemetery is reported to be the final resting spot of Fairmont's most famous witch.

The lady in question goes by many variations of name. Zelda, Sarah Jane, Serlinda Jane, and simply, the Witch of Highland, are among the many variations. Her tombstone, however, reads something to the affect of Serilda Jane Whetzel, date of death: May 29th, 1909.

Legend states that Ms. Whetzel's tombstone is upside down, and contains the imagery of a staircase descending down into the fiery mouth of a demon. Although buried in what was a Christian burial ground, Ms. Whetzel had her tombstone faced away from the rest of the flock in obvious defiance. The witch herself, along with a gentleman, often referred to as a warlock, have been seen in the vicinity of the grave, and quickly disappear when approached.

Although seemingly unbelievable, there is a grain of truth in these stories. The tombstone itself IS quite strange. Firstly, it DOES face away from the rest of the stones in the cemetery. However, it is obvious that the tombstone has been knocked down, and replaced in a new position. According to locals, any attempt to restore the stone to its original position is met with opposition from local vandals, quick to undo the work and create this aspect to the legend.

Secondly, there is a staircase motif carved on Ms. Whetzel's tomb. Generally, staircases in tombstone symbolism represent the passage into Heaven. These are often accompanied by weeping willow trees in the background, symbolizing mourning. Due to stone weathering and a slightly off-kilter perspective, it DOES give the illusion that the staircase is not ascending into Heaven, but DESCENDING into something not as pleasant!

Today, services are once again being held in the small chapel, so please be respectful and obey all laws if visiting the cemetery.


There's also another, lesser known grave plot of a witch and a warlock in southern WV. I haven't seen any photos of it, nor have I been there personally, but I've heard that the stone is actually triangular, or pyramid shaped. When I did a little research on why that would be, I actually found lots of interesting references to folk belief and superstition supporting both a favorable shaped tombstone for a witch concerning a funneling of power and occult symbolism, and an unfavorable one designed to keep the devil from sitting on it, and references to the Holy Trinity, lol.

Edited by TheresaRHPS, 27 September 2012 - 10:55 AM.

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#3 DukeofBoogie

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 05:26 AM

That's a great legend!
http://www.facebook....59567008?v=wallhttp://www.cdbaby.co...eblackriverboyshttp://www.zoarcivilwar.com/In great deeds something abides. On great fields something stays.....Spirits linger, to consecrate ground for the vision place of souls. And reverent men and women from afar, and generations that know us not and that we know not of, heart-drawn to where and by whom great things were suffered and done for them, shall come to this deathless field, to ponder and dream; and lo! The shadow of a mighty presence shall wrap them in its bosom, and the power of the vision pass into thier soles.-Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain


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#4 Cryscat

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 05:51 PM

Nope. nothing like that in my area. Though there was a Native American burial site a few miles away.
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#5 allege

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 08:47 PM

Witches Graves? No. But two legends of witches. Funny both women were related to each other and to me. One was said to have put a curse on a local priest, because he was doing things that he shouldn't have been doing. This caused the rectory to be moved to another town. The other supposedly haunts the road where she lived.
Never to suffer would never to have been blessed. -Edgar Allan Poe




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