My great-grandfather (James Diggs 1802-1854) is supposed to have died under the spell of a conjurer. Henry visited the home while the family was having their usual fall hog killing. They gave him a piece of liver to take home. Instead of taking it home he threw it on some coals in the kitchen fireplace and after it had lain there for a brief time proceeded to fish it out still more than half raw and eat it. Sitting there eating it with the blood running down his hands while some of the others looked on in distaste and disgust he turned to my great-grandfather and said “Aha?! Jimmy, you’re as well as you’ll ever be.”
The next day Jimmy was in bed and shortly thereafter he died. It was difficult to tell whether he was dead or not. A mirror was held before his face, but they could tell nothing from that. Needles were stuck in his flesh but still they couldn’t tell. The body did not become cold and rigid for several day, and it was only after it had that he was buried.
My Aunt rather great-aunt used to tell us a story of an old Negro woman whom everyone believed to be a witch. Practically all of the white folk around were afraid of her. One day this aunt had been to the garden and gather some greens and was at the house preparing them for dinner. She chanced to look up and saw Mary Ann coming. Quickly, she hid the greens, but when Mary Ann came in she sniffed and said, “Collards for dinner I’m going to stay here for dinner.”
“You’ll get no dinner here today,” she was informed in no uncertain tones. And the ultimatum was repeated. Mary Ann became quite angry and finally left with promise, “I’ll nix you”.
That night after my Aunt had gotten in bed she heard the downstairs door open and shut but paid no attention thinking that it was her brother coming in. In a few minutes she minutes she felt something coming up over the foot of her bed and an oppressive weight on her body. Then there was a tight grip on her throat. She tossed frantically trying to throw off the weight but could not nor did there seem to be anything of a material nature present. Then she thought of Mary Ann’s threat. So, she decided, that this was the witch “riding her”. Then she thought of how she had been told when a witch rode you one should repeat the Lord’s Prayer. This she did hurriedly and then she came to the words “Deliver us from the evil” the “witch” let go