According to the Charlotte Observer (Oct. 10, 2019), an online real estate company named Bungalo has announced plans to send paranormal investigators from the Carolina Paranormal Unit into any home it’s selling in Charlotte as part of their home inspection service (It was available through Halloween-only, apparently). But keep in mind that livestock is not included. So, buyer beware!

Case in point? During the late 19th century, the Newton Enterprise (April 7, 1899) and other papers across the state reported on the trial of the “South Mountain witch doctor” in Lincolnton. Charged with embezzling a Burke County man out of $65 on the sale of a house in Lincolnton, the good doctor was convicted for this financial fraud and sentenced to four months in prison, required to refund the man his $65, and pay his lawyer’s fees and court costs.

I guess no good deed goes unpunished. As the Enterprise further explained, the trial revealed the fact that the good doctor had previously assisted the Burke County man whose “whole house and every crack in the house was full of witches.” The solution? Burn down the house! “During the burning the doctor stood by with a big stick to kill the witches as they came out. But after the fire he claimed that they had escaped up the chimney.”

Where did they go? As it turns out, they had taken refuge in the man’s hog. The solution? Kill the hog! But don’t eat it. Or at least not all of it. The good doctor then very helpfully “drew a mark close behind the shoulder blades” and warned the man “that if any of his family ate any of the meat back of this line it would bring sure and immediate death.” What happened next? The Burke County man “therefore took the head and shoulders and the doctor the hams and sides.”

But to “get out of the reach of the witches” the doctor also “undertook to act as agent for him in the purchase of a piece of land” in Lincolnton. And now you know the rest of this (true) story. The moral? Be sure to also check your livestock for witches and ghosts and don’t steal a man’s hard-earned money while you’re bringing home his (witch-infested) bacon.

William Keener

Sherrills Ford NC

Get today’s top stories right in your inbox. Sign up for our daily newsletter.

Load comments