Hanging the Witch

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This is not a question -- it's a rendering of a story told by a woman from Tennessee.

A child was delivered, stillborn, in Greenbrier, Tennessee, 1880. The mother also died in childbed.

The mark on its head matched the boot of the father, a leading citizen. He accused the midwife of witch craft and led the mob which lynched her -- this happened sometime in the 1880's.

No one was ever arrested.


The child was born dead With the mark of the devil on top of its head: "It was the witch who did it!" the father said.

He called the boys around; They put on their long, white gowns And pointed hats and rode out of town...

They rode to a certain house, And loudly called the old witch out: "Come out, witch, you know what this is about!"

"You killed my only son!" "It was with witch-work your deed was done!" "You did it, we know it, we know that you're the one!"

Then suddenly, out she came; Her eyes burning, blue flame In the moonlight -- her hair a shining silver mane...

"So, you come again with death!" She said, "and whiskey on your breath!" "Behind your masks you know the truth of this!"

In deed they did , but they Hung her...and as the body swayed In the tree, they shouted with glee & the stars were amazed!

For no one spoke in speech About the wife he'd battered and beat And trampled on and kicked with his feet

His hob-nailed boots: How could they not know the truth? It was in fact himself who had abused

His wife and unborn babe; Laid them rudely in the grave; And yet another woman has to pay... She was in fact a midwife And a witch too, if that's what you like. She was both a giver and a healer of life.

Her name was Laura and she Was albino, indian, strange to see. She was married to a Scottish man named Charly.

The story is true, you see Her great granddaughter told it to me It happened in 1880 in Tennessee

-- Chuck Cliff (ccliff@compuserve.com), April 11, 2001


i don't know anything i waqnt u to give me the answer

-- hermione granger (www.keniaerace@hotmail.com), March 27, 2002.

I'm sort of puzzled as to how this got on your bulletin board...

I don't mind it being posted, it's just I don't understand how it got here

This story was told me by a lady whose family came from Tennessee, it made an impression on me which I tried to put into words.

There is a companion piece to this -- it is an excerpt from the diary of a great great grand uncle of mine, again the subject is a hanging, but here, the person hung had killed the wagon master with his bowie knife...

I'd like to post it here, if it is of interest...

Rgrds Chuck Cliff

-- Chuck Cliff (ccliff@compuserve.com), March 28, 2002.

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