2.) The Mississippi Witch of Yazoo
The old Witch of Yazoo, or so the story goes, lived alone along the Yazoo River and was suspected of luring fishermen to herself from the water ways. Once enticed into her reach, she would invite them into her shanty of a home, poison them with arsenic, torture them and eventually bury them in a wooded area nearby.
In 1884, the sheriff, who was wise to her ways, finally caught the old witch with blood on her hands and two dead bodies on her floor, that she was chanting over and dancing around in ritual. When she realized she’d been seen, she fled from her cabin. The sheriff gave chase and followed her through the swamps in an attempt to arrest her and in so doing she went into some quick sand and was rapidly being sucked beneath the muck to her death. As she was slipping to her demise, she hotly swore revenge on the city of Yazoo and it’s people. “In 20 years, I will return and burn this town to the ground!” she screamed. And then she sank beneath the sands.
The sheriff recanted the nights events to the towns people, but little mind was paid to her threats and people continued on with daily life. A stone, marked only with T.W., was placed in the Glenwood Cemetery marking a place for the old woman and a heavy chain made of oval links was laid around the entire plot.
Then…on May 25th in 1904…twenty years after the words of the Witch of Yazoo were spoken, the threat became real. That was the day that the Fire of 1904 destroyed nearly every business in Yazoo. There were over 200 residences, 320 buildings, of one nature or another in all, burned to the ground.
Legend has it that Miss Wise, a young woman who was preparing for her wedding that afternoon, accidentally caught her parlor on fire and the results were the destruction of the town. But others insist that, while the parlor may have been the starting place of the small fire, it was the supernatural powers of the vengeful spirit of the Witch of Yazoo that lifted and moved the flames on the wind to cause the small burning building to turn into an inferno that engulfed the entire town.
The next day, as the citizen’s of the town milled around to determine the extensive damage, several people walked through the Glenwood Cemetery and realized that the large chains around the grave of the witch had somehow been broken in two. The townspeople quickly repaired the heavy chain, making certain that it was strengthened and secured. The old stone was replaced with a new marker and upon it was written the legend of the Witch of Yazoo.
Mysteriously enough, the new marker split in two and fell to the ground within a short period of time after placement and the chains, that had been secured once again when the stone had been set, where again broken in two.
As the legend has it, when all of the links in the chain are broken or gone, the Witch will once again come forward to exact her revenge. To this very day, the grounds keepers of the cemetery are mindful to keep the chains in place and in good repair.