Southern Paranormal Activity-Witch Dance Posted by: Hedi Hemenway | 0 Comments
Stranger Things: Natchez Trace, Mississippi
The Natchez Trace is a beautiful National Parkway in the Southeast US that commemorates the Old Natchez Trace, running from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee. The original foot-trail was used by Native Americans, settlers, and future presidents, and today offers spectacular scenery and fantastic camping opportunities. But even with all of its beauty, there are still some unexplained and spooky places along the Trace. One of the most notorious is the area known as Witch Dance. Here is the legend.
“Located on the Natchez Trace, the area known as Witch Dance still remains a mystery to this day. It is believed that witches gathered in this area to perform nighttime ceremonies which included dancing. Legend has it that wherever the witches’ feet touched the ground, the grass would wither and die, never to grow again. Believed to be a bad sign, these barren spots of ground were avoided by both the Chickasaw and Choctaw Indians. The War of 1812 brought Andrew Jackson to the area, and while there is no record of Jackson avoiding these barren spots, he did find them noteworthy as he recorded them in his journal. Word had spread and travelers and traders in the area avoided the spots at all costs. Local criminals, the Harpe Brothers, were familiar with this local legend; however, chose to ignore the warnings. One of the brothers, known as Big Harpe, chose to dance along these barren spots and even called to the witches, challenging them to show themselves. Not long after, Big Harpe was murdered and his head was nailed to a tree. It is believed that the witches came and took his head, ground it up, and made a potion with it. Additionally, it was reported by many in the area that cackling and laughter could be heard coming from the surrounding woods. These barren spots can still be seen and, to this day, nothing grows in their place.”
Witch Dance is located on the Natchez Trace Parkway south of Tupelo, Mississippi at milepost 233.2. Today it is a bicycle-only campground and staging area for the Witch Dance horse trail in the Tombigbee National Forest.
By Paula Martin
Paula Martin was born and raised in Arkansas and received her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of New Orleans. She is a writer, teacher, mom, barefoot trail runner, martial artist, and free-thinker always packed and ready for the next adventure.
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