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Yazoo City, Mississippi is known for its down-home feeling, vibrant downtown, unique hotels, and shopping. It’s also home to the former defensive captain of the Oakland Raiders football team, Comedian Jerry Clower, and author Willie Morris.

While most locals would have known of this spine-tingling legend, the rest of us may never have known had it not been for the author Willie Morris and his 1971 book titled Good Old Boy.

Yazoo City is located north of Jackson, nestled in the western part of Mississippi. It has a very unique urban legend that has been around since the 1800s. According to this legend, an old woman lived on the Yazoo River.

Townspeople called her a witch.

Legend has it that she would torture fishermen and lure them to her from the river. She would then torture and kill them.

The sheriff finally caught her as she entered her shed, he discovered the bodies of all the fishermen she had tortured and killed.

Upon this discovery, the witch fled through the swamp to escape arrest. As she fled through the swamps, she began sinking into quicksand. As she slowly sank, she swore revenge on Yazoo City.

She said, In 20 years, I will return and burn this town to the ground”

She died on May 25th, 1884 and was eventually buried in the Glenwood Cemetery. Large chains were placed on the top of her grave.

But on May 25th, 1904, a fire destroyed well over 200 homes and almost every business. A total of 324 buildings were destroyed.

Citizens believed it was the witch’s curse so they marched into the Glenwood cemetery the day after the fire and noticed the large chains around the grave had been broken into two pieces.

The legend goes on to say… The witch will return to exact her revenge on Yazoo City once all the chains are gone from her grave. Currently, cemetery workers keep the chains in good condition. Often they need repair but workers make sure they are in good condition.

At one time there was a headstone that contained only two letters. The letters T and W. It’s unknown what it stands for. Possibly… The Witch? Somewhere through the years the stone has fallen and split in two.

It seems just an Urban Legend. A very local Urban Legend, until author Willie Morris immortalized the witch in his 1971 book, Good Ol Boy.

The book is a timeless story of Willie growing up in the 1950s in Yazoo City post-World War II. Roaming around the small town with friends, stirring up trouble and pranks, and just having great adventures.

Willie being the ring leader decides to lead the boys to paint witch signs on a deserted mansion with blood from the slaughterhouse.

Of course, the boys didn’t receive the response they wanted, instead, they were met with more signs popping up around town.

The book ultimately allows the Yazoo Witch to live forever.

Of course, there are some skeptics and some say the witch’s grave does not contain her, but it contains a man. This is mostly because no records show that any woman had owned that plot in Glenwood.

These days adults and children can take a tour of the Glenwood Cemetery and hear the story of the witch be told by a costume-wearing local storyteller.

Will anyone ever know if this legend has any truth? Probably not… So let’s just leave it to the realms of the unexplained.

Buy your copy of Good Ole Boy

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