Saturday, October 26, 2013
Hi folks. Just wanted to share a little story from my home town area that will you in the festive spirit for the holiday that is Halloween.
During my nomadic youth I spent some years living just up the road from this house;
And prior to that I spent some time living about 2 miles below it. I know the area pretty well. This house sets in an area called Rehmeyer's Hollow. Down the road a bit is a small ridge line that separates it from Blymire's Hollow. My great-great-grandfather had a farm down from this and my grandfather was about 30 when the "incident" took place that makes this house famous. My great-great grandfather fought in the militia when Lee showed up make noise in Gettysburg.
Something about this area that is not well known is the prevalence of witches. They are much fewer now and like to be called "pow wow" doctors. Here is an article for background.
Most of the old folk know all about it and my grand parents knew a home remedy or 2 that kept me healthy. I remember whenever I would step on a board and have a rusty nail punch through my bare feet what to do. All you had to do was find the nail, pull it out of the board, cover it in hog lard, and place it somewhere that the sunlight would never reach it. And presto, no infection.
A conspiracy of doctors have tried to discredit these techniques to drive down the competition, so this secret is not well known. Same as the way VHS took out Beta.
Anyhow, in the early 1900's this house was the home of a guy named Nelson Rehmeyer. He did not get along with his neighbors, the Blymires, who lived at the other end of the woods. Seems old Nelson took to casting hex spells at his neighbors and all sorts of bad things befell them. People still put these signs on their barns to prevent bad luck from happening in this area.
So one night they went to ask him for it. I have had some awkward conversations, but going to your spooky warlock neighbor at night to ask him if you and your friends might offer to trim up his hair has got to be the topper. I guess when all else fails, violence usually works and they ended up killing the old spell caster. Then they burned him. Or else the other way around, not sure about this.
They got in trouble for this, because apparently our country has slid so far toward totalitarianism that you are no longer allowed to burn witches.
That article just gives what they want you to believe. Let me fill in some details from listening to my grandfather and from living around the area.
I am not saying my grandfather was one of these pow wow people, but he had some interesting knowledge. He taught me how to tie a fishing knot, and how to get a spirit to lead you to buried money; how to deal with a large mouth bass that leaps in the air to throw the hook, and ways to avoid the demonic familiar who could be guarding said treasure. (To my shame, there was only one time I was ever alone in a room with a ghost, and profit was the LAST thing on my mind.)
He told me when he was younger all the lands around there were prosperous farms. Now they are covered in new growth forest and brush. Hidden under all that growth are the remains of about 10 farms that died as a result of the magical curses leveled by the Warlock Rehmeyer. No one lived in them and the county bought up all the land because they were abandoned. They turned the place in to a park for bike riders and hikers. And they renamed it "Spring Valley Park." Ha! What a laugh. I could take Mordor and rename it something cheerful and a bunch of yuppies would show up with their mountain bikes.
Now days if my neighbor's Yorkie poops in my mulch I am upset. Imagine having this guy as a neighbor. This is straight up Magic the Gathering for REAL ante. If you lose you get some hideous sores oozing puss or something.
So the house sets there, all alone in a patch of nothing. It has no trespassing signs up, which seem a bit much. Who needs to be told to stay away? Here is a pic of the hole in the floor and you can see the burn marks on the joist from the body. They say there are still blood stains too.
One of the descendants owns the house and has tried to open it as a museum. He swears Nelson was not a witch, but one of the museum exhibits is supposed to be HIS SPELL BOOK.
I am not Perry Mason, but either old Nelson had a real eclectic reading selection in the out house, or he was up to something. And just having a book with instructions for Satanic rituals to punish your enemies does not mean you are actually using it.
But there is that last bit of evidence that is hard to refute.
If your neighbors come to your house on a cold winter night and KILL you for WITCHCRAFT, you might be a witch.
So that is a ghost story from this crazy part of the world.
Have a Happy Halloween.