Since we are in the fall season, it's time for some interesting local legends. Pennsylvania has tons of local spots, stories of witches, ghosts, etc. One place that is of interest is the Hexenkopf. There is a lot of silliness written about it, but basically it is a place that is believed to have been used by Native American healers to dispose of the illnesses and bad spirits they pulled out of sick people. Over time this negativity built up and caused the place to become the subject of all sorts of spookiness and general weirdness. Since PA is such a hotbed of occult history and activity, over time the stories about this place became confused with stories of witchcraft and even Powwow.
Got any local legends to share?
In Northampton County, there is a hill called Hexenkopf, the German word for witch's head. It has been held in awe by the locals since the early 1700s, when it was reputed to be the hangout of the area witches. They would sing, dance, and plot against their more saintly neighbors; causing crop failures, miscarriages, illnesses, and farm animal deaths. Those who built houses near Hex Rock often met with untimely deaths or were plagued by misfortune. No houses remain anywhere near it even today.
Dubbed "Misery Mountain," it used to cast an imposing shadow on the lives of early German settlers. Some nearby residents still refuse to stray too close to the rock at night, especially on Halloween, when the witches party at Hexenkopf Rock.
One story claims that a witch who lived on the forested hill placed a curse on her neighbors for meddling in her affairs. When people started falling sick, the villagers took justice into their own hands and hanged her. She was later seen wandering the hill seeking vengeance.
Local Indian shamans would perform rituals known as "pow-wows" to draw the evil spirits out of the sick. These evil spirits would then be imprisoned in the mountain. It is said the hill used to glow on moonlit nights from all the evil trapped inside it. The hill has long lost its eerie night glow. Some say it's because the spirits aren't in the rock anymore; they're out roaming the woods, looking for new bodies to call home. Skeptics speculate that the glow had been caused by a coating on the rocks that has since eroded away. The mineral magnetite is present in the rock. Magnetite is the most magnetic of all the naturally occurring minerals.
There have been sightings of strange floating lights and eerie noises heard. Some say it's the sound of debauched witches. Spooks have been allegedly spotted, along with the ghost of a headless hunter and his headless dog who have been seen wandering around seeking an elusive white fox. Another legend is that of a one-legged farmer, who fell to his death chasing a demon; it's said you can still hear the tap-tap-tap of his wooden leg in the area.
Directions to Hexenkopf: Latitude: 40.617878 Longitude: -75.241288. From Route 78, take the Easton exit, head up Morganhill Road into Williams Township for 4.5 miles. Hexenkopf Road is to the right (sometimes the street sign is missing due to vandals). While driving down Hexenkopf Road, the hill will be on your left. A walk through the woods is needed to reach the hill. Remember to respect the rights of homeowners and do not trespass on private property!
"Local Indian shamans would perform rituals known as "pow-wows" to draw the evil spirits out of the sick. These evil spirits would then be imprisoned in the mountain. It is said the hill used to glow on moonlit nights from all the evil trapped inside it."
I can recall similar stories in Japanese folklore. Sometimes it's demons, other times malevolent spirits. They usually trap them in objects. One of the most common things to trap demons in, seems to be certain types of trees.
My ex-husband's ancestor, Malcom McKown, was in the party that killed Chief Cornstalk and believe me the curse is not a joke, after doing much genealogy on the ex's family, it's clear that this curse continues until today..
I don't doubt that it was.. yes lots of history in that area and all along the Ohio and settlements before the Rev. War existed up that way
Good topic , Rob!
My area is filled with stories of ghosts of pirates, confederate soldiers, indians. Some of our more creepy stories come fromour latino communitry.. La Llarona ( the crying woman). LA chUZAS( MEXICAN WITCHES WHO CAN TURN THEMSELVES INTO OWLS AND BUZZARDS( SORRY about the caps) and the chupracabra.
Up in Northeast Texas, you'd occasionally hear about bigfoot.I don't know of any place where I live that has such a haunted reputation as witchs head , though
La Llorona is Cihuacoatl. She is not a ghost.
I don't believe it was posited that she was a ghost. The La Llorona isn't always portrayed as a ghostly spirit.