Folktales have always been a part of all cultures. Wherever there's been human
life, there's always been a tale to tell.
As a child growing up in the back woods of Virginia,I recall hearing my relatives
speak of spell casting, root doctors, palm reading, black cats and such... But I was
too busy playing doctor under the front porch to take it all in.
Speaking of cats! Have you heard the old tale that if a black cat crosses your path
it would bring you bad luck? Meaning,walking across the direction in which you
are headed. Or if you walk in another persons footprints, that person would
develop a head ache? How about the most well known one; If you break a mirror
you will have seven years bad luck? Some may view this form of thinking as
none sense. But is it? What some people considers none sense,is very real to others.
The belief in things such as witchcraft,black magic,vampires,voodoo and the like,
have been in existence for centuries. And as long as mankind walks this earth,it
will continue to be.
Some older people of the south believed,if a pregnant woman was frighten by an
animal before her child was born,the child would be born resembling the animal
that frightened her. They called it "marking."
My father,being of African and Indian heritage, has told me some very strange
tales of people he met while growing up on the old plantations of Virginia. My
favorite was about a man named, Buck Jackson. A tall slim narrow faced black
man. As my father tells it, Buck was a great harmonica player. And had other
talents as well. The story goes something like this. Every Sunday people would
gather at the old country church and looked forward to hearing Buck play the
harmonica. Buck would start playing the harmonica,remove it from his mouth,
lay it on the front hood of the nearest vehicle, and the harmonica would continue
to play, as Buck stood there stumping his feet and clapping his hands shouting-
PLAY IT BOY!
It was also said,whenever Buck was locked up by the local police, he had to be
closely watched,for Buck appeared to be a black Houdini,(an escape artist). Buck
also had a strange appetite for things like burning cigarettes,coins, and glass lamp
chimneys. The glass chimneys must have been a delicacy for Buck. It was said he
would bite the chimney off piece by piece until it was all consumed. After which,
Buck would give his chest a hard slap and the glass would come flying from his
When it comes to old tales such as this-did they happen? Maybe they did; maybe
they didn't. But one thing's for Certain! There are many different kinds of people
in this world,that are capable of many different things. I would think God
planned it that way. And lets not forget about the great deeds that were
performed by people of the bible. The so called miracles? But were they miracles,
or just perceived to be so? There was a time in history when people were hanged
or burned at the stake for performing certain deeds; as in the Salem witch trials.
And what about the deeds of Christ? Many thought him to be a demon or
sorcerer,for which contributed to his crucifixion.
The fear of such people still exists in our so called modern day world.
Many people are still strong believers in dark magic,and have ways of protecting
themselves. One way is to rube a string in sulfur,tie a certain number of knots in
the string,wear it around the waist for a certain number of days,and no one can
cast a spell upon you. A spell can be broken by the same means. I heard this from
an old African American man and promised not to print all the details concerning
this. Folk tales such as this have been told through many generations and
cultures. How much truth is in them, will never be none. But my belief is, that
there's some truth in most old tales.