Scary Witches Of Urban Legend
Tales of scary witches exist in every state, like the famous Blair witch from Burkesville, Maryland. Although Burkesville loved the attention their famous witch brought to their little town, The Blair witch isn’t real.
There was even the remarkable woman Prudence Bevis who people thought was a witch: Queen Bevers from Victoria.
Russia’s Baba Yaga is included in the list of scary witches because she lives in a traditional log cabin on two giant bird feet and is believed to be a cannibal. This scary witch decorated her home with the decapitated heads of her many victims.
However, I found two stories about scary witches that put the ones above to shame. One of these scary witches is Liberty, who lived in Bedford, Virginia. Since the mid-18th century, the settlement of Bedford sat surrounded by the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It got its name Liberty in 1782, and a fascinating story it is too. It all began with Robert Bramblett. Bramblett was a single parent of six daughters after his wife died in childbirth. His thriving apple orchard between two landowners is how he met his demise.
Joseph Findings and Robert Downey are not nice men. Bramblett publicly accused them of defrauding him of his 100-acre farm. Soon after, a mysterious fire claimed Bramblett’s life as well as the lives of five of his daughters.
Liberty was the only one that escaped the horrendous fire. She had been in the woods gathering herbs. Many suspected Findings and Downey of the heinous crime, but they couldn’t prove it. They named the newly established settlement on her home, Liberty, to show their sympathy.
That sympathy didn’t last long because the town banished Liberty on October 12, 1785. Several local children accused her of practicing witchcraft. Later, a group of hunters discovered her in Huddleston’s forests in Bedford County. She was hanging in a tree, and tied to each of her limbs were stones. Her body stretched down by gravity. The eerie part of this story?
All of her accusers and half the town’s children vanished the following year. No trace of them ever found. Yet, this scary witch’s tale didn’t stop there as mysterious events still plagued Liberty.
Almost a hundred years later, to the exact date, on October 12, 1884, a mysterious fire decimated nearly every building in the commercial district. In 1890, the townspeople fearing the town cursed, officially changed the name of their village from Liberty to Bedford.
That same year in 1890, Bedford held the first-ever annual Tobacco Harvest Picnic. Ten-year-old Ellen Overstreet went to play in Goose Creek in Huddleston. Eleven eyewitnesses claim to see a wispy white hand reach up out of the creek and pull poor Ellen in. The horrified town searched the creek for her body but never found little Ellen.
Soon afterward, the same stream became clogged with oily bundles of sticks. No one could use Goose Creek for thirteen days, but soon after, a man died from drinking the water. Then numerous animals became sick and died too, and the townspeople blamed Liberty.
On October 12, 1896, eight-year-old Robin Woodford disappeared into the Huddleston woods. She claimed to have met an older woman whose feet never touched the ground. Robin claimed the lady seemed nice and followed her to a cave, where the woman said she would be back.
When Robin didn’t return, a search party assembled to find the missing girl. However, when they reached Coffin Rock, Liberty Bramblett’s spirit attacked and disemboweled every member of that search party. Unfortunately, another search party that witnessed the evil spirit’s horrendous act now knew Liberty Bramblett was haunting them.
What of poor Robin Woodford?
She sat in the cave for hours but soon felt that things were not right, so discovering a hole in the roof of the cave, she escaped. Robin never went back in the woods.
On October 12, 1940, a hermit named Rusty Orr ordered by Liberty Bramblett kidnapped children. He states Liberty told him to go to Bedford and grab the first group of children he saw. The children bribed by candy went easily with him into the woods. He disemboweled the seven children the same way Liberty did the search party from before. Rusty hid in the woods for two days until Liberty appeared to him and told him to confess what he did.
Rusty did confess – he walked into town saying, “I’m finished.” The authorities did not understand what he meant. They went back into the woods with Rusty. They found the bodies and promptly arrested him. The townspeople were shocked wanted him executed. He confessed to the murders but said he was only following the old woman’s orders dressed in black. The good townspeople of Bedford hung him in 1941.
The spookiest scary witch I researched is the witch from Hinds road, Gadsen, Alabama.
The legend goes that this gorgeous woman with long raven hair and emerald eyes lived alone in a shack. It was an isolated hut in the woods off Hinds road. The witch named Torbit used to be a mystic until she sold her soul to the devil. For years the local children disappeared, and no one could find them. Local townspeople suspected Torbit, but they were too afraid of her to investigate. Then in 1939, one brave major sent a group of people up to Torbit’s home to see if she was responsible for the missing children.
When the men arrived, they saw horrors they couldn’t imagine even in their worst nightmares.
They discovered a pool filled with blood, surrounded by body parts and bodies of children strewn about. One man ventured into the nearby cave. Its foul stench drew him in, but when he came back out. He never spoke about the horrible sights he saw within its walls.
Torbit was covered in blood, and when they asked if she was a witch, she happily told them she was. The men threw flames on her and her cabin and watched as they both burned to ashes. It is said that the men could hear her cackling as the flames and smoke rose from the mountains.
Although this is a spooky story – even creepier stories are still told about the witch from Hinds road.
People say you can see Torbit’s ghostly cabin in the woods, her spirit dancing in glee around it, and Orbs flitting across the water-filled pond once filled with blood and body parts.
Many think the orbs are spirits of the dead children Torbit murdered. The spirit of Torbit can be seen sometimes near the pond dipping her hands in the pond. As if filled with blood once more, she washed her hands in the pond filled with the dead children’s blood.
The cave still emits a foul odor, and not many ventures within its stinky entrance. If they do, not many speak of what they saw. One woman, brave or stupid enough to go inside, swears she saw a skinned dog standing inside. She said she knew it was alive because it stood up and growled at her.
It’s said that if you are brave enough to walk the road alone at night, Torbit’s ghost will rush up to you. She will scream in your face that she sold her soul to the devil.
So, if you are ever in Alabama or Virginia, be careful. You wouldn’t want either of these scary witches to come after you.