Family histories?

RiverRunsDeep

I have enjoyed everyone's stories very much. I have a story to share as well. It is more like a family legend than an accurate historical truth, but it is very interesting nevertheless!

Some of my paternal ancestors originally lived in Poland. In the town where they lived, there was a well-known "witch". The locals believed the witch could turn herself into a black cat at night and wander through the town. One night, someone spotted a black cat and threw a rock at it, severely injuring its front leg. The very next day, the witch showed up at my ancestor's house; her arm was severely injured. She needed to make a healing salve, but couldn't do it properly with her injured arm. She promised that if my ancestor helped to make the salve, she would be allowed to keep the recipe. My ancestor agreed, and the recipe for the "Witch's Salve" has been handed down in my family ever since.
Supposedly, one of my relatives found a lump in her breast, made and used a batch of the salve, and the lump disappeared.

As far as "abilities" go, I know that my maternal grandmother was a very accurate reader of tea leaves. Unfortunately, I never knew that about her or I would have asked for a reading! She kept very quiet about it. After she passed, my sister and I found a couple of her "Zolar" books. My sister kept the book about dream numbers, and I have the fortune-telling book.
 

celticnoodle

Very cool, RRD! Love that post. It reminds me of my Great Aunt E, who was thought to be a witch in her Pennsylvania neighborhood.

She was the crystal ball reader in our family--but also read cards, and probably tea leaves, etc. But the crystal ball was her true gift!

Anyway, she had a cat, and someone in the neighborhood broke its hind legs--both of them on purpose (so she always said anyway) and she suspected the neighbor next door, who had chickens. Her cat did bother the chickens, chasing them all the time, but I don't think he ever caught and killed one--just amused himself chasing them. So, she suspected him.

Now, she was able to help the cat and he did recover, but she stepped outside and announced rather loudly that she hoped whomever broke her cats legs (the cat literally dragged himself home by pulling his body along with his front legs---poor thing.), she hoped he/she fell and broke their legs!

Well a few days later, didn't the next door neighbor with the chickens fall and break his legs. He had hobbled over to her house on crutches, terrified of her, but determined to get her to take her curses off him and he apologized profusely for hurting her cat. :D All in the neighborhood did refer to her as the witch. She was nice and well liked--but people were in awe of her and I think a little bit uncomfortable around her as well. Didn't want to piss her off anyway!

she is the one who when she passed, her adult daughter went to her home to get her crystal ball and it disappeared. never did find it. I always said Aunt E took it with her to heaven. :D

Can you share the title of the book you got of your grandmothers? Is it just c. Zolar Fortune Telling book? Thank you!
 

RiverRunsDeep

I loved your story, too, celticnoodle! Cruel of me, but I couldn't help but chuckle about the man ending up with broken legs. Gotta love that kind of justice!

And my mistake about the book. I dug through my closet to find it, and it isn't Zolar after all. It is called "The Book of Fortune Telling / What Your Head and Hands Reveal", by Madame Fabia.
 

celticnoodle

thanks. It looks very interesting! :)

Yes, that aunt was known for many other things similar to that curse she put on that man. My mother too, actually....
 

Morwenna

I have it from both sides, it seems. :)

I've spoken often here of my mother's mother, who was from Quebec province, and was a card reader. I don't know much about her in that regard, only that she read regularly for her relatives. My mother picked up a few meanings and passed them on to me, but unfortunately she wasn't interested enough at the time to seriously learn it.

My father was a bit of a scoffer, but his 17th-century ancestors weren't! One was a man who was tried and hanged for witchcraft in Salem, one of the last to die. I read at least one account that described him as a predictor. And it turns out that we're descended from his second son. We bear the same family name; that's how we started to find this out.

But I don't have any wonderful stories such as I've read here!
 

celticnoodle

Oh, Morwenna, that ancestor in New England who was hung as a witch would most likely have a very interesting story behind him! I have a book on many, if not all the witches who were put to death at that time in N.E. perhaps your ancestors story is in it too. If you are interested in me checking it when I return home, send me a PM or email with his name & I'd be happy to check it. I won't be home though till May 10.