After we got done roaming around in downtown Yazoo, (we were beginning to feel like we were very alone!) we decided that we would try and find the grave of the Witch Of Yazoo. A cemetery shouldn’t be too hard to find, right?? And besides, we had Siri. Well……that is what we thought anyway. We had asked directions from the one person that we had seen on the street during our ramblings so we set off.
She said, “Go straight down this road and turn here and then it will dead end into the cemetery” Seemed easy enough. Well, what she neglected to remember was that she told us to go straight down a one way street the wrong way, that was the first thing. So, we ran on the street next to it and tried to see where to turn. We made the turn and she said, “Keep going straight and it will dead end into it.” I guess what she failed to remember is that the street did a funny little jog, two of them in fact, and at the first jog the street did continue to go straight so that is what we did. We ended up in a housing addition and we found…a cul-de-sac!!! NOT what we were looking for, so we turned around and went back the way we came. We actually got back onto the road we were on but went a different way. After driving around a while we decided that we were parched and stopped at a gas station. Again we asked for directions.
“Sure!!! See that street right there? Well take a left on that street and keep going and it will dead end right into the cemetery” OK, great…super easy. So we thanked her and headed out. We turned left. We kept going and the street came to a T…AND, there was no cemetery anywhere in sight. There were signs indicating where we could enter the mental health facility though. After this we may need it. OK, so we took a left. Seemed like the thing to do. We ended up in another part of town kind of close to where we were before, OK another gas station, I’ll just ask for directions again.
“Oh sure!!! Go out here and take a left. Keep going straight. Stay straight across the railroad tracks and after the police station take a left. That road will dead end into the cemetery. It is about 2 minutes from Texaco.” Ok. Easy enough. Left, there is Texaco, across the tracks…police station, left…Wait a minute…This is the way we came into town!! OK here we go again. Let’s turn here because we know it is not on the road we were on currently. So then we saw a lady supervising her son cutting the grass. We figured she must live here so she would HAVE to know. Well, that is what we thought anyway. The boys said that I should NOT stop there and that something bad was probably going to happen. I said it’s just directions, so I pulled up and asked her if she knew how to get there. She said, “Sure!! Take this road and take a left at the yellow house. Then take a right and an immediate left. Keep going and the road will dead end into the cemetery.”
By now I have learned 2 things: There are a lot of left turns in this town and a lot of roads dead end into this cemetery that we can’t find.
OK, off again. Surely this woman has the right directions. Left at the yellow house, right and then left again. We are in a totally different section of town now. Not a great one by the looks of it. OK now there is a fork in this road so I ask the boys which way. Spencer pipes up that we should go up the hill and everyone seems to agree so up the hill we go. The road is narrow and the sides are slowly closing in. Ok, now we are officially in a place that maybe the witch lived back in the day. There is no backing out of here and this is NOT a location that I am really wanting to be in. Up ahead I see a turn around, unfortunately there is also a NO DUMPING sign that is full of bulletholes. We are in a perfect ambush spot. There is really no place for us to go and there is a very high hill on one side with plenty of cover. The boys are saying that there are probably snipers hiding on the hill sent by the last woman who gave us directions. I have to say that they might be right. We finally get turned around and I am close to giving up, but then Journey comes on the radio and Sterling says, “Mom, this is the perfect song for us right now.” It is “Don’t Stop Believing”. OK, I am getting out of here but I will give it one more shot.
I stop at one more gas station and approach a man gassing up his truck. I ask if he is from here, explain what we are looking for and ask him if he could possibly give us directions to this cemetery that I am beginning to think does not exist. I am actually starting to feel rather stupid about the whole thing and tell him this. He looks me over and says, “If you let me finish getting gas you can follow me. It is not out of my way.” I am sure that a chorus of Hallelujah broke out right that second. I got back in the truck and told the boys that we had an escort. Finally, we were going to see the witch. All was right in the world again. The man took us down the first road we went down, around the two little jogs and right there the road ran beside the cemetery. We thanked the man and turned in.
In the pictures on the Internet the grave was marked with a green sign. Well, that was not true either. We were having a heck of a time finding this witch. After having to turn around for probably the millionth time that day, we parked the truck under the shade of a large cedar tree. The cemetery was quiet and peaceful. It was actually a very pretty and calm resting spot. Still there was no sign of the grave so we pulled out the phone. Using other markers for navigation we finally found the grave. Seeing the grave and the broken stone on top of it was a little sobering. Basically the short story is that this woman was a witch, as she died she cursed the town by saying that in 20 years she was going to burn the town down. 20 years later in 1804 the town burned to the ground. Someone remembered the woman’s curse and came to check the grave and the stone was broken and the chains were broken in two. Later on the current stone was erected here and for no reason it broke as well. Legend says that when the chains are all broken the witch will return. Was this woman really a witch? If not, what did she do that was so bad that they felt they had to lay iron links so that her spirit could not escape and then put a stone over her? I don’t know the answer. All I can tell you is that while the rest of the cemetery felt peaceful to me, standing there, staring at her grave I began to feel anxious. My heart began to race, and I had an overwhelming desire to leave that area. I am sure it was just…I have no idea what.
After we each stared in wonder at the grave and pondered the fact that the town did burn exactly when the woman said it would we moved on to other areas of the cemetery and got some very good photos of the boys.
You can check out the Facebook page for the rest of the photos. After all of that excitement we decided it was time to move on. I am sure that we missed a lot of Yazoo, but we can always return one day. At least we won’t get lost heading to this particular spot anymore! For this part of the adventure it was the getting there that turned out to be the most memorable thing. You just never know what form the adventure will take on Sunday!!