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Folk Magic in Illinois

The following is an excerpt from my new book Witchcraft in Illinois: A Cultural History. In this chapter I discuss folk magic, or popular charms and conjurations similar to witchcraft, intended to bring good fortune to oneself and suffering to an enemy. Order it today on Amazon.com or Barnesandnoble.com The work of folklorist Harry Middleton […]

Witch Doctors in Illinois

The following is an excerpt from my new book Witchcraft in Illinois: A Cultural History. Part Two explores beliefs about witchcraft, including witch doctors and witch masters called upon to break hexes. Order it today on Amazon.com or Barnesandnoble.com When folk cures failed, superstitious Illinoisans turned to witch doctors, hoodoo doctors, “wizards,” or other individuals […]

Defeating Witches

The following is an excerpt from my new book Witchcraft in Illinois: A Cultural History. Part Two explores beliefs about witchcraft, including counter magic and how witches were identified. Order it today on Amazon.com or Barnesandnoble.com While many Illinois pioneers feared witches, they also believed there were ways to combat maleficium and eliminate witches. For […]

Shapeshifting and Familiars

The following is an excerpt from my new book Witchcraft in Illinois: A Cultural History. Part Two explores beliefs about witchcraft, including a witch’s powers and abilities, which were surprisingly specific. Order it today on Amazon.com or Barnesandnoble.com Shapeshifting was a common theme in witch tales. Storytellers claimed witches could transform into any number of […]

In Memory of the Willowbrook Ballroom

By Micah Lee Mowbray The Willowbrook Ballroom burned down a year ago October 28, 2016. The special vibe of Haunted Archer Avenue will never be the same. I drove up to Chet’s Melody Lounge hoping to write a Bloody Mary infused reminiscence of what the Willowbrook meant to me. Chet’s is a throwback, early morning […]