Beth sent me a picture of the witch’s grave in her hometown cemetery. Someone has written on the side the name “Lodema.” I tried to find what I could about her, but I pretty much failed. Only one woman with the name “Lodema” has lived in Beth’s home county, as far as I can tell (though it could be hidden in a middle name) and she’s not buried there.

But in doing my research, I did learn that Mississippi also has a strong Bell Witch tradition–that the witch followed Betsy Bell to Mississippi and tormented her there–and that the destruction of Yazoo City was predicted, supposedly, by a witch. I also came across stuff about the Witch Dance on the Natchez Trace, but I already knew about that.

Which is all to say that Mississippi has some solid witchcraft legends, so Lodema, whether a real person or just a story attached to a grave, fits right at home there.

4 thoughts on “Lodema

  1. I never knew about the Bell Witch thing continuing in Mississippi. I’m still trying to find out about Lodema – I’ll let you know more if I do. When we were kids, in the ’80s, the writing on the side of the grave was black.

    It’s so odd, because the grave stone is only a slab of concrete with the paint on the side – yet there are nicer stones that surround her grave with names, dates and clear familial ties.

    Photo can be viewed here.

  2. I even browsed the cemetery on Find-a-grave and didn’t find anyone who fit. But, yeah, in your photo, it’s clear that the name has been painted on there a couple of times.

    I’d love to put the photo up in October, if you don’t mind.

  3. Pingback: Guest Witch Photograph: LODEMA by Beth Downey | Tiny Cat Pants

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