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The Witch of Helltown by KB Hurst

Growing up as a boy in a small area of Ohio, often referred to as Helltown, I recall hearing the urban legend of the Witch of Helltown.

The legend was she lived out by the now-defunct lock that ran through Peninsula's town before it became a hot tourist district. She was rarely seen in the daytime, and even then, she hid her face from others under a large floppy straw hat that seemed to keep her long stringy white hair from flying in the wind. She spent her time walking around the local forest areas collecting wild mushrooms and herbs. She kept her basket always by her side, and the aged hands that carried them, covered in liver spots, were twisted at the bones like old tree trunks. Her gray, wrinkled skin bore the markings of someone that held a dark past. Scars shone to the world whether the darkness was done to her or by her was anyone’s guess.

The townspeople would often sneak away to visit the older woman. Among those late-night shadows that hovered above them in the cobblestone streets beneath their feet, by the call of midnight, they came, seeking their fortunes and potions for their love spells and medicine to cure the sick, and sometimes they were the same. One of the men who came called himself Big Sam and often asked the older woman to give him information about the people in town. In exchange, he would pay her handsomely and allow her to keep her house just at the edge of the waterway. He would use the information he obtained from the Helltown Witch against the people and blackmail them into giving him their riches and land. Big Sam swindled money out of these townsfolk, causing his farm to get more massive and more vast every year.

One of the animals that lived on that farm was a Snow-White goat called Big Sam’s prized Buck. Big Sam pampered it and took such care of that animal that rumor was he would often be heard talking to that goat and telling that goat all his troubles. The old witch knew this, and when Big Sam came calling for his fortunes, she would often distract him by asking about his goat. The old witch wasn’t stupid; she knew that if she gave Big Sam too much information about the town's people, she would lose her place and her quiet life. Big Sam’s Goat's discussion would often take up the hour that Big Sam paid the witch to trick the information out of her. He was often under the influence after coming back from the local tavern, and soon the hour would be over, and Big Sam would forget why he had visited in the first-place handing over a small bag of money to the older woman.

To be continued....

To read more on the story, be sure to grab The Occult Issue releasing October 20th on Magcloud!

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Written by KB Hurst

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