Witch of Yazoo


One day, She’ll return

Into the Fire

On May 25, 1904, Yazoo City was up in smoke. A devastating fire spread through the small Mississippi town, destroying the town’s business district and causing around $200,000 worth of damage. Businesses and local residences were destroyed around 320 buildings. A population estimated at 6,000 watched the town burn..


On the day of the fire, people claimed to have seen the work of mysteriously high and forceful winds. These winds, guiding the flames from building to building, were abnormal for the spring. The Yazoo residents were confused, dumbfounded, devastated and also terrified.


People speculate or generate ideas, but the cause of the fire is still unknown. 

Her Resting Place

On May 26, some citizens made a trip to the local Glenwood Cemetery. They approached a specific plot marked by gravestone that read T.W.”. There was suspicion in the air. The buried person is still believed to have been caused The Yazoo City fire. They had died exactly 20 years before it raged.


 The community at that time did not welcome or know “T.W.” She was an old woman who was driven out by the townspeople. She became an outcast. A recluse. A mystery. A legend. A witch.


Her story and her memory is one of the driving forces of local legend. People claim she was both hideous and wicked in life. She settled in isolation along the banks of the Yazoo River, which still flows through downtown Yazoo.


Woods and marsh align the banks of the Yazoo River. There, she built her home.


“It had been her…It had been her…It had been her.”


Citizens discovered the chains had been disturbed that surrounded the grave. The people of Yazoo City believed that, after twenty years dead, she had come back like she promised.


“In 20 years, I will return and burn this town to the ground!” 


She had done so.

Her Story

The Witch of Yazoo died May 25, 1884. Local authorities chased her into the swamp. She sank in quicksand and died.


In truth, it was a boy who really killed her. He had discovered the truth about her. She killed local fishermen. She tortured them, then she killed them. The boy claimed to have seen her chanting something, staring off into nothing while waving her hands. Next to her, he claimed, were the bodies of two dead men. 


The boy ran for the authorities. They were convinced when they reached her home. The skeletons were discovered in the home but the old woman and two bodies were missing.


Home? No. The shed? Who knows. Nevertheless, they were on her property, the story says. She kept animals, too. Malnourished cats lived upstairs in her home, surviving on fish and leaving their bones scattered on her floor.


She was buried with a marker that read “T.W.” in Glenwood. They placed the chains around her grave to keep her there. No one knows why the chains broke after the fire.


Wrapping Up the Witch

So, there was a fire, and there was an old woman. There was the wind, and there was her promise. The chains were meant to contain her hatred.


It is still possible for someone to see and touch the Witch’s grave. There is a new marker now. It begins, “According to Local Legend…” The new marker used to stand erect, but now, it is laid flat across the grave facing upward. Her grave is the most popular site to visit in the entire cemetery; it is a tourist attraction for locals and out-of-towners alike.


Rumors state that The Witch still haunts Yazoo City. The woman described is wearing a black hat and as a black figure . She haunts the cemetery, the town, and the minds of the people. She is locally famous. Older generations pass her story down steadily.  The story is difficult to understand because the facts are either incomplete, lost, or forgotten and replaced by generational gossip and infringement. Her story still lives on; therefore, she is still with the town.


Rumor has it that she will come back one day and burn down Yazoo City again when all of her chains are removed. One day, she will be free. She will unleash her hatred for the town once again. She needs her chains repaired around her grave. But, no one understands why they continue to break soon after repair.