Tuesday, June 7, 2011

"The Witch of Gatlinburg"

The following letter written by one Samuel Brown, a native of the town that is today known as Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in 1817. It is transcribed here exactly as written:

Dear Jeremiah,

It seems I owe your father an apology. When he came back from the Smokies muttering those tales about a horrible witch, I calld him mad. Yet here I stand, haunted by that same witch that he spake of all those years ago.

White Oak Flats is a small town my friend, and we all must pich in so it may survive. I was out huntin in the mountains around town when I saw the witch. I was tracking a turkey, biggest I ever seen, when I suddinly stumbled upon a spring where a young maiden was bathein. She didnot seem to notice me, and I quikly hid myself behind a bush.

The maid had fair skin and her hair was the color of the sun. I am ashamed to admit my reasons for staying ther were lechrous, for she wore no furs or textiles. The turkey I was tracking sat on the edge of the spring, next to a cloak of black fethers that must belong to the girl.

She sat in the spring for some time and then finaly stood, and I beheld her glisening, bautyfull form. It shames me to admit how entransed I was, but I am but a man and before me was a goddess.

The maid waded to the edge where her cloak was and pulled a knife from the folds. Before my terrifide eyes, she traced the blade along her skin, cutting a smooth line across her left brest. The cut widened on it's own and I could only watch in horrifide silence as a bird climbed out and flew into the sky.

She cut more openings across her body and from each emerjed a bird. When she had completed the grizzly ritual, the woman, who I was sertain must be a witch, lay back in the spring and let her blood pore out and stain the waters red. She began to hum and had a peacefull look on her face.

I could stand it no more and I forgot about the turkey and ran. I ran all the way back to town. I prayed that what I had seen was a falshood or some madness brought by exostion, but alas it was not.

For there she is on the edge of the forest, wrapped in her fetherd cloak and masked in a bird's skull, keeping silent vijil on me. And evry bird in the sky and on trees looks at me, and I know that soon they shall come for me.

Farewell, my old friend. I fear this may be the last leter I ever write.



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