The Witch of Mull River

Female Witch sitting down

At Mull River, Inverness Co., there lived in pioneer days a very bad old woman, who died at the age of one hundred and eighteen. 

After she had passed the century mark she grew two horns on her forehead, which increased a quarter of an inch every year. She had the evil eye, and consequently everyone was afraid of her. 

If her neighbor’s cow happened to give more milk than hers, on the day following her cow would give twice as much milk as before and the neighbor’s would give none. 

Periodically, she went collecting around the neighborhood and carried with her for the purpose a large canvas bag bound with iron. She would take everything that was given her, and woe betide those who refused her. She used a terrible incantation, in which she called upon the devil to harm those who denied her requests.

She lived in a tiny, windowless log cabin, which had a queer old flue called the witch’s chimney. When she was dying, charitable people used to bring her some tallow candles that she might not be in complete darkness; but never one of them did she burn. Instead, she melted them all, mixed the tallow with meal, and ate them. So much for her digestive powers.

The night she died, those who were watching beside her, heard stones falling from the roof. They went out to see what was happening, but although they could see nothing, they could hear the stones falling and the witch’s incantation muttered all around the house.

After she was buried, the neighbors decided to burn down the house. Two courageous men, whose names tradition has preserved, went into it, and spied at once the witch-bag in a corner. Immediately they lighted a fire and placed the bag upon it. As they did so, a terrible explosion shook the hut, the bag shot out through the chimney, which it took with it, and rose up into the sky. Then it descended to the earth intact. Since they could not burn it, they decided to bury it. As they left the country shortly afterwards, the knowledge of its location has been lost.

(Story told by a man who spent his childhood and boyhood at Mull River).

Alastair McIntyre

The paranormal world can very fascinating! If you are from Nova Scotia, and have experienced something paranormal, or a event that happened to someone you know, we would love to share your story! 

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