Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Wart Charmer



Recently my great aunt passed away.  In her early nineties, she lived a full and productive life.  The sister of my grandfather, I remember visits with her as a child and even more so as an adult.  She was outspoken and quite political.  She had a quick wit and loved Little Debbie cakes.  

She was also a wart charmer.  

This wasn't something that I knew about her, until a few years ago.  My father let it slip during conversation and then seemed surprised that I didn't know.  How would I know?  That isn't something that just comes up in regular conversation.  He told me that she had removed warts for him, as a boy.  She held the affected area and asked him if he believed.  After saying he did, there was no more to it.  No prayers, incantations, or bible verses.  His wart went away, shortly thereafter.  


She died without any children and I have to admit that I wonder if she passed her skill forward to another family member. Warts can also be bought and conjured, along with other types of healing.    This type of folklore/magic/cure interests me more as I continue to delve into Appalachian culture.  Here is an article of interest with information on cures and conjuring from The Irish Times.  Just the place where so many of Appalachian traditions originated.  

Do you have any wart charmers, conjurers, or healers in your family?  









33 comments:

  1. ...wart charmers are in short supply these days.

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    1. Hey Tom, no doubt! lol I wish I had the skill!!!!

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  2. Love the winding country road in your photo. I just recently read the verse in the Bible that supports your aunt's belief in belief for healing. And just this week in my genealogy research I found that my 2 times great uncle was a naturopathic doctor.

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    1. Gayle, I think there is so much we don't understand about life. I always enjoy the folklore and cultural practices of a region.

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  3. Oh, that is fascinating! She should have charged per wart and make a ton of money!

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    1. Betsy, I have read that charging for removal weakens the powers of the healer. I don't know about this, but I have to say that people I have known, who can "heal" never charge for their services.

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  4. I had never heard of a wart charmer, but its fascinating as are other healers and the like. It saddens me when I think of those skills not being passed down. I am sorry for your family's loss, but what a life she must have led!

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    1. Jen, she was an interesting person. If she passed her "powers" on to another family member, I haven't heard about it.....yet!!!

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  5. Hello, this is the first I have heard of a wart charmer. It is interesting. Pretty scene and photo. Sorry for your loss. Have a happy day and week ahead!

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  6. That is funny unless you're the one with a wart. Oh, to be remembered as a wart charmer. I am getting into crystals and studying them. Old as dirt, but powerful enough to make a neutron bomb.

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    1. Donna, I think crystals are really interesting and I hope you will post about what you learn. I think there is so much we don't understand about life.

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  7. I love this story! I've never heard of a wart charmer! Our family doesn't have a healer, either. But I wish we did! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  8. This is such and amazing talent especially if you live where there are alot of Toads. She sounds like a wonderful lady.

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  9. No wart charmers here....at least, not any that I know of. Sorry for the loss of your great aunt. she sounds like quite a character. All it takes sometimes is just believing...

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  10. I've never heard of wart charmers. but i have heard of water withching or dowsing with a stick to find water. one fellow in our area even found graves doing that.

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    1. Felicia, my husband can water witch and has done it a few times on our farm. He tried to "teach" me, but it didn't work. Though, my daughter can do it and my son a little bit. Not full on powers for him! lol

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  11. No wart charmers in my family but I sure could have used one when I was a kid. I had quite a few warts on my elbow and knees and the doctor my parents took me to burned them off WITHOUT numbing it first. I tell you I can still remember that pain!!!

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    1. When my daughter was very young, I had our pediatrician remove a wart on her foot. I could have taken her to my great-aunt! I didn't even know at the time!

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  12. i had to google it michele, i have never heard the term "wart charmer". your post comes up - lot's of other information too. i don't think we have any!!

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  13. No wart charmers here, either. But they used to always say a 7th son could charm warts off...and that is how mine disappeared. He didn't do or say anything that I remember. Just held my hand...

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  14. Very interesting indeed, there are similar such skills in the Asian Chinese Culture !

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  15. Very interesting . . .
    Something to be said for, believing it is so . . . healing happens,

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  16. This is new to me; I've never heard of a wart charmer. I don't believe in such stuff but i think my darling wife would find it of great interest! I do know, however, that sometimes things happen for which we don't have a ready answer.

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  17. I have never heard of a wart charmer... and your aunt sounds like a real stitch! So sorry to hear of her loss, but a good life she had, and what a gift that is.

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  18. I love these people and the family stories like this. Thanks!

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  19. Well how fascinating is this Michelle! I wish we did have a start charmer in the family, I have two that I'd like to get rid of 😊 Sorry to hear about your Great Aunt, she lived a long life.

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  20. A wonderful story, Michelle. I never heard of a wart charmer and I enjoyed reading about the magical mystery cures in Ireland. Such interesting things in life that we don't know of, it's amazing.

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  21. Fascinating, Michelle. I had not heard of wart charming. My method was to strangle them by tying cotton round them and gradually tightening until the blood supply was cut off. Worked quite well . . . :)

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  22. . . . . and my deepest condolenses Michelle . . :)

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  23. I have never heard of a wart charmer and am pretty sure there were no healers in my family. There were probably some in my husband's family though, considering he had ancestors from four different continents. Something I always found fascinating. I'm sure you will find so many interesting healers, root doctors, and charmers of all kinds of problems as you get into this aspect of Appalachian culture. Now you've made me curious too.

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  24. I'd never heard of such a thing as a "wart charmer" until today. It was certainly fascinating to read about these healers.

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  25. Used to hear of wart charmers but not today so much

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