The traditional Ozark view of the spiritual Otherworld has always surprised outsiders and folklorists because of the general religious conservatism of the area. Despite this, a worldview that includes the existence and constant presence of spirits of the dead is common to find within more traditional communities. These spirits can take many forms, from helping angels to trickster haints. When ghosts become troublesome, hillfolk in the old Ozarks knew to call the local Power Doctor who specialized in folk exorcisms (amongst a wide variety of other charms and spells.) In the modern world, many healers have changed their view of spirits and exorcisms, influenced mostly from the Spiritualist and Spiritist movements of the 19th century, whose literature and teachings entered the Ozarks in the early 1900’s. This has created what one of my teachers called “a kinder exorcism,” whereby
|Time:||3:00 PM to 5:00 PM|
|Location:||Salem Witchcraft and Folklore Festival
Brandon Weston (Fayetteville, AR) is a healer, writer, and folklorist who owns and operates Ozark Healing Traditions, an online collective of articles, lectures, and workshops focusing on the Ozark Mountain region. As a ...