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Oct 18, 2017    09:54:30 PM

Author Topic: Pennsylvania: Witchcraft, murder and 'hex hysteria' in the early 1900's  (Read 70 times)

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Pennsylvania: Witchcraft, murder and 'hex hysteria' in the early 1900's

COHEN: Do you think it is right to kill a person who has you bewitched?

BLYMIRE: Why, I think it is right, yes, if a fellow has me bewitched.

COHEN: If the judge of this court had you bewitched, would it be right for you to kill him?

BLYMIRE: If he had me bewitched.

Conversation between attorney Herbert H. Cohen and John Blymire, from the trial transcript of the Rehmeyer case.



 One of the most commonly-told urban legends in the Lancaster/York county area of Pennsylvania to which I'm native deals with a locale known as Hex Hollow, or, more properly, Rehmeyer's Hollow. As is the case with most urban legends, the stories about this place vary from teller to teller. The most common, however, is that a man named Rehmeyer, a known Satanist and black magician, conducted a series of human sacrifices in his house. After the magician died or was killed (again depending on the teller), his house was set on fire but refused to burn.

The truth of the matter is quite different, but elements of it can be seen in the legend above. In fact, it was discovered that whereas many people in York County were familiar with the Hollow legends, a surprisingly (and depressingly) small percentage of those were familiar with the history of exactly what occurred there. To discover what actually did, we must cast our minds back to 1928, to a time when the county was even more rural than it is now - and scarcely anywhere was more rural than Rehmeyer's Hollow, a heavily-wooded tract occupied by a scant few farms, almost all of which were inhabited by the Rehmeyer clan or close relations. The Hollow still feels this way today - pleasant during the day, shockingly dark (no street lights line its roads) at night.

Source: Pennsylvania: Witchcraft, murder and 'hex hysteria' in the early 1900's


 

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