Saturday, September 18, 2010

Hexenkopf Rock - The Witches Head

Hexenkopf from Racheshop

In Northampton County, Hex Rock has been held in awe by the locals since the early 1700s, when it was reputed to be the hangout of the area witches. They would sing, dance, and of course plot against their more saintly neighbors, causing crop failures, miscarriages, illnesses, and farm animal deaths.

Dubbed "Misery Mountain," it used to cast an imposing shadow on the lives of early German settlers. Some nearby residents still refuse to stray too close to the rock at night, especially on Halloween, when the witches party at Hexenkopf Rock.

One story claims that a witch who lived on the forested hill placed a curse on her neighbors for nebbing in her affairs. When people started falling sick, the villagers took justice into their own hands and hanged her. She was later seen wandering the hill seeking vengeance.

An older bit of lore passed on by Rick Cornejo says that local shamans would perform rituals known as "pow-wows" to draw the evil spirits out of the sick. These evil spirits would then be imprisoned in the mountain. It is said the hill used to glow at night from all the evil trapped inside it.

The hill has long lost its eerie night glow. Skeptics speculate that the glow had been caused by a coating of a mineral that has eroded away. But some say it's because the spirits aren't in the rock anymore; they're out roaming the woods, looking for a new body to call home.

Other witchy spooks have been allegedly spotted, along with a the ghost of a headless hunter and various locals who have met their doom there. There have also been sightings of strange floating lights and the sounds of eerie noises have been reported. Some say it's the sound of debauched witches; others say it's just the cry of vultures. Neither one sounds very melodious.

Witches Head abounds with local lore of ghosts, disappearances, demons, insanity, and suicides. One legend we'll pass on is that of a one-legged farmer, who fell to his death chasing (or fleeing from) a demon; it's said you can still hear the tap-tap-tap of his wooden leg in the area.

Now it's largely deserted, with the ruins of a few old farmhouses left in the woodlands. But occasionally a crop circle will pop up on one of the local farms. It's blamed on the whirling witches leaving their ghostly imprint on the field after their Hexen Danz.

If you really want the whole story, read Ned Heindel's 1976 history of the place, "The Hexenkopf Mystery, Myth and Legend."


Anonymous said...

i went up there ate holloween night i dident see anthing

Anonymous said...

My Grandmothers people (Lenape)used the area for fish camps and ceremonies. She told me stories about the camping and there was a place where the children would go swimming. I haven't been there so I'm not familar with the area.