If you’ve ever traveled the Natchez Trace Parkway between Tupelo, Mississippi and Jackson, Mississippi, you have probably seen the National Park Service sign that reads, “Witch Dance.” Did you stop and check it out? If not, you should.
As you glide along, or should I say, crawl along within the 50 mph speed limit of the Natchez Trace Parkway, you become mesmerized by the beautiful forests and open fields that contain deer, wild turkey and other animals of the deep south, but animals are not all you see on your trek; there are Indian mounds, Civil War battlefields, Antebellum homes, recreated villages, and much more. There is also an ominous place on the Trace, a short distance south of Houston, Mississippi, at milepost 233.2. The place is called “Witch Dance,” and has a National Park Service sign there.
Legend has it that this place was a meeting, or ceremonial area, where witches of old, gathered and danced. Legend also claims that bare spots where no grass will grow, even to this day, were where the witches’ feet touched the ground, as they sailed around their crackling fires. The National Park Service has a sign there that tells of the witches.
“The very name conjures visions of eerie midnights, swirling black capes and brooms stacked against a nearby tree. The old folks say the witches gathered here to dance and wherever their feet touched the ground the grass withered and died never to grow again. Impossible? Maybe so, but look around. Look for a hidden spot where no grass grows.”
It is said that The Chickasaw and the Choctaw Indians avoided the glassless patches, and Andrew Jackson wrote of them in his journal.
If you get a chance to travel the beautiful Natchez Trace Parkway, make Witch Dance one of your sites to see, and make your mind up if you believe the legend or not.
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Until we meet again on these pages, “Let the world turn onto our next destination.”