Book title help?

A few years back, I found a fabulous book at a friends-of-the-library sale - a compilation of folk magic spells and stories gathered from the Southeast during the Depression (I think. I seem to remember that it was a New Deal type project.) Shortly after I got it, I stupidly loaned it to a friend in grad school, who never returned it and moved away. I’ve since utterly lost touch with him.

Anyway, it was named something like “Hoodoo, Haints, and Witches,” or something like it. It was written entirely from interviews with people, and efforts had been made to preserve the dialects, because some of it was damn near unintelligible.

Still, I’d give my right testicle to have it back, and what’s more, from the spine, I think it was part of a series.


Is this close? Seems too new to me.

You may want to try here.

or maybe these guys can help.

If you have any more information (anything), that would be useful. (I know, if you had any more info, you could probably find it yourself) :rolleyes:

But if you do, I can get in contact with a book dealer or two who are very good (the FMNH library uses them). It will have to wait until thursday though as I won’t be going there tomorrow, er, today (arrgh, its 2:15am already - I need a hobby :smiley: ).

Many thanks for the help, dinoboy. I’ll give those sites a try, and yes, the book you linked to seems way too new to me as well.

I’ll also try to wrack my brain for further information. About all I remember now is that the title was a list of antiquated names for folk magic, folk creatures, and/or witches. Not very much help. Sorry.

OK, I even browsed url=“”]here, which seems to be a good source for New Deal-era literature. No luck. I’m now wondering if it was another program/organization altogether.

In which case, I’m skuh-rewed.

Errr, here

I did some searching, and it looks like this may have come from the “writer’s projects” of the WPA. There was the Virginia Writer’s Project, the Tennessee Writer’s Project and so on. I poked through the library of congress’ American Memory and you might try looking in the Federal Writer’s Project pages - I never found titles of books there, but it has transcripts of the stories as they were told to these people, and that sounds like it may be what you were looking for.
After I found this, I switched to WorldCat through OCLC (the full version that I have access to through the university I attend) and searched for “Federal Writer’s Project”. If you have access to this, it may help you ID the book - but I can’t dig through the 2200 titles I came up with this morning.

You might try looking through some of the titles here, since it sounds like it may fall into the Appalachian studies area.

definitely sounds like a Foxfire book to me

Wow, thanks for all the help, Lsura. Still no luck (I searched the documents you linked to,) but at least now I have a few new leads.

And it definitely was not a Foxfire book. I have several of those. This one predates it. Right spirit, though. They were similar, except this one was way more mystical than practical.

If you’d said “Ozarks” instead of “Southeast”, I say it sounds like you’re describing one of Vance Randolph’s books. Randolph spent a lifetime – a fairly long lifetime – collecting the folk tales, songs, superstitions, and lore of the Ozarks – much of it “unprintable”. Pissing in the Snow is probably the best known and has remained in print for decades, but Ozark Magic and Folklore is right up there with it.

Here’s the longest title you’re liable to see today:

Hoodoo–conjuration–witchcraft–rootwork; beliefs accepted by many Negroes and white persons, these being orally recorded among Blacks and whites

Published by Harry Middleton Hyatt (b. 1890) in 1970.
Is this it?

I almost forgot:


It fits the general description and there are other books in the series.

Actually, I hope that wasn’t it, cuz if it was the librarian should have been horsewhipped for selling it at a Friends of the Library sale for, I’m guessing, $2 or less. This is what it’s listed for in a used book site.

Just a suggestion, but with a hard-to-find book like that, it might be easier tracking down the friend, especially with the tools available today on the Internet.

(and no “right testicle” need be sacrificed! :smiley: )

I agree–but I don’t know exactly how long the Foxfire series has been in publication.

Son of a bitch. I think that’s indeed it. Thanks! I should have just asked you first. I’ll be tracking my ol’ buddy down now. I doubt if I paid more than $.50 for it. It was actually the company library where I used to work clearing out the “deadwood” from its library.

Damn, but I really want it back now. :slight_smile:

Here is a breakdown of each 1000 page volume.