Hexenkopf: The Witch's Head
From Rick Cornejo

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"In eastern Pensylvania there is a hill called Hexenkopf, the German word for witch's head. A slew of local legends revolve around this place, including tales of cults and witches. Some speak of a witch who lived on the forested hill and placed a curse on her rowdy neighbors for interfering in her affairs. When people started falling sick, the nearby farmers and villagers decided to take justice into their own hands and hanged the witch. She was later seen wandering the hill looking for a chance for vengeance.

This neat little tale is probably not true. What is true, I discovered, is even stranger and more worthy of notice. Apparently, Hexenkopf Hill was long of importance to the local indian tribes, whose shamans would perform rituals to draw the evil spirits out of the sick or affliicted. 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. Early settlers to the area were so impressed with the shamans' results that they began to learn the rituals. For the next century or so, long after the indians were gone, local witch doctors performed 'powwows,' as they called them, to drive the evil spirits from sick people.

While working for the area's daily paper, The Express-Times, I wrote a story on the hill's history and met the daughter of one of the last powwowers of Hexenkopf. This elderly lady told me her father was a skilled powwower and had worked the rituals well into the early twentieth century. She remembered an incident that happened when she was a child. Her older sister had just given birth, and the baby was sick with fever. Her father 'took the fever out of her and put it in the rock.' She told me that the spirits dance on the rock on All Hollows' Eve and that she was planning on going up and joining them. I never did find out if she did.

The hill itself 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 in the woods roaming free and looking for a new 'host.'

All I know is that I have been up there at night, and it makes your flesh crawl. I've encountered strange lights and shadows (as well as a weirdo with a macnete who was sitting alone on the rock in the dark...He was friendly to us, but I was pretty freaked out the entire time we talked to him). Others who went there with me reported seeing figures walking alongside them in the night woods.

Hexenkopf is easy to find. Just take Route 78 to the Easton exit, Turn left at the exit stop and head up Morganhill Road into Williams Township. About five miles down this road is Hexenkopf Road, on the right. While driving down Hexenkopf Road, the hill will be on your left."-Rick Cornejo



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