Witching Warts

My poor Bug is struggling with plantar warts right now. We took her to the podiatrist to remove them, but the doctor sent us home with a medicated cream instead. They said if the cream didn’t work, we might want to try duct taping them before opting to have them cut out. The suggestion sounded a lot like witching warts to me.

Witching Warts

Back home in the mountains, witching warts off doesn’t sound so odd. Old folk remedies for getting rid of warts are well known up there. Papaw and daddy talked about it when I was growing up.

Daddy told me about old folks who purchased warts from people for a penny. I remember those stories pretty well. Once the warts were bought, you were supposed to spend your pennies. After you forgot where you spent the money, the warts would disappear. I know, sounds unbelievable – but people swear it works.

Buying warts is probably the most common folk remedy for warts, but it’s not the only one. I remember daddy telling me about one of his old girlfriends having a wart removed by an old granny woman. The granny woman cut a potato in half, rubbed the wart with its starchy flesh, then buried the potato. She said when the potato rotted, the wart would go away. According to daddy, the wart disappeared.

I’ve heard tell of mountain folk who can rub warts off too. They whisper a bible verse as they rub the wart with their thumb. People who’ve had this done say their warts vanished soon after.

Other Ways To Witch Off Warts

  • Touch each wart with a piece of string, then tie a knot in the string for each wart. Bury the string. When it rots, the warts will disappear. 
  • Remove warts by washing them in water potatoes have been boiled in.
  • Rub your warts with a piece of fatback, then feed the fatback to an animal.
  • Wash your warts with an old dish rag. Hide the rag where it will never be found.
  • Put tobacco juice on your warts.

Scientists claim that when these old folk remedies work, it’s due to the placebo effect. I doubt the people who’ve had their warts witched off feel that way. Call it what you want, but faith is powerful magic.

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