Southern Spirits: Ghostly Voices from Dixie Land
introduction | 19th century hoodoo | 20th century hoodoo | 21st century hoodoo

AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY
OF HOODOO SOURCE MATERIAL

by Catherine Yronwode

This bibliography catalogues material about
hoodoo that is not influenced in any way by modern
popularizations or new attempts to "reconstruct" or
"reclaim" hoodoo or to meld it with New Age or Voodoo
or Wicca or other belief-systems. Most of the sources
date to the era before World War Two (although, in the
case of Harry Hyatt's books, the publication date came
30 years after the collection of the material). Both
19th century rural hoodoo and 20th century urban hoodoo
are referenced.

The bulk of these entries are extracted from a lengthier 
bibliography at the end of my book "Hoodoo Herb and 
Root Magic" (Lucky Mojo Curio Co., 2002). The 
added notes [in brackets] are new and deal with the 
provenance of the material. 

Additional entries consist of material that was not used 
as references in my book on herbs but is of general 
interest to those studying conjure history and practice.

In addition to the books and articles cited below, many 
further extracts concerning hoodoo, taken from longer 
works, can be found online at southern-spirits.com.

Many of the magazine and journal articles on hoodoo, 
rootwork, and conjure published during the 19th and
early 20th centuries were written by African-American
authors. An author's racial or cultural background
would not be evident to the casual browser of the
bibliography, but i mention it because i wish to make
it clear that from the earliest post-Civil War period
onward, African-Americans were deeply involved in the
documentation of their own culture and did not need to
rely on European-Americans to do it for them.

Anderson, Jeffrey. Conjure in African American Society 
        2005; reprinted in paperback, 2007
          [Note: The author's excellent doctoral thesis, published
          in book form; and excellent introduction to the subject.]

[Anon.]. "Folklore and Ethnology" Southern Workmen and Hampton School 
        Record. Volume 28, March, 1899.
          [Note: All Hampton School students were African-American.]

[Anon.]. "Folklore and Ethnology" Southern Workmen and Hampton 
        School Record. Volume 28, August, 1899.
          [Note: All Hampton School students were African-American.]

[Anon.] "The Religious Life of the Negro Slave" Harper's New Monthly.
        September, October, November, 1863.
          [Note: Good, factual observations embedded in a racist 
          context; author was European-American; this is the 
          earliest publication containing a lengthy treatment of 
          that i have located to date.]

[Anon.] "Cures By Conjure Doctors." Journal of American Folk-Lore 
        Vol. 12, 1899. Pages 288-289.
          [Note: Authorship credited to the "Editors" of the JAF.] 

[Anon.] "Voudooism -- African Fetich Worship Among The Memphis Negroes"
        The Memphis Appeal" [newspaper] (circa 1865 - 1867, cited by 
        P. B. Randolph, 1870). 
          [Note: An annotated version of this article is online at 
          southern-spirits.com.]

Bacon, Miss A[lice]. M. "Folklore and Ethnology: Conjuring and 
        Conjure Doctors in the Southern United States" Southern Workmen 
        and Hampton School Record. Volume 24, December, 1895. 
          [Note: All Hampton School students were African-American.]

Bivens, N. D. P. [Thomas, George A.?]. The Life and Works of Marie 
        Laveau. [n.p., George A. Thomas, dba Crackerjack Drugstore?], 
        [n.d., prior to 1927]. Reprinted in facsimile as Marie Laveau's 
        Old and New Black and White Magic [Fulton Religious Supply / 
        Dorene Publishing], [n.d., c. 1963]; reprinted in facsimile as 
        Black and White Magic by Marie Laveau, International Imports, 
        1991.
          [Note: Marie Laveau did not write this book; it is an 
          account of how urban hoodoo was practiced in New Orleans
          in the early 1920s; if George Thomas wrote it, the author
          was a European-American pharmacist who learned what he 
          knew from his African-American customers. Portions of this
          book were quoted without credit or attribution by Zora Neale
          Hurston in the article "Hoodoo in America" and in turn 
          reprinted in Hurston's book Mules and Men (see below).]

Brendle, Thomas R. and Unger, Claude W. "Folk Medicine of the 
        Pennsylvania Germans: The Non-Occult Cures" Proceedings of the 
        Pennsylvania German Society. Volume XLV, Part II, 1935.  [The 
        title is a misnomer; many "occult cures" are indeed included.]
          [Note: Useful for comparison and sourcing of Germanic
          inclusions in hoodoo.]

Cappick, Marie. "The Key West Story, 1818-1950" The Coral Tribune. May 
        2, 16, 23, 1958.
          [Note: This is but a short portion of the lengthy, 
          serialized autobiography of an elderly white woman who, in 
          this portion of the work, recalled hoodoo-associated events 
          she had witnessed as a young women in the 19th century.]

Chestnutt, Charles Wadell. The Conjure Woman. Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 
        1899.
          [Note: Stories by this African-American author are fictional
          but contain much casual and authentic data about hoodoo in 
          pre-Civil War era.]

Chireau, Yvonne P. Black Magic: Religion and the African American 
		Conjuring Tradition. University of California Press, 2006.
           [Note: An overview of the practice of magic in the African 
          Diaspora.]

Clayton, Edward T. "The Truth About Voodoo" Ebony Magazine. Volume 6, 
        April 1951.
          [Note: This African-American author seeks to debunk hoodoo
          as "superstition" but inadvertently documents it thoroughly.] 

Culin, Stewart. "Concerning Negro Sorcery in the United States." 
        Journal of American Folklore. Volume 3, 1890.
          [Note: Author probably a white folklorist; data accurate but
          generally duplicated elsewhere; however, this is an early
          cite for much material that Hyatt collected in greater detail 
          40 years later.]

Culin, Stewart and Bryan, Dr. H. N. "Voodooism in Philadelphia"
        Journal of American Folklore, Volume 2, No. 5,  April - June, 1889. 
        Pages 233-234. 
          [Note: An annotated version of this article is online at 
          southern-spirits.com.]

Davis, Daniel Webster. "Folklore and Ethnology: Conjuration" Southern 
        Workmen and Hampton School Record. Volume 27, December, 1898.
          [Note: All Hampton School students were African-American.]

de Claremont, Lewis [pseudonym of [-] Young]. Legends of Incense, 
        Herb, and Oil Magic. Oracle Publishing Co., 1936. 
          [Note: Author was not African-American; he is said to have 
          been Jewish Amrican; he operated one of the earliest 
          mail-order hoodoo supply companies, and this book became  
          a strong influence on urban hoodoo.]

Deveney, John Patrick. Paschal Beverly Randolph, A Nineteenth-Century 
        African-American Spiritualist, Rosicrucian, and Sex Magician. 
        State University of New York Press, 1997. 
          [Note: This biography of an African-American novelist, 
          spiritualist, and Abolition lecturer contains only a few
          tangential references to hoodoo, which the Anglo-American  
          author does not fully perceive or identify as such; however, 
          the early date of Randolph's life (1825-1875) with respect to 
          other printed sources make even the few allusions to hoodoo
          to be found in his papers extremely significant.]

[Dream Number Books for Policy and Lottery Gambling]
             Aunt Sally's Policy Players Dream Book and others
             Billy Bing's Dream Book
             Kansas City Kitty Dream Book
             Madam Fu-Fu's Lucky Number Dream Book
             Pick'Em Dream Book by Rajah Rabo (Carl Z. Talbot)
             Professor Konje, Professor De Herbert (Herbert G. Parris)
             Rajah Rabo's 5-Star Mutuel Dream Book by Rajah Rabo (Carl Z. Talbot)
             Rajah's Lucky Number Dream Book by Rajah Stanley
             Stella's Lucky Seven Star Dream Book
             Stella's Success From Dreams: Number Interpretations
             True Fortune Teller by The Gypsy King (Ralph Anderson)

Fauset, Arthur Huff. Black Gods of the Metropolis: Negro Religious 
		Cults of the Urban North. Issued also as the author's thesis, 
		University of Pennsylvania. Issued in 1944 by the University of 
		Pennsylvania as Brinton Memorial Series No. 2; Philadelphia 
		Anthropological Society Publications, v. 3. Reprinted in 1970 
		and again in 2002 by the Unversity of zPennsylvania with a new
		introduction by John Szwed and foreword by Barbara Dianne Savage
          [Note: This book is an anthropological examination of
          black religious groups in Philadelphia, including some of the
          lesser known groups that dealt in non-mainstream religious
          beliefs and practices.]
          
Fogel, Edwin Miller. Beliefs and Superstitions of the Pennsylvania 
        Germans. American Germanica Press, 1913. 
          [Note: Useful for comparison and sourcing of Germanic
          inclusions in hoodoo.]

Gamache, Henri [pseudonym of [-] Young?]. The Magic of Herbs 
        Throughout the Ages. Sheldon Publications, 1942.
          [Note: Author may have been African-American and/or Jewish
          American; in any case, this book and his others, especially 
          The Master Book of Candle Burning, became a strong 
          influence on post World War Two urban hoodoo.]

Hall, Julien A. "Negro Conjuring and Tricking" 
        Journal of American Folk-Lore Vol. 10, 1897. 
          [Note: "tricking" in African-American hoodoo parlance means 
          casting a spell; it does not mean fooling someone. -cat]

Harris, Bernice Kelly, ed., Creative Writing Group of Chowan College. 
        Southern Home Remedies. Johnson Publishing Co., 1968.
          [Note: Author was an African-American novelist; this is a
          non-fiction book she compiled with contributions from 
          others, most of them elderly, as was she too at the time  
          of this work.]

Harris, Joel Chandler. The Complete Tales of Uncle Remus. Houghton 
        Mifflin, 1955. [Written 1876 - 1908, the stories were first 
        published in the Atlanta Constitution, then in several book 
        collections, 1880 - 1948.] 
          [Note: Author was European-American; scant reference 
          to hoodoo throughout the tales; as with Randolph (see 
          Deveney, above) it is the early date of the material,  
          not its depth, that recommends it.] 

Haskins, Jim. Voodoo and Hoodoo. Scarborough House Publishers, 1978; 
        Stein and Day, 1978.
          [Note: Author was a prolific African-American non-fiction
          writer; he had a generally negative attitude toward hoodoo 
          as "superstition" -- despite this, he documented a lot of 
          material, much of it from his grandmother and other elders.
          Voodoo and Hoodoo by Jim Haskins is for sale by the 
          Lucky Mojo Curio Co. Occult Shop.]

Hearn, Lafcadio. "New Orleans Superstitions," Harper's Weekly [magazine], 
        December, 1886. 
          [Note: An annotated version of this article is online at 
          southern-spirits.com.]

Herrick, James W. Iroquois Medical Botany. Syracuse Press, 1995.
          [Note: Author was European-American; this book is 
          useful for comparison and sourcing of Native American 
          inclusions in hoodoo.]

Herron, Leonora. "Folklore and Ethnology: Conjuring and Conjure Doctors 
        in the Southern United States,"  Southern Workmen and Hampton 
        School Record. Volume 24 [in two parts], July and November, 
        1895.
          [Note: All Hampton School students were African-American; 
          aside from glancing references in 19th century slave 
          narratives this is the earliest published material on hoodoo 
          by an African-American person that i have located to date; 
          Chestnutt's fictional writings on hoodoo describe events 
          that took place earlier, but he published four years after
          Leonora Herron and Alice Bacon did.]

Herron, Miss [Leonora] and Bacon, Miss A[lice]. M. "Folklore Scrapbook" Journal 
        of American Folklore. Volume 9, 1896. [A "reprint in extenso" of 
        the 1895 three-part "Conjuring and Conjure Doctors in the 
        Southern United States," by Herron (two parts) and Bacon (one 
        part) originally published in a lengthier form in Southern Workman 
        and Hampton School Record; listed here for the sake of completion 
        only.]
          [Note: All Hampton School students were African-American. The 
          information published by Misses Herron and Bacon, collected from
          students at the all-black Hampton Institute in Virginia, is especially
          valuable. Among other things, the authors describe a clear instance of
          the use of what some today call a "voodoo doll" -- but made during the
          time before these were manufactured of cloth ("something all wrapped up
          in hair and all kinds of other queer-looking things"). They also make
          frequent references to footprint magic.]

Hohman, John George [Johann Georg]. Pow-Wows or The Long Lost Friend. 
        Stein, c. 1935; Dorene, c. 1960.[These variant 3rd editions 
        derive from the 1st and 2nd English editions of The Long-
        Secreted Friend or A True and Christian Information for 
        Everybody; Containing Wonderful and Approved Remedies and Arts 
        for Men and Beast. John G. Hohman, 1846; T. F. Scheffer, 1856. 
        The 1846 edition was translated by the author from the 1824 2nd 
        edition of his 1820 German book. The 1856 translator is 
        uncredited.]
          [Note: Useful for comparison and sourcing of German
          inclusions in hoodoo. There is a more complete article
          on Pow Wows or the Long Lost Friend by John 
          George Hohman in "Hoodoo =in Theory and Practice 
          by catherine yronwode.]

Hurston, Zora Neale. Mules and Men. J. B. Lippincott, 1935. Reprinted, 
        Harper Collins, 1990.
          [Note: Author was an African-American novelist; this 
          non-fiction book is based on her earlier work as a
          folklorist, some of it published in J.A.F. cited below.
          Mules and Men by Zora Neale Huston is for sale by the 
          Lucky Mojo Curio Co. Occult Shop]

---------. "Hoodoo in America" 
        Journal of American Folklore. Volume 44, 1931.
          [Note: Much of this material went into the book "Mules 
          and Men".] 

---------, The Federal Writers Project in Florida. The Negro in Florida, 
        1528-1940. [unpublished incomplete ms.] [n.d., circa 1940.]
          [Note: This does not duplicate any of Hurston's published
          material.]

Hyatt, Harry Middleton. Hoodoo - Conjuration - Witchcraft - 
        Rootwork. [Five Vols.] Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt 
        Foundation, 1970-1978.
          [Note: Author was a European-American Anglican priest whose
          hobbies were folklore and genealogy; material consists of
          transcriptions from cylinder field recordings of interviews
          with 1,599 African Americans and 1 Anglo-American; the bulk 
          of the interviews were conducted between 1936 and 1940.
          See article on The Writings of Harry Hyatt and 
          article on Identifying Harry Hyatt's informants 
          in Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by catherine yronwode.] 

---------. Folklore from Adams County Illinois. Memoirs of the Alma Egan 
        Hyatt Foundation, 1935. [and the rewritten Revised 2nd Edition, 
        Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation, 1965.] 
          [Note: Spells are grouped by type; data is partially identified 
          by the ethnicity of the informant; e.g. "German," "Irish," 
          "Negro," etc.; contains a lengthy section on hoodoo.
          See article on The Writings of Harry Hyatt and 
          article on Identifying Harry Hyatt's informants 
          in Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by catherine yronwode.] 

Jacobs, Claude F., and Andrew J. Kaslow. The Spiritual Churches Of New 
		Orleans: Origins, Beliefs, And Rituals Of An African American 
		Religion. University of Tennessee Press, 2001.

Johnson, F. Roy. The Fabled Dr. Jim Jordan, A Story of Conjure. Johnson 
        Publishing Co., 1963; revised ed. 1968.
          [Note: Author was a European-American small-town 
          journalist who wrote and published books about the South, 
          including several on Native American and African-American 
          culture (he published the Bernice Harris book cited above, 
          for instance); this book is in essence a lengthy obituary 
          for the locally famed African-American root doctor Jim
          Jordan of Como, North Carolina (practicing circa 1905-1962), 
          it contains contributions from his family members, several
          of whom were also professional root workers; it includes the 
          family's herb lists, as well as a list of occult books Jim 
          Jordan owned, consulted, and sold in the general store / 
          conjure shop he operated from 1927-1962.]

Laforest, Aura. Hoodoo Spiritual Baths: Cleansing Conjure with Washes and 
		Waters. Lucky Mojo Curio Co., 2014.

Leland, Charles Godfrey. Etruscan Roman Remains in Popular Tradition. 
        Scribners, 1892. [Note: Author was a European-American folklorist; 
        the book is of interest primarily due to its inclusion 
        of correspondence between Leland and Mary Alicia Owen. q.v.]

Linton, Ralph. Purification of the Sacred Bundles: A Ceremony of the Pawnee. 
        Leaflet No. 7, Field Museum of Natural History, 1923.
          [Note: Useful for comparison and sourcing of Native
          American inclusions in hoodoo, particularly the sacred 
          nature of the raccoon penis bone.]

Long, Carolyn Morrow. Spiritual Merchants: Religion, Magic, and  Commerce. 
        University of Tennessee Press, 2001.
          [Note: Author is European-American; book details the
          history of the mass distribution of hoodoo herbs and
          manufactured spiritual supplies during the 20th century.]

McLean, Patricia S. "Conjure Doctors in Eastern North Carolina." 
        North Carolina Folklore, Vol. 20, 1972. Pages 21-29.

[Meyer, Joseph E; Meyer, Clarence; Meyer, David.] The Herbalist Almanac. 
        Calumet Herb Co., 1920 - 1970.
          [Note: Authors were a trio of three generations of 
          European-American herb-growers and hobby folklorists 
          who supplied herbs to companies that distributed to 
          pharmacies, private mail order customers, and Southern 
          African-American conjure shops of the 1920s-50s; their 
          yearly catalogues contained much historical and 
          contemporary magical herb-lore; the contemporary data 
          they collected during world travels and from their own
          customers; not merely a good source for hoodoo material but
          also rich with anecdotes about Afro-Caribbean herb-magic.]

Moore, Ruby Andrews. "Superstitions of Georgia" [I]
        Journal of American Folk-Lore Vol. 5, 1892.

---------. "Superstitions From Georgia" [II]
        Journal of American  Folklore. Volume 7, 1894.

---------. "Superstitions of Georgia" [III]
        Journal of American Folk-Lore Vol. 9, 1896.

          [Note: Author was a European-American folklorist.]

Norris, Thaddeus. "Negro Superstitions" Lippincott's Magazine. July 
        1870.
          [Note: Good, factual observations embedded in a racist 
          context; author was European-American; this piece was 
          arguably the source from which Joel Chandler Harris (see
          above) drew his first published account of Negro tales.
          Also contains a good account of hag-riding folklore. 
		An annotated version of this article is online at 
          southern-spirits.com.]

Owen, Mary Alicia. Voodoo Tales as Told Among the Negroes of the 
        Southwest, Collected from Original Sources. Putnam, 1893. 
          [Note: Author was a European-American folklorist who 
          grew up with many African-Americans around her and, 
          like the earlier Joel Chandler Harris, wrote down
          the tales, folklore, and magical information that
          were related to her; as with Joel Chandler Harris (but 
          not Newbell Niles Puckett), any racialist tinges in 
          her work were naive rather than mean-spirited. One of 
          the pieces in this collection, Hoodoo Luck-Balls, 
          is online at southern-spirits.com.]

Park, Sallie M. "Voodooism in Tennessee" Atlantic Monthly, September 
        1889.
          [Note: Good, factual observations embedded in a racist 
          context; author was a European-American slave-owner. 
          An annotated version of this article is online at 
          southern-spirits.com.]

Pendleton, Louis. "Negro Folk-Lore and Witchcraft in the South" 
        Journal of American Folk-Lore Vol. 3, 1890.

Puckett, Newbell Niles. Folk Beliefs of the Southern Negro. University 
        of North Carolina Press, 1926.
          [Note: Good, factual observations embedded in a racist 
          context; author was a European-American folklorist.]

Steiner, Roland. "Observations of the Practice of Conjuring in Georgia" 
        Journal of American Folklore. Volume 14, 1901. Pages 173-180.
          [Note: Author was a European-American folklorist.] 

Strabo, Mikhail [Sydney J. R. Steiner]. The Magic Formula for Successful 
		Prayer. Guidance House, 1942.
        
Thomas, Daniel Lindsey, Ph.D. and Thomas, Lucy Blayney, M.A. Kentucky 
        Superstitions. Princeton University Press, Princeton N. J. 1920; 
        Oxford University Press, London. 1920.
          [Note: The authors were European-American folklorists. At the 
          time of publication, Daniel Lindsey Thomas was "Late Professor 
          of English at Centre College, and Founder and President of The 
          Kentucky Branch Of The American Folk-Lore Society" and Lucy 
          Blayney Thomas was "Teacher of English at Ward-Belmont School, 
          Nashville, Tennessee." Most of the material collected concerns 
          the folk beliefs and folk magic of European Americans in Kentucky, 
          but there are also sections devoted to "Negroes," categorized as 
          "Louisville Negroes," "Blue Grass Negroes," "Central Kentucky 
          Negroes," and so forth. The entire text is online here.

Trachtenberg, Joshua. Jewish Magic and Superstition: A Study in Folk 
		Religion. Behrman’s Jewish book house, New York, 1939.

Weeks, John H. "The Congo Medicine-Man and His Black and White Magic." 
        Folk-Lore 21, 1910. Pages 445-471.

Wicker, Christine. "Not In Kansas Anymore: A Curious Tale of How Magic Is Trasforming America"
        HarperCollins, 2005.
          [Note: A tour of magical America, with visits to vampires, 
          hermetic occultists, elves, and several hoodoo rootwork 
          practitioners, including catherine yronwode and 
          nagasiva yronwode, the co-owners of The Lucky Mojo 
          Curio Co.; and Dr. Christos Kioni, co-host and producer 
          of The Lucky Mojo Hoodoo Rootwork Hour Radio Show. 
          See also the Free Online Subject Index to 
          Not In Kansas Anymore: A Curious Tale of How Magic Is 
          Transforming America by Christine Wicker.

Yates, Irene. "Conjures and Cures in the Novels of Julia Peterkin." 
        Southern Folklore Quarterly 10, 1946. Pages 137-149.
          [Note: This deals with conjure in fiction.]

Yronwode, Catherine and Mikhail Strabo [Sydney J. R. Steiner]. The Art of 
		Hoodoo Candle Magic. Missionary Independent Spiritual Church, 2013.

Many of these books and articles can be had through
interlibrary loan or via a large university library.

Good luck, 

cat yronwode 

     Lucky Mojo Curio Co. Occult Shop http://www.luckymojo.com/catalogue

Acknowledgements: Thanks to Eoghan Ballard, Jeff Anderson, Carolyn Morrow Long, and David Anthony Liam Bell for bringing some of these materials to my attention.

SOUTHERN SPIRITS: GHOSTLY VOICES FROM DIXIE LAND
is copyright © 2004 by catherine yronwode. All rights reserved.

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Thank you.

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