Lubbock Morning Avalanche from Lubbock, Texas on January 23, 1931 · Page 8
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Lubbock Morning Avalanche from Lubbock, Texas · Page 8

Lubbock, Texas
Issue Date:
Friday, January 23, 1931
Page 8
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iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitiiiiiiiiiiiiiitiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiniiiiiiiini'- •"iiiDiiiiiiniiimiiiiiBiiiiiiiiiiiiHiiiiiiiih. cience Jacob Zellers . .^ . the big charm and spell man from Yor!> . . . administering a cure for erysipelas. .• . . Many "patient:," ultest the success of his methods in curing and helping them. By, CLARA LOUISE LESLIE "I Pow-Wowing Killing five people by witchcraft was but one of the startling things scientists heard about from Jacob Zellers, brought down to Washington from his Pennsylvania home to explain his charms, cures and curses MYSELF have kilted five people 1" The witch doctor was quite matter-of-fact a- he made the statement. He was a matter- of-. r act person, not at all the sort of man you would connect with 20th century witchcraft. Evidently a hard worker, he was a sturdy little Pennsylvanian of German ancestry, and plainly very much in earnest. But he was one of the greatest wilch doctors in the country today. Three deep, a semi-circle of listeners leaned forward eagerly around a big table in the Graduate School of American University at Washington, D. C. A student, Edwin R. Danner. of York, Pa., famous for its recent "hex murder," had brought Jacob Zrllcrs to tell of his first-hand knowledge of how the "black arts" are practiced today. The audience, nl! advanced students and educators working under Dr. Walton Cclcord John, watched Zelicis llosely as he stood behind the table and talked on. His counten \Ri;e reflected nothing of the mysterious or yccult. With fldfliing eyes, good humor, and in phrase•logy and accent so unique that it brought a smile to the faces of his learned audience, he regaled his hearers tor iirc-e hours with pointers on his craft, leaning forward over the table, thoroughly engrossed in telling "how he did it." When questions began coming too fast, however, he »varned the cla c s that "beyond a certain point I will not reveal my secrecy." "I have been powwowing for 27 years," he declared. "The laws of Pennsylvania forbid it, but I turn out for no doctor or <huich or Uwy?v." He then emphasized sc- rioufly thai he haj never charged a cent for any ot his s«vices to the bewitched people of his country. "Sometimes.' he said, "a 'spy' comes to get 'cured,' but since I prerent him with no bill, what can he do?" U TTERLY sincere, he went on to explain that powwowing is the good influence with which to oppose witchcraft and hexing, the evil influence. If the case is serious enough to demand it, magic of a kind to till is inflicted upon the caster of the c\il spell. It was in th;< way that Zellers said lit- had ".\licady killed five people." A "hex" is n spell cast by an enemy, usually from a jealous motive. It is black magic. "To place a 'hex,' " it was explained, "all .1 person luu to do is to obtain an object from the subject and chant prayers from the sixth anrl seventh books of Moses, i ru*«c books are not now included in the Bible, bat you can gel them. "MosM." said the witch doctor, "used the prayers in the books for a ^ood purpose, while his descendants used them for evil. By pi.-yiny: before a personal object one-: owned by the prison to he 'hexrcl,' an intense hatred •> projected from the 'hexer' to the 'hexed.' " Zellers mentioned having once seen a woman with a foik uhe had borrowed or obtained, chopping it against the rafters in l'ie barn, 'hexing' her rival with it. "I don't know where I get my power," he replied to a question. "This was taught me by a famous wilch doctor on his deathbed. A U-adiei of the art looser hi.s own power <v soon as he has taught it or transferred it to another. When I fust realized I had the power, it frightened me and I told rny old aunt not to tell anybody that I had it." T HOROUGHLY aware of the intellectual gap he- Iween hiiruelf and his listeners^ he said, "I admit \«u know nnue thin I do, and you'll laugh .it some of ihe things I trll you." Then, from little folded notes whi.ii he took from his pocket and referred to occasionally through big gold-rimmed spectacle*, he proceeded to cite instance, of some nf his cures, giving the names and addresses ot his "patient.- 1 ." , "If a patient comes lo me who hasn t been to a doctor irst. I make turn go. so the authorities can't hold anythmy against me. The kind of patients I like best are th<: ones who have already been to three or four doctors who have failed to help them. Then I take them." Hemorrhages of all kinds yield readily to Zdler * magic, the class was told. "Suppose you cut an artery in your arm —accidentally, not on purpose to try me. I could stop the blood. I breath.- on I he patient and say the Lord t • Prayer till I get to the words 'Thy will be done on earth. There I slop! I do this three different times and then the blrcding will slopl" A number of healings of lliis type were descried in detail. A boy having 72 warts came and asked to have them removed. Zriler* said he removed them without difficulty by his m.ieic. "It is necessary for one to ask for what be wants," the witch doctor insisted. "A woman who came from Fort Wayne. Indiana, foj me to curi; her had been 'hrxrd' by another woman and had gotten to fat that she couldn't get through door*. Zellers takes a stone from running wafer . . . and makes three series of paues nilh it . . . over the afflicted hone thai has the "sweeny." . . . Then he mutters a charm, replaces ^the stone in the .-(ream from which It came, and goodby "sweeny."' The "patient" n>« stretched at full length on a table. . . . With a siring measurements mere made. . . . ";Von»," said the witchdoctor, "I wind this string aroung an eg?. and put it in the fire. . . The patient will then get veil." Children are. oflen brought fry tkeif parent . . . for treatment bp Zellers and other /ori . . . and in many instances astonishing results ar: claimed. "Slv? weighed 560 pounds," he added. Due to his inilu.'iu-e, he she reduced to about 150 pounds. "The la^t 1 heard hr was back in Fort Wayne, a normal \\onian." "Don't you thin!; ihere is a fortune for a man with such temaikahlf writ; hi-reducing process?" "I don't soil tlu- t'oi money," was the rather abrupt reply. , O NCE Zellers was called, he related, to the home of a farmer whose house and whose barns, also, had Ix-rume. tenanted to an amazing degree wilh bedbugs. "Your boy has the sixth and seventh Books of Moses around here," wauied the witch doctor, "and this plague is the result. 'Hunt for those books and get them out of vour possession.' Sure enough, 'be farmer found them, lie destroyed thi-ni and was soon rid of the bugs. An «u'iount was then given of a woman who threw a "hex" on In i son's wife, so that the latter was seued with a strange '' n -•< w r hich "four or five doctors could nut diagnose." 1 h.-n Zelloru was called in. H.' 1.<<!' .i the mother-in-law was casting the spell. In the i',i ; ol slroiv;ly-prnK'cU-d hatred, the "hexer.' according lo A-lleis, ran be "seen" by looking into a ciystal. into clear water. 01 into a fire. AppUii'-- 1 , secret remedies, Zellers drove the e\il spirit away. P.isl of his prescription in "unhexing" a person is to forbid the loaning or giving of anything from the patient's house for ruie days. Accoiding to witchcratt authority, when an evil influence or spell has been broken by a wikh doctoi, the original witch will seek to borrow something from the afflicted persan in order to relieve his or her own agony which has resulted concomitant lo the thwarting ot his or her own desires by some outside agent or witch paititioivr. In this c,;se, the- mother-in-law used trickery and vuined the cuie. Si ZeHcrs was forced to use stronger magic, knowing, as hr- said, that it would result in death for the witch. Zellers fiv.d his deadly magic, the daughter-in-law began to grow atrong and the evil "hex" was "driven back to its source." The mother-in-law died of a mysterious malady within nine days. "Were you ever questioned in regard Jo the five deaths you claim to have been responsible for?" "No! If a peiMIII Rets sick from some strange illness that no doctor can diagnose and dies of it and I'm five miles away, what can they do to me? But the victim dies just the same! If I did wrong I hope God judges me. but if it's a life for a life, what would you do? Anyhow, it's they that kill themselves, because if the 'hex' hadn't belonged to them it wouldn't have come back. THEN from among this professional group Zellers L/ chose a "victim" to demonstrate some of his methods for treating disease, the spectators were unable to restrain merriment. The "patient" was to be measured with a siring, which was one of the powwow doctor's methods for diagnosing and curing disease. The "patient ' was asked to stretch himself full length, face downward, on the large table in front of the class. "I should do this on your bare skin," said the "doctor." He began at the crowr, of the professor's head. Down the "patient's" neck, down his spine, went the string until it had been pressed to the limit of: the heel. 1 he man's length was then noted. "Now stand up," he w- 3s ordered. The string was next held to the man s forehead. "Now put your finger on your navel if you can find out where it's at. ' Measurements from the forehead tu the navel completed the operations. "Now," said the witch doctor, holding up the string quite as earnestly as though he had performed a serious operation. "I take this and wind it around an egg and put the egg in the fire. The egg will burn to a cinder, but the string will not burn—and the patient will get well! Pernicious anemia, erysipelas, headache, rash, tils, nervous disorders, fever and gangrene were subjects ot some of the other cures described. Most of these cures, just as Zellers related them, had already been witnessed _ through Mr. Danner. who had personally interviewed 125 people in and around York for the purpose of substantiating th.y witchcraft stone*. , ( "How many people in Pennsylvania take stock in this? Zellers was asked. "Oh, about seven out of eight," confidently. "Hexing." it was declared, may e\eti_ be extended to livestock. One of the strangest stories Zellers told w\n about the bewitched pigs. A- farmer who raised hogs for a Itvi.ig i-tused to sell one to a certain neighbor woman. Immediately he was pursued with bad luck in his hog raising. The pigs acquired freakish habib. drooped and died. Finally there remained a litter of nine so weak that "they couldn't live and they could n t die. THEN the farmer came for h-lp, Zellers told him ti; m ike a brush pile and with -*r.iw to make nine beds in the pile. The brush was saturated with kerosene and the pis<s that "couldn't live and couldn't die" were placed in the beds. A hre was lighted. Eight pigs lan out, but one stayed in and was burned to death. A neighbor woman ran out crying, "My Godl I am in that hre," and immediately dropped dead. The eight pig* lived, and from then on the farmer had no more trouble with his , - ,, hog raising. "If the ninth pig had ran out of the hre, Zellers explained, "the woman would not have done that and the "spell would not have bern broken.' A faimer known as "Ben." with two span of mules hitched to a wagon, could noi get his mules lo pull on levi-.l ground. ,, "I told him." said Zellers. "dial he was bewitched. The mules pulled as hard as they could and were unable to budge the load, he said. Then the farmei took down an ax from his wagon. He was just about to chop a spoke oul of a rear wheel of the wagon when an old man behind a tree nearby cried out in a loud voice. "Ben, don't cut! The spell was removed and then the mule* easily pulled the wagon, Zellers said. It is claimed that cutting a spoke in the wheel would more than likely have killed the old man who was casting the spell. That old man. Zdlers said. had spellbound the mules, but the threat of the ax broke the spell. The witch doctor did "reveal bis secrecy" to the extent of telling how he cures the "s-weeny" (a severe ailment in horses). He takes a stone from running water and makes three series of passes with it over the afflicted flesh, saying German words that mean in effect. "Flesh and blood, bones and marrow, no more than this stone shall you have pain." The stone must then be relumed to the running water and the sweeny will disappear. "What do you think brought about the cures at the priest's grave in Boston a few months ago?" Zellers was asked. "That was faith. They went there and believed that if they prayed at his grave they would get well, and *o they did." f^/ELLERS quoted the Bible freely and referred to the miracles of Christ and Moses as proof of wme of his own claims. "You've got lo be conscientious," he emphasized. "It's no use for anyone to do something just on purpose to try me. That is mocking. When a person does tli a I he doesn't believe." "How can a cow be conscientious?" "It's ihe person who owns the cow that makes the dif- •nce. He believes or he wouldn't come wilh the cow. "Do you think any of your power comes to you through thc^e who have departed from this life?" "I don't know anything about that. But people who have been bothered by those kind ot tilings have come to mv and I've fixed them. ' (Zellers' expressions for treatmn; a patient were invariably "I did [or her," or "I fixed her. "> "Often people who ate under 'hexes' see thought forms that represent these 'hexes.' Sometirms they see them in the form of snakes or deviis or pigs, or sometimes cats. One would see a devil come through the keyhole, witii a ^mall dt.v'il after that one, and a snake following the t\so de\ :\-. irhe put salt on ihem, but that only ni.ide them But I fixed her," he added, person be 'hexed' .it a distance .' "Yes, if you •n?>. in contact with them in some way." "Any pel son, m<M) or woman, who casts a :pei! ;< d 'witcn.' It s Hit- womrti -lut >.<et mixed up :no:t in thi» 'hexing. Men don ' have so mucn tune alone to Uun.<. "This power u given to we, he *aid, modestly. "I have a :on J4 yeais old. but I cannot teii win-tiier I will be jble ?<• t<-ic;i him this." Te;< -<t "C er. I N a modest house in tile \vorK- sngman's district oi \ork lives J acob tie wife and a children. One tow-head;-, may s, his reining ht- goodly brood of or t^o healthy be seen peeing In the case oj s,irongly-pro}ccti-d hatred /he "/K-.vcr" muTj oj ±ecn by o /ire. around door* at visitors "We re )ust common folks," the witch doctor apologises. You look aiound and (eel that at least he is not exploiting his poweis, whatever ihey are, for personal gam. On tile.- dining table under a bi£ square, old-laahioncd light dome lay a "chain letter," probably wailing to be ccpic-d nine times and sent traveling again. In his own home you feel more than ever that in Zellers' personalty '[;<•< a aieat of his powei to influence or allect those who may come to him for help. He has a clear brain, shrewd, concentrated gaze and full solar plexus development which is usually associated with personal tnagnetum. And above all he i* kindly. Zellers, in addition to powwowing, works steadily at his trade of aulo painting. That results do sometime* follow powwowing and witch- cratt seem* to be an undisputed fact The question is, "What is the power undetlying witchcraft?" Is it purely suggestion, and if so, how and under what circumstances does it work? (Copyright, mi. by EvcryWeek M«ig*»lu«>—Prlntwl m VJ. 8. A.)

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