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NARRATIVE

THIS WAS TOLD TO ME BY A LADY LIVING IN PENNSYLVANIA (1934). SHE
WAS 16 AT THE TIME AND PREGNANT WITH HER FIRST CHILD. CHILDREN
IN THOSE DAYS WERE DELIVERED AT HOME. NEXT DOOR TO HER LIVED A
MRS. FLORENTINE MCADAMS. SHE WAS THE TOWN MIDWIFE WHO ASSISTED
THE HICK DOCTOR, DOCTOR DICKINSON. USUALLY SHE WENT TO ALL
DELIVERIES, BUT HIS LADY DIDN'T WANT HER AROUND. HER MOTHER HELPED
HER INSTEAD, AND THE BABY WAS BORN PREMATURELY, WEIGHING THREE
POUNDS. HER MOTHER AND HUSBAND TOOK CARE OF THE CHILD TO KEEP HIM
ALIVE. THIS LADY SAID THAT AFTER THE BABY WAS BORN, EACH TIME SHE
LAID IN BED, THE HEAD PART PRESSED DOWN AND SHE FELT AS IF SHE'D
FALL OUT OF BED. HER MOTHER CAME IN WHEN SHE CALLED, BUT SHE SAID
SHE SAW NO ONE IN THE HOUSE. AFTER THIS HAPPENED SEVERAL TIMES,
THEY PROPPED EACH CORNER OF HER BED UP WITH PILLOWS ON A HUGE
MAHOGANY CHAIR, BUT STILL IT SAGGED. WHEN HER MOTHER SLEPT WITH
HER, SHE FELT THE SAME THING. THE NEXT NIGHT THEY PUT RAZOR BLADES
ABOVE THE BEDROOM DOOR. IT NEVER HAPPENED AFTER THAT. A FEW DAYS
LATER, MR. MCADAMS TOLD MR. SASNOWSKI THAT MRS. MCADAMS WAS VERY
ANGRY BECAUSE SHE COULDN'T ASSIST HIS WIFE IN HER BIRTH. BOTH MEN
HAD SEEN HER TURN FROZEN STIFF IN A TRANCE. SHE WAS FROZEN SOLID
AND HAD NO FOOD OR MOVEMENT FOR THREE DAYS. THIS ALWAYS WAS DONE
WHEN SHE WANTED SOMETHING TO HAPPEN. SHE WENT INTO THIS TRANCE
WHEN SHE WAS TOLD SHE COULDN'T ASSIST THE DOCTOR AND SHE CAME OUT
OF THIS ONLY AFTER THE RAZOR BLADES WERE PUT ABOVE THE DOORS. MRS.
SASNOWSKI BELIEVES THAT THE EVIL SPIRITS HAD MADE HER BED SAG AFTER
MRS. MCADAMS WENT INTO THIS TRANCE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Witch Shaman

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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