Ashe County’s 19th Century Witch (NC)


The Forgotten Folklore of the Witch from Ashe County

In the early part of the 1800’s in Ashe County, there lived a woman by the name Lyla Weaver who was said to be a witch. She lived in a small home near Clifton.

It was said she used witchcraft to get whatever she wanted. While passing the home of Russell Cawdill’s great-grandfather, she saw a fine rooster that he owned, and asked if she could have it. When the man refused, Lyla turned to walk home, and told him the rooster would be of no use to him ever again. As the story goes, before she had walked of sight of the home, the rooster crowed once and dropped dead.

Another example of her sorcery took place one day  when she wondered into a local store and inquired about the cost of some cloth she was interested in purchasing. The owner of the store told her the price, at which point Layla Weaver became angry that he was asking too much. She used her finger to make a circular pattern on the counter, which caused a snake to materialize from nothing. The store owner was so frightened by the serpent she’d conjured, that he gave her all the cloth she wanted so that she would leave without further mischief.

The Legend of the Witch’s Tombstone

Her grave is said to be “near Clifton, North Carolina, about twelve miles west of Jefferson.” According to local legend, the grave has red streaks on the marble that can’t be cleaned by any means.

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There are no written accounts of Ms. Weaver. There is only this oral account by Russel H. Cawdill, a resident of the county. It was recorded in The Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore.

If anyone reading this has any additional information about Ms. Weaver or the location of her tombstone, please contact me.

Read about more North Carolina legends and mysteries HERE.