New Jersey has had its share of witchcraft tales, but none so famous as that of Peggy Clevenger, the Pines Witch. She wasn't your normal European sort of witch
, no sir. Compacts with the devil
and black mass
weren't part of her style. No, Peggy was known for being able to transform
into different animals. It seems that these transformations were limited to smaller creatures, however, because most (if not all) the stories see her turning into rabbits and lizards. One such speaks of a neighbor
to Peggy who was trying to climb a fence
in an attempt to get to a nearby road. Every time she tried a large lizard
blocked her path. Soon she was fed up so she threw a rock at the lizard's head
. It disapeered. The next day Peggy was seen sporting a black eye
Some of the stories tell that Peggy had a husband, Bill, who was also known as the Pines Wizard. One day he felt his death coming on and he told Peggy that he would send her some sign as to whether or not hell was as hot as was said. Sure enough the next day he died. Soon after, a well, located on their property started boiling. Many of the oldsters still alive today will tell you that they actually saw this occurence.
So whatever happened to Peggy herself? Some say that she was killed in one of the great fires that often sweeps through the region. Others say she was murdered by a man who was looking for a stocking filled with gold she supposedly had. No sign of the gold has ever been found. Her curse on the areas where she lived is still in action today, according to local residents. Especially in the area of Pasadena, a town that has had a number of fire related deaths and was also supposedly home to the boiling well.
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