Anna Wess

159 thoughts on “Anna Wess”

  1. Love your stories, Anna, been reading them for awhile now. Please never stop writing them, OK? Food for the soul! And, I’m anxiously awaiting your book when it is ready!

  2. These things you write about, the practices and memories, even though you intended them to be written as fiction, are they from personal experiences? Are these practices in your family roots?

  3. Your writing touches my soul as it brings back memories of conversations with my Grannies. I too am blessed to have been born in a family of hill folk many generations old. I look forward to a book signing someday!

  4. I had a great grandmother who was a Granny Witch. She raised my mom and my mother (deceased now) can remember Great Granny being summoned in the middle of the night by a worried mother or father with a sick child. She would pack up her herbs and she and my mom would go out to whatever holler housed the family and she would do her healing magic. I didn’t really know much about this until I became an adult and went into medicine (chiropractor). I feel like I have her blood running through my veins. My mom always “knew” things and both me and my sister (deceased) have some of that ability. Thank you for your eloquent writings. I look forward to reading your book. Thanks much! Denise C.

  5. I love your stories so much. My ancestors were Scotch Irish, Irish, Welch and English. I remember my grannies plain talk and my moms remedies past down from her mother. The “sight”came to us as well. Not in abundance but in need. Thank you for reminding me of my roots!

  6. I have enjoyed your shirt story on Granny Witches. I was born and raised in the hills of east Kentucky. I grew up with these beliefs My Great Granny (Ma Lulie) and my Granny Gert used many old remedies and methods. Standing outside at the back corner of the house and saying sty sty go away! So so many of these. Thank you for recognizing our people and our beliefs!

  7. I love your writing. I have been blessed with abilities that I have inherited from both sides of my families. My Great-grandma was a mid-wife and healer. Family stories say she was crazy and did odd things. But through personal experiences I think maybe odd was not really odd. I hope to get any book you publish. Thanks again, dewey

  8. Love what I’ve read so far. I have magic in my blood. I have felt it since I was a child. Yet, being raised conservative Christian, thought myself to be evil. I tried to deny who I am, yet over time, it became impossible. Until recently, while I knew of the magic, I did not know where it came from. I have started researching the family line. We knew where it “originated” in recent history, so I started there. I traced my family back to the Appalachian Mountains, and further back into the UK. I am at the beginning of my journey, but your words about the “Granny Witches” reminded me of things my Granny told me, She was the woman we knew in recent history, who held magic in her blood. Your writings have brought up her words and memories. I will continue to search, but I thank you for those memories, and the direction. It is what I needed.

  9. I love your story’s they touch my heart. My mama’s mama took her to have her warts bought and I took my little girl. People think it’s crazy but I swear he bought em!

  10. My mother’s family is from Lee county Va and Bluefield Va. I love the stories and they always take me home to SW Va.

  11. my comment is more on your last name. I was led to believe my moms family were the only wess’. we are also from the general area (hurley va, buchannan co, va)

  12. Anna
    I’m a doctor who sees death almost every day. Your writing eloquently speaks to the experience of witnessing the passing of another, something many do not see and so fear nowadays. Beautiful and poignant. Thank you.

  13. I don’t know you, but I wish I did. I’ve never met you, but I feel like I have.
    I adore the way you write πŸ™‚
    I knew about the Granny Witches (hedge witch, myself) and have always been in awe of the Appalachian cunning folk – you just put it in such an excellent way, thank you!

    I look forward to reading your book, and I am busy having a lovely time reading your posts and sipping a cup of tea.

  14. They say that my birth mother was born with a veil. She could see death. She passed away when I was 10. There are many gifts that run through my family, down to me and to my children as well. I thought I was going crazy. My first experience was at the age of 12 when I had my first dream. As I got older I tried to talk to people about it and they made me feel like I was crazy. When I walked into that shop that I mentioned before, I began to meet others like me and it helped a lot. My daughter and I are the strongest now. She is so much like me it’s acary, but, I’m glad that I’m still here for her to talk to and know she’s not crazy. We can pick up the phone before it rings and know who’s calling, feel things and spirits, I dream, she doesn’t, we can know others thoughts and feel when the are sick or hurt or somethings wrong for miles away. I used to feel so alone, but I’ve learned to accept it and cherish the gifts that I was given. I’m not crazy, I know that now. I love hearing others talk about their experiences too. Thank you Anna for bringing us into the light.

  15. They say that my birth mother was born with a veil. She passed when I was 10. I know that she was gifted too. She could see death. Many different things run through our family line. Through me and passed down to my children as well. I actually thought I was just crazy myself, until that fateful day in that shop I mentioned. I began to meet others like me and now I embrace it but it’s still hard at times. If only I could learn how to control it. I still haven’t been able to, to this day.

  16. I just wanted to say that I love reading your stories. They remind me of many of the stories that my mama (actually my great-aunt Lillie who raised me) used to tell me in front of the fireplace when I was a child. I listened with such intent. As I grew old my memories started to fade, and all the wonderful things she told me lay dormant in the back of my mind, especially after she passed. It wasn’t until I found myself in a metaphysical shop looking for stamp wax did I run across something that unlocked and opened up all the wonderful stories she told me and memories too of the things she taught me as I child that I thought were nonsense games to keep me occupied. She and the rest of my (Collins) family were from Wise, Va., we’re most of her stories are from. I would love to tell you more…it changed my life.
    Erica S.

  17. It was absolute magic finding such a wonderful writer. I don’t really know how this site “popped up,” but
    it remans a welcome mystery. And may I add not all grannies are from the South – we’re everywhere!.

  18. Anna, I am a Queen of Appalachia who has, at the age of 72, just moved out of necessity from my southern West Virginia mountains to the hills of eastern Tennessee. I loved reading the “Kings and Queens of Appalachia” because my heart heard every word that you wrote. God richly blessed me the day I was born in the place that I will forever call home.

  19. Your story of Granny Witches reminds me of my father talking about his granny in Wildwood, Florida. Although, he never called her a granny witch, his description of what she did was the same. I was born in Florida in 1955, but raised in northern California, growing up out there we poo-pooed his stories but, after reading some of your posts I have this strong feeling of de ja vous. I’m thinking you should be proud because you are most definitely preserving the old ways for the future.

  20. I looked in Amazon, no publication there of your writing. Do you have a collection published? I would love to buy. I am from Tunnel Hill WV. Oh boy, you surely speak to me.

      1. anna, are self publishing or using an actual publishing house? my husband had several of his books done through self publish and the most expensive thing for it was just to get the ISBN number and copy rites for them. please let me know when i can get a copy- i LOVED it. i think we’re probable akin somehow just from reading your writings! lol

  21. anna my mother’s name was virginia ross her mothers name was nina belcher her mother was virginia belcher .the rosses,adklns and napiers are members of our family.i am a direct decendent of mary bluesky cornstalk through her son littleberry adkins.

  22. It is difficult to share a gift with just any person. It is refreshing to read these stories and know that someone GETS it and me. Descended from Wales, Ireland,Scotland, and Norway where some say the fey began. Seems almost impossible not to get a gift like this when both sides of the family pass it on. Thanks for the tales and images and memories they created. Will keep my eyes open for your book.

  23. I followed a whisper to the mountains. My heart is content being where I belong to give my gift. Psychic Medium, Fortuneteller and Faith Healer.

  24. One of my close friends posted your Granny Witch article on my Facebook page. My granny died a few years back. My mom is still not over her death. She was the first registered mid-wife in the state of Kentucky. She was an authentic Granny Witch… put it lightly. Even up in her 80’s, right before she died, she’d hike up in the hills, past the family cemetery, and dig her yellow root so she could boil it and drink the juice. Granny had a thousand home remedies. I could talk for days on her and all the things you noted in your article and the similarities. Yes ma’am, they are certainly Granny Witches. I’m proud of where I’m from and who I’m from. It was nice to read it in black and white! Thank you!

  25. Yes there were Granny witches, My granny used to tell me about her granny witch. I loved to hear the tales she told us. Yes we are all crazy loons and some more than others. When I go searching I always find or it finds me more times than not.

  26. My Great Granny was a healer…my folks, though I’m the last…were all mountain folk. Took care of themselvs, had the devil’s own pride, never forgot a kindness, and damn sure never forgot an insult. Great granny’s “cure” kept me going for nine more years before I had to have a bypass

    1. I too feel the connection through my father who was born in Breathitt County, Kentucky. Your poem is beautiful and spoke to my heart. I hope to read more of you writings.

  27. I stumbled on your writing while chasing something out on the ‘net, and I’m glad. I grew up in the South, mostly in the lowlands of north Alabama. Since then I’ve lived around the country and have gained an appreciation for wherever I live. But at the heart of it, there is something about the old mountains that speaks to me in a way few places have. Your writing takes me to places I’ve been, and hearkens me to those generations who first came to the mountains. I know some of these people. I’ve not met them, but I know of them and they inhabit a part of me.
    Thank you for bringing these ways and people into the light.

  28. I like the story, let me know when you have finished your novel. The anchor of my childhood was visiting family in the Carolina’s.

  29. This is most of the things I’ve been trying to figure out with my family my whole life lol. They hail from the Tennessee area, and did all this stuff, while still being baptist. I knew we weren’t Wiccan or Pagan exactly, but no one has ever really come out about stuff. This is amazing and I just want to talk to someone about it!

    1. Stace – As a Christian I, also, have struggled with wondering if this was evil when I blew the fire out of a burn when I was a young woman. Although I live north of the Mason-Dixon, my heart and soul is in Appalachia, where my parents were born and where my father was raised. Some of my best memories are from visiting my Mawmaw and Pawpaw in the mountains of SE West Virginia. I surely need to look into this topic further!

      1. I struggled with the same thing. I am from Kentucky. My folks were hill people. Through studies, I came to realize that there are many, many spiritual giftings that God gives that are not listed in the Bible, but they are just as ‘certified’. I make my living doing what Deborah from the Old Testament did. I used to travel a church circuit, but churches don’t pay their prophets. LOL

  30. Anna thank you for writing this piece. I am aspiring novelist and haven’t had the pleasure of reading your other works just yet since I just stumbled upon your blog today, but I will. It caught my attention because I come from a line of granny witches raised in rural Kentucky in Clay County. I remember days with my great grandmother and grandmother in those hills where they taught me some of that magic. I still am a part of that magic in those hills although I am pretty quiet about it. So, kudos to you for bringing this out.

  31. When I walk on the paths in the oldest mountains in the world I can feel the earth vibrate beneath my feet. I see my ancestors building a new life after the English drove them from their highlands. I have seen my grandmother’s family name spelled the right way on store signs and realize this is where I belong. No rhyme, no reason and not looking for anything more.

  32. I love reading your writings. I work at a bookstore. I’m hoping to see your first book on display there, front and center when it comes out. My aunt was a sensitive and I must have picked it up from her. I’ve encountered spirits, nothing I see as evil. Thank you for sharing, You are a kindred spirit. Best witches! (couldn’t resist), Trudy a.k.a. Mamaw

  33. The Granny Witches and beyond…Grew up in Haysi. Granny Witches, Granny Wives and healers on that side of the family. Mamaw would spit on a wart, say a bible verse and the wart be gone. Her mama told the future. They just called her a witch. The healing is in my blood. I just seem to “know” how to blend the herbs and make the tinctures, poultice and elixirs that work. The land calls my name and the wind seems to dance through the Appalachia’s straight into my spirit. I now live in the mountains of NC. Near the TN and VA borders. I wondered all over the country and found myself right back in the mountains that birthed me….Thank you for your writings. They ring true..

  34. Thank you for Granny Witches. My family is from Appalachia and Big Stone Gap since…forever. I have lived in Northern California for many years now, but these hills are nothing like SW VA.

  35. Thank you so much for sharing the Granny Witches, even tho some question sharing it so out in the open. It touched the Wild Woman in me way up here in Providence, RI. Beautifully penned.

  36. Ms. Wess – I found the subject of your piece “The Last of the Granny Witches” fascinating but was just floored by your beautiful style of writing. I don’t know a better word to describe your writing than “delicious”. I can’t recall ever reading prose that was so downright poetic. You are a reminder of why we consider writing to be art. I don’t know how large your body of work is, but I’m off to find out. Thank you for sharing your wonderful talent.

  37. Anna ~ I saw a posting of your article on the Appalachian grannies on a friend’s Facebook and found it, and your blog, intriguing. I had just finished a novel about the fascinating inhabitants of a small southern town in Robeson County, North Carolina during the last dark hours of the civil war, and wondered if you might find it as interesting as I did. The name of the book is Nowhere Else on Earth, by Josephine Humphreys. Just thought I’d share ~ good luck with your own novel, and if you read this one I hope you enjoy it.

    1. Oh thank you for posting about this book. I have heard of it but didnt know the title. My father was born in Robeson County, NC! We are part Native American & there are family stories about our gtannies & medicine women. I cant wait to read more!

      1. Oh thank you for posting about this book. I have heard of it but didnt know the title. My father was born in Robeson County, NC! We are part Native American & there are family stories about our gtannies & medicine women. I cant wait to read more!
        Ana I love this about the granny witches and your other work as well

  38. You had to have been writing about my Grandmother who lived her entire life just as this description. She was one of these women, born in 1889 and died in 1963.

  39. Thank you for this beautiful article on the Granny Witch! It went right to the heart of me. It made me remember my Great Grandma and Grandmom with such love, and made me proud of myself for knowing enough to soak up anything they taught me, and go looking for more knowledge. I am proud to be considered a Granny Witch.

  40. Never heard of a Granny Witch but I enjoyed your tale. I have had second sight or I can shine since I was 9 years old. I was born at home. My aunt that assisted at my birth and my mother said I was born with a veil over my face and that is why I can see and hear spirits/haints/ghosts etc I can take off warts with a chicken bone and stop bleeding with a Bible verse. Kept this to my self since I don’t want to ne called fey. Look forward to your novel.

    1. You were born with a caul over your face and most of your head. I have never seen a baby born with this BUT have heard that they are very gifted in second sight. And NO!!!!! to tell people that you can see and hear things they can’t was a huge secret. “People will call you crazy”. Or “you just thought that you saw/ heard somethin'”, was the two biggies in my house. Only after I met my 2nd husband and started telling him things, was i really able to open up about any of it. I hope that you have some people in your life to help with this gift/ curse. Love to you!

  41. Anna,
    How’d you know about Granny Witches? My family is from Tennessee and we now live in Northern California and never talked about these things to “outsiders” cause they would understand or worse.
    I like your story, I was just shocked to see it in print on the Internet. Even though thank you for writing it, it brought back some good memories.

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