Hoodoo in America

6 04 2010

image credit

THE THREE sisters were on Interstate 20, just east of Dallas, in the early hours when it happened. Myra, who was driving, started to act strangely, trying to veer the car into oncoming traffic and off the sides of bridges.

Then the steering wheel squirmed into life and started to pummel her, before mutating into a monstrous demon. The apparition sprang from the dashboard, mounted the crazed Myra and began its possession of her.

It was exactly as the women had feared. The previous evening – 17 March, St Patrick’s Day – they had fled from their hometown of Arcadia in northwestern Lousiana, convinced that an evil spirit was pursuing them.

Most of what is known of their journey – including a decision, halfway, to abandon their terrified children with strangers – has been told by the women to lawyers, friends and the police.

But only one thing was recorded for certain: Myra’s admission, just after dawn, to a suburban Dallas hospital. Both her eyes were missing.

Four months on, the events of that night still haunt Arcadia, otherwise famous only as the place where Bonnie and Clyde were gunned down. It is a remote, neglected little town, population 3,000, where the racial divisions of Old South still linger. The Crawford sisters – Myra, 30, who will be blind for life, Doretha, 34 and Beverly, 35 – have retreated to a shuttered brick house on Evangeline Drive, a scrubby cul-de-sac on the black side of the railway tracks.

Neighbours, slumped in the boiling summer air on their porches, hesitate to talk of the affair. Some even run away, afraid, because this is hoodoo business. ‘I’m scared of them – the hoodoo, the Crawfords and all of it,’ says one young woman. ‘They might want pull my eyes out.’

Read the rest





On translation

6 04 2010

God employs several translators; some pieces are translated by age, some by sickness, some by war, some by justice; but God’s hand is in every translation, and his hand shall bind up all our scattered leaves again for that library where every book shall lie open to one another.

-John Donne, from Meditation XVII, Devotions upon Emergent Occasions