City: New Castle (Shenango Township)

Back Story: “The Tindall family cemetery [near the “Turkey Hill” section of Shenango township, New Castle, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania] is most famously known as the resting place of Mary Black, a supposed, but never proven witch of around the same time period [around A.D. 1796]. Her grave can be located after following the path from the road until you arrive at the swamp, go around the swamp on the left side. Her grave is separate from the others and is the only one dug up.”

This is also basically what I grew up hearing; I have read, however, that Mary Black’s grave (which may have been and/or may continue to be unmarked by a headstone) was RELOCATED from the Turkey Hill cemetary because it was a subject of much vandalism.  Mary Black was allegedly a witch, although I’m not sure if this means she was a Satan-worshiper, a Nature Goddess-worshiper, or if she was just something like an herbalist. Her children probably entered into the legend somehow (Did they die? Did she kill them? Were they killed by others or otherwise taken away from her?), which I suspect from the naming of the children in the ritual’s invokation.  In retrospect, I think it’s sad that this poor woman is immortalized as such a horrible ghost legend, when in reality, she was probably as kind as anyone else, and probably misunderstood — which may have led to her death (the cause of which, I cannot remember).

Ritual: I’ve heard variations.
1. Look into a mirror in a dark room at night, preferably at/after midnight, on Halloween for bonus points.
2. Say “Mary Black” or make vague threats (“I have your children”, “I’ve killed your children”, etc.) a certain number of times, either one, three, seven, thirteen, or one hundred times.  Feel free to turn around counter-clockwise — once, thrice, seven or thirteen times — while/between the invoking.
3. Go to sleep, as normal

Result: While you are asleep, Mary Black allegedly climbs out of the mirror and scratches your face severely or claws your eyes out.  (In another version, she strangles you, cutting through your neck with her claw-like fingernails.)

Other Submitted Information: “I tried it myself in a few different variations (including midnight on Halloween, counter-clockwise three times while saying “I killed your children” thirteen times).  I have been in the vicinity of the Turkey Hill cemetery while hunting, but I have not searched for her grave.  My neighbor claimed that a FOAF (friend of a friend) had his/her face scratched pretty badly, but this neighbor made up a lot of stories.  In other news, in both the house I grew up in and my grandmother’s house (next door to each other), my younger sister, my younger brother (an untrustworthy, inveterate liar), and the current unrelated tenants have reported seeing ghosts of my father and maternal grandfather.”

Personal Note: Dude, this is what I grew up with..sorta. I mean I’ve heard the stories of Turkey Hill and everything, but I never knew the whole story. Good research! Now do Zombieland! :p

Thanks: Thanks To ‘Theron’ from New Castle, Pennsylvania for submitting this legend. (Great job!)