Archiver > MOWASHIN > 2004-09 > 1094925209

From: "Esther M. Ziock Carroll" <>
Subject: crown of feathers
Date: Sat, 11 Sep 2004 12:53:39 -0500
References: <00db01c496c9$ea61fe20$990a5b40@m7w8h0>

thanks to everyone that answered my inquiry about the mysterious feather circles. Several of you referred to them as a "crown of feathers". So now that I sort of had a name for them I did a little research on the internet. What I found is very interesting:

Crown of Feathers
Q & A :: Crown Of Feathers In Pillow?
Asked by Old Wives' Tales [dot net] Reader
What is the story of a crown of feathers found in a persons feather pillow?

Old Wives' Tales Readers' Comments:
Roctam shares:
The circle of feathers, or "Death Crown" is not a wives tale. It is true and this is one story of just how true it is.

In 1938 back in the mountains of Virginia, an infant boy, 18 months old, died from "thrush". His mother, determined to destroy the pillow that her baby son had passed away, on tore the pillow open only to find two small feather crowns about the size of a silver dollar. She discarded everything from the pillow except for the "Death Crowns". She placed the two feathers crowns in a shoe box. They sat on her dresser until her death in 1995. By this time the two small crowns had grown to the size of grapefruits.

These are real and are still in tact today. I have seen them and cannot explain why they are still growing.

Rebecca F. shares:
The only tale I've ever heard about this is an old southern one. The story goes that people in a small town were dying mysteriously. One day they were healthy, and then rapidly their health would deteriorate until they died in bed. Old people, young people, sick, didn't matter. When a woman's youngest daughter began showing the symptoms, she decided to ask the local voodoo priestess to help. The priestess immediately tore open the young girls pillow, and found an almost complete circle of feathers inside. She ripped them apart and burned them, and the young girl recovered as soon as the last feather was gone. If the circle had completed itself, the girl would have died.

The circle of feathers was the result of a curse, and is an omen of the worst kind.

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When I was a young man growing up on a farm in rural Western Pennsylvania in the mid 1930's, we had an experience with these phenomenon, some call evil spirits.

It was mid-winter and there was an outbreak of what was then called influenza, in the town. Several of our neighbors had perished and it had been a dark and dismal winter. Just trying to find the chance to bury these victims was distressing, because the ground was frozen and undiggable. Most of these poor souls were loaded into a wagon and left in Dambaugh's barn until the weather would break.

My family of eleven, included my five sisters, and the four of us boys. Now in a family this size it is almost impossible to avoid some terrible outbreak completely, but in this year it seemed that we might be able to, by the grace of God.

But suddenly, on about the 5th of January, my sister Eldiva, the youngest of the girls, awoke in the morning with the dreaded symptoms.

For the first day, it seemed to be just any normal flu outbreak, but momma cared for her herself, not allowing any of the rest of us to get too near her, in case we to would fall victim to it. The second day she took a turn for the worse, and by the third day, Eldiva had a very high fever and was turning ghostly pale. Doctor Ziegler had made the arduous winter trip to our farm, from the town of Zelienople, but after leaving some medicine for momma to give her, he had to leave to get back to all of his other sick patients. He said that Eldiva had already passed the point of no return- and after being allowed to see her one last time-we all had to agree with him.

But momma refused to give up on her baby girl. She remembered the gossip she had heard in town last week about old Hattie Peytas. She was an old woman who lived on a very unkept and overgrown farm in the hills on the other side of town. The women were cackling about the fact that Hattie insisted that people weren't dying of influenza, but, rather from evil spirits that had taken up residence in our town. Hattie boasted that if she had been called instead of the doctor, she could have saved them. At the time mother found this amusing , but, now she was desperate, so she sent my brother Bob to bring old Hattie back.

As soon as she arrived Hattie ran to my sisters bedside.She pried open her eyelids and peered into her unresponsive soul. Then she lifted her limp hands and looked at her palms. She shut her eyes and when they reopened, she focused on the large feather pillow under Eldiva's head. We gasped as she quickly whisked the pillow out from under the girls head and took a knife from her bag and slit the pillow down the middle. Feathers filled the air but, Hattie still had her eyes glued to the now ripped pillow. "Look here", she said and we all leaned forward to see a circle of feathers, held together by an unknown source and bound in an almost perfect circle. Then Hattie raised her old, worn hand and ripped the circle apart. She told me and my brothers to gather up the feathers and all of the pillow and take them out back and burn them, until there was nothing left but ashes. And we did.

While we were gone, Sis says that Hattie checked all of our pillows for more feather wreaths, to no avail. When we returned, Eldiva's fever seemed to be dropping and color was beginning to come back to her face. Having convinced herself that there were no more evil spirits in our house, Hattie went outside and threw some kind of dust she had in her bag, all over the doors and windows of our house. Saying her work was done, she asked my mother for a handsome stipend, and then got back into the car for Bob to drive her back home.

The next day, Eldiva's fever broke completely. She went on to live a long, happy life. Mom later admitted that Hattie told her that if the wreath of feathers had closed to make a complete circle, Eldiva would have died. So from that night on we were convinced that old Hattie had saved our sister, and more convinced than ever, that old Hattie was a witch.

----- Original Message -----
From: Esther M. Ziock Carroll
Sent: Thursday, September 09, 2004 7:05 PM
Subject: Courtois & Laramore farm

If anyone would like to check it out I just finished a picture page of Courtois at:

While in the Courtois area today I tried to find the old Ray & Ollie Laramore farm. I had been there several times to visit my cousin Ollie more than 20 years ago but now I can't find the place. she lived in a big beautiful old 2 story farm house & I would like to get a picture of it if it is still there. Would anyone in list land know where this farm is?

On one of my visits to Ollie back in the 80's she showed me something that was very unusual. At least it was to me. She opened a box that was about 8"x 5"x 3". Inside were two thick circles of clustered feathers. She asked me if I knew what it was or had ever seen anything like that before which I hadn't. Then she told me that when someone dies with their head on a feather pillow the feathers form a circle where the dead person's head was. Well that just creeped me out! lol I had never heard of this phenomenon before. Has anyone else had experience with it or know what causes those feathers to do that?


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