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Poison Jenny: The tale of a Guinea witch

Many have not heard of her, but to some Guinea residents the legend of the witch Poison Jenny (pronounced Pyzen) runs deep in family history.

Guinea Heritage Association member and lifelong Guinea resident Hamilton Williams heard the story about Poison Jenny from his father. In the late 1920s, a man by the name of Ben Archer (two first names) arrived at the store of Williams’s great-uncle, Jack Williams, all scratched up. When asked what happened, Ben Archer told those present at the store that Poison Jenny had put a hex on him and rode him around the Friends Church through the briars.

According to Williams, Poison Jenny was not a good-looking woman. In fact, a Guinea expression to call somebody ugly is “you favor a thing that rode Ben Archer around the Friends Church.”

Over the years, Williams had not met another who had heard of Poison Jenny until two years ago when a friend of his added details to the legend that she had heard from her father. His friend’s father claimed t...

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