Former Slaves, Mississippi, South Carolina


When asked if she believed in ghosts, Minerva Wells of Simpson County, Mississippi replied, "Ise lak my race, I jes' sorter can't help from a believing in haints jes' a little bit." For many former slaves such as Minerva, spiritualism (a belief in ghosts, spirits, and "haints"), superstition, and magic were accepted facts of life. They held a profound influence over the actions of believers and they also formed an integral part of the Southern slave culture.