It’s no surprise that Charleston is rich in cultural history and folktales. You can attend numerous ghost tours any day of the week, not just around Halloween. With a city so full of history, there are bound to be stories of hauntings, and I am here to tell you about quite possibly the scariest of them all-- Boo Hags.
Boo Hags are not just a part of some scary tale that comes out around Halloween. Deep in the Gullah culture, it is believed that people have a spirit and a soul. Once a person has passed on, if the spirit is bad, it lingers around and becomes a Boo Hag. Boo Hags are ugly, evil spirits that are said to be skinless and bright red with glowing eyes (http://www.lowcountryweekend.com/do-this-if-a-boo-hag-haunts-you-from-the-old-city-jail/). They come into your home through tiny cracks in your walls or windows, and while you are sleeping, they sit on you to suck the air out of your lungs, but it doesn’t stop there! Once it has sucked all the air from you, it will slip into your body all night and not leave until the morning. Legend has it that if you feel more exhausted when you wake up after a full night of sleep, then a Boo Hag has visited you and may continue to do so! Scary!
You might be wondering if there are signs for when a Boo Hag is near? They say when the air around you becomes very hot and humid and smells of something rotting, then a Boo Hag is near.
So what do you do if you feel a Boo Hag is potentially close? According to Gullah culture and research, evil spirits are repelled by the color indigo blue. Painting your window frames will make sure they don’t get in that way. Another repellent is salt, as a salted Boo Hag cannot return to its original skin. But what is the easiest way to rid yourself of Boo Hags? Theory has it that placing a straw broom, hair brush, or colander close by will protect you. The Boo Hag is a curious and obsessive creature that will not be able to pass by without counting each straw, hair, or hole. The counting will take them so long that by the time they are finished, it will be too close to morning and they will need to return to their own skin instead of inhabiting yours for the night (https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/south-carolina/gullah-culture-boo-hags-sc/).
Whether you choose to keep a broom, brush, or colander nearby--beware of Boo Hags!