Old short story about a witch is an intriguing read April 10, 2011Posted by Diana McCabe in News, witch.
Tags: Luella Miller, Mary Wilkins Freeman, witch
I saw this on Twitter recently and so zipped through this fascinating short story — LUELLA MILLER — written by MARY WILKINS FREEMAN in 1902. It’s about a woman who drains the life out of anyone who helps her. Here’s a snippet, but if you want to read the whole story, CLICK HERE:
Close to the village street stood the one-story house in which Luella Miller, who had an evil name in the village, had dwelt. She had been dead for years, yet there were those in the village who, in spite of the clearer light which comes on a vantage-point from a long-past danger, half believed in the tale which they had heard from their childhood. In their hearts, although they scarcely would have owned it, was a survival of the wild horror and frenzied fear of their ancestors who had dwelt in the same age with Luella Miller. Young people even would stare with a shudder at the old house as they passed, and children never played around it as was their wont around an untenanted building. Not a window in the old Miller house was broken: the panes reflected the morning sunlight in patches of emerald and blue, and the latch of the sagging front door was never lifted, although no bolt secured it. Since Luella Miller had been carried out of it, the house had had no tenant except one friendless old soul who had no choice between that and the far-off shelter of the open sky. This old woman, who had survived her kindred and friends, lived in the house one week, then one morning no smoke came out of the chimney, and a body of neighbours, a score strong, entered and found her dead in her bed . . .
Pretty cool short story. Some folks who have written literary papers about this story say she was a vampire. Others look at the social message about service: Who chooses to serve and why … and what happens when service goes awry. (Maybe social service isn’t what it’s all cracked up to be?)
If you get a chance to read it, let me know what you think — especially about that last scene. (Hey — it’s a short story so you should be able to read it in a snap!)