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Many a night has been made restless because of the folklore behind the willow tree. The Greek goddess Hecate goddess of the moon, of crossroads, and of the willow was a practitioner of witchcraft. Wiccans, other practitioners of “the craft”, hold the willow to high standards as well. Hecate, however, is said to be the most influential in terms of the fear struck into a person’s psyche by these mystical trees as she was (is) a powerful deity of the Underworld. Hecate also is said to have cursed many passes including the pass of Dover. The Whispering Willows there, according to legend, are believed to contain the unfortunate souls of those who pass by whispering secrets to one another. The curse is believed to have been cast by Hecate in an attempt to punish those who do not heed her warning, “You do not whisper under my sacred tree.” As you walk late night through the wood you can hear the trapped souls “whispering” out to you. Some say the wind is to blame for the eerie sounds as wind often hums or whistles through trees. But, anyone who knows of the regions past will argue otherwise. Many are rumored to have been seen after a late night visit to the pass wandering around aimlessly as if they’ve “lost their life’s purpose”; as if they’ve lost their soul. No one knows for sure what the truth of the matter is. But, if you ask any who knows of the tale they’ll tell you, “Passers beware.”

Justin Fischer

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