Guarding the old mining community, these ghosts of these two women have been dubbed witches by the locals, feared as well as revered in their lives. Who were The White Witches of the Black Diamond Mines?
Before the place in the San Francisco Bay area used to be a bustling mining community at the turn of the century. The coal mines was operating until 1945. Now the mines are closed and the place forgotten, but the remains can still be reached an hour away from San Francisco.
Although named the Diamond mines, there was no sparkling diamonds to be found in the mines. Instead it was coal, the black type of diamonds. It is here the legend of the white witches started to take hold of the mining community.
The Contra Costa County is ranked as the scariest place in California because of legends like the Black Diamond Mines and the White Witches that are said to be haunting the place.
The White Witch in Rose Hill Cemetery
Sara Norton worked as a midwife to the people living in the small towns across the bay area and she delivered over 600 babies in her time. She was a widow to Noah Norton that even got the town Nortonville named after himself.
She died however in 1879 at the age of 68. She was on call at her midwife duties when she was thrown from a carriage to make a delivery in Clayton and was killed in the accident.
According to the legend, Sarah was not a religious person and told her own kids that she didn’t want a church funeral. However, when she died that was exactly what they gave her and her spirit became enraged. On the day of the funeral a storm crashed their plan and they decided to go through with the funeral the next day. The next day however, another storm came crashing and ruined their plans. The townspeople took the hint and skipped the formalities and buried her in the Rosehill Cemetery.
From then on the spirit of Sarah has been spotted in the old mining towns as well as floating around the tombstones in the graveyard.
Mary the Wailing Witch in the Black Diamond Mines
Another lady that is haunting the place is Mary, who history forgot her last name. She was working as a nanny in the 1870s, but in contrast to Sarah that brought life into this world, her legacy tells that she put life out.
All of her children that she cared for died of illness and it was not soon before she was accused of witchcraft after some local townspeople allegedly found evidence of her dark rituals that resulted in the death of their children.
In some variations of the legend, she worked as a school teacher, not a nanny. And with the diseases of the times, it is not unlikely diseases went through the community, striking the kids at the same time. So was it a tragedy or witchcraft? The townspeople certainly was of the belief that it was and set out to punish her.
The legend differs from how Mary met her death. Although the evidence is lost to us, it supposedly was enough to hang her for her crimes in some versions of the story. In other version her dead body was found in the mines under strange circumstances. But it was not enough to bring her out of this world.
To this day she is spotted guarding the mines wearing all white and seeking revenge for her murder. But there is also another side to her hauntings. It is said that it is mostly children that see her, and she pushes them out from the dangerous mines that are filled with harmful gasses and unstable tunnels.
So the question remains, is she remaining in the world as a resentful witch, or as a protector of children that she wasn’t able to be alive?
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