In Fernandina a scary legend has been making its rounds among teenagers for a long, long time. No one really knows how old this story is, but according to local high school kids it’s at least a few hundred years old. It has to do with an evil called “Wiccademous” that lurks in the woods. The story begins in the 1600s when a young girl was brought to trial for practicing witchcraft and sentenced to be hanged. Allegedly, her execution was carried on September 12, sixteen-hundred and something. No one seems to know the exact year, but for some reason everyone claims to know the day and month. Of course there’s a historical problem with this early date, since there wasn’t much here in the 1600s, certainly not a village. Fernandina is the only town in the U.S.A. to have been under the flags of eight different nations. In 1592, the French fleet of Jean Ribaut dropped anchor here, but no real settlements appear on any maps until 1767, when the town of Egmont was established in the area of present day Fernandina. There are no records that suggest witchcraft was an issue in Egemont, nevertheless, this legend of evil is rooted in witch and demon lore, hence the name Wiccademous.
The location of this evil activity is across from the Fernandina High School, down a narrow a path under the branches of an ancient oak tree. It’s here that Wiccademous will get you, so say those in the know. There’s a grave here that belongs to the girl that was hanged for witchcraft, and if you dare to disturb it…that means just being near it, you’ll feel the wrath of Wiccademous. Supposedly, the ground will shake violently and you’ll hear loud booming noises--all warnings for you to leave the area. Most of the time these effects will be experienced before reaching the grave, but other times the evil will let people get all the way to the grave, and then trap them.
There are stories about how people have ventured into the woods and were never heard from again. I guess Wiccademous got them, although no locals can recall anyone ever disappearing down that path.
Sometimes the spirit of Wiccademous will follow intruders home. If this happens, you will dream of her two nights in a row, and if you visit the grave after the second night, you’ll see the apparition of Wiccademous. The path is almost hidden, but I found it and took a short hike into the woods.
There’s a deep, natural gully that cuts through the oak woods and near the entrance is an old weather-worn kiosk that was once used as an information board when the path was a nature trail. It was apparent that the path had not been used for a long time. As for a grave, I did not see anything that looked like a burial place…of course that doesn’t mean one doesn’t exist, after hundreds of years it could be hidden beneath the growth of time.