Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Death Crowns...!

Some strange omens can be found in the different rural areas of the United States, including the Death Crown.

Customs can be strange, or at least seem strange to those of us outside the region. However, many of these omens have migrated to other parts of the country over time.

Death Crowns

Photo credit: Lori Kimball/

In the Appalachia, hardened crown-like masses of feathers found in pillows of ill people were viewed as an omen of death. These feather crowns measured 3–5 centimeters (2–3 in) in diameter and were about 1.5 centimeters (1 in) thick. They were known as “death crowns” or, less often, as “angel crowns.”

The phenomenon of these death crowns seems to have been confined almost solely to Appalachia, due to the isolated nature of the area. However, the phenomenon also traveled to places like Missouri and Indiana or anywhere else where the mountain folk migrated.

Death crowns were more than likely a consequence of an ill person’s movements (i.e., tossing and turning). If you found such an artifact inside an ill person’s pillow, it meant that the person would die within three days. It was said that one way to break the omen was to break the feather crown. However, if a death crown was found in the pillow of a recently deceased, it was viewed as a comforting sign, as it meant that the person went to heaven. Many of the still existing death crowns today have made their way into museums. Today, the largest collection of death crowns can be found in the Museum of Appalachia in Clinton, Tennessee.

There are so many omens, both good and bad, coming out of the mountainous areas of the U.S. Makes for an interesting study or discussion, don't you think? This topic was taken from Listverse, of course.

Coffee out on the patio again.


Chickenmom said...

You did it again, Mr. Hermit! Never, ever heard of this before - going to have to do some research!

linda m said...

I never heard of this before. I think studying the practices and customs of the Appalachian Mountain people would be fascinating.

HermitJim said...

Hey Phyllis...
I like finding things for you to look up. Makes the post more interesting, don't you think?
Thanks for stopping by today!

Hey Linda...
It probably would make an interesting study, indeed! Many customs there that we don't have anywhere else.
Thanks for coming by today!

JO said...

Sure glad I don't sleep on a feather pillow the way I toss and turn all night.

Patio sounds great it is nice a cool right now. Going to set up my little misting system see how it works for sitting on porch

Dizzy-Dick said...

People have a lot of superstitions and Appalachia has more than its share. My grandma would really get worried if a bird tried to get in her house or sat pecking at a window. She said that meant someone would die.