I just finished watching this eerie little documentary on the Huldufolk (or Invisible People) most known as Elves (Alfar), Trolls, and Gnomes (Tomte) in more ancient times. The documentary is french produced but everyone speaks Icelandic and the subtitles are well translated into english.
Taken from Hubert J. Davis’ The Silver Bullet: And Other American Witch Stories (1975)
"A beautiful and healthy little daughter was born to Tim and Ada Calder, who lived in the Pennsylvania mountains. She filled their lives with happiness and contentment. They were so pleased with the baby that they named her Dorothy because Time had heard that the name meant "a gift from God." From infancy, she was active and happy, and at three years of age she was a strong and beautiful child.
Then, suddenly little Dorothy’s health vanished. Within a few weeks’ time, she had degenerated into a squalling, miserable child with fear and agony in her eyes. Her firm, round pink body became as flabby as a sponge, and her skin became a clay-like yellow. At night, she would utter inarticulate cries.
Fear and apprehension gripped Tim and Ada. They were so heartbroken that no words could convey their suffering. Ada and a neighboring yarb doctor administered all the potions and poultices which they knew how to concoct, but to no avail. Finally, Ada concluded that Dorothy had been ill-wishes and suggested to Tim that they consult a Quaker doctor who was noted for his skill in over-looking [breaking spells]. At first, Tim laughed and ridiculed her superstitious ideas, but as time passed and little Dorothy got no better, he finally yielded to Ada’s pleas and they set out to Bedford to consult the Quaker doctor.
Upon arrival, Ada took Dorothy into the doctor’s house while Tim put the horses in the stable and fed them. Ada explained Dorothy’s symptoms to the doctor’s assistant, but she made no mention of her suspicion that the child had been bewitched. The assistant examined Dorothy and asked some questions, then went into another room to confer with his master. He returned, asked more questions, and went back for a second conference.
Then, a tall, distinguished looking man with thick white hair and a well-trimmed mustache slipped quietly into the room. His kind blue eyes briefly rested on the mother, but he didn’t speak. With a serious mien, he began at once to examine little Dorothy. His graceful hands explored her entire body, and he was just finishing when Tim entered the room. The doctor glanced at him, but still said nothing.
"Is the child hurt-done [bewitched]?" Tim asked with fear.
"Yes!" replied the doctor in his kind, melodious voice. "As sure as the morning sunrise, she has been bewitched."
"Kind sir, can you do anything for her?" inquired Ada, her voice trembling with sorrow and fear.
With a stern, pointed look, he replied, “If thou wilt do as I tell thee, I can.”
Ada’s face flushed with a flicker of hope. She hastened to assure him, “Indeed, we will do anything you tell us.”
"Well then," he said, "Take some of the hair of wife, husband and child; some of the cuttings of thy finger nails and toe nails; some of the water of all three of ye, and three black straight pins and put all this in a bottle and cork it. Then, on next Friday night, when you rake the fire, put the bottle under the stuff you rake up. But, before you do this, place three very small candles on the hearth. As you light each candle, say, ‘In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost.’ When the candles are all lighted, both of ye kneel down and say the Lord’s Prayer aloud. Then, after the candles have burned out, rake the coals and put the bottle under them. And remember, whatever happens, don’t let any woman enter your house for three days."
Tim and Ada hurried home to carry out these instructions. Since little Dorothy had been restless at night and had cried out as if she were having bad dreams, they moved her bed near the fireplace. Then, they prepared the bottle, lighted the three candles and said the prayer. They waited until the candles burned down, then put the bottle under the raked coals. To their pleasant surprise, Dorothy was soon fast asleep and she didn’t move nor make a sound the rest of the night.
Ada and Tim also slept soundly that night. Tim rose at the crack of dawn, broke the fire, and carried out the ashes to riddle them.
While he was in the back yard, Ada heard a thrashing in the bushes, followed by steps approaching the front door. She opened the door and was startled by the bleating laugh of Old Betty Orts, the witch. She remembered the doctor telling her not to let any woman enter the house, so she stood in the doorway. The gnarled old crone glared at Ada with her beady eyes and demanded in a threatening voice, “Does your old man have to riddle them ashes that way?”
But, Ada had reached the breaking point, and she unleashed months of pent-up anger and frustration on the old woman. “God have mercy on your wicked soul! I’ll beat you to a bloody pulp,” Ada shouted as she grabbed her by the sleeve and hit her over the head with a long iron poker. Blood gushed from the old woman’s forehead and began to trickle down her wrinkled face. Old Betty was completely flabbergasted by this sudden attack, but as soon as she recovered, she took to her heels and vanished into the woods.
When Ada regained her self-control, she found herself clutching the bloody poker in one hand and a fragment of Old Betty’s dirty sleeve in the other. She hastened inside, heated a pot of water, and boiled the piece of sleeve for seven minutes. She then removed it from the water, dried it, and threw it on the fire. It burned with an eerie greenish-blue flame and left no trace of ashes.
Now, Ada recognized that they had thrice overlooked the bewitchment: once with the good Quaker’s magic bottle, again by drawing blood from the witch’s brow, and finally by boiling and burning the fragment of her clothing. One or all of these exorcisms must have worked, since little Dorothy began to improve from that time. In a few weeks, she was well again, and in too few years to please her fond parents, had grown up to be a beautiful young woman.”
Told by Peter Quillin of Bedford, Pennsylvania, in November, 1941. At that time, he was sixty-eight years old. He had heard the story from his grandfather while he was a boy.