Graveyard dirt: be careful how you use it

Now, one should always, always, always be hesitant on working with graveyard dirt. Whether you’re petitioning Grandmaw or the sheriff who passed two years ago, you gotta be on your toes about this work. When you go to buy the dirt you need to feel the place. Cause you ain’t never alone in the graveyard. Never. – Graveyard Dirt in Appalachian Hoodoo

In conjure, graveyard dirt is used for causing enemies to get sick, luck in gambling, protection, and making goofer dust. It’s harder to get graveyard dirt these days because there are fewer and fewer family graveyards. Needless to say, you can’t (or shouldn’t) wander into a city or a private cemetery with a trowel and throw a few scoops of dirt of a bucket. And, during the sad time when you’re attending a burial ceremony, people will look askance if you put a handful of the turned soil into your pocket rather than throwing it on your beloved’s coffin.

You can buy graveyard dirt, but it might be fake. It might be herbs masquerading as dirt or it might be a scoop of dirt out of somebody’s backyard. Even if the stuff you can buy online is real, you don’t know where it came from. What you don’t want, is dirt collected from the grave of a criminal, a crazy person, or dirt that wasn’t paid for by leaving behind whiskey or coins. If you collect the graveyard dirt from the grave of an ancestor you know, the point is: you know them, what they’re like, and how they might help with a charm or spell.

According to Conjure Work (whose product is shown in the photo), “It’s important to note that the grave was not disrespected or in any way desecrated. The gravesite didn’t actually look any different after removing the dirt than it did before. The desecration of a grave is completely unacceptable and would have the opposite effect of the work that is intended by a respectful “barter” with the Spirit of the person.”

  • If somebody died in a bad way, the dirt from their grave can be mixed with sulphur, pins, needles, and nails in a bottle and buried in a place where your enemy walks.
  • If you have a powerful ancestor, dirt from their grave can be mixed with red pepper and salt and sprinkled around your front door to protect the household.
  • If you can get ahold of dirt from the grave of somebody who loved you, mix it with vandal root (powdered) and sprinkle or toss if (without getting caught) on the person you love and ask the spirits to help them see you as a potential lover.

I found countless uses while doing the research for the three novels in my Florida Folk Magic series. I don’t provide specific recipes because I don’t want people using my novels, which are fiction (of course) as a source for spells.


Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of “Fate’s Arrows,” released September 3, 2020. This is book four in the Florida Folk Magic Series about conjure, crime, and the Klan in the 1950s Florida Panhandle.