Yah-Yah, Dr - Witchcraft Hall of Fame

The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World - Judika Illes 2005

Yah-Yah, Dr
Witchcraft Hall of Fame

Dr Yah-Yah was a renowned Hoodoo Doctor and an African-American slave on a plantation near New Orleans. On the plantation where he labored he was called Washington but his professional name was Dr Yah-Yah. Also known as Dr Yah, he emerged as a renowned practitioner in New Orleans during the late 1850s.

Among his potions was a concoction of honey, jimsonweed (datura) and sulfur sipped from a glass that had been rubbed against a black cat. That formula is recorded because that’s the formula that got Dr Yah-Yah into trouble.

In 1861, Dr Yah-Yah was arrested. An Italian client had given a sample of Dr Yah-Yah’s potion to his physician, who in turn called the police. Dr Yah-Yah’s owner was ordered to pay a fine of $15, and Dr Yah-Yah was punished by being transferred to the backbreaking work of a field hand and forbidden to practice his craft.