Camden Voodo Man Once Kept Den in Norfolk, VA

Police Stock Photo

Camden Courier-Post – April 14, 1925

Police Learn Hyghcock Ran Another Underground Hotel Years Ago

Driven Out of Town Came to Philadelphia

Excavation of Cellar Here for Bodies Starts as Owner Gives Consent

Mayor King to Direct

Armed with picks, axes, and shovels a detail of police and firemen started this afternoon to tear up the underground voodoo den of E.H.H. Hyghcock, 413-15 Liberty Street.

The police are searching to learn if the medicine man buried any human bodies in the cellar.

When the diggers stared to excavate the many rooms of the voodoo den, Director Tempest and Chief of Police Tatem were on the scene directing. One of the activities that will be tackled by police and firemen will be a freshly cemented vault under the house.

Ran Place In Norfolk

The police learned today that “Doctor” Hyghcock operated an underground voodoo den of many rooms, similar to the one recently discovered in this city, in Norfolk, Virginia.

The den in Norfolk was located at 350 Church Street. When the police raided this den Hyghcock fled and evaded several warrants that had been issued for him. The police said that the Negro medicine man had taken many white girls of Norfolk into his underground hotel.

The Norfolk house was owned by Joseph C. White. The owner was tipped off that the house was being used for immoral purposes and he complained to Chief of Police Thomas Downey.

Escapes Policemen

Chief Downey sent Policeman T.J. Arrington to the house to arrest Hyghcock. The medicine man saw the policeman, fleeing out a rear door and failed to arrest hum. Hyghcock went to Philadelphia and about 10 years ago came to Camden.

Arrington, the policeman who was sent to arrest Hyghcock, is now living at 3154 Alabama Road in Camden. He is the only member of the Norfolk police department serving XX Years ago who is alive today.

The decision to excavate the voodoo den followed a conference this morning between police officials and City Counsel Howard M. Miller. The police started digging the cellar but after a few shovelfuls of dirt had been removed the work ceased because the consent of Walter Miller, the owner of the house had not been obtained. Miller is a druggist at Eighth and Mount Vernon Street.

Got Miller’s Consent

Today Mr. Miller gave his consent for the police to dig up the cellar beneath the house and under the yard. Five minutes later, Chief Carter was instructed to have a detail of firemen at the voodoo den at 1 o’clock.

“I expect that the digging will require over a week” Inspector Tempest said today.” We will dig up every foot of the cellar and learn if any human bodies are there.”

Mayor King announced at noon today that he would try to arrange his official business to be present at the “digging up” work.


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