Dr. Hyghcock Dies, Voodoo Exponent

Dr. Eryquew C. H. Hyghcock, South Camden mystery man and self-styled voodoo exponent, died Wednesday in the county hospital at Lakeland.

Camden Courier-Post – May 15, 1942

His Liberty Street House Atop Tunnels Set Camden Agog in 1925

Dr. Eryquew C. H. Hyghcock, South Camden mystery man and self-styled voodoo exponent, died Wednesday in the county hospital at Lakeland.

The aged voodoo doctor whose methods of treating the ills of his “patients” had attracted the scrutiny of police here and in Philadelphia, had been a patient at the hospital for several months.

On the records, his home was listed as 413 Liberty street, the house atop subterranean tunnels which set Camden agog back in 1925 when bones believed to be those of two infants were found in his yard. Search of his house disclosed rooms cut up into small apertures rigged up with noise-making devices. A series of cowbells jangled for the purpose of driving out “spirits.”

He next got attention in Philadelphia in 1931 when he was arrested after a Negro girl told of powders he gave her for an ailment he described as “snakes.”

In 1935, federal agents stumbled upon two 25-gallon stills in a laby-caves near Malaga. A series of letters and utensils identified the tunneled sanctuaries eight feet underground as belonging to the voodoo doctor.

In August, 1938, statutory charges against Dr. Hyghcock for performing an illegal operation were dismissed.

At the time of his arrest in 1931, the voodooist was a short, squat man weighing nearly 200 pounds. He declared he was 82 years at that time and the paternal parent of 48 children. He looked no more than 45. According to the funeral notice, he died at the age of 83 and is survived by his widow, Estelle, and a daughter, Rosella. Services will be held Monday at 1pm at a funeral establishment at 743 Chestnut street. Burial will be in Mt. Peace cemetery, Lawnside.


Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.