Appalachia Appalachian Medicine

Wart Removal Folklore – Real Stories

how to remove warts

I have several stories about wart removal for you today. If you missed the first post What to do for Warts go here.


The ability to remove warts was on both sides of my family. My people were mostly from the foot hills of Appalachia in North Georgia. My dad’s grandmother removed over a hundred warts from my uncle one day. She made him go collect as many smooth stones as he could find and bring them to her. She was waiting with a paper bag. She took the stones and took turns rubbing the stones over the warts until a stone had been rubbed on every wart. As she did it, she whispered something inaudible under her breath. After she rubbed a wart, she dropped it in a paper sack. When all warts had been rubbed, she told my uncle to close the bag and place it on the side of the street. When someone came by, the warts would jump on them and my uncle wouldn’t have them anymore. About three days later, all of my uncle’s warts were gone. My mom’s grandfather could just rub a wart and whisper something under his breath and it would go away soon. People always argue the placebo effect but he even made seed warts on live stock in the town go away.

Austin ~ October 2016


Just came up on this site. My Papa buys warts as well, even to date, and has as long as I can remember, (early 60’s). He requests the patient give him a dime for each wart to be removed. He has never told me exactly how it works, but I have witnessed numerous people who have visited for this reason, and later witnessed that they no longer had warts. He rolls the dime around the wart two or more times, hard to say, then lays it flat on the wart and removes it quickly, gives it back to the patient, and tells them to spend it, and forget where it was spent. One in particular I remember well, was one of my first cousins from Augusta, GA. He had terrible warts on both hands, and I didn’t count them, nor hear the number, but it had to be upwards of 60, because he brought a brown paper bag in which he claimed to have $6.50 worth of dimes, and he wanted to sell all of them to Papa. Next time he visited, he was ranting on and on at how my Papa had made all his warts disappear, (and they were all gone). Papa told me that his grandmother, who passed in ’59, also did this, and had taught him. He also learned to “talk fire out” from this same grandmother. This I did learn to do, by virtue of him teaching my mother, who in turn taught me. His grandmother told him when she taught him, that it had to pass from male to female, female to male, etc. My GGrandmother, who was a typical Matriarch of the family, and all our family since have lived in NE Alabama, foothills of the Appalachians, and mostly migrated from N. and S. Carolina before settling here.

J. Steele – August 2016


My dad is 80 years old now, so I don’t know if he still claims to be able to do this. However I know firsthand that he has this ability and we’ve never been able to explain it. He said that he got it from his grandmother who told simply told him “you will have the gift too”. When I was a kid, I had a wart on the back of my right hand. A cat scratched me through it and left a trail, and the length of the scratch turned into a puffed up wart-like scar.My mom told me to go to my dad with it and he gently rubbed it without any medicine, home remedy, or other “witch doctor” action. About a week or two weeks later, I noticed that the wart and cat scratch scar were gone. Would love to know if there is any scientific reasoning in his body chemistry for this.

Jason Fuller – July 2016


My wife Trish grew up in NE Arkansas in a family with old Irish roots. Kitchen Witchery was just part of the heritage. She told me a story of her having multiple warts on her hand that wouldn’t go away. Her uncle took a string, tied the same number of knots as warts. He spit on each knot rubbed a knot on each wart then threw the string into a fire. The warts were gone in a few days.

John Olex – May 2016


I know this is an old post, but I wanted to share my experience with warts. When I was little I had warts all over the back of both hands. I lived in a small farming community in SE Arkansas. My great aunt gave me some kernels of corn and told me to touch every wart with the corn, say a phrase (no idea what it was anymore), and throw the corn to the chickens. I did what I was told and within a couple of weeks all but one of them were gone. My mother told me later that she had wanted to tell me that it was just superstition, but after my warts disappeared she knew I wouldn’t believe her. I just wish I knew what it was Aunt Jean told me to say!

Avilldr – January 2016


As a youth my fingers were covered with warts around each nail. An old German neighbor lady had me take my mothers dish rag, wash my hands and then hide the rag where it would not be found. Some time later the warts all disappeared. I also seem to have been blessed with this power. I rub a copper penny over the wart, then use the same penny to buy the wart from the person who had it. So far it has worked on several occasions. The usual routine is that the person usually forgets all about the wart an one day they look and it is gone. Don’t ask me why … Perhaps faith .. God gives us each different gifts!

Glenn Anderson – September 2014


I realize this thread is a bit old but I had to post my experience. I am from Missouri and I’m not sure of any of my ancestors living in the Appalachians but I do know that we have Blackfoot blood in our family. I had a wart on my wrist that popped up out of nowhere. I went to the dermatologist, had it burned off, and it came back. I was at my Uncle’s house and he saw it. He grabbed my hand rubbed my wart with his thumb and asked me why I wanted that thing on my arm. I went into this rant about how it was burned off and came back. He told me not to worry that it would fall off soon and never come back. Sure enough, a few days later it was gone. That was 15 years ago and it has not come back. Many other family members have similar stories. We’ve always joked about the possibility that he takes the wart from us and his rear end is covered in them. Joking aside, I’m amazed that there is an entire thread on this phenomenon. I’ve got some crazy looks from people in the past 15 years when I tell them my story.

Bonnie Colson – June 2013


My wife tells of the cure that they used. They would prick the wart to make it bleed, then rub grains of corn in the blood. The corn was wrapped in a rag then buried at a fork in a path. The next person to pass would get the warts.

Gary Powell – October 2011



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  • Reply
    September 23, 2021 at 5:03 pm

    I have had a single wart on each knuckle of both ring fingers. They are pretty large and really bother me in the winter when the skin becomes dry and cracks. I was in a local business today and discovered a lady that had the gift of removing warts and let her rub and blow on them. They immediately changed colors after she did it and she said I would see a difference in a few says and they should be gone in about 2 weeks. We will see. I am not sure if the key to this is the belief that the healer has or the belief that the healed has or both. I love your site and enjoying reading about the Appalachian traditions and life. Would love to come to your part of the woods sometime!

  • Reply
    Dan Feerst
    September 2, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    All of these stories have one thing in common — believe that the wart would disappear and purpose for having that belief. The acts of removing the warts are rituals. However, rituals combined with desire, faith that they warts will disappear, and strong determination to make the warts disappears impresses the quantum field, which at a sub-atomic level, kills the wart.

  • Reply
    January 25, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    My grandmother and aunt always told us to rub bacon on the wart and then feed the bacon to a dog. The wart would then disappear. It worked! We figured it had something to do with the salt in the bacon but never knew for sure. I love hearing about all these old remedies.

  • Reply
    Paulette Tonielli
    January 24, 2018 at 8:53 am

    I’ve heard of many methods to get rid of warts, but never heard of “talking fire out”. Can you give us the story on that one, Tipper?

    • Reply
      January 24, 2018 at 2:37 pm

      Paulette-I’ll see what I can do!

  • Reply
    Janice Stout
    July 7, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    One of my hospice patients was an old country preacher. He had home remedies for almost everything. His remedy for warts was to rub the inside of a banana peel over the wart. I never tried it but have always wondered if it would work.

    • Reply
      January 24, 2018 at 12:10 am

      My daughter had warts all over her knees. My husbands Aunt took a potato and cut it in half. Rubbed the warts with half of the potato and had my daughter bury the other half. She tod her that when the potato rotted, the wards would be gone. It worked.

  • Reply
    April 15, 2017 at 6:26 am

    I’m a believer. My Aunt took one off my hand that I had been battling for a while with over the counter meds, she walked out into the back yard and came back with a persimmon limb and cut a notch into it rubbed it on my wart and said something, she told me to throw it over the shoulder of the hand with the wart and don’t look back and keep walking, in 3 days it was gone, and that was over 30yrs ago.

  • Reply
    April 15, 2017 at 12:27 am

    There’s some interesting stories here, and I’m not going to doubt a single one, because “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” (Shakespeare’s Hamlet) And I think that’s just another way of saying…the world God created is a mysterious world, more mysterious than our human minds can yet comprehend. Praise God!!!
    Praying everyone has a wonderful Easter weekend, and a safe one too.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    April 14, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    Is something wrong? I think I got the same post from last week. Maybe I am just stupid or maybe it’s not meant for me to know. OK, I know I am stupid! It has to be the other thing.

  • Reply
    April 14, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    I enjoyed reading all the posts from above, but I still don’t know what to think. …Ken

  • Reply
    April 14, 2017 at 11:48 am

    KInd of mean to pass the warts on to others. I’d rather just get rid of them, amen!

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    April 14, 2017 at 10:27 am

    We were told to get a “tobacco sack” (Prince Albert came in one back then) and collect a stone for each wart. At the first crossroads you came to–throw out the sack and don’t look back.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    April 14, 2017 at 9:04 am

    My grandmother, Sarah Eveline Souther Dyer, had the ability to remove warts. She also was an herbal doctor and a mid-wife for her community. I don’t know to whom she gave the secret of wart removal. I have often wished I had it, because I have met many people with troublesome warts and knew that if I could take them to my dear grandmother (who died in 1959 at nearly 102 years of age!), she could remove them. Other persons in my community of Choestoe (both male and female), had the “secret” of removing warts.
    What is the scientific answer to this phenomenon. I don’t know. Maybe it is all tied up in faith–belief in the special gifts awarded to some people!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    April 14, 2017 at 9:00 am

    When my Dad and his siblings were young, there were still healers around that people relied on. Seems different ones had different specialties. My paternal grandmother took my uncle to a ‘thrash doctor’ when he was a child to be cured of strep throat. I can remember passing where he had lived in later years and her telling the story but I do not recall details of what he did. My maternal grandmother had a reputation for being able to ‘blow fire out’ which meant stop the pain and cause a burn to heal without scaring. I think she repeated a bible verse to her self and blew on the burn. As best I recall, she had complete confidence in her ability. It was not passed on though. Folk healing persisted until at least the 1950’s but I have not heard of a recent example.

  • Reply
    April 14, 2017 at 8:53 am

    My grandfather in TN also could remove warts – I had 3 in a diamond pattern on my thumb when I was around the age of 9 or so. I had heard the stories of my grandfather’s ability of making them disappear, had always been skeptical ….but, I hated the warts on my hand and I finally went to him with my request… he told me he could only make it happen if I believed he could …he made me think it over for a few days and after more stories from others I did begin to think that perhaps he could make it happen – when I returned to him he simply put his hands over my hand with the warts, said a few words under his breath (we never did get him to tell us what they were) and within a week my warts were gone, never to return – I’m a believer!

    • Reply
      August 16, 2019 at 3:20 pm

      My Great Aunt would tell us to go find a rock and she would rub it on our wart saying a prayer( under her breath) then she would tell us to go through it out in the yard ..and our warts would be gone

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    April 14, 2017 at 7:56 am

    Love to hear these great stories. I hope someone somewhere is able to carry on these wonderful miracle cures. Sometimes just believing can work miracles.
    I watched my Grandmother cure warts and also stop bleeding.
    Just laying on of hands and reciting from the bible was all that was needed.
    So sorry it was all lost when she died.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 14, 2017 at 6:20 am

    Remind me to never walk through a fork in the path again!
    Tip, are there any current wart remover people, it’s been quite a while since I’ve heard of anyone doing the work?
    I love that very descriptive term, Kitchen Witchery!

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