Danielle DeVor's latest book in the Market Chronicles series is titled Sorrow's Lie. Sorrow's Lie will propel you into the world of exorcism, demons, and devil babies, a perfect subject for Halloween.

DeVor's life is filled with spirits. No stranger to unwanted beings herself, she speaks of the unseen with authority. In Sorrow's Lie, we learn of something called a devil baby who, it turns out, has been the subject of multiple hauntings over the years, including a legend in Ms DeVor's own family.

Devil babies

Danielle DeVor writes: My story takes place in the coal camp where my dad was born.

So, sometime prior to 1946. My grandmother, Mary Devor, was friends with a lady that lived downhill in camp, Lulu “Woody” Woods. Woody had been born a slave. She didn’t die until the 1970’s which made her several years over 100. I am not sure of her exact age when she died or the exact year. But at any rate, Woody was my father’s godmother.

Woody and my grandmother were already close when a new woman moved into the coal camp. With one look at her, Woody told my grandmother this woman was a witch. They kept their eyes on her and didn’t let the children come near.

She did strange things. The fire under her cook pot would flare up and die back down without any outward reason. Things like that. Strange lights were also seen in her house.

One day, she got too close to Woody when Woody and my grandmother were walking through camp and she said she was going to put a curse on Woody. Woody pulled out a chicken’s foot from her apron pocket and the witch backed up fast.

Woody held it forward and the witch ran away. When my grandmother asked her about the chicken’s foot, Woody could only say, “I learned a lot of ugly things when I was a slave.

Momma taught me voodoo and other things. I try to stick by God, but sometimes, you gotta help yourself.”

A few weeks later it became apparent the woman was pregnant. No one knew how because she never seemed to go anywhere. But her belly swelled up big. Very fast. Too fast than what was normal.

In no time at all, it seemed, the woman had the baby.

The women of the camp were curious to see the child, but no one ever gained entrance to the house. Soon, no one cared to know as there were strange cries heard in camp. One day, my grandmother walked by and spied through the window, the devil baby climbing the wall. It had little horns and a forked tail along with little claws on the ends of its fingers and toes.

My grandmother got out of there fast. She only told her family and then said for them not to walk by there ever again. It is unknown who reported the baby or its mother but a few weeks later, a car full of priests from Pittsburgh showed up to camp. They stormed into the lady's house and took her and the baby. No one ever heard from them again.

And less you doubt the strange tale of Danielle DeVor and her family, I can say with confidence that she speaks from the heart when it comes to the unseen. I can guarantee you she knows a lot of things most people are better off not knowing.

The legends

In the story of the Devil Baby of Bourbon Street, Voodoo Queen Marie Laveaus adopts the child of a Creole woman who has given birth to what is believed to be the spawn of Satan. The child lives long enough to torment the French Quarter and after its death continues to haunt the streets of New Orleans. If you are in the mood to visit the French Quarter this time of year, beware of the ghostly child who will try to wrestle your soul away when you least expect it.

In the late 1800s, Jane Addams founded Hull House, a shelter for women and children in a section of Chicago best forgotten. It was rumored that a good Catholic woman once hung a picture of the Virgin Mary on a wall in her home. Shortly after, her atheist husband tore it down and swore that he would rather have the devil in his home than the Virgin Mary. The woman became pregnant and gave birth to a child that reportedly had horns and hooves. The child was purportedly given to Hull House, which is where the author Ira Levin, was supposedly inspired to write the novel, Rosemary's Baby.