Graveyard Dirt or Dust is a powerful ingredient in magical Spells, especially of an evil nature.
A 19th-century account from rural America records a man’s testimony that he believed that he was the victim of a spell cast with the help of graveyard dirt and other ingredients combined in a charm bag buried under the threshold of his front door. To break the spell, he spread red pepper around his home to purify it and immediately consulted a root doctor, a man skilled in herbal magic. The man said:
I opened the bag and found some small roots about an inch long, some black hair, a piece of snake skin, and some graveyard dirt, dark-yaller, right off some coffin. . . . Only root doctors can git the graveyard dirt, they know what kind to git and when, the hants [ghosts] won’t let everybody get it, they must git it through some kind of spell, for the graveyard dirt works trouble ’til it gits back into the ground, and then [the spell] wears off. It must git down to the same depth it was took from, that is as deep as the coffin lid was from the surface of the ground.