Largely forgotten, it lay for months in a hunting bag. It was just a candle, but the carvings on it and its unknown origin bothered hunter Jim Walker of Madison.
“We were hunting squirrels with a dog,” Walker said. “It was the last day (of the season); February 28.”
Hunting 14 miles south of Greenville at the bottom of the Mississippi River, the land was littered with debris left over from last winter’s flood.
“There was stuff everywhere,” Walker said. “Coolers, bottles, green buoys, red buoys.
“I saw it. It was a candle and it had a date on it. I put it in my bag.”
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When the hunt was over, Walker took the candle out of his bag and saw that it also had a name engraved on it: Shawn Dennis Stockard, Mr. Walker was intrigued and put the candle back in his bag.
“It was a very unusual find,” Walker said. “He fell off a barge? Did he come from someone’s house?”
Those questions would remain unanswered for months. Walker put away his hunting gear and didn’t see the sail again until he began preparing to hunt this season. When he saw it again, his curiosity was revived. He asked his son-in-law, Brandon’s Jeremy Shook, to locate Stockard, which he did.
Stockard lives in Jackson, Missouri and in 2009 he was a desperate man trying to save his marriage to his high school sweetheart.
“My wife and I were having issues, so I went online,” Stockard explained. “It was some kind of black magic voodoo love spell.
“You do some kind of chant that they give you. You read your wish that’s written on a piece of paper and then you burn it and blow out the candle. You do that for seven nights and it’s supposed to make the wish come true.”
Stockard followed the instructions. He carved his name and date of birth on the candle as instructed and performed the ritual for seven nights. After that, he was told to get rid of the candle and never look at it again. So he went to Cape Girardeau, Missouri and threw it into the Mississippi River.
The only problem is that the candle keeps appearing.
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“That’s the second time someone has found it,” Stockard said. “Someone found that fool two years ago.
“A kid found it in Mississippi. He asked me if I wanted him to send it to me. I told him to throw it in the river. Obviously, he did.”
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Walker was as amazed by the story as he was by the fact that he got involved with the sail that has, so far, traveled 325 miles.
“I’ve heard a lot of advice, but this is a very unusual way to save a marriage,” Walker said with a laugh. “I don’t think anything like this has ever happened to me.
“For the sake of your marriage, I’ll do a Hail Mary from the bank and throw it in the river, but I’m tempted to buy a Powerball ticket first. There may be some magic in this thing.”
Did the Voodoo Black Magic Love Spell Found on the Internet Work? Well, no one can say he did, but no one can say he didn’t either.
“He’s still with me,” Stockard laughed. “We’re still holding on there.”
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Contact Brian Broom at 601-961-7225 or [email protected]. Follow The Clarion-Ledger Outdoors on Facebook and @BrianBroom on Twitter.