Description: A person who pulls a mandrake root will drop dead from the groaning sound it makes as it is pulled from the ground
Mandrake is a poisonous plant that was used in magic and medicine in ancient times. The roots of the Mandrake are often split and can roughly look like a human body, which has helped its magical reputation.
A Roman writer in the 1st Century described a method for harvesting mandrake safely, by tying the top of the root to a dog and then running away. When the dog tried to follow, it would pull out the root - and the cry of the mandrake would kill the dog, not his master.
Note: These superstitions
were researched and written by Stuart Macfarlane (Website:
and Tom Metcalfe (Website:
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