The New Student's Reference Work/Voodooism
Voo'dooism, a term referring to beliefs and practices currently considered to prevail among the negroes of the West Indies and the southern United States. But careful research has disproven any organized set of beliefs and ceremonials which could properly be regarded as a voodoo religion. The practices were supposed to have been imported from western Africa. A great snake (Voodoo) was the central figure, communicating with his worshipers only through a priest or priestess, who was held in great veneration by all devotees. Secret nocturnal ceremonies were characterized by prayers to the snake, dancing and the wildest debauchery and indecency. Voodoo doctors among southern negroes were often called to help destroy an enemy, for they were skillful poisoners. Their magic works were performed in secret.