Hot foot powder

Hot foot powder is used in African American hoodoo folk magic to drive unwanted people away. It is a mixture of herbs and minerals, virtually always including chilli powder, salt, pepper and chilli flakes. Other ingredients, such as wasp's nests, sulfur, and graveyard dirt are sometimes added.

It shares certain common uses with the Mexican sal negra or "black salt." It also shows some overlapping uses with 'goofer dust', which also is known to create restlessness and drive people away.

Harry M. Hyatt collected several recipes and spells for hot foot powder. Some modes of deploying hot foot collected by him include secreting a small amount into the victim's shoes or clothing, mixing it with a victim's foottrack, or placing a paper with the victim's name into a bottle with hot foot powder and disposing of it in a river.

In the 1930s song Hell Hound on My Trail, the famous blues musician Robert Johnson said, "You sprinkled hot foot powder [...] all around your daddy's door / it keep me with ramblin' mind, rider, every old place I go."[1] In 2000, the British rock guitarist Peter Green released a CD called "Hot Foot Powder," containing 13 covers of songs written by Robert Johnson.


  1. Hellhound on My Trail. The Robert Johnson Notebooks. American Studies at the University of Virginia
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