I use to work a lot in Wellington, Florida and would occasionally see a lady walking dressed like a witch (typical attire included a black dress and black pointed cap with very high platform shoes). I asked several people about the strangely dressed lady and someone told me, "That's the Wellington Witch". Several other people confirmed the Wellington Witch title but knew almost nothing about her. I have not seen her recently and have not worked in that area for a few years. I was reading an article about witches and remembered the Wellington Witch and with the wonders of Google I set out to find who and what the Witch really is.
It didn't take long to see that other people were interested in the Wellington Witch as well. There is a Wellington Witch sighting page on Facebook with pictures and video of the Lady in Black shopping at Wal-Mart, waiting at a Bus Stop and just walking around the area.
The Facebook page has a lot of sightings and pictures but very little information about who she really is and why does she dress's this way, but they did have a name and another alias. She is Susan Strauss a.k.a. the Lava Lady. The Lava Lady really doesn't make much since unless the hat is suppose to be a volcano. A little more digging on Google came up with an explanation.
It turns out that Susan Strauss is something of a Los Angeles, California icon. She was quite a unique attraction in L.A. but looked a little different then she does now. This is a photo of Susan near her old home in Los Angeles. It looks like the same style but it is red instead of all black, is this why they called her the Lava Lady? It turns out that is not the answer. Check out the picture of her house in Los Angeles below, Susan earned the name the Lava Lady by covering her whole house in lava rock.
When she moved to Wellington, Florida and started wearing all black , she was dubbed the Wellington Witch. Strauss was infamous in L.A., just as she seems to be now in Wellington. But, anyone who walks the streets daily with their hair wrapped straight up, in doll-like blush, long velvet gowns, and 5-inch platforms is bound to get a bit of attention!
Some say Strauss was a model for Rudi Gernreich in the 60s, others label her as a long-lost wife of Dr. Seuss, many claim her to be an heir to the Levi Strauss fortune, and a few are positive she was a member of the Manson family. But, the Lava Lady/Wellington Witch has only admitted to being a retired poet.
So we now know her name, Susan Strauss. But which of the rumors are true about her past, if any? I once passed her on the sidewalk and said hi to her, she responded in kind and seemed very nice and soft spoken. I didn't get cursed or have a run of bad luck so if she is a witch I think she is definitely a good witch. One day I hope to see her walking my way again, I would love to hear more on her history and style. Just search for Susan Strauss,Wellington Witch, Lava Lady in Google. There are a lot of photos online and a little more information.
Susan Strauss Passed away on Sept. 1 2016.
Susan Strauss Obituary