The narrator, a grape farmer from Ohio who settles in North Carolina because of his wife’s ill health, buying a dilapidated plantation which has an old vineyard. He hires Uncle Julius and is regaled by the old man with stories of witchcraft. The narrator learns by experience that the stories are usually told for a purpose, most often to the benefit of the old servant.
Annie, the narrator’s wife, whose ill health causes her husband’s removal from Ohio to North Carolina.
Uncle Julius, an elderly black man who tries to prevent the narrator from buying the plantation because he has been selling the grapes from the untended vineyard. He becomes the narrator’s coachman and loyal employee, but he often tells stories of witchcraft to prevent his employers from taking some action detrimental to his own well-being.
Aunt Peggy, the black “conjure woman” of Uncle Julius’ stories. Her generally beneficent supernatural powers are used to place “goophers,” or spells, on people, places, or things.
Mabel, the narrator’s sister-in-law, who is persuaded by one of Uncle Julius’ stories to cease being jealous of a rival and to marry her fiancé.
Becky, a slave in one of Uncle Julius’ stories. She is helped by the powers of the conjure woman when her infant is traded by her owner for a horse.
Sandy, a slave in one of Uncle Julius’ stories who is turned into a tree by the conjure woman. She turns him into a tree so that their owner cannot take Sandy, whom she loves, away from her.