Soap Sally, or Soap Sallie, is a "booger-bear," a scary character used to frighten children. In past times, children would be told, "If you don't get home by dark, Soap Sally will get you," or "stay away from those woods! Soap Sally will get you..." The threat could be used to make children mind: "If you don't mind me, Soap Sally will come and get you!" Today, Soap Sally is still mentioned in the Southern Appalachian Mountains (Appalachia) though not often. The hills are losing their "hillbilly" flavor. Only older folks, or people from rural communities, speak of Soap Sally.
Soap Sally might have been inspired by some old woman who was the soap maker for a community. Lye soap makers used animal fats in their soap. Bones, also, could be used as an aid in stain removal, though it's unknown how widespread that practice was. An on-line search produced one forum mention of Soap Sally, also by someone from Georgia ~ which may be an indication of the range of current-day Soap-Sally tales. There is a hint that the story goes further back, to England (see side note, below). The tales of Soap Sally seem to have faded along with the folk method of making lye soap.
SIDE NOTE ABOUT SOAP SALLY:
PAGE REVISED 13 NOV 2007.