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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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TO KILL A WITCH

ONCE AGAIN THE WIZARD OF OZ WILL BE TELEVISED FOR ALL GOOD
CHILDREN. EACH ONE WILL COME AWAY WITH THE BELIEF THAT ALL BAD
WITCHES CAN BE KILLED BY THROWING WATER ON THEM. SUCH AN ACTION
RESULTS IN THE SLOW DISSOLVING AND DISAPPEARING OF THE WITCH.

Where learned: HIGHLAND PARK ; ILLINOIS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman

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TO KILL A WITCH

WHILE FLIPPING TELEVISION CHANNELS LAST NIGHT, I PAUSED A MOMENT
IN MY INDECISION TO SEE HOW TO KILL A WITCH. A WOMAN FROM THE
PIONEER SOUTHWEST BELIEVED THAT BY MAKING AN IMAGE OF THE WITCH
IN QUESTION AND "MURDERING" THAT IMAGE, THE WITCH WOULD DIE. IN
THIS INSTANCE A DRESS THAT THE WITCH HAD WORN WAS HUNG UP TO
CREATE THE IMPRESSION OF THE WITCH'S PRESENCE. THEN THE KILLER
PLUNGED A HATPIN INTO "HER."

Where learned: HIGHLAND PARK ; ILLINOIS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman

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WITCHES

IMMORTALITY IS NOT A CHARACTERISTIC OF WITCHES, THOUGH SOME
SEEM TO BE VERY OLD. ONE REASON TO BELIEVE THAT THEY DO DIE OR
MEET AN END SOMEHOW IS THE TALE THAT A STAR FALLS FROM THE SKY
EVERY TIME A WITCH DIES.

Where learned: HIGHLAND PARK ; ILLINOIS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman

Date learned: 02-09-1967

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NOT GIVEN

A WITCH OR WARLOCK CAN'T PERFORM BLACK MAGIC TO ENRICH HIMSELF--
ONLY ALCHEMISTS CAN DO THIS. BUT ALCHEMISTS CAN'T USE MAGIC
TO HARM OTHERS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman

Date learned: 05-15-1965

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NOT GIVEN

IF YOU WANT TO KILL A VAMPIRE, GET IT IN THE SUNLIGHT. THEY CAN'T
LIVE IN SUNLIGHT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman

Date learned: 05-15-1965

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NOT GIVEN

GARLIC OVER THE DOOR KEEPS OUT VAMPIRES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman

Date learned: 05-15-1965

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LEGEND

IF A WEREWOLF IS ON THE LOOSE AND SOMEBODY KILLS IT, THEN HE TURNS
INTO ONE.

Submitter comment: PETER SAID THAT HE HEARD THIS IN ST. IGNACE AND THE WEREWOLF WAS
REFERRED TO UNDER SOME OTHER NAME, PROBABLY THE LOUP GARORE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman

Date learned: 05-15-1965

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BROOMS

NEVER LEAVE A BROOM OUT IN THE OPEN BECAUSE IT IS AN OPEN
INVITATION TO WITCHES.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN ;

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Home

Date learned: CA1963-1975

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ONE CAN TELL IF YOU HAVE TRULLY KILLED A WITCH IF A CROW CROWS.
IF YOU DID NOT HEAR THE CROW, IT WAS A SIGN THAT THE WITCH HAD
TAKEN OVER A NEWLY BORN BABY'S SOUL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; informant's home

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Birth

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PROVERBIAL COMPARISON

AS COLD AS A WITCH'S TIT.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; NEW ROCHELLE

Keyword(s): CLIMATE ; DEFINITION ; SUPERNATURAL

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
PROVERB -- Proverbial Comparison

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PROVERBIAL PHRASE

COLDER THAN A WITCH'S TIT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): SUPERNATURAL

James Callow Keyword(s): MAMMARY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Air Weather Fire
PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 10-19-1970

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WITCH BELIEF

EVERYTIME YOU SEE A FALLING STAR, A WITCH HAS DIED.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HUNTINGTON WOODS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Star

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CUSTOM

SATAN AND HIS FOLLOWERS CELEBRATE THEIR SABBATH IN THE FOUR
DIFFERENT SECTIONS OR COVENS OF THE WORLD AROUND THE SAME TIME
AS THE CATHOLIC CHURCH CELEBRATES THE SEASONAL CHANGES. WE ALSO
HAVE A CEREMONY AT THE TIME OF THE BLOODY SABBATH OF SATAN.
ON THIS DAY ALL FOUR COVENS GET TOGETHER FOR A GOOD TIME OF
SACRIFICE, (A YOUNG PERSON)
ALL WHO HAVE BEEN DISOBEDIENT TO SATAN AND THE INSTALLMENT OF
NEW WITCHES.

James Callow comment: INCOMPLETE ITEM

Where learned: GRAND RAPIDS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Sacrificial rite for special occasion
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Custom

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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PILLOW WREATHS

WHEN THE WITCHES WEAVE A WREATH IN YOUR PILLOW ( THEY ARE
ACTUALLY PERFECTLY FORMED LITTLE WREATHS, THE INFORMANT HAS
SEEN THEM) IF THE WREATH GETS COMPLETED, THE PERSON DIES.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT BELIEVES IN THIS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Plant

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SPIRIT MEDIUMS

THIS IS A BELIEF IN INDIA, THERE ARE FAIR, AND EVIL MEDIUMS. A
MEDIUM CAN INVADE THE BODY OF A MAN NOT YET REALLY DEAD, AND
PULL THE SPIRIT RIGHT OUT, AND THEN THE MEDIUM CONTROLS IT.
I HAVE SEEN THE CASKETS BREAK OPEN UNEXPLAINABLY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ANN ARBOR

James Callow Keyword(s): BELIEF

Subject headings: Spirit / Mind / Body
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman

Date learned: 02-04-1968

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WITCH PROTECTION

SASSAFRAS TEA- MADE BY MERELY BOILING A SASSAFRAS ROOT IN SOME
WATER - IS SUPPOSED TO BE ESPECIALLY GOOD IN WARDING OFF
WITCHES.

Submitter comment: STEVE ACTUALLY BELIEVED THIS WHEN HE WAS A KID, AND HE USED TO DRINK
IT BEFORE GOING INTO ANY KIND OF HAUNTED HOUSE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): PLANT HERB

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman

Date learned: 10-28-1968

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TO CAUSE ILLNESS IN WITCHES

TO MAKE A WITCH SICK YOU NEED TO DO THESE THINGS:
GET THREE NAILS FROM A COFFIN AND STICK THEM INTO A SAUCE
OF BUTTER AND WINTERGREEN
SAY THE WITCHES NAME AS YOU PLACE
THE SAUCE IN A HIDDEN SPOT WHERE NEITHER SUNLIGHT NOR MOONLIGHT
WILL PENETRATE. YOUR WITCH WILL BE SICK FOR SIX MONTHS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ANN ARBOR

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMAL PRODUCT ; PLANT NERB

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Animal product Butter
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman

Date learned: 10-00-1969

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MAGIC BELIEF

IF COWS WOULD NOT GIVE MILK IT WAS BECAUSE A WITCH HAD CAST A
SPELL. THE ONLY WAY TO RELEASE THE SPELL OR BREAK IT WOULD
BE TO PUT PINS IN THE MILK STRAINER, AND THIS WOULD HURT THE
WITCH. THUS SHE WOULD HAVE TO RETURN AND RELEASE THE SPELL.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT SAID USUALLY TOLD BY FORTUNE TELLERS IN POLAND.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Drink from animal product
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 02-07-1971

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MAGIC BELIEF

IF A COW DOES NOT PRODUCE LOTS OF MILK, IT IS BECAUSE THE WITCH
HAS CAST A SPELL. THEREFORE DURING ALL HOLY DAYS, POLISH
VILLAGERS WOULD BURN BLESSED HERBS IN AN INCENSE BURNER IN THE
BARN, BELIEVING THE SMOKE WOULD CHASE AWAY THE WITCH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Drink from animal product
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 02-07-1971

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SPIRIT

ON AN AUGUST DAY WHEN THE SUN IS HIGHEST IN THE SKY AT 12
NOON, STAND WITH THREE FRIENDS IN A WOODEN DESERTED AREA. AT
EXACTLY 12 NOON HAVE EVERYONE STARE AT EACH OTHER. THE SUN COMING
THROUGH THE TREES SHOULD FORM A HALO OVER THE PERSON OR PERSONS
WHO HAVE ANY POWER OF WITCHCRAFT OR WIZARDRY IN THEIR BLOOD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): NUMBERS

Subject headings: Observation
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- not sure
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Week Day Hour
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Sun
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Observation of galactic or celestial bodies

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