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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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MARRIAGE PREDICTION SUPERSTITION

PEEL AN APPLE--IF THE PEELING COMES OFF IN ONE STRIP, SWING IT
THREE TIMES IN THE AIR AND THROW IT OVER YOUR LEFT SHOULDER. THE
PERSON WHOSE INITIAL IT COMES OUT IN IS THE PERSON YOU'RE TO
MARRY.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Apple ; BELIEF ; MARRIAGE ; Peel ; PREDICTION ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): DIRECTION ; POSITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Marriage

Date learned: 11-29-1967

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BELIEF: CATCHING FISH

TAKE ROSE SEED AND MUSTARD SEED, AND THE FOOT OF A WEASEL, AND
HANG THESE IN A NET; FISH WILL COLLECT THERE.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM HIS YOUTH.

Where learned: INDIANA ; South Bend

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Fish
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 11-23-1967

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MENSTRUATION SUPERSTITION

WHEN A WOMAN IS MENSTRUATING SHE SHOULD NEVER GO NEAR FLOWERS
OR THEY WILL WILT.

Submitter comment: LEARNED AS A YOUNG GIRL FROM HER MOTHER.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; JAMAICA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 01-01-1964

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BIRTHMARK SUPERSTITION

STRAWBERRY BIRTHMARKS SWELL-UP DURING STRAWBERRY SEASON.

Submitter comment: MRS. BALDWIN HEARD THIS FROM HER MOTHER DURING HER CHILDHOOD IN
BINGHAMTON, NEW YORK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; LATHRUP VILLAGE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Specific distinguishing characteristic Dimple, wart, mole, scar, freckle, birthmark, strawberry mark, bruise, spot (on any part of body)
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 12-08-1963

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HEALING WATERS

ONE WINTER A GREAT PLAGUE STRUCK AND MANY INDIANS DIED. ONE YOUNG
MAN NAMED MONTA HAD LOST ALL HIS FAMILY BUT HIS NEW WIFE, WHO WAS
ILL. MONTA PRAYED TO MANITOU, THE GREAT SPIRIT, TO GIVE HIM A
PLANT WHICH WOULD CURE HIS WIFE. AFTER HIS PRAYER, HE COVERED HIS
WIFE WITH SOFT FIRS AND BEGAN HIS SEARCH OVER THE SNOW-COVERED
EARTH. FOR THREE DAYS HE SEARCHED, BUT THE PLANTS WERE ALL SLEEP-
ING UNTIL SPRING AND NO ANIMALS WERE IN SIGHT. FINALLY HE FELL
ASLEEP. ALL THE ANIMALS OF THE FOREST GATHERED AROUND, FOR HE
HAD ALWAYS BEEN GOOD TO THEM. THEY PRAYED TO THE GREAT SPIRIT TO
HELP MONTA. THE GREAT SPIRIT HEARD AND SENT MONTA A DREAM. IN
THE DREAM MONTA SAW HIS WIFE WELL AND HEARD HER SINGING. SHE SANG
OF THE HEALING WATERS OF THE GREAT MANITOU. WHEN MONTA AWOKE HE
HEARD THE WATERS SINGING AND BEGAN TO DIG UNDER HIS FEET. UP
SPRANG THE HEALING WATERS. HE WASHED IN THE WATER AND BECAME
STRONG. HE TOOK WATER TO HIS WIFE AND SHE WAS SAVED. FROM THEN
ON, THE PEOPLE OF THE VILLAGE BATHED IN THE SPRING AND WERE NEVER
ILL AGAIN.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; CHICAGO

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Supernatural Being
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Running water Small current. Brook, spring....
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Magic
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: 00-00-1970

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NOT GIVEN

THERE'S THIS GUY NAMED STADTON THAT DID A LOT OF HUNTING. HE WAS
HUNTING SQUIRRELS ONE EARLY MORNING ALONG BY A CORN FIELD. THERE
WAS A RAIL FENCE AT THE END OF THE FIELD WHERE THE SQUIRRELS
LIVED. THEY WOULD COME INTO THE CORN FIELD AND EAT THE CORN.
IT WAS BARELY DAYLIGHT AND THIS BEAR CAME ALONG. THAT BEAR WAS
PULLING OFF THOSE EARS OF CORN LIKE A MAN WOULD. HE GOT AN ARMFUL
OF THEM AND THEN WOULD GO DOWN TO A LOWER PLACE AND HEAVE THEM
INTO A BIG CYPRESS STUMP. STADTON SAID HE HAD TO GO DOWN THERE
AND SEE WHY THE BEAR WAS THROWING THEM IN THERE. STADTON WENT
AND HE SAID THE BEAR, HE HAD A HOG IN THAT THERE STUMP AND WAS
FATTENING HIM UP.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALLEN PARK

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Lie Tall tale
Food Drink -- Plant food Vegetable
BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 02-07-1972

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SHRUB OAK, NEW YORK

SHRUB OAK RECEIVED ITS ODD NAME BECAUSE OF THE FLORA THAT IS
PREVALENT IN THIS AREA. WHEN THE FIRST SETTLERS ARRIVED THERE,
THEY FOUND THE TALL OAK TREES IN THE FOREST COVERED WITH SHRUBS
AT THEIR BASES--SO SHRUB OAK WAS THE NAME GIVEN TO THE TOWN.

Submitter comment: PATRICK LEARNED THIS WHILE LIVING IN SHRUB OAK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Explanation of a name
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 10-12-1967

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POPCORN

ONE TIME WE PLANTED POPCORN TO SEE IF WE COULD GET POPCORN ON THE
COB. THE CORN GREW INTO REGULAR CORN, BUT IT GOT SO HOT ONE DAY
THAT THE CORN POPPED RIGHT ON THE COB.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Mount Clemens

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Lie Tall tale
Food Drink -- Plant food Vegetable
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 11-08-1968

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MISTER PUMPKIN EATER

IF YOU ARE NOT IN BED AT THE TIME YOU ARE TOLD, A GIGANTIC
PUMPKIN HEAD WILL COME IN YOUR ROOM AND EAT YOU

Submitter comment: I USED TO TELL MY SISTER THIS WHEN I BABYSAT AND SHE
WOULDN'T GO TO BED. YOU CAN IMPROVE ON IT BY ADDING SCARY
SOUNDS AND GESTURES. I'M NOT SURE WHERE I LEARNED IT, BUT SINCE
THEN WE TELL IT TO CHILDREN WE BABYSIT FOR.

Where learned: HOME

James Callow Keyword(s): CARNIVEROUS PLANT ; FUNCTION: TO SCARE CHILD INTO GOING TO

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Supernatural Being
BELIEF -- Plant

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TOOTHACHE CURE

IN KENTUCKY, ONE TOUCHES AN ELDER TREE WITH THE HAND OF THAT
SIDE WHERE THE AILIMG TOOTH IS LOCATED, AND SAYS THREE TIMES:
MY TEETH ARE ACHING,
A BLACK ONE, A WHITE, A RED ONE,
I WISH THEY WOULD BLEED TO DEATH,
IN THE NAME OF GOD THE FATHER.

Submitter comment: THIS TOOTHACE CURE WAS TOLD TO ME BY A FORMER NEIGHBOR WHO WAS A
NATIVE OF VIRGINIA AND OF GERMAN BACKGROUND. SHE HAS SINCE
MOVED BACK TO THE SOUTH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): TRANSFER

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Prayer
BELIEF -- Color
BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 00001930S

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TOOTHACHE CURE
IN VIRGINIA, THEY TAKE THE PATIENT BEFORE SUNRISE TO A
CHURCHYARD, WHERE HE MUST SIT DOWN UNDER A FIR TREE. THEN
THEY MAKE WITH A KNIFE AN INCIISION IN THE TREE AND PEEL OFF THE
BARK. THE GUMS ARE SCRATCHED TO THE POINT OF BLEEDING, AND AFTER
INSERTING A FEW DROPS OF THE BLOOD INTO THE TREE WOUND, THEY RE-
TURN THE BARK TO ITS PLACE. NO THIRD PERSON SHOULD BE ALLOWED
TO WITNESS THE PERFORMANCE.

Submitter comment: THIS TOOTHACE CURE WAS TOLD TO ME BY A FORMER NEIGHBOR WHO WAS A
NATIVE OF VIRGINIA AND OF GERMAN BACKGROUND. SHE HAS SINCE
MOVED BACK TO THE SOUTH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): PLUGGING

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Method of Curing
BELIEF -- Surgery

Date learned: 00001930S

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TOOTHACHE CURE
THE GERMANS BORE A HOLE IN A TREE AND CHEW, WHILE STANDING NEAR THE
TREE, A PIECE OF BREAD WITH THE AILING TOOTH; ONE-HALF OF THE BREAD
IS SWALLOWED, THE OTHER HALF IS PLUGGED INTO THE HOLE, DURING
WHICH PROCEDURE THE PATIENT SAYS? 'TREE, I GIVE THEE ONE-HALF
OF WHAT I POSSESS; TAKE FROM ME ALL OF MY PAIN AND CONDUCT IT TO
THE GROUND.'

Submitter comment: THIS TOOTHACE CURE WAS TOLD TO ME BY A FORMER NEIGHBOR WHO WAS A
NATIVE OF VIRGINIA AND OF GERMAN BACKGROUND. SHE HAS SINCE
MOVED BACK TO THE SOUTH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): PLUGGING ; TRANSFERENCE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 00001930S

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STARS

STARS WERE MADE WHEN THE TREES GREW SO TALL THAT THEY POKED HOLES
IN THE SKY.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT LEARNED THIS FROM HIS MOTHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Creation and Order of Universe
BELIEF -- Star
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 07-00-1964

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BODY PART BELIEF

EATING CARROTS WILL IMPROVE YOUR EYESIGHT.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; WILSON

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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BELIEF

WHEN A CHICKEN IS IN THE PROCESS OF HATCHING CHICKS, DO NOT BRING
NEW FLOWERS INTO THE HOUSE OR THE CHICKS WILL NOT HATCH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 04-05-1972

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PROVERB

THE CAULIFLOWER IS A CABBAGE WITH A COLLEGE EDUCATION.

Submitter comment: DOES NOT REMEMBER

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Keyword(s): DEFINITION ; PLANT

James Callow Keyword(s): IRONY?

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Plant food Vegetable
BELIEF -- Plant
PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 10-29-1967

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PLANTING BELIEF

IF A WOMAN TOUCHES ANYTHING DURING HER MENSTRUAL PERIOD
NOT GROW, AND IF SHE TOUCHES A PLANT IT WILL DIE.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT GOT THIS FROM HER GRANDMOTHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HARPER WOODS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 10-15-1971

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PLANTING CUSTOM BELIEF IN MOON, PLANTING BELIEF OBSERVATION

WHEN THE MOON IS A BANANA SHAPE, THAT IS THE BEST TIME TO PLANT
ROSES.

Submitter comment: MY FATHER'S FAMILY DID THIS IN POLAND

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): ADVICE: POSITIVE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Moon
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 11-06-1971

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MOON BELIEF

A NEW MOON ALWAYS INCREASES THE GROWTH OF PLANTS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Moon
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 03-21-1968

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WEATHER BELIEF, IN REGARD TO PLANTS

IF YOU KICK A TOADSTOOL, IT WILL RAIN.

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT'S YARD HAD SEVERAL TOADSTOOLS GROWING IN IT, MY LITTLE
SISTER SAW THEM AND WAS GOING TO KNOCK THEM OUT WHEN THE INFORMANT
SAID THIS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; CALUMET

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Natural atmospheric phenomenon

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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