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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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MYSTERY SPOT-WATER

THIS IS AT ST. IGNACE, MICHIGAN, IN THE U.P. AT THIS PARK WATER
RUNS UPHILL BECAUSE A GHOST HAUNTS THE WHOLE PARK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): UPPER PENINSULA=U.P.

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Earth
BELIEF -- Water

Date learned: 03-08-1970

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OLD IRISH CUSTOM

IRISH MOTHERS THROW HOLY WATER ON THEIR KIDS WHEN THEY ARE
FIGHTING IN ORDER TO DRIVE OUT THE DEVIL. THE THROWING OF HOLY WATER
WAS SUPPOSED TO BE AN EXORCISM TO DRIVE THE RAGE (DEVIL) OUT OF
PEOPLE WHO WERE FIGHTING.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): HOSTILITY ; SPRINKLING HOLY WATER

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Water
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Magic of Speech, Sign, Color
SPEECH -- Gesture

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WWIELU OKOLICACH POLSKI PANIYE WSROE LUDU PRZEKONAMIE, ZE NIE
NALEZY KAPAC SIE IV RZECE LUB JEZIORZE PRZED DNIEM SIV. JANA
ZAKAZ DOTYCZY SPRAWY BEZ POROWNINIA WAZNIEJSZEJ USWIECENIA WODY.
THERE EXISTS IN MANY VILLAGES IN POLAND THIS BELIEF THAT NO ONE IS
TO GO SWIMMING INTO THE LAKES OR POOLS BEFORE THE FEAST OF ST. JOHN.
IT IS BELIEVED THAT WITH THIS FEAST THE WATER IS BLESSED.

Where learned: OHIO ; TOLEDO

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- June 24 St. John's Day / Midsummer Day
BELIEF -- Water
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

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RELIGIOUS PRACTICE

SPRINKLE HOLY WATER ON THE DESKS OF A CLASSROOM
TO KEEP THE DEVIL AWAY.

Submitter comment: SEEN IN PRACTISE AT ANNUNCIATION SCHOOL IN DETROIT.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Water

Date learned: 03-03-1967

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HOLY WATER FONT

FOR THE TWENTY YEARS THAT I RESIDED AT MY PARENT'S HOME
I CAN NOT REMEMBER EITHER MY BROTHERS OR MYSELF LEAVING
THE HOUSE BY THE FRONT DOOR WITHOUT DIPPING OUR
FINGERS INTO THE HOLY WATER FONT AND MAKING THE SIGN
OF THE CROSS. DESPITE THE FACT THAT IT WAS A HABIT,
MY MOTHER (POLISH) WOULD ALWAYS REMIND US.
AS WE OPENED THE FRONT DOOR SHE WOULD CALL, "DON'T FORGET TO
BLESS YOURSELF". THIS BECAME QUITE EMBARRASSING
AS WE BECAME YOUNG MEN AND WOULD BE LEAVING THE HOUSE WITH
FRIENDS BOTH MALE AND FEMALE. IN HER OWN HOME, WHEN MY
MOTHER WAS A YOUNG GIRL, HER MOTHER WOULD CHASE HER
BROTHERS DOWN THE STREET AND MAKE THEM RETURN TO THE HOUSE
IF SHE SAW THEM GO OUT WITHOUT BLESSING THEMSELVES.
THIS WAS NEVER MENTIONED IF WE WENT OUT THROUGH THE BACK DOOR.
AS I WRITE THIS IT SUDDENLY OCCURS TO ME THAT MY MOTHER ENCOURAGED
US TO USE THE BACK DOOR BY IMPOSING THIS FRONT DOOR
RITUAL UPON US.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Home
BELIEF -- Water
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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MYSTERY SPOT-WATER

AT THIS PARK WATER RUNS UPHILL BECAUSE A GHOST HAUNTS THE WHOLE PARK.

THIS IS AT ST. IGNACE, MICHIGAN, IN THE U.P.

Data entry tech comment:

"U.P." IS MICHIGAN'S UPPER PENINSULA

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; informant's home

James Callow Keyword(s): UPPER PENINSULA = U.P.

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Earth
BELIEF -- Water

Date learned: 03-08-1970

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PREDICTION DREAMS ABOUT WATER

TO DREAM OF MUDDY WATER DENOTES DISAPPOINTS IN LIFE AND TO DREAM OF
CLEAR WATER, SIGNIFIES PROFIT ABLE EMPLOYMENT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Spirit / Mind / Body
BELIEF -- Water

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PREDICTION DREAMS ABOUT WATER

TO DREAM OF MUDDY WATER DENOTES DISAPPOINTS IN LIFE AND, TO DREAM OF
CLEAR WATER SIGNIFIES PROFIT ABLE EMPLOYMENT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Spirit / Mind / Body
BELIEF -- Water

Date learned: 11-07-1977

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POLISH WEDDING CUSTOM

AT POLISH WEDDING RECEPTIONS, THE BRIDE AND GROOM ARE
PRESENTED WITH SALT AND WATER BY THE GUESTS. THIS INSURES THAT
THE COUPLE WILL HAVE SUSTENANCE THROUGHOUT THEIR MARRIED LIFE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): SYMBOLS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Reception
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Water

Date learned: 02-00-1979

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A SUPERSTITION ABOUT TUESDAYS

DO NOT TAKE A TRIP ACROSS A BODY OF WATER OR GET MARRIED ON TUESDAYS
OR YOU,LL DIE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROSEVILLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Water
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour

Date learned: 04-00-1980

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BLESSING HOUSES WITH HOLY WATER

ON EPIPHANY DAY, THE DAY CHRIST WAS BAPTIZED, WATER
BLESSED IN THE CHURCH IS DISTRIBUTED TO THE FAITHFUL.
THE WATER IS TAKEN HOME AND IT IS SPRINKLED IN EVERY
ROOM IN THE HOUSE.

Submitter comment: THE WATER THAT IS BLESSED IN THE CHURCH SYMBOLIZES
THE WATER THAT CHRIST WAS BAPTIZED. SPRINKLING IT IN
EVERY ROOM IN THE HOUSE BRINGS GOOD LUCK TO THOSE
THAT LIVE THERE.
THIS IS A GREEK-AMERICAN CUSTOM.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; CENTERLINE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 6 Twelfth Day Epiphany
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Home
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Church
BELIEF -- Water
BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: CA00001964

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NEVER USE A TREE FOR FIRE WOOD THAT'S BEEN STRUCK BY LIGHTNING.
WATER CAN BE FOUND BY "WITCHING" WITH A GREEN BRANCH FROM
CERTAIN TREES.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: OHIO ; CONTINENTAL

Keyword(s): ; Aphorisms ; dowsing ; Tips ; TREES ; WATER ; Witch ; WOOD

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Water

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EPIPHANY-JANUARY 6

FOR UKRAINIANS VARIOUS EVENTS ARE COMMEMORATED ON THIS
DAY WHICH IS ALSO CALLED "THEOPHANY" OR MANIFESTATION. IT
CELEBRATES THE BAPTISM OF CHRIST AND THEREFORE WATER IS
BLESSED IN THE CHURCHES. THE BLESSING FOLLOWS THE MASS
WHEN THE PRIEST SUBMERGES THREE SETS OF THREE LIGHTED
CANDLES. A CRUCIFIX IS ALSO MOVED THROUGH THE WATER IN
THE FORM OF A CROSS. THE PEOPLE FILL THEIR JARS WITH HOLY
WATER TO BRING HOME. EACH PERSON DRINKS SOME HOLY WATER
AND SOME IS POURED INTO THE HOLY WATER FONTS. IN THE WEEKS
FOLLOWING EPIPHANY, THE PASTOR VISITS THE HOMES OF HIS
PARISHONERS TO BLESS THEM. THE HOLY WATER IS ALSO USED FOR
BLESSING FARMS, CATTLE, AND CROPS. ON SPECIAL FEAST DAYS,
THE CHURCH ALSO BLESSES FRUIT, FLOWERS, AND FOOD. IT IS ALSO
USED IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE SACRAMENTS.

Submitter comment: TO UKRAINIANS ALL BODIES OF WATER SUCH AS LAKES, RIVERS,AND
PONDS WERE CONSIDERED HOLY. THE BLESSING OF WATER IN THE
UKRAINE TOOK PLACE AT THE EDGE OF THE RIVER NOT IN THE
PARISH CHURCH.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; ROCHESTER

Keyword(s): THREE

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 6 Twelfth Day Epiphany
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Church
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Typical Elements of a Festive Pattern
BELIEF -- Water
BELIEF -- Magic Book
BELIEF -- Prayer
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications

Date learned: 00001950S

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"ROY-KATONG" FESTIVAL (THAILAND)

"THE OBJECTIVE OF THIS FESTIVAL IS TO APOLOGIZE TO THE WATER
SPIRIT FOR THE USE OF THE WATER AND FOR POLLUTING THE WATER.
BELIEVING THAT THE WATER COMES FROM HEAVEN, THE THAIS FLOAT SMALL
LOTUS-SHAPED RAFTS WITH CANDLES ON THEM IN THE RIVERS OF THAILAND
SO THAT EVENTUALLY THE RAFT WILL GO TO AN ANGEL IN HEAVEN. ALSO,
WHEN THEY FLOAT THE RAFTS, THE THAIS WILL MAKE A WISH AND
SOMETIMES A MAN AND WOMAN WILL GO TOGETHER."

Submitter comment: THE FESTIVAL USUALLY TAKES PLACE IN BETWEEN OCTOBER AND
NOVEMBER.
"ROY-KATONG" MEANS "FLOAT-SMALL-BOAT" IN THAI LANGUAGE.

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F100
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F110
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- September 23 equinox to December 20 Also used for Advent.
BELIEF -- Angel
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Water
BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: 02-00-1984

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To find water that is hidden below ground, hold two willow
branches (or two coat hangers which have been straightened
and then bent into an "L" shape) loosely in your hands. As
you pass over water, the sticks/wires will cross over one
another. When you move past the water, the sticks/wires will
uncross.

Submitter comment: Elaine swears that her father has been able to discover
water by this method many times. She herself, being skeptical,
tried it and the procedure worked. Elaine has so much faith
in her father's ability, that she plans to have him locate a
new spot to drill a second well on her northern Michigan
property, since the well she has now is sluggish.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Keyword(s): DIVINATION ; dowsing ; PREDICTION ; WATER WITCHING

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Water
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 00001972CA

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Balinese custom

If water is drunk from a brook or stream that appears to be
magical, it looks like lard, it is called Sleeping Water which
brings great wealth, happiness and health.

Where learned: Bali ; Indonesia

Keyword(s): WATER

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Water
BELIEF -- Running water Large current.
BELIEF -- Running water Small current.

Date learned: 00-00-1955

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In Hungary the day after Easter, Easter Monday,
is also considered a holiday. On that day all
the boys visit the homes of their neighbor girls
and sprinkle them with water. Today they often
use cologne. The girls, in turn, give the boys
a colored Easter egg. The boys that they really
like are given red eggs.

Where learned: GERMANY ; Binabiburg

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter eggs
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Monday Dyngus
BELIEF -- Water
BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Color

Date learned: 00001940S

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When passing over a bridge, hold your breath until you're across
just in case the bridge collapses.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Water

Date learned: 00-00-1976

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IF YOU CROSS OVER A BRIDGE, WITH WATER UNDER IT,
IT WILL BRING YOU GOOD LUCK.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; CHICAGO

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Water
BELIEF -- Good luck

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PREDICTION DIVINATION

TO SEE IF WATER IS GOOD; SPIT IN THE WATER, AND IF IT SPREADS,
THEN THE WATER IS GOOD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; RESIDENCE HALLS

Subject headings: Prediction / Divination
BELIEF -- Water

Date learned: 00001960S

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