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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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NOT GIVEN

IF YOU PEEL AN ORANGE ON NEW YEAR'S EVE AND FINISH PEELING AT
THE STROKE OF TWELVE AND THE ORANGE PEEL HASN'T BROKEN ONCE,
GOOD LUCK WILL FOLLOW YOU FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR. YOU MUST WISH
WHILE YOU ARE PEELING--THESE WISHES WILL COME TRUE IF THE PEEL
DOESN'T BREAK.

Submitter comment: MISS ZITZEWITZ LEARNED THIS AS A CHILD AND HER FAMILY STILL
PRACTICES IT TODAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 31 New Year's Eve
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Prayer
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.42

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BELIEF

IF YOU SPILL SALT ACCIDENTALLY, QUICKLY THROW SOME OVER YOUR LEFT
SHOULDER AND MAKE A WISH. BY RIGHTS, IT SHOULD COME TRUE.

Submitter comment: I HEARD THIS BELIEF FROM MY IRISH MATERNAL GRANDMOTHER WHO TOLD
IT TO ME FIFTEEN YEARS AGO WHEN I ACCIDENTALLY DROPPED SALT IN
HER KITCHEN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Prayer

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SUPERSTITION

IF A GIRL PUTS A SLIP ON INSIDE-OUT AND DOESN'T REALIZE IT UNTIL
THE DAY IS THROUGH, SHE MAY MAKE A WISH AND IT WILL COME TRUE.

Submitter comment: SOURCE NOT REMEMBERED.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; JAMAICA

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: 12-24-1963

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BIRTHDAY CANDLES

IF YOU CAN BLOW OUT THE CANDLES ON YOUR BIRTHDAY CAKE WITH ONE
BLOW, YOUR WISH WILL COME TRUE. YOU MUST NOT TELL ANYONE YOUR
WISH OR IT WILL NOT COME TRUE.

Submitter comment: I LEARNED THIS INFORMATION FROM MY PARENTS WHEN I WAS A YOUNG
CHILD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Prayer
BELIEF -- P647
BELIEF -- Number Emptiness, nothingness, zero

Date learned: 05-12-1965

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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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JOKE

SAY, YOU KNOW I WAS TALKING TO THIS GUY THIS MORNING WHO TOLD
ME ABOUT A DREAM HE HAD LAST NIGHT. HE DREAMED HE ATE A TEN
POUND MARSHMALLOW. WHEN HE WOKE UP, HE NOTICED HIS PILLOW WAS
MISSING.

Submitter comment: THIS ITEM WAS INCLUDED IN A LETTER SENT TO ME FROM KOREA, WHERE
MY BROTHER HAS BEEN STATIONED FOR THE PAST FOUR MONTHS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Lie Tall tale
BELIEF -- Prayer

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WAKE UP

IF YOU TALK NONSENSE, YOU WILL BE TOLD, "PUT OUT YOUR HAND
AND SEE IF YOU ARE IN."
TRANSLATION: YOU ARE DREAMING.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT SAYS SOURCE IS BOSTON, BUT HAS NO DATE.

Where learned: WASHINGTON DC

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ordinary Tale
BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: 11-04-1967

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MONEY AND WISH

IF YOU HAVE A PIECE OF MONEY AND SHAKE IT AT THE NEW MOON, AND
MAKE A WISH YOUR WISH WILL COME TRUE. THIS WILL GENERALLY ALSO
MAKE YOUR MONEY COME BACK DOUBLE TO YOU.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): INCREASE

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
BELIEF -- Moon
BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: 10-00-1974

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ST. ANTHONY

IF YOU LOSE SOMETHING, PRAY TO ST. ANTHONY AND YOU WILL FIND IT.

Submitter comment: HE CONSIDERS THIS A MALTESE BELIEF.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): MISPLACING OR LOSING THINGS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: 03-21-1975

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ST. PATRICK'S DAY

MANY TIMES,THE IRISH FEEL THIS DAY IS THE BEST TIME TO HAVE YOUR
HOUSE BLESSED.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- March 17 Feast of St. Patrick
BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: CA1960-1975

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EYELASH

IF SOMEONE TELLS YOU AN EYELASH IS ON YOUR CHEEK, GUESS WHICH SIDE.
IF YOU ARE RIGHT, YOU WILL HAVE A WISH COME TRUE.

Where learned: HOME ; SCHOOL ; MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Guessing
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: CA1963-1975

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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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PREDICTION OR BELIEF

WHENEVER A BLACK HEN COMES INTO A HOUSE, IT IS SAID TO BE GOOD LUCK.
THE PEOPLE TRY TO KEEP IT IN THE HOUSE FOR A TIME AND MAKE WISHES
THAT THE MERE PRESENCE OF THE HEN WILL FULFILL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; LIVONIA

James Callow Keyword(s): COLOR

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Prayer
BELIEF -- Color
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.32

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CHICKENS DRINKING WATER

CHICKENS USUALLY PECK AT THE WATER AND THEN LOWER THEIR HEADS BACK
TO SWALLOW, BUT THE REAL REASON THAT THEY PUT THEIR HEADS BACK IS
BECAUSE THEY ARE THANKING GOD.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT MADE THIS OBSERVATION SEVERAL TIMES ON THEIR FARM.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; CALUMET

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Prayer
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 04-00-1970

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WISH BONE

AFTER YOU HAVE TURKEY OR CHICKEN, TAKE OUT THE WISH BONE. LET IT
DRY. THEN HAVE TWO PEOPLE TAKE HOLD OF EACH END. THE PERSON WHO
GETS THE SIDE WITH THE HUMO, GETS HIS WISH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Prayer
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 03-16-1971

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LIGHTNING BUG

IF YOU CATCH A LIGHTNING BUG, YOU CAN MAKE A WISH.
INFORMANT REMEMBERS THIS FROM HIS CHILDHOOD.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT IS A FRIEND OF MINE, AND HE REMEMBERS THIS FROM HIS
CHILDHOOD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Insect
BELIEF -- Prayer

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BELIEF, DEVIL

THE LORD'S PRAYER SAID BACKWARDS IS A PRAYER TO SATAN. IF ONE
FIRMLY BELIEVES IN WHAT HE IS SAYING, THE DEVIL WILL APPEAR
IN SOME FORM.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GRAND RAPIDS

James Callow Keyword(s): CONJURATION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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MOON BELIEF

IF YOU SEE A NEW MOON AND YOU LOOK AT IT OVER YOUR SHOULDER
AND MAKE A WISH, IT WILL COME TRUE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Upper body, arms, neck
BELIEF -- Moon
BELIEF -- Prayer

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STAR BELIEF

IF YOU WISH ON A FALLING STAR, YOUR WISH WILL COME TRUE.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Subject headings: 870
BELIEF -- Star
BELIEF -- Prayer

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PREDICTION

IF YOU SEE A FALLING STAR, YOU MUST IMMEDIATELY MAKE
A WISH AND IT WILL COME TRUE.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): ADVICE: POSITIVE ; ADVICE: POSITIVE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Star
BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: 10-27-1969

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