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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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LEGEND

THERE IS A LEGEND AT POKEGON STATE PARK IN INDIANA, NEAR FORT
WAYNE, CONCERNING THE WATER. AFTER DRINKING THE WATER FOR MORE
THAN ONE DAY, A PERSON WILL GET STOMACH CRAMPS AND DIARRHEA.
THIS ILLNESS IS COMMONLY CALLED "POKEGON'S REVENGE." THE STORY
BEHIND THIS IS THAT CHIEF POKEGON CURSED THE WATER WHEN HIS LAND
WAS TAKEN AWAY. THIS CHIEF WAS PROBABLY OF THE POTAWATOMI TRIBE
BECAUSE THE POTAWATOMI INN IS LOCATED HERE.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; DALTON

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Running water Small current. Brook, spring....
BELIEF -- Curse
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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THE LEGEND OF PRIEST'S LEAP

AN IRISH PRIEST WAS SAYING MASS IN THE HOMES OF THE PEOPLE LIVING
ON TOP OF A MOUNTAIN IN COUNTY KERRY. THE BRITISH FOUND OUT ABOUT
THIS AND CAME AFTER THE PRIEST. THEY CHASED THE PRIEST FOR A
WHILE AND HAD HIM CORNERED, ABOUT TO BE CAPTURED. THE PRIEST,
BEING ON TOP OF THIS MOUNTAIN, HAD NO WHERE TO GO. SO HE GAVE
HIS HORSE A SWIFT KICK AND HE LEAPED FROM THE MOUNTAIN, OVER
BANTRY BAY, AND LANDED TWENTY MILES AWAY IN COUNTY CORK. IF YOU
GO DOWN THE ROAD, 1/4 OF A MILE OUT OF THE CITY OF BANTRY, YOU
WILL STILL SEE A ROCK ALONG THE SIDE WITH THE HOOF PRINTS OF THE
HORSE AND THE SIGN OF THE WHIP THAT ARE STILL THERE TODAY.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT SAW THE HOOF PRINTS AND THE SIGN OF THE WHIP.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Explanation of a name
BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Curse

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THE FLAG OF MACEDONIA

THE FLAG OF MACEDONIA IS BLACK AND RED BECAUSE THE COUNTRY'S
HISTORY HAS BEEN SHROUDED IN THE BLOOD AND DESPAIR OF THE PEOPLE.
THIS HAS BEEN LEGEND SINCE ALEXANDER THE GREAT CURSED MACEDON.

Submitter comment: JIM LEARNED THIS FROM HIS GRANDPARENTS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Curse
BELIEF -- Sign Color

Date learned: 10-15-1967

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STRASBOURG, THE HAUNTED STREET

IN THE EARLY 1950'S A STORY CIRCULATED IN DETROIT ABOUT A HAUNTED
STREET CALLED STRASBOURG. WHENEVER ANYONE WOULD DRIVE THEIR CAR
ON THIS PARTICULAR STREET, A CONSTANT KNOCKING NOISE COULD BE
HEARD. IT SEEMED TO COME FROM EVERYWHERE. SOMETIMES IT SOUNDED
LIKE IT WAS COMING FROM THE DOOR; THEN IT WOULD COME FROM THE
ROOF.
THE KNOCKING NOISE WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE BEEN MADE BY THE GHOST
OF A YOUNG GIRL WHO HAD BEEN KILLED BY A HIT AND RUN DRIVER.
SHE WAS PERHAPS TEN OR ELEVEN YEARS OLD. AS SHE TRIED TO CROSS
THE STREET, HER COAT WAS CAUGHT BY THE DOOR HANDLE OF A PASSING
CAR. AS THE CAR DRAGGED HER ALONG THE STREET, THE GIRL STARTED
TO KNOCK ON THE DOOR, TRYING TO GET THE DRIVER'S ATTENTION, BUT
SHE FINALLY FELL AND WAS CRUSHED UNDER THE CAR WHEEL. THE CAR
SPED AWAY.
THE GIRL'S FATHER, WHO WAS A GYPSY, PLACED A CURSE ON THE STREET.
HE SAID THAT UNTIL THE DAY THE HIT AND RUN DRIVER WHO KILLED HIS
DAUGHTER WAS CAUGHT, THE SPIRIT OF HIS DAUGHTER WOULD KNOCK ON
EVERY CAR THAT DROVE DOWN STRASBOURG.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROYAL OAK

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Means of transportation Vehicle propelled by mechanical or other force on land
BELIEF -- Curse

Date learned: 11-19-1968

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OMEN

IF YOU SEE A BULL FROG, IT'S A WITCH BRINGING A CURSE. YOU SHOULD
PUT THE FROG ON A BOARD (FULCRUM) AND HIT IT INTO THE AIR, SENDING
THE CURSE AWAY.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT GOT THIS FROM HER MOTHER WHEN INFORMANT WAS A CHILD.
SHE SAID SHE NEVERR DID THE ACTION DESCRIBED BECAUSE SHE WAS TOO
AFRAID OF THE FROG TO PICK IT UP. SHE JUST RAN AWAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Witch Shaman
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Animal
BELIEF -- Curse

Date learned: 02-22-1970

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CORNETTO GESTURE

YOUR MIDDLE AND FOREFINGER POINTED AT A PERSON WITH THE EVIL EYE
WILL THROW THE BAD LUCK BACK ON THEM.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curse
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 03-13-1975

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EVIL EYE

THE EVIL EYE IS KNOWN AS MAL OCCULO IN ITALY

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curse
SPEECH -- Common Word

Date learned: 03-13-1975

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EVIL EYE

YOUNG WOMEN ARE THE MOST LIKELY TO HAVE THE EVIL EYE BECAUSE
THEY ARE SLY AND VICIOUS.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): SEXISM

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curse

Date learned: 03-13-1975

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EVIL EYE

PRIESTS ARE RESPECTED BECAUSE NOTHING CAN SAVE YOU FROM THEIR
EVIL EYE.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curse

Date learned: 03-13-1975

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PROTECTION FROM EVIL EYE

THE MANU CORNATA, HAND GESTURE WITH FOREFINGER AND BABY FINGER
PROTECTS YOU FROM THE EVIL EYE

Submitter comment: HE CONSIDERS THIS A MALTESE BELIEF.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curse
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 03-21-1975

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EVIL EYE

OLD WOMEN ARE THE MOST LIKELY TO HAVE THE EVIL EYE BECAUSE
THEY ARE THE MOST DOMINANT.

Submitter comment: HE CONSIDERS THIS A MALTESE BELIEF.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): SEXISM

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curse

Date learned: 03-21-1975

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MEXICAN GOOD LUCK

THE MEXICANS HAVE A CHARM WHICH IS A CLOSED FIST WITH A BRACELET.
THIS IS PROTECTION FROM THE EVIL EYE.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET TALISMAN

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Curse
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: CA1963-1975

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BUILDING A FIRE

WITCHES BUILD A FIRE IN THE OPEN AND DRAW A MAGIC
CIRCLE ABOUT IT WITH A SWORD. MEN AND WOMEN ALTERNATELY JOIN
HANDS AND QUICKEN THEIR PACE, FROM A WALK
TO A RUN, CHANTING ANCIENT RITES.

Submitter comment:

Taken from 1967 "Life" magazine.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MOUNT PLEASANT

Subject headings: 646
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Curse
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 10-28-1971

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JAMAICAN CURSE

IF YOU WANT TO GET RID OF ANYONE GO TO A RELATIVE'S GRAVE AND
SPRINKLE RICE AROUND IT' THEN, TRAIL THE RICE TO YOUR ENEMY,S
YARD. HE WILL BE DEAD THE NEXT DAY.

Submitter comment: DONALD LEE LEARNED THIS ITEM IN BUFF BAY, JAMAICA.

Where learned: JAMAICA ; BUFF BAY

James Callow Keyword(s): CONTAGIOUS MAGIC

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Curse

Date learned: 10-31-1975

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CURSE

IT IS AN ITALIAN BELIEF THAT A CURSE CAN BE UNCONSCIOUSLY
WISHED UPON YOU. IF YOU GET THE CURSE, THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN RID
YOURSELF OF IT IS TO HAVE THREE PEOPLE TRY TO GET RID OF IT. THEY
GET RID OF IT BE RECITING A SPECIAL CHANT. THE WORDS TO THE CHANT
CAN ONLY BE LEARNED ON CHRISTMAS EVE.

Submitter comment: THIS WAS TOLD TO MY INFORMANT BY HER COUSIN IN ITALY. EVERYONE IN
HER FAMILY HAD HEARD OF THE CURSE, BUT NO ONE KNEW THE WORDS TO CURE
IT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): NUMBERS

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief Belief
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
BELIEF -- Curse
SPEECH -- Formula

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BELIEF CONCERNING DEVIL

IN THE UKRAINE, TO SEE IF HER
BABY IS BEWITCHED, THE MOTHER LICKS
IT'S FOREHEAD AND IF SHE DETECTS
A SALTY TASTE, THE BABY IS UNDER THE
INFLUENCE OF THE DEVIL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ;

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curse

Date learned: 03-08-1971

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EVIL EYE IN INDIA

IF THE EYE HAS BEEN CAST UPON YOU
YOU WILL GET SICK OR SOMETHING BAD WILL HAPPEN.
TO TAKE IT AWAY YOU MUST WAVE A MIXTURE OF RED CHILES
AND SALT OVER THE CHILD'S HEAD. AT THE SAME TIME
YOU RECITE A CRADLE AND END UP BY WAVING OVER THE
HEAD IN THE SHAPE OF A CROSS.
THEN YOU MUST THROW IT INTO THE FIRE TO BURN.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT INFORMANTS HOME ; EAST QUAD

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curse

Date learned: 03-05-1971

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HEXING MULES

MR. REJAN HAD A GOOD SPAN OF YOUNG MULES THAT
HE WAS AFRAID TO SHOW OFF FOR FEAR SOMEBODY
WOULD WANT TO BUY THEM AND THEY WOULD BE HEXED.

Submitter comment: SEEMS LIKE THE EVIL EYE.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curse

Date learned: 02-01-1971

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VACILE SAYS THAT THE GREEK PEOPLE ARE
BELIEVERS IN THE EVIL EYE. IF SOMEONE
LOOKS AT YOU IN THAT FASHION
YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO GET SICK OR DIE.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; STUDENT UNION ; TOLD IN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curse

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SWEEP

IF SOMEONE HAS A GRUDGE AGAINST YOU, DON'T
LET THEM SWEEP DUST UNDER YOUR RUG
BECAUSE THAT IS A SIGN THAT THEY HAVE A FIX ON YOU.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED IN CHILDHOOD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; BRIGGS BUILDING

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curse

Date learned: 03-05-1971

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