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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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SORES ARE HEALED BY LITTLE MEN WHO WORK AT NIGHT KNITTING THE EDGES
BACK TOGETHER. DON'T PICK THE SCABS BECAUSE THEY WILL HAVE TO
WORK OVERTIME.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT HEARD THIS FROM HER MOTHER'S LADYFRIEND WHO VISITS QUITE
OFTEN. ALISON HEARD THIS WHEN SHE WAS JUST A YOUNG CHILD. (1950S)

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Fairy Elf Goblin Gnome
BELIEF -- Abnormal in size
BELIEF -- Curer
BELIEF -- Method of Curing

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MY MOTHER ALWAYS PAID US FOR ANY WARTS THAT WE GOT. AFTER SHE BOUGHT
THEM, THEY ALWAYS DISAPPEARED.

Where learned: MISSOURI ; SAINT JOSEPH

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

Date learned: 10-05-1976

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REMOVAL OF WARTS

THERE WAS A CERTAIN MAN IN TOWN OF GRAND MARAIS, MICHIGAN,
WHO HAD THE POWER TO REMOVE WARTS BY RECITING
MAGIC WORDS AND SPECIFYING THE DATE BY WHICH THEY WOULD
DISAPPEAR.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT HAD FOURTEEN WARTS CHARMED FROM HER HAND
IN 1912 IN GRAND MARAIS BY A LUMBERJACK WHO "CHARMED".

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Curer

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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PROFESSIONAL PRAYER-MAN

WHEN A CHILD BECAME SICK, ESPECIALLY IF HE LOST HIS
APPETITE OR STARTED LOSING WEIGHT, HE WAS BELIEVED TO
HAVE A HEX ON HIM. (THE HEX WAS USUALLY MEANT FOR THE MOTHER
BUT SINCE SHE WAS STRONG ENOUGH TO WARD IT OFF IT WAS PUT
ON THE CHILD BY THE MOTHER'S ENEMY). WHEN THIS
HAPPENED THE PARENTS WOULD ASK A MR. RAUDENSKY (A MAN IN
THE NEIGHBORHOOD--THERE WERE OTHERS IN OTHER AREAS) TO PRAY THE
HEX AWAY. HE WOULD PRAY FOR THREE DAYS WHEN THE SUN WENT DOWN
AND THE PARENTS WOULD PAY HIM $1 OR GIVE HIM FOOD
IF THEY HAD NO MONEY

Submitter comment: PRACTICED IN STEELTON, PA. ABOUT 1920.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curse
BELIEF -- Curer

Date learned: 01-12-1964

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PROVERB

HE WHO TREATS HIMSELF HAS A FOOL FOR A DOCTOR.

Submitter comment: TOLD TO HER BY HER FATHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): MEDICAL

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Curer

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METHOD OF CURING

"SORES ARE HEALED BY LITTLE MEN WHO WORK AT NIGHT KNITTING THE
EDGES BACK TOGETHER. DON'T PICK THE SCABS BECAUSE THEY WILL
HAVE TO WORK OVERTIME."

Submitter comment: INFORMANT HEARD THIS FROM HER MOTHER'S LADYFRIEND WHO VISITS
QUITE OFTEN. ALISON HEARD THIS WHEN SHE WAS A YOUNG CHILD (1950'S)

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ;

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Fairy Elf Goblin Gnome
BELIEF -- Curer
BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 11-19-1971

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THROAT CURE

AN INFANT SON, BORN IN WEDLOCK, BUT AFTER THE DEATH OF THE
FATHER, COULD CURE THROAT AILMENTS.

Submitter comment: MRS. DUNMIRE SAID THAT HER MOTHER TOLD ABOUT PEOPLE COMING
FOR MILES TO HAVE HER BROTHER TOUCH THEIR THROATS. IN
COUNTY MAYO, IRELAND

Where learned: DETROIT

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Curer

Date learned: 01-00-1970

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CHILD WHOOPING COUGH CURE

CUT THREE SMALL BUNCHES OF HAIR FROM THE CROWN OF THE HEAD OF A CHILD
THAT HAS NEVER SEEN HIS FATHER;
SEW THIS HAIR UP IN AN UNBLEACHED CLOTH
AND HANG IT AROUND THE CHILD'S NECK.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM YOUTH.

Where learned: INDIANA ; Hudson Lake

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curer
BELIEF -- Remedy

Date learned: 11-25-1967

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METHOD OF CURING

HAVE SOMEONE WHO HAS NEVER SEEN THEIR OWN FATHER, BLOW INTO THE
BABY'S MOUTH AND THE ASTHMA WILL GO AWAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; PONTIAC

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Curer
BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 00-00-1973

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METHOD OF CURING

THE OWNER OF THE WART IS TO GO TO KENTUCKY TO SEE THE LADY WHO CHARMS
WARTS OFF. SHE TIES A STRING AROUND EACH WART, CAREFULLY REMOVES
THE STRING (BEING SURE TO PRESERVE THE FRAME OF EACH WART). NO ONE
KNOWS JUST WHAT SHE DOES WITH THE STRING.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; PONTIAC

James Callow Keyword(s): TRANSFER

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

Date learned: 00-00-1974

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"EL CURANDERO"- WITCHDOCTOR.
A PERSON WHO CAN CURE AN ILLNESS BY PRESCRIBING POTIONS OR REMEDIES
FOR PEOPLE. HE USES VARIOUS HERBS, TEAS, BROOM, FEATHERS,, ETC., TO
CONJURE UP THE RIGHT CURE. 'E/SHE CAN ALSO CAUSE EVIL ON SOMEONE BY
PLACING A CURSE EITHER ON HIS OWN OR BY THE REQUEST OF SOMEONE ELSE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Curer

Date learned: 06-02-1959

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MEDICINE SHOWS USED TO COME TO TOWN QUITE REGULARLY.
ONE HE PARTICULARLY REMEMBERS, FEATURED A CURE FOR
TAPEWORM, ALONG WITH ITS OTHER MAGICAL PROPERTIES.
THE MEDICINE MAN HAD A TAPEWORM ON DISPLAY IN A
BOTTLE AND HE TOLD THE PEOPLE THAT, IN ORDER TO GET
THIS PARTICULAR TAPEWORM OUT OF A MAN, SO THEY COULD
USE IT FOR DISPLAY, THEY STARVED THE MAN FOR THREE
DAYS AND THEN PUT A GLASS OF MILK IN FRONT OF HIS
MOUTH. THE TAPE WORM CAME RIGHT UP OUT OF THE MAN'S
STOMACH AND JUMPED INTO THE GLASS.

Where learned: DETROIT ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Outlaw Criminal Bandit Pirate
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Lie Tall tale
BELIEF -- Curer
BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 05-11-1965

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DISEASE CURES

A DIRTY SOCK WORN "ROUND THE NECK" ON GOING TO BED WILL CURE A
SORE THROAT.
A BUCKEYE CARRIED IN THE POCKET WILL CURE RHEUMATISM.
ASSAFETIDA WORN AROUND THE NECK IN THE WINTER WILL
KEEP DISEASE AWAY.
BLOOD STOPPING WAS USED BY PEOPLE WHO CLAIMED THEY COULD
STOP THE FLOW OF BLOOD. IT ORIGINATED IN THE LUMBERJACK CAMPS,
WHEN SERIOUS INJURIES WERE RECEIVED BY THE LUMBERJACKS AND PERHAPS
SEVERAL DAYS BEFORE THEY COULD GET TO A DOCTOR.

Where learned: OHIO ; CONTINENTAL

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curer
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness
BELIEF -- Remedy
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 00001909-00001919 CHILDHOOD, 00001922-00001929, TEEN AGE YEARS

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SOME "FOSSOYEUR", IN ORDER TO MAKE SOME MONEY, SELL DIRT FROM
CEMETERIES, WATER FROM TOMBS, AND ALSO SKULLS TO "QUIMBOISEURS".
THE "QUIMBOISEURS" USED TO PAY IN A CERTAIN WAY SO THAT THEY DO
NOT GET BAD LUCK OR MISFORTUNE. FOR INSTANCE, THE DIRT AND THE
WATER WERE SOLD IN GLASS CONTAINERS, AND THEY PAY FOR THEM WITH
WHITE ROCKS OR SILVER JEWELRY, AND ON THE OTHER HAND, THE SKULL
WAS PAID FOR WITH GOLD.

Where learned: GUADELOUPE

Keyword(s): "FOSSOYEURS" ARE GRAVEDIGGERS ; "QUIMBOISEURS" ARE PEOPLE THAT ; PRACTICE WITCHCRAFT AND ALSO WHITE MAGIC.

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Curer

Date learned: 00-00-1973

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SUPERSTITION

IT IS ALSO SAID THAT ONLY THE DOCTOR SHOULD KNOW THE EXACT TIME
WHEN THE BABY IS DUE, BECAUSE SOMEONE COULD "FIX" YOU OR DO EVIL
AND AS A RESULT THE BABY CAN BE CROSSED IN THE MOTHER'S STOMACH,
AND SHE WILL NOT GIVE BIRTH TO THE BABY. THIS CAN CAUSE THE
DEATH OF BOTH MOTHER AND CHILD.

Where learned: BAHAMAS ; NASSAU

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Curse
BELIEF -- Curer
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 00001960S

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THE MIRACLE FROM FR. SOLONIUS

MANY YEARS AGO MY MOTHER JUDITH WAS A VERY SICK CHILD. SHE
WAS IN THE HOSPITAL WITH APPENDICITIS. BECAUSE THE INFECTION
IN HER APPENDIX WAS SO SEVERE IT HAD CAUSED HER TO GET PNUEMONIA.
BECAUSE MY MOTHER HAD PNEUMONIA SHE WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO HAVE
THE SURGERY TO REMOVE THE INFECTED APPENDIX BECAUSE SHE WOULD
DIE ON THE TABLE. MY GRANDMOTHER, THELMA PATTERSON, HAD NOWHERE
ELSE TO TURN SO SHE WENT TO THE CAPUCHIN MONASTERY
ON KERCHEVAL IN DETROIT. SHE ASKED TO SEE ONE OF THE PRIESTS
AND SHE WAS GIVEN FR. SOLONIUS. SHE ASKED FATHER SOLONIUS
TO SAY A PRAYER FOR HER LITTLE GIRL AND HE DID. THE NEXT DAY
WHEN MY GRANDMOTHER WENT TO SEE JUDITH SHE WAS MUCH BETTER
AND WAS WELL ENOUGH TO GO THROUGH THE SURGERY. NEEDLESS TO
SAY JUDITH FULLY RECOVERED.

Submitter comment: FR. SOLONIUS IS UP FOR SAINTHOOD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- Curer

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I WAS OVER MY COUSIN'S HOUSE EATING PIZZA
AND I GOT INDIGESTION VERY BAD, SO BAD
THAT THEY HAD TO TAKE ME BACK TO MY GRAND-
MOTHER'S HOUSE. WHEN I STEPPED INTO THE HOUSE
THE PAIN WENT AWAY LIKE MAGIC. I THINK IT
WAS BECAUSE MY GRANDMOTHER'S HOUSE WAS SO
FULL OF GOD AND RELIGION THAT GOD TOOK THE
PAIN AWAY.

Submitter comment: MY GRANDMOTHER IS VERY GOOD AND RELIGIOUS

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Curer

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A CHILD BORN WITH A VEIL OVER HIS FACE WILL HAVE SPIRITUAL POWERS.

Submitter comment: HER BROTHER WITH A VEIL OVER HIS FACE AND HE IS CONSIDERED TO BE
A VERY SPIRITUAL MAN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Ortonville

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

Date learned: 00-00-1987 ; 00001930S CA.

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MEDIEVAL DOCTORS DEVELOPED A SPECIAL OUTFIT DESIGNED TO
PROTECT THEM FROM DIRECT CONTACT WITH SICK PEOPLE
DURING A PLAGUE. THE PHYSICIAN WAS COVERED FROM HEAD TO
FOOT WITH A BLACK GOWN, AND HE WORE LONG GLOVES TO PROTECT
HIS HANDS AND ARMS. A HOOD WAS DROPPED OVER HIS FACE.
PROTRUDING FROM THE HOOD WAS A LONG BEAK LOADED WITH
PROTECTIVE SPICES AND PERFUMES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FERNDALE

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress
BELIEF -- Curer

Date learned: 10-01-1988

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My father's grandfather was a lumberjack up north in Michigan.
One summer when he was logging he got a horrible toothache.
He didn't know what to do so he asked his boss. There wasn't
a doctor in the camp and the nearest town was twenty or thirty
miles away. He would have had to walk to the town and
therefore lose about a weeks worth of work. His boss told him
that he could get a doctor to the camp in a few days. Two days
later they got my great-grandfather drunk. Then the camps
cook laid him on his back on the ground and stepped on his
shoulders. The cook then bent over and with a pair of pliers
yanked his tooth out. In the morning my great-grandfather's
co-workers explained that in a logging camp the only doctor
was the cook.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curer

Date learned: 00-00-1977

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