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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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MENSTRUATION SUPERSTITION

NEVER HAVE A TOOTH FILLED DURING MENSTRUATION OR IT WILL FALL OUT.

Submitter comment: SOURCE NOT REMEMBERED.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; JAMAICA

James Callow Keyword(s): DENTISTRY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness
BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 12-24-1963

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SCARED BABY

A YOUNG MAN, SOON TO BE A FATHER, WALKED INTO THE HOUSE ONE
EVENING WITH A LARGE GREAT DANE. THIS SCARED HIS YOUNG WIFE
A GREAT DEAL AS SHE HAD NOT EXPECTED EITHER HE OR THE DOG.
A FEW MONTHS LATER WHEN THE WOMAN WENT TO THE HOSPITAL TO DELIVER
HER CHILD, SHE TOOK ALONG HER MOTHER. THE MOTHER CAME INTO THE
DELIVERY ROOM WITH HER, PREPARED TO DO WHAT SHE MUST. IF THE
CHILD WAS BORN WITH ANY MARKS, SHE WOULD RUB THESE WITH THE
PLACENTA TO ERASE THEM. BOTH MOTHER AND DAUGHTER BELIEVED THAT
THE BABY WOULD BE MARKED OR SCARRED BECAUSE THE MOTHER HAD BEEN
SCARED DURING HER PREGNANCY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

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 -- Birth
BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 03-10-1967

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HICCUP CURE

IF A BABY HAS HICCUPS, TO CURE THEM THE PARENTS TAKE A HORSE
COLLAR AND ONE PARENT STANDS ON EACH SIDE OF THE COLLAR. THEN
THEY PASS THE CHILD THROUGH THE THE COLLAR NINE TIMES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): MAGIC RING OR CIRCLE

Subject headings: 686 Ninths / Nine
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Circle and other round forms
BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 10-00-1974

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ILLNESS

IF A BABY IS SICK, DIP HIM IN COLD WATER ON THE SECOND FULL MOON OF
THE SEASON.

Where learned: HOME ; SCHOOL ; MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Moon
BELIEF -- Number
BELIEF -- Remedy
BELIEF -- Method of Curing

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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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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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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HOLY WATER

HOLY WATER WILL CURE YOU IF YOU HAVE FAITH IN GOD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

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

Date learned: 03-03-1971

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CURING WARTS

BATHING THE HANDS IN RUNNING WATER EARLY EASTER SUNDAY MORNING WILL
CURE WARTS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): HEALTH ; WATER

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Sunday
BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 02-28-1970

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CURE FOR A HEADACHE

DROPS OF OIL IN IT. YOU THEN PROCEED TO SAY ITALIAN WORDS (THEY HAVE
NO TRANSLATION INTO ENGLISH) AND LIGHT A MATCH AND THROW IT INTO THE
OIL. IF THE OIL DISPERSES, THEN YOUR HEADACHE WILL GO AWAY. IF THE
OIL CLUMPS TOGETHER, THEN YOU WILL HAVE A HEADACHE FOR A WHILE.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT DOES NOT BELIEVE IN THIS ITALIAN CURE ALTHOUGH HER MOTHER
DOES.

Where learned: OHIO ; CLEVELAND

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

Date learned: 10-00-1976

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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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IF A BABY IS PRAISED ON HOW GOOD
LOOKING HE IS AND THEN THE BABY, WHEN HOME
SCREAMS FROM PAIN, MY GRANDFATHER USED
THIS TO RID THE CHILD OF THE PAIN.
HE WOULD PLACE THE CHILD ON THE FLOOR AND THEN
GRANDFATHER WOULD PLACE SOME OF HIS OWN SPIT
ON THE CHILD'S FOREHEAD AND CHEST.
THEN HE WOULD JUMP OVER THE CHILD AND SPIT EACH TIME
HE JUMPED. (THERE WAS A CERTAIN PATTERN TO THIS
JUMPING BUT NO ONE SEEMS TO KNOW JUST
WHAT IT WAS). 10 TO 15 MINUTES AFTER
THIS WAS DONE THE CHILD WAS HIMSELF AGAIN.
ONLY THE FIRST BORN OF THE FAMILY COULD
PERFORM THIS ACT AND MAKE IT WORK.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Keyword(s): EVIL EYE

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

Date learned: 11-16-1969

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MEDICAL

IF YOU HAVE A WART AND YOU ARE ITALIAN YOU SHOULD
TIE A STRING AROUND THE WART AND WRITE AN INCANTATION
DURING THE FULL MOON.

Submitter comment: MY GRANDMOTHER TOLD ME THIS A LONG TIME AGO.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Keyword(s): CURE

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 09-00-1967

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ABDOMINAL PAIN MAY BE CURED BY TWISTING OF THE NAVEL SEVEN OR
EIGHT TIMES AND PLACING A COMPRESS OF BLUE PAPER WHICH HAS BEEN
SOAKED IN INCENSE MELTED IN MASTIHA.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 11-19-1971

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FLAX

FOR ACHING BONES PUT FLAX IN THREE PILES. COVER AFFLICTED JOINT
WITH LINEN CLOTH, PLACE ONE PILE OF FLAX ON THE CLOTH AND SET
FIRE TO IT. REPEAT AS NECESSARY FOR RELIEF.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ARTHRITIS CURE ; HEAT REMEDY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 09-00-1971

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MEDICINE

FOR ARTHRITIS A FRIEND OF MINE KNOWS A PERSON WHO STICKS
NEEDLES IN HIS JOINTS AND APPLIES HEAT THROUGH THE NEEDLES
USING AN ELECTRIC CURRENT.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT BELIEVES IT COULD WORK BUT HAS NEVER TRIED IT.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; PONTIAC

Keyword(s): HEAT REMEDY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 10-02-1971

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PUT A SHARP OBJECT (KNIFE OR SCISSORS) UNDER YOUR BED TO CURE
ARTHRITIS.

Where learned: LETTER

Keyword(s): HOMEOPATHIC-IMITATIVE MAGIC

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 10-20-1969

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CURE

SOAK YOUR WRIST IN HONEY TO RELIEVE ARTHRITIS.

Data entry tech comment: OTHER REFERENCES RECOMMEND EATING HONEY DAILY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 03-22-1972

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HOME REMEDY

CURING ARTHRITIS- DRINK A MIXTURE OF HONEY, VINEGAR, AND MOONSHINE.
DRINK POWDERED RHUBARB DISOLVED IN WHITE WHISKEY.

Data entry tech comment: COLLECTOR'S SPELLING HAS BEEN CORRECTED BY KEYPUNCHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 04-01-1972

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