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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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KING ARTHUR

A FRIEND OF MINE, MIKE JONES, REVEALED TO ME THAT KING ARTHUR
REALLY LIVED. HE CONTENDS THAT ENGLAND KNEW A PERIOD OF FIFTY
YEARS WHEN THERE WAS COMPLETE PEACE. THERE WAS NO ADVANCE OF
THE SAXONS, AND THAT LEADS MIKE TO BELIEVE THAT KING ARTHUR AND
HIS KNIGHTS REALLY EXISTED.

Submitter comment:

MIKE LEARNED THIS SOMEWHERE, BUT HE WASN'T SURE WHERE, PROBABLY
MERE SPECULATION.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Camelot ; King Arthur ; Legend ; Saxons

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Secular hero

Date learned: 10-05-1967

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MARRIAGE PREDICTION SUPERSTITION

PEEL AN APPLE--IF THE PEELING COMES OFF IN ONE STRIP, SWING IT
THREE TIMES IN THE AIR AND THROW IT OVER YOUR LEFT SHOULDER. THE
PERSON WHOSE INITIAL IT COMES OUT IN IS THE PERSON YOU'RE TO
MARRY.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Apple ; BELIEF ; MARRIAGE ; Peel ; PREDICTION ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): DIRECTION ; POSITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Marriage

Date learned: 11-29-1967

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BABY SUPERSTITION

LEAVING A BABY'S ARTICLE BEHIND IN YOUR HOST'S HOUSE MEANS THAT
THAT HOUSE WILL BE DUE TO HAVE A NEW ADDITION IN THE FAMILY.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BABY ; BELIEF ; CLOTHING ; OMEN ; Predictor ; PREGNANCY ; SIGN ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 11-29-1967

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PREGNANCY EFFECTS

IF A PREGNANT WOMAN SLEEPS A LOT OR SPENDS TOO MUCH TIME LYING
ON HER BACK, THE BABY WILL STICK TO HER BACK.

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT LEARNED THIS FROM HER MOTHER.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BABY ; BELIEF ; BIRTH ; MOTHER ; PREGNANCY ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 03-31-1967

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PREGNANCY EFFECTS

WHAT A PREGNANT WOMAN THINKS ABOUT WILL HARM THE BABY IF IT IS
A BAD THOUGHT AND WILL HELP THE BABY IF IT IS A GOOD THOUGHT.

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT LEARNED THIS FROM HER MOTHER.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BABY ; BELIEF ; BIRTH ; MOTHER ; PREGNANCY ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 03-20-1967

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CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

IF THE FIRST PERSON TO COME THROUGH THE DOOR OF YOUR HOUSE ON
CHRISTMAS EVE IS A DARK HAIRED MAN YOU WILL HAVE GOOD LUCK IN THE
YEAR TO COME.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; CHRISTMAS ; COLOR ; GOOD LUCK ; HAIR ; holiday ; LUCK ; Man ; OMEN ; SYMBOL

James Callow Keyword(s): FIRST FOOTING

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.42

Date learned: 00001930S

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DON'T BURN YOUR HAIR WHEN IT COMES OUT IN THE COMB, YOU ARE
SUPPOSED TO THROW IT OUTSIDE FOR THE BIRDS TO MAKE THEIR NESTS
OUT OF.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROYAL OAK

James Callow Keyword(s): OPPOSITE OF A CONTAGIOUS MAGIC BELIEF ALSO IN ARCHIVE

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Bird

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A BELIEF

IF A DRAGONFLY LANDS ON YOUR EAR, IT WILL SEW IT UP.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT WAS TOLD THIS TALE AS A CHILD, AND AT THE TIME HE THOUGHT
THAT IT WAS PROBABLY TRUE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMAL INSECT ; BELIEF

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Insect

Date learned: 02-15-1972

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WEATHER BELIEF

SOME PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT ONE CAN PREDICT THE SEVERITY OF THE WINTER
BY OBSERVING THE COLORATION OF THE WOOLLY BEAR CATERPILLAR. IF THEY
ARE MOSTLY BLACK IN COLOR, THE WINTER WILL BE SEVERE, WHILE IF THEY
ARE MOSTLY BROWN IN COLOR, THE WINTER WILL BE LESS SEVERE.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT SAYS THIS BELIEF MIGHT BE TRUE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMAL INSECT ; BELIEF

Subject headings: 891 Animals, vertebrate and invertebrate)
891 Animals, (vertebrate and invertebrate)
891 Animals, (vertebrate and invertebrate)
891 Animals, (vertebrate and invertebrate)
891 Animals, (vertebrate and invertebrate)
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Weather sign or control
BELIEF -- Insect
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Animals (vertebrate and invertebrate)
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through P891.3

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SEWING BUGS

NEVER GET TOO NEAR A SEWING BUG (DRAGON FLY), BECAUSE THEY WILL
SEW YOUR EYELIDS SHUT.

Submitter comment: I REALLY BELIEVED IN THIS WHEN I WAS LITTLE, AND I WAS TERRIFIED
OF SEWING BUGS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): BELIEF

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Eyes, evil eye
BELIEF -- Insect
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal P477.11

Date learned: 11-17-1968

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THE DEAD MAN IN A CRAB

THERE IS A CERTAIN PART OF A CRAB NEAR THE END OF THE SHELL, WHICH
IS BELIEVED BY SOME TO BE A DEAD MAN. ANYONE WHO ATE THIS WOULD
IMMEDIATELY DIE.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT AND HIS FRIENDS BELIEVED THIS ABSOLUTELY WHILE CHILDREN IN TIDEWATER, VIRGINIA IN THE 1930S.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMAL CRUSTACEAN ; BELIEF

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Fish
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance P880.34

Date learned: 02-18-1970

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DANCING DEVIL

THERE IS A BELIEF AMONG SOME PEOPLE THAT IF YOU SING AT THE DINNER
TABLE, THE DEVIL IS DANCING OVER YOUR HEAD.

Submitter comment: MY MOTHER SAYS THIS BELIEF REFLECTED THE GENERAL BELIEF IN HER
CONSERVATIVE LUTHERAN FAMILY THAT GRACE AND DINNER SHOULD BE QUIET
AND DIGNIFIED. THE DEVIL WAS SUPPOSED TO BE BEHIND SINGING AT
THE TABLE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): BELIEF

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal P477.8

Date learned: 04-04-1970

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BELIEF ABOUT THE DEVIL

WHEN YOU COME HOME FROM CONFESSION, THE DEVIL HIDES IN THE BUSHES
AND TRIES TO GET YOU. WHEN YOU GO BY YOU CAN FEEL THE HEAT
RADIATING FROM HIM. SOMETIMES HE LEAPS FROM THE BUSHES AND CHASES
YOU.

Submitter comment: MY MOTHER WAS TOLD THIS WHEN SHE WAS A CHILD IN DETROIT BY AN
IRISH FRIEND. HER FRIEND HAD FELT THE HEAT OF THE DEVIL MANY TIMES.
HER MOTHER HAD ACTUALLY BEEN CHASED NUMEROUS TIMES IN THE OLD COUNTRY
WHEN THE JEALOUS DEVIL TRIED TO CAPTURE HER SOUL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

James Callow Keyword(s): BELIEF

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon

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Belief: Children's Song

DON'T STEP ON A CRACK OR YOU'LL BREAK YOUR MOTHER'S BACK.

Submitter comment:

IS AN OLD CHILDHOOD SAYING THAT THIS INFORMANT REMINDED ME OF.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated on 12-01-2010 / Motifs and Keywords added by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Back ; BELIEF ; CHILDHOOD ; CHILDREN ; Crack ; GAME ; MOTHER ; RHYME ; SONG ; Spine ; SUPERSTITION ; VERSE

James Callow Keyword(s): ADVICE: NEGATIVE

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse Lyrical Verse
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief Belief
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness
SPEECH -- Game Pastime Sport S555.500

Date learned: 03-30-1968

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MOON BELIEF

IF THE MOON IS FULL THE CROPS GROW TALL.
THIS WAS NOT GOOD FOR POTATOES BECAUSE THEY WERE ON THE GROUND.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALLEN PARK

James Callow Keyword(s): PLANTING BELIEF

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Food
BELIEF -- Moon

Date learned: 02-07-1972

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SIGN

SOME PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT EVERY TIME A SHOOTING STAR FLASHES
ACROSS THE SKY, A CHILD HAS BEEN BORN TO REPLACE SOMEONE WHO HAS
DIED.

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT DOES NOT BELIEVE THE STATEMENT.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): DISBELIEF

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Comet
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 02-23-1972

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LEAF BELIEF

IF THE LEAVES TURN UP, AND UNDER, IT'S GOING TO RAIN.

Submitter comment:

IT USUALLY DOES RAIN IF THIS HAPPENS. IT IS A VERY GOOD
SIGN FOR PREDICTING RAIN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): BELIEF ; PLANT

Subject headings: 46O
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Plants

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HOME PROTECTION BELIEF IN STORM

IT IS A COMMON PRACTICE IN NEWFOUNDLAND IN CATHOLIC HOMES
TO LIGHT CANDLES AND TURN OFF ELECTRICITY TO PROTECT THE HOME
AGAINST STORMS.

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT'S MOTHER STILL DOES THIS, BUT THE INFORMANT
DOES NOT THINK THAT THERE IS ANYTHING TO THE PRACTICE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): DISBELIEF

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Lightning Thunder
BELIEF -- Weather sign or control P890.7

Date learned: 11-00-1971

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RAINBOW BELIEF

IT HAS BEEN ONE OF THE OLD FOLKISMS THAT AFTER A RAIN, WHEN THE
RAINBOW COMES OUT, IF YOU GO TO THE END OF IT, YOU WILL FIND
A POT OF GOLD OR
A SACK OF MONEY.

Submitter comment:

I ONCE BELIEVED THIS BUT NOW THAT I HAVE GROWN OLDER I FOUND THAT
IT IS AN OLD FOLKISM.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): BELIEF ; DISBELIEF

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Weather sign or control P890.7

Date learned: 02-10-1972

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