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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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SUPERSTITION--BAD LUCK

IT IS UNLUCKY TO LIGHT THREE CIGARETTES FROM A SINGLE MATCH.

Submitter comment: FROM FRIENDS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
BELIEF -- Bad luck

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BELIEF-HOME

IF YOU BREAK A DISH, YOU WILL BREAK THREE BEFORE YOU ARE THROUGH.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM HER MOTHER.

Where learned: INDIANA ; South Bend

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple

Date learned: 11-23-1967

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IF A CAR GOES UNDER A RAILROAD TUNNEL, AND A TRAIN
GOES OVER IT AT THE SAME TIME, YOU WILL HAVE GOOD
LUCK. YOU CAN ALSO ASK FOR ANY THREE WISHES AND BE
SURE THEY WILL BE GRANTED.

Submitter comment: THIS IS BELIEVED IN MEXICO.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MEXICO ; ANN ARBOR

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
BELIEF -- Good luck Leaving Entering Returning home Travel

Date learned: 02-04-1968

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FOR GOOD LUCK AT CARDS, POUND A NEW DECK THREE TIMES
WITH YOUR RIGHT FIST.

Where learned: HOME

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
881 Games / Pastimes / Sports

Date learned: 01-15-1972

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FOR GOOD LUCK IN BASEBALL, THE PLAYERS LIKE TO
STEP ON THIRD BASE ON THEIR WAY FROM OUTFIELD
TO DUGOUT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
881 Games / Pastimes / Sports
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Athletic sport and exercise Gymnastics

Date learned: 10-18-1971

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KNOCK ON WOOD THREE TIMES FOR GOOD LUCK.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED THIS FROM ONE OF HER FRIENDS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
BELIEF -- Good luck Activities
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 02-11-1971

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IF THREE BAD OMENS OR SIGNS HAPPEN OR APPEAR TO YOU
IN ONE DAY, IT IS A SIGN OF GOOD LUCK TO COME. BUT
IF THERE ARE MORE OR LESS THAN THREE, THIS IS A
SIGN OF BAD LUCK TO COME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GRAND RAPIDS

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
Observation
BELIEF -- Number Inter related specific numbers in a belief: Two's a couple, / Three's a crowd; / Four on a sidewalk / Is never allowed. (Also see C700 and C800 for numbers in verse.) In computer entries our example
BELIEF -- Good luck
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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A DROWNING PERSON WILL ALWAYS BOB THREE TIMES IN THE WATER
BEFORE DROWNING.

Where learned: DETROIT ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
Observation
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 11-01-1967

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IF ONE NEIGHBOR DIES, VERY SOON AFTER THAT ANOTHER
NEIGHBOR WILL DIE AND SOON ANOTHER NEIGHBOR WILL DIE.
DEATH COMES IN THREE IN A NEIGHBORHOOD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
Observation
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 12-06-1967

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IF THERE ARE TWO DEATHS IN A FAMILY, THERE IS SURELY GOING
TO BE A THIRD ONE SOON AFTER THE OTHER TWO, BECAUSE
DEATH TRAVELS IN THREES IN A FAMILY. AFTER THE THIRD
DEATH, THE CYCLE IS COMPLETED UNTIL THE NEXT DEATH.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM GRANDMOTHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
Observation
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 12-06-1967

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IF ONE PERSON DIES IN YOUR FAMILY, THEN TWO MORE PEOPLE
YOU KNOW WILL DIE SOON.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
Observation
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 11-02-1969

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FRIENDS AND RELATIVES ALWAYS DIE IN GROUPS OF THREE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; LIVONIA

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
Observation
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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THREE KNOCKS ON A DOOR AND A DOG HOWLING MEANS DEATH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
Observation
BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 09-30-1965

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HERE IN DETROIT, AT HER HOME, MRS. SOSNOWSKI SAID THAT
ONCE IN A GREAT WHILE A MORNING DOVE WILL SIT IN ONE
OF HER BACKYARD TREES. IT COMES FOR THREE SUCCESSIVE
DAYS THEN DOESN'T SHOW UP AGAIN. ABOUT TWO WEEKS
AFTER THAT, A MEMBER OF HER FAMILY DIES AND THEN TWO
MORE FOLLOW. SHE SAID THE SAME THING HAS HAPPENED
ABOUT THREE TIMES AND SHE KNOWS THAT WHEN SHE HEARS
THE SAD SOUND OF THE DOVE, SHE CAN EXPECT SOMEONE TO
DIE AND THEY DO.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): MOURNING DOVE

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
Observation
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Use of Object Animals

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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IF A PICTURE FALLS OFF THE WALL THREE TIMES, SOMEONE
YOU LOVE WILL DIE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Flint

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
Observation
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 00-00-1970

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OPEN AN UMBRELLA INSIDE THE HOUSE AND IT WILL RAIN
THREE EXTRA DAYS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
Observation
BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Human condition and activities

Date learned: 11-29-1967

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WHEN A PERSON SNEEZES, THIS IS WHAT IT MEANS:
ONE, A WISH
TWO, A KISS
THREE, A LETTER
FOUR, SOMETHING BETTER.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED THIS FROM HER FAMILY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Marine City

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
686 Seconds / Twice / Two
686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
686 Fourths / Quarters
Observation
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs

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RETURN OF THE DEAD

AROUND 1940 A WOMAN NAMED BESSIE SABOL DIED IN SOUTHWEST
DETROIT. MRS. HURLEY ASSISTED IN THE ARRANGEMENTS FOR BURIAL
AND SUBSEQUENTLY WAS ASKED TO STAY WITH THE DAUGHTER OF THE
WOMAN, WHO FEARED LIVING ALONE IN THE HOME. SEVERAL OTHERS
HAD STAYED WITH THE WOMAN, BUT HAD LEFT WITH STORIES OF A
GHOST IN THE HOME. MRS. HURLEY STAYED IN THE HOME FOR
2 DAYS. THE THIRD NIGHT LOUD BANGING AND CLANGING NOISES
WERE HEARD IN THE PANTRY, MRS. HURLEY WENT TO
INVESTIGATE AND SAW THE GHOST OF THE DEAD WOMAN CLEANING UP THE
MESS THAT THE DAUGHTER HAD LEFT IN THE PANTRY. THE POTS AND PANS
WERE SCATTERED ALL ABOUT. THIS WOMAN HAD BEEN KNOWN FOR
HER NEATNESS. MY GRANDMOTHER TOLD THE DAUGHTER THAT AS LONG
AS SHE KEPT THE PANTRY CLEAN, THE NOISES WOULD STOP. THEY
DID, AND THEY HAVEN'T BEEN HEARD SINCE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): GHOST RETURNS TO DO HOUSEWORK

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
Favorites
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 11-11-1974

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DEATH SUPERSTITION

MRS. HURLEY STATES THAT IT IS A FACT THAT DEATH STRIKING A
FAMILY ALWAYS STRIKES IN THREES, THIS HAS BEEN AN
OCCURRENCE IN THE HURLEY FAMILY FIVE TIMES IN THE PERIOD
1910 TO 1974.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
686 Fifths
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 11-11-1974

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