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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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MY AUNT HAS THE POWER OF FORESEEING THINGS. SHE
FEELS SOMETHING WILL HAPPEN AND THIS IS USUALLY
THROUGH HER DREAMS. WHEN I WAS VERY LITTLE, I WAS
STAYING WITH MY AUNT, ALONG WITH MY TWO SISTERS,
AND SHE WOKE US UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT TO
PRAY FOR MY PARENTS. THE NEXT DAY WE FOUND OUT THE
PLANE MY PARENTS WERE ON HAD A FAULTY ENGINE AND WAS
FORCED TO MAKE A LANDING.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Prophet / Seer / Soothsayer

Date learned: 02-00-1971

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SPUNK JANET IS A WOMEN IN SCOTLAND WHO IS KNOWN TO
HAVE A TRADE OF MANUFACTURING SPUNKS AND TELLING
FORTUNES. JANET, THEY SAY, HAS DEALINGS WITH THE
POWERS OF DARKNESS, AND IN HER MAGIC CHAMBER SHE
GETS GLIMPSES INTO THE FUTURE. MOST OF HER CUSTOMERS
WERE FROM WOMEN WHO WANTED LOVE CURES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; SCOTLAND

James Callow Keyword(s): PUNK, TOUCHWOOD, OR OTHER TINDER. ; SPUNK=SCOTTISH GAELIC DERIVATION, SPONG--TINDER,

Subject headings: Prophet / Seer / Soothsayer
BELIEF -- Marriage

Date learned: 01-28-1971

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THIS INCIDENT OCCURRED IN THE EARLY 1900S. MRS.
LASKEY'S STEPFATHER, NAMED AUGUST, WAS IN THE BARBER
SHOP IN THE EARLY SPRING AND THE BARBER TOLD HIM THAT
HIS SKIN WAS BEGINNING TO DECAY, AND BECAUSE OF THIS
HE THOUGHT THAT "ABOUT THE FIRST OF MAY WOULD BE
THE LAST OF AUGUST." ON MAY FIRST OF THAT YEAR, HE
DROPPED DEAD ON HIS WAY HOME FROM WORK. THIS
BARBER SAID THAT HE KNEW THIS BECAUSE HE HAD SEEN
SUCH A THING HAPPEN BEFORE.

Where learned: HOME

Subject headings: Prophet / Seer / Soothsayer
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 00001900s ; 11-04-1969

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THE CHILD WHO CRIES IN ITS SLEEP IS PROPHETIC
OF SORROW.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Prophet / Seer / Soothsayer

Date learned: 02-09-1968

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IRISH

THE SEVENTH DAUGHTER OF SEVEN DAUGHTERS, BORN
WITH A VEIL, CAN TELL FORTUNES. THIS VEIL IS THEN
GIVEN TO A SEA CAPTAIN, SO THAT HE WILL NOT
PERISH AT SEA.

Submitter comment: MRS. DUNMIRE SAID THAT THIS HAPPENED TO HER MOTHER,
AND THAT SHE REALLY DID HAVE THE POWER TO READ
FORTUNES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): CAUL

Subject headings: 686 Seven / Sevenths / Several
Prophet / Seer / Soothsayer
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 01-00-1970

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IF A BABY IS BORN WITH A VEIL (PLACENTA) OVER HIS
FACE THEN THAT CHILD WAS GIFTED (I.E., IN THE
SENSE THAT HE WOULD HAVE OCCULT POWERS, ESP, ETC.).

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): CAUL

Subject headings: Prophet / Seer / Soothsayer
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 01-00-1971

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THE INFORMANT AND HER SISTER VISITED A PALM-READER
JUST OUTSIDE OF CASSADAGA VALLEY, NEW YORK. THE
LADY SAID THAT ONE OF THE GIRLS WOULD SOON HAVE AN
ACCIDENT. ABOUT A WEEK LATER, THE INFORMANT'S SISTER
WAS INVOLVED IN A CAR ACCIDENT.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; RUSHFORD

Subject headings: Prophet / Seer / Soothsayer

Date learned: 07-00-1970

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BELIEF AT THE BIRTH OF A CHILD WHO WILL BE A PROPHET,

IT IS BELIEVED THAT IF THERE IS A WEB-LIKE COVERING,
SOMETIMES CALLED A BIRTH VEIL, THE CHILD WILL
BECOME PSYCHIC.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): CAUL

Subject headings: Prophet / Seer / Soothsayer
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 02-19-1972

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I WAS TOLD QUITE A WHILE AGO, A RELATIVE WAS A WITCH
AND SHE HAD CAST A SPELL ON MY MOTHER, THAT SHE WAS
GOING TO DIE WITHIN A FEW YEARS AND SHE DID. ALSO,
SHE PREDICTED THAT IF MY SISTER EVER GOT MARRIED,
HER MARRIAGE WOULD NEVER WORK OUT. SOMETIMES, WHEN I
GET MAD AND SAY THINGS, THEY REALLY COME TRUE. IF I
PUT MY MIND TO IT, I CAN LOOK INTO SOMEONE'S EYES
AND REALLY CONCENTRATE, I CAN TELL THEM WHAT THEY
ARE THINKING.

Where learned: DETROIT ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED ; SAINT HYACINTH SCHOOL

Subject headings: Prophet / Seer / Soothsayer

Date learned: 02-29-1972

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IF YOU ARE BORN "UNDER THE VEIL" OVER YOUR EYES,
YOU'LL BE ABLE TO FORESEE THINGS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BERKELEY

James Callow Keyword(s): CAUL

Subject headings: Prophet / Seer / Soothsayer
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 03-24-1970

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IF YOU ARE BORN UNDER THE SIGN OF THE PISCES,
AT THE HOUR OF THE NIGHT (UNDER YOUR ZODIAC SIGN),
YOU CAN FORESEE THINGS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BERKELEY

Subject headings: Prophet / Seer / Soothsayer

Date learned: 03-24-1970

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IRISH FOLK BELIEF

ONE DAY, A POPE WILL GO ON A SAILING VOYAGE AND WHEN
HE STEPS ONTO LAND AFTER THAT TRIP, THE WORLD WILL
END. (TOLD BY MELCHISADOR).

Submitter comment: MELCHISADOR IS AN IRISH PROHET OF THE PAST. HE HAS
MUCH RESPECT AMONG THEM. HIS PROPHECIES ARE VAGUE
ENOUGH TO NOT BE DISPROVEN. SINCE HE PREDICTED IN
AN ERA WHEN POPES FAILED TO TRAVEL, HIS PROPHECY WAS
ALWAYS A FUTURE POSSIBILITY AND HAS BEEN KEPT IN
MEMORY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Prophet / Seer / Soothsayer

Date learned: 10-20-1970

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MARY'S GRANDMOTHER HAS CLAIMED TO BE ABLE TO ENVISION
THINGS THAT WILL HAPPEN IN THE FUTURE, THROUGH HER
DREAMS. ONE NIGHT SHE HAD A DREAM THAT THE FIGURE
OF THE SACRED HEART WAS BECKONING HER CHILD. WHEN
SHE WOKE UP SHE WENT TO SEE IF THE CHILD WAS ALL
RIGHT AND FOUND HIM IN A STATE OF CONVULSIONS AND
WITHIN A FEW MINUTES HE DIED.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Prophet / Seer / Soothsayer
BELIEF -- Dreams Foretelling a death

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DONNA'S MOTHER HAS THE POWER TO READ CARDS. SHE
READ CARDS FOR A FRIEND ONCE AND PREDICTED THAT
BOTH HER PARENTS WOULD DIE SOON. EVERYONE KNEW
HER FATHER WOULD DIE BECAUSE HE HAD BEEN ILL, BUT
THE MOTHER WAS HEALTHY. THE FATHER DIED WITHIN
TWO DAYS. THE MOTHER WAS REACHING UP INTO THE
CUPBOARD ONE WEEK LATER AND FELL BACK ONTO A POLE
WHICH WENT THROUGH HER AND KILLED HER INSTANTLY.
AFTER MRS. LALLY PREDICTED THIS, SHE REFUSES
TO READ CARDS FOR ANYONE BECAUSE IT ALWAYS COMES
TRUE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Prophet / Seer / Soothsayer
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Use of Object Numerology, related to playing cards

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DAD: IF A CHILD IS BORN (WITH A VEIL) OVER HIS FACE (THE PLACENTA)
HE CAN SEE THINGS THAT OTHERS CAN'T. YOU KNOW YOUR BROTHER
WAS BORN WITH A VEIL OVER HIS FACE.
MAMA: WHO TOLD YOU THAT? I DIDN'T KNOW THAT.
DAD: DR. WOMACK TOLD ME.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; WARTRACE

Keyword(s): CAUL

Subject headings: Prophet / Seer / Soothsayer
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Head, physiognomy, face
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 06-18-1972

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MY MATERNAL GREAT GRANDPARENTS DIED OF TYPHOID FEVER WHEN MY
GRANDMOTHER WAS FIVE YEARS OLD. THERE WERE SEVEN CHILDREN LEFT,
AND THEY WERE GIVEN TO VARIOUS RELATIVES AND ACQUAINTANCES.
MY GRANDMOTHER AND HER BROTHER, BOB, WERE TAKEN BY AN OSBORN
FAMILY IN FLOYD COUNTY, KENTUCKY. THE OSBORNS DECIDED TO
MOVE TO TEXAS, SO THEY TOOK MY GRANDMOTHER AND BOB WITH THEM.
THEY DIDN'T LIKE TEXAS ONCE THEY GOT THERE, SO THE OSBORNS
AND MY GRANDMOTHER RETURNED TO KENTUCKY. MR. OSBORN OWED A
MERCHANT A DEBT, SO HE LEFT BOB (THE REST OF THEM SLIPPED
OFF) TO WORK OFF THE DEBT. BOB WAS ABOUT THIRTEEN AT THE
TIME.
YEARS WENT BY AND MY GRANDMOTHER HAD MARRIED AND HAD THREE
CHILDREN. SHE AND MY GRANDFATHER LIVED AT THE FOOT OF THE
NANCY P. HILL, WHICH IS JUST BELOW PRESTONBURG, KENTUCKY.
MY GRANDMOTHER WAS SITTING IN THE YARD WITH A NEIGHBOR
AND THEY COULD SEE A GREAT DISTANCE DOWN THE ROAD. A MAN
RIDING A HORSE APPEARED DOWN THE ROAD. MY GRANDMOTHER
SAID TO THE NEIGHBOR, "THAT'S MY BROTHER, BOB." SURE
ENOUGH, IT WAS. HE HAD GROWN UP AND MARRIED AND HAD THREE
CHILDREN. HIS WIFE HAD DIED AND HE DECIDED TO RETURN TO
EASTERN KENTUCKY. HE BOUGHT A FARM ON BRANDY KEG AND
SPENT THE REST OF HIS LIFE THERE. I DOUBT IF HE EVER LEFT
FLOYD COUNTY AGAIN.
MY GRANDMOTHER TOLD THIS TALE MANY TIMES. SHE ALSO CLAIMED
TO KNOW WHEN ANY TYPE OF DISASTER WAS ABOUT TO STRIKE HER
FAMILY.

Where learned: KENTUCKY ; ASHLAND

Subject headings: Prophet / Seer / Soothsayer
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Human Being

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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IF YOU DREAM ABOUT A FORTUNE TELLER SOMEONE IS TRYING TO GIVE YOU
ADVICE. BE CAREFUL OF ANY BAD ADVICE.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; TENNESSEE RIDGE

Subject headings: Prophet / Seer / Soothsayer
BELIEF -- Dreams Dreams about people

Date learned: 08-09-1968

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BABIES BORN WITH VEILS OVER THEIR FACES WERE SUPPOSE(D) TO
BE ABLE TO SEE INTO THE SPIRIT WORLD WHEN THEY GREW OLDER.

Submitter comment: I HEARD THIS SUPERSTITION FROM MY MOTHER

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): CAUL

Subject headings: Prophet / Seer / Soothsayer

Date learned: 07-30-1968

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A BABY BORN WITH A VEIL OVER ITS FACE IS SUPPOSED TO BE ABLE
TO FORETELL THE FUTURE.

Where learned: MISSOURI ; PUXICO

Keyword(s): CAUL

Subject headings: Prophet / Seer / Soothsayer
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Head, physiognomy, face
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 07-28-1968

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WHEN MY MOTHER, LAURA BASSETT BOOKER, WAS A CHILD IN
CONWAY, ARKANSAS, HER PARENTS EMPLOYED AS A GENERAL
HANDYMAN AND YARD WORKER, AN OLD NEGRO MAN, WHO WAS A
"SILVER WITCH" OR "SILVERDOUSER." IF SILVER MONEY WAS
HIDDEN IN THE GROUND, HE COULD FIND IT BY USING A
FORKED BRANCH WITH A CLEFT END INTO WHICH A SMALL PIECE
OF SILVER, SUCH AS A DIME, WOULD BE INSERTED.
SKEPTICAL OF HIS POWERS, MY MOTHER AND HER BROTHER CLINE
DECIDED TO TEST HIM BY HIDING MONEY IN A TREE. THE
"SILVER WITCH" WAS LED BY HIS DIVINING ROD TO BENEATH
THE TREE, BUT WAS UNABLE TO LOCATE THE MONEY. WHEN THE
CHILDREN REVEALED THEIR TRICK, THE OLD MAN BECAME VERY
ANGRY AND REFUSED TO TRY TO FIND ANY MORE MONEY FOR THEM.

Where learned: DORM ; NASHVILLE ; TENNESSEE, ASSUMED ; Arkansas ; CONWAY

Subject headings: Prophet / Seer / Soothsayer
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Witch Shaman

Date learned: 05-12-1969

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