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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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SUPERSTITION

THROW FOOD AT THE CEILING AND IF IT STICKS IT WILL BE A
PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR.

Submitter comment: HANK LEARNED THIS FROM HIS GRANDPARENTS.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Subject headings: Observation
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 31 New Year's Eve

Date learned: 12-01-1967

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SILVERWARE SUPERSTITIONS

IF YOU DROP SILVERWARE, "COMPANY'S COMING!"
KNIFE--MAN, FORK--WOMAN, SPOON--CHILD.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

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

Date learned: 11-29-1967

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MARRIAGE PREDICTION SUPERSITITION

BUTTONS ON A GIRL'S DRESS--THE LAST BUTTON COUNTED TELLS WHO
SHE'S GOING TO MARRY: RICH MAN, POOR MAN, BEGGAR MAN, THIEF,
DOCTOR, LAWYER, MERCHANT, CHIEF.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): RHYME

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Number Last events: the last person to the table...
BELIEF -- Number Even number (not specific)

Date learned: 11-29-1967

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ON THE STAIRS

IF YOU PASS SOMEONE ON THE STAIRS, IN THE HOUSE, IT IS AN OMEN
OF BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: GRANDMA HAS KNOWN THIS ONE AS LONG AS SHE CAN REMEMBER AND THINKS
SHE GOT IT FROM HER MOTHER WHO CAME FROM IRELAND.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; IRELAND

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.2

Date learned: 09-00-1963

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KNIFE, FORK AND SPOON BELIEF

TO DROP A KNIFE, FORK, OR SPOON MEANS COMPANY COMING.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM HER MOTHER.

Where learned: INDIANA ; Hudson Lake

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

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ITALIAN SUPERSTITION

ASK A PREGNANT WOMAN IF HER HANDS ARE DIRTY: IF SHE LOOKS AT THEM
WITH THE PALMS UP FIRST, SHE WILL HAVE A GIRL; IF SHE LOOKS AT THE
OUTSIDE FIRST, SHE WILL HAVE A BOY.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM HER ITALIAN MOTHER.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; PLEASANTVILLE

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 12-27-1963

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ITALIAN SUPERSTITION

IF A WOMAN FALLS WHEN SHE IS PREGNANT AND SHE HELPS HERSELF UP
WITH HER RIGHT HAND, SHE WILL HAVE A BOY; IF SHE HELPS HERSELF
UP WITH HER LEFT HAND, SHE WILL HAVE A GIRL.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM HER ITALIAN MOTHER.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; PLEASANTVILLE

James Callow Keyword(s): RIGHT LEFT

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 12-27-1963

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BELIEF-DAILY LIFE

IF YOUR RIGHT PALM ITCHES, YOU WILL LOSE MONEY.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM HER SHOOL FRIENDS.

Where learned: INDIANA ; South Bend

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Sensations and involuntary actions Itching hands and feet

Date learned: 12-02-1967

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BELIEF-DAILY LIFE

IF YOUR LEFT PALM ITCHES, YOU WILL RECEIVE A LETTER.

Submitter comment:

LEARNED FROM HER SCHOOL FRIENDS.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: INDIANA ; South Bend

Keyword(s): Hand ; ITCH ; Palm ; PREDICTION ; SIGN ; SYMBOL ; Visitor

James Callow Keyword(s): DIRECTION ; POSITION

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Sensations and involuntary actions Itching hands and feet

Date learned: 11-23-1967

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BELIEF-DAILY LIFE

IF YOU DROP A FORK, A WOMAN WILL BE COMING TO VISIT YOU, COMING
FROM THE DIRECTION WHICH THE FORK IS POINTED. IF THE KNIFE DROPS,
IT WILL BE A MAN. IF IT IS A SPOON, IT WILL BE A CHILD.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM YOUTH.

Where learned: INDIANA ; South Bend

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- P553

Date learned: 11-23-1967

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BELIEF-DAILY LIFE

IF THERE ARE BUBBLES IN YOUR COFFEE AND YOU CAN PICK THEM UP IN A
SPOON, YOU WILL RECEIVE MONEY.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM YOUTH.

Where learned: INDIANA ; South Bend

Subject headings: Observation

Date learned: 12-02-1967

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COMPANY

IF YOU DROP A PIECE OF SILVERWARE THEN YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE
COMPANY VERY SHORTLY.

Submitter comment: MY GRANDMOTHER DOES NOT REMEMBER EVER HEARING THIS FOR THE FIRST
TIME AND SAYS THAT SHE HAS KNOWN IT ALL HER LIFE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation

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RAIN AT A WEDDING BRINGS BAD LUCK, RAIN AT A
FUNERAL BRINGS GOOD LUCK.
HAPPY IS THE BRIDE THAT THE SUN SHINES ON;
HAPPY IS THE CORPSE THAT THE RAIN POURS ON.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED THIS WHEN SHE WAS A CHILD. SHE
WAS BORN AND RAISED IN IRELAND.

Where learned: DETROIT ; RECTORY ; IRELAND ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED ; HOLY NAME

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Marriage Superstition about good weather
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Good luck Activities

Date learned: 02-19-1967

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SPILLING A GLASS OF WINE IN AN ITALIAN HOME IS
CONSIDERED GOOD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation
Food Drink -- Alcoholic beverage Fermented
BELIEF -- Good luck Food and drink

Date learned: 10-22-1971

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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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WHEN THE WOOLY BEAR CATERPILLAR GROWS A HEAVY COAT
IT MEANS THE WINTER TO FOLLOW WILL BE A HARD ONE.
THE WIDTH OF HIS STRIPE INDICATES TO WHAT EXTENT THIS
WILL BE SO.

Submitter comment: THE WIDER THE BAND, THE HARSHER THE WINTER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation

Date learned: 06-00-1964

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PROVERB

WHEN YOUR RIGHT EAR RINGS, YOU WILL PROBABLY RECEIVE
GOOD NEWS; WHEN YOUR LEFT EAR RINGS, YOU WILL PROBABLY
RECEIVE BAD NEWS.

Submitter comment: USED AS ADVICE TO ANYONE WHO HAS A RINGING IN THEIR
EARS.
INFORMANT CLAIMS THIS TO BE TRUE. OVER THE YEARS
HE HAS FOUND THAT IT HAS NOT ONLY WORKED FOR HIM, BUT
FOR OTHERS AS WELL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WESTLAND

Subject headings: Observation

Date learned: 11-05-1971

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SLEEPING UNDER A MOON

GEORGE AND HIS BROTHER WANTED TO SLEEP OUT ON THEIR
SCREENED IN PORCH WHEN THEY WERE LITTLE CHILDREN.
THEIR FATHER WOULD NEVER LET THEM WHEN A FULL MOON
WAS OUT, BECAUSE HE TRULY BELIEVED THAT PEOPLE
WOULD GO CRAZY IF THEY SLEPT UNDER A FULL MOON.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation

Date learned: 07-00-1964

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THE DEVIL IN THE CRACKS

DON'T STEP ON THE SIDEWALK CRACKS--IF YOU DO YOU
WILL GO TO THE DEVIL. (OR) IF YOU STEP ON THE
SIDEWALK CRACKS, YOU WILL BREAK THE DEVIL'S DISHES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation

Date learned: 08-00-1964

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A BIRD IN THE HOUSE MEANS DEATH.

ONE DAY IN 1957, MRS. KELLY CALLED ME AT WORK AND
INSISTED THAT I COME TO HER HOME IMMEDIATELY,
BECAUSE THERE WAS A BIRD IN HER BASEMENT. THERE
WAS NO DOOR TO THE BASEMENT AND WHEN I ARRIVED,
SHE WAS GUARDING THE STAIRWAY WITH A BROOM. SHE
EXPLAINED THAT IF THE BIRD HAD ESCAPED INTO THE
HOUSE, A FRIEND OR RELATIVE WOULD DIE IN THE NEAR
FUTURE. I BELIEVE THAT THE SUPERSTITION
APPLIES TO WILD BIRDS ONLY, BUT I AM NOT SURE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation

Date learned: 00-00-1957

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