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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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GRAVE ROBBERS

GRAVE ROBBERS, AFTER HEARING OF A WOMAN RECENTLY BURIED WITH
AN EXPENSIVE RING ON HER FINGER, BREAK INTO THE GRAVE. HOWEVER,
THEY CAN'T GET THE RING OFF, SO THEY BEGIN TO CUT HER FINGER OFF.
UPON THE FLOW OF BLOOD, SHE REGAINS CONSCIOUSNESS.

Submitter comment: HE LEARNED THIS FROM HIS MOTHER AND ALSO MUCH LATER FROM A FRIEND
WHO IS OF POLISH DESCENT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Metal Stone Bone Precious stone Gem
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Cemetery
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hands, palms, fingernails
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

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LEGEND

THERE IS A GRAVEYARD IN MIDLAND, MICHIGAN, THAT HAS A STRANGE
VISITOR EVERY TEN YEARS. HE IS A TALL, LEAN, HOODED FIGURE WITH
LONG NOSE, SUNKEN EYES, AND BONY FINGERS. EVERY TIME HE VISITS,
HE MURDERS TWO KIDS, WHO HAPPEN TO WANDER THROUGH THE CEMETERY
AT THE SAME TIME.
HIS APPEARANCE HAS BEEN REGULAR FOR THIRTY YEARS, I.E., HE HAS
COME THREE TIMES, THE MOST RECENT BEING A FEW MONTHS BACK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
686 Seconds / Twice / Two
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Outlaw Criminal Bandit Pirate
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Cemetery

Date learned: 12-02-1967

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MACEDONIA

ALL OVER THE GREEK COUNTRYSIDE, THERE ARE MANY GRAVES. THIS IS
BECAUSE OF THE MANY WARS THAT HAVE BEEN FOUGHT HERE, AND FROM
THESE GRAVES COME THE GHOST STORIES THAT THE PEOPLE BELIEVE.

Submitter comment: JAMES LEARNED THIS FROM HIS PARENTS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- War
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Cemetery

Date learned: 10-10-1967

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PROSE NARRATIVE

WHEN WALKING THROUGH A CEMETERY, COMING HOME FROM WORK, A MAN WAS
ATTACKED BY WILD DOGS AND KNOCKED DOWN. THE NEXT DAY HE WENT WITH
HIS DOG FOR PROTECTION, BUT WAS AGAIN ATTACKED AND KNOCKED DOWN.
FINALLY ON THE THIRD NIGHT HE WENT ALONE AND WAS FOLLOWED THROUGH
THE CEMETERY BY TWO LARGE WAGON WHEELS WHICH CALLED HIM BY NAME.
THIS WAS THE LAST INCIDENT. AFTERWARDS NOTHING UNUSUAL OCCURRED.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Mammal
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Cemetery

Date learned: 09-23-1969

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GHOST HILL

MY INFORMANT WORKED AT CAMP SEMECONON OUTSIDE BUTLER, PENNSYLVANIA
ONE SUMMER AND TOLD ME OF THIS OLD LADY THAT LIVED ON TOP OF THIS
VERY HIGH HILL WITH HER BROTHER WHO WAS ALSO AGED. ON THE WAY TO
THIS OLD LADY'S LOG CABIN THERE WAS AN OLD GRAVE YARD JUST OFF THE
PATH ABOUT 3/4 UP THE HILL. SOME OF THE TOMBSTONES WERE DATED IN
THE LATE 1700'S. THE OLD LADY WOULD TALK ABOUT HOW THE SPIRITS
OF THE PEOPLE BURIED IN THIS GRAVEYARD WOULD START YELLING AND EVEN
FIGHTING AMONG THEMSELVES. THE LADY SEEMED TO BELIEVE IN WHAT SHE
WAS SAYING AND EVERY TIME MY INFORMANT WOULD ASK HER BROTHER ABOUT
THESE THINGS, HE WOULDN'T SAY A WORD AND SEEMED TO GET FRIGHTENED
WHENEVER THE SUBJECT WAS BROUGHT UP.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; PITTSBURGH

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Cemetery

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ORDINARY TALE

ONE EVENING TWO BOYS AND A GIRL WENT OUT TO A CEMETERY IN
ROCHESTER, MICHIGAN. THEY WENT TO INSPECT THE TOMBS. BUILT IN
THE SIDE OF A HILL WAS THE TOMB OF MARY DUNN; THE BOYS CONSPIRED
TO LOCK UP THE GIRL IN THIS TOMB OVERNIGHT. WHEN THEY CAME BACK
IN THE MORNING, THEY FOUND HER DEAD WITH A FRIGHTENED EXPRESSION
ON HER FACE. SINCE THEN IRON BARS HAVE BEEN PLACED ACROSS THE
ENTRANCE AND THE TOMB OF MARY DUNN HAS BECOME A HISTORICAL MARKER
OF LOVER'S LANE IN ROCHESTER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Cemetery
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 00-00-1967

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JAMAICAN CEMETERY BELIEF

YOU MUST NEVER POINT AT A GRAVEYARD OR YOUR FINGER WILL FALL OFF.

Submitter comment: DONALD LEE LEARNED THIS ITEM IN BUFF BAY, JAMAICA.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Cemetery
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hands, palms, fingernails
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 10-31-1975

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JAMAICAN CEMETERY BELIEF

IN THE OLD MAROON CEMETERIES WHICH ARE ALL COVERED WITH HUGE
COTTON TREES GROWING, THE SPIRITS OF THE PEOPLE BURIED THERE GATHER
AROUND THE ROOTS AND BRANCHES WHEN THEY TALK. IT SOUNDS LIKE
WHISPERING BECAUSE THE SPIRITS HAVE THEIR OWN LANGUAGE. THE MAROON
WERE PEOPLE WHO WERE HALF ARAWAK INDIAN AND HALF AFRICAN SLAVE.

Submitter comment: THE ARAWAK INDIANS ARE NATIVE OF CENTRAL AND NORTHEASTERN SOUTH
AMERICA AND A GREAT PORTION OF THE WEST INDIES INCLUDING JAMAICA.
DONALD LEE LEARNED THIS ITEM IN BUFF BAY, JAMAICA.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Cemetery
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
SPEECH -- Onomatopoeia

Date learned: 10-31-1975

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CEMETERY BELIEFS OF THE BLACK CULTURE

THERE IS A GENERAL REFUSAL AMONG BLACKS TO ENTER A CEMETERY.
OFTEN RELATIVES OF THE DECEASED WILL NOT EVEN ENTER THE
CEMETERY FOR THE FUNERAL CEREMONIES.

Submitter comment: THE FIRST THOUGHT THAT CAME TO ME UPON HEARING THIS
BELIEF IS HOW THE BLACKS TAKE A FEAR FELT BY PEOPLE OF ALMOST ALL
ETHNIC BACKGROUNDS, ONE STEP FURTHER. IT WOULD BE INTRIGUING TO
INVESTIGATE WHERE THE ROOTS OF THIS BELIEF LIE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Cemetery
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

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POINTING AT THE GRAVE CAUSES BAD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MUSKEGON

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Cemetery
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Bad luck Gestures
SPEECH -- Gesture

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CHINESE BURIAL CUSTOM

"WHEN BURYING THEIR DEAD, THE CHINESE ARE VERY CHOOSEY ABOUT
THE SITE. THE AREA WHICH IS CHOSEN WILL HAVE AN EFFECT ON THE
NEXT GENERATION. THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE SITE WILL AFFECT THE
ELDEST SON, THE THIRD SON, THE FIFTH SON,...(1,3,5,7,...).
THE LEFT SIDE WILL AFFECT THE EVEN-NUMBERED SONS AND THE BACK
SIDE WILL AFFECT ALL THE DAUGHTERS."

Submitter comment: IF ALL THE SIDES ARE GOOD, EVERYTHING WILL BE GOOD FOR THE FAMILY.
BUILDINGS NEAR THE SITE CAN CHANGE THE AFFECT OF THE SITE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; CAMPUS

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Cemetery
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Number Even number (not specific)
BELIEF -- Number Odd number (not specific)

Date learned: 02-00-1984

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GRAVEYARD MARKER: CEMETERY PLAQUE

SUBJECT OF PHOTOGRAPH: IN MEMORY OF WM. EDWD. WEST.,
ARTIST, BORN IN LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY, 1788, DIED 1857, AGED
69 YEARS.

Submitter comment: THIS PLAQUE IS READABLE AS SHOWN. THE ACTUAL GRAVE OF

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; OLD CITY CEMETERY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Cemetery
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 00-00-1972

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GRAVEYARD MARKER

IN MEMORY OF GEORGE WASHINGTON CAMPBELL THE SON OF
DR. ARCHIBALD CAMPBELL AND ELIZABETH MC KAY HIS WIFE.
WHO IMMAGRATED TO NORTH CAROLINA IN THE YEAR 1772
HE WAS BORN IN THE PARISH OF TONGUE SUTHERLANDSHIRE
SCOTLAND ON THE 9TH DAY OF FEBRUARY 1769. WAS GRADUATED
AT PRINCETON COLLEGE, NEW JERSEY IN 1794 AND BECAME A MEMBER
OF THE KNOXVILLE BR IN 1798. FROM THE YEAR 1803 DURING SIX
YEARS HE WAS REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS OF THE EASTERN
DISTRICT OF TENN. AND WAS THEN CHOSEN A JUDGE OF THE SUPREME
COURT OF ERRORS AND APPEALS ELECTED IN 1811 A SENATOR IN
CONGRESS FROM TENN. HE SERVED UNTIL 1814 WHEN HE WAS
APPOINTED SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY BY MR. MADISON. HAVING
RESIGNED THAT OFFICE THE NEXT YEAR HE WAS REELECTED TO THE
SENATE IN 1816 AND APPOINTED MINISTER TO RUSSIA IN 1818.
IN WHICH CAPACITY HE SERVED TWO YEARS. BY APPOINTMENT OF
GENERAL JACKSON IN 1832 HE SERVED AS ONE OF THREE COMMISSION-
ERS TO SETTLE CLAIMS UNDER THE TREATY OF INDEMNITY THEN LATELY
MADE WITH FRANCE.
HE DIED IN NASHVILLE ON THE 17TH FEBRUARY 1848

Submitter comment: THE OTHER GRAVES IN THIS PLOT ARE THOSE OF HIS FAMILY.--S.R.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; OLD CITY CEMETERY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Cemetery
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Shrine Memorial
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 00-00-1972

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GRAVEYARD MARKER

IN MEMORIUM
LILLIE EMILY, DAUGHTER OF FRED & KATE BAUER
BORN AUGUST 16, 1877 DIED JUNE 14, 1881
TRANSPLANTED TO BLOOM IN HEAVEN
FAREWELL DEAR LILLIE

Submitter comment: BETWEEN THE "IN MEMORIUM" AND "LILLIE EMILY" WAS

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Cemetery
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

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GRAVEYARD MARKER

THIS PLAQUE IS READABLE AS SHOWN IN THE SNAPSHOT. THE LAST
TWO LINES ARE:
DUCIT AMOR PATRIAE (LOVE OF COUNTRY LEADS ME: PHILLIPS'
COAT OF ARMS.)

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; OLD CITY CEMETERY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Cemetery
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 00-00-1972

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GRAVEYARD MARKER

JULIA MAY WHEAT WIFE WORTHIEST OF L. STAN BRINPE OF VIRGINIA
WAS BORN TO THIS LIFE 5 FEB. 1820 AND TO A BETTER LIFE
15 JUNE 1848
THAT WHICH SHOWS MOST
IS NOT QUICKEND EXCEPT IT DIE.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; OLD CITY CEMETERY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Cemetery
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

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GRAVEYARD MARKER

JOHN SOMMERVILLE BORN AT YORK PENN. JUNE 25TH 1788
DIED AT NASHVILLE APRIL 26TH 1846
HE REMOVED TO NASHVILLE IN 1799
IN THE VARIOUS BANKS OF WHICH CITY
FROM 1812 TO HIS DEATH HE
SUCCESSIVELY FILLED THE OFFICES OF
CLERK, TELLER, CASHIER, AND PRESIDENT.
THE DUTIES OF THESE OFFICES HE
DISCHARGED WITH A FIDELITY THAT
NEVER FALTERED AND AN INTEGRITY
WHICH WAS ABOVE THE REACH OF TEMPTATION.
HE HAS LEFT A NAME
THE MEMORY OF WHICH WILL LONG
BE CHERISHED BY HIS FAMILY
AND FRIENDS

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; OLD CITY CEMETERY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Cemetery
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

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GRAVEYARD MARKER

JAMES FORD M.D. BORN JAN. 18, 1812 DIED DEC. 30, 1898
HE PRACTICED MEDICINE AND SURGERY 50 Y'RS. WAS U.S.
SURGEON OF THE 8 IND. INF'T 3 Y'RS. AND U.S. EXAMINING
SURGEON 16 Y'RS.
AMERICA HOLTON FORD BORN IN KENTUCKY MAR 7, 1819
MOVED TO IND. 1833. MARRIED TO DR. J. FORD JUNE 5, 1837.
MOVED TO WABASH FEB. 4, 1840. DIED SEPT 16, 1891 AET
72Y. 6M. 9D.

Submitter comment: DR. FORD ALSO DESIGNED THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH IN WABASH,

Where learned: INDIANA ; WABASH ; FALLS CEMETERY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Cemetery
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

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GRAVEYARD MARKER

ERECTED
BY THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH/ AT NASHVILLE TO THE MEMORY/ OF
THEIR LATE BELOVED AND/ LAMENTED PASTOR, THE REV./ OBADIAH
JENNINGS:/ D. D. WHO DEPARTED THIS/ LIFE JANUARY 12TH, 1832:/
AGED 53 YEARS. / DR. JENNINGS WAS BORN NEAR/ BASKINGRIDGE, NEW
JERSEY/ DEC. 13TH 1778/ HIS ORIGINAL POWERS WERE/ NATURALLY
STRONG AND HIS/ DISCERNMENT UNUSUALLY CLEAR./ HE WAS A RIPE
SCHOLAR A/ PROFOUND THEOLOGIAN, A SINCERE/ CHRISTIAN, A
LABORIOUS AND FAITH/ FULL MINISTER./ IN HIS SOCIAL FEELINGS,
AND HAB/ ITS HE WAS MOST HAPPILY CONSTI/ TUTED, AND IN HIS
DOMESTIC RELA/ TIONS, NO HUSBAND OR FATHER COULD BE MORE/
DEVOTED./ HE HELD FAST TO THE FAITH, ONCE/ DELIVERED TO
THE SAINTS./
AMONG ALL HIS ATTRACTIVE QUAL/ ITIES HIS DEEP HUMILITY, AND/
HIS ACCUSTOMED SPIRIT OF DE/ VOTEDNESS IN PRAYER, WERE THE
/MOST PREEMINENT./ HE WAS, BOTH IN ARGUMENT AND/ IN
SCRIPTURAL EXPOSITION, REMARK/ ABLY LUCID AND INSTRUCTIVE./
HIS MEMORY IS EMBALMED/ IN THE AFFECTIONS, BUT LIKEWISE/
IN THE AFFECTIONATE REMEMBRANCE/ OF THE FLOCK TO WHOM HE AD/
MINISTERED IN GREAT TENDERNESS/ AND FIDELITY AND WHO BY THIS/
MONUMENT WOULD EVER PERPETU/ATE THEIR HIGH ESTEEM OF HIS/
WORTH AND OF THEIR LOSS.
HE RESTS FROM HIS LABORS/ AND HIS WORKS DO FOLLOW HIM.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; OLD CITY CEMETERY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Cemetery
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

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GRAVEYARD MARKER

THIS PLAQUE IS READABLE FROM THE SNAPSHOT. IT IS IN HONOR
OF THE EDUCATORS BURIED IN THE OLD CITY CEMETERY. MR. HUME
AND MR. FOGG ARE BURIED IN THIS PLOT. HUME-FOGG HIGH SCHOOL,
IN NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE IS NAMED AFTER THEM.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; OLD CITY CEMETERY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Cemetery
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 00-00-1972

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