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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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PROTECTION FROM "EVIL EYE"

MOSLEMS BELIEVE THAT THE FIVE FINGERS OF THE HAND OR ANY DESIGN OR
PHRASE ASSOCIATED WITH THE NUMBER FIVE WILL PROTECT AGAINST THE
"EVIL EYE" OR VARIOUS EVILS.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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IRISH BELIEF

IF SOMEONE IS CHEATING AT CARDS IT MEANS THERE IS A DEVIL UNDER
THE TABLE.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT IS OF IRISH DESCENT AND FIRST LEARNED THE BELIEF
ABOUT THIRTY YEARS (AGO) FROM HER IRISH FATHER. IN RECENT TIMES,
HOWEVER, THE STATEMENT IS MADE MORE IN JEST THAN IN ACTUAL BELIEF.
(IN THE UNITED STATES.)

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon

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NOT GIVEN

WHEN I WAS ABOUT SIX YEARS OLD AND WE LIVED NEAR THE COUNTRY,
I WOULD OFTEN GO OUT TO PLAY ALL DAY. SO I USED TO GO TO THE
LAVATORY OUTSIDE. MY MOTHER WOULD ALWAYS TELL ME THAT I SHOULD
COME HOME TO GO TO THE BATHROOM, BECAUSE WHEN THE DEVIL CAUGHT
LITTLE BOYS GOING TO THE BATHROOM OUTSIDE HE WOULD BITE OFF
THEIR PENIS.

Where learned: MARYLAND

James Callow Keyword(s): FUNCTION ; URINATION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal

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JAMAICAN SUPERSTITION

FOR A NEW-BORN CHILD: NEVER LET A STRANGER INTO THE SAME ROOM
WITH THE CHILD FOR 9 DAYS. IF SOMEHOW THIS CANNOT BE AVOIDED,
IMMEDIATELY OPEN A BIBLE OVER THE CHILD'S HEAD TO DRIVE AWAY
EVIL SPIRITS.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM A LADY-FRIEND FROM JAMAICA.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; JAMAICA

Subject headings: 686 Ninths / Nine
BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Magic Book

Date learned: 01-01-1964

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ITALIAN SUPERSTITION

ALL NEW BORN BABIES MUST IMMEDIATELY BE GIVEN A HORN-SHAPED
PIECE OF CORAL TO FASTEN TO THEIR UNDERSHIRTS. THIS WILL PROTECT
THEM FROM EVIL SPIRITS.

Submitter comment: LEARNED AS A YOUNG WOMAN LIVING IN ITALY.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; YONKERS

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure

Date learned: 12-29-1963

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SUPERSTITION

IT IS A COMMON POLISH BELIEF THAT BUTTER ON THE NECK OF A YOUNG
INFANT CAN WARD OFF ANY EVIL SPIRITS UNTIL BAPTISM

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Baptism Naming rite

Date learned: 11-11-1974

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SALT

WHEN YOU SPILL SALT, THROW SOME OVER YOUR LEFT SHOULDER TO
FRIGHTEN THE DEVIL AND EVIL SPIRITS AWAY. SPILLED SALT ALSO MEANS
TEARS ARE COMING, SO THROW SOME IN THE FIRE TO DRY THE TEARS UP
BEFORE THEY COME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Moon
BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 02-00-1974

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SUPERSTITION

WHEN AN ARAB ENCOUNTERS A SANDSTORM , HE FANCIES THAT HE
HAS MET WITH A JINN OR DEMON & AT ONCE CRIES OUT "IRON! IRON!"

Submitter comment: THIS WAS GIVEN TO ME BY RABBI HALPERN
AND IS STILL DONE TODAY AT TIMES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Weather sign or control
BELIEF -- Word Letter
X570

Date learned: 00-00-1974

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BIRTH

ALL FEARS AND HAZARDS OF CHILD BIRTH ARE IN THE FIGURE OF LILITH.

Submitter comment: SHE IS A PHANTOM FIGURE WHO STEALS NEWBORN BABIES & KILLS OR
INJURES THEIR MOTHERS

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
BELIEF -- Devil Demon

Date learned: 00-00-1974

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ANIMAL

IF A BLACK CAT CROSS YOUR PATH IT IS BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: THIS SUPERSTITION AND OTHERS ABOUT CATS ORIGINATE FROM THE TIME WHEN
CATS WERE THOUGHT OF AS BEING THE DEVIL IN DISGUISE.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Mammal

Date learned: CA11001973

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WRONG SIDE OF BED

IT IS BAD LUCK TO GET OUT OF THE LEFT SIDE OF YOUR BED. YOUR GUARDIAN
ANGEL SLEEPS ON THE RIGHT AND THE DEVIL ON THE LEFT. IF YOU GET OUT
THE LEFT SIDE, YOU AWAKEN THE DEVIL AND HE LEADS YOU INTO
TROUBLE.THE OPPOSITE IS TRUE FOR THE RIGHT SIDE.

Submitter comment: THIS IS SIMILAR TO THE MORE COMMON SAYING THAT "YOU GOT OUT ON THE
WRONG SIDE OF THE BED" WHEN SOMEBODY IS IN A BAD MOOD IN THE MORNING.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; WEATHERLY

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Angel
BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Good luck
BELIEF -- Bad luck
PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase

Date learned: 00001960S

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WEARING GARLIC, OR HAVING IT IN YOUR POSSESSION DRIVES AWAY EVIL
SPIRITS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): EXORCISM

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Flavoring
BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Magic of Speech, Sign, Color

Date learned: 11-19-1972

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SNEEZE

THE REASON PEOPLE SAY "GOD BLESS YOU!" WHEN YOU SNEEZE IS THAT YOU
SNEEZE OUT YOUR SOUL AND THE DEVIL HAS CHANCE TO BEAT YOUR
SOUL BACK INTO YOUR BODY

Where learned: DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 11-19-1972

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ACE OF SPADES

IF YOU WALK THRU AN OPEN FIELD WITH A DECK OF CARDS WITH THE ACE
OF SPADES ON THE TOP, FACE UP, YOU CAN HEAR THE DEVIL FOLLOW YOU

Where learned: DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): PLAYING CARDS

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Devil Demon

Date learned: 11-19-1972

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POLTERGEIST

POLTERGEIST ARE DEMONS WHO GO INTO A HOUSE WHEN NOBODY IS HOME
AND THEY MOVE THE FURNITURE AROUND.

Where learned: DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon

Date learned: 11-19-1972

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WHISTLING

YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO WHISTLE IN THE HOUSE BECAUSE IT IS
CALLING THE DEVIL

Where learned: DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): CONJURATION

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 11-03-1972

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THE DEVIL BEATS HIS WIFE

IF ONE STICKS A PIN IN THE GROUND AND THEN PUTS HIS EAR TO THE
GROUND AND IT IS RAINING WHILE THE SUN SHINES. YOU CAN HEAR
THE DEVIL BEATING HIS WIFE. THIS IS BECAUSE THE EARTH IS CRYING.

Submitter comment: I USED TO DO THIS AS A CHILD.

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game, Pastime, Sport
BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Sun
BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 00001960S

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IF THE SUN SHINES WHILE IT IS RAINING, THEN THE DEVIL IS
BEATING HIS WIFE.

Submitter comment: I HAVE OFTEN HEARD THIS AS A CHILD.

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Sun
BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew

Date learned: 00001960S

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IF IT'S RAINING AND THE SUN IS SHINING, THEN THE DEVIL IS BEATING
HIS WIFE.

Submitter comment: THIS STORY HAS MANY VARIATIONS.

Where learned: DETROIT ; TOLD IN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Sun
BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew

Date learned: 09-21-1972

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KEEP A PENNY IN YOUR PURSE SO THE DEVIL WON'T GET IN

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT STATED THAT THIS SAYING WAS TOLD TO HER ONE DAY BY
HER GRANDMOTHER WHEN THEY WERE SHOPPING AND SHE WENT INTO HER PURSE
TO GET SOME CHANGE AND SHE SAID "LEAVE A PENNY IN YOUR PURSE SO THE
DEVIL WON'T GET IN"

Where learned: DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon
PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor
PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 11-01-1972

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