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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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MAGIC BELIEF

IF A COW DOES NOT PRODUCE LOTS OF MILK, IT IS BECAUSE THE WITCH
HAS CAST A SPELL. THEREFORE DURING ALL HOLY DAYS, POLISH
VILLAGERS WOULD BURN BLESSED HERBS IN AN INCENSE BURNER IN THE
BARN, BELIEVING THE SMOKE WOULD CHASE AWAY THE WITCH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Drink from animal product
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 02-07-1971

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SPIRIT

ON AN AUGUST DAY WHEN THE SUN IS HIGHEST IN THE SKY AT 12
NOON, STAND WITH THREE FRIENDS IN A WOODEN DESERTED AREA. AT
EXACTLY 12 NOON HAVE EVERYONE STARE AT EACH OTHER. THE SUN COMING
THROUGH THE TREES SHOULD FORM A HALO OVER THE PERSON OR PERSONS
WHO HAVE ANY POWER OF WITCHCRAFT OR WIZARDRY IN THEIR BLOOD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): NUMBERS

Subject headings: Observation
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- not sure
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Week Day Hour
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Sun
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Observation of galactic or celestial bodies

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ECLIPSE

A WITCH MUST WAIT THREE HOURS AFTER EATING BEFORE
USING ANY WITCHCRAFT.

James Callow Keyword(s): NUMBER

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
Food Drink -- Special Form and PurposeObject of Bodily Consumption
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman

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WITCH TEST

THE PERSON SUSPECTED OF BEING A WITCH IS TIED AND THROWN
INTO THE WATER. IF SHE ESCAPES, SHE IS A WITCH AND MUST BE
BURNED. IF SHE DROWNS, SHE IS NOT A WITCH.

Where learned: OHIO ; FREMONT

James Callow Keyword(s): IRONY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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BELIEF-WITCHES

IF A WOMAN (SUPPOSEDLY) A WITCH HAS A DAUGHTER SHE WISHES
TO MARRY OFF, SHE WILL BURN A STOCKING AND THIS WILL BEWITCH
A BOY AND DRAW HIM TO THE DAUGHTER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman

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OMEN

QUITE OFTEN ONE SIGN OF A WITCH IS RED HAIR. THIS IS BECAUSE
JUDAS HAD RED HAIR AND DEALT WITH THE DEVIL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): COLOR SYMBOL ; HOMEOPATHIC

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hair, on head, mustache, widow's peak

Date learned: 02-12-1968

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WITCH BELIEF

TO BECOME A WITCH, TAKE ONE GOLD RING, ONE CANDLE STICK HOLDER
AND ONE SCARF; BURY THESE IN THE EARTH TILL THE NEXT FULL MOON;
AT THE NEXT FULL MOON, AT MIDNIGHT, DIG UP THE RING, CANDLE-STICK
HOLDER AND SCARF AND BOIL THEM TOGETHER IN A LARGE POT THE
CANDIDATE WITCH THEN RECITES CERTAIN MAGICAL PHRASES AND
BECOMES A FULL-FLEDGED WITCH.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Moon
BELIEF -- P628 P628.2
BELIEF -- Use of Object
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Observation of galactic or celestial bodies
SPEECH -- Formula

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WITCHES

NEVER WALK ALONE AFTER MIDNIGHT, BECAUSE THIS IS THE TIME
WITCHES AND SPIRITS COME OUT.

Where learned: IRELAND ; KILLARNEY ; EIRE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour

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MARIE LAVEAU

AMONG SOME OF THE MORE SUPERSTITIOUS NEGROES OF SOUTHERN LOUISIANA
AND NEW ORLEANS IN PARTICULAR, THERE IS A PERSISTENT BELIEF
IN MARIE LAVEAU, THE VOODOO QUEEN OF NEW ORLEANS. BELIEVERS
MARK WITH CHALK ON HER TOMB WALL AND ASK FOR SUPERNATURAL
ASSISTANCE. ALSO, IT'S BELIEVED THAT SOIL FROM HER GRAVE HAS
MAGICAL PROPERTIES SO IT IS USED IN DIFFERENT VOODOO RITES.
MARIE LAVEAU'S GRAVE IN NEW ORLEANS DATES BACK TO THE LATE 18TH
CENTURY AND IS A WELL KNOWN PLACE FOR VOODOO FOLLOWERS. NEW
ORLEANS ABOUNDS WITH LEGENDS AND STORIES OF HER FANTASTIC LIFE.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector are the same person.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Explanation of a name
BELIEF -- Emblem
BELIEF -- Use of Object

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SUPERSTITION

IN QUEBEC, THE FRENCH WHO HAD LAND LIVED BY FARMING, AND THOSE
WHO HAD NONE LIVED BY BEGGING. THE FARMERS TREATED THE BEGGARS
WITH CARE, FOR THEY HAD POWERS--FOR GOOD, FOR ILL.

Where learned: CANADA

Subject headings: 840
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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BORROWING

IF YOU BORROW ANYTHING AT ALL FROM A WITCH THAT BELONGS
TO HIM PERSONALLY YOU CAN HOLD A SPELL OVER HIM BY KISSING
THE OBJECT AND SAYING "THANK YOU" THREE TIMES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MELVINDALE

James Callow Keyword(s): NUMBER

Subject headings: 686 686.1
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman

Date learned: 09-00-1971

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BELIEF ABOUT DEVILS

THE SUBJECT OF WITCHES IS CLOSELY RELATED TO BLACK CATS, THE
MOON, DEVILS, ASTROLOGY. IT IS JOKED TODAY THAT IF
A BLACK CAT CROSSES
YOUR PATH BAD LUCK WILL COME. IN EARLY YEARS IT WAS BELIEVED
DEVILS DISGUISED THEMSELVES AS BLACK CATS, DOGS OR GOATS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MOUNT PLEASANT

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMALS ; COLOR

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Moon
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.3

Date learned: 10-28-1971

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BUILDING A FIRE

WITCHES BUILD A FIRE IN THE OPEN AND DRAW A MAGIC
CIRCLE ABOUT IT WITH A SWORD. MEN AND WOMEN ALTERNATELY JOIN
HANDS AND QUICKEN THEIR PACE, FROM A WALK
TO A RUN, CHANTING ANCIENT RITES.

Submitter comment:

Taken from 1967 "Life" magazine.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MOUNT PLEASANT

Subject headings: 646
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Curse
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 10-28-1971

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SPELL

IF SOMEONE CASTS A SPELL ON YOU THAT YOU WISH TO BREAK
URINATE IN A GUN BARREL AND CORK IT SAYING,
"I'VE GOT YOU."
THE PERSON WHO CAST THE SPELL WILL COME TO YOU BECAUSE HE
CANNOT URINATE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): LOCKING THE KIDNEYS

James Callow Keyword(s): CONTAGION

Subject headings: 646
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 09-00-1971

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MAGIC

IN CHINA, A WOMAN CALLED 'OOPOH' IS CONSIDERED A "MAGICAL WOMAN."
SHE CAN PREDICT THE FUTURE, WORK SPELLS, PERFORM MAGIC.
IF A MAN DIES AWAY FROM HOME, HIS SPIRIT CAN BE BROUGHT HOME BY THE
WIZARD (OOPOH), AND HIS FAMILY CAN SEE THAT IT IS INTERRED.
THE BODY IS NOT TRANSFERRED--JUST THE SPIRIT. AND ONLY
THE SPIRIT OF A GOOD MAN CAN BE BROUGHT HOME FOR BURIAL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ANN ARBOR

Subject headings: 646
800
820
840
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 02-04-1968

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ONE CAN TELL YOU IF YOU HAVE TRULY KILLED A WITCH IF A CROW CROWS.
IF YOU DID NOT HEAR IT, IT IS A SIGN THAT THE WITCH HAS TAKEN
OVER THE SOUL OF A NEWLY BORN BABY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Bird
SPEECH -- Extra Corporal Means of Communication

Date learned: 03-20-1970

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SPIRIT MEDIUMS

THIS IS A BELIEF IN INDIA. MEDIUMS, PEOPLE WHO CAN CONTACT DEAD
SOULS, CAN CAUSE TROUBLE BY PULLING THEM INTO ACTIVITY.
IF A MEDIUM CALLS A SPIRIT, HE CAN CAPTURE THE SOUL OF A MAN
JUST DIED. THE SPIRIT OF THE NEWLY DEAD CAN BE FORCED OUT
BY THE MEDIUM. IT IS DANGEROUS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ANN ARBOR

Subject headings: 820
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Magic of Speech, Sign, Color

Date learned: 02-04-1968

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BELIEF IN WITCHES

SHARON MCCORMICK'S GRANDMOTHER AND GREAT GRANDMOTHER,
WHO WERE PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH, WERE WITCHES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
SPEECH -- Proper Name

Date learned: 09-24-1969

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BELIEF (LEGEND)

TO KILL A WITCH- CLOSE THE BOOK, RING THE BELL, AND BLOW
OUT THE CANDLE.

Where learned: DETROIT ; collector's home

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 10-23-1968

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WITCH OF TRAVERSE

ABOUT 9 YEARS AGO, A CLASSMATE OF MINE NAMED JOHN PUTRASS TOLD
ME ABOUT A WITCH THAT LIVED ON HIS STREET. SHE LIVED IN AN
OLD HOUSE ON TRAVERSE NEAR ST. CYRIL AND VAN DYKE. THE HOUSE
WAS UNPAINTED AND SEVERAL DEAD TREES GREW AROUND IT. WHEN I WENT
TO SEE IT, SHE WAS STANDING ON THE PORCH WITH LONG STRINGY
WHITE HAIR AND A LONG GREEN DRESS. AS WE DROVE BY HER HOUSE
ON OUR BIKES, SHE STARED AT US COLDLY. THE LEGEND ON THE STREET WAS
THAT SHE BURIED HER HUSBAND, WHO HAD BEEN MISSING FOR YEARS, IN THE CELLAR.
I WENT TO SEE THE HOUSE ABOUT FIVE YEARS AGO, AND IT WAS
CONDEMNED BY THE CITY. AT PRESENT IT NO LONGER STANDS, BUT WHEN
I WENT TO ST. THOMAS SCHOOL, IT STRUCK FEAR INTO ANYONE THAT SAW IT.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector are the same person.

Where learned: DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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