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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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AMISH EVIL SIGNS

ANY DEFORMATION IN A PERSON IS CONSIDERED TO BE EVIL, ESPECIALLY
A PERSON HAVING TWO THUMBS.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT LEARNED THIS FROM HIS GRANDMOTHER IN NORTHERN INDIANA
ABOUT 1950. HE SAYS HE IS TWO STEPS REMOVED FROM THE AMISH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Physically handicapped Deformed

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IF YOU GET YOUR STOMACH WET WASHING DISHES, YOU'LL
MARRY A DRUNK.

Where learned: LETTER

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Physically handicapped Deformed
BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Use of object for determining future spouse

Date learned: 01-30-1970

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IF YOU SPILL DISHWATER ON YOUR APRON YOU WILL
MARRY A DRUNKARD.

Submitter comment: GRANDMOTHER'S TALE.

Where learned: DETROIT ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Physically handicapped Deformed
BELIEF -- Marriage

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IF YOU SING AT THE SUPPER TABLE, YOU WILL HAVE A CRAZY
SPOUSE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Physically handicapped Deformed
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Marriage

Date learned: 09-20-1969

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IF YOU SING AT THE TABLE, YOU WILL MARRY A CRAZY
PERSON.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): FUNCTION

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Physically handicapped Deformed
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Marriage

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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CHAIR

NEVER WALK A CHAIR IN THE HOUSE. IT CAUSES A CHILD TO BE
BORN CRIPPLE.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

James Callow Keyword(s): CARRY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Physically handicapped Deformed
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: CA11001973

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LUCK

LEFT HANDED PEOPLE HAVE A TENDENCY TO BE CRAZY BECAUSE THEY DO
THINGS BACKWARDS.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; UNICE

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Physically handicapped Deformed
BELIEF -- Physically handicapped Deformed

Date learned: CA11001973

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FIBS

PINOCCHIO NOSE IS A NAME CHILDREN ARE TOLD THEY WILL BE CALLED IF
THEY TELL FIBS. THIS IS TAKEN FROM THE STORY ABOUT THE BOY WHOSE
NOSE GREW EVERY TIME HE TOLD A LIE.

Submitter comment: MY MOTHER TOLD ME MY NOSE WOULD BE JUST LIKE PINOCCHIO'S.

Subject headings: Person / Nickname
BELIEF -- Physically handicapped Deformed
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Nose
SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 00001955-00001958

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DON'T SLEEP IN THE MOONLIGHT, IT MAY CAUSE YOU TO GO CRAZY.

Submitter comment: I HEARD THIS A FEW YEARS AGO PERTAINING TO THE POWER THE MOON HAD
OVER PEOPLE'S LIVES.

Where learned: DETROIT ; TOLD IN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Physically handicapped Deformed
BELIEF -- Moon

Date learned: 10-11-1972

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THE BEARDED LADY

AS A CHILD LIVING WITH MY GRANDFATHER IN OMAHA I REMEMBER BEING
TOLD BY THE KIDS ON THE BLOCK, THE HOUSE ACROSS FROM OURS
WAS OCCUPIED BY A LADY WITH A BEARD. NO ONE EVER SAW HER BUT THE
STORY PERSISTED ANYWAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Physically handicapped Deformed
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal

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IF A LADY EATS MUSTARD AND TURNIP GREENS BEFORE HER BABY IS A MONTH
OLD THE BABY WILL BE DUMB.

Submitter comment: I ACTUALLY SAW THIS PERSON REFUSE SOME TURNIP GREENS BECAUSE
SHE DID NOT WANT TO MAKE HER BABY DUMB.

Where learned: DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Physically handicapped Deformed
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

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THE CHESTER TRAIN MAN

CHESTER, NEW JERSEY IS A SMALL RURAL TOWN 45 MILES WEST OF NEW
YORK CITY. FREQUENTLY, JOY RIDERS IN MORRIS COUNTY, N.J. WILL DRIVE
INTO CHESTER LOOKING FOR THE CHESTER TRAIN MAN. IN CHESTER, THERE
REMAINS OLD AND RARELY USED RAILROAD TRACKS. A LONG TIME AGO A TRAIN
ENGINEER HOLDING A LANTERN WAS BEHEADED IN AN ACCIDENT. THE STORY
GOES, ON SOME NIGHTS A HEADLESS MAN WAVING A LANTERN ON RR TRACKS CAN
AND HAS BEEN SEEN. MY INFORMANTS WERE A FRIEND FROM HOME, MATT
CARLSON. THIS STORY WAS SUPPORTED BY A CO-WORKER OF MINE BILL FRANEY
WHO IS FROM MORRISTOWN, NEW JERSEY.

Where learned: NEW JERSEY ; MORRIS PLAINS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Physically handicapped Deformed

Date learned: EASTER OF 1972

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DURING THE TIME YOU ARE PREGRANT, YOU ARE NOT TO LOOK
AT A DEFORMED PERSON OR IF YOU ARE FRIGHTENED BY AN AMIMAL YOUR
CHILD WILL LOOK LIKE IT.

James Callow comment: COLLECTOR'S SPELLING HAS BEEN CORRECTED

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): CONTAGION ; PREGNANT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Physically handicapped Deformed
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 10-00-1974

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CROOKED ANGEL

IF YOU ARE ACTING LIKE AN IDIOT, MAKING CROOKED FACES, WALKING
CRIPPLED, THE CROOKED ANGEL MIGHT PASS AND YOU WILL REMAIN THAT WAY
FOREVER.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT TOLD ME THIS EXACTLY AS IT IS DOWN HERE. SHE HEARD THIS
FROM HER MOTHER AS A CHILD.

James Callow comment: PARALLEL BELIEF: IF THE WIND CHANGES WHILE YOU'RE FROWNING,
YOUR FACE WILL STAY THAT WAY
LIKE THE GAME STATUES--PATRICIA A. CALLOW

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROSEVILLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Angel
BELIEF -- Physically handicapped Deformed
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 02-02-1970

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PREDICTION

IF YOUR NOSE ITCHES, IT MEANS YOU ARE GOING TO KISS A FOOL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Spirit / Mind / Body
BELIEF -- Physically handicapped Deformed
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 03-00-1971

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PROVERBIAL COMPARISON

AS ODD AS KATE CARNEY'S CAT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ALLITERATION ; ANIMAL ; ANIMATED NATURE ; PROPER NAME

James Callow Keyword(s): ECCENTRICITY ; PERSONAL PROVERB

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Physically handicapped Deformed
PROVERB -- Blason Populaire
PROVERB -- Proverbial Comparison

Date learned: 00-00-1960

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PROVERB

THE BLIND LEAD THE BLIND.

Submitter comment: FROM UNCERTAIN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE

James Callow Keyword(s): OBSERVATION ; STUPIDITY?

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Physically handicapped Deformed
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Eyes, evil eye
PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

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PROVERBIAL METAPHOR

BUSIER THAN A ONE ARMED PAPER HANGER WITH THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH.

Where learned: DEARBORN

Keyword(s): NUMBERS

James Callow Keyword(s): FRUSTRATION

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
686 Seven / Sevenths / Several
BELIEF -- Physically handicapped Deformed
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Upper body, arms, neck
PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase

Date learned: 04-06-1971

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PROVERB

BUSIER THAN A ONE LEGGED MAN IN AN ASS-KICKING CONTEST.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): NUMBERS

James Callow Keyword(s): FRUSTRATION

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
BELIEF -- Physically handicapped Deformed
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Lower body, legs
PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase

Date learned: 04-04-1970

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THE OLD LADY IN THE OLD HOUSE

THE OLD LADY THAT USED TO LIVE IN A LARGE DARK HOUSE DOWN
THE STREET WAS BELIEVED TO HOARD ALL HER MONEY AND BE VERY RICH.

Submitter comment: A BELIEF AT 8-9 YEARS OF AGE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): MISER

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Physically handicapped Deformed
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 10-31-1968

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