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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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WEATHER SUPERSTITION

IF YOU SEE COWS LAYING DOWN, THAT MEANS IT WILL RAIN.

Submitter comment: I FIRST HEARD THIS ITEM FROM MY MOTHER WHEN I WAS A SMALL CHILD,
AND WE WERE TAKING A DRIVE THROUGH THE COUNTRY. SHE HAD HEARD
IT FROM HER MOTHER, WHO STRONGLY BELIEVED IT, AND WHO HAD LIVED ON A
FARM AS A SMALL GIRL. MY MOTHER "THINKS THERE MIGHT BE SOMETHING TO
IT," BUT DOES NOT TOTALLY BELIEVE IN THE IDEA. MY FATHER HAS HEARD
THE SUPERSTITION ALSO.
SOMETIMES WE WOULD SEE A GROUP OF COWS: SOME STANDING AND SOME
LYING. HAVING NO REAL ANSWER, MY PARENTS WOULD TELL ME THAT THE
COWS WERE NOT SURE WHAT IT WAS GOING TO DO.

Where learned: OHIO ; MASSILLON

Subject headings: 891 Animals, (vertebrate and invertebrate)
891 Animals, (vertebrate and invertebrate)
891 Animals, (vertebrate and invertebrate)
891 Animals, (vertebrate and invertebrate)
891 Animals, vertebrate and invertebrate)
Favorites
BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through P891.3
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Animals (vertebrate and invertebrate)

Date learned: 11-00-1973

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MEANS OF AVOIDING ILLNESS

THE HAIR FROM A DOG WHICH HAS BITTEN YOU IS AN ANTIDOTE AGAINST
EVIL CONSEQUENCES IF GIVEN BY THE OWNER TO THE PERSON BITTEN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness
BELIEF -- Animal
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 09-00-1973

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MY GRANDMOTHER HAD A DREAM OF HER SISTER BEING -
KILLED BY HER BROTHER-IN-LAW.
THEN A MAN ON A WHITE HORSE CAME UP TO HER TO TELL HER THE
NEWS. THE NEXT MORNING SHE RECEIVED WORD THAT HER SISTER WAS KILLED

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Color
BELIEF -- Dreams Foretelling a death
BELIEF -- Dreams Dreams about animals

Date learned: 11-02-1972

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A HOWLING DOG AT NIGHT TOWARDS A CERTAIN HOUSE DENOTES DEATH FOR
SOMEONE IN THE HOUSE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 10-29-1972

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MANY YOUNG MOTHERS BELIEVE THAT PET CATS WILL STIFLE THE BREATH OF
THEIR BABIES IF THEY HAVE THE CHANCE.

Submitter comment: MANY OF THE INFORMANT'S PATIENTS HAVE ASKED HIM ABOUT THIS.

Where learned: MARYLAND ; BALTIMORE ; TOLD IN

James Callow Keyword(s): SUFFOCATION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 00-00-1972

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FORECASTING WINTER

ACCORDING TO INFORMANT, IF AN UNUSUALLY LARGE NUMBER OF SQUIRRELS
HAVE WHITE UNDER THEIR TAILS AND ALONG THE BACKS OF THEIR HIND LEGS,
THEN ONE CAN EXPECT A LONG HARD WINTER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; PORT HURON

Subject headings: 891 Animals, (vertebrate and invertebrate)
891 Animals, (vertebrate and invertebrate)
891 Animals, (vertebrate and invertebrate)
891 Animals, (vertebrate and invertebrate)
891 Animals, vertebrate and invertebrate)
BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through P891.3
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Animals (vertebrate and invertebrate)

Date learned: 10-30-1972

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BAD LUCK

IF YOU'VE SEEN A BLACK CAT OR BROKEN A MIRROR, THROW SOME SALT
OVER YOUR LEFT SHOULDER TO PREVENT THE BAD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Color
BELIEF -- Conversions P883.14
BELIEF -- Conversions P883.17
BELIEF -- Conversions P883.31

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KILLER CATS

SOME PEOPLE DON'T LET CATS NEAR THEIR NEWLY BORN BABIES BECAUSE
CATS ARE SAID TO LEAP ON THE CHILD'S CHEST AND SUCK THE BREATH
OUT OF HIM.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

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DOG DAYS

I WAS ALWAYS TOLD BY MY MOTHER AND MY FATHER THAT THE LAST
DAYS OF AUGUST WERE DOG DAYS BECAUSE IT WAS SO HOT. THEY TOLD
ME NEVER TO MESS WITH DOGS THEN BECAUSE THE HEAT MADE THEM
SULLEN AND UNPREDICTABLE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- August
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- August 16
BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Measure of time Month

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IF YOU SEE AN OLD CAT RUNNING AND PLAYING AND FEELING GOOD; IT IS A
SIGN THE WIND IS GOING TO BLOW.

Submitter comment: MY UNCLE SAID THIS ABOUT A CAT ON HIS PORCH.

Where learned: DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Natural atmospheric phenomenon

Date learned: 12-00-1972

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IF A BLACK DOG STANDS OUTSIDE OF A HOUSE AT NIGHT AND HOWLS; THAT
MEANS SOMEBODY HAS DIED.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT SAID SHE WAS AFRAID MANY NIGHTS, WHEN THIS HAPPEN.

Where learned: DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Color

Date learned: 12-00-1972

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IT IS BAD LUCK IF A BLACK CAT CROSSES IN FRONT OF YOU

Where learned: NEW YORK ; Wappingers Falls

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Color
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.3

Date learned: 00001950S

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IN THE CASE OF A DOG HAVING WORMS THE BEST WAY TO GET RID OF
THEM IS FORCE THE DOG TO TAKE TWO SHOTS OF RUM AND AFTER THAT
GIVE HIM ALL THE WATER HE WANTS. THE WORMS WILL BE GONE AFTER
TWO SUCH TREATMENTS

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; JACKSON

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- P753

Date learned: 10-01-1972

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NEVER LET A TOM CAT SLEEP IN THE SAME BEDROOM WITH A CHILD, IT
WILL TAKE THE CHILD'S BREATH AWAY AND SMOTHER IT, KILLING THE
CHILD.

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 10-03-1972

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LUCK

IF YOU PUT A CAT INTO A CRADLE BEFORE A NEWBORN INFANT, ALL EVIL
SPIRITS WILL BE DRIVEN AWAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FARMINGTON ; TOLD IN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 09-26-1972

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BLACK CAT

GREEKS BELIEVE THAT IF THE FIRST THING YOU SEE WHEN YOU
GO OUT IN THE MORNING IS A BLACK CAT, SOMETHING BAD WILL HAPPEN

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

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.3

Date learned: 11-28-1972

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OMENS

IN GREECE DOGS AND HORSES ARE OMENS TO MEN. WHEN A HORSE WILL
NOT GO OUT INTO THE FIELD TO WORK, THEN YOU KNOW SOMETHING BAD
IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO YOU.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALLEN PARK

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Mammal

Date learned: 09-00-1972

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EVIL EYE

IF A LADY HAS AN EVIL EYE AND IS JEALOUS OF A MAN, SHE CAN
MAKE THAT MAN'S MULE FALL DOWN AND DIE. IF SHE LIKES THE MAN,
THE MULE WILL RUN AND BE HEALTHY.

Submitter comment: (THE EVIL EYE HAS POWER OVER THE MULE BECAUSE IT IS LIKE A MAN
STRONG AND STUBBORN.)

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALLEN PARK

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Curse

Date learned: 09-00-1972

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