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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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PREMONITION OF DEATH

IF A BIRD FLIES AGAINST A CLOSED WINDOW IT IS A SIGN THAT SOMEONE
IN YOUR FAMILY WILL DIE SOON.

Submitter comment: FIRST HEARD FROM A NEIGHBOR IN 1953 WHEN SHE RAN OVER, FRIGHTENED
BY A BIRD THAT HAD FLOWN AGAINST HER WINDOW. HER AUNT DIED TWO
DAYS LATER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bird

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WORK CUSTOM: EGG LAYING

TO MAKE CHICKENS LAY EGGS, YOU TAKE THE DUNG OF RABBITS AND POUND
IT INTO POWDER, MIX THIS WITH BRAN AND FEED IT TO CHICKENS.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM HIS GRANDFATHER.

Where learned: INDIANA ; South Bend

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Bird

Date learned: 11-23-1967

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BELIEF

HENS SHOULD SET ON AN ODD NUMBER OF EGGS.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM HIS FATHER.

Where learned: INDIANA ; South Bend

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Number Odd number (not specific)

Date learned: 11-23-1967

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WHEN A BIRD BUILDS A NEST IT MEANS GOOD LUCK.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED THIS SUPERSTITION FROM HIS
MOTHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Head, physiognomy, face
BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Use of Object Animals

Date learned: 07-00-1964

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ARABIAN BELIEF

WHEN WALKING IN THE STREET, IF A BIRD DEFICATES ON
ONE'S HEAD, IT MEANS THAT HE WILL SOON RECEIVE A
SUM OF MONEY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Head, physiognomy, face
BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Use of Object Animals

Date learned: 10-00-1967

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BAD OMEN

IF A BIRD CRASHES INTO YOUR WINDOW AND DIES,
A MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY
WILL DIE SOON.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROSEVILLE

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

Date learned: 11-00-1974

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DEATH SUPERSTITION

AN ENTRANCE OF A BIRD INTO A HOME IS A WARNING OF
IMMINENT DEATH TO A MEMBER OF THAT FAMILY

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Dreams Dreams about animals

Date learned: 11-11-1974

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BURN OLD HAIR

ALWAYS BURN YOUR HAIR THAT IS LEFT IN THE COMB OR BRUSH BECAUSE IF
A BIRD MAKES HIS NEST WITH YOUR HAIR, YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE A HEADACHE

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

James Callow Keyword(s): CONTAGIOUS MAGIC

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hair, on head, mustache, widow's peak
BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: CA11001973

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A SUPERSTITION WE HAVE COME ACROSS IS IF A WILD BIRD IS IN YOUR
HOUSE, IT MEANS DEATH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

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

Date learned: 09-22-1972

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IF A BIRD FROM THE OUTSIDE COMES INTO YOUR HOUSE, YOU WILL HAVE BAD
LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.3

Date learned: 09-22-1972

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BIRDS

IF A BIRD FLIES INTO YOUR HOUSE THERE IS GOING TO BE A DEATH IN THE
FAMILY

Where learned: DETROIT

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

Date learned: 11-03-1972

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"IF A BIRD SOMEHOW GETS INTO THE HOUSE, IT'S A SURE SIGN THAT THERE
WILL BE A DEATH IN THE FAMILY."

Where learned: DETROIT

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

Date learned: 11-15-1972

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SUPERSTITION

AT NIGHT IN KILMARNOCK, VIRGINIA, A GHOST LIKE FIGURE IS SEEN TO BE
ROAMING THE BAY AREA. IT IS THOUGHT TO BE AN ALBINO DEER. SOME
PEOPLE BELIEVE IT TO BE RELATED TO THE OCEAN GHOST.

Where learned: VIRGINIA ; KILMARNOCK

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Bird

Date learned: 11-27-1972

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IF A BIRD FLIES IN THE HOUSE; THAT MEANS SOMEBODY WILL DIE.

Submitter comment: THIS IS ANOTHER SUPERSTITION I THINK SHE BELIEVES.

Where learned: DETROIT

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

Date learned: 12-00-1972

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MY FATHER USE TO SAY THIS ON THE FARM: IF YOU NEVER PLOW UP A
BIRD'S NEST THAT MEANS THERE'LL BE NO BUGS ON THE CROPS FOR THE
COMING YEAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Insect
BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming

Date learned: 10-07-1972

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WHEN A BIRD FLIES INTO A WINDOW AND IT KILLS ITSELF THE PERSON
STANDING CLOSEST TO THE WINDOW WILL HAVE A LOVED ONE DIE.

Where learned: OHIO ; LUCAS COUNTY

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

Date learned: 10-03-1972

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LUCK/OMEN

GOOD LUCK WILL BE YOURS IF THE FIRST ROBIN YOU SEE IN THE SPRING
FLIES UP, BUT IF HE FLIES DOWN, YOU ARE DOOMED TO A STREAK OF BAD
LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FARMINGTON ; TOLD IN

James Callow Keyword(s): DIRECTION

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
Observation
BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.32
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.32

Date learned: 09-26-1972

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OMEN

IF A BIRD FLIES INTO A HOUSE THROUGH AN OPEN WINDOW, IT MEANS A
VERY BAD OMEN HAS BEEN GIVEN AND SOMEONE LIVING IN THE HOUSE WILL
DIE WITHIN THE YEAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FARMINGTON ; TOLD IN

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

Date learned: 09-26-1972

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WISHING

IF YOU MAKE A WISH AS SOON AS YOU SEE A ROBIN , THEN IT WILL COME
TRUE

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FARMINGTON ; TOLD IN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: 09-26-1972

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