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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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CRICKETS IN YOUR BASEMENT IS GOOD LUCK. JIM'S INFORMANT WAS HIS
MOTHER WHO RESIDES IN PITTSBURGH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Insect
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.33

Date learned: 12-07-1972

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WHERE ARE THE COWS?

IF YOU PICK UP A SPIDER AND HOLD IT BY ONE LEG AND SAY GRANDADDY,
GRANDADDY, WHERE ARE THE COWS? HE WILL POINT TO THE COWS.

Submitter comment: MARYLOU'S INFORMANT WAS BEATRICE SAYAS A MARRIED NEGRO FROM NEW ORLEANS

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Insect

Date learned: 11-08-1972

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IF YOU SEE A SPIDER CATCH IT AND KEEP IT. THIS FOR GOOD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Insect
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.33

Date learned: 09-08-1972

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IF YOUR BEES SWARM, AND SHOW SIGNS OF MOVING AWAY, OR IF A WILD
SWARM FLIES ONTO YOUR PREMISES, ALL THE FAMILY HAD BETTER 'RUN OUT
AND RING BELLS AND BLOW HORNS FOR ALL YOU ARE WORTH.' THE BEES WILL
EITHER BE SO CHARMED OR CONFUSED THAT THEY WILL SETTLE DOWN.

Submitter comment: HIS FATHER KEPT SEVERAL SWARMS OF BEES AND FOLLOWED THIS ON
ONE OCCASION, AT WHICH TIME THE BEES SETTLED DOWN AND THE WILD ONES
WERE INCORPORATED INTO THE GROUP.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): NOISE NOISEMAKING

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Insect

Date learned: 03-10-1968

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CRICKET

IF YOU KILL A CRICKET, IT WILL COME IN THE NIGHT AND EAT HOLES IN
YOUR CLOTHES.

Submitter comment: I CAN REMEMBER AS A CHILD, BELIEVING THIS TO THE POINT WHERE I
STAYED UP GUARDING MY CLOSET ALL NIGHT FROM THE ONSLAUGHT OF A
PREVIOUSLY KILLED CRICKET.

Where learned: OHIO ; TOLEDO

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Insect

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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WEATHER BELIEF

DON'T STEP ON AN ANT. IT WILL RAIN TOMMORROW.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Insect
BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew

Date learned: 02-17-1970

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BELIEF

DRAGONFLIES SEW YOUR MOUTH SHUT IF YOU TELL LIES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Insect

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SPIDERS

IF YOU SEE A LITTLE SPIDER WALKING ALL OVER YOUR ARM, YOU SHOULD
NOT KILL HIM, BECAUSE THAT IS A SIGN OF GETTING A LETTER FROM YOUR
BELOVED. IF YOU DO KILL IT, THEN BIG TROUBLE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Insect

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RAIN BELIEF

IF YOU STEP ON AN ANT, IT WILL RAIN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Insect
BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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'A SPINNERIN AM MORGEN BRINGT SORGEN'. A SPIDER SPINNING A WEB IN
THE MORNING BRINGS SORROW.. AUSTRIAN SAYING.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GARDEN CITY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Insect

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SUPERSTITION

HAIRS, WHEN LEFT IN WATER, TURN TO WORMS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GRAND RAPIDS

James Callow Keyword(s): TRANSFORMATION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Insect

Date learned: 10-00-1971

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THE WAY TO GET RID OF AN EAR ACHE, IS TO GET A BETSY BUG, WHICH
ONLY HAS TWO DROPS OF BLOOD IN IT, PULL HIS HEAD OFF WHILE STANDING
OVER THE PERSON WITH THE EAR ACHE, AND LET THE TWO DROPS OF BLOOD
FALL IN THE INFECTED EAR. THE EAR ACHE WILL DISAPPEAR.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT'S MOTHER DID THIS FOR HER EAR ACHE WHEN SHE WAS A CHILD.
HER MOTHER WOULD GET UP EARLY EVERY MORNING FOR THREE MORNINGS
AND CRAWL UNDER THE HOUSE AND DIG UNTIL SHE FOUND A BETSY BUG.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FERNDALE

Subject headings: 686 Seconds / Twice / Two
686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
BELIEF -- Insect
BELIEF -- Animal

Date learned: 12-07-1971

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IF THERE IS A CRICKET IN YOUR HOUSE, LET IT STAY, BECAUSE IT WILL
BRING GOOD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Insect
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.33

Date learned: 00-00-1968

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BELIEF

'DID YOU KNOW THAT AN ANT CAN CARRY 100 TIMES ITS OWN WEIGHT?'

Submitter comment: THIS WAS TOLD ME AS STRICT FACT BY MY INFORMANT, WHILE WE WERE
TALKING ABOUT A DIFFERENT AREA OF FOLKLORE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): ANT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Insect

Date learned: 00-00-1968

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HICCUP CURE

IF YOU KILL A SPIDER, YOU WILL GET RID OF YOUR HICCUPS.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT IS A FRIEND OF MINE, AND HE REMEMBERS THIS FROM HIS
CHILDHOOD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Insect

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BEE

IT IS GOOD FOR A BEE TO STING YOU BECAUSE IT MAKES YOUR CELLS WORK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): VITALIZING BEE STING

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

Date learned: 03-01-1971

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LIGHTNING BUG

IF YOU CATCH A LIGHTNING BUG, YOU CAN MAKE A WISH.
INFORMANT REMEMBERS THIS FROM HIS CHILDHOOD.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT IS A FRIEND OF MINE, AND HE REMEMBERS THIS FROM HIS
CHILDHOOD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Insect
BELIEF -- Prayer

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SPIDER KILLING TABOO

IN IRELAND IT IS TABOO TO KILL SPIDERS BECAUSE SPIDERS WERE SUPPOSED
TO BUILD GIANT WEBS INTO WHICH PEOPLE CRAWLED TO HEAR MASS.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT RELATED THAT THE ABOVE WAS TRUE BECAUSE THE CATHOLICS
WERE BEING KILLED AND THEIR CHURCHES BURNT, AND THIS WAS THE ONLY
WAY THEY COULD HAVE MASS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Insect

Date learned: 02-00-1971

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BUG

IF A LIGHTNING BUG ENTERS YOUR HOME, THAT IS A SIGN THAT A STRANGER
IS COMING TO YOUR HOUSE.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED IN CHILDHOOD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Insect

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SUPERSTITION

ITS GOOD FOR A BEE TO STING YOU BECAUSE IT MAKES YOUR CELLS WORK.

Where learned: OHIO ; PARMA

James Callow Keyword(s): VITALIZING BEE STING

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

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