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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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QUARTZ CRYSTALS

IF YOU PUT QUARTZ CRYSTALS OVER YOUR DOOR BY TAPING
THEM THERE. YOU WARD OFF EVIL SPIRITS AND HARM. THE REASON
BEING THAT SINCE QUARTZ IS MULTI-FACED, IT WILL REFLECT AWAY EVIL
SPIRITS. BRUCE'S INFORMANT WAS HIS MOTHER ORETHA OF CREOLE DESCENT

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): MAGICAL OBJECT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 12-08-1972

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IF THERE IS SOMEONE THAT YOU WANT NEVER TO RETURN TO YOUR HOUSE THROW
SOME SALT ON THEM AS THEY LEAVE.

Where learned: DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 09-08-1972

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IF YOU WANT TO KEEP A PERSON OUT OF YOUR HOUSE, THROW SOME SALT
BEHIND THEM WHEN THEY LEAVE THE HOUSE

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): MAGICAL CONTROL OF WOULD-BE VISITORS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 10-00-1974

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SALT

NEVER WIPE SALT OFF THE TABLE, BLOWIT OFF,
OR YOU WILL HAVE BAD LUCK.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

James Callow Keyword(s): SPILLED SALT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.17
BELIEF -- Conversions P883.17
BELIEF -- Conversions P883.22

Date learned: CA1963-1975

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TURQUOISE

WEARING TURQUOISE BRINGS GOOD LUCK.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN ;

James Callow Keyword(s): JEWELRY ORNAMENT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Color
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.1

Date learned: CA1963-1975

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ALBATROSS

IT IS BAD LUCK FOR AN ALBATROSS TO FOLLOW A SHIP. IF SHE DOES,
SHE MUST BE SHOT WITH A GUN ARMED WITH SILVER BULLETS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALMA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.32

Date learned: 03-09-1970

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FAIRY BELIEF

IN IRELAND,
THE FAIRIES WERE BAD TOO. THEY WOULD COME BY THE NIGHT AND MILK THE
COWS AND HAVE A PICNIC AND WHEN YOU CHURNED THE MILK YOU WOULD HAVE
NO BUTTER. THE ONLY WAY YOU COULD SHOOT THEM WAS TO PUT A SILVER
COIN IN THE GUN, ALONG WITH THE AMMUNITION. AT TWELVE MIDNIGHT,
THEY COULD TAKE YOU FOR A VERY LONG WALK AND KEEP YOU WALKING UNTIL
THE COCKS WOULD CROW AT 4 A.M. BUT YOU COULD FOOL THEM IF YOU
TURNED YOUR COAT INSIDE OUT AND BLESSED YOURSELF WITH THE SIGN OF
THE CROSS.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; ROCHESTER

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Fairy Elf Goblin Gnome
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 03-11-1972

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BELIEF

IF YOU SPILL SALT, BE SURE TO PICK SOME OF IT UP BETWEEN THUMB
AND FIRST FINGER AND THROW IT ACROSS THE RIGHT SHOULDER. IT GOES
IN THE DEVIL'S EYES. HE WILL NOT TEMPT YOU TO DO ANYTHING WRONG.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; ROCHESTER

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 03-11-1972

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SOME JAPANESE WRESTLERS BELIEVE THAT THERE ARE EVIL SPIRITS IN
THE WRESTLING RING. TO WARD OFF THESE SPIRITS, THEY SPRINKLE SALT
IN THEIR CORNER OF THE RING.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROYAL OAK

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 11-13-1969

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DEFINITION

CANADIANS ARE NICKLE-PLATED AMERICANS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): COMPARISON

James Callow Keyword(s): CRITICISM ; NATIONALISM

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral
PROVERB -- Blason Populaire

Date learned: 09-19-1969

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RAINBOW BELIEF

THERE IS A POT OF GOLD AT THE END OF EVERY RAINBOW.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Weather sign or control P890.7

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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RAINBOW BELIEF

IF YOU SEE A RAINBOW AND WALK TO THE END OF IT, YOU WILL
FIND A POT OF GOLD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Good luck
BELIEF -- Weather sign or control P890.7

Date learned: 11-00-1969

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RAINBOW BELIEF

FIND THE END OF THE RAINBOW, AND YOU WILL FIND A POT OF GOLD.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

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

Date learned: 11-25-1969

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RAINBOW BELIEF

IT HAS BEEN ONE OF THE OLD FOLKISMS THAT AFTER A RAIN, WHEN THE
RAINBOW COMES OUT, IF YOU GO TO THE END OF IT, YOU WILL FIND
A POT OF GOLD OR
A SACK OF MONEY.

Submitter comment:

I ONCE BELIEVED THIS BUT NOW THAT I HAVE GROWN OLDER I FOUND THAT
IT IS AN OLD FOLKISM.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): BELIEF ; DISBELIEF

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Weather sign or control P890.7

Date learned: 02-10-1972

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SILVER BELIEF

IF YOU BURY SILVER, IT TURNS WITH THE EARTH, AND WILL
MOVE TO A DIFFERENT PLACE.

Where learned: DETROIT ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Planet
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- P47O
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Observation of galactic or celestial bodies

Date learned: 12-00-1971

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SUPERSTITION OF A MOUNTAIN

THERE IS A PLACE IN ARIZONA NAMED SUPERSTITION MOUNTAIN. WHENEVER
ANYONE WENT THERE LOOKING FOR GOLD, THEY NEVER RETURNED.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Formation
BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 10-01-1968

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IRISH BELIEF

IN BLARNEY CASTLE THERE IS A HIGH ROCK CALLED THE BLARNEY STONE.
THE BLARNEY STONE IS DIFFICULT TO REACH, BUT THE IRISH BELEIVE
THAT IF A PERSON IS ABLE TO KISS THE STONE WITH HIS LIPS, THE
FEAT GIVES THE TOUNGUE THE POWER OF FLATTERY AND OF COMPLIMENTARY
SPEECH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 11-03-1969

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SIGNIFICANCE OF SALT

WE HAVE A ROADSIDE STAND BACK HOME, AND ONE OF OUR CUSTOMERS
WANTED SOME SALT TO EAT WITH THEIR TOMATOES, RATHER THAN GIVE THEM
THE SALT, HE SOLD IT TO THEM, AND LATER TOLD ME TO NEVER GIVE SALT
AWAY, FOR IF YOU DO, YOU WILL BECOME WEAK, AND OTHER PEOPLE WILL
HAVE POWER OVER YOU. SALT THEREFORE HAS MUCH SIGNIFICANCE AND
MEANING.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Plant food Vegetable
Food Drink -- Flavoring
BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 08-00-1969

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OPAL SUPERSTITION

AN OPAL AS A GIFT IS BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment:

TOLD AT HER (ROMA HAYES) HOME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.1

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LUCK SUPERSTITION

IF YOU BORROW SALT, YOU SHOULD NEVER GIVE IT BACK.

Where learned: WARREN

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Flavoring
BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 02-15-1970

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