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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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A PERSON SHOULD NEVER BE TAKING A BATH OR WASH HIS
HAIR, OR BE IN CONTACT WITH WATER IN ANY WAY DURING
A THUNDER STORM.

Submitter comment: THIS IS A COMMON PROHIBITION USED IN THE INFORMANT'S
FAMILY. SHE REMEMBERS HER FATHER BEING VERY STRICT
ABOUT THIS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Lightning Thunder
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Water

Date learned: 04-24-1965

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WATER-WITCHING--TWO HANGERS

IF YOU PUT TWO METAL CLOTHES HANGERS TOGETHER IN THE
SHAPE OF A Y, YOU CAN USE THIS TO FIND WATER.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT CLAIMED THAT HE USED THIS TO FIND WATER
AT HIS COTTAGE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Water
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure

Date learned: 04-04-1970

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ALWAYS IRON BEFORE GOING TO BED SO YOUR HANDS WILL NOT HAVE
TO TOUCH WATER IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE COMPLETION OF THIS
TASK. IF YOUR HANDS TOUCH WATER AFTER IRONING, SOME
UNFORTUNATE OCCURRENCE WILL BEFALL YOU.

Submitter comment: THIS BELIEF WAS PRACTICED BY A MEXICAN GIRL WHO LIVED

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; COLUMBIA

James Callow Keyword(s): METAL

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Water
BELIEF -- Curse
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 00-00-1968

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TABU

ONE MUST NOT GO INTO THE WATER DURING THE MENSTRUAL CYCLE

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

James Callow Keyword(s): SWIMMING

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Water

Date learned: 04-00-1969

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DIVINING ROD HAS BEEN OFFICIALLY ADOPTED BY THE MARINES AND
ARMY. THE OBJECTS THEY USE ARE "ANY METAL STRIPS BENT
TOGETHER IN AN "L" SHAPE." IF THE PERSON HAS ANY TALENT,
THE "ROD" WILL MOVE.
THE REASON FOR THIS ADOPTION WAS THAT ONE SOLDIER FOUND
TUNNELS, GUNS, BOOBY TRAPS, ETC. IN VIETNAM BY USING
TWO BENT HANGERS.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Water
BELIEF -- Use of Object

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A FORKED PEACH TREE SWITCH WILL LOCATE UNDERGROUND WATER.
IN YOUR HAND, HOLD THE FORKED PEACH TREE ABOVE THE GROUND.
WHEN IT BEGINS TO TURN DOWN, YOU WANT TO BE ABLE TO STOP
IT. WHEN YOU LEAVE THE SPOT WHERE THE WATER IS LOCATED, THE
SWITCH RETURNS TO THE HORIZONTAL POSITION.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): TWIG BRANCH LIMB

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Water
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 07-00-1968

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A FORKED TWIG MADE FROM ANY KIND OF SOFT WOOD WILL HELP
LOCATE A SOURCE OF WATER.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): WATER WITCHING

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Water
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 04-03-1972

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DOG DAYS, AT END OF SUMMER, IT TURNS COOL AND YOU CAN TELL THE
WEATHER BY THE NUMBER OF THEM. THE WATER GETS SCUMMY, TOO.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Water
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs
BELIEF -- Weather sign or control
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Natural atmospheric phenomenon

Date learned: 08-02-1968

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THE APEX OF A WISHBONE SHAPED STICK IS MAGNETICALLY PULLED
TOWARD THE GROUND WHEN IT'S ABOVE WATER.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

James Callow Keyword(s): WATER WITCHING

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Water

Date learned: 11-19-1977

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BEFORE ENTERING THE WATER WHEN SWIMMING, YOU SHOULD
BLESS YOURSELF WITH A SIGN OF THE CROSS WITH THE
WATER, TO ENSURE A SAFE SWIM.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; SCRANTON

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Bless ; BLESSING ; Cross ; CUSTOM ; EXERCISE ; GAME ; LUCK ; SAFETY ; Sport ; SUPERSTITION ; Swim ; SWIMMING ; WATER

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Water
BELIEF -- Entertainment Diversion
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.22

Date learned: 00001950S LATE

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MYSTERY SPOT-WATER

AT THIS PARK WATER RUNS UPHILL BECAUSE A GHOST HAUNTS THE WHOLE PARK.

THIS IS AT ST. IGNACE, MICHIGAN, IN THE U.P.

Data entry tech comment:

"U.P." IS MICHIGAN'S UPPER PENINSULA

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; informant's home

James Callow Keyword(s): UPPER PENINSULA = U.P.

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Earth
BELIEF -- Water

Date learned: 03-08-1970

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