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FOLK POETRY

DID YOU EVER SEE A HEARSE GO BY? IT MEANS YOU MAY BE THE NEXT TO DIE. THEY WRAP YOU UP IN A BIG WHITE SHEET, AND THROW YOU DOWN ABOUT SIX FEET DEEP. THE WORMS CRA; IN, THE WORMS CRA; OUT,

James Callow comment: RDNeedsReview

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Keyword(s): GORE

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse C730.346
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

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JAMAICAN SUPERSTITION: MENSTRUATION

WHEN A WOMAN IS MENSTRUATING, SHE SHOULD NEVER LOOK AT THE DEAD
OR SOMETHING TERRIBLE MIGHT HAPPEN.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM A LADY-FRIEND FROM JAMAICA.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; JAMAICA

Keyword(s): B477 HUMAN ACTIVITY (BODILY FUNCTION)

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 01-01-1964

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PREGNANCY EFFECTS

WHEN YOU ARE PREGNANT THE BABY WILL CHOKE TO DEATH BY THE CORD IF
YOU EXERCISE TOO MUCH.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED THIS FROM HER MOTHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 03-20-1967

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PREGNANCY

WHEN A WOMAN IS PREGNANT AND ACTS AS A GODMOTHER AT A BAPTISM, SHE
WILL ENTER THE CHURCH WITH TWO BABIES, ONE IN HER ARMS AND ONE IN
HER WOMB, BUT LEAVE WITH ONLY ONE BECAUSE ONE OF THE BABIES WILL
DIE IN THE CHURCH.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED THIS FROM HER PARENTS WHO ARE OF IRISH DESCENT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Baptism Naming rite
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 03-31-1967

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BELIEF-HOME

DON'T TAKE A BATH DURING AN ELECTRICAL STORM FOR FEAR OF
ELECTROCUTION.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM HER MOTHER.

Where learned: INDIANA ; Hudson Lake

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Lightning Thunder
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 11-23-1967

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HAUNTED HOUSE

ABOUT SIX BLOCKS AWAY FROM ME, ON RUTLAND TWO BLOCKS SOUTH OF
GRAND RIVER, IS A LARGE BROWN BRICK HOUSE THAT HAS BEEN UNOCCUPIED
FOR OVER THIRTY YEARS. OLD-TIME NEIGHBORS SAY THAT AROUND 1935,
A MAN KILLED HIS WIFE THERE BY HITTING HER OVER THE HEAD WITH A
POKER. SHE LAY THERE DEAD FOR DAYS UNTIL SOMEONE FOUND HER. NOW,
AS EVERYONE ON THE BLOCK WILL TESTIFY, ONE CAN SEE HER GHOST LATE
AT NIGHT, WALKING FROM ROOM TO ROOM IN THE HOUSE. SOMETIMES, EVEN
DURING THE DAY TIME, YOU WILL HEAR LOUD, PLAINTIVE SCREAMS AND
CRYING, AND MORE FREQUENTLY, SOUNDS OF A MAN AND WOMAN ARGUING.
I MYSELF, AFTER OBSERVATION, HAVE HEARD STRANGE NOISES AT AND
AROUND THAT HOUSE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Outlaw Criminal Bandit Pirate
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Man
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 00-00-1967

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THE HANGING SHADOW

THERE WAS A BOY IN PITTSBURGH WHO WAS HAVING SEVERE TROUBLE WITH
HIS FAMILY. HE WENT AND HANGED HIMSELF IN A DESERTED HOUSE NEXT
DOOR. THE MOON SHONE ON HIM AND CAST THE SHADOW OF HIM HANGING
ONTO HIS OWN HOUSE. THAT IS HOW HE WAS DISCOVERED. THE HOUSE
HAS BEEN PAINTED AND REPAINTED, BUT YOU CAN STILL SEE THE OUTLINE
OF A BODY HANGING FROM A NOOSE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
PROSE NARRATIVE -- B680
BELIEF -- Moon
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 11-00-1968

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ROSEMARY

ONCE A GIRL IN PITTSBURGH NAMED ROSEMARY WAS KILLED WHILE BEING
ASSAULTED. HER PARENTS BUILT A STONE MONUMENT WITH HER IMAGE IN
STONE ON IT. IT IS NOW A PLACE OF TEENAGE VENERATION. ANYONE
WHO TOUCHES THE STONE AND THEIR HAND BLEEDS IS NOT A VIRGIN, OR
ANYONE WHO SEES ROSEMARY THERE IS NOT A VIRGIN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Outlaw Criminal Bandit Pirate
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Woman
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hands, palms, fingernails
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 11-00-1968

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THE ELMORE GHOST

NOT TOO LONG AGO IN ELMORE, OHIO, A GROUP OF DRUNK TEENAGERS
RAN INTO AND KILLED A POLICEMAN ON A MOTORCYCLE. THIS WAS
WITNESSED BY A PERSON LIVING IN A HOUSE NOT FAR AWAY. THE
PERSON DIED OF SHOCK. IF YOU GO THERE YOU CAN SEE CAR LIGHTS
COMING AT YOU, FEEL THE BUMP-BUMP OF A MOTORCYCLE ON YOUR CAR
HOOD AND SEE A LIGHT MOVE FROM WINDOW TO WINDOW OF THE NOW-
DESERTED HOUSE.

Where learned: OHIO ; TOLEDO

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Outlaw Criminal Bandit Pirate
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Daily Life
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Means of transportation Vehicle propelled by mechanical or other force on land
Food Drink -- Alcoholic beverage
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 00-00-1968

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MARBLES ON THE UPSTAIRS FLOOR

THE INFORMANT'S AUNT WAS BORN AND RAISED IN IRELAND. SHE HAD
MOVED TO THE U.S. BUT HAD GONE BACK TO IRELAND AFTER THE DEATH
OF ONE OF HER CHILDREN. WHEN RETURNING TO IRELAND, THEY MOVED
INTO A HOUSE IN WHICH THEY DID NOT USE THE SECOND FLOOR. RETURN-
ING ONE EVENING FROM GOOD FRIDAY DEVOTIONS IN CHURCH, THE AUNT
NOTICED A LIGHT MOVING FROM ONE END OF THE HOUSE TO THE OTHER
ON THE SECOND FLOOR. THEY THOUGHT NOTHING OF THE LIGHT AT FIRST,
UNTIL THEY REALIZED THAT THE LIGHT COULD NOT MOVE FROM ONE END
OF THE HOUSE TO THE OTHER WITHOUT GOING THROUGH A COUPLE OF
WALLS. WHEN THEY RETURNED HOME THEY QUESTIONED THE CHILDREN
ABOUT HAVING BEEN UPSTAIRS. THE CHILDREN CLAIMED THAT THEY HAD
NOT BEEN UP THERE. THE FATHER AND TWO BROTHERS WENT UPSTAIRS
TO LOOK AROUND BUT COULD FIND NOTHING. THE DOG WOULD NOT GO
UPSTAIRS. THAT NIGHT THERE WAS A TYPE OF NOISE ON THE FLOOR
UPSTAIRS. THE NOISES CONTINUED EVERY NIGHT, GETTING LOUDER AND
LOUDER AND TURNING INTO SOFT CRIES AND MOANING. THE AUNT HAD THE
HOUSE BLESSED TWICE WITHIN TWO WEEKS TO RID IT OF THE NOISE.
AFTER SOME TIME AS THE NOISE GOT LOUDER, THE PRIEST WAS AGAIN
CALLED TO BLESS THE HOUSE. THE FAMILY WENT TO TOWN AND LOOKED
UP THE HISTORY OF THE PREVIOUS OWNERS OF THE HOUSE. THEY FOUND
THAT THE HOUSE HAD ONCE BEEN OWNED BY A VERY WEALTHY MAN. THIS
MAN'S MAID WENT INSANE AND ONE DAY CHOKED THE TWO LITTLE CHILDREN
TO DEATH BY STUFFING MARBLES DOWN THEIR THROATS. UPON RETURNING
TO THE HOUSE WITH THE PRIEST TO AGAIN BLESS IT, THEY FOUND MARBLES
ON THE UPSTAIRS FLOOR. THESE MARBLES HAD BEEN MAKING THE NOISE
IN THE NIGHT. THE BODIES OF THE TWO CHILDREN HAD BEEN PLACED IN
THEIR TOY CHESTS. THESE CHESTS HAD LONG BEFORE BEEN REMOVED.

Where learned: DETROIT ; IRELAND ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Outlaw Criminal Bandit Pirate
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Home
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Metal Stone Bone Precious stone Gem
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 03-31-1967

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A LEGENDARY GAME

THERE WAS A PLAGUE IN ENGLAND AND THE GAME "RING AROUND THE ROSEY"
WAS REALLY A RASH WITH A RING AROUND IT, SO IT'S RING AROUND THE
ROSEY. IT USED TO SMELL, SO THEY KEPT POSIES IN THEIR POCKETS,
POCKET FULL OF POSIES. IT ALSO USED TO MAKE THEM SNEEZE, AND AFTER
THEY SNEEZED THEY WOULD FALL DEAD, SO IT ISN'T REALLY ASHES, ASHES,
THEY ALL FALL DOWN, BUT ACHOO, ACHOO, THEY ALL FALL DEAD.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED THIS FROM HER HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER.

Where learned: DETROIT ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Explanation of a name
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Pastime
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- School
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Medicine

Date learned: 03-31-1967

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THE AXEMAN

A GROUP OF THE INFORMANT'S FRIENDS WHEN IN HIGH SCHOOL USED TO
PASS THE BLOOMFIELD ESTATES CEMETERY ON THE WAY TO SCHOOL EVERY
MORNING. EACH MORNING IN THE CEMETERY WAS A MAN WHO CARRIED AN
AXE STANDING AT HIS WIFE'S GRAVE. THE GROUP OF TEENAGERS CALLED
HIM "CHARLIE THE AXEMAN." THEY USED TO TEASE HIM EVERY MORNING
UNTIL ONE DAY ONE OF THE FELLOWS FOUND THIS AXE WEDGED THROUGH
THE HOOD OF THE CAR. THERE WAS NO FURTHER TEASING AFTER THAT.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED THIS FROM THIS GROUP OF FRIENDS.

Where learned: DETROIT ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Outlaw Criminal Bandit Pirate
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ordinary Tale
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Man
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- School
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Occupation
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 03-31-1967

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LUMPY LUMPKIN STREET

A MAN WAS DRIVING DOWN THE STREET ONE NIGHT AND UNKNOWINGLY STRUCK
DOWN A YOUNG GIRL. THE GIRL, CAUGHT IN THE REAR FENDER, WAS
DRAGGED ALONG FOR SOME DISTANCE; AND ALL THE WHILE SHE BEAT ON
THE FENDER, BUT THE DRIVER HEARD IT AND STOPPED TOO LATE--THE
GIRL WAS DEAD.
NOW WHENEVER SOMEONE DRIVES ALONG THAT PARTICULAR STRETCH OF
LUMPKIN STREET, HE HEARS A THUMPING NOISE AT THE REAR OF HIS
CAR. THE STREET HAS BEEN PATCHED AND EVEN REPAVED, BUT TO
NO AVAIL. THE THUMPING CONTINUES. THE STREET IS HAUNTED.

Submitter comment: DETROIT'S LUMPKIN STREET IS SUPPOSEDLY HAUNTED NOW AS A RESULT OF
THE FOLLOWING INCIDENT:
INFORMANT DOESN'T RECALL WHERE HE HEARD THE LEGEND.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): KNOCK-KNOCK STREET

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Explanation of a name
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

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JEWISH NARRATIVE: CEMETERY

FOUR MEN WERE BOASTING ABOUT THEIR BRAVERY. THEY FINALLY DECIDED
THAT A FAIR TEST WOULD BE A SOLO TRIP THROUGH THE CEMETERY. TO
PROVE THAT THEY HAD TRAVERSED THE ENTIRE ROUTE THEY WERE TO POUND
STAKES INTO THE GROUND PERIODICALLY. THREE OF THE MEN ENTERED THE
CEMETERY AND MET ON THE OTHER SIDE PROUND OF THEIR ACCOMPLISHMENT.
THE FOURTH NEVER RETURNED.
THE NEXT DAY THE THREE WENT IN SEARCH OF HIM AND FOUND HIM DEAD OF
A HEART ATTACK. HE HAD POUNDED A STAKE INTO THE GROUND AND HAD
INADVERTANTLY PINNED THE TAIL OF HIS COAT TO THE GROUND.
APPARENTLY AS HE GOT UP TO COMPLETE HIS JOURNEY, HE WAS
IMMOBILIZED FROM BEHIND BY THE STAKE AND HE SUFFERED A HEART
ATTACK FROM HIS PANIC.

Submitter comment:

THE INFORMANT RELATED THIS STORY AS ONE THAT EVERY JEWISH BOY
LEARNS ABOUT FALSE BRAVERY AND RESPECT FOR THE DEAD.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ANN ARBOR

Keyword(s): Aphorism ; CEMETERY ; Fable ; Jewish ; Tale

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Human Being
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

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HAUNTED HOUSE (ST. CLAIR SHORES, MICHIGAN)

IT HAS BEEN SAID THAT ONE JEFFERSON AVENUE NEAR 13 1/2 MILE ROAD
THERE IS A HAUNTED HOUSE. IN 1964 (JUNE), THREE BOYS DECIDED TO
PAY A VISIT TO THE GHOSTS IN THE HOUSE. WHEN THEY GOT TO THE
HOUSE, THEY DECIDED TO GO IN ONE AT A TIME. IF ANYTHING HAPPENED,
THE PERSONS OUTSIDE WOULD CALL FOR HELP. AS THE FIRST BOY
ENTERED, ALL THREE WERE LAUGHING; ABOUT 4 MINUTES LATER THE TWO
OUTSIDE HEARD A TERRIBLE SCREAM. NOT THINKING, ONE OF THE BOYS
RAN IN. THE OTHER RAN FOR HELP. WHEN THE POLICE ARRIVED, THEY
FOUND TWO BOYS UPSTAIRS, DEAD. THEIR HAIR WAS SNOW-WHITE.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Other Structure for Private Use
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

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KNOCK-KNOCK STREET

THE STREET O'CONNER, WHICH IS LOCATED IN ST. CLAIR SHORES,
MICHIGAN, IS SAID TO BE HAUNTED BY THE GHOST OF AN 8-YEAR-OLD
GIRL WHO WAS DRAGGED TO HER DEATH ON THE BUMPER OF A CAR.
THE DRIVER OF THE CAR HEARD A KNOCKING ON THE BACK OF THE
VEHICLE BUT WAS UNAWARE AT THE TIME WHAT IT WAS. THE GIRL'S
MOTHER CURSED THE STREET SO THAT EVERY TIME A CAR WENT PAST
THE STREET, THE PASSENGERS WOULD HEAR THE KNOCKING.

Where learned: GROSSE POINTE WOODS ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Means of transportation Vehicle propelled by mechanical or other force on land
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 00-00-1964

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NOT GIVEN

ONCE IN A HOUSE ACROSS THE STREET, A GIRL WAS TAKING A BATH AND
THE DOOR WAS LOCKED. SOMEONE HAD COME IN AND CUT OFF THE GIRL'S
LEG AND HER TONGUE. SHE MADE A NOISE LIKE THIS: BUMP AH-AH,
BUMP AH-AH.
THE BUMP WAS HER TRYING TO WALK AND THE AH-AH WAS HER TRYING TO
TALK. EVEN THOUGH THE GIRL DIED THE MOTHER CONTINUED TO HEAR
THAT SOUND LONG AFTERWARDS.

Submitter comment: THIS WAS TOLD TO ME WHILE WE WERE HAVING RECESS. JUDITH'S MOTHER
TOLD IT TO HER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Outlaw Criminal Bandit Pirate
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Mouth, teeth, lips, tongue
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Feet, toes, toenails
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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NOT GIVEN

ONCE THERE WAS A CHILD AT A PICNIC. HE FELL ASLEEP ON THE
BLANKET. WHEN THE PICNIC WAS OVER, HE SEEMED A LITTLE MORE
UNEASY AND RESTLESS THAN USUAL. DURING THE FOLLOWING NIGHT
HE SCREAMED CONTINUOUSLY. THE PARENTS FINALLY TOOK HIM TO
A DOCTOR. THE DOCTOR COULD SEE NOTHING WRONG UNTIL THE X-RAYS
WERE FINISHED.
AFTER EXAMINATION OF THE X-RAYS IT WAS FOUND THAT ANTS HAD
MADE A NEST IN THE FOREHEAD OF THE CHILD AND CAUSED THE
TERRIFIC PAIN TO MAKE HIM SUFFER.
EVEN THOUGH THIS WAS NOTICED, HE DIED BECAUSE THE ANTS HAD
DESTROYED MANY PARTS OF HIS BRAIN.

Submitter comment: THIS WAS TOLD TO ME IN A BIOLOGY CLASS IN COLLEGE. HE BROUGHT
OUT THAT HE READ IT IN A MEDICAL MAGAZINE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Insect
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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INDIAN LEGEND: ARIZONA

TWO INDIAN TRIBES WERE INVOLVED IN A BATTLE, ONE TRIBE WAS APACHE.
THE APACHES WERE TRAPPED ON A CLIFF, AND RATHER THAN SURRENDER,
THEY LEAPED TO THEIR DEATH. LATER THE FEMALE MEMBERS CAME TO
MOURN THEIR DEAD. THE TEARS OF THE WOMEN TURNED INTO A BLACK
GLASS-LIKE STONE WHICH IS NOW CALLED APACHE TEARS. THE ROCK
LOOKS LIKE IT CONTAINS A TEAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WAYNE

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Explanation of a name
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Metal Stone Bone Precious stone Gem
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

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EXPLANATION OF NAME, "MURDER HILL"

THERE IS A STRETCH OF NARROW, WINDING ROAD ON THE SIDE OF A HILL
JUST OUTSIDE OF LITTLE VALLEY, NEW YORK. SIGNS AT EACH END OF THIS
LONG ROAD CALL IT "MURDER HILL."
ONE EXPLANATION OF THE NAME IS THE FACT THAT A FATAL ACCIDENT
COULD EASILY HAPPEN THERE.
ANOTHER EXPLANATION IS A LEGEND THAT A MAN KILLED HIS WIFE AND
THEN HIMSELF IN A HOUSE NOT FAR FROM THE ROAD.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: NEW YORK ; FRANKLINVILLE

Keyword(s): Murder Hill ; Origin of Name ; Tale ; Urban Legend

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
SPEECH -- S478

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