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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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BETTER SLEEP

YOU WILL SLEEP BETTER IF THE HEAD OF YOUR BED POINTS NORTH.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM HER AUNT IN GRAND MARAIS IN HER CHILDHOOD. (HER
BED HEAD POINTS NORTH, INCIDENTALLY.)

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; GRAND MARAIS

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping

Date learned: 01-04-1964

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CUSTOM BELIEF

DON'T SLEEP WITH YOUR BACK TO THE DOOR
IT ONLY INVITES TROUBLE

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; RESIDENCE HALLS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping

Date learned: 00001950S AND 00001960S

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CURSE TO KEEP PEOPLE AWAKE

FIRST WRITE A LETTER TO A DEAD PERSON TELLING HIM ABOUT THIS PERSON
YOU WANT TO KEEP AWAKE AT NIGHT TO THINK ABOUT HIS WRONG DOINGS. YOU
THEN SEAL THE LETTER AND PLACE IT UNDER YOUR BED. YOU ALSO PUT A
GLASS OF WATER ON TOP OF THE LETTER. WHEN THE WATER EVAPORATES THE
SPELL IS WORKING.

Submitter comment: THIS CURSE WAS USED ON A MALE FRIEND OF THE INFORMANT AND IT WAS
SUCCESSFUL. IT WAS USED IN FLORIDA.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; FLORIDA ; New Orleans

James Callow Keyword(s): INSOMNIA ; SYMBOL

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping
BELIEF -- Curse
SPEECH -- To Be Seen

Date learned: CA11001973

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LUCK

IF YOU GET OUT OF THE BED ON THE LEFT SIDE YOU WILL BE CRABBY ALL
DAY.

Submitter comment: WOMEN USUALLY SLEEP ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE BED WHICH CAUSES THEM
TO BE MORE CRABBY THAN MEN.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; UNICE

James Callow Keyword(s): SEXISM

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping

Date learned: CA11001973

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SHOES AND SLEEPING

NEVER SLEEP WITH YOUR SHOES UNDER THE BED, IT WILL CAUSE YOU TO
HAVE BAD DREAMS.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: Spirit / Mind / Body
BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping

Date learned: CA11001973

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CHILDREN'S BELIEF

IF YOU WEAR YOUR SOCKS TO BED, YOUR FEET WILL NOT GROW.

Where learned: CANADA ; ONTARIO ; DORM ; UNIVERSITY OF WINDSOR

James Callow Keyword(s): SLEEPWEAR ATTIRE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 09-22-1972

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SLEEP WALKING SUPERSTITION

IF YOU WALK OR TALK IN YOUR SLEEP, YOU ARE FORETELLING
SOMETHING OF THE FUTURE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Prophet / Seer / Soothsayer
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping

Date learned: 02-29-1972

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SUPERSTITION

NEVER WAKE A SLEEPWALKER OR HE WILL DIE.

Submitter comment: THIS IS A BELIEF COMMON IN THE OSWALD FAMILY.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): ADVICE: NEGATIVE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping

Date learned: 09-20-1967

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SLEEP BELIEF

IF YOU CAN NOT GO TO SLEEP AT NIGHT THE SAND
MAN WILL COME AND PUT SAND IN YOUR EYES TO MAKE YOU SLEEP.
IN THE MORNING YOU MAY FIND A GRITTY DEPOSIT IN THE CORNER OF
YOUR EYE. THIS IS SOME OF THE SAND HE USED TO PUT YOU TO SLEEP.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

James Callow Keyword(s): ETIOLOGY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Eyes, evil eye
BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping

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BELIEF

GET UP ON THE WRONG SIDE OF BED, YOU WILL HAVE A BAD DAY.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT OBTAINED FROM AN IRISH FRIEND.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; PLYMOUTH

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 10-00-1965

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BELIEF: LUCK

IF ANYONE GETS OUT OF BED IN THE MORNUNG WITH THE
LEFT FOOT FIRST, HE WILL HAVE AN UNLUCKY DAY AND HE WILL
BE BAD TEMPERED ALL DAY.

Where learned: WHERE WE BOTH WORK

Keyword(s): AWAKENING

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
Observation
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 10-31-1969

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KEEP EVIL SPIRITS AWAY

IF YOU SLEEP WITH A MIRROR AT NIGHT YOU WILL KEEP THE EVIL SPIRITS
AWAY.

Where learned: PUERTO RICO

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping

Date learned: 00-00-1979

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OMENS

TO SLEEP ON A LARGE PILLOW DENOTES A SUCCESSFULL BUSINESS ENTERPRISE

Where learned: CALIFORNIA ; MONROVIA

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Work Commerce Business
BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping
BELIEF -- Measure of space: distance, height, depth

Date learned: CA00001966

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IN A CATHOLIC HOME, HOLY WATER IS USED TO BLESS THE BEDS. THIS IS TO
ASSURE A GOOD NIGHTS SLEEP.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BERKELEY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping
BELIEF -- Magic of Speech, Sign, Color
BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: 00-00-1950

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IF YOU FALL ASLEEP WHILE SAYING THE ROSARY, YOUR
GUARDIAN ANGEL WILL FINISH IT FOR YOU.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Angel
BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping

Date learned: 10-23-1967

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BADLUCK SLEEP OMEN

DONT SLEEP IN THE SUN OR YOU WILL GO CRAZY.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT, BORN AND RAISED IN SABINAS MEXICO, WHERE THE BELIEF IS
HELD, HAD LITTLE FAITH IN ITS MERIT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Physically handicapped Deformed
BELIEF -- Sun
BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping

Date learned: 11-00-1981

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IF A MAN GOES TO BED WITHOUT WASHING HIS FEET, THE SOLES OF HIS FEET
WILL BE LICKED BY THE DEVIL.

Submitter comment: THIS EAST AFRICAN BELIEF IS MEANT TO ENCOURAGE PERSONAL CLEANLINESS.

Where learned: TANZANIA ; EAST AFRICA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 03-00-1982

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IF ONE GOES TO BED WITHOUT WASHING ONE'S FEET, THEY WILL LIE IN THE
FIRES OF HELL.

Submitter comment: THIS EAST AFRICAN BELIEF IS MEANT TO ENCOURAGE PERSONAL CLEANLINESS.

Where learned: TANZANIA ; EAST AFRICA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 03-00-1982

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SPIDER IS A SIGN OF BAD OMEN AMONG THE YORUBA'S TRIBE.
IF A PERSON IS SLEEPING, AND THERE IS A SPIDER BY THE BEDSIDE OF THE
FELLOW, HE WILL HAVE A NIGHTMARE.THUS, PEOPLE MAKE SURE THAT THERE
IS NO SPIDER AROUND BEFORE THEY SLEEP.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT LOOKED SERIOUS WHEN NARRATING THE ITEM.

Where learned: ONTARIO ; GUELPH

Subject headings: Spirit / Mind / Body
BELIEF -- Insect
BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping

Date learned: 00-00-1983

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ON THE WEDDING DAY IF THE WIFE IS THE FIRST
ONE IN THE BED SHE WILL DIE FIRST, IF THE
HUSBAND IS THE FIRST ONE IN THE BED HE WILL
DIE FIRST.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping

Date learned: 02-00-1984

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