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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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DON'T PUT YOUR SHOES UNDER YOUR BED AT NIGHT OR YOU'LL HAVE
NIGHTMARES.

Submitter comment: EXPLICIT INTERDICTION
MY SISTER-IN-LAW TOLD ME THAT WHEN SHE WAS YOUNGER, SHE PUT
HER SHOES UNDER HER BED ONCE AND THAT NIGHT SHE HAD A
TERRIBLE NIGHTMARE; SHE WOKE UP IN A COLD SWEAT, YELLING AND
SCREAMING.
SINCE THAT NIGHT, MY SISTER-IN-LAW HAS VOWED NEVER TO PLACE
HER SHOES UNDER HER BED AGAIN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Spirit / Mind / Body
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress HandsFeet
BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping

Date learned: 10-27-1984

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MY MOTHER TOLD ME THAT IF YOU SING AT THE DINNER TABLE,
YOU WILL CRY BEFORE YOU GO TO BED.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): COMPENSATION ; CONTRAST

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Measure of time Eating For menu, see N222.
BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping

Date learned: 00-00-1954

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NEVER SLEEP ON YOUR LEFT SIDE.
IT IS BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

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

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If you sleep restlessly or are awakened in the middle of the
night, a spirit is trying to take away your soul. To get rid
of the spirit, turn your bedroom light on and off three times
and you will sleep sound the rest of the night.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Haunting ; LIGHT ; REMEDY ; SPIRIT ; SUPERNATURAL ; SUPERSTITION

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

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If you are having difficulty sleeping, spray yourself
with perfume before going to bed and you will have no
more problem.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): INSOMNIA

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

Date learned: 00-00-1975

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If you sleep with a picture under your pillow, you will
dream about the person in the picture.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): CONTAGIOUS MAGIC

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

Date learned: 00-00-1966

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If you attend a wedding, and that night you sleep
with a piece of wedding cake from that wedding under
your pillow (wrapped in a napkin) you will dream of
the person you will marry.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping
BELIEF -- Dreams Dreams about friends and lovers
BELIEF -- Dreams Dreams about weddings, funerals, and other crucial moments of life

Date learned: 00-00-1966

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Problem Solver

When one has a problem which seems too difficult to solve, simply
write it down on a small piece of paper, put it under a pillow, and
sleep on it. In the morning, an answer will be found.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAGINAW

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping

Date learned: 00001975CA

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You should never put your shoes under your bed, because you
will not rest well.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress HandsFeet
BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping

Date learned: 00-00-1975

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If you paint the bedroom walls blue, you will sleep your
best.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping
BELIEF -- Color

Date learned: 02-07-1992

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Since I was little, the kitchen table always had to be cleaned
before we went to bed at night in case the spirits, especially
those relatives that had passed, wanted to come and have dinner.
The spirits must leave the table the way they found it; therefore,
the table must be cleaned of crumbs, etc., before we go to bed;
otherwise it would be too difficult for the spirits to clean their
crumbs and only leave the ones we had left on the table.

Submitter comment: This custom came from Poland, and even in my house today it is
followed, more out of habit than anything--I never knew the reason
for having been taught to clear off the kitchen table every night.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Mount Clemens

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Measure of time Eating For menu, see N222.
BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping

Date learned: 00001920S

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IN UKRAINE, IT IS BELIEVED THAT IF A PERSON GETS
OUT OF BED ON HIS LEFT FOOT, HE WILL HAVE BAD
LUCK FOR THE REST OF THE DAY.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT RECEIVED THIS INFORMATION PASSED ON
BY GRANDPARENTS IN UKRAINE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Feet, toes, toenails
BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping
BELIEF -- Bad luck Bodily characteristics
BELIEF -- Bad luck Activities

Date learned: 10-01-1967

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BAD LUCK TO SLEEP WITH HANDS BEHIND HEAD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hands, palms, fingernails
BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping
BELIEF -- Bad luck Activities

Date learned: 10-08-1965

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IF YOU CANNOT FALL ASLEEP, BEFORE GOING TO BED TAKE TWO
TEASPOONS OF A MIXTURE OF ONE CUP OF HONEY, AND THREE
TEASPOONS OF APPLE CIDER VINEGAR. YOU WILL FALL ASLEEP
ALMOST IMMEDIATELY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping

Date learned: 03-10-1971

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IN INDIA ONE MUST NOT SLEEP WITH HIS FEET POINTING IN THE
DIRECTION OF THE SOUTH, BECAUSE THE GOD OF DEATH, YAMA,
COMES FROM THE SOUTH WITH A NOOSE AND WILL LASOO HIS
FEET.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping

Date learned: 03-05-1970

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IF YOU PICK DANDELIONS, YOU WILL WET THE BED THAT NIGHT.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT HEARD THIS SAID WHEN SHE WAS A CHILD IN THE
1920S. SHE DOES NOT BELIEVE IN THIS PRACTICE.
DANDELION'S ARE CALLED "PEE-THE-BEDS." INFORMANT HAS
USED THIS SINCE SHE WAS A CHILD IN THE 1920S AND STILL
USES THIS TERM TODAY.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; PITTSBURGH

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping

Date learned: 10-02-1971 ; 00-00-1920

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SINGING BEFORE BREAKFAST MAKES YOU CRY BEFORE BED.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM MOTHER

Where learned: HOME

James Callow Keyword(s): CONTRAST

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Measure of time Eating For menu, see N222.
BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping

Date learned: 11-05-1967

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SLEEP WITH THE BOOK YOU'VE BEEN STUDYING FROM UNDER
YOUR PILLOW AND YOU'LL SOAK UP THE KNOWLEDGE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

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

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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IF YOU SLEEP WITH THE COVERS OVER YOUR HEAD, YOU'LL
DIE.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

James Callow Keyword(s): HOMEOPATHIC

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

Date learned: NOT GIVEN ; 00001969 ASSUMED

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SLEEPING IN THE MOONLIGHT MAKES ONE LOONY.

Where learned: INDIANA ; WALTON

James Callow Keyword(s): CRAZY MAD LUNAR

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping

Date learned: 06-21-1970

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