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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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JAMAICAN SUPERSTITION

FOR A NEW-BORN CHILD: NEVER LET A STRANGER INTO THE SAME ROOM
WITH THE CHILD FOR 9 DAYS. IF SOMEHOW THIS CANNOT BE AVOIDED,
IMMEDIATELY OPEN A BIBLE OVER THE CHILD'S HEAD TO DRIVE AWAY
EVIL SPIRITS.

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

Where learned: NEW YORK ; JAMAICA

Subject headings: 686 Ninths / Nine
BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Magic Book

Date learned: 01-01-1964

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SEVENTH BOOK OF MOSES

STAY AWAY FROM PEOPLE WHO HAVE THE SEVENTH BOOK OF MOSES. THESE
PEOPLE PERFORM DEEDS OF WITCHCRAFT. MY GRANDMOTHER KNEW A LADY WHO
POSSESSED THIS BOOK. THE LADY TOLD MY GREAT GRANDMOTHER SHE HAD TO
SAY GOOD BYE TO HER SEWING MACHINE. MY GREAT GRANDMOTHER REFUSED. THE
SEWING MACHINE THEN WALKED WITH HER UNTIL SHE SAID GOOD BYE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Sterling Heights

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Magic Book

Date learned: 11-15-1973

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EPIPHANY-JANUARY 6

FOR UKRAINIANS VARIOUS EVENTS ARE COMMEMORATED ON THIS
DAY WHICH IS ALSO CALLED "THEOPHANY" OR MANIFESTATION. IT
CELEBRATES THE BAPTISM OF CHRIST AND THEREFORE WATER IS
BLESSED IN THE CHURCHES. THE BLESSING FOLLOWS THE MASS
WHEN THE PRIEST SUBMERGES THREE SETS OF THREE LIGHTED
CANDLES. A CRUCIFIX IS ALSO MOVED THROUGH THE WATER IN
THE FORM OF A CROSS. THE PEOPLE FILL THEIR JARS WITH HOLY
WATER TO BRING HOME. EACH PERSON DRINKS SOME HOLY WATER
AND SOME IS POURED INTO THE HOLY WATER FONTS. IN THE WEEKS
FOLLOWING EPIPHANY, THE PASTOR VISITS THE HOMES OF HIS
PARISHONERS TO BLESS THEM. THE HOLY WATER IS ALSO USED FOR
BLESSING FARMS, CATTLE, AND CROPS. ON SPECIAL FEAST DAYS,
THE CHURCH ALSO BLESSES FRUIT, FLOWERS, AND FOOD. IT IS ALSO
USED IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE SACRAMENTS.

Submitter comment: TO UKRAINIANS ALL BODIES OF WATER SUCH AS LAKES, RIVERS,AND
PONDS WERE CONSIDERED HOLY. THE BLESSING OF WATER IN THE
UKRAINE TOOK PLACE AT THE EDGE OF THE RIVER NOT IN THE
PARISH CHURCH.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; ROCHESTER

Keyword(s): THREE

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 6 Twelfth Day Epiphany
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Church
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Typical Elements of a Festive Pattern
BELIEF -- Water
BELIEF -- Magic Book
BELIEF -- Prayer
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications

Date learned: 00001950S

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WHOSOEVER WANTS TO READ THE SEVEN BOOKS OF MOSES SHOULD BE VERY
GOOD AT READING, BECAUSE IF SUCH A PERSON SHOULD MISPRONOUNCE ANY
WORD THERE, HE WILL TURN MAD.

Where learned: DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Physically handicapped Deformed
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Magic Book

Date learned: 02-00-1984

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TO KEEP YOUR CHILD FROM HAVING TERRIBLE NIGHTMARES,YOU SHOULD
PUT A BIBLE UNDER HIS OR HER PILLOW.

Where learned: VIRGINIA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Magic Book
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness
BELIEF -- Dreams

Date learned: 04091984CA

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TO INCREASE FINANCES, CARRY A VERSE FROM THE BIBLE IMPRINTED ON A
SMALL CARD IN YOUR LEFT POCKET.

Where learned: MICHIGAN

James Callow Keyword(s): LEFT RIGHT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of quality Monetary systemMoneyWealth
BELIEF -- Magic Book
BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: 11-19-1987

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Just as there are the different books to the bible, so are
there 3 different books to Satan's bible. Folklore has it that
the witch or warlock that can find all 3 of them will be able to
spell the forgotten name of God. And in so doing, the witch or
warlock will acquire all of the powers from God.

Where learned: ALABAMA ; BIRMINGHAM

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
BELIEF -- Gods
BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Magic Book
SPEECH -- Proper Name

Date learned: 00-00-1980

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Working on Sundays

Whenever I asked my mother if I could go fishing on a Sunday
afternoon she would say no because she believed that
Sundays were suppose to be restful days and not to be worked on and
that included fishing. She had this belief because God created the
world in six days and rested on the seventh. So her reasoning was
that if God can make a world in six days and rest on the seventh,
therefore any man should be able to do what he wants in six days
and rest on the seventh.

Submitter comment: My mother never let me go fishing on Sundays.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; Louise

Subject headings: 686 Sixths / Six
686 Seven / Sevenths / Several
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Magic Book

Date learned: 00-00-1970

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THE SCOTCH BELIEVE IT IS BAD LUCK FOR EITHER OF TWO LOVERS TO
GIVE THE OTHER ONE A BIBLE BEFORE MARRIAGE OR TO BE MARRIED
IN ANY MONTH HAVING AN "A" IN IT, SUCH AS MAY AND THAT'S
WHY SO MANY PEOPLE MARRY IN JUNE.
THE BRIDE SHOULD NEVER SEE HER MAN ON THE WEDDING DAY
BEFORE TIME FOR THE CEREMONY.

Where learned: KENTUCKY ; WILLIAMSBURG

Keyword(s): SCOTS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- June
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- July
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- September
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- FIRST MONDAY IN SEPTEMBER
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- First Monday in September
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- First Monday in September
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F100
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F110
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F120
BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Marriage Bride and groom must not see each other
BELIEF -- Magic Book
BELIEF -- Bad luck

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PEOPLE USED TO SAY THAT IT WAS STATED IN THE BIBLE THAT IN THE
LAST DAYS (OF THE WORLD) THAT THE ONLY WAY PEOPLE COULD TELL
THAT IT WAS SPRING, WOULD BE BY THE BUDDING OF TREES AND
THE BLOOMING OF FLOWERS. HOWEVER, THERE IS NO SUCH
SCRIPTURE.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Earth
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Measure of time Spring
BELIEF -- Magic Book

Date learned: 05-03-1969

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ST. JOHN'S CHURCH BIBLE

WHEN I WAS A TEENAGER I USED TO HEAR FOLKS TALK ABOUT THE
"ST. JOHN'S CHURCH" WHERE A LOT OF CIVIL WAR SOLDIERS ARE
BURIED IN A CEMETERY BEHIND THE CHURCH. IT WAS ACTIVE
DURING THE CIVIL WAR DAYS AND IS LOCATED BETWEEN COLUMBIA
AND MOUNT PLEASANT. I ALWAYS HEARD THERE WAS A BIBLE
IN THIS CHURCH THAT YOU COULDN'T MOVE AND I LATER
LEARNED THAT THE REASON IT COULDN'T BE MOVED WAS THAT
IT WAS MADE OF MARBLE OR STONE IN THE SHAPE OF THE HOLY
BIBLE.

Where learned: HAMPSHIRE ; TENNESSEE, ASSUMED

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Explanation of a name
BELIEF -- Magic Book

Date learned: 08-13-1968

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THERE'S A VERY, VERY OLD CHURCH ON GRANNY WHITE PIKE THAT
NO ONE ATTENDS ANYMORE. THERE'S A BIBLE INSIDE HOWEVER,
THAT IS STUCK TO A TABLE WITH A SPIKE. IF YOU ATTEMPT TO
LIFT THE BIBLE, YOU WILL DIE.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Magic Book

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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BREAKING THE SABBATH

IF YOU DO ANY WORK OR PLAY CARDS ON SATURDAY NIGHT
AFTER TWELVE OR SUNDAY BEFORE SIX IN THE AFTERNOON,
THE DEVIL WOULD COME AND TAKE YOU AWAY.

Submitter comment: I HEARD THIS FROM MY MOTHER WHEN I WAS A SMALL
CHILD. MY MOTHER DID NOT BELIEVE THIS.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Magic Book

Date learned: 07-23-1968

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THE MYSTERIOUS COUNTRY CHURCH

THERE'S THIS OLD COUNTRY CHURCH AROUND HERE. I DON'T
KNOW WHICH ONE IT IS. IT'S ALWAYS UNLOCKED. THERE'S
A BIG BIBLE UP FRONT ON A TABLE AND IT'S OPEN AT A
CERTAIN PLACE. IF YOU CLOSE IT, THE DOORS SLAM SHUT AND
THE WINDOW(S) CLICK AND LOCK AND THE LIGHTS GO OUT.
IF YOU OPEN IT UP AGAIN AT THE SAME PLACE, THE DOORS
OPEN AND THE WINDOWS UNLOCK AND THE LIGHTS COME
BACK ON.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; PULASKI

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Magic Book

Date learned: 07-20-1968

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showing 14 items

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