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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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MRS.MERRIWEATHER

CUT OFF ALL OF THE LIGHTS IN THE HOUSE AND STAND IN FRONT OF A
MIRROR AND SAY 15 TIMES, WHILE TURNING AROUND IN A 360 DEGREE
CIRCLE, MRS. MERRIWEATHER, MRS. MERRIWEATHER; AND HER BLOODY
FACE WILL APPEAR BEFORE YOU.

Submitter comment: NO ONE HAS REACHED 15 TIMES, ALL WERE AFRAID OF IT.

Where learned: DETROIT ; NORWEST THEATER

James Callow Keyword(s): CONJURATION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Magic of Speech, Sign, Color
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Circle and other round forms
BELIEF -- P689 P689.1
SPEECH -- FamilyGroup

Date learned: 01-30-1984

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DO NOT WHISTLE IN A DRESSING ROOM.
IF YOU DO, WALK OUT IN THE HALL, TURN AROUND
THREE TIMES, WALK BACK IN THE ROOM AND CURSE.

Submitter comment: ON THE TONIGHT SHOW JOAN, AND HER GUEST, LILLIAN
GISH WERE TALKING ABOUT SUPERSTITIONS THAT MOVIE
STARS HAVE.

Where learned: CALIFORNIA ; LOS ANGELES

James Callow Keyword(s): DRAMA

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Circle and other round forms
BELIEF -- Conversions

Date learned: 02-00-1984

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STAR WITHIN A STAR

I SAW THIS DESIGN ON THE PEAK OF A BARN. THE BARN
WAS RED AND THE SYMBOL WHITE. IT WAS ALONGSIDE THE
PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE, ABOUT TWELVE MILES WEST
OF BEDFORD ON THE SOUTH SIDE.

Submitter comment: CORRECTION ON FIGURE; THERE WAS ALSO A CIRCLE
WITHIN THE SMALLER STAR.

Data entry tech comment: DIAGRAM ON 5 X 8 CARD SHOWS A STAR, WITH A STAR
IN A CIRCLE IN THE MIDDLE.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Circle and other round forms

Date learned: 03-00-1968

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THE MUSICAL INSIGNIA OF THE UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT CHORUS
IS A REPRODUCTION OF "DISTLEFINK" FROM PENNSYLVANIA
DUTCH FOLKLORE. THIS BIRD IS ACTUALLY A GOLDFINCH
WHICH FED ON THISTLE SEED AND FURNISHED HIS NEST WITH
THISTLE DOWN. FOR THE CHORAL SINGER, THE "DISTLEFINK"
HAS SPECIAL POWERS, BRINGING NOT ONLY GOOD LUCK BUT
SWEETNESS OF SONG AS WELL. THE TWIN TULIPS BRING FORTH
FAITH IN WHAT YOU DO. THE DOUBLE BAND AROUND THE
CIRCUMFERENCE KEEPS ONE STRONG AND SECURE IN THE WORLD
OF MUSIC.

Data entry tech comment: DIAGRAM OF INSIGNIA ON 5 X 8 CARD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; CHORUS OFFICE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Circle and other round forms

Date learned: 01-17-1968

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OMEN

IF YOU HAVE AN INFANT OF PRAGUE (STATUE) IN YOUR KITCHEN,
YOU'LL NEVER RUN OUT OF BREAD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN HEIGHTS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Circle and other round forms

Date learned: 03-13-1970

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I HAD A PENNY WITH A SMALL HOLE IN THE TOP THAT I
CARRIED TO TESTS. I WAS CONVINCED THAT THIS WAS AN
AID BECAUSE I USUALLY DID WELL, ESPECIALLY IN APTITUDE
TYPE TESTS. THIS WAS IN GRADE SCHOOL, BUT I STILL
HAVE THAT PENNY.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; BETHEL PARK

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Circle and other round forms
BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: 00-00-1956

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WITCHES' BALL

A GLASS BALL OF ABOUT FIVE INCHES IN DIAMETER AND WITH
A HOLLOW INTERIOR IS PLACED OVER THE CREAM PITCHER
TO KEEP OUT WITCHES.

Submitter comment: I ACTUALLY SAW ONE OF THESE ON A TOUR OF HOMES IN
NEW ORLEANS' GARDEN DISTRICT. THE CUSTOM I BELIEVE
IS NOW OBSOLETE AND WAS RESTRICTED TO THE EARLY
PEOPLE OF THE AREA.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Circle and other round forms

Date learned: 02-20-1971

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IF A CROWN OF FEATHERS IS FOUND IN THE PILLOW OF A DEAD PERSON,
IT IS A SIGN THAT HE HAS GONE TO HEAVEN.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Circle and other round forms
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 00-00-1972

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IF THERE IS A RING AROUND THE MOON IN THE SPRING IT MEANS
RAIN.

Where learned: ON A WALK

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Moon
BELIEF -- P663
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Circle and other round forms
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Natural atmospheric phenomenon

Date learned: 02-13-1969

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IF THERE IS A RING AROUND THE MOON IN WINTER, IT MEANS SNOW.

Where learned: ON A WALK

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Moon
BELIEF -- P662
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Circle and other round forms
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Natural atmospheric phenomenon

Date learned: 02-13-1969

View just this record

IF YOU SEE A HAZY CIRCLE AROUND THE MOON, COUNT THE NUMBER
OF STARS WITHIN THE CIRCLE TO INDICATE THE NUMBER OF DAYS
UNTIL A FALLING WEATHER WILL OCCUR.

Where learned: VIRGINIA ; NORTH GARDEN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Star
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Circle and other round forms
BELIEF -- Number
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Natural atmospheric phenomenon

Date learned: 03-26-1969

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A CIRCLE AROUND THE MOON MEANS IMPENDING BAD WEATHER.

Where learned: VIRGINIA ; NORTH GARDEN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Moon
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Circle and other round forms
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Natural atmospheric phenomenon

Date learned: 03-25-1969

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IF THERE IS A CIRCLE AROUND THE MOON AT NIGHT, THE NUMBER OF
STARS WITHIN THE CIRCLE REPRESENTS THE NUMBER OF DAYS BEFORE
IT WILL RAIN.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; DORM ; PEABODY COLLEGE ; NASHVILLE

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Moon
BELIEF -- Star
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Circle and other round forms
BELIEF -- Number
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Natural atmospheric phenomenon

Date learned: 04-02-1969

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A RING AROUND THE MOON MEANS FALLING WEATHER. THE NUMBER OF
STARS WITHIN THE RING RPRESENTS THE DAYS OF THE FALLING
WEATHER.

Where learned: CLASS ASSIGNMENT

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Moon
BELIEF -- Star
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Circle and other round forms
BELIEF -- Number

Date learned: 03-07-1969

View just this record

IF THERE IS A RING AROUND THE MOON, IT WILL RAIN ON THE
FOLLOWING DAY.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Moon
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Circle and other round forms
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Natural atmospheric phenomenon

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

View just this record

RING AROUND THE MOON, MEANS RAIN THE NEXT DAY.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; Greenville

Subject headings: BELIEF -- P453
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Circle and other round forms
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Natural atmospheric phenomenon

Date learned: 03-24-1969

View just this record

IF YOU FORGET SOMETHING, GET OUT OF THE WAGON (CARRIAGE, CAR,
ETC.) AND DRAW A CIRCLE AND SPIT IN IT BEFORE YOU GO BACK
TO GET WHAT YOU FORGOT.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; DORM ; PEABODY COLLEGE ; NASHVILLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Magic of Speech, Sign, Color
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Circle and other round forms
BELIEF -- Bad luck Leaving Entering Returning home Travel
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 04-02-1969

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IF YOU FORGET SOMETHING AT HOME AND GO BACK TO GET IT, THEN
(YOU) MUST DRAW CIRCLE AND SPIT IN IT. ALSO CAN NOT GO
THROUGH THE SAME DOOR YOU CAME IN.

Data entry tech comment: INITIALS "KZ" APPEAR UNDER D. B. GONYER'S NAME ON 5X8 CARD.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Circle and other round forms
BELIEF -- Bad luck Leaving Entering Returning home Travel

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

View just this record

IT'S BAD LUCK TO WALK AROUND MY CHAIR WHEN PLAYING CARDS.

Where learned: KENTUCKY ; HOPKINSVILLE

James Callow Keyword(s): CIRCUMAMBULATION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Circle and other round forms
BELIEF -- Bad luck Furniture (bed, table, chair, etc.)
BELIEF -- Bad luck Games Pastimes Sports

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