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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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THE DANCE TO THE DEVIL

WHEN MY FRIEND AND I WERE IN CALIFORNIA LAST CHRISTMAS
WE HAD THESE SILVER BEADS, CALLED THE BEADS OF DEATH.
WE PUT THEM IN THE SHAPE OF A D FOR DEVIL, AND PROCEEDED
TO DO A DANCE. WE REALLY GOT INTO IT, BECAUSE WE STARTED
TO LOSE COMPLETE CONTROL OF OURSELVES AND WERE ROLLING
ALL OVER THE FLOOR AND DOING WILD DANCES AND YELLING. IT
WAS LIKE SOME FORCE HAD TAKEN US BOTH OVER AND WAS CONTROL-
LING OUR MOVEMENTS. I DID THIS ONE OTHER TIME WITH ANOTHER
FRIEND, AND SOMEWHAT OF THE SAME THING HAPPENED BUT NOT AS
VIOLENT. OH YES, AFTER WE DID THIS WE HAD BAD LUCK FOR
ABOUT ONE WEEK.

Where learned: CALIFORNIA

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- C425
BELIEF -- Bad luck

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HUNGARIAN SUPERSTITION

NEVER STEP OVER A PERSON WHEN HE IS LYING IN BED OR IT WILL BRING
HIM GREAT DANGER.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM HER HUNGARIAN FATHER.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; YONKERS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Home
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 12-22-1963

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ITALIAN AND FRENCH SUPERSTITION: BREAD AND LUCK

ALWAYS HAVE THE CRUST OF THE BREAD FACING UP ON THE TABLE OR YOU
WILL HAVE BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: LEARNED WHILE TRAVELLING THROUGHOUT EUROPE 1959-1961.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; JAMAICA

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Home
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 12-24-1963

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SUPERSTITION--BAD LUCK

IT IS UNLUCKY TO LIGHT THREE CIGARETTES FROM A SINGLE MATCH.

Submitter comment: FROM FRIENDS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
BELIEF -- Bad luck

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GERMAN SUPERSTITION

ACCIDENTALLY PUTTING YOUR STOCKING ON WRONG SIDE OUT MEANS GOOD
LUCK, BUT IT'S UNLUCKY TO TURN THEM ON THE RIGHT SIDE IF YOU SEE
THE MISTAKE.

Submitter comment: HEARD IN STEELTON, PENNSYLVANIA ABOUT 1920.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Good luck
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 00001920 CA

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ITALIAN AND FRENCH SUPERSTITION

NEVER CROSS YOUR FORK AND KNIFE AFTER A MEAL OR TERRIBLE
FORTUNE WILL COME YOUR WAY.

Submitter comment: LEARNED WHILE TRAVELLING IN EUROPE 1959-1961.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; JAMAICA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time Eating For menu, see N222.
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 12-24-1963

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JAMAICAN SUPERSTITION

IT'S BAD LUCK TO SWEEP THE HOUSE AFTER 6 O'CLOCK AT NIGHT.

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

Where learned: NEW YORK ; JAMAICA

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

Date learned: 01-01-1964

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IT IS GOOD LUCK TO GET MARRIED AS THE BIG HAND OF THE
CLOCK GOES UP AND BAD LUCK TO GET MARRIED AS THE
HANDS GO DOWN.

Data entry tech comment: LIKE AT 12:00 NOON RATHER THAN 12:15

Where learned: OHIO ; TOLEDO

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Marriage Time or day of ceremony
BELIEF -- Good luck Activities
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 10-00-1968

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IF THREE BAD OMENS OR SIGNS HAPPEN OR APPEAR TO YOU
IN ONE DAY, IT IS A SIGN OF GOOD LUCK TO COME. BUT
IF THERE ARE MORE OR LESS THAN THREE, THIS IS A
SIGN OF BAD LUCK TO COME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GRAND RAPIDS

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
Observation
BELIEF -- Number Inter related specific numbers in a belief: Two's a couple, / Three's a crowd; / Four on a sidewalk / Is never allowed. (Also see C700 and C800 for numbers in verse.) In computer entries our example
BELIEF -- Good luck
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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RIGHT EAR RINGS, BAD LUCK.
RIGHT EYE ITCHES, BAD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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IT IS A SIGN OF GOOD LUCK WHEN A PIGEON SITS ON
YOUR ROOF.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Use of Object Animals
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 12-00-1965

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IF THE BRIDE CRIES OR SEES SOME CRYING BEFORE HER
WEDDING, SHE WILL HAVE A BAD LIFE.

Submitter comment: MRS. BROWN DOES NOT BELIEVE THIS TO BE TRUE, AND
NEITHER CAN SHE REMEMBER WHERE SHE HEARD IT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Bad luck

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A MAN SHOULD ALWAYS WALK ON THE OUTSIDE. IF A GIRL
DOES, AN ACCIDENT IS LIKELY TO OCCUR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 03-20-1968

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IF YOU WALK UNDER A LADDER, IT MEANS SOMETHING WILL
FALL ON YOU.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 03-20-1968

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IF YOU DROP A FORK, YOU WILL HAVE A MALE VISITOR.
IF YOU DROP A SPOON, YOUR VISITOR WILL BE FEMALE.
HOWEVER, IF YOU DROP A KNIFE, YOU WILL RECEIVE BAD NEWS.

Where learned: OHIO ; NORTH OLMSTED

Subject headings: Observation
Food Drink -- Service Table furnishing and decoration Implement to handle food
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 00-00-1956

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IF A MAN DROPS A FORK, IT MEANS THAT A GIRLFRIEND
REMEMBERS HIM.
IF A GIRL DROPS A SPOON IT MEANS THAT A BOY IS
REMEMBERING HER AND MAY COME OVER. IT IS GOOD
LUCK.

Submitter comment: FROM HIS MOTHER.

Where learned: TELEPHONE CONVERSATION

Subject headings: Observation
Food Drink -- Service Table furnishing and decoration Implement to handle food
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 08-09-1964

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TOSS OR DAMAGE TO THE SHIP'S FLAG WAS SURE
DISASTER.

Where learned: HOME

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 10-29-1968

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IT IS BAD LUCK TO SPILL OIL.

Submitter comment: GERTRUDE THINKS SHE FIRST HEARD THIS BELIEF FROM HER
MOTHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 07-13-1964

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IF YOU DROP A GLOVE YOU WILL BE DISAPPOINTED.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 02-28-1970

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IF A HOLY PICTURE FALLS OFF THE WALL, GOD IS DISPLEASED
WITH YOU AND BAD LUCK WILL COME YOUR WAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 11-12-1969

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