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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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SUPERSTITION

YOU MUST NEVER SWEEP AFTER THE SUN GOES DOWN. WHEN YOU DO SWEEP
THE HOUSE, YOU MUST CONTINUALLY SAY "BAD LUCK GO OUT, GOOD LUCK
COME."

Submitter comment: MRS. GROVE'S MOTHER FOLLOWED THIS CUSTOM RELIGIOUSLY. SHE IS FROM
SOMERSET, PENNSYLVANIA. MRS. GROVE FIRST LEARNED OF THIS CUSTOM
APPROXIMATELY THIRTY YEARS AGO.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Week Day Hour
BELIEF -- Sun
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.21
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.21
SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 10-20-1963

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LUCK

NEVER BREAK FRENCH BREAD WITH YOUR HAND. ALWAYS CUT IT OR YOU WILL
CAUSE YOUR FATHER TO BREAK HIS BACK.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

James Callow Keyword(s): HOMEOPATHIC

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Upper body, arms, neck
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.21

Date learned: CA11001973

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DEATH

NEVER CUT BOTH ENDS OF A LOAF OF BREAD OR BOTH OF YOUR PARENTS WILL
DIE.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

James Callow Keyword(s): HOMEOPATHIC

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.21

Date learned: CA11001973

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COMBING HAIR

IF TWO PEOPLE COMB IN THE SAME PERSONS' HAIR AT THE SAME TIME THE
YOUNGEST WILL DIE FIRST.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

James Callow Keyword(s): SIMULTANEITY

Subject headings: 686 Seconds / Twice / Two
Observation
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.21

Date learned: 11-05-1973

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BROOM

NEVER SWEEP ANYONE'S FEET OR YOUR FEET WITH A BROOM BECAUSE THAT
PERSON OR YOU WILL GO TO JAIL.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Feet, toes, toenails
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.2
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.21

Date learned: 11-23-1973

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BROOM AND BAD LUCK

NEVER STAND A BROOM UPSIDE DOWN IN A HOUSE. IT IS A SIGN OF BAD
LUCK. ALSO: IF YOU STAND A BROOM UPSIDE DOWN IN A CORNER WITH A
FORK STUCK IN IT, YOU CAN MAKE AN UNWANTED VISITOR LEAVE.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.1
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.21

Date learned: 11-05-1973

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BAD LUCK BY A BROOM

NEVER SWEEP DIRT FROM THE FRONT OF THE HOUSE, OR FROM
THE HOUSE TO THE FRONT GATE BECAUSE YOU WILL BE SWEEPING YOUR LUCK
AWAY FROM YOU

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.21

Date learned: 11-05-1973

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BAD LUCK

NEVER POUR COFFEE IN CREAM, POUR CREAM IN COFFEE OR YOU WILL HAVE
BAD LUCK.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Non-alcoholic fruit beverage Coffee
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.21

Date learned: 11-05-1973

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BAD LUCK BY A LADDER

NEVER WALK UNDER A LADDER.

Submitter comment: LONG AGO PEOPLE BELIEVED THAT GODS WENT UP TO THE SKY ON LADDERS,
AND WALKING UNDERNEATH WOULD CERTAINLY BRING PUNISHMENT.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Gods
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.13
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.21

Date learned: 11-05-1973

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BAD LUCK BY A CAN

OPEN ANY CAN UPRIGHT NOT UPSIDE DOWN OR YOU WILL HAVE BAD LUCK.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.21

Date learned: 11-05-1973

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DON'T SWEEP UNDER ANYBODIES FEET, ITS BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: TOLD BY MRS. SULLIVAN WHO WAS TOLD BY HER GRANDMOTHER.

Where learned: DETROIT ; TOLD IN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.21

Date learned: 10-11-1972

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DON'T SWEEP OUT THE DOOR AT NIGHT, IT'S BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: TOLD BY MRS. SULLIVAN WHO WAS TOLD BY HER GRANDMOTHER.

Where learned: DETROIT ; TOLD IN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Week Day Hour
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.21

Date learned: 10-11-1972

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LUCK

IT IS BAD LUCK TO SWEEP TRASH OUT OF THE DOOR AFTER SUNDOWN. IF
YOU DO YOU WILL BE SWEEPING A MEMBER OUT OF YOUR FAMILY. INFORMANT
SAID HER MOTHER WOULD NEVER SWEEP AT THAT TIME AND WOULD NOT ALLOW
HER TO. THIS MEANT THAT ONE MEMBER WOULD DIE.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.21
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.44

Date learned: 10-30-1972

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LUCK

TO SWEEP TRASH OUT OF A DOOR AT NIGHT MEANS THAT YOU ARE SWEEPING YOUR LUCK AWAY.
INFORMANT SAID HER MOTHER TOLD HER THIS, AND SHE BELIEVED IT.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time Ruler or historic event
BELIEF -- Measure of time Working
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.21
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.21

Date learned: 10-25-1972

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LUCK

IT IS BAD LUCK FOR A WOMAN TO SWEEP OUT ANY PART OF HER HOUSE
WHILE SHE HAS ANY COMPANY VISITING.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FARMINGTON ; TOLD IN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Bad luck
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.21

Date learned: 09-26-1972

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BREAD

IN GREECE IT IS BAD LUCK TO PLACE A LOAF OF BREAD UPSIDE DOWN
ON THE TABLE

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; CAMPUS

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.21

Date learned: 11-28-1972

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NEW MOON COLLECTOR'S TITLE) ; DOMESTIC PERSUITS (CLASSIFIER'S TITLE)

IT IS BAD LUCK TO LOOK AT A NEW MOON THROUGH A WINDOW.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT LEARNED THIS FROM HER NOTHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.21

Date learned: 07-13-1964

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IRISH BELIEF (COLLECTOR'S TITLE) ; DOMESTIC PURSUITS (CLASSIFIER'S TITLE)

SEW ON SUNDAYS IS BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT BELIEVES IT IS IRISH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; PLYMOUTH

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.21

Date learned: 10-00-1965

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SUPERSTITION OF FOOD

SNEEZING WITH FOOD IN YOUR MOUTH A SIGN OF BAD LUCK. IF THIS
HAPPENED QUICKLY TAKE FOOD OUT OF YOUR MOUTH AND THROW IT AWAY.

Submitter comment: THIS SUPERSTITION OF FOOD WAS PASSED DOWN FROM MY GRANDMOTHER'S
FAMILY. THE REASON THIS CAME ABOUT WAS BECAUSE THERE WERE TWO DEATHS
IN THE FAMILY WHICH COULD NOT BE EXPLAINED. I MYSELF DO
NOT BELIEVE IN IT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.21
BELIEF -- Conversions

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SUPERSTITION OF HAIR BRUSHING

TWO PEOPLE BRUSHING ONE PERSON AT THE SAME TIME, BAD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.21

Date learned: 11-04-1977

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