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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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WHEN A GIRL GETS MARRIED AND ONE DROP OF RAIN FALLS
ON HER VEIL, SHE WILL HAVE A HAPPY LIFE; HOWEVER,
IF IT RAINS, SHE WILL HAVE A SAD LIFE.

Submitter comment: TOLD BY MOTHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Marriage Superstition about good weather
BELIEF -- Good luck Activities
BELIEF -- Bad luck Activities

Date learned: 10-00-1967

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ON NEW YEAR'S EVE IN SPAIN, SWALLOWING ONE GRAPE ON EACH
OF THE TWELVE STROKES OF MIDNIGHT WILL BRING GOOD LUCK,
FAILING TO SWALLOW A GRAPE OR DROPPING ONE WILL BE BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: LEARNED ITEM FROM FATHER WHO FREQUENTLY TRAVELS
TO EUROPE.

Where learned: CANADA ; MONTREAL ; RECEIVED IN MAIL

Subject headings: 686 Seconds / Twice / Two
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 31 New Year's Eve
BELIEF -- Good luck Activities
BELIEF -- Good luck Time (year, season, week, hour, etc.) Occasion Event
BELIEF -- Bad luck Activities
BELIEF -- Bad luck Time (year, season, week, hour, etc.) Occasion Event

Date learned: 00-00-1970

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WHEN GOING OVER TRAIN TRACKS IN AN AUTOMOBILE, YOU
LIFT YOUR FEET IN THE AIR OR BAD LUCK WILL OCCUR.

Where learned: DETROIT

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

Date learned: 00-00-1975

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CUTTING YOUR FINGERNAILS ON SUNDAY BRINGS BAD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MUSKEGON

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Bad luck Activities

Date learned: 09-19-1982

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IT IS BAD LUCK FOR A PLAY IF SOMEONE WHISTLES BACKSTAGE ON
OPENING NIGHT.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; CHICAGO

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Bad luck Activities

Date learned: 00001983CA

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It is bad luck to name a boat after a boy instead of a girl.

Submitter comment: Elinor's dance instructor was concerned that a friend of hers
would regret that she had named her boat after her son.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Sterling Heights

Keyword(s): ship, christening, advice

James Callow Keyword(s): SEXISM

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Bad luck Activities
SPEECH -- Proper Name

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It is bad luck to open an umbrella in the house only
if you place it over your head.

Submitter comment: Elinor's dance instructor is very convinced of this belief's
veracity, and dislikes her students bringing umbrellas into
class.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Sterling Heights

Keyword(s): proscription, advice

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck Umbrella
BELIEF -- Bad luck Activities

Date learned: 00001987ca

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IF YOU UNFOLD A TABLECLOTH AND THERE IS A DIAMOND
SHAPE IN IT (FROM THE CREASES) THAT'S CONSIDERED
BAD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): ANGULAR SHAPE: DIAMOND, TRIANGLE.

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Angular forms
BELIEF -- Bad luck Activities

Date learned: 03-01-1972

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BLOCKING A WINDOW (SUCH AS MAKING A WALL WHERE A
WINDOW ONCE WAS) WILL BRING BAD LUCK TO THE
HOUSEHOLD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Wall Partition Door Window
BELIEF -- Bad luck Activities

Date learned: 03-24-1970

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TO BREAK SOMETHING THAT HAS BEEN GIVEN AS A LOVE-
TOKEN OR PLEDGE IS VERY UNFORTUNATE; THE LOVE
AFFAIR WILL END BADLY.

Submitter comment: FROM PAST FRIENDS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Dating Courtship
BELIEF -- Bad luck Gifts
BELIEF -- Bad luck Activities

Date learned: 11-10-1967

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IT IS BAD LUCK TO TRY TO COUNT STARS.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Star
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs
BELIEF -- Bad luck Activities

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IT IS BAD LUCK TO COUNT TOWELS IN THE BATHROOM.

Where learned: DETROIT ; PASTEUR SCHOOL ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs
BELIEF -- Bad luck Activities

Date learned: 01-29-1968

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IF A DATE FROM THE CALENDAR IS CROSSED OFF BEFORE
THAT DAY IS OVER, IT WILL BRING YOU BAD LUCK
FOR THE REST OF THAT DAY.

Submitter comment: HEARD THIS FROM A FRIEND WHILE ATTENDING SCHOOL
IN WINDSOR.

Where learned: CANADA ; ONTARIO ; WINDSOR

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

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IF A PERSON CROSSES OUT A DATE ON A CALENDAR
BEFORE THE DAY IS OVER, HE WILL HAVE BAD LUCK FOR
THE REST OF THE DAY.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM A FRIEND AT WORK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

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

Date learned: 12-05-1967

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IF YOU EAT YOUR MEAT BEFORE YOUR POTATOES AT
SUPPPERTIME, YOU WILL HAVE BAD LUCK.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Plant food Vegetable
Food Drink -- Meat
BELIEF -- Measure of time Eating For menu, see N222.
BELIEF -- Bad luck Activities

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THE VIET CONG WILL NOT FIGHT WHEN THERE IS A FULL
MOON OUT BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE IT IS BAD LUCK.
THIS ALSO IS VERY PRACTICAL BECAUSE THEY CAN
BE SEEN EASILY BY THE ENEMY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Moon
BELIEF -- War
BELIEF -- Bad luck Activities

Date learned: 01-16-1968

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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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GERMAN BELIEF: DON'T HANG A CALENDAR BEFORE THE
FIRST OF THE YEAR.

Submitter comment: BAD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; EAST DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
BELIEF -- Bad luck Activities

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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WHEN ANYTHING HANGS ON A DOORKNOB, BAD LUCK WILL
OCCUR.

Submitter comment: FROM HER AUNT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Wall Partition Door Window
BELIEF -- Bad luck Activities

Date learned: 00-00-1968

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IT IS BAD LUCK FOR A COUPLE TO HAVE THEIR PICTURE
TAKEN TOGETHER. IT WILL LEAD TO A BREAK-UP IN
THE ROMANCE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): Photography

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

Date learned: 03-01-1971

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