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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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THROUGHOUT POLAND, IT IS A SIGN OF LUCK ON FARMS TO
HAVE STORKS BUILD NESTS ON THE ROOF OF A HOME.
WHEN THEY WOULD NOT, THE INHABITANTS OF THE HOUSE
WOULD BE UNEASY, THINKING THE HOUSE IS UNLUCKY.

Submitter comment: MY GRANDMOTHER REMEMBERS THIS BELIEF AND PRACTICE
FROM HER DAYS IN POLAND.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

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

Date learned: 10-28-1967

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"IF A BLACK CAT CROSSED IN FRONT OF THE CAR THAT REVEREND CASEY
WAS DRIVING, HE WOULD NOT SAY ANYTHING, BUT WOULD TURN HIS HAT
COMPLETELY AROUND ON HIS HEAD."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Color
BELIEF -- Bad luck Animals
BELIEF -- Conversions Animals

Date learned: 09-19-1982

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BLACK CATS ARE BELIEVED TO BE EVIL. THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BRING
BAD LUCK. SOME PEOPLE USE BLACK CATS TO DO WITCHCRAFT.

Submitter comment: IT IS SAID THAT CATS HAVE SEVEN LIVES; THEY DO NOT DIE THAT EASY.

Where learned: GUADELOUPE

Subject headings: 686 Seven / Sevenths / Several
BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Bad luck Animals

Date learned: 00-00-1968

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IF YOU KILL A CAT YOU WILL HAVE SEVEN YEARS OF BAD LUCK.

Where learned: GUADELOUPE

Subject headings: 686 Seven / Sevenths / Several
BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Bad luck Animals

Date learned: 00-00-1968

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IF A BLACK CAT CROSSES YOUR PATH YOU WILL HAVE BAD LUCK.

Where learned: ALABAMA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck Animals

Date learned: 04091984CA

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It is bad luck if a bird gets into your house!

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Bad luck Animals

Date learned: 00001988 ca

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If a black cat walks across your path, you
will have bad luck.

Submitter comment: Informant said her family strongly believed in
superstitions.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

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

Date learned: 00001950S

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IT IS BAD LUCK TO MEET AN OLD WOMAN OR A LONG
HAIRED DOG WHEN YOU START ON A JOURNEY. IT IS
GOOD LUCK TO MEET A MAN WHO HAS A WOODEN LEG, OR
WHO SMOKES A PIPE.

Submitter comment: MY GRANDFATHER HEARD THIS IN BOSTON WHEN HE
WORKED AT THE NABIS
COMPANY IN THE 1920S.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): SEXISM

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

Date learned: 00001920S

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KILLING AN ALBATROSS IN OPEN SEASON IS BAD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): BIRD

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Bad luck Animals

Date learned: 11-25-1969

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SAILORS NEVER KILL AN ALBATROSS BECAUSE THIS WILL
BRING BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED THIS FROM ONE OF HER FRIENDS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): BIRD ; MARITIME

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck Animals

Date learned: 02-11-1971

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IT IS BAD LUCK TO KILL AN ALBATROSS WHILE ON BOARD
SHIP.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): BIRD ; MARITIME

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck Animals

Date learned: 03-15-1968

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IT IS BELIEVED THAT KILLING AN ALBATROSS WILL BRING
BAD LUCK TO THE PEOPLE ON THE SHIP.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): BIRD ; MARITIME

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck Animals

Date learned: 10-27-1969

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BIRD PICTURES INSIDE THE HOUSE ARE VERY BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT WAS TOLD THIS BY HER MOTHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GRAND RAPIDS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck Animals

Date learned: 03-27-1972

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BAD LUCK WILL COME TO THE HOME OF A FAMILY IF A BLACK
BIRD BUILDS A NEST IN THEIR CHIMNEY.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT SAID THAT A MAN IN HER TOWN ACTUALLY HAD
THE JOB OF BERIDDING HOMES OF BIRDS. UNTIL SHE
ARRIVED IN AMERICA FROM ROMANIA SHE THOUGHT EVERYONE
BELIEVED THIS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; ROMANIA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck Animals

Date learned: 11-08-1971

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ON THE GREAT LAKES, IT WAS BAD LUCK TO KILL A SEA GULL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): BIRD

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck Animals

Date learned: 11-12-1968

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IT IS BAD LUCK TO HAVE A BIRD FLY IN THE HOUSE, USUALLY
AN OMEN OF DEATH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED ; PIZZERIA

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Bad luck Animals

Date learned: 03-21-1968

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IT'S BAD LUCK TO KILL A LADYBUG.

Where learned: OHIO ; TOLEDO

James Callow Keyword(s): INSECT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck Animals

Date learned: 00-00-1968

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IT IS BAD LUCK TO KILL A LADYBUG.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): INSECT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck Animals

Date learned: 10-27-1969

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IT IS BAD LUCK TO KILL A CRICKET, ESPECIALLY ON SUNDAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Insect
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Bad luck Animals

Date learned: 03-03-1970

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BUTTERFLIES DENOTE BAD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; LIVONIA

James Callow Keyword(s): INSECT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck Animals

Date learned: 04-03-1970

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