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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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WEARING GARLIC, OR HAVING IT IN YOUR POSSESSION DRIVES AWAY EVIL
SPIRITS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): EXORCISM

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Flavoring
BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Magic of Speech, Sign, Color

Date learned: 11-19-1972

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PLAYFUL SPIRIT

"POLTER GEIST" IS A GERMAN TERM THAT MEANS SPIRIT THAT HECKLES
(PLAYFUL). BUT THEY WON'T HARM YOU. WHEN YOU BEGIN TALKING
ABOUT THEM, PEOPLE LOOK AT YOU LIKE YOU ARE CRAZY.
THIS INCIDENT ALSO TOOK PLACE IN WINCHESTER, TENNESSEE. THE
CATHOLIC SCHOOL THERE WAS CALLED WINCHESTER ACADEMY. IT WAS
IN A CIVIL WAR BUILDING, WHICH HAD BEEN THE HEADQUARTERS OF
ROSENCRAN DURING THE CIVIL WAR. FOR MANY YEARS THE SISTERS
HAD LIVED IN THE BUILDING, BUT AROUND 1962 THE OLD BUILDING HAD
BEEN CONDEMNED AND THEY MADE THEIR RESIDENCE IN A SMALL HOUSE
A FEW BLOCKS AWAY FROM THE SCHOOL. THIS HOUSE HAD BELONGED
TO A VETERINARIAN WHO WAS AN ALCOHOLIC. MANY OF HIS INSTRU-
MENTS WERE STILL IN THE HOUSE WHEN THE PARISH BOUGHT IT. THE
PASTOR CLEARED AWAY THE THINGS. THE WIFE HAD TAKEN VERY GOOD
CARE OF THE YARD. THE SISTERS HADN'T DONE AS WELL AS SHE.
WHEN THE PARISH BOUGHT THE HOUSE THEY HAD TO DO SOME REMAKING
SO AS TO MAKE A CONVENT FOR THE SISTERS. THEY HAD PUT THE
CHAPEL RIGHT NEXT TO ONE OF THE BEDROOMS.
ONE NIGHT AROUND 11:30 OR 12:00, THE SISTERS HEARD A SQUEAKING
SOUND, LIKE A DOOR OPENING AND CLOSING. BUT THEY COULD SEE
NO DOOR MOVING; THEN THEY HEARD HEAVY FOOTSTEPS AND WALKING
AROUND. THE SISTERS WERE IN THE SAME ROOM. THEY HEARD "HA,
HA, HA"--SOUNDING LIKE IT WAS IN THE CHAPEL, THE ROOM RIGHT
NEXT TO THEM. THEY WENT AND LOOKED ALL AROUND THE HOUSE,
THINKING SOME ONE WAS IN THE HOUSE. BUT THEY COULD FIND NO
ONE. THEY WENT BACK TO THEIR ROOM AND THEY COULD HEAR THE
SOUNDS AGAIN. SO THE TWO SISTERS DECIDED TO SAY THE ROSARY
OUT LOUD AND THE NOISE STOPPED WITHIN A SHORT TIME.

James Callow Keyword(s): EXORCISM ; POLTERGEIST

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 08-00-1968

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GHOST OF ROSECRAN; POLTERGEIST

FOUR SISTERS WERE TEACHING IN WINCHESTER, TENNESSEE, IN AN OLD
SCHOOL BUILDING THAT USED TO BE THE HEADQUARTERS OF ROSECRAN.
TWO SISTERS WERE IN THE SISTERS' ROOM AND THEY COULD HEAR THE
SOUND OF FEET DRAGGING, AND THE SOUND OF FINGERS POPPING. THIS
BUILDING HAD BEEN USED AS A PLACE TO HANG SPIES DURING THE
CIVIL WAR. ONE OF THE SISTERS SAID, "I HEAR FEET DRAGGING AND
SHUFFLING, DO YOU?" "YES," SHE HEARD IT TOO. THEY HEARD IT A
SECOND TIME. THEY WENT TO ANOTHER SISTER AND ASKED HER. SHE
DID HAVE A HEAVY FOOT; SHE SAID THAT SHE HADN'T. THIS SISTER
HAD HAD EXPERIENCES WITH THE SPIRITS ALSO. SHE SAID SHE KNEW
HOW TO GET RID OF THEM. SHE SAID TO SAY, "IN THE NAME OF GOD,
WHAT DO YOU WANT, AND MAY YOU REST IN PEACE." ALSO TAKE HOLY
WATER, WHICH IS A SACRAMENTAL IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, AND
SPRINKLE IT AROUND AS YOU SAY THIS. THE SISTER WHO WAS MY
INFORMANT, SAID THAT SHE WASN'T GOING TO SAY "WHAT DO YOU WANT?"
BECAUSE SHE DIDN'T WANT TO FIND OUT. BUT SHE DID SAY, "IN THE
NAME OF GOD MAY YOU REST IN PEACE." THEN THE NOISE STOPPED.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

James Callow Keyword(s): EXORCISM

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 08-00-1968

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