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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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THE LEGEND OF ELMWOOD CEMETARY.

ONE COLD RAINY DAY AS A MAN LEFT THE CAPUCHIN MONASTERY ON MT.
ELLIOT ST. IN DETROIT, HE OBSERVED A YOUNG LADY NEAR A GRAVE SITE
AT THE CEMETARY ACROSS THE STREET. PASSING NEAR HER ON HIS WAY TO
HIS CAR, HE OFFERED HER A RIDE. SINCE SHE SEEMED RATHER HELPLESS
IN THE FACE OF THE ELEMENTS, SHE RELUCTANTLY ACCEPTED. HE DROVE
HER TO AN ADDRESS ON THE NEAR EAST SIDE FOR WHICH SHE THANKED HIM
WARMLY. HE ASKED HER IF HE COULD CALL UPON HER SOME TIME IN THE
FUTURE AND SHE SAID IT WOULD BE ALL RIGHT. RETURNING TO THE ADDRESS
SOME WEEKS LATER, HE WAS TOLD THAT NO GIRL LIVED THERE. THE
RESIDENT ASKED FOR A DESCRIPTION OF THE YOUNG GIRL AFTER WHICH SHE
ASKED OUR YOUNG MAN INTO THE HOUSE. HE WAS SHOWN A PICTURE
OF THE GIRL AND WAS INFORMED THAT SHE HAD DIED SUDDENLY SOME
YEARS EARLIER. APPARENTLY HE HAD PICKED UP THE YOUNG LADY AT THE
SITE OF HER GRAVE.

Data entry tech comment: THIS STORY SOUNDS MORE AS IF THE INFORMANT WERE READING THE STORY,
INSTEAD OF TELLING A TRUE TALE. THE REASON I FEEL THIS WAY IS
BECAUSE NO ONE TELLS A STORY IN THE PERFECT WAY IT IS DONE HERE.
THIS STORY IS A FAIRLY COMMON MOTIF. THE STORY IS ALSO KNOWN AS
" LILY " OR " THE HITCHHIKER. " BUT BOTH OF THEM END WITH THE
HITCHHIKER BEING DEAD FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS AND THE GHOST IS LONELY
OR TRYING TO FIND ITS WAY TO SAFETY AND WARMTH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): GHOSTLY HITCHHIKER

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

Date learned: 00-00-1950

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PETTICOAT LUCE

HERE IS ANOTHER IRISH STORY GRANDPA LAMB USED TO TELL US WHEN WE WER
KIDS. THIS IS THE STORY OF PETTICOAT LUCE. THERE WAS THIS OLD
FARMER COMING HOME FROM THE VILLAGE AT NIGHT. AS HE CROSSED A STREA
HE NOTICED A WOMAN AT THE SIDE OF THE ROAD WHO WANTED A RIDE SO HE
STOPPED HIS WAGON AND LET HER ON. AS HE CONTINUED HE NOTICED THE
HORSE WAS PANTING AS IF THE LOAD WAS GETTING HEAVIER AND HEAVIER.
THE FARMER LET PETTICOAT LUCE OFF AT ANOTHER STREAM BUT WHEN HE GOT
HOME WOULD YOU BELIEVE THE HORSE DROPPED DEAD.

Submitter comment: I THINK THE EXPLANATION TO THIS STORY IS THAT PETTICOAT LUCE WAS A
PHANTOM WHO WEIGHED MORE AND MORE. THIS IRISH LEGEND WAS TOLD BY
GRANDPA LAMB TO MY UNCLE JIM LAMB WHEN HE WAS A KID IN DEARBORN.

James Callow comment: COMPARE "THE VANISHING HITCHHIKER."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

James Callow Keyword(s): GHOSTLY HITCHHIKER

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 00-00-1939 ; 11-22-1979

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