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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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Goblin Story

A few years ago, in the main plant of Valente's Men's Formal Wear, the general manager, Marty Rapp, and David Palm were cleaning out the drainage wells beside the 50 pound washers down in the laundry. These wells are about 3 feet in diameter and 6 feet deep. Marty, being general manager, directed, while Dave did the cleaning. All of a sudden, Dave found himself being pulled into the well. He was waist deep in the murky water before Marty pulled him out by the arm. Maybe it was well that Marty was there directing, far Max, a vile, loathsome creature that lives in the sewers under Valente's had tried to pull Dave down into his submarine lair. For what purpose, no one knows, but it is certain it wouldn't have been pleasant. From then on, people are cautioned not to walkalone in the laundry in the dark.

Submitter comment:

For us at Valente's, Max is something to blame accidents on. Dave didn't really get pulled into the well, Marty pushed him in. Though, if you ask anyone there about Dave falling into the well, you will probably get the version with Max in it, then the real one.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; VALENTES MENS FORMALWEAR

Keyword(s): FANTASY ; Goblin ; Lore ; Mischief ; OMEN ; SEWER ; Submarine ; SUPERNATURAL ; TRICKSTER ; WATER

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Fairy Elf Goblin Gnome

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Belief: Luck

If a ship has thirteen letters in its name the ship is doomed.

Submitter comment:

Read this in a book of sea lore.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Minor grammatical correction to submission card: changing had to has

Original BN [P880] crossed out and replaced with P686

Where learned: DORM ROOM ; BOOK

Keyword(s): Boat ; Lore ; NAME ; Nautical ; NUMBERS ; NUMEROLOGY ; Ocean ; Sailor ; SEA ; Ship ; Vessel

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Number

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Destiny

Killing an albatross while on a ship means that the ship is going to meet disaster.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [P870] crossed out and replaced with current classification.

Where learned: LIBRARY ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Keyword(s): Albatross ; ANIMAL SYMBOL ; DESTINY ; Disaster ; Lore ; LUCK ; Nautical ; OMEN ; Sailor ; SEA ; Ship

Subject headings: Observation

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Custom/Belief

Craving of Pregnant Woman:

If a pregnant woman has a craving for something and does not get it, the baby will have a birthmark resembling the food that was craved.

Submitter comment:

Informant is a friend's mother, and she remembers this from all her life.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Reference

Original BN [P800] crossed out. Replaced with current classification

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FERNDALE

Keyword(s): BABY ; Birthmark ; Craving ; Craving ; Disfigure ; FOOD ; Lore ; Old Wives Tale ; PREGNANCY

James Callow Keyword(s): Reference

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

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Superstition

Protection Against Vampires:

Garlic is a charm to be used against vampires.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [P400] crossed out. Replaced with current classification

Where learned: ENGLAND ; WORCESTER

Keyword(s): Garlic ; Lore ; MYTH ; Protection ; Protective ; SPICE ; SUPERSTITION ; Vampire

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Werewolf Vampire

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Ethnic:Hawaiian

WHEN TRAVELERS LEAVE HAWAII, THEY THROW THEIR LEIS
OVER THE SIDE OF THE SHIP. IF IT FLOATS TO SHORE THEY WILL
RETURN, IF IT FLOATS TO SEA, THEY WILL NEVER
RETURN.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CUSTOM ; ETHNIC ; Float ; FLOWERS ; Garland ; Hawaii ; Hawaiian ; Lei ; Lore ; Ocean ; SEA ; Ship

James Callow Keyword(s): FLOWERS ; Garland ; Lei ; NECK

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 03-19-1968

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Story

WHEN A SEAMAN DIED ABOARD SHIP AND A BURIAL AT SEA
WAS NECESSARY, A PENNY OR OTHER COIN WAS PLACED IN THE
MOUTH OF THE DEAD MAN BY HIS SHIPMATES BEFORE BEING
SEWN UP IN HIS BURIAL SHROUD. THIS COIN WAS FOR OLD
MAN CHARON, SKIPPER OF THE FERRY THAT WOULD SAFELY
CARRY THE DECEASED ACROSS THE RIVER STYX--IF PAID
IN ADVANCE.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated and Motifs added / 02-28-2011 / TRD

Where learned: BOOK

Keyword(s): ; BURIAL ; COIN ; Dead ; DEATH ; Ferry ; Lore ; MONEY ; Ocean ; Payment ; River ; SEA ; Ship ; Shroud ; Story ; Styx ; Tale ; Underworld ; VERSE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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Custom; Agriculture

Plant corn by the dark of the moon

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): AGRICULTURE ; CORN ; Crop ; CUSTOM ; FARMING ; HARVEST ; Lore ; MOON ; PLANT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time F574.82.242.5

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Custom; Agriculture

Plant cucumbers by the dark of the moon. If you plant them by the light of the moon, they will just make vines.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): AGRICULTURE ; Crop ; Cucumber ; Dark ; FARMING ; LIGHT ; Lore ; MOON ; PLANT ; VEGETABLE ; Vine

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Working

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WAYS TO KILL A VAMPIRE

DRIVING A WOODEN STAKE THROUGH THE HEART OF A VAMPIRE WILL KILL HIM.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: ENGLAND ; WORCESTER

Keyword(s): Kill ; Lore ; SUPERSTITION ; Undead ; Vampire

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Werewolf Vampire

Date learned: 04-00-1972

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GHOST LEGEND

THERE PERSISTS A LEGEND IN MACEDONIA, THAT IF A
DECEASED WILL APPEAR TO SOME MEMBER OF THE FAMILY.
PERSON DIES THEN WITHIN 24 HOURS OF THE DEATH THE GHOST OF THE

Submitter comment:

JAMES LEARNED THIS FROM HIS PARENTS.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Keyword(s): GHOST ; Legend ; Lore ; Macedonia ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 10-10-1967

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LE GNOMME ROUGE

THE CITY OF DETROIT HAS A FRENCH ORIGIN. BOTH CADILLAC AND
FATHER RICHARD GREATLY AIDED THE CITY'S FOUNDING. BOTH OF
THESE MEN WERE ADVISED BY "LE GNOMME ROUGE". THIS LITTLE
MAN HELPED IN MAKING IMPORTANT DECISIONS. MANY OF THE CITIZENS
SAW HIM FROM TIME TO TIME. HE WAS LAST SEEN IN 1806 DURING THE
DETROIT FIRE AND IN 1943 DURING THE RACE RIOTS. AT THAT TIME,
SOME CITIZENS SAW HIM, OPENLY SOBBING, WALKING THE STREETS
OF DOWNTOWN.

Submitter comment:

BILL GORMAN HEARD THIS, I WOULD THINK, FROM TRADITIONAL SOURCES.

Data entry tech comment:

SPELLING CORRECTED BY KEYPUNCHER.

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Keyword(s): Detroit ; FRENCH ; Le Gnomme Rouge ; Legend ; Lore ; The Nain Rouge

James Callow Keyword(s): COMPARE THE GRAY CHAMPION OF NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 07-08-1964

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ST. PAT

THE MOST POPULAR AND WIDE-SPREAD STORY ABOUT SAINT PATRICK IS
THAT THANKS TO HIM, IRELAND HAS ABSOLUTELY NO SNAKES. IT IS BELIEVED
THAT ST. PAT REMOVED THE SNAKES IN THE "PIED PIPER" FASHION.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; CHICAGO

Keyword(s): IRELAND ; Irish ; Legend ; Lore ; Saint Patrick ; SNAKES

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Religious hero

Date learned: 00-00-1960

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CHRISTMAS EVE BELIEF

AT THE CHRISTMAS EVE MEAL SET THE TABLE WITH THE EXACT NUMBER OF
UTENSILS. IF THERE ARE MORE THAN SUPPOSED TO BE THERE WILL BE
AN INCREASE IN THE FAMILY. IF THERE AREN'T ENOUGH, THERE WILL
BE A DEATH.

Submitter comment:

THIS WAS BELIEVED BY THE INFORMANT'S FATHER STRICTLY.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: OHIO ; CANTON

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Holiday: Christmas ; Lore ; SUPERSTITION ; Table Setting

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve F122.2
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve Christmas
BELIEF -- Number

Date learned: 02-11-1972

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SLEEP BELIEF

IF YOU CAN NOT GO TO SLEEP AT NIGHT THE SAND
MAN WILL COME AND PUT SAND IN YOUR EYES TO MAKE YOU SLEEP.
IN THE MORNING YOU MAY FIND A GRITTY DEPOSIT IN THE CORNER OF
YOUR EYE. THIS IS SOME OF THE SAND HE USED TO PUT YOU TO SLEEP.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; ETIOLOGY ; Lore ; Sandman ; SLEEP ; SUPERSTITION ; Tale

James Callow Keyword(s): ETIOLOGY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Home
BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping

Date learned: 02-19-1968

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MUSHROOM BELIEF

TO SEE IF THE MUSHROOMS YOU PICKED ARE
REALLY MUSHROOMS AND NOT TOAD STOOLS, PUT A PENNY IN
THE POT WHEN YOU COOK THEM. IF THE PENNY DOES NOT
TURN BLACK THEN THEY ARE MUSHROOMS AND SAFE TO EAT.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [N242] crossed out. Replaced with current classification.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; COIN ; COOKING ; CUSTOM ; FOOD ; Lore ; Mushroom ; Penny

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 11-18-1968

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BLEEDING HEART

IF YOU TAKE APART A BLEEDING HEART BLOSSOM IN FULL BLOOM
YOU WILL GET 2 RABBITS, 2 SLIPPERS, 2 EARRINGS, AND A BOTTLE.

Submitter comment:

PARTS OF THE FLOWER RESEMBLE THESE THINGS
SAYS COLLECTOR

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: OHIO ; TOLEDO

Keyword(s): Botany ; Bottle ; Earring ; FLOWER ; Items ; Lore ; Rabbit ; Represent ; Slipper ; SYMBOL

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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Superstition

IF YOU CUT DOWN A TREE, A MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY WILL DIE.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD HILLS

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; DEATH ; FAMILY ; Legend ; Lore ; SUPERSTITION ; Tree

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 10-06-1969

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FRUIT BELIEF

IF YOU SWALLOW A GRAPEFRUIT OR ORANGE SEED, IT WILL GROW IN YOUR
STOMACH.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: OHIO ; TOLEDO

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; FRUIT ; Lore ; Seed ; SUPERSTITION ; Swallow

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 10-00-1968

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CEMETERY BELIEF

IT WAS BELIEVED THAT AFTER EIGHT 'O CLOCK AT NIGHT THE DEAD
WOULD WALK
AROUND MT. ELIOT CEMETERY IN DETROIT.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Dead ; Detroit ; GHOST ; Legend ; Lore ; Mt. Eliot Cemetery ; SUPERNATURAL

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 11-12-1968

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