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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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AUTOGRAPH

BY HOOK OR BY CROOK

Submitter comment: FROM AUTOGRAPH BOOK KEPT IN DETROIT, 1960

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse

Date learned: 11-00-1973

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BELIEF

IF YOU SPILL SALT ACCIDENTALLY, QUICKLY THROW SOME OVER YOUR LEFT
SHOULDER AND MAKE A WISH. BY RIGHTS, IT SHOULD COME TRUE.

Submitter comment: I HEARD THIS BELIEF FROM MY IRISH MATERNAL GRANDMOTHER WHO TOLD
IT TO ME FIFTEEN YEARS AGO WHEN I ACCIDENTALLY DROPPED SALT IN
HER KITCHEN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Prayer

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ON THE STAIRS

IF YOU PASS SOMEONE ON THE STAIRS, IN THE HOUSE, IT IS AN OMEN
OF BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: GRANDMA HAS KNOWN THIS ONE AS LONG AS SHE CAN REMEMBER AND THINKS
SHE GOT IT FROM HER MOTHER WHO CAME FROM IRELAND.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; IRELAND

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.2

Date learned: 09-00-1963

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BETTER SLEEP

YOU WILL SLEEP BETTER IF THE HEAD OF YOUR BED POINTS NORTH.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM HER AUNT IN GRAND MARAIS IN HER CHILDHOOD. (HER
BED HEAD POINTS NORTH, INCIDENTALLY.)

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; GRAND MARAIS

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping

Date learned: 01-04-1964

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COINS AT THE STEP OF THE MAST

THE CUSTOM OF PLACING A COIN OR COINS AT THE HEEL OF THE MASTS
SEEMS TO HAVE A DOUBLE PURPOSE. IN ANTIQUITY IT WAS TO PAY THE
FARES OF THE CREW ACROSS THE RIVER STYX IF THE SHIP SHOULD BE LOST
AT SEA; MORE LATTERLY IT WAS DONE TO ASSURE GOOD FORTUNE. THE
COINS MUST BE PLACED FACE UP, FOR TO HAVE THEM FACE DOWN WOULD BE
TO INVITE DISASTER. EVEN TO THIS DAY THE OWNER OF A SMALL CRAFT
WILL SECRETE A COIN ABOARD, THE LOCATION, VALUE, AND DATE OF WHICH
ARE KNOWN TO HIM ALONE--THE KNOWLEDGE ENABLING HIM TO PROVE HIS
OWNERSHIP SHOULD IT EVER BE QUESTIONED.

Submitter comment: CAPTAIN LUMAS SAID THAT HE LEARNED OF THIS TRICK THE FIRST TIME
HE EVER OWNED A BOAT, WHICH WAS ABOUT FORTY YEARS AGO.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MACKINAW ISLAND

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Custom
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 09-00-1963

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ITALIAN AND FRENCH SUPERSTITION: BREAD AND LUCK

ALWAYS HAVE THE CRUST OF THE BREAD FACING UP ON THE TABLE OR YOU
WILL HAVE BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: LEARNED WHILE TRAVELLING THROUGHOUT EUROPE 1959-1961.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; JAMAICA

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Home
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 12-24-1963

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JAMAICAN SUPERSTITION

IF YOU HAVE COMPANY AND YOU WISH THAT SOMEONE WOULD LEAVE, STAND
IN BACK OF THAT PERSON WITH A BROOM. HOLD IT UPSIDE-DOWN AND
SPRINKLE SALT AND PEPPER INTO IT. THE PERSON WILL LEAVE ALMOST
IMMEDIATELY.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM A LADY FRIEND FROM JAMAICA.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; JAMAICA

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Flavoring Spice
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 01-01-1964

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DOOR SUPERSTITION

A PERSON WHO VISITS ANOTHER PERSON'S HOME MUST BE SURE THAT HE
LEAVES THROUGH THE SAME DOOR THAT HE ENTERED BY. IN THIS WAY
HE WILL ALWAYS BE WELCOME AGAIN INTO THAT HOME.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM HER SISTER-IN-LAW.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; PLEASANTVILLE

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

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

Date learned: 12-27-1963

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LUCK AT CARDS BELIEF

TIE THE HEART OF A BAT WITH A RED SILKEN STRING TO THE RIGHT ARM
AND YOU'LL HAVE GOOD LUCK AND WIN EVERY CARD GAME YOU PLAY.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM HER FATHER.

Where learned: INDIANA ; South Bend

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Special Object or Implement
BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Entertainment Diversion
BELIEF -- Color
BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: 11-23-1967

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SUPERSTITION

IF A PREGNANT WOMAN IS HIT ON HER LEFT ARM, HER CHILD WILL HAVE
A SCAR THERE.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM HER MOTHER.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; JAMAICA

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Specific distinguishing characteristic Dimple, wart, mole, scar, freckle, birthmark, strawberry mark, bruise, spot (on any part of body)
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 12-24-1963

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ITALIAN SUPERSTITION

ASK A PREGNANT WOMAN IF HER HANDS ARE DIRTY: IF SHE LOOKS AT THEM
WITH THE PALMS UP FIRST, SHE WILL HAVE A GIRL; IF SHE LOOKS AT THE
OUTSIDE FIRST, SHE WILL HAVE A BOY.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM HER ITALIAN MOTHER.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; PLEASANTVILLE

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 12-27-1963

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SUPERSTITION

IF A GIRL PUTS A SLIP ON INSIDE-OUT AND DOESN'T REALIZE IT UNTIL
THE DAY IS THROUGH, SHE MAY MAKE A WISH AND IT WILL COME TRUE.

Submitter comment: SOURCE NOT REMEMBERED.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; JAMAICA

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: 12-24-1963

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BELIEF-DAILY LIFE

IF YOUR RIGHT PALM ITCHES, YOU WILL LOSE MONEY.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM HER SHOOL FRIENDS.

Where learned: INDIANA ; South Bend

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Sensations and involuntary actions Itching hands and feet

Date learned: 12-02-1967

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BELIEF-DAILY LIFE

IF YOU DROP A FORK, A WOMAN WILL BE COMING TO VISIT YOU, COMING
FROM THE DIRECTION WHICH THE FORK IS POINTED. IF THE KNIFE DROPS,
IT WILL BE A MAN. IF IT IS A SPOON, IT WILL BE A CHILD.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM YOUTH.

Where learned: INDIANA ; South Bend

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- P553

Date learned: 11-23-1967

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GERMAN SUPERSTITION

ACCIDENTALLY PUTTING YOUR STOCKING ON WRONG SIDE OUT MEANS GOOD
LUCK, BUT IT'S UNLUCKY TO TURN THEM ON THE RIGHT SIDE IF YOU SEE
THE MISTAKE.

Submitter comment: HEARD IN STEELTON, PENNSYLVANIA ABOUT 1920.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

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

Date learned: 00001920 CA

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SPILLING OF SALT AND THEN THROWING A PINCH OF IT
OVER THE LEFT SHOULDER, SO YOU DON'T HAVE BAD
LUCK.

Submitter comment: FROM DORM FRIENDS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; MERCY COLLEGE

James Callow Keyword(s): ACCIDENT ; POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Conversions Activities

Date learned: 11-24-1967

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IF YOU SPILL SALT, THROW SOME OVER YOUR LEFT
SHOULDER AND SOME INTO THE FIRE, OR BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: SOURCE NOT REMEMBERED

Where learned: NEW YORK ; JAMAICA

James Callow Keyword(s): ACCIDENT ; POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: Favorites
Favorites
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Conversions Activities

Date learned: 01-01-1964

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IF YOU SPILL SOME SALT, YOU HAVE TO THROW SOME
OVER YOUR LEFT SHOULDER IN ORDER TO WARD OFF
BAD LUCK.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

James Callow Keyword(s): ACCIDENT ; POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Conversions Activities

Date learned: 11-11-1968

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IF YOU SPILL SALT, IT WILL BRING YOU BAD LUCK UNLESS
YOU CANCEL THE BAD LUCK BY THROWING A PINCH OF
SALT OVER YOUR SHOULDER.

Where learned: OHIO ; FREMONT

James Callow Keyword(s): ACCIDENT ; POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Conversions Activities

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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IF YOU SPILL SALT THROW IT OVER YOUR RIGHT SHOULDER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

James Callow Keyword(s): ACCIDENT ; POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Conversions Activities

Date learned: CHILDHOOD

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