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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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On Halloween night, put a bucket of sand or a broom
outside your door. If a soul comes by and wants to
harm you, it will have to count every grain of sand
or broom bristle first. By the time that the spirit
has done this, it would be daytime and it would have
to go back where it came from.

Submitter comment: This story was told to Maryann by her Italian father,
who heard it from his grandfather.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; SKOKIE

Keyword(s): ghost, precaution, All Souls' Day

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- October 31 Halloween
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs
BELIEF -- Good luck Broom Sweeping
BELIEF -- Control Prevention Provocation Protection

Date learned: 00001930S

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HAUNTED POST OFFICE

IN 1916 A PAINTER WAS WORKING IN A DETROIT POST OFFICE.
HE HAD SPILLED SOME PAINT ON HIMSELF. HE WAS WORKING
NEAR THE FUSE BOX WHEN IT SHORTED, SPARKS FLEW OUT
AND IGNITED THE PAINT. HE WAS BURNED TO DEATH IN A
FEW MINUTES. A YEAR LATER, TO THE DAY, PEOPLE HEARD
SCREAMS IN THE BUILDING AND RAN IN AND FOUND A MAN
BURNED TO DEATH. THERE WAS NO SIGN OF A FIRE IN OR
AROUND THE BUILDING. THREE YEARS LATER, TO THE DAY,
THAT POST OFFICE BURNED TO THE GROUND.
FIREMEN REPORTED HEARING SCREAMS FROM INSIDE, BUT NO
ONE WAS EVER FOUND. A PARKING LOT WAS EVENTUALY BUILT
ON THE SITE. PEOPLE STILL REPORT HEARING SCREAMS FROM
THE AREA DSN ALSO REPORT SEEING FIRES ON THE LOT.
THE SCREAMS AND FIRE REPORTS ALWAYS COME ON THE
ANNIVERSARY OF THE ORIGINAL DEATH, OCTOBER 31ST.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): HALLOWEEN ALL SOULS DAY

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 03-30-1968

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SPIRIT TABLE

THIS IS A BELIEF IN INDIA. WE HAVE ALSO A TABLE THAT ATTRACTS DEAD
SOULS. THERE ARE MARKINGS ON IT WHICH SPIRITS USE TO COMMUNICATE
WITH A MEDIUM. HANDS ARE USED, PLACED ON IT. IT IS NOT NECESSARY
TO HAVE A MEDIUM, I AM AFRAID MYSELF. SPIRITS ARE LIKE THE FIVE
ELEMENTS, FIRE, EARTH, AIR, WATER, LIGHT--LIKE
VARIOUS GASES ALL WANDERING
AROUND ETERNALLY, LIKE THE ELEMENTS, IT IS POSSIBLE TO BRING
SOULS TO CAPTURE SOULS.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; India ; souls ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Word Letter
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 02-04-1968

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showing 3 items

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