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NEVER WASH AND HANG CLOTHES ON NEW YEAR'S DAY, OR YOU'LL
WASH SOMEONE OUT OF THE FAMILY.

Where learned: ITALY ; WINSTON SALEM ; NORTH CAROLINA ; ROME

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's

Date learned: 10-00-1970 ; 09-08-1971

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Never sweep a visitors' foot with a broom. If this happens
have the person whose feet has been swept spit on the bottom of
the broom. If the person does not spit on the broom it will be
bad luck for that person.

Submitter comment: It so happens that I was sweeping and accidently hit her
foot, she asked that I turn the broom upside down so that she
could spit on the bottom of it.

Where learned: WINSTON SALEM ; NORTH CAROLINA

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Bad luck
BELIEF -- Conversions
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 00-00-1979

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DOG GHOST

THERE WAS A PATHWAY LEADING FROM INFORMANT'S MOTHER'S
HOUSE TO HER HOUSE (INFORMANT'S). SHE WAS ACCUSTOMED
TO GOING THROUGH THE PATHWAY AT ANY TIME DAY OR NIGHT.
ONE NIGHT SHE WAS RETURNING HOME WHEN SHE ENCOUNTERED
A HUGE SNOW WHITE DOG, ABOUT SIX FEET TALL ON ALL
FOUR LEGS, ACROSS THE PATHWAY. IT FRIGHTENED HER SO
BAD HER HAIR STOOD STRAIGHT UP ON HER HEAD. SHE RAN
HOME AFTER THE DOG DISAPPEARED. LATER SHE FELT THIS
WAS A WARNING NOT TO TRAVEL THE PATHWAY AT NIGHT, SO
SHE DIDN'T ANY MORE.

Submitter comment: THIS WAS A TRUE TALE. TOLD BY MY MOTHER. IT
HAPPENED APPROXIMATELY 1935 IN WINSTON SALEM, NORTH
CAROLINA.
WOMAN FRIGHTENED BY A LARGE WHITE DOG. HER HAIR STANDS ON END, AND
SHE INTERPRETS APPEARANCE OF DOG AS GHOSTLY WARNING TO AVOID
THAT PATH
INFORMANT SAYS THIS IS TRUE; IT HAPPENED TO HER MOTHER IN 1935 IN
WINSTON-SALEM, NORTH CAROLINA

Where learned: WINSTON SALEM ; NORTH CAROLINA

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: CA00001956 ; 00-00-1935

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DOG GHOST

THERE WAS A PATHWAY LEADING FROM INFORMANT'S MOTHER'S
HOUSE TO HER HOUSE (INFORMANT'S). SHE WAS ACCUSTOMED
TO GOING THROUGH THE PATHWAY AT ANY TIME DAY OR NIGHT.
ONE NIGHT SHE WAS RETURNING HOME WHEN SHE ENCOUNTERED
A HUGE SNOW WHITE DOG, ABOUT SIX FEET TALL ON ALL
FOUR LEGS, ACROSS THE PATHWAY. IT FRIGHTENED HER SO
BAD HER HAIR STOOD STRAIGHT UP ON HER HEAD. SHE RAN
HOME AFTER THE DOG DISAPPEARED. LATER SHE FELT THIS
WAS A WARNING NOT TO TRAVEL THE PATHWAY AT NIGHT, SO
SHE DIDN'T ANY MORE.

Submitter comment: THIS WAS A TRUE TALE. TOLD BY MY MOTHER. IT
HAPPENED APPROXIMATELY 1935 IN WINSTON SALEM, NORTH
CAROLINA.
WOMAN FRIGHTENED BY A LARGE WHITE DOG. HER HAIR STANDS ON END, AND
SHE INTERPRETS APPEARANCE OF DOG AS GHOSTLY WARNING TO AVOID
THAT PATH
INFORMANT SAYS THIS IS TRUE; IT HAPPENED TO HER MOTHER IN 1935 IN
WINSTON-SALEM, NORTH CAROLINA

Where learned: WINSTON SALEM ; NORTH CAROLINA

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: CA00001956 ; 00-00-1935

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SCHOOL CUSTOM

APPALACHIAN STATE UNIVERSITY IN BOONE, N.C., HAS "YO'SEF" THE
MOUNTAINEER AS THEIR MASCOT. BOONE WAS, UNTIL NOT TOO MANY YEARS
AGO, AN ISOLATED COMMUNITY. THE UNIVERSITY HAS TRIPPLED THE
TOWN'S POPULATION. IRONICALLY A NEW ORGANIC FOOD STORE HAS OPENED
THERE CALLED THE "GREEN REVOLUTION" AND SELLS IMPORTED "ORGANIC"
PRODUCTS. BOONE'S LOCAL FARMERS HAVE BEEN GROWING WHAT IS NOW
CONSIDERED ORGANIC FOODS AS THEIR HERITAGE HAS TAUGHT THEM. THE
MOUNTAINS OF NORTH CAROLINA PROBABLY HAVE BEEN AMONG THE LAST
REGIONS OF THE UNITED STATES TO GROW FOODS NON-CHEMICALLY.

Where learned: NORTH CAROLINA ; BOONE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- School

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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IN ORDER TO KEEP FAMILY SPIRITS AWAY (THE DEAD) YOU SHOULD
PUT A FRESH PIECE OF PINE ACROSS THE FRONT DOOR,AND THEY WILL
NOT BE ABLE TO ENTER.

Where learned: NORTH CAROLINA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 04091984CA

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Animal Fair

Song: Animal Fair -- I went to the animal fair, and the bird
and the beast were there. And the old raccoon by the light of
the moon was combing his auburn hair. And the monkey he got
drunk, and he sat on the elephant's trunk. And the elephant
sneezed and fell on his knees and what became of the monk,
monk, monk.

Where learned: NORTH CAROLINA ; Ashville

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

Date learned: 00-00-1912

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My cousin said to everybody that he could stand on his hands
so we all watched as he took his hands, bent down and
stepped on them and that was a hand stand.

Submitter comment: My cousin did this as a practical joke.

Where learned: NORTH CAROLINA ; Ft Bragg

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 00-00-1984

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FOOD NAMES

S.O.S. SHIT ON A SHINGLE NAME GIVEN TO CREAMED MEAT OVER TOAST.

Where learned: NORTH CAROLINA ; CAMP LEJEUNE

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Proper Name

Date learned: 10-00-1977

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BAD LUCK

THREE ON A MATCH
SOLDIERS IN VIETNAM BELIEVED THAT THE TIME IT TOOK TO LIGHT THREE
CIGARETTES WITH ONE MATCH WAS LONG ENOUGH FOR THE ENEMY TO SPOT
THEIR POSITION. VETERANS STILL PRACTICE THIS BELIEF TODAY.

Where learned: NORTH CAROLINA ; CAMP LEJEUNE

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 10-00-1977

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Superstition

Black Cat:

If a black cat crosses your path to the left you'll have bad luck. If he crosses to the right you'll have good luck.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [B440, P880] crossed out / Replaced with current classification

Where learned: HOME ; WINSTON SALEM ; NORTH CAROLINA

Keyword(s): ANIMAL ; Black ; CAT ; Feline ; LEFT ; LUCK ; OMEN ; RIGHT ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal

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IT WAS CUSTOMARY AND ACCEPTABLE IN NORTH CAROLINA
FOR A WHITE MAN TO POSSESS NEGRO QUADRUN WIVES (1/4
WIVES) BEFORE HE MARRIED A WHITE WOMAN. UPON MARRIAGE
TO A WHITE WOMAN, HE USUALLY GAVE UP THESE WIVES, SET THEM
UP IN A SMALL HOUSE, FREED THEM, AND GAVE THEM ENOUGH
TO LIVE ON FOR SOME TIME. SOME MEN, HOWEVER, KEPT A
FEW AFTER MARRIAGE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN ; NORTH CAROLINA

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage

Date learned: 10-00-1968

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When I was playing football in college and injured my ankle on
a play, because medical treatment was limited the coaches took my
ankle and packed it in red clay and sent me back to the dormitory.
The next day the swelling had left and most of the soreness,
I was able to resume practice in a couple of days.

Where learned: NORTH CAROLINA ; Salisbury

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F535

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VOODOO PEOPLE IN CRIPPLE CREEK WILL TURN YOU GREEN AND MAKE YOU
HOP LIKE A FROG.

Where learned: NORTH CAROLINA ; CRIPPLE CREEK

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Magic of Speech, Sign, Color

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THE HEADLESS SWITCHER

DURING THE CIVIL WAR A SWITCHER IN MANTEO, NORTH
CAROLINA WAS WAVING DOWN A TRAIN WITH A LANTERN, BUT
THE TRAIN FAILED TO STOP AND THE SWITCHER WAS CUT DOWN
AND DECAPITATED. HIS HEAD WAS NEVER FOUND.
TWENTY YEARS LATER, RESIDENTS OF THE AREA AND
PASSENGERS ON THE RAILROAD LINE BEGAN REPORTING
THEIR SEEING A LANTERN WAVING ALONG THE LINE AROUND
ABOUT MANTEO. CLOSER SURVEILLANCE, THEY SAID, SHOWED
THAT THE LANTERN WAS BEING WAVED BACK AND FORTH BY
THE HEADLESS SWITCHER.
THE LEGEND THAT GREW FROM THESE REPORTS HAD IT THAT
THE SWITCHER WAS SEARCHING FOR HIS HEAD.
A PRIEST WAS CALLED IN FROM WILMINGTON TO EXORCISE
THE SWITCHER'S GRAVE, BUT THE EFFORT WAS FRUITLESS,
BECAUSE THE SWITCHER WAS NOT AN EVIL SPIRIT.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT HEARD TALE WHILE A STUDENT AT BELMONT
ABBEY COLLEGE, NORTH CAROLINA.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; NORTH CAROLINA

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 10-23-1965

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SHOOTING STAR

WHEN YOU SEE A SHOOTING STAR (FALLING STAR) MAKE A WISH
AND IT WILL COME TRUE.

Where learned: WINSTON SALEM ; NORTH CAROLINA ; informant's home ; 2108 E. 25th St.

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Comet
BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: 09-08-1971

View just this record

THE HEADLESS SWITCHER

DURING THE CIVIL WAR A SWITCHER IN MANTEO, NORTH
CAROLINA WAS WAVING DOWN A TRAIN WITH A LANTERN, BUT
THE TRAIN FAILED TO STOP AND THE SWITCHER WAS CUT DOWN
AND DECAPITATED. HIS HEAD WAS NEVER FOUND.
TWENTY YEARS LATER, RESIDENTS OF THE AREA AND
PASSENGERS ON THE RAILROAD LINE BEGAN REPORTING
THEIR SEEING A LANTERN WAVING ALONG THE LINE AROUND
ABOUT MANTEO. CLOSER SURVEILLANCE, THEY SAID, SHOWED
THAT THE LANTERN WAS BEING WAVED BACK AND FORTH BY
THE HEADLESS SWITCHER.
THE LEGEND THAT GREW FROM THESE REPORTS HAD IT THAT
THE SWITCHER WAS SEARCHING FOR HIS HEAD.
A PRIEST WAS CALLED IN FROM WILMINGTON TO EXORCISE
THE SWITCHER'S GRAVE, BUT THE EFFORT WAS FRUITLESS,
BECAUSE THE SWITCHER WAS NOT AN EVIL SPIRIT.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT HEARD TALE WHILE A STUDENT AT BELMONT
ABBEY COLLEGE, NORTH CAROLINA.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; NORTH CAROLINA

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 10-23-1965

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STAR BELIEF

WHEN YOU SEE A FALLING STAR MAKE A WISH AND IT WILL COME TRUE.

Where learned: WINSTON SALEM ; NORTH CAROLINA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Comet
BELIEF -- Prayer

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JOKE-MILITARY

WHY DO MARINE BOOTS HAVE T.G.I.F. LABELED ON THEM? TO REMIND THEM
THAT THEIR TOES GO IN FIRST.

Where learned: NORTH CAROLINA ; CAMP LEJEUNE

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Jest Anecdote
RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 10-00-1977

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JOKE-MILITARY

WHY DOES THE ARMY HAVE THE CANINE CORPS AND THE NAVY HAVE THE
MARINE CORPS? BECAUSE THE ARMY HAD FIRST PICK.

Where learned: NORTH CAROLINA ; CAMP LEJEUNE

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Jest Anecdote
RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 10-00-1977

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