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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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SEEING THE PERSON THAT YOU'RE GOING TO MARRY

MY MOTHER IS FILLED WITH ALL SORTS OF SUPERSTITIONS.
I REMEMBER ONCE AS WE VISITED MY GRANDFATHER'S BUSINESS
OFFICE, WHICH STILL HAD A POT-BELLIED STOVE IN IT, THAT SHE
TOLD US (CHILDREN) THIS ONE.
AS WE WERE WARMING OURSELVES BY THE POT-BELLIED STOVE
SHE SAID THAT WHEN SHE WAS A GIRL HER MOTHER ALWAYS
TOLD HER THAT IF SHE WANTED TO SEE THE PERSON THAT SHE
WOULD MARRY THEN HERE WHAT ONE SHOULD DO. FIRST STRIP
DOWN NAKED AND GO OUTSIDE (AFTER DARK, OF COURSE) AND
RUN AROUND THE HOUSE THREE (3) TIMES, WHILE REMAINING
COMPLETELY NAKED. THEN COME INSIDE AND LOOK INTO THE
FLAMES OF THE FIRE, EITHER IN THE POT-BELLIED STOVE OR FIRE PLACE,
BEFORE LOOKING AT ANYTHING ELSE. IN THE FLAMES YOU WILL SEE
THE PERSON THAT YOU ARE GOING TO MARRY. MY MOTHER NEVER TOLD
WHETHER SHE HAD TRIED THIS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FRASER

Subject headings: Observation

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FIRST COMPANY

INFORMANT AND HER NEIGHBORS BELIEVE THAT ANY GUESTS ON THE
FIRST DAY OF A NEW YEAR WHO ENTER BY ONE DOOR AND
LEAVE BY ANOTHER WILL FORETELL BY THIS ACTION THAT MANY
GUESTS (MORE THAN USUAL) WILL VISIT THE HOUSE IN THE
ENSUING YEAR. THE MAJORITY OF THESE VISITORS WOULD BE MERELY
ACQUAINTANCES PEOPLE NOT TOO CLOSE TO THE FAMILY. SO THE
HOUSE IS CURSED TO BEING SOMETHING LIKE A TRAIN STATION.
CROWDS OF IMPERSONAL PEOPLE WILL COME AND GO, FEW
BRINGING WITH THEM THE WARMTH OF REAL FRIENDSHIP.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share same surname and place of residence.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FRASER

Subject headings: 870
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Fixed DateFor specific dates, use the following system: F640.0101
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

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