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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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IF YOUR LEFT EYE ITCHES, MEANS YOU ARE GOING TO BE PLEASED.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN ; TENNESSEE, ASSUMED

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Eyes, evil eye
BELIEF -- Sensations and involuntary actions Itching eye

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ONIONS ARE THE SECRET TO GOOD HEALTH, BUT AFTER EATEN
WHO CAN KEEP A SECRET?

Where learned: TENNESSEE, ASSUMED ; MADISON

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 07-09-1973

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I USED TO KNOW AN ELDERLY LADY THAT WARNED ME THAT ONE
MUST NOT LET THE MOON SHINE THROUGH YOUR WINDOW AT NIGHT
ONTO YOUR BED WHERE YOU WERE SLEEPING--IT WAS CAUSE (FOR)
YOU TO GO CRAZY.

Where learned: TENNESSEE, ASSUMED ; MADISON

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Physically handicapped Deformed
BELIEF -- Moon
BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 07-09-1973

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FRANK'S OLDER BROTHER USED TO TELL HIM WHEN HE WAS SMALL
IF HE'D BURY A POCKET KNIFE IT WOULD GROW A KNIFE TREE.
HE TRIED IT BUT ALWAYS FORGOT WHERE HE BURIED IT.

Where learned: TENNESSEE, ASSUMED ; MADISON

James Callow Keyword(s): AGE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Custom P500.532

Date learned: 07-09-1973

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I RECALL IT WAS CONSIDERED UNLUCKY TO PLACE A WET
UMBRELLA ON A BED TO DRY.

Where learned: TENNESSEE, ASSUMED ; MADISON

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck Umbrella

Date learned: 07-09-1973

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FRANK SAYS HE REMEMBERS OLD TIMERS SAY THAT (WHEN) A BIRD
FLEW DOWN ON THE WINDOW AND LOOKED IN THAT WAS A SIGN
OF A DEATH IN THE FAMILY.

Where learned: TENNESSEE, ASSUMED ; MADISON

James Callow Keyword(s): AGE

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 07-09-1973

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WHEN YOU ARE READY TO LEAVE YOUR HOME TO GO SOMEWHERE AFTER
YOU GO OUT THE DOOR, IF YOU NEED TO GO BACK INTO THE HOUSE
FOR SOMETHING, DO NOT SIT DOWN, THAT IS BAD LUCK.

Where learned: TENNESSEE, ASSUMED ; MADISON

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Bad luck Leaving Entering Returning home Travel

Date learned: 07-09-1973

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IF TWO PEOPLE WALKING TOGETHER GO SEPARATE WAYS AROUND A POLE
OR TREE IT WILL BE BAD LUCK.

James Callow comment: BREAKING A PAIR IS AGAINST NATURE.

Where learned: TENNESSEE, ASSUMED ; FRANKLIN

Subject headings: 686 Seconds / Twice / Two
BELIEF -- Bad luck Leaving Entering Returning home Travel

Date learned: 08-08-1968

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WHEN RAIN DROPS HANG ON THE CLOTHES LINE, IT IS FIXING
TO QUIT RAINING.

Where learned: HAMPSHIRE ; TENNESSEE, ASSUMED

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Weather sign or control
BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew

Date learned: 08-13-1968

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WHEN YOUR EARS ARE BURNING, SOMEONE IS TALKING ABOUT YOU.

Where learned: HAMPSHIRE ; TENNESSEE, ASSUMED

Subject headings: Spirit / Mind / Body
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 07-25-1968

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SKY COLOR

EVENING RED AND MORNING GRAY WILL SET THE TRAVELLER ON HIS WAY.
EVENING GRAY AND MORNING RED WILL BRING DOWN RAIN UPON HIS HEAD.

Where learned: HAMPSHIRE ; TENNESSEE, ASSUMED

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief Belief
BELIEF -- Weather sign or control

Date learned: 08-13-1968

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THE HEIG'S WOMEN

AT SHEBOSS CEMETERY THERE ARE FIVE LITTLE TOMB ROCKS
WHICH A GENERATION AGO WAS A MYSTERY TO THIS SECTION.
TWO GROWN WOMEN AND THREE CHILDREN (3 GIRLS) APPEARED
ON THE BANK OF CATHEY'S CREEK AND LIVED THEIR LIVES
AND WERE BURIED AT SHEBOSS AND NO ONE EVER KNEW WHERE
THEY CAME FROM. THEY WERE HARD WORKING PEOPLE AND THEIR
CHARACTER WAS ABOVE REPROACH, BUT THEY LIVED OUT THEIR
LIVES THERE AND NEVER TOLD ANYONE WHERE THEY CAME FROM.
THINK THEIR LIVES WERE SOME LIKE RUTH IN THE BIBLE,
THE FARMERS GAVE OF THEIR ABUNDANCE TO THEM. I'VE
HEARD THAT ONE FARMER HAD WHAT HE CALLED THE HEIG'S
WOMEN'S CRIB THAT HE SAVED CORN ON HIS PLACE TO GIVE
TO THEM.

Where learned: HAMPSHIRE ; TENNESSEE, ASSUMED

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

Date learned: 08-13-1968

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ST. JOHN'S CHURCH BIBLE

WHEN I WAS A TEENAGER I USED TO HEAR FOLKS TALK ABOUT THE
"ST. JOHN'S CHURCH" WHERE A LOT OF CIVIL WAR SOLDIERS ARE
BURIED IN A CEMETERY BEHIND THE CHURCH. IT WAS ACTIVE
DURING THE CIVIL WAR DAYS AND IS LOCATED BETWEEN COLUMBIA
AND MOUNT PLEASANT. I ALWAYS HEARD THERE WAS A BIBLE
IN THIS CHURCH THAT YOU COULDN'T MOVE AND I LATER
LEARNED THAT THE REASON IT COULDN'T BE MOVED WAS THAT
IT WAS MADE OF MARBLE OR STONE IN THE SHAPE OF THE HOLY
BIBLE.

Where learned: HAMPSHIRE ; TENNESSEE, ASSUMED

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Explanation of a name
BELIEF -- Magic Book

Date learned: 08-13-1968

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IF YOU HEAR A WHIPPERWILL, IT IS BAD LUCK.

Where learned: HAMPSHIRE ; TENNESSEE, ASSUMED

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Bad luck Animals

Date learned: 07-25-1968

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IF YOU PUT YOUR CLOTHES ON BACKWARDS, IT IS BAD LUCK.

Where learned: HAMPSHIRE ; TENNESSEE, ASSUMED

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck Clothing (dress, hat, shoes, suit, etc.)

Date learned: 07-25-1968

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A NIGHT BEING SO BLACK, IT MADE BLACK CATS LOOK LIGHT.

Where learned: HAMPSHIRE ; TENNESSEE, ASSUMED

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Color
PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase

Date learned: 07-25-1968

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IF THE PICTURE OF A DEAD PERSON FALLS OFF THE WALL, IT'S A SIGN
OF DEATH. AT UNCLE'S FUNERAL, HIS SITER'S PICTURE FELL OFF
THE WALL, AND SHE HAD BEEN DEAD FOR A LONG TIME, BUT NOBOBY
DIED.

Submitter comment: SHE HEARD THIS FROM HER GRANDMOTHER AS A GIRL IN FORT SMITH.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; TENNESSEE, ASSUMED ; FORT SMITH ; ARKANSAS, ASSUMED

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 08-08-1968

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