RE:SEARCH logo
University of Detroit Mercy Libraries / Instructional Design Studio
UDM HOME KNOWLEDGE [BLACKBOARD] TITAN CONNECT QUICK LINKS
RESEARCH HOME / FIND / SPECIAL COLLECTIONS / THE JAMES T. CALLOW FOLKLORE ARCHIVE /
James Callow Folklore Archive

Collection Home

About Dr. James T. Callow

Dr. James T. Callow publications

Collectors

Browse by

Subject heading

Keyword

Location

Questions or comments on this site? Please email davidsor@udmercy.edu.

The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

search for

Content filter is on

Your search for 3661 returned 9 results.

showing 9 items

PLANTING IN LITHUANIA WAS CONSIDERED A HOLIDAY. ON THE
WARMEST DAY FOLLOWING EASTER, MAYBE SOMETIMES BEFORE,
ALL THE WOMEN AND GIRLS WOULD GO OUT TO THEIR GARDEN
AND START TO PLANT FLOWERS, SHRUBBERY AND SUCH. THE MEN
WOULD GO OUT TO THE FIELDS AND PLANT WHEAT, CORN, RYE,
AND OATS. THIS IS CONSIDERED A HOLIDAY, BECAUSE THE
LITHUANIANS ARE SUCH NATURE LOVING PEOPLE.
THIS HABIT HAS BEEN CARRIED OVER BY SOME LITHUANIANS
TO AMERICA. HOWEVER, ONLY IN DETROIT THIS IS PRACTICED.
EVERY SPRING AT THE END OF APRIL OR BEGINNING OF MAY,
MOST OF THE LITHUANIANS COME OUT TO "DAINOVA," OUR FARM IN
SOUTHERN MICHIGAN THAT WE RENT OUT TO PEOPLE AS A PLACE
TO CAMP AND RELAX, FOR A HUGE BARBECUE AND TO PLANT NEW
TREES, EVERGREENS AND FLOWERS. SINCE WE BOUGHT THE
FARM/CAMP IN 1970, OVER 500 TREES (CLOSE TO A THOUSAND)
HAVE BEEN PLANTED. BUT BECAUSE MOST OF THE LAND IS HILLY,
WILD (SNAKES, ETC.) AND FULL OF TREES, THE FLOWERS
RARELY GET ANYWHERE.
BUT IN LITHUANIA, THE PLANTING OF FLOWERS IN GARDENS
AND CROPS IN FIELDS WERE CONSIDERED AS A HOLIDAY.

Where learned: LITHUANIA

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F476
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting

Date learned: 03-26-1972

View just this record

TURGELI TIVELI (LITTLE GEORGE)

ONE PLAYER IS "LITTLE GEORGE," EVERYONE ELSE--GO
AROUND IN A CIRCLE AND SING. IN THE SECOND PART,
"GEORGE" COMPLETES SOME MOVEMENT AND EVERYONE
SINGING, DOES THE SAME. REPEATING THE WORDS, "JUS
VAIKAI TAIP DARY-KIT, KAIP TIVELIS DARO," ALL
THE CHILDREN DO THE SAME MOTION. NEXT, ANOTHER
CHILD GOES INTO THE MIDDLE.

Submitter comment: "YOU CHILDREN, DO THE SAME THING THAT LITTLE GEORGE
IS DOING." (LITERAL TRANSLATION).
THIS IS SIMILAR TO FOLLOW THE LEADER, ONLY WE GO
AROUND IN A CIRCLE AND SING.
A VERY GOOD GAME FOR LITTLE KIDS, AGAIN NO ONE
KNOWS WHO WROTE IT.

Where learned: LITHUANIA

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Singing Dancing Marching

Date learned: 03-27-1972

View just this record

SEJAU RUTOZ (PLANTING "RUTA")

THE CHILDREN STAND IN CIRCLES BY FOURS. (FOUR TO A
CIRCLE). EVERYONE'S HANDS ARE ON THEIR HIPS.
SINGING, "SEJAU RUTAZ," THEY HOPPING, PUT OUT THEIR
RIGHT FOOT IN FRONT WITH TOES POINTED.
SEJAU META--THEY DO THE SAME THING WITH THEIR LEFT
FOOT. "SEJAU LELIJELE"--THEY REPEAT THE SAME MOVEMENTS
TWICE (RIGHT, LEFT AND AGAIN RIGHT, LEFT).
SINGING THE WORDS "SEJAU SANO" THE CHILDREN,
STANDING, CLAP TWO TIMES WITH THEIR HANDS. "JAUNAS DIENAS
KAIP ZALIOZ RUTELE"--THEY TURN TO THE RIGHT AND WALK
SIX STEPS. THEIR HANDS ARE HELD IN THE CENTER.
REPEATING "SEJAU SANO JAUNAS DIENAS KAIP ZALIG
RUTELE," THEY REPEAT THE CLAPPING, 6 STEPS TO THE LEFT
THIS TIME.
THIS IS A CHLDREN'S SONG-DANCE GAME. GRADE SCHOOL
STUDENTS DANCE THIS FROM AROUND THE FIRST OR SECOND
GRADE. "RUTA" IS THE LITHUANIAN FLOWER. THE SONG
DOES, THAT THEY PLANTED A "RUTA," THEY PLANTED A "META"
(A MINT SMELLING PLANT, ALSO FOUND ONLY IN LITHUANIA),
THEY PLANTED THEIR YOUNG DAYS, JUST LIKE THEY DID THE
"RUTA."
THEN IT DOES ON HOW THE FLOWERS (RUTA & META) GREW
AND THAT THEIR YOUNG DAYS GREW JUST LIKE THEM (THE
PLANTS). THEN HOW THE FLOWERS (REALLY PLANTS) GOT
TALLER AND BLOSSOMED OUT INTO BEAUTIFUL PLANTS,
AND SO DID THEIR YOUNG LIVES.

Submitter comment: THIS IS A FAVORITE AMONG THE LITTLE KIDS.

Where learned: LITHUANIA

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Singing Dancing Marching

Date learned: 03-27-1972

View just this record

VANISHING HITCHHIKER VARIANT

THERE WAS A YOUNG COUPLE WHO LOVED EACH OTHER VERY MUCH.
SUDDENLY THE YOUNG MAN DIED. THE GIRL WAS OVERWROUGHT
WITH GRIEF AND MOURNED FOR HIM FOR A LONG TIME. BUT
ONE SATURDAY NIGHT SHE DECIDED TO GO TO A LOCAL DANCE.
ON THE WAY TO THE DANCE, SHE PASSED THE CEMETERY WHERE
HER LOVER WAS BURIED. SHE CRIED OUT TO HIM, "PLEASE
COME OUT AND GO TO THE DANCE WITH ME." THEN SHE
CONTINUED ON TO THE DANCE.
WHILE SHE WAS DANCING WITH ONE OF THE BOYS IN THE
DANCE HALL, SHE SAW HER DEAD LOVER STANDING IN THE
DOORWAY. SURPRISED AND HAPPY AT THE SAME TIME, SHE
STARTED TO DANCE WITH HIM. THEY DANCED AND DANCED,
AND HE KEPT ON DANCING AS IF IT WAS THE FIRST DANCE.
SHE WAS COMPLETELY EXHAUSTED, BUT HE KEPT ON
DANCING. SUDDENLY THE COCK CROWED, AND HE SPOKE,
"IT IS MY BAD LUCK, AND YOUR GOOD FORTUNE!" THEN
HE VANISHED.
THE GIRL DID NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO AND SHE WAS
AFRAID TO LEAVE HER HOUSE. BUT ONE DAY SHE HAD TO
GO BY THE CEMETERY AGAIN. THIS TIME HER LOVER
CHASED HER AND SHE RAN FOR HER LIFE TO A WITCH'S
HOUSE. THE WITCH TOLD HER TO CLIMB UP ON TOP OF
THE STOVE; THEN SHE PROCEEDED TO CAST A SPELL BY
MAKING SIGNS OF THE CROSS AND SAYING CERTAIN MAGIC
FORMULAS. HER LOVER COULD NOT BREAK THE SPELL TO
REACH HER. SO THE WITCH GAVE HIM A TASK OF TAKING
OUT ALL THE HEMP SEEDS SHE HAD SCATTERED IN A POT OF
ASHES. HE PROCEEDED TO DO THIS, AND WAS DOING IT WHEN
THE COCK CROWED. HE EXCLAIMED AGAIN, "IT IS MY
MISFORTUNE, AND YOUR BAD LUCK, AND NOW YOU MAY HAVE
LEARNED TO LET THE DEAD REST." HE DISAPPEARED AND SHE
NEVER SAW HIM AGAIN.

James Callow comment: THIRD TO LAST LINE: GOOD LUCK?

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; LITHUANIA

Keyword(s): DANCING GHOST

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 03-25-1968

View just this record

PIESTUPYS -- A LITHUANIAN FOREST

WHILE MY FATHER WAS A LITTLE BOY, HE HEARD VARIOUS TALES
TOLD ABOUT THIS FOREST. IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE HAUNTED;
FOR IN THERE, THE DUKE OF LITHUANIA (VYTAUTAS)
PUNISHED THE ENEMY OF LITHUANIA. IT IS TOLD THAT THE
GHOSTS OF THOSE KILLED BY HIM OR ANY OF THE SOULS THAT
AREN'T AT PEACE (SUCH AS SUICIDES, MURDERS, THOSE
MANGLED TO DEATH BY THE WOLVES AND THE WILD MAD DOGS)
HAUNT THIS FOREST AND TRY TO REVENGE THEIR DEATHS BY
SCARING THE PASSERSBY TO DEATH.
MY FATHER SPEAKING: {COLLECTOR'S FATHER} 1). ONE OF THE
TALES TOLD IS THAT FIERY PILLARS ROSE UP. THEY WALKED
DOWN A WAYS ON THE SHORE OF SVENTOJI (A RIVER IN
LITHUANIA) AND DISAPPEARED. ONE OF THE OLDER MEN IN
OUR VILLAGE SAID THAT IS THE ANCIENT GOLD AND
SILVER. AND WHERE THOSE POLES, PILLARS, RISE UP OR
DISAPPEAR, THAT'S WHERE THE MONEY IS SUPPOSED TO BE
BURIED.
ME: DO YOU THINK THIS IS TRUE?
FATHER: NO, IT COUL'VE BEEN ANYTHING; REFLECTIONS
OF SOME SORT OR EVEN THE RUSSIAN SPIES WITH THEIR
TORCHES. IT COULD'VE BEEN A NUMBER OF THINGS.
ME: ARE MOST OF THE STORIES REVOLVE ABOUT THINGS?
NOT PEOPLE OR ANIMALS?
FATHER: OH, THEY SAY THAT THERE ARE MANY STRANGE
THINGS HAPPENING IN THAT FOREST. FOR ONE, THERE WAS THE
TIME...
2) ONE OF THE MEN IN THE TOWN WENT TO THE MARKET TO SELL
HIS GOODS. AFTER BEING DELAYED IN TOWN, HE HAD TO COME
HOME LATE AT NIGHT AND TO CROSS THAT FOREST. MOREOVER,
THE MOON WAS OUT. HE WAS RIGHT BY WHERE THE BRIDGE
WAS SAINT JOHN'S CROSS...AND HE SEES: BY SAINT JOHN'S
CROSS, THERE WERE DANCING YOUNG GIRLS DRESSED IN WHITE
AND SEEMED AS IF THEY WERE FLOATING ON AIR. BUT THEN
HE LOOKED TO THE OTHER SIDE AND HE SAW A NAKED MAN
ROLLING AND LAUGHING IN THE SNOW. HE (THE FARMER)
SAID THAT EVERY HAIR ON HIS HEAD STOOD ON END AND SPED
HOME LIKE HE NEVER HAD BEFORE! HE WONDERED FOR A LONG
TIME AFTER THAT HOW HE MANAGED TO "ESCAPE" ALIVE THAT
NIGHT.
ME: DID YOU BELIEVE HIM?
FATHER: ALL US YOUNGER KIDS DID, WE WERE TOO YOUNG.
OF COURSE, IT COULD'VE BEEN HIS IMAGINATION.
ME: DID YOU HEAR ANY OTHER STORIES ABOUT PIESTUPYS?
FATHER: YES, BUT VERY VERY SHORT ONES.
FOR EXAMPLE, SOMEONE SAID THAT THEY SAW AND HEARD A
BLACK PONY RUNNING ALONG THE SLOPES OF THE FOREST.
OR SOMETIMES OTHERS SAY THAT THEY'VE SEEN A GRAY OLD
GOAT BLEETING {BLEATING} UNDER A TREE.
ME: BUT WHAT IS IT MAINLY THAT SCARED THE PEOPLE
SO MUCH?
FATHER: WELL, THERE IN THE FOREST, THREE THIEVES HUNG
THEMSELVES AND THEY'RE BURIED UNDER SOME PINE TREES
SIDE BY SIDE. AND THE PEOPLE USED TO SAY THAT THEY
STARTED ARGUING WHO ROBBED MORE PEOPLE AND WHO STOLE
THE MOST RICHES, AND AFTER A WHILE, THEY HAD RISEN ALL
THE OTHER DEAD AND TAKEN SIDES. BUT IT WAS REALLY OF
THOSE THREE THIEVES THAT EVERYONE WAS AFRAID OF.
ME: WERE YOU EVER IN THAT FOREST AND HAVE SOMETHING
HAPPEN TO YOU?
FATHER: YES, RIGHT BEFORE EASTER, MY YOUNGER SISTER
AND I HAD TO GET UP IN THE DARK TO GO TO RECOLLECTIONS.
AND FROM OUR VILLAGE TO THE TOWN AND CHURCH WAS TO GO
THROUGH THE FOREST. SO WE SET OUT...STILL DARK. I
HAD NEVER REALLY THOUGHT MUCH OF THOSE STORIES I HAD
HEARD, BUT NOW THEY ALL CAME BACK VIVIDLY. SO HALF
WAY THERE, I PICKED OUT LONG STRONG PIECES OF WOOD FOR
MY SISTER AND I TO PROTECT OURSELVES--MAINLY FROM THE
DOGS.
WE HAD PASSED HALF OF THE FOREST PEACEFULLY, BUT SUDDENLY
UP AHEAD, WE SAW A THING COMING--IT HAD A HUMAN SHAPE
AND WALKED LIKE A HUMAN. WE BOTH THOUGHT IT WAS ONE OF
THE DEAD, SO WE BOTH SAT DOWN HUGGING EACH OTHER, HOPING
THAT THE THING WOULD PASS. SUDDENLY, I HEARD THE THING
REAL CLOSE BY AND SHUT MY EYES. BUT THEN IT GAVE US THE
LITHUANIAN GREETING: "MAY THE LORD BE WITH YOU." AND
MY SISTER ANSWERED! IT TURNED OUT TO BE A MIDDLE-AGED
WOMAN DRESSED IN A WHITE FUR COAT! SHE ASKED US IF WE
WERE GOING TO CHURCH AND THEN JUST WENT ON HER WAY.
ME: DIDN'T YOU THINK IT COULD'VE BEEN A SPIRIT?
FATHER: I WAS LITTLE THEN, BUT I KNEW A REAL PERSON
WHEN I SAW ONE! AFTER THAT, I WALKED ON AS BRAVELY
AS EVER AND WAS NEVER SCARED TO GO IN THERE AGAIN!
ME: WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER PEOPLE? DID YOU TELL THEM
WHAT HAPPENED?
FATHER: OH, SURE! BUT THEY SAID THAT THEY DON'T
USUALLY PICK ON LITTLE KIDS.
ME: WERE THERE ANY OTHER INCIDENTS ABOUT THAT FOREST?
FATHER: OH, SURE! I THINK SO-CALLED HAPPENINGS WERE
REPORTED ALL THE TIME UP TO THE TAKEOVER IN 1941. BUT
I DOUBT IT IF MANY OF THE PEOPLE BELIEVED THE STORIES
UP TILL THEN!
ME: DO YOU KNOW WHAT'S HAPPENED TO THE FOREST NOW?
FATHER: THE LAST I HEARD WAS THAT HALF OF IT IS
DESTROYED. BY BOMBINGS AND SHELLING AND THE RUSSIANS
DID CUT DOWN MANY, MANY TREES FOR THEIR OWN USE.

Where learned: SOUTHFIELD ; LITHUANIA ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Keyword(s): TROUBLED SPIRITS

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Mammal
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Formation

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

View just this record

LITHUANIAN GHOST STORY

THIS STORY WAS RELATED TO MY GRANDMOTHER BY MY GREAT UNCLE
MICHOLAS TAUJANSKAS WHO EXPERIENCED THIS TALE IN
APPROXIMATELY 1914 AS A SEVENTEEN YEAR OLD YOUTH. HE
WAS AN ORGANIST AT THE LOCAL VILLAGE PARISH.
A PASTOR'S YOUNG HOUSEKEEPER HAD STRANGLED (BY DRINKING
SOME SULFURIC ACID) HER CHILD AND HAD COMMITTED SUICIDE.
THEY BURIED HER BUT THAT WAS NOT THE END. AS SOON AS
THE PRIEST PUT OUT THE LIGHT FOR THE NIGHT AND SAT DOWN
BY HIS STOVE TO WARM HIMSELF IN THE WINTER TIME HE
WOULD BE PULLED AROUND THE ROOM IN HIS CHAIR. IF HE LAY
DOWN IN BED, HE WOULD {BE} PUSHED OUT OF BED, AND THE
WHOLE ROOM WOULD BE COMPLETELY OVERTURNED. BUT IF A CANDLE
OR LIGHT WAS LIT, THE SPIRIT DISAPPEARED. THE SPIRIT ALSO
LEFT AT THE MIDNIGHT, JUST BEFORE THE FIRST COCK'S
CROW. THE PRIEST TRIED EVERY METHOD KNOWN TO THE CATHOLIC
RELIGION TO EXORCISE THE SPIRIT OUT OF THE ROOM, BUT EVERY-
THING FAILED. THIS LASTED THREE OR FOUR YEARS, AND AS
A RESULT, THE FIRST PRIEST LEFT THE PARISH AND A SECOND
YOUNG PRIEST DIED OF FRIGHT. A THIRD PRIEST CAME AND
DURING HIS TENURE SOME PEOPLE WERE BURYING A PERSON NEXT
TO THE HOUSEKEEPER AND NOTICED A TUNNEL LEAVING THROUGH
THE CASKET AND GOING TO THE SURFACE OF THE GROUND. SO
THE CASKET WAS DUG UP AND UNCOVERED. THE HOUSEKEEPER
WAS TURNED ON HER SIDE AND HER CLOTHES WERE ALL RUMPLED.
SO THE PRIEST SUGGESTED THAT THE HEAD OF THE HOUSEKEEPER
BE CUT OFF AND PLACED BETWEEN HER LEGS. THIS WAS DONE
AND THE STRANGE HAPPENINGS STOPPED IMMEDIATELY. THE
PURPOSE OF THE BEHEADING WAS SO THE GHOST COULD NOT
REACH ITS HEAD AND THUS ESCAPE THROUGH THE TUNNEL.

Submitter comment: THE PERSON RELATING THIS STORY ACTUALLY BELIEVED IT.
INFORMANT VISITING UNITED STATES FROM LITHUANIA FOR
APPROXIMATELY SIX MONTHS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; LITHUANIA

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 01-18-1968 ; 00-00-1914

View just this record

VANISHING HITCHHIKER VARIANT

THERE WAS A YOUNG COUPLE WHO LOVED EACH OTHER VERY MUCH.
SUDDENLY THE YOUNG MAN DIED. THE GIRL WAS OVERWROUGHT
WITH GRIEF AND MOURNED FOR HIM FOR A LONG TIME. BUT
ONE SATURDAY NIGHT SHE DECIDED TO GO TO A LOCAL DANCE.
ON THE WAY TO THE DANCE, SHE PASSED THE CEMETERY WHERE
HER LOVER WAS BURIED. SHE CRIED OUT TO HIM, "PLEASE
COME OUT AND GO TO THE DANCE WITH ME." THEN SHE
CONTINUED ON TO THE DANCE.
WHILE SHE WAS DANCING WITH ONE OF THE BOYS IN THE
DANCE HALL, SHE SAW HER DEAD LOVER STANDING IN THE
DOORWAY. SURPRISED AND HAPPY AT THE SAME TIME, SHE
STARTED TO DANCE WITH HIM. THEY DANCED AND DANCED,
AND HE KEPT ON DANCING AS IF IT WAS THE FIRST DANCE.
SHE WAS COMPLETELY EXHAUSTED, BUT HE KEPT ON
DANCING. SUDDENLY THE COCK CROWED, AND HE SPOKE,
"IT IS MY BAD LUCK, AND YOUR GOOD FORTUNE!" THEN
HE VANISHED.
THE GIRL DID NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO AND SHE WAS
AFRAID TO LEAVE HER HOUSE. BUT ONE DAY SHE HAD TO
GO BY THE CEMETERY AGAIN. THIS TIME HER LOVER
CHASED HER AND SHE RAN FOR HER LIFE TO A WITCH'S
HOUSE. THE WITCH TOLD HER TO CLIMB UP ON TOP OF
THE STOVE; THEN SHE PROCEEDED TO CAST A SPELL BY
MAKING SIGNS OF THE CROSS AND SAYING CERTAIN MAGIC
FORMULAS. HER LOVER COULD NOT BREAK THE SPELL TO
REACH HER. SO THE WITCH GAVE HIM A TASK OF TAKING
OUT ALL THE HEMP SEEDS SHE HAD SCATTERED IN A POT OF
ASHES. HE PROCEEDED TO DO THIS, AND WAS DOING IT WHEN
THE COCK CROWED. HE EXCLAIMED AGAIN, "IT IS MY
MISFORTUNE, AND YOUR BAD LUCK, AND NOW YOU MAY HAVE
LEARNED TO LET THE DEAD REST." HE DISAPPEARED AND SHE
NEVER SAW HIM AGAIN.

James Callow comment: THIRD TO LAST LINE: GOOD LUCK?

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; LITHUANIA

Keyword(s): DANCING GHOST

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 03-25-1968

View just this record

PIESTUPYS -- A LITHUANIAN FOREST

WHILE MY FATHER WAS A LITTLE BOY, HE HEARD VARIOUS TALES
TOLD ABOUT THIS FOREST. IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE HAUNTED;
FOR IN THERE, THE DUKE OF LITHUANIA (VYTAUTAS)
PUNISHED THE ENEMY OF LITHUANIA. IT IS TOLD THAT THE
GHOSTS OF THOSE KILLED BY HIM OR ANY OF THE SOULS THAT
AREN'T AT PEACE (SUCH AS SUICIDES, MURDERS, THOSE
MANGLED TO DEATH BY THE WOLVES AND THE WILD MAD DOGS)
HAUNT THIS FOREST AND TRY TO REVENGE THEIR DEATHS BY
SCARING THE PASSERSBY TO DEATH.
MY FATHER SPEAKING: {COLLECTOR'S FATHER} 1). ONE OF THE
TALES TOLD IS THAT FIERY PILLARS ROSE UP. THEY WALKED
DOWN A WAYS ON THE SHORE OF SVENTOJI (A RIVER IN
LITHUANIA) AND DISAPPEARED. ONE OF THE OLDER MEN IN
OUR VILLAGE SAID THAT IS THE ANCIENT GOLD AND
SILVER. AND WHERE THOSE POLES, PILLARS, RISE UP OR
DISAPPEAR, THAT'S WHERE THE MONEY IS SUPPOSED TO BE
BURIED.
ME: DO YOU THINK THIS IS TRUE?
FATHER: NO, IT COUL'VE BEEN ANYTHING; REFLECTIONS
OF SOME SORT OR EVEN THE RUSSIAN SPIES WITH THEIR
TORCHES. IT COULD'VE BEEN A NUMBER OF THINGS.
ME: ARE MOST OF THE STORIES REVOLVE ABOUT THINGS?
NOT PEOPLE OR ANIMALS?
FATHER: OH, THEY SAY THAT THERE ARE MANY STRANGE
THINGS HAPPENING IN THAT FOREST. FOR ONE, THERE WAS THE
TIME...
2) ONE OF THE MEN IN THE TOWN WENT TO THE MARKET TO SELL
HIS GOODS. AFTER BEING DELAYED IN TOWN, HE HAD TO COME
HOME LATE AT NIGHT AND TO CROSS THAT FOREST. MOREOVER,
THE MOON WAS OUT. HE WAS RIGHT BY WHERE THE BRIDGE
WAS SAINT JOHN'S CROSS...AND HE SEES: BY SAINT JOHN'S
CROSS, THERE WERE DANCING YOUNG GIRLS DRESSED IN WHITE
AND SEEMED AS IF THEY WERE FLOATING ON AIR. BUT THEN
HE LOOKED TO THE OTHER SIDE AND HE SAW A NAKED MAN
ROLLING AND LAUGHING IN THE SNOW. HE (THE FARMER)
SAID THAT EVERY HAIR ON HIS HEAD STOOD ON END AND SPED
HOME LIKE HE NEVER HAD BEFORE! HE WONDERED FOR A LONG
TIME AFTER THAT HOW HE MANAGED TO "ESCAPE" ALIVE THAT
NIGHT.
ME: DID YOU BELIEVE HIM?
FATHER: ALL US YOUNGER KIDS DID, WE WERE TOO YOUNG.
OF COURSE, IT COULD'VE BEEN HIS IMAGINATION.
ME: DID YOU HEAR ANY OTHER STORIES ABOUT PIESTUPYS?
FATHER: YES, BUT VERY VERY SHORT ONES.
FOR EXAMPLE, SOMEONE SAID THAT THEY SAW AND HEARD A
BLACK PONY RUNNING ALONG THE SLOPES OF THE FOREST.
OR SOMETIMES OTHERS SAY THAT THEY'VE SEEN A GRAY OLD
GOAT BLEETING {BLEATING} UNDER A TREE.
ME: BUT WHAT IS IT MAINLY THAT SCARED THE PEOPLE
SO MUCH?
FATHER: WELL, THERE IN THE FOREST, THREE THIEVES HUNG
THEMSELVES AND THEY'RE BURIED UNDER SOME PINE TREES
SIDE BY SIDE. AND THE PEOPLE USED TO SAY THAT THEY
STARTED ARGUING WHO ROBBED MORE PEOPLE AND WHO STOLE
THE MOST RICHES, AND AFTER A WHILE, THEY HAD RISEN ALL
THE OTHER DEAD AND TAKEN SIDES. BUT IT WAS REALLY OF
THOSE THREE THIEVES THAT EVERYONE WAS AFRAID OF.
ME: WERE YOU EVER IN THAT FOREST AND HAVE SOMETHING
HAPPEN TO YOU?
FATHER: YES, RIGHT BEFORE EASTER, MY YOUNGER SISTER
AND I HAD TO GET UP IN THE DARK TO GO TO RECOLLECTIONS.
AND FROM OUR VILLAGE TO THE TOWN AND CHURCH WAS TO GO
THROUGH THE FOREST. SO WE SET OUT...STILL DARK. I
HAD NEVER REALLY THOUGHT MUCH OF THOSE STORIES I HAD
HEARD, BUT NOW THEY ALL CAME BACK VIVIDLY. SO HALF
WAY THERE, I PICKED OUT LONG STRONG PIECES OF WOOD FOR
MY SISTER AND I TO PROTECT OURSELVES--MAINLY FROM THE
DOGS.
WE HAD PASSED HALF OF THE FOREST PEACEFULLY, BUT SUDDENLY
UP AHEAD, WE SAW A THING COMING--IT HAD A HUMAN SHAPE
AND WALKED LIKE A HUMAN. WE BOTH THOUGHT IT WAS ONE OF
THE DEAD, SO WE BOTH SAT DOWN HUGGING EACH OTHER, HOPING
THAT THE THING WOULD PASS. SUDDENLY, I HEARD THE THING
REAL CLOSE BY AND SHUT MY EYES. BUT THEN IT GAVE US THE
LITHUANIAN GREETING: "MAY THE LORD BE WITH YOU." AND
MY SISTER ANSWERED! IT TURNED OUT TO BE A MIDDLE-AGED
WOMAN DRESSED IN A WHITE FUR COAT! SHE ASKED US IF WE
WERE GOING TO CHURCH AND THEN JUST WENT ON HER WAY.
ME: DIDN'T YOU THINK IT COULD'VE BEEN A SPIRIT?
FATHER: I WAS LITTLE THEN, BUT I KNEW A REAL PERSON
WHEN I SAW ONE! AFTER THAT, I WALKED ON AS BRAVELY
AS EVER AND WAS NEVER SCARED TO GO IN THERE AGAIN!
ME: WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER PEOPLE? DID YOU TELL THEM
WHAT HAPPENED?
FATHER: OH, SURE! BUT THEY SAID THAT THEY DON'T
USUALLY PICK ON LITTLE KIDS.
ME: WERE THERE ANY OTHER INCIDENTS ABOUT THAT FOREST?
FATHER: OH, SURE! I THINK SO-CALLED HAPPENINGS WERE
REPORTED ALL THE TIME UP TO THE TAKEOVER IN 1941. BUT
I DOUBT IT IF MANY OF THE PEOPLE BELIEVED THE STORIES
UP TILL THEN!
ME: DO YOU KNOW WHAT'S HAPPENED TO THE FOREST NOW?
FATHER: THE LAST I HEARD WAS THAT HALF OF IT IS
DESTROYED. BY BOMBINGS AND SHELLING AND THE RUSSIANS
DID CUT DOWN MANY, MANY TREES FOR THEIR OWN USE.

Where learned: SOUTHFIELD ; LITHUANIA ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Keyword(s): TROUBLED SPIRITS ANIMALS WOODS

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Mammal
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Formation

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

View just this record

LITHUANIAN GHOST STORY

THIS STORY WAS RELATED TO MY GRANDMOTHER BY MY GREAT UNCLE
MICHOLAS TAUJANSKAS WHO EXPERIENCED THIS TALE IN
APPROXIMATELY 1914 AS A SEVENTEEN YEAR OLD YOUTH. HE
WAS AN ORGANIST AT THE LOCAL VILLAGE PARISH.
A PASTOR'S YOUNG HOUSEKEEPER HAD STRANGLED (BY DRINKING
SOME SULFURIC ACID) HER CHILD AND HAD COMMITTED SUICIDE.
THEY BURIED HER BUT THAT WAS NOT THE END. AS SOON AS
THE PRIEST PUT OUT THE LIGHT FOR THE NIGHT AND SAT DOWN
BY HIS STOVE TO WARM HIMSELF IN THE WINTER TIME HE
WOULD BE PULLED AROUND THE ROOM IN HIS CHAIR. IF HE LAY
DOWN IN BED, HE WOULD {BE} PUSHED OUT OF BED, AND THE
WHOLE ROOM WOULD BE COMPLETELY OVERTURNED. BUT IF A CANDLE
OR LIGHT WAS LIT, THE SPIRIT DISAPPEARED. THE SPIRIT ALSO
LEFT AT THE MIDNIGHT, JUST BEFORE THE FIRST COCK'S
CROW. THE PRIEST TRIED EVERY METHOD KNOWN TO THE CATHOLIC
RELIGION TO EXORCISE THE SPIRIT OUT OF THE ROOM, BUT EVERY-
THING FAILED. THIS LASTED THREE OR FOUR YEARS, AND AS
A RESULT, THE FIRST PRIEST LEFT THE PARISH AND A SECOND
YOUNG PRIEST DIED OF FRIGHT. A THIRD PRIEST CAME AND
DURING HIS TENURE SOME PEOPLE WERE BURYING A PERSON NEXT
TO THE HOUSEKEEPER AND NOTICED A TUNNEL LEAVING THROUGH
THE CASKET AND GOING TO THE SURFACE OF THE GROUND. SO
THE CASKET WAS DUG UP AND UNCOVERED. THE HOUSEKEEPER
WAS TURNED ON HER SIDE AND HER CLOTHES WERE ALL RUMPLED.
SO THE PRIEST SUGGESTED THAT THE HEAD OF THE HOUSEKEEPER
BE CUT OFF AND PLACED BETWEEN HER LEGS. THIS WAS DONE
AND THE STRANGE HAPPENINGS STOPPED IMMEDIATELY. THE
PURPOSE OF THE BEHEADING WAS SO THE GHOST COULD NOT
REACH ITS HEAD AND THUS ESCAPE THROUGH THE TUNNEL.

Submitter comment: THE PERSON RELATING THIS STORY ACTUALLY BELIEVED IT.
INFORMANT VISITING UNITED STATES FROM LITHUANIA FOR
APPROXIMATELY SIX MONTHS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; LITHUANIA

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 01-18-1968 ; 00-00-1914

View just this record

showing 9 items

University of Detroit Mercy
4001 W. McNichols Detroit , MI , 48221-3038
This site is endorsed by the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM) and supports the views, values, and mission of UDM. The University of Detroit Mercy web site provides links to other web sites, both public and private, for informational purposes. The inclusion of these links on UDM's site does not imply endorsement by the University. Please contact the Instructional Design Studio for any questions regarding this web site.