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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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BELIEF, GHOST OF TECUMSEH ROAD

IN WINDSOR, ONTARIO THERE IS SUPPOSED TO BE A GHOST THAT
ROAMS AROUND TECUMSEH ROAD,
HE IS SUPPOSED TO HAVE NO HEAD, AND CARRIES
A SICKLE FROM WHICH BLOOD IS DRIPPING. ONE WITNESS SAYS THAT
EVERYTIME HE SEES THE GHOST, SOMEONE IN HIS FAMILY (NOT NECESSARILY
IMMEDIATE FAMILY) DIES.

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT HEARD THIS ON THE RADIO.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

James Callow comment:

Windsor is in Canada

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; LAKEWOOD

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; CANADA ; GHOST ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 11-05-1971

View just this record

LITTLE CHILDREN, WHEN WALKING HOME OR JUST FOR
SOMETHING TO DO, TRY TO AVOID STEPPING ON THE CRACKS
PRESENT ON SIDEWALKS. THEY MAY SAY SUCH THINGS AS
"STEP ON A CRACK AND YOU'LL BREAK YOUR MOTHER'S BACK."

Submitter comment: INFORMANT AND MYSELF BOTH REMEMBER HAVING DONE THIS.

Where learned: OHIO ; LAKEWOOD

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Athletic sport and exercise Gymnastics

Date learned: 11-05-1971

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IN LAKEWOOD, INHABITED BY STAUNCH CATHOLIC-IRISH-AMERICANS
ANY LEGEND CONCERNING THE DEVIL OR HELL WAS BELIEVED AND
KEPT ALIVE BY WORD OF MOUTH. THE OLD ANGLE, LOCATED IN
THE PARISH OF ST. PATRICK'S ON GROVE, PICKED UP THE
LAKEWOOD LEGENDS AND TRANSMITTED THEM THROUGHOUT THE
PARISH. THE {ST.} PATRICK'S WAS COMPRISED MOSTLY OF
IMMIGRANTS WHILE LAKEWOOD WAS SECOND AND THIRD GENERATION
IRISH. THERE WAS ALWAYS A BIT OF RIVALRY BETWEEN THE TWO
SECTORS TO SEE WHO COULD COME UP WITH THE BEST LEGENDS.
MOST OF THE TIME ST. PAT'S WAS IN THE LEAD, BECAUSE EVERY
DAY THERE WERE NEW PEOPLE FROM IRELAND MOVING INTO THE
NEIGHBORHOOD AND THEY BROUGHT WITH THEM MORE TALES FROM
THE OLD COUNTRY.
THIS TIME, THOUGH, THE LAKEWOOD CROWD HAD ST. PAT'S BEAT.
THERE WAS A FAMILY THAT LIVED ON GIEL AVENUE JUST OFF
CLIFTON BLVD. THE FAMILY CONSISTED OF A FATHER, MOTHER
AND FOUR CHILDREN. THE FATHER WORKED ON THE RAILROAD
AS DID MANY IRISH-AMERICANS. HIS WIFE TOOK CARE OF THE
HOUSE AND CHILDREN. THERE WAS ONE DIFFERENCE. THE MOTHER
WAS INCREDIBLY CRUEL AND OFTEN PUNISHED THE CHILDREN FOR
NO APPARENT REASON. THE NEIGHBORS TALKED QUITE A BIT ABOUT
HER BEING POSSESSED BY THE DEVIL. ONE NEIGHBOR WAS A
RELATIVE OF MY FATHER AND TOLD THE STORY OFTEN ABOUT THE
NIGHT THEIR SUSPICIONS WERE CONFIRMED. THE MOTHER HAD DIED
SOME ILLNESS NOT ESPECIALLY UNUSUAL IN THOSE DAYS OF
LITTLE MONEY OR MEDICAL HELP. THE WAKE AND BURIAL OVER,
EVERYONE HAD RETURNED TO THEIR HOMES. THE FATHER SAT STILL
IN HIS KITCHEN. A HOUSE AWAY, MY RELATIVE SAT WITH HIS
PARENTS. HIS FATHER LOOKED UP AND GLANCED OUT THE WINDOW
TO THE KITCHEN WINDOW NEXT DOOR. HIS GAZE WAS ARRESTED
BY A STRANGE LIGHT THAT SEEMED TO ILLUMINATE THE KITCHEN.
THINKING FIRST OF FIRE, HE AND HIS SON DASHED ACROSS THE
YARD AND UP THE BACK STEPS OF THE HOUSE. BY THE TIME THEY
REACHED THE INSIDE OF THE KITCHEN THE LIGHT WAS GONE AND THE
FATHER SAT WHERE THEY HAD LEFT HIM, NOW IN A STATE OF SHOCK.
HE POINTED DUMBLY TO THE WOODEN TABLE. THERE, BURNED INTO
THE SURFACE WAS THE UNMISTAKEABLE PRINT OF A WOMAN'S HAND.
HE SPOKE ONLY HIS WIFE'S NAME OVER AND OVER. SHE WAS, IT
SEEMS, WITH THAT SPIRIT WHO HAD POSSESSED HER. SHE HAD
APPEARED, HELD UP HER HAND, PLACED IT ON THE TABLE AND
DISAPPEARED.
THE TABLE IS SUPPOSEDLY LOCKED IN THE BASEMENT OF ST.
JOHN'S CATHEDRAL IN CLEVELAND. IF EVER ANYONE TRIES TO ASK
QUESTIONS OF THE BISHOP OR OTHER CLERGY THERE, ONE IS
MERELY ANSWERED WITH A VAGUE REFERENCE TO IRISHMEN BEING
THE BEST STORYTELLERS IN THE WORLD.

Where learned: OHIO ; LAKEWOOD ; CLEVELAND

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 00001913-1968

View just this record

ONE OF THE MOST FRIGHTENING STORIES MY FATHER EVER TOLD ME
ABOUT BANSHEES WAS THIS ONE. IT SCARED ME MORE THAN ANY
OF THE REST BECAUSE IT WAS ABOUT MY GREAT-GREAT GRANDFATHER.
SOMEHOW THOSE STORIES AREN'T QUITE SO FRIGHTENING WHEN
THEY ARE ABOUT SOMEONE ELSE.
GRANDPA DIED A VERY OLD MAN. HE WAS BEING TAKEN CARE OF BY
HIS DAUGHTER, NELLIE, WHO WAS MY PATERNAL GRANDMOTHER.
HE WAS REFERRED TO BY THE CHILDREN, MY FATHER AND UNCLES,
AS "BLIND GRANDPA." CATARACTS HAD TAKEN HIS SIGHT EARLY
IN HIS SIXTIES. BESIDES BEING VERY OLD AND BLIND,
GRANDPA WAS IN PRETTY GOOD SHAPE THAT WARM SPRING DAY,
AS HE SAT ROCKING IN THE FRONT PARLOR. SUDDENLY, HE
LET OUT A YELL TO NELLIE.
"NELLIE, COME IN HERE, GET THIS DOG OUT OF HERE, GET
HIM OUT." NELLIE CAME RUNNING. SHE WAS SO SURPRISED AT
HER FATHER'S OUTBURST THAT SHE DIDN'T STOP TO THINK
THAT HE COULDN'T HAVE SEEN ANY DOG EVEN IF THERE WAS
ONE, WHICH THERE WASN'T BECAUSE THE MC GRAWS DIDN'T
OWN A DOG THEN. SHE TRIED TO CALM HER FATHER, BUT HIS
AGITATION ONLY GREW AND SHE CALLED HER SISTERS-IN-LAW
FROM NEXT DOOR TO COME OVER WHILE SHE WENT FOR THE DOCTOR.
SHE NEEDN'T HAVE BOTHERED. WHEN SHE CAME BACK OUT INTO
THE PARLOR WITH KIT AND JO, BLIND GRANDPA WAS DEAD. HE
WAS SITTING IN THE ROCKER WITH HIS EYES CLOSED AND HE WAS
DEAD. NEXT TO HIM, JUST OUTSIDE THE SCREEN DOOR SAT A
HUGE BLACK LABRADOR. WHILE KIT, JO AND NELLIE STOOD
THERE IN HORROR, HE THREW BACK HIS HEAD AND HOWLED, THEN
TURNED AND DISAPPEARED FROM VIEW. A THOROUGH SEARCH OF
THE NEIGHBORHOOD PRODUCED NO DOG NOR ANYONE WHO CLAIMED
SEEING SUCH A DOG EVER AROUND THERE. SOME HAD HEARD THE
HOWL, OTHERS HADN'T OR REFUSED TO ADMIT IT. MY FATHER
REMEMBERED IT AS DID HIS BROTHER CHARLES, BOTH OF WHOM
HAD BEEN IN LORRAINE, OHIO WHILE THEIR GRANDFATHER WAS
DYING IN THE FRONT PARLOR OF THE FAMILY HOUSE IN CLEVELAND.
THE WAIL OF THE BANSHEE IS HEARD BY THOSE MEANT TO HEAR
IT AND IS NEVER EVER FORGOTTEN.

Where learned: OHIO ; LAKEWOOD ; OHIO, ASSUMED ; CLEVELAND

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 00001913-1968

View just this record

APEMAN LEGEND

IN CLEVELAND METRO PARK, AN APEMAN IS BELIEVED TO BE
RUNNING AROUND IN THE VALLEY. THERE WAS EVIDENCE THAT
IT EXISTED TOO. PEOPLE FOUND DEAD POSSUMS, RABBITS,
AND SQUIRRELS ALL SKINNED AND LEFT. PARENTS WERE WARNED
TO KEEP THEIR CHILDREN OUT OF THE VALLEY. MEN WENT
HUNTING AT NIGHT FOR THE APEMAN. HE WAS BELIEVED TO
LIVE IN A CAVE. IT WAS NEVER FOUND.

Where learned: OHIO ; LAKEWOOD

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Werewolf Vampire

Date learned: 11-05-1971

View just this record

IN LAKEWOOD, INHABITED BY STAUNCH CATHOLIC-IRISH-AMERICANS
ANY LEGEND CONCERNING THE DEVIL OR HELL WAS BELIEVED AND
KEPT ALIVE BY WORD OF MOUTH. THE OLD ANGLE, LOCATED IN
THE PARISH OF ST. PATRICK'S ON GROVE, PICKED UP THE
LAKEWOOD LEGENDS AND TRANSMITTED THEM THROUGHOUT THE
PARISH. THE {ST.} PATRICK'S WAS COMPRISED MOSTLY OF
IMMIGRANTS WHILE LAKEWOOD WAS SECOND AND THIRD GENERATION
IRISH. THERE WAS ALWAYS A BIT OF RIVALRY BETWEEN THE TWO
SECTORS TO SEE WHO COULD COME UP WITH THE BEST LEGENDS.
MOST OF THE TIME ST. PAT'S WAS IN THE LEAD, BECAUSE EVERY
DAY THERE WERE NEW PEOPLE FROM IRELAND MOVING INTO THE
NEIGHBORHOOD AND THEY BROUGHT WITH THEM MORE TALES FROM
THE OLD COUNTRY.
THIS TIME, THOUGH, THE LAKEWOOD CROWD HAD ST. PAT'S BEAT.
THERE WAS A FAMILY THAT LIVED ON GIEL AVENUE JUST OFF
CLIFTON BLVD. THE FAMILY CONSISTED OF A FATHER, MOTHER
AND FOUR CHILDREN. THE FATHER WORKED ON THE RAILROAD
AS DID MANY IRISH-AMERICANS. HIS WIFE TOOK CARE OF THE
HOUSE AND CHILDREN. THERE WAS ONE DIFFERENCE. THE MOTHER
WAS INCREDIBLY CRUEL AND OFTEN PUNISHED THE CHILDREN FOR
NO APPARENT REASON. THE NEIGHBORS TALKED QUITE A BIT ABOUT
HER BEING POSSESSED BY THE DEVIL. ONE NEIGHBOR WAS A
RELATIVE OF MY FATHER AND TOLD THE STORY OFTEN ABOUT THE
NIGHT THEIR SUSPICIONS WERE CONFIRMED. THE MOTHER HAD DIED
SOME ILLNESS NOT ESPECIALLY UNUSUAL IN THOSE DAYS OF
LITTLE MONEY OR MEDICAL HELP. THE WAKE AND BURIAL OVER,
EVERYONE HAD RETURNED TO THEIR HOMES. THE FATHER SAT STILL
IN HIS KITCHEN. A HOUSE AWAY, MY RELATIVE SAT WITH HIS
PARENTS. HIS FATHER LOOKED UP AND GLANCED OUT THE WINDOW
TO THE KITCHEN WINDOW NEXT DOOR. HIS GAZE WAS ARRESTED
BY A STRANGE LIGHT THAT SEEMED TO ILLUMINATE THE KITCHEN.
THINKING FIRST OF FIRE, HE AND HIS SON DASHED ACROSS THE
YARD AND UP THE BACK STEPS OF THE HOUSE. BY THE TIME THEY
REACHED THE INSIDE OF THE KITCHEN THE LIGHT WAS GONE AND THE
FATHER SAT WHERE THEY HAD LEFT HIM, NOW IN A STATE OF SHOCK.
HE POINTED DUMBLY TO THE WOODEN TABLE. THERE, BURNED INTO
THE SURFACE WAS THE UNMISTAKEABLE PRINT OF A WOMAN'S HAND.
HE SPOKE ONLY HIS WIFE'S NAME OVER AND OVER. SHE WAS, IT
SEEMS, WITH THAT SPIRIT WHO HAD POSSESSED HER. SHE HAD
APPEARED, HELD UP HER HAND, PLACED IT ON THE TABLE AND
DISAPPEARED.
THE TABLE IS SUPPOSEDLY LOCKED IN THE BASEMENT OF ST.
JOHN'S CATHEDRAL IN CLEVELAND. IF EVER ANYONE TRIES TO ASK
QUESTIONS OF THE BISHOP OR OTHER CLERGY THERE, ONE IS
MERELY ANSWERED WITH A VAGUE REFERENCE TO IRISHMEN BEING
THE BEST STORYTELLERS IN THE WORLD.

Where learned: OHIO ; LAKEWOOD ; CLEVELAND

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 00001913-1968

View just this record

ONE OF THE MOST FRIGHTENING STORIES MY FATHER EVER TOLD ME
ABOUT BANSHEES WAS THIS ONE. IT SCARED ME MORE THAN ANY
OF THE REST BECAUSE IT WAS ABOUT MY GREAT-GREAT GRANDFATHER.
SOMEHOW THOSE STORIES AREN'T QUITE SO FRIGHTENING WHEN
THEY ARE ABOUT SOMEONE ELSE.
GRANDPA DIED A VERY OLD MAN. HE WAS BEING TAKEN CARE OF BY
HIS DAUGHTER, NELLIE, WHO WAS MY PATERNAL GRANDMOTHER.
HE WAS REFERRED TO BY THE CHILDREN, MY FATHER AND UNCLES,
AS "BLIND GRANDPA." CATARACTS HAD TAKEN HIS SIGHT EARLY
IN HIS SIXTIES. BESIDES BEING VERY OLD AND BLIND,
GRANDPA WAS IN PRETTY GOOD SHAPE THAT WARM SPRING DAY,
AS HE SAT ROCKING IN THE FRONT PARLOR. SUDDENLY, HE
LET OUT A YELL TO NELLIE.
"NELLIE, COME IN HERE, GET THIS DOG OUT OF HERE, GET
HIM OUT." NELLIE CAME RUNNING. SHE WAS SO SURPRISED AT
HER FATHER'S OUTBURST THAT SHE DIDN'T STOP TO THINK
THAT HE COULDN'T HAVE SEEN ANY DOG EVEN IF THERE WAS
ONE, WHICH THERE WASN'T BECAUSE THE MC GRAWS DIDN'T
OWN A DOG THEN. SHE TRIED TO CALM HER FATHER, BUT HIS
AGITATION ONLY GREW AND SHE CALLED HER SISTERS-IN-LAW
FROM NEXT DOOR TO COME OVER WHILE SHE WENT FOR THE DOCTOR.
SHE NEEDN'T HAVE BOTHERED. WHEN SHE CAME BACK OUT INTO
THE PARLOR WITH KIT AND JO, BLIND GRANDPA WAS DEAD. HE
WAS SITTING IN THE ROCKER WITH HIS EYES CLOSED AND HE WAS
DEAD. NEXT TO HIM, JUST OUTSIDE THE SCREEN DOOR SAT A
HUGE BLACK LABRADOR. WHILE KIT, JO AND NELLIE STOOD
THERE IN HORROR, HE THREW BACK HIS HEAD AND HOWLED, THEN
TURNED AND DISAPPEARED FROM VIEW. A THOROUGH SEARCH OF
THE NEIGHBORHOOD PRODUCED NO DOG NOR ANYONE WHO CLAIMED
SEEING SUCH A DOG EVER AROUND THERE. SOME HAD HEARD THE
HOWL, OTHERS HADN'T OR REFUSED TO ADMIT IT. MY FATHER
REMEMBERED IT AS DID HIS BROTHER CHARLES, BOTH OF WHOM
HAD BEEN IN LORRAINE, OHIO WHILE THEIR GRANDFATHER WAS
DYING IN THE FRONT PARLOR OF THE FAMILY HOUSE IN CLEVELAND.
THE WAIL OF THE BANSHEE IS HEARD BY THOSE MEANT TO HEAR
IT AND IS NEVER EVER FORGOTTEN.

Where learned: OHIO ; LAKEWOOD ; OHIO, ASSUMED ; CLEVELAND

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 00001913-1968

View just this record

APEMAN LEGEND

IN CLEVELAND METRO PARK, AN APEMAN IS BELIEVED TO BE
RUNNING AROUND IN THE VALLEY. THERE WAS EVIDENCE THAT
IT EXISTED TOO. PEOPLE FOUND DEAD POSSUMS, RABBITS,
AND SQUIRRELS ALL SKINNED AND LEFT. PARENTS WERE WARNED
TO KEEP THEIR CHILDREN OUT OF THE VALLEY. MEN WENT
HUNTING AT NIGHT FOR THE APEMAN. HE WAS BELIEVED TO
LIVE IN A CAVE. IT WAS NEVER FOUND.

Where learned: OHIO ; LAKEWOOD

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Werewolf Vampire

Date learned: 11-05-1971

View just this record

showing 8 items

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