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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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Bonnet Man

During the night, a man dressed in a lady's dress and bonnet
walks up and down the street. Everyone in Lafayette knew about
him and were afraid to come out after dark.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; LAFAYETTE

James Callow Keyword(s): Transvestite

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Human Being

Date learned: 00-00-1935

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Voodoo

When people left your house, the owner would look up above
the ledge of the door to make sure that person didn't leave any
items that would be considered voodoo. If items were left it was
a sign that a spell was casted on you, your house and your loved
ones.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; LAFAYETTE

Keyword(s): Vadoo

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Curse

Date learned: 00001935ca

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Decision Making

Pick, pick til you pick shit.

Submitter comment: This is said, when you have so many choices and you keep
changing your mind. My mother's mother would tell her this when
she couldn't make up her mind between boys.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; LAFAYETTE

James Callow Keyword(s): ADVICE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 00-00-1937

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Death

Death comes in 3's.

Submitter comment: Mother says this a lot especially if we hear of at least 2
deaths. She always says there is going to be a 3rd.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; LAFAYETTE

James Callow Keyword(s): THREES

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

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GO OUT THE SAME DOOR THAT YOU ENTER THE HOUSE FROM.
IF YOU DO NOT, IT WILL CAUSE BAD LUCK.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; LAFAYETTE

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

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WHEN A WOOLY WORM CRAWLS PAST ONE, HE IS SUPPOSED TO SPIT
IMMEDIATELY TO BREAK THE BAD LUCK THAT IT IS CAUSING.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; LAFAYETTE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal
BELIEF -- Bad luck
BELIEF -- Conversions
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 04-29-1969

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LAFAYETTE, TENNESSEE IS LOCATED WHERE IT IS BECAUSE OF AN
OLD SPRING THAT FURNISHED THE SETTLERS WATER. IT IS LOCATED
BEHIND THE OLD LAFAYETTE AUTO PARTS BUILDING. IT IS NOW
REFERRED TO AS THE TOWN SPRING.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; LAFAYETTE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Explanation of a name

Date learned: 03-29-1969

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IN LAFAYETTE, TENNESSEE THERE IS AN OLD WELL BEHIND THE OLD POST
OFFICE BUILDING. OLD PEOPLE SAY THIS WELL HAS NO BOTTOM. ROCKS
CANNOT BE HEARD TO SPLASH, AND PEOPLE HAVE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO
LOWER A LINE FAR ENOUGH TO FIND A BOTTOM. PEOPLE ALSO SAY THAT
BLIND FISH HAVE BEEN CAUGHT FROM THE WELL.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; LAFAYETTE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Fish
BELIEF -- Still water Man made container.

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DURING LEAP YEAR THE GIRL IS ALWAYS PERMITTED TO ASK THE
BOY FOR A DATE

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; LAFAYETTE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year

Date learned: 03-29-1969

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TO BREAK THE BAD LUCK THAT A BLACK CAT CAUSES WHEN HE WALKS
IN FRONT OF A PERSON, MAKE A CROSS IN FRONT OF YOUR
CHEST AND SPIT ON THE GROUND.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; LAFAYETTE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications
BELIEF -- Conversions
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 04-29-1969

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IF A BLACK CAT HAS CROSSED YOUR PATH, MAKE AN X IN FRONT
OF YOURSELF AND CHANGE YOUR DIRECTION TO PREVENT BAD LUCK.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; LAFAYETTE

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications
BELIEF -- Conversions
SPEECH -- Gesture

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IF A BLACK CAT CROSSES IN FRONT OF YOU, MAKE A CROSS ON THE
GROUND IN FRONT OF YOU, SPIT IN THE CROSS MARK AND THIS WILL
KEEP YOU FROM HAVING BAD LUCK ON THE WAY.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; LAFAYETTE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications
BELIEF -- Conversions
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 02-13-1972

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ALWAYS PLANT BEANS ON GOOD FRIDAY.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; LAFAYETTE

Subject headings: 663 Good Friday
BELIEF -- P535

Date learned: 02-13-1972

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THE NUMBER OF FOGS IN AUGUST EQUALS THE NUMBER OF SNOWS
THAT WILL FALL THAT WINTER.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; LAFAYETTE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- August
BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew
BELIEF -- Measure of time Winter
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Natural atmospheric phenomenon

Date learned: 03-29-1969

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IF A BLACK CAT CROSSES IN FRONT OF A PERSON, IT IS AN
INDICATION OF BAD LUCK TO FOLLOW. TO BREAK THE BAD LUCK, THE
PERSON IS TO TURN THEIR HATS AROUND IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; LAFAYETTE

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

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

Date learned: 04-29-1969

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A PERSON SHOULD ALWAYS LEAVE FROM THE DOOR THAT HE ENTERS INTO
IN HOUSE OR BAD LUCK WILL BEFALL HIM.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; LAFAYETTE

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Bad luck Leaving Entering Returning home Travel

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IF YOUR RIGHT HAND ITCHES, IT IS AN INDICATION THAT YOU ARE
GOING TO SHAKE HANDS IN THE NEAR FUTURE.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; LAFAYETTE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Sensations and involuntary actions Itching hands and feet
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 04-29-1969

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IF A PERSON DROPS A DISH TOWEL WHILE DRYING DISHES, IT MEANS
SOMEONE IS COMING TO THE HOUSE THAT IS HUNGRY.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; LAFAYETTE

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 04-04-1969

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IF YOU SING BEFORE BREAKFAST, YOU'LL FIND YOURSELF CRYING
BEFORE SUPPER.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; LAFAYETTE

James Callow Keyword(s): CONTRAST.

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Measure of time Eating For menu, see N222.

Date learned: 03-29-1969

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