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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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BELIEF ABOUT DEVILS

THE SUBJECT OF WITCHES IS CLOSELY RELATED TO BLACK CATS, THE
MOON, DEVIL'S, ASTROLOGY. IT IS JOKED TODAY THAT IF
A BLACK CAT CROSSES
YOUR PATH BAD LUCK WILL COME. IN EARLY YEARS IT WAS BELIEVED
DEVILS DISTINGUISH THEMSELVES AS BLACK CATS, DOGS OR GHOSTS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MOUNT PLEASANT

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMALS ; COLOR

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Moon
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.3

Date learned: 10-28-1971

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BUILDING A FIRE

WITCHES BUILD A FIRE IN THE OPEN AND DRAW A MAGIC
CIRCLE ABOUT IT WITH A SWORD. MEN AND WOMEN ALTERNATELY JOIN
HANDS AND QUICKEN THEIR PACE, FROM A WALK
TO RUN, CHANTING RITES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MOUNT PLEASANT

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Curse
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 10-28-1971

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BELIEF ABOUT DEVILS

THE SUBJECT OF WITCHES IS CLOSELY RELATED TO BLACK CATS, THE
MOON, THE DEVILS, ASTROLOGY. IT IS JOKED TODAY THAT IF
A BLACK CAT CROSSES
YOUR PATH BAD LUCK WILL COME. IN EARLY YEARS IT WAS BELIEVED
DEVILS DISGUISE THEMSELVES AS BLACK CATS, DOGS OR GOATS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MOUNT PLEASANT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman

Date learned: 10-28-1971

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BUILDING A FIRE

WITCHES BUILD A FIRE IN THE OPEN AND DRAW A MAGIC
CIRCLE ABOUT IT WITH A SWORD. MEN AND WOMEN ALTERNATELY JOIN
HANDS AND QUICKEN THEIR PACE FROM A WALK
TO A RUN, CHANTING ANCIENT RITES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MOUNT PLEASANT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman

Date learned: 10-28-1971

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WHEN A MEMBER OF THE FRATERNITY IN WHICH I(NEAL) BELONG BECOMES
ENGAGED HE IS THROWN INTO THE CHIPPEWA RIVER.

Submitter comment: THIS TRADITION IS EXTREMELY INTERESTING TO ME.
IT IS MUCH LIKE THAT OF THE PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH THROWING THE
GROOM OVER THE FENCE. I ASKED MY INFORMANT WHO STARTED THIS AND
WHY IT WAS DONE BUT HE DID NOT KNOW.
THE CHIPPEWA RIVER RUNS THROUGH MOUNT PLEASANT, MICHIGAN
INFORMATION ASKED FOR OF THIS
INFORMANT WAS RESTRICTED TO LORE
ABOUT CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MOUNT PLEASANT

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage

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GATE NIGHT

GATE NIGHT IS THE NIGHT BEFORE
HALLOWEEN. GATE NIGHT GOT IT'S NAME FROM THE PRANK IT IS ASSOCIATED
WITH. PRANKSTERS AROUND THE MT. PLEASANT, MICHIGAN AREA REMOVE
ALL OUTHOUSE DOORS.

Submitter comment: GATE NIGHT IS WHAT WE CALL DEVILS NIGHT AROUND THE DETROIT AREA.
I WOULD HAVE TO QUESS THAT GATENIGHT STARTED A LONG TIME AGO WHEN
OUTHOUSES WERE USED, BUT THE TRADITION IS STILL GOING ON ACCORDING TO
MY INFORMANT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MOUNT PLEASANT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 11-00-80

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THE GHOST OF WORRINER HALL

MANY YEARS AGO ON CAMPUS WORRINER HALL BURNED. ONE PERSON
WAS BURNED TO DEATH IN FIRE. THE BUILDING STILL STANDS BUT IT
WAS GUTTED OUT IN THE FIRE. AT 3 A.M. SOMETIMES THE LIGHT
IN THE TOWER GOES ON. IT IS TURNED ON BY THE GHOST
OF THE BURNED PERSON, THE GHOST OF WORRINER HALL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MOUNT PLEASANT

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

Date learned: 11-00-80

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WHEN CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY WINS A FOOTBALL GAME, THE BAND
PLAYS A SONG TO A TREE. THE SONG IS THE SCHOOL FIGHT SONG, THE TREE
IS CALLED THE VICTORY TREE. WHEN THEY LOSE A FOOTBALL GAME,
THEY SING THE ALMA MATER TO THE VICTORY TREE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MOUNT PLEASANT

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Emotion
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- School
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 11-00-80

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Twenty years ago at Central Michigan University, a girl
mysteriously died in her dorm room. The university had a
problem with kids moving out of the dorm because of the
incident, so they changed the numbering in the dorm. Now
people complain of lights, radios and televisions that are
on when they come back from class because they know they
had turned them off before they left.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MOUNT PLEASANT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 00-00-1985

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Crow on a fence,
Rain will go hence.
Crow on the ground,
Rain will come down.

Submitter comment: My ex-mother-in-law lived on a farm. She saw a crow in the
barnyard and repeated this poem to me.

James Callow comment: Puckett, Ohio, no. 34342: "Crow on the ground, / Rain will
come down." -- Slovenian, 1959.

Puckett, Ohio, no. 34858: "Crow on the fence, / Rain will
go hence." -- German, 1961.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MOUNT PLEASANT

Subject headings: Favorites
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief
BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew

Date learned: 00001970S

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ISAAC (AN OLD NEGRO PREACHER) TELLS OF HAVING A VISION OF SOME
BURIED GOLD ON AN OLD FARM RIGHT OUTSIDE HAMPSHIRE, TENNESSEE.
THIS GOLD WAS BURIED UNDERNEATH AN OLD PEACH TREE BY AN
EXPEDITION OF LEWIS AND CLARKE. THE PEACH TREE HAS LONG
SINCE GONE, BUT HE THINKS HE KNOWS ABOUT WHERE IT IS.
HOWEVER, SEVERAL ATTEMPTS (EVEN USING A METAL DETECTOR) TO
RECOVER THE HIDDEN TREASURE BY THE BELIEVERS HAS FAILED.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; HAMPSHIRE ; TENNESSEE, ASSUMED ; MOUNT PLEASANT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Dreams Money

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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IF YOU SEE A BLACK CAT, TURN YOUR RING OR YOU WILL HAVE BAD LUCK.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; MOUNT PLEASANT

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION ; REVERSAL

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Magic of Speech, Sign, Color
BELIEF -- Bad luck Jewelry (gems, rings, etc.)
BELIEF -- Bad luck Animals
BELIEF -- Conversions Animals

Date learned: 07-21-1968

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IF YOU FORGET SOMETHING WHEN YOU ARE GOING TO SOMEWHERE AND
YOU GO BACK TO GET IT, YOU HAVE TO SPIT BEHIND YOU FOR GOOD
LUCK.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; MOUNT PLEASANT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Good luck Leaving Entering Returning home Travel
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 07-21-1968

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IF YOU WIN IN BASEBALL, DON'T WASH YOUR SOCKS BEFORE THE
NEXT GAME, FOR GOOD LUCK.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; MOUNT PLEASANT

Subject headings: 881 Games / Pastimes / Sports
BELIEF -- Home
BELIEF -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 07-21-1968

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showing 17 items

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