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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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POINTING AT THE GRAVE CAUSES BAD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MUSKEGON

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Cemetery
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Bad luck Gestures
SPEECH -- Gesture

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"A WOMAN (A GHOST) WOULD TAKE A TAXI TO A CERTAIN LOCATION AND
SEND THE CAB DRIVER TO HER MOTHER'S HOME TO GET CAB FARE. WHEN
THE CAB DRIVER ASKED FOR THE FARE, THE MOTHER WOULD SAY, 'MY
DAUGHTER IS DEAD.'"

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MUSKEGON

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

Date learned: 09-19-1982

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"ON NEWHILL, BESSEMER, ALABAMA, AFTER A RAIN, THE OCCUPANTS IN
MY MOTHER'S HOME SAW THAT THE RAIN WAS THE COLOR OF BLOOD.
THE REASON FOR THIS, ACCORDING TO MY MOTHER, WAS THAT THE PREVIOUS
OWNER, A MAN, HAD DIED THERE."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MUSKEGON

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 09-19-1982

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"A WOMAN COULD BE SEEN WALKING ALONG RAILROAD TRACKS IN BESSEMER,
ALABAMA. PEOPLE FOLLOWED HER, BUT NEVER CAUGHT HER. WHEN THEY
RAN, SHE RAN; AND HER FEET NEVER TOUCHED THE GROUND -- OR
ANYTHING. PEOPLE BELIEVED THAT THE WOMAN WAS THE GHOST OF A MAN (IN
FEMALE IMAGE) WHO HAD BEEN HANGED NEARBY."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MUSKEGON

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

Date learned: 09-19-1982

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CUTTING YOUR FINGERNAILS ON SUNDAY BRINGS BAD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MUSKEGON

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Bad luck Activities

Date learned: 09-19-1982

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"IN CARROLTON, ALABAMA, THERE IS THIS FACE OF A MAN IN THE
COURTHOUSE WINDOW. HE WAS EXECUTED FOR A CRIME HE DID NOT
COMMIT AND HAS HAUNTED THE COURTHOUSE SINCE THEN. THE WINDOW HAS
SUPPOSEDLY BEEN REPLACED ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS, BUT THE FACE WILL NOT
NOT GO AWAY."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MUSKEGON

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

Date learned: 09-19-1982

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"THERE'S SUPPOSED TO BE MONEY BURIED IN THE WOODS IN BESSEMER,
ALABAMA, THAT CAN'T BE REMOVED. I HEARD SEVERAL MEN TALK ABOUT
TRYING TO DIG FOR IT; BUT WHEN THEY FOUND THE CORRECT SPOT,
THINGS STARTED HAPPENING TO SCARE THEM OFF. ONE SPECIFIC THING I
REMEMBER HEARING MENTIONED WAS THE ROCKS BEING THROWN AT THEM (THE
MEN) FROM ALL SIDES FROM SOME UNSEEN BEINGS."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MUSKEGON

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

Date learned: 09-19-1982

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"THIS ONE WAS TOLD BY THE MINISTER OF THE CHURCH I ATTENDED AS A
CHILD: THERE WAS A LITTLE GIRL ON A PASSENGER TRAIN. SHE WAS
PUT OFF THE TRAIN IN THE DARK, IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE BECAUSE
SHE HAD NO TICKET. AFTER THE CONDUCTOR FORCED THE LITTLE GIRL TO
LEAVE THE TRAIN, HE PULLED THE CORD, SIGNALLING THE ENGINEER TO
CONTINUE THE JOURNEY. HOWEVER, THE TRAIN WOULDN'T MOVE. FINALLY,
THE CONDUCTOR SAID, 'I KNOW WHY THIS TRAIN WON'T MOVE. I'VE
FORCED THAT CHILD OFF BECAUSE SHE HAD NO TICKET OR MONEY.' HE PUT
THE LITTLE GIRL BACK ON THE TRAIN AND SIGNALLED THE ENGINEER
AGAIN. THIS TIME, THE TRAIN PROCEEDED WITHOUT INCIDENCE."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MUSKEGON

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Outlaw Criminal Bandit Pirate
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 09-19-1982

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WASHING ON NEW YEAR'S DAY MEANS YOU ARE WASHING ONE OF YOUR FAMILY
MEMBERS AWAY.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT SPECIFICALLY MEANT LAUNDERED ITEMS AND DEATH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MUSKEGON

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Measure of time Working

Date learned: 09-19-1982

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"LOOKING INTO AN EMPTY GRAVE IS TABOO FOR A PREGNANT WOMAN: HER
UNBORN CHILD WILL BE GREEDY BECAUSE HE/SHE CAN'T BE FILLED."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MUSKEGON

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 09-19-1982

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"ALABAMA - WHEN TWO OR MORE PEOPLE ARE WALKING TOGETHER, IT'S BAD
LUCK TO SPLIT UP WHEN WALKING PAST A TREE. EVERYONE HAS TO WALK
ON THE SAME SIDE OF THE TREE."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MUSKEGON

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck Leaving Entering Returning home Travel

Date learned: 09-19-1982

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"ALABAMA -- I'VE HEARD OF PEOPLE SEEING SOMEONE (AN APPARITION OF
THE PERSON) HOURS BEFORE THE PERSON'S DEATH. MY GRANDMOTHER SAW
HER BOYFRIEND WALKING ALONG A PATH ON FRIDAY MORNING, BUT HE
SHOWED UP AT HER HOUSE A FEW MINUTES LATER FROM THE OPPOSITE
DIRECTION AND COULDN'T HAVE BEEN WHERE SHE HAD SEEN HIM. HE WAS
KILLED LATE THAT FRIDAY EVENING IN AN AMBUSH."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MUSKEGON

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: CA00001948

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"THIS HAPPENED IN 1959. HORACE TURNER WAS THE PRESIDENT OF THE
JUNIOR CHOIR WHEN I ATTENDED CHURCH AND ACCORDING TO HIS WIFE,
GOD WANTED HORACE TO PREACH, BUT HORACE RESISTED. ONE THURSDAY
NIGHT, IT SEEMED AS IF HORACE HEARD THESE WORDS, 'I'M GOING TO
TAKE SOMETHING FROM YOU THAT YOU REALLY CARE ABOUT AND GIVE YOU
SOMETHING GREATER IN RETURN.' ON FRIDAY, WHILE HORACE WAS ON HIS
LUNCH HOUR, HE WAS ATTEMPTING TO CAPTURE A MOTHER PIGEON AND TAKE
IT HOME TO HIS CHILDREN WHEN ALL OF A SUDDEN, HE HEARD A
WHOOSHING SOUND AS IF SOMETHING HAD FLOWN AWAY. HE LOOKED
TOWARD THE SKY, SAW NOTHING, AND THE PIGEON WAS STILL IN THE EXACT
SPOT. SHE WAS IN BEFORE HORACE HEARD THE SOUND. THE 'WHOOSH'
CAME AT THE SAME TIME THAT HORACE'S ONLY SON, WHO WAS TEN, DIED
FROM A GUNSHOT. HIS 12-YEAR-OLD FRIEND SHOT HIM (HORACE'S SON)
WITH A 30-30 WINCHESTER. A FEW NIGHTS LATER, HORACE PREACHED HIS
FIRST SERMON AT THE DINNER TABLE WITH HIS FAMILY. HE TOLD ME ONCE
THAT HE DIDN'T WORRY ABOUT SERMONS AND THAT ALL HE DID WAS PICK UP
PAPER AND PEN AND THE WORDS FLOWED AS IF BY MAGIC. HE'S STILL
PREACHING AT THIS TIME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MUSKEGON

Subject headings: Observation
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Religious hero

Date learned: CA00001959

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CAR NAME: NELLY-BELLE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MUSKEGON

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Proper Name

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ARMY CADENCE

C130 ROLLING DOWN THE STRIP.
AIRBORNE DADDY'S GONNA TAKE A LITTLE TRIP
STAND-UP, HOOK-UP, SHUFFLE TO THE DOOR.
JUMP RIGHT OUT AND COUNT TO FOUR.
IF MY MAIN (CANOPY) DON'T OPEN WIDE,
I'VE GOT ANOTHER ONE BY MY SIDE.
HEY, HEY ALL THE WAY.
HEY, HEY EVERYDAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MUSKEGON

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- War cries

Date learned: 09-20-1982

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REMEDY: WHISKEY AND LEMON JUICE CURE THE COMMON COLD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MUSKEGON

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 09-20-1982

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showing 17 items

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