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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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PUBERTY SUPERSTITION

LIVING IN A FARM COMMUNITY, W E BOYS ALWAYS WENT
SWIMMING IN THE NUDE. THE OLDER BOYS, NATURALLY, FILLED
OUR HEADS WITH SOME STRANGE IDEAS ABOUT SEX. WE WERE
TOLD (WE BEING THE BOYS APPROACHING THE AGE OF
PUBERTY) THAT RUBBING CIGARETTE ASHES IN THE PUBIC
AREA WOULD ENCOURAGE THE GROWTH OF BODY HAIR. SINCE
WE WERE CONCERNED ABOUT SUCH SECONDARY SEX CHARACTERISTICS
THIS LET TO AN INCREASE IN SMOKING, AT LEAST WHEN WE WERE
WITH THE OLDER BOYS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; NORTH BRANCH

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Maturity
BELIEF -- Maturity
BELIEF -- Remedy

Date learned: 00-00-1942

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UP NORTH, NEAR LAPEER, IT IS BELIEVED THAT IF A BESPECTACLED
PERSON COMES INTO A WARM HOUSE WALKING BACKWARDS AFTER BEING
OUT IN THE COLD FOR A LONG PERIOD OF TIME, HIS GLASSES WILL
NOT FOG UP. NO REASON FOR THIS BELIEF IS GIVEN.

Submitter comment: I HAVE TRIED THIS SEVERAL TIMES, BUT IT HASN'T WORKED.
WHEN MY COUSIN WENT BACK UP NORTH, HE ASKED AROUND ABOUT
THIS, AND FOUND NO REASON WHY THIS SHOULD WORK. HE DID
FIND OUT THAT MOST PEOPLE UP THERE BELIEVED IT. I, BEING
NEARSIGHTED, HAVE FOUND THAT THE ONLY ALTERNATIVE TO
FOGGED GLASSES IS CONTACT LENSES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; NORTH BRANCH

Keyword(s): GLASSES ; PREVENTIVE MEASURE

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 11-00-1985

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THE FIFTEEN STEPS

A COUPLE MOVED INTO A TWO-STORY BRICK HOUSE NEAR THE
EDGE OF TOWN. THEY SLEPT IN A ROOM DOWNSTAIRS, WHILE
THEIR YOUNG DAUGHTER SLEPT UPSTAIRS.
ONE NIGHT, THEIR DAUGHTER HEARD A MOANING AT THE FOOT OF THE
STAIRS. "KATHY, I'M AT THE FIRST STEP, AND I'M GOING TO KILL
YOU."
THE NEXT MORNING, SHE TOLD HER PARENTS, WHO DIDN'T BELIEVE HER.
THEY THOUGHT THAT SHE WAS JUST SEEING TOO MUCH TV AND HAVING
NIGHTMARES.
THAT NIGHT, THE VOICE CAME AGAIN, ANNOUNCING THAT IT WAS ON
THE SECOND STEP, AND THAT IT WAS GOING TO KILL HER.
AND SO IT WENT ON, FOR FIFTEEN NIGHTS, UNTIL THE VOICE
ISSUED A NEW WARNING.
"KATHY, I'M PAST YOUR DOORWAY, AND NOW I'M BY YOUR BEDSIDE,
AND NOW I'M GOING TO KILL YOU."
THE TERRIFIED GIRL TOLD HER PARENTS THE NEXT MORNING, BUT
THEY DIDN'T BELIEVE HER. THAT NIGHT, THEY GAVE HER PLENTY OF WARM
MILK TO HELP HER SLEEP.
THE FAMILY WAS NEVER HEARD FROM AGAIN. THE SHERIFF'S
DEPARTMENT FOUND NO EVIDENCE OF FOUL PLAY. TO THIS DAY, THE
DISAPPEARANCE OF THE FAMILY REMAINS A MYSTERY.

Submitter comment: DANIEL AND ME WERE WALKING DOWN A COUNTRY ROAD, WHEN WE
PASSED A DESERTED HOUSE. HE TOLD ME THE ABOVE STORY, AND ANOTHER PERSON WE MET ALONG THE WAY BACK TO OUR GRANDMOTHER'S
PLACE CONFIRMED THE STORY. I JUST ASKED ABOUT IT OUT OF
CURIOSITY WHEN HE ASKED ME FOR THE TIME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; NORTH BRANCH

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

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AN INCUBUS IS A MALE DEMON THAT SUPPOSEDLY SLEEPS
WITH SLEEPING WOMEN, SOMETIMES IMPREGNATING THEM. THE
WOMAN IT HAS SLEPT WITH WILL AWAKEN FEELING VERY WEAK,
AND MAY HAVE TO SPEND SEVERAL DAYS IN BED TO REGAIN
HER STRENGTH.
A SUCCUBUS IS A FEMALE DEMON THAT SLEEPS WITH SLEEPING
MEN. THE MAN THAT THE DEMON SLEPT WITH WILL AWAKEN
FEELING VERY NAUSEOUS, BUT NOT NECESSARILY WEAK. THIS
IS DUE TO THE KISS OF THE SUCCUBUS DRAINING THE LIFE
ENERGY OF THE MALE FROM HIM.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; NORTH BRANCH

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon

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A DEMON HAS TWO FORMS, A SPIRITUAL LIFEFORCE, AND A
MATERIAL FORM, THE ONE THAT IS VISIBLE TO HUMANS. THERE
ARE TWO WAYS THAT A DEMON CAN BE DESTROYED WHILE IT IS
NOT IN HELL.
THE FIRST WAY IS TO DESTROY ITS MATERIAL FORM. THIS
CAN BE DONE WITH ANY AVAILABLE WEAPONS. ONCE THE MATERIAL
FORM IS UNABLE TO FUNCTION, THE DEMON'S LIFEFORCE RETURNS TO
HELL. A MINOR DEMON WILL SUFFER TORMENT FOR NINE YEARS
BEFORE RETURNING TO ITS ORIGINAL STATUS. A GREATER DEMON
WILL BE CONFINED TO A CERTAIN PLACE IN HELL FOR NINE YEARS
AND FURY IN HELL IS UNMATCHED DURING THAT PERIOD.
THE SECOND WAY TO DESTROY A DEMON IS TO DESTROY IT
PERMANENTLY, BOTH MATERIAL FORM AND LIFEFORCE. THIS
CAN BE DONE BY PLUNGING A SWORD OF IRON OR SILVER INTO
THE ENERGY CENTER OF THE DEMON'S BODY. THIS DESTROYS
THE DEMON PERMANENTLY, SHATTERING ITS LIFEFORCE INTO
NONEXISTENCE. THE ENERGY CENTER OF THE BODY IS
LOCATED JUST BELOW THE STERNUM.
A CRUCIFIX WILL WARD OFF A DEMON UNTIL IT RECOVERS
FROM THE INITIAL SHOCK OF SEEING IT. HOLY WATER
CAUSES SEVERE BURNS, AND DISABLES THE DEMON TEMPORARILY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; NORTH BRANCH

Subject headings: 686 Ninths / Nine
BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications

Date learned: 10-00-1987 ; 11-00-1987

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IT IS SAID THAT WHEN A HEAVY RAINSTORM COMES, IT IS ST. PETER
CRYING AT HEAVEN'S GATE. IF YOU WANT THE RAIN TO STOP, YOU
MUST WALK OUT INTO THE RAIN, HOLD OUT YOUR ARMS IN SUPPLICATION,
AND ASK ST. PETER TO STOP THE RAIN.

Submitter comment: I WAS IN THE GARAGE WITH MY GRANDFATHER AND TWO OF HIS
FRIENDS WHEN IT STARTED TO THUNDERSTORM. ONE OF HIS FRIENDS
TOLD ME THE ABOVE STORY. I TRIED IT, BUT IT FAILED TO WORK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; NORTH BRANCH

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- Weather sign or control
BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 00-00-1975

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showing 6 items

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