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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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EPIPHANY CEREMONY

EACH YEAR ON THE FEAST OF EPIPHANY, JANUARY 6, THE FATHER
USING A WHITE CHALK, MAKES A CROSS OVER EACH DOORWAY.
NEXT TO THE CROSS HE WRITES THE YEAR. IT'S SYMBOLIC OF
ASKING GOD'S BLESSING ON ANYONE WHO ENTERS THE ROOMS
FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR. THE CROSS, SYMBOLIC OF CHRIST,
REMINDED EACH PERSON THAT GOD MANIFESTED HIMSELF AT THE
BAPTISM OF JESUS IN THE JORDAN RIVER.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; SHAMOKIN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 6 Twelfth Day Epiphany
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Church
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Typical Elements of a Festive Pattern
BELIEF -- Prayer
BELIEF -- Word Letter
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications

Date learned: 00001970S

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UKRAINIAN WOOD CARVING

MANY ARTICLES ARE DECORATIVELY CARVED FROM WOOD BY A
GROUP OF UKRAINIANS CALLED HUTSULS. VARIOUS GEOMETRIC
SHAPES ARE CAREFULLY CHISELED INTO THE WOOD. SOME OF THE
SYMBOLS USED IN EASTER EGG ART ARE USED IN THE WOOD CARVING.
THIS DECORATIVE CARVED WOOD APPEARS AS PLATES, FANCY
WOODEN CONTAINERS WITH COVERS, CANDLESTICKS, AND JEWELRY
SUCH AS BEADS, BROOCHES, AND BRACELETS. SOMETIMES THE
CARVED WOOD IS IMPLANTED WITH COLORFUL GLASS BEADS TO
ACCENTUATE THE VARIOUS SHAPES AND DESIGNS.

Submitter comment: MANY UKRAINIAN-AMERICAN FAMILIES REQUEST THESE ITEMS
FROM FAMILY MEMBERS STILL IN THE UKRAINE. THEY ADD THESE
ITEMS TO THEIR OWN COLLECTIONS OR GIVE THEM AS GIFTS FOR
VERY SPECIAL OCCASIONS.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; SHAMOKIN

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Wood Gourd

Date learned: 00001960S

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THE JERSEY DEVIL

"MY DAD LIVED IN NEW JERSEY ON A FARM. HE SAID THAT EVERY
TIME AFTER IT RAINED, YOU COULD SEE STRANGE FEET AND TAIL
MARKS IN THE MUD. MANY PEOPLE SAW THIS AND WERE BECOMING
WORRIED ABOUT WHAT COULD BE MAKING THESE MARKS. ONE NIGHT
MANY OF THE FARMSMEN AND MY DAD DECIDED TO WAIT FOR THIS
CREATURE. NO ONE HAD EVER SEEN THIS ANIMAL AND IT ONLY
CAME OUT IN THE EARLY MORNING AFTER IT RAINED. SO ALL OF
THE MEN WENT OUT IN THE MORNING AND WAITED FOR THE ANIMAL
BY THE SWAMP. ONE MAN LEFT TO GO TO THE BATHROOM. HE WAS
GONE FOR A LONG TIME, SO ANOTHER MAN WENT TO LOOK FOR HIM.
WHEN HE FOUND THE MAN, HE WAS LAYING ON THE GROUND
UNCONSCIOUS. WHEN THE MAN RECOVERED, HE SAID THAT THE
"JERSEY DEVIL" HIT HIM ON THE HEAD WITH HIS HAND. HE SAID
THAT THE DEVIL HAD A VERY UGLY MAN'S FACE, HORNS ON THE
TOP OF HIS HEAD, A MAN'S BODY DOWN TO HIS WAIST, THE REST OF
HIM WAS A SNAKE'S BODY EXCEPT FOR TWO HUMAN LEGS. THEY
ARE STILL LOOKING FOR THIS DEVIL."

Submitter comment: INFORMANT SAID THAT YOU CAN CALL THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
AND THEY WILL TELL YOU THE STORY ABOUT THE "JERSEY DEVIL."

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; SHAMOKIN

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Devil Demon

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LADY IN CEMETERY

"THIS HAPPENED IN THE SHAMOKIN CEMETERY. MY BROTHERS GAVE
A FEAR TEST TO A FRIEND OF THEIRS NAMED ADAM. THEY
TOLD HIM TO WALK ALONG THE CEMETERY TO SEE HOW BRAVE HE IS.
MY BROTHERS WENT WITH HIM FOR PROOF. WHEN THEY WERE NEXT
TO THE CEMETERY, THEY SAW A WHITE GHOST SHAPED LIKE A LADY
FLOATING NEAR THEM. ADAM SAW IT FIRST AND JUST FROZE. MY
BROTHERS SAID THAT SHE FLOATED THROUGH THE FENCE. THEN SHE
FLOATED TO A GRAVE AND SUNK DOWN INTO IT. THE THREE OF THEM
RAN RIGHT HOME."

Submitter comment: INFORMANT SAID THAT YEARS LATER WHEN SHE WENT BACK HOME
FOR A VISIT, SHE VISITED ADAM. HE SAID THAT THE LADY GHOST
HAUNTED HIM FOR MANY YEARS AFTER THE NIGHT OF HIS FEAR TEST.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; SHAMOKIN

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

Date learned: 00001937CA

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GHOST STORY

"A LITTLE BOY GOT KILLED BY A TRAIN WHEN HE WAS PLAYING
ON SOME RAILROAD TRACKS. HE HAD BEEN TOLD NOT TO PLAY
ON THE TRACKS. THE TRAIN HIT HIM REAL HARD AND PULLED HIM
FOR A REAL LONG WAY. THE TRAIN CUT HIS BODY UP INTO
HUNDREDS OF PIECES. HIS MOM AND DAD WENT UP AND DOWN THE
TRACKS PICKING UP HIS BODY PARTS. IF YOU LISTEN AT NIGHT
AT THE TIME THE BOY WAS KILLED, YOU CAN HEAR HIM CALLING
TO HIS MOM AND DAD. HE SAYS,'MOMMY, HERE'S A PIECE OF ME.
AND HERE'S ANOTHER PIECE OF ME.'"

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; SHAMOKIN

Keyword(s): DISOBEYED PARENTS

James Callow Keyword(s): DISMEMBERMENT BY MISFORTUNATE ACCIDENT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Body part Senses

Date learned: 00001934CA

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GHOST STORY

"MY DAD HAD BEEN DEAD FOR 15 YEARS AND THEN CAME AND
VISITED ME. WHEN I WAS A LITLE GIRL HE USED TO WAKE ME UP
BY PULLING MY TOES. SO, WHEN HE VISITED ME FROM THE GRAVE,
HE PULLED MY TOE TO WAKE ME UP. HE SAID THAT HE CAME TO
MAKE SURE THAT I WAS HAPPY AND THAT IF I WASN'T, I COULD
GO BACK WITH HIM."

Submitter comment: INFORMANT SAYS THAT THIS IS TRUE.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; SHAMOKIN

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 00001965CA

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showing 6 items

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