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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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I'VE TRIED THIS AND IT SURE WORKS. YOU CAN SAY IT'S SILLY
BUT I KNOW IT WORKS. IF THERE'S AN OWL HOOTING, IT WILL
SURE STOP IF YOU JUST TAKE (A) SHOE AND TURN IT UPSIDE
DOWN OR TURN YOUR DRESS TAIL UP.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; SHELBYVILLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Magic of Speech, Sign, Color

Date learned: 06-17-1972

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DON'T SET OUT PLANTS WHEN THE WIND IS IN THE NORTH.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; SHELBYVILLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Magic of Speech, Sign, Color

Date learned: 06-17-1972

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WHEN THE MOON'S ON ITS END, IT'S READY TO POUR OUT, BUT
WHEN IT'S HALF WAY UP IT HOLDS THE WATER
WHEN IT'S LESS THAN A HALF MOON, THE MOON IS ON ITS EDGE
AND IT WILL RAIN, BUT IF THERE'S A HALF MOON OR MORE,
THERE WILL BE NO RAIN.

Submitter comment: I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT THAT MEANS.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; SHELBYVILLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Moon
BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew

Date learned: 06-17-1972

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WHEN THE WIND IS IN THE NORTH, IT'S NOT AS LIKELY TO RAIN.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; SHELBYVILLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew
BELIEF -- Wind Whirlwind Hurricane Cyclone Tornado

Date learned: 06-17-1972

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SPIT TOBACCO ON FISHING WORMS FOR GOOD LUCK.

Submitter comment: PERFORMED AFTER THE WORM IS PUT ON THE HOOK.

Where learned: TENNESSEE, ASSUMED ; SHELBYVILLE

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
881 Games / Pastimes / Sports
BELIEF -- Mammal

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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IF AN OBSTACLE (TREE, ETC.) COMES BETWEEN YOU AND ANOTHER
WHILE WALKING, IT WILL BE BAD LUCK IF YOU DON'T SAY
"BREAD AND BUTTER."

Where learned: TENNESSEE, ASSUMED ; SHELBYVILLE

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

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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NOW I KNOW THIS TO BE THE TRUTH--IF YOU'RE PREGNANT AND WALK UNDER
THE NECK OF A HORSE, YOU'LL SURE CARRY IT TEN MONTHS. NOW
THAT'S A FACT.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; SHELBYVILLE

Subject headings: 686 First / Once / One / Newness
BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 06-17-1972

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MY MOTHER USED TO SEND ME OUTSIDE TO GET A CAT WHEN THERE WAS
A QUILTING BEE AT OUR HOUSE. THEY WOULD PUT THE CAT IN THE
QUILT, SHAKE 'ER UP AND WHEREVER THE CAT LANDS, THE PERSON
BESIDE THE CAT WILL MARRY NEXT.
THERE WAS AN OLD MAID, OL' MISS STEVENS, AND SHE WAS FINALLY
ASKED TO MARRY. NOW WHEN THAT CAT LANDED BESIDE HER, SHE
WAS TICKLED PINK. SHE ACTED SO FOOLISH JUST BECAUSE THAT
CAT LANDED THERE.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; SHELBYVILLE

James Callow Keyword(s): NEAR NEAREST NEARBY

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 06-17-1972

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NOW IF YOU TAKE A MIRROR ON THE FIRST DAY OF MAY AND SHINE
IT IN A WELL, YOU'LL SEE WHO YOU'LL BE MARRYING.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; SHELBYVILLE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- May 1 May Day
BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 06-17-1972

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WHEN A WOMAN IS PREGNANT, AND SHE'S BIG ALL OVER, IT WILL
BE A GIRL; BUT IF SHE'S JUST BIG OUT FRONT, IT WILL BE
A BOY.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; SHELBYVILLE

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 06-18-1972

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IF YOU DREAM OF EGGS, MONEY IS COMING.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; SHELBYVILLE

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Animal product Egg
BELIEF -- Dreams Food and liquids

Date learned: 03-26-1972

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IF A CHILD'S EYES ARE CLOSE TOGETHER, HE (SHE) WILL
HAVE A MEAN STREAK.

Where learned: TENNESSEE, ASSUMED ; SHELBYVILLE

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Eyes, evil eye

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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TO DETERMINE SEX OF AN UNBORN CHILD: SUSPEND NEEDLE ON A STRING
OVER MOTHER'S STOMACH (ABDOMEN). IF THE NEEDLE REVOLVES
(GOES IN A CIRCLE), THE BABY WILL BE A GIRL. IF THE NEEDLE
SWINGS BACK AND FORTH, THE BABY WILL BE A BOY.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; SHELBYVILLE

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Use of object for determining number of children or sex of unborn P863.3

Date learned: 06-30-1973

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WATER WITCHING

TAKE FORKED PEACH TREE SWITCH. HOLD ENDS OF FORKS IN HANDS.
HOLD MAIN PART IN FRONT OF YOU. SOME FORCE IN THE GROUND
WILL PULL END TOWARDS GROUND. FOR SOME PEOPLE, IT WILL BOB.
WHERE FORCE IS STRONGEST, DIG A WELL. FOR EVERY TIME
THE SWITCH BOBS, IT WILL BE ONE FOOT TO WATER. I HAVE DONE
THIS. I DON'T SAY YOU'LL ALWAYS GET WATER, BUT THERE IS A
FORCE WHICH ATTRACTS THE SWITCH. (BRANCH, TWIG)

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; SHELBYVILLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Use of Object Plant

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THEY SAY IT'S BAD LUCK TO SWEEP OUTSIDE AFTER DARK (MY GRAND-
MOHER SAID), "BUT THAT'S JUST A SUPERSTITION 'CAUSE I'VE
SWEPT AT NIGHT MANY A TIME AND NOTHING BAD EVER HAPPENED
TO ME 'CEPT A SNAKE GOT IN THE HOUSE."
(MAMA) "YOU KNOW, DADDY SAYS THERE'S A MAN ON THE TRAIN
THAT GETS REAL UPSET IF THEY SWEEP OUT THE TRAIN AFTER
DARK--SAYS IT'LL REALLY BRING BAD LUCK."

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; SHELBYVILLE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Home
BELIEF -- Animal
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Bad luck Broom Sweeping

Date learned: 06-17-1972

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YOU KNOW ALSO IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE BAD LUCK TO LOOK IN A
MIRROR BEFORE GOING TO BED.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; SHELBYVILLE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Home
BELIEF -- Bad luck Mirror

Date learned: 06-17-1972

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TALKING ABOUT SUPERSTITION AND SNAKES, YOU KNOW IT'S BAD
LUCK TO BRING A HOE IN THE HOUSE.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; SHELBYVILLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck Tools

Date learned: 06-17-1972

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IF THE LINES ON YOUR PALM MAKE AN "M" YOU WILL BE RICH.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; SHELBYVILLE

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hands, palms, fingernails

Date learned: 06-30-1973

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CUT OR BRUISE BUSHES WHEN THE SIGNS ARE IN THE HEART DURING
MAY OR AUGUST AND THEY WILL DIE.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; SHELBYVILLE

Keyword(s): ALMANAC ASTROLOGY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- May
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- August
BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming

Date learned: 06-30-1973

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