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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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PASSING ON STAIRWAY

I WAS ONCE WALKING UP THE STAIRWAY, WHEN MY GRANDMOTHER
WAS WALKING DOWN. SUDDENLY, SHE SCREAMED AT ME,
WHILE ALMOST IN A STATE OF TERROR, THAT I COULDN'T
IMAGINE WHAT WAS TROUBLING THE ELDERLY WOMAN, TO GET
BACK DOWN THE STAIRWAY. SHE COULDN'T BELIEVE THAT I
HAD ACTUALLY INTENDED TO CROSS ON THE STAIRWAY, AND
SHE QUICKLY PROCEEDED TO THE BOTTOM, TO VENT HER WRATH
ON ME.
THE STAIRWAY WAS MORE THAN ADEQUATE TO LET US PASS.
I COULDN'T IMAGINE WHAT WAS WRONG. SHE TOLD ME THAT
ANYONE CROSSING ON THE STAIRS WOULD DEFINITELY HAVE
NOTHING BUT BAD LUCK. I TRIED TO MAKE HER SEE HOW
RIDICULOUS THIS WAS, BUT SHE FIRMLY BELIEVED THAT
ANYONE ENTERING A STAIRWAY AFTER ANOTHER PERSON, AND
CROSSING ON THE STAIRWAY WAS IN FOR MUCH BAD LUCK.
THE NEXT BIT OF BAD LUCK THAT BEFELL THE PERSON, SHE
NATURALLY ATTRIBUTED TO PASSING ON THE STAIRS.

Where learned: VERMONT ; SAINT ALBANS

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance

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