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Full text of "Folk-lore from Adams county, Illinois"

LI E) RAR.Y 

OF THE 

U N I VLRSITY 

or ILLINOIS 



398.3 

H994f 
cop. 3 



111. Hist. Survey 






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7 



MEMOIRS 

OF THE 

ALMA EGAN HYATT FOUNDATION 



OFFICERS 

Harry M. Hyatt, Director. 

George Brokaw Compton, Secretary. 

John A. F. Maynard, Librarian. 

EDITORS 

Samuel A. B. Mercer, "Egyptian Religion," University of Toronto, Toronto, 

Canada. 
Sylvain Grebaut, "Acthiopica," Univcrsite Catliolique de Paris, Paris, France. 
Frans Blom, "Maya Research," Tulane University, New Orleans, La., U. S. A. 

HONORARY ASSOCIATES 

His Excellency Blatin Gheta Heroui 

Foreign Minister to His Imperial Majesty's Government, Addis-Abefxi, Ethiopia. 

The Honorable and Reverend H. J. Cody, D. D., LL. D. 

President of the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. 

ASSOCIATES 

Raoul Allier, Doyen, Faculte Libre de Theologie Protestante, Paris, France. 
Jean Capart, Conservateur en Chef, Musees Royaux d'Art et d'Histoire, Brussels, 

Belgium. 
C. T. Currelly, Director, The Royal Ontario Museum of Archaeology, Toronto, 

Canada. 
Mgr. R. Graffin, Directeur General de la Societe Anti-esctavagiste de France, 

Paris, France. 
Henry Guppy, Librarian, The John Rylands Library, Manchester, England. 
J. H. Holwerda, Directeur, Rijks-Museum van Oudheden, Leiden, Holland. 
Julian Morgenstern, President, Hebreiv Union College, Cincinnati, U. S. A. 
Frederik Poulsen, Direktor, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, Denmark. 
Giinther Roeder, Direktor, Pelisaetts- Museum, Hildesheim, Germany. 
Mgr. Eug. Tisserant, Pro-praefecttcs, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Vatican 

City. 

FELLOWS 

George A. Barton (History of Religion), University of Pennsylvania, Phila- 
delphia, U. S. A. 

G. S. Brett (Philosophy), University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. 

L'Abbe Henri Breuil (Pre-History), Colldge de France, Paris, France. 

M. Cohen (Hamito-Semitic Languages), Ecole dcs Langues Oricntalcs vivantes, 
Paris, France. 

W. E. Crum (Coptic), Bath, England. 

L'Abbe Etienne Drioton (Egyptologist), Musee dii Louvre, Paris, France. 

Senatore I. Guidi (Ethiopic), Rome, Italy. 

Yrjo Hirn (Aesthetics), Uniz/crsitdt-Hclsingfors, Helsingfors, Finland. 

Fritz Hommel (Orientalist), Universitdt-Miinchen, Munich, Germany. 

B. Hrozny (Hittite), Karlova Universita, Prague, Czechoslovakia. 

C. Snouck Hurgronje (Arabic), Rijks-Universiteit, Leiden, Holland. 
T. A. Joyce (Americanist), British Museum, London, England. 

A. V. Kidder (Americanist), Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, 

I). C, U. S. A. 
Stephen Langdon (Assyriology), Oxford University, Oxford, England. 
Enno Littmann (Semitic Languages), Universitdt-Tiibingen, Tiibingen, Germany. 
Hugo Obermaier (Anthropology), Universidad de Madrid, Madrid, Spain. 
Sir W. M. Flinders Petrie (Archaeology). London University, London, England. 
Hermann Ranke (lilgyptology), Universitdt-Heidelbcrg, Heidelberg, Germany. 
N. Rhodokanakis (South Arabian Inscriptions), Universitdt-Gras, Graz, Austria. 
F. Wilhelm Schmidt (Ethnology), Universitdt-Wien, Vienna, Austria. 
C. C. Torrey (Old Testament), Vale University, New Haven, Conn., U. S. A. 
Alfred M. Tozzer (Americanist), Peabody Museum and Harvard University, 

Caml)ridge, Ma.ss., U. S. A. 
Arthur Waley (Sinology), London, England. 



FOLK-LORE 

FROM 

ADAMS COUNTY ILLINOIS 

BY 

Harry Middleton Hyatt 

M. A. (OxoN.) D. D. 

Director of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

Officter d'Academie Francaise 

Officier de l'Ordre de la Couronne Royale de Belgique 




MEMOIRS 

OF THE ALMA EGAN HYATT FOUNDATION new york 

1935 




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CONTENTS 



Weather 1 -799 

Plants and Planting- in General 800-853 

Clover, Grass, Mushrooms, Weeds 854-891 

Flowers 892-963 

Vegetables 964- 1121 

Fruits and Berries 1122-1210 

Corn, Oats, Wheat 1211-1245 

Trees, Shrubbery, Vines 1246-1301 

Aquatic Life 1302-1313 

Insect Life 1314-1405 

Spiders 1406-1486 

Birds 1487-1579 

Frogs, Toads, Salamanders, Snakes, Turtles 1580-1643 

Poultry and Eggs 1644-1820 

Animals in General 1821-1840 

Bats 1841-1847 

Moles 1848-1852 

Rodents 1853-1892 

Cats 1893-2015 

Dogs 2016-2079 

Sheep 2080-2085 

Hogs 2086-21 13 

Cows 2114-2187 

Horses and Mules 2188-2272 

Horseshoes and Muleshoes 2273-2305 

Prospects for Children 2306-2348 

Determination of Sex 2349-2385 

Gestation 2386-24 1 7 

Birthmarks 2418-2501 

Parturition 2502-2525 

Time of Birth 2526-2575 

Physical Characteristics of Babies 2576-2630 

Lactation and Weaning 2631-2670 

Dentition 2671-2700 

Care of Infants 2701-2814 

Behavior of Infants 2815-2854 

Human Body in General 2855-2882 

Head, Chin, Face, Forehead, Neck 2883-2896 

Hair, Combing, Comb 2897-3014 



X Contents 

Mouth, Lips, Tongue - -- 3015-3025 

Teeth -- 3026-3074 

Crying, Laughing, Spitting-, Yawning. 3075-3090 

Singing 3091-3115 

Speaking, Calling, Swearing, Lying, Brag^ng. 3116-3141 

Ears - - 3142-3180 

Eyes - - - 3181-3239 

Nose - 3240-3276 

Sneezing 3277-3310 

Arms, Back, Shoulders 3311-3325 

Hands 3226-3375 

Fingers and Finger-nails 3376-3419 

StcttTiach, Thighs, Knees, Legs, Sitting 3420-3440 

Feet, Toes, Toe-nails 3441-3470 

Shoes, Shoe Strings, Stockings, Garters 3471-3563 

Clothes 3564-3675 

Sewing, Needles, Scissors 3676-3737 

Pins, Hairpins, Safety Pins, Buttons 3738-3827 

Rings, Birthstones, Personal Ornaments 3828-3852 

Beauty 3853-3887 

Bathing and Towels 3888-3901 

Freckles, Blackheads, Pimples 3902-3929 

Moles and Wens 3930-3966 

Corns and Bunions 3967-4009 

Warts 4010-4263 

Sickness 4264-4306 

Ailments of Infancy and Childhood: 

Bed - wetting, Cholera Infantum, Colic, Croup, 

Spasm, Thrush, Whooping Cough, Worms 4307-4467 

Amputations and Operations 4468-4474 

Asthma, Bronchitis, Catarrh, Hay Fever 4475-4500 

Bites and Stings . 4501-4542 

Bladder Trouble, Diabetes, Kidney Afflictions 4543-4572 

Blood Troubles, Blood Poisoning, Bleeding, Hemorrhage, 

Cuts 4573-4632 

Blister, Chafing, Itch, Prickly Heat 4633-4656 

Bowel Trouble, Constijxition, Diarrhea, Peritonitis 4657-4711 

Backache, Bedsore, Bruise, Burn, Felon, Inflammation, 
Pain, Side-ache, Sore, Sore Lip, Sore Mouth, Splin- 
ter, StifT Neck, Swelling, Lacerated Vein, Whitlow 4712-4815 

Choking and Swallowing 4816-4824 

Chills 4825-4850 

Cold, Cough, Diphtheria, Influenza, Sore Throat 4851-4959 



Contents 



Earache and Deafness 

Eczema, Erysipelas, Rash. Scrofula, Skin Disease, Tetter 

Eye Trouble, Sight, Sty 

Female Ailments 

Fever, Malaria, Measles, Smallpox, T}^hoid Fever 

Foot and Hand Troubles: 

Chapping, Cramps, Swellings, Frostbite, Nail Wounds 

Goitre and Mumps 

Gout, Neuralgia, Neuritis, Rheumatism 

Headache 

Hiccough 

Hysterics, Nervous Troubles, Shingles, St. Vitus Dance 

Lung Trouble and Pneumonia 

Nosebleed 

Piles and Rectal Trouble 

Poisoning and Poison Ivy 

Stomach Troubles 

Toothache 

Ulcer, Tumor, Carbuncle, Cancer, Boil, Abscess 

Various Ailments: 

Appendicitis, Consumption, Epilepsy, Fainting, 
Heart Trouble, Hives, Insanity, Jaundice, Kernel, 
Paralysis, Seasickness, Trainsickness, Sprain, Social 

Disease, Sunstroke, Swimming Cramps 

Vomiting, Liniment, Salve 

Snoring, Sleeptalking, Sleepwalking 

Night Sweat 

Nightmare 

Dreams 

Wishes 

Signs of Love 

When You Will See Your Beau 

What Your Sweetheart Is Doing 

Whether You Are Loved. 

Losing Lover or Husband 

Prospects for Securing Lover or Husband 

Discovering Future Lover or Husband 

Future Married Mate: 

Character, Disposition. Financial Condition, Occupa- 
tion, Physical Qualities 

Engagement 



4960-4980 
4981-5012 
5013-5026 
5027-5101 
5102-5138 
5139-5189 

5190-5271 

5272-5302 
5303-5384 
5385-5416 
5417-5450 
5451-5472 
5474-5489 
5490-5553 
5554-5577 
5578-5596 
5597-5623 
5624-5655 
5656-5714 



5715-5786 
5787-5797 
5798-5876 
5877-5892 
5893-5905 
5906-5917 
5918-6459 
6460-6646 
6647-6660 
6661-6692 
6693-6713 
6714-6757 
6758-6780 
6781-6982 
6983-7155 



7156-7211 
7212-7219 



xii Contents 

Time of Wedcling.. 7220-7249 

Weather at tlie Wedding..... 7250-7265 

Bridal Attire - 7266-7304 

The Wedding 7305-7395 

Married Life _ 7396-7412 

House and Environs 7413-7445 

Tools 7446-7473 

Furniture and Furnishings 7474-7574 

Umbrella 7575-7585 

Sliarp Instruments 7586-7603 

Knives, Forks, Spoons 7604-7697 

Salt and Pepper 7698-7742 

Eating and Drinking 7743-7880 

Preparation of Food and Drink: 

Fire, Cooking, Baking, Churning, Sauerkraut Mak- 
ing, Wine Making 7881-7980 

Soap Making, Cleaning Dishes, Dish Rag, Garbage, Re- 
moving Ashes, Scrubbing, Washing Clothes, Iron- 
ing, Bed Making 7981-8065 

Sweeping and Brooms 8066-8145 

Moving 8146-8209 

Company 8210-8238 

Walking Forth, Stepping Over Persons, Stumbling 8239-8342 

Journeys 8343-8364 

Forgetting, Retracing One's Steps 8365-8426 

Letters and Stamps 8427-8462 

Finding Lost or Stolen Articles 8463-8477 

Work, Farming, Mining, Acting 8478-8532 

Buying, Selling, Paying 8533-8547 

Money 8548-8624 

Law 8625-8633 

Numbers 8634-8659 

Games, Winning, Losing 8660-8673 

Baseball 8674-8726 

Craps 8727-8775 

Gambling 8776-8834 

Horse Racing 8835-8866 

Playing Cards 8867-8944 

Hunting 8945-8968 

Fishing _ 8%9-9051 

Fortune Telling ._ _ 9052-9059 

Hoodoo and Witchcraft : 

Witches, Two-headed Niggers, Hoodoo Women, 



Contents xiii 

Black Cat Lucky Bone 9060-9107 

Methods of Doing Evil 9108-9274 

Bewitched Animals 9275-9308 

Wreaths 9309-9354 

In Love and Marriage 9355-9503 

Protective Measures, Removing the Spell 9504-9682 

Death Warnings 9683-10198 

The Dying 10199-10214 

Between Death and Burial 10215-10288 

Funeral, Cemetery, Graves 10289-10369 

Second Sight 10370-10400 

Spirits and Ghosts 10401-10565 

Miscellaneous 1 0566- 1 07 1 

Rhymes - 10711-10825 

Rimed Riddles 10826-10949 



PREFACE 



Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet passing down the Mississippi 
River in 1673 were the first white men to see the present site of Quincy. 
Permanent settlers, however, did not appear until 1820 and other 
pioneers followed slowly. At the county's formation five years later it 
contained merely seventy inhabitants. But this figure grew rapidly dur- 
ing the next decade which brought so many immigrants into the Middle 
West. These people who entered the country' between 1820-1840 came 
from every American State. The original European ancestry was varied. 
It included in a descending order persons of British (English, Scotch- 
Irish or Ulster, Scotch), German, Dutch, French (Huguenot), Celtic 
Irish and Scandinavian descent. Subsequent foreign immigration, pro- 
bably reaching its peak before 1870, increased the German and Celtic 
Irish proportions ; raising the former to first and the latter to second or 
third place on the list. Excepting a few freed or escaped slaves, Negroes 
arrived after the Civil War. Their number has remained about two 
thousand. Greeks, Italians and Jews scarcely exceed the hundred mark, 
are new-comers, and have not been approached for folk-lore.* The 
essential composition of the population has changed little within the last 
sixty or seventy years. 

Bestowing an Old World origin upon each folk-lore item would be 
an impossible task. Some of the ordinary beliefs, like horseshoes, pins 
and weather-lore, constitute common property; while others, baseball 
and craps for instance, are indigenous to the United States. It is pos- 
sible, notwithstanding, to label much of the material ; but this has been 
done only with hoodoo and witchcraft sayings. 

An attempt was made to secure real experiences or stories rather 
than bald statements and, excluding phonetic spelling, those obtained 
have been recorded literally without corrections. Quotation marks en- 
close this material. Omission of Negro dialect means tliat colored folk 
speak the same language as their white neighbors. They do possess, 
nevertheless, a small vocabulary peculiar to themselves and examples 
frequently occur in the text. Even so, such tenns are not known by all 
Negroes. Occasionally an informant has written his contribution. These 
will be so indicated. 



* Two or three items given as Jewish were also known to se\'eral non-Jewish 
informants. Lore definitely Jewish was excluded. The same is true of the three 
or four Indian sayings. 



xvi Preface 

The principles observed in fiekl work have been two, knowing peo])le 
intimately and interviewing thein personally. To describe this unceasing 
process, of establishing contacts, acquiring credentials from one person 
to another, and solving problems generally, is beyond either the purpose 
or the compass of a preface. 

At least ninety-five percent of the present collection was gathered 
within the ten square miles comprising Quincy and its immediate envi- 
rons. Considering these narrow geographical limits, the nature of some 
of the items collected — the author would be ungracious towards his 
native land and unfair to the reader's perspective, if he failed, to say 
that Adams County is not a benighted community. 

To the hundreds of individuals whose friendliness and co-operation 
have been prerequisites for this volume, I offer grateful acknowledg- 
ments. The Trustees of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation must be 
thanked, not only for the opportunity of publication, but also because 
they have pennitted absences from official duties during the last two 
years so that a work previously begun might be concluded. In actual 
collecting I am endebted to my niece, Mrs. John Andrew Leventis ; 
and particularly to my sister, Mrs. Minnie Hyatt Small who laboring 
with me and separately has rendered inestimable assistance. 



WEATHER 

1. During warm weather, when the air is moist and no breeze stirs, 
expect a thimderstonn. 

2. Animals huddhng together in the pasture is a sign of rain. 

3. There will be a change in the weather, if animals play and run 
about. 

4. If animals are covered with thin cm- light fur in the autumn, it 
means a mild winter. 

5. When in the fall the fur of animals is thick or heavy, look for 
a cold winter. 

6. Animals always prepare for cold weather by making warm nests. 

7. The v.'inter v»-ill be cold, if animals build their beds early in the 
autumn. 

8. To kill (or to step on) an ant will bring rain. 

9. Tread on an ant hill and you will cause a rain. 

10. It indicates rain, if ants travel in a straight line. 

11. If ants are very active, rain is coming. 

12. Open ant hills mean rain. 

13. As soon as ants start to tear up the ground, you may know that 
summer has arrived. 

14. If ants in the beginning of July build up the piles around the 
entrances to their nests, they are enlarging the tunnels in expecta- 
tion of an early and severe winter. 

15. Unusually warm weather during the first week of August in- 
dicates a white winter. 

16. It always rains after you have washed and polished your auto- 
mobile. 

17. When bats squeak loudly and continuously and try to enter the 
house, rain may be expected. 

18. An abundance of beechnuts signifies an open winter. 

19. If more bees enter than leave a hive, rain will fall soon, because 
a bee is never caught in a shower. 

20. Bees remaining near a hive foretell rain. 

21. The weather is going to be fair, if bees fly a long distance from 
their hives. 

22. Prepare for cold and rainy weather, when bees travel a short 
distance from their hives. 

23. If bees buzz about in March, a cold spell is approaching. 

24. Bushes filled with berries in the autumn presage a hard winter. 



Monoirs uf the Aluio Iigan Hyatt Fuiiiidation 

25. It siynifies a cokl winter, to have beavers make a kir<;e lodge in 
the falk 

26. When a small "house" is buik by beavers, the winter will be mild. 

27. If a large numljer of little birds dust themselves, it will storm 
within three days. 

28. Birds oil their feathers before a rain. 

29. The flying of birds close to the ground betokens rain. 

30. Rain can be expected, if birds eat a great amount of food in the 
morning. 

31. If birds sing during a rain, fair weather is at hand. 

32. When birds begin to fly north, spring has come. 

33. The mating of birds in August forecasts a late fall. 

34. To hear a spring bird call late in winter is a sign that the weather 
will turn colder. 

35. If blackberries ripen late and slowly, the winter will be long and 
cold. 

36. If blackbirds bunch together in cornfields, they are preparing for 
wintry weather. 

37. If blackbirds gather in multitudes on the ground, snow is near. 

38. To see a bluebird is an indication that the following day will be 
fair. 

39. The first appearance of a bluebird is a harbinger of spring. 

40. The male blue jay has a peculiar note which it uses only before 
a storm. 

41. Blue jays become excited and call continually before a rain. 

42. A broken bone will ache before a rain. 

43. A person with rheumatism will have rheumatic pains before a 

rain. "When I was a boy, a German teacher (in a Quincy 

parochial school) asked, 'Where do you get the rains?' A boy got 
up and said, 'From grandma's bones, because every time grand- 
ma's bones ache, it rains'. " 

44. An aching bone portends stormy weather. 

45. It will rain, if you burn brush. 

46. I f buffaloes go into a stampede, you may expect a storm. 

47. Look for immediate cold weather, when you see autumnal but- 
terflies. 

48. Yellow butterflies in the autumn indicate a frost within ten days 
that will tint the leaves with the same color. 

49. An early api>earance of butterflies in the spring is followed by 
fine weather. 

50. We shall have rain, if camphor rises in the bottle. 

51. When a camphor bottle is cloudy, there will be a storm. 

52. A dampish feeling in the carpet on the floor means a rain. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 3 

53. If you kick up a rug several times, rain is approaching. 

54. A cat eating grass is an omen of rain. 

55. Rain will follow the sneezing of a cat. 

56. If a cat sneezes while its head lies on the floor, you may expect 
rain. 

57. Look for rain, when a cat begins to wash its face. 

58. If a cat washes its face round the ears, rain is coming. 

59. It is the sign of rain, when a cat is seen lying on its back. 

60. If a cat lies sleeping in front of a fire and has its nose turned 
upward, you will soon see rain. 

61. Expect high winds and a storm when a cat is frislcy and dashes 
about wildly. 

62. A cat will begin to play and run up trees before a big windstorm. 

63. If a cat sits with its back to the fire, you may look for cold 
weather. 

64. A cat basking in a February sun will go to the stove in March. 

65. Caterpillars seen late in the autumn signify a very mild winter. 

66. A large number of caterpillars in the autumn is the sign of a cold 
winter. 

67. If caterpillars are so numerous in the autumn that they drop down 
in bunches from trees and bushes, look for an open winter. 

68. The winter will be light, if caterpillars in the fall are light-colored. 

69. Dark -colored caterpillars in the autumn indicate a harsh winter. 

70. There will be a very cold winter, if caterpillars in the fall are 
entirely yellow. 

71. If caterpillars are wholly black in the autumn, expect a mild 
winter. 

72. If an autumnal caterpillar has a little yellow on the nose, it is a 
sign of cold weather in the early part of winter. 

72>. When caterpillars during the autumn are dark brown in the center 
of the body and yellow at each end, the middle of the winter will 
be very cold. 

74. A yellow stripe running down the central part of a caterpillar's 
body foretells cold weather in the middle part of winter. 

75. If a catei^p'illar's tail has only a small amount of yellow, all of the 
cold weather will appear late in winter. 

76. If a chicken oils its feathers, rain is coming soon. 

77. When chickens pick up little stones, it will rain. 

78. Chickens refusing to come out of their coops in the morning is 
a sign of rain. 

79. To see a covey of chickens, especially in the morning, staying 
close together near a bush or under a tree as if trying to hide, 
means an approaching storm. 



Memoirs of tin' . llnia Jujaii Hyatt I'oundation 

80. If chicken-. liiuKHc iMgelhcr outside the henhouse instc;i>l of goin^;^^ 
to r<jost, expect rain. 

81. "If chicken> \\A\ in the .sand. 
Rain is at hand." 

82. To have chickens seek sheher is a sign of rain. 

83. The rain will continue all day. if chickens do not seek slielter. 

84. If chickens remain out in the rain, it is only a .shower. 

85. When chickens seek shelter while it is raining, the rain will 
soon stop. 

86. If chickens refuse to go out during a rain, it will soon clear off. 

87. If chickens sing in a rain, exjiect fair weather soon. 

88. To have chickens lly upon something and pick their feathers is 
a sign that the rain is over. . 

89. Chickens roosting high indicate that the next day will be fair. 

90. When chickens roost low. the following day will be stormy. 

91. A hard winter may be predicted, if chickens mcjult in August. 

92. It is a sign of a light winter, when chickens shed feathers in 
October. 

93. Heavy feathers ow chickens foreshow heavy weather during the 
winter. 

94. It is a prophesy of a mild winter, if you can easily remcA'e the 
inside of a chicken gizzard. 

95. If the inside of a chicken gizzard cannot be removed readily, look 
for a cold winter. 

96. When chickens seek high perches in winter, the weather will 
turn colder. 

97. The rooster warns chickens, if it is going to rain. 

98. .'\ crowing rooster means rain. 

99. It is a sign of falling weather to have a cock crow vdieu going 
to roost. 

100. If a cock goes to roost crowing, you can look for rain before 
morning. 

101. "If a cock goes crowing to bed, 
It will rise v.-itb. a watery head." 

102. There will be rain, if a ctxrk crows after he has gone to roost. 

103. Expect bad weather when a cock crows after going to roost. 

104. .\ rooster crowing about eight o'clock at night means rain for 
the following day. 

105. A change of weather is imminent, if a rooster crows about nine 
o"cU>ck at night. 

loo. It will turn colder, if a rooster starts to crow about nine o'ckKk 
at night. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 5 

107. To hear a rooster crowing about ten o'clock at night means a 
change of weather. 

108. The crowing of a rooster after dark is the sign of rain (or change 
of weather) before morning. 

109. There will be rain before morning, if a rooster crows between 
nightfall and midnight. 

110. Rain may be expected soon, if a rooster begins to crow before 
midnight. 

111. You may look for bad weather, if a rooster crows at midnight. 

112. "A rooster crowing in the morning 
Is a sailor's warning. 

If he crows at night, 
It is a sailors delight." 

113. A change of weather is indicated, if a rooster crows before twelve 
o'clock noon. 

114. If you hear a rooster crowing during a morning rain, the after- 
noon will be fair. 

115. The crowing of a rooster while it is raining means that the skies 
will soon clear. 

116. If a rooster crows during a rainstorm, a long dry spell is ap- 
proaching. 

117. When a rooster sits on a fence and crows very early in the morn- 
ing, it will rain before breakfast. 

118. If a rooster crows early in the morning while sitting on a fence, 
look for rain that day. 

119. It is an omen of rain, if a rooster jumps upon a fence or gate- 
post and crows. 

120. A rooster crowing on a fence is the sign of a nice day. 

121. You can expect foul weather, if a rooster crows while sitting on 
the ground. 

122. To discover the dry and wet months of the year: "Take twelve 
onions all the same size. Then cut a hole in the top of each onion. 
Then fill each top with the same amount of salt. Then lay each 
onion in a straight row on a table. You must lay them the way 
the sun rises and sets. You must do this on Christmas Eve be- 
tween eleven and twelve, and don't let anyone go near the table 
after you have put them there. Get up on Christmas morning 
early and go to the onions and say, 'J^^iuary, February, March, 

April' and so on. Then look at each onion. Some onions 

will have water running out of them and some will be dry. The 
onions that have water running out of them will be wet months 
and the dry onions dry months for the coming year." Written 
contribution. 



i Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

123. A warm Christmas means a cold Easter. 

124. You can always tell when it is going to rain, for your clothes 
will not take starch. 

125. If the clouds open before seven and close afterward, it will rain 
before eleven. 

126. "Open and shet 
Is a sign of wet." 

127. Buttermilk clouds are followed by a rain. 

128. A golden appearance in clouds signifies fair weather. 

129. Pink clouds in the west at evening are an indication of rain. 

130. The gathering in the west of spotted clouds which look like a 
flock of sheep indicates rain inside of twenty-four hours. 

131. Clouds with streamers pointing upward foretell rain. 

132. White drift clouds, called "sheep," are a sign of rain. 

133. If the weather is cloudy on Monday, it will be cloudy on two 
more days that week. 

134. When clover leaves turn up and their whitish undersides can be 
seen, expect rain. 

135. The ripening of the top cocklebur on the bush is the sign of a 
very cold winter. 

136. If coffee bubbles cling to the side of the cup instead of floating 
on the center, you may look for rain. 

137. The twisting up of corn blades means rain. 

138. If the texture of corn husks is thick, the winter will be cold. 

139. A thin and meager texture in corn husks indicates an open winter. 

140. One may look for a severe winter, if the com husk tightly encloses 
and entirely conceals the ear. 

141. If the corn husk loosely enfolds the ear and the tip of the ear 
protrudes from the husk, expect a light winter. 

142. There will be a cold winter, if corn silk is thick and abundant. 

143. We shall have a mild winter when corn silk is thin and scanty. 

144. Red com is followed by a hard winter. 

145. When corns are more painful than usual, look for rain. 

146. An itching corn is the sign of rain. 

147. If corns hurt, a thunderstorm is near. 

148. Rain may be expected, if the undersides of the leaves of a cotton- 
wood tree are turned upw'ard. 

149. If cows sniff, rain is in the air. 

150. If cattle raise their heads and look up into the air, a storm is 
brewing. 

151. A considerable amount of lowing among cattle is the sign of rain. 

152. "When a cow tries to scratch its ear, 
It's the sign that rain is very near." 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 7 

153. It will rain soon, if a cow thumps her ribs with her tail. 

154. When a cow raises her tail over her back and runs, a storm is 
at hand. 

155. Rain will come before night, if cattle lie down in the barnyard 
during the morning. 

156. Cows refusing to go to the pasture, when they are turned loose 
in the morning, mean rain before night. 

157. If a calf romps around in a playful mood, look for falling weather. 

158. There will be a change of weather, if cattle are restless and fight 
each other. 

159. A storm is threatening, if cattle huddle in groups when turned 
out to graze. 

160. If cattle crowd together, a bad storm is approaching. 

161. Cows always return home before a storm. 

162. If cows go home in the middle of the day, there will be a severe 
storm. 

163. Cattle staying close together in the autumn is the sign of a cold 
winter. 

164. If cattle in winter come running from the pasture, there is going 
to be a blizzard within twenty-four hours. 

165. Rain will fall before long, if a large number of crabs (crawfish) 
leave the water and remain on land. 

166. Rain comes after a cricket has been killed (or stepped on). 

167. If you kill a cricket, expect rain next day. 

168. When you hear crickets chirping, they are calling for rain. 

169. If crickets chirp louder and more than usual, it will rain. 

170. A crow crying in the morning foretells fair weather for the day. 

171. To see a crow flying by itself means a bad storm. 

172. A crow flying alone warns you of approaching rain. 

173. A pair of flying crows indicates that we will have a mild storm. 

174. Three crows are a sign of rain. 

175. To see a large flock of crows means a change of weather. 

176. If crows caw loudly and incessantly, we shall have rain. 

177. Dandelion blossoms always close just before a rain. 

178. The weather for the first three days of December determines the 
weather of the three winter months. 

179. No dew on the grass in the morning is a sign of rain. 

180. A heavy dew in the morning indicates that it will not rain that day. 

181. "When dew is on the grass. 
Rain will never come to pass." 

182. A light dew on the ground in the morning will be followed by rain. 

183. If there is no dew for three successive mornings, it will rain. 



8 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

IS-k 'Ihree licavy clews on three mornings in succession are a sign of 
rain. 

185. Three successive nights of dew are followed by a hard rain. 

186. Dew on the grass at night indicates that next day will be fair. 

187. No dew on the grass at night forebodes bad weather for the 
following day. 

188. You may look for rain, if you see a dog eating grass. 

\Sf^. If a dog while chewing grass changes his position frequently, 
expect rain. 

190. If a (log howls while company is leaving your house, prepare for 
rain. 

191. When a dog rolls on the ground, you can look for a change of 
weather. 

192. A dog rolling on his back foretells the approach of rain. 

193. If your dog is frisky and darts around all day, you may expect 
high winds and a storm. 

194. A dog howling toward the moon in winter is the sign of snow. 

195. There will be rain, if in fair weather a door sticks to its frame 
and is difficult to open. 

196. If doves coo constantly and are more restless than usual, look for 
a change in the weather. 

197. To hear a dove cooing in a tree means rain inside of three days. 

198. When a duck flaps its wings rei>eatedly, one may expect rain. 

199. An unusually loud quacking by ducks is the sign of rain. 

200. W^ild ducks flying low indicate falling weather. 

201. If wild ducks fly high, the weather will be clear. 

202. If wild ducks fly south early in the autumn, there wall be an early 
winter. 

203. Winter will come late, if wild ducks do not go south until late 
autumn. 

204. It is going to rain, if you see dust whirling along the street. 

205. An early Easter means an early spring. 

206. A late Easter is the sign of a late spring. 

207. Foul weather on Easter will continue throughout the forty days 
until Ascension Day. 

208. If an elephant puts its trunk straight up in the air and then hauls 
it back, and does this repeatedly, stormy weather is coming ; for 
an elephant can smell an approaching storm. 

209. Fair weather on the three Ember Days will be followed by three 
months of good weather. 

210. If the weather of the three Ember Days is rainy, the three follow- 
ing months will be wet. 

211. The cold days of February will be wami days in March. 



Folk-Lorc from Adams County Illinois 9 

212. Whatever day is warm in February will be cold in March. 

213. When a person's feet hurt, it is the sign of rain. 

214. If frostbitten feet itch, you may look for rain. 

215. The itching of frostbitten feet is the sign of snow. 

216. If a fire sighs, very cold weather is coming. 

217. There will be cold weather, if a fire in the stove flutters. 

218. Firelight reflected on the woodwork of a room foretells the 
approach of cold weather. 

219. A spitting fire is the sign of snowy weather. 

220. If a fire crackles gently like the falling of hard granular snow, 
you will soon see a snowstorm of this type. 

221. If fish flop up in the water, you can expect rain. 

222. A big storm is coming, if fish jump up incessantly in the water. 

223. If fish fail to roll during the first rise of the river in spring, more 
rain will soon follow. 

224. Fish swimming near the surface of the water is a sign of rain. 

225. When fish wash their faces in a pond (come to the surface and 
suck), rain may be expected. 

226. A large number of flies about the house means rain. 

227. If flies begin to sting, it will rain. 

228. Flies bite harder and oftener just before a rain. 

229. Flowers emit a stronger fragrance before a rain. 

230. If a flower, which normally has blossoms but once a year, blooms 
twice during the season, a hard winter can be expected. 

231. A fog in the morning indicates a clear sky later in the day. 

232. If a morning fog falls, the weather will be fair. 

233. If a fog rises in the morning, you may look for falling weather. 

234. Whatever goes up must come down, therefore a rising fog will 
come down in a rain. 

235. A fog going upwards in the morning means clear weather. 

236. There will be rough and rainy weather, if a fog fades away and 
fails to rise. 

237. You may expect fair weather, if a fog does not lift but evaporates. 

238. An early rising of a fog is the sign of rain. 

239. A fog lifting late means that the day will be clear. 

240. Whenever there is a fog in January, expect a frost on the same 
day in May. 

241. As many foggy mornings as there are in January, so many frosty 
mornings will there be m May. 

242. Heavy fogs in January determine the dates of the last frosts of 
spring. 

243. The number of fogs in August shows how many snows there will 
be during the winter. 



10 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

244. If fowl (Irys quickly while being cooked, rain is near. 

245. It is the sign of rain, to take the last piece of bread on a plate. 

246. You may look for rain, if you drop a piece of buttered bread and 
it falls upside down on the floor. 

247. When all the food at the table is consumed, you may expect clear 
weather next day. 

248. If all the food at a meal is eaten or preserved, so that none of it 
is wasted, the sun will shine on the following day. 

249. To cat in a water-closet is the sign of rain. 

250. If you drop a fork and a spoon and the latter lies crossing the 
former, there will be a storm. 

251. A freeze on February 22nd means forty more freezes. 

252. If the ground has thawed out before the 24th of February (St. 
Matthias Day) and there is no ice, it will turn cold and freeze. 
Hence : 

"St. Matthias breaks the ice. 
If no ice, he makes ice." 

253. If it freezes in "Christ's grave" that is, while Christ was in 

the grave (Good Friday to Easter), it can freeze any time during 
the next forty days. 

254. Friday is "the foulest of the fair" that is, either the best or 

worst day in the week. 

255. Whatever the weather is on Friday at noon, the weather for the 
following Sunday will be the same. 

256. Ugly weather on Friday foretells bad weather for Sunday. 

257. If frogs croak during the day, they are calling for rain. 

258. Kill a bullfrog and the weathei" next day will be foul. 

259. To hear a rain frog (tree frog or tree toad) calling in a tree is 
the sign of rain within three days. 

260. A white frost means rain. 

261. If frost clings to the trees late in the morning, you may look 
for snow. 

262. A large quantity of wild fruits in the summer denotes a hard 
winter. 

263. When wild fruits are plentiful in the autumn, you can predict a 
cold winter, 

264. To shut and open a gate is the sign of rain. 

265. If a gate incessantly opens and slams, cold weather is near. 

266. Noisy geese mean a rain, 

267. Geese will cry unusually long just before a rain. 

268. When geese flap their wings in the water, rain is approaching, 

269. After a goose has dusted itself, if it gets up and flaps its wings, 
you may expect rain inside of twenty-four hours. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 11 

270. A white breastbone in a goose indicates a mild winter. 

271. If the breastbone of a goose is dark, the winter will be cold. 

272. There will be a long winter, if the goose has a long breastbone. 

273. A short breastbone in a goose is the sign of a short winter. 

274. An open winter may be predicted, if wild geese fly low as they 
go south. 

275. Wild geese flying high on their way south foretell a hard winter. 

276. If a flock of wild geese flying westward does not turn southward 
or northward when it reaches a town, there will be a great flood 
in that town within a day or two. 

277. The swarming of gnats means warmer weather and rain. 

278. You may look for rain, if the joints of your body begin to feel 
stiflf. 

279. If you can see the white or silvery undersides of grape leaves, 
there will be rain that day. 

280. A heavy crop of wild grapes indicates a severe winter. 

281. Rain will not fall, if the ground is wet in dry weather. 

282. Bubbles rising from marshy ground are a sign of rain. 

283. If a ground hog (woodchuck) sees his shadow on February 2nd 
(Ground Hog Day), there will be another month of winter. 

284. A ground hog seeing his shadow on February 2nd means six more 
weeks of cold weather. 

285. You may expect eight more weeks of cold weather, if a ground 
hog can see his shadow on the 2nd of February. 

286. If a ground hog does not see his shadow on February 2nd, spring 
is near. 

287. It will rain for seven Sundays in succession, if a ground hog sees 
his shadow on the 2nd of February. 

288. Seven weeks of rain will follow February 2nd, if a ground hog 
sees his shadow. 

289. The ground hog always stores away a large amount of acorns 
for a cold winter. 

290. If the ground hog does not lay aside a good supply of food, the 
winter will be mild. 

291. Guineas cry continually before a rain. 

292. Guineas crying in the afternoon indicate rain. 

293. It is a sign of rain to have your hair curl. 

294. A large crop of hazelnuts is followed by a cold winter. 

295. If hogs run about and play, look for a change of weather. 

296. Pigs running around and squealing prophesy falling weather. 

297. If hogs rush about with straw or wood in their mouths, there will 
be a change in the weather. 



12 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

298. A change in the weather may be cxj)€ctctl, if you see hogs carry- 
ing corn in their mouths. 

299. To see pigs carrying straw in their mouths (hiring the summer 
is a sign of rain. 

300. If in winter pigs carry straw in their mouths, a cold spell is 
ai>]3roaching. 

301. ^'ou may look for cold weather, if hogs begin to build their beds. 

302. When you see pigs pulling hay out of a haystack and making 
nests, expect cold weather. 

303. The squealing of hogs is a sign of cold weather. 

304. I'igs looking to the north mean that cold weather is near. 

305. It hogs are slaughtered early in the fall, and their lungs are 
streaked, there will be a very cold and bad winter. 

3U3. Clear lungs in hogs killed in early autumn indicate a mild and 
good winter. 

307. I f hogs killed early in the autumn have the large part of the milt 
])C)inting toward the head, you may expect a very cold winter. 

308. When hogs are slaughtered in early autumn, and the small part of 
the spleen lies toward the head, it is the sign of a mild winter. 

309. We shall have an open winter, if hornets build their nests high. 

310. Hornets building their nests low mean a severe winter, 

311. There will be a change of weather, when horses race round and 
play. 

312. Horses are unusually frolicsome for several days preceding a 
storm. 

313. Horses play and gallop about for some days before cold weather. 

314. \'()u may look for a change of weather, if horses roll on the 
ground. 

315. 1 1 horses group together in a corner of the pasture with their 
backs to the wind, rain will come before night. 

316. When you can hear clearer than usual the tread of a horse's 
hooves on the road, expect rain. 

317. If horses in the stable are sweating and switching their tails, rain 
is near. 

318. .\n early spring may be expected, if horses start to shed their 
hair early. 

319. The mating of insects in August foretells a late autumn. 

320. 'W) see insects carrying material for nests indicates that cold 
weather is approaching. 

321. To discover the wet and dry months of the year: "Take twelve 
onions. Name each onion after one of the months. Cut off the 
toi)s of the onions and gouge out a cup in each one. Let the 
onions stand until water gathers in the cups. The onion and the 



Folk-Lorc from Adams County Illinois 13 

corresponding month which has water in the cup will be a rainy 
month. Do this on New Year's Day." Written contribution. 

322. To find out whether the year will be dry or wet: If the first 
change of the moon in the new year comes during the morning, 
we shall have a wet year; but if in the evening, the year will 
be dry. 

323. The weather on New Year's Day rules the weather of the three 
following months. 

324. The weather during the first three days of January governs the 
weather for the three winter months. 

325. The weather during the first three days of the year determines the 
weather for the whole year. 

326. The weather during the first twelve days of the year indicates 
what the weather will be all year. 

327. If you kill a June bug, you may look for rain. 

328. To hear a katydid singing in August is a sign that there will be 
frost within six weeks. 

329. The continual sputtering of a lamp means rain. 

330. It will rain, if a lantern flickers incessantly. 

331. Sheet lightning at night is the sign of hot weather. 

332. Lightning in the north means an immediate rain. 

ZZZ. You may expect rain within twenty-four hours, if it lightens in 
the north. 

334. Lightning in the north for three successive nights will bring rain. 

335. To have lightning in the south indicates dry weather. 

336. It is a sign of a drought, if it lightens in the east. 

ZZ7. On whatever day it lightens in February, you may look for a 
frost sufficient to kill on the same day of the month in May. 

338. A building protected by a lightning rod wnll never be struck, but 
if it is, the lightning will run down the rod and into the ground. 

339. Burn a piece of blessed palm in the stove on Palm Sunday and 
your house will never be struck by lightning. 

340. "My mother always kept the axe and the spade sitting in the house 
and whenever w^e would see a storm coming upi, mother would 
say, 'Children, run and throw the axe and spade out the door so 
the lightning won't hit the house'. " 

341. Sit on a feather bed and the lightning will not strike you. 

342. "What my mother would do when she would see a big storm 
coming up that was taking up the trees by the roots, she would 
make us children all sit on feather pillows so the lightning would 
not hit us." 

343. Crawl under a bed and the lightning will not strike you. 



14 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

344. Regardless of the preceding item, some people will not sleep in an 
iron bed when it lightens during a storm. 

345. Some people will get into bed and cover up their heads when it 
lightens. 

346. A few persons will shut themselves up in a dark closet during a 
storm with lightning. 

347. During a storm, some people will stand in front of a glass window, 
because lightning will not strike through glass. 

348. Never leave windows up during a storm, for a draft blowing 
through the house will draw in lightning. 

349. When a storm is approaching, lie down on your back by a tree 
and the lightning will not hit you. 

350. Standing under a tree is the most dangerous place to be during a 
storm. You must lie down on the ground out in the open to 
prevent being struck by lightning. 

351. You must never stand out in the oi>en during a storm, for you 
will be struck by lightning. If you happen to be out in the open, 
lie down on the ground. 

352. If you are able to count ten between a flash of lightning and 
thunder, you will not be struck. 

353. Count as fast as you can between a flash of lightning and thunder, 
and this number will indicate how many miles distant the lightning 
struck. 

354. If a man sits on a fence and curses, he will be struck by lightning. 

355. It is risky to be in an automobile or carriage during a storm, 
because the iron in these vehicles draws lightning. 

356. A safe place to be during a storm is in an automobile, for lightning 
will not strike near rubber. 

357. To have a piece of iron or steel such as a pocketknife or hatpin 
on your person is hazardous, for it will draw lightning during 
a storm. 

358. Lightning never strikes twice in the same place. 

359. If lightning does strike the same place twice, mineral will be 
found at that spot near the surface of the ground. 

360. Lightning and thunder will turn milk sour. 

361. An old negro woman said, "I would not use the wood of a tree 
that has been struck by lightning for anything." 

362. Put lime under the eaves of a house and you will have rain that 
day. 

363. Noisy locusts are a sign of dry weather. 

364. If March comes in like a lamb, it will go out like a lion. 

365. If March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb. 

366. Mice scampering around more than usual mean rain. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 15 

367. It is a sign of a cold winter, if field mice lay up a large quantity 
of corn in their burrows. 

368. The thick part of milk rising to the surface indicates rain. 

369. If milk or cream sours during the night, expect a thunderstorm, 

370. Whatever way the Milk Maid's Path points in the sky will be the 
direction of the wind on the following day. 

371. Mists in March are followed by frosts in May. 

372. Three misty mornings in succession are the sign of rain. 

2)72). A mole coming to the top of the ground in winter foretells an 
early spring. 

374. A white Christmas means a green Easter. 

375. A green Christmas indicates a white Easter. 

376. Prepare for a storm, if the moon is tinged with red. 

377. "If moon red be, 

Of water speaks she." 

378. "A pale moon doth rain. 
A red moon doth rain. 

A white moon doth neither rain nor blow." 

379. You may look for rain, if the moon hides behind a thin veil of 
mist. 

380. If the moon sets clear on Friday, expect rain before Tuesday. 

381. To learn the number of snows for the year, count how many days 
old the moon is at the first appearance of snow. 

382. Two full moons within the same month mean rain. 

383. If a full moon is shining, there will not be any frost. 

384. The moon changing in the morning is a sign of rain. 

385. It will be a dry moon, if the moon changes in the morning. 

386. Rain does not follow the changing of the moon in the afternoon 
or evening. 

387. The moon that changes at night is a wet moon. 

388. If the moon changes when the wind is in the east, you can expect 
bad weather that month. 

389. When a moon appears new on Monday, the weather will be good. 

390. The appearance of a new moon on Monday means rain for forty 
days, 

391. If an Indian can hang his shot horn on the tip of the moon, rain 
may be expected. 

392. There will be dry weather, if an Indian's shot horn cannot be 
hung on the tip of the moon. 

393. A new moon upon the point of which an Indian is unable to fasten 
his powder horn will be a dry moon. 

394. We shall have wet weather, if an Indian is not able to suspend his 
powder horn on the end of a new moon. 



16 Memoirs of the Alma Egaii Hyatt Foundation 

395. When a moon rests on its point, water is ixjuring out of the apron. 

396. The apron is full of water, if a moon reclines on its back. 

397. The moon is wet, if it stands on its point. 

398. A moon standing on its end is a dry moon. 

399. A moon lying on its side is a wet moon. 

400. If the horns of a moon tilt upward, we shall have a hard rain. 

401. When a moon lies on its back, the following month will be wet. 

402. If the tips of a moon extend upward, a lot of water will flow 
under the bridges. 

403. A moon with ends pointing upward is a dry moon, because it is 
holding up the water. Hence, there will not be any rain during the 
following month. 

404. If a moon on its back points toward the northwest, it is the sign 
of a cold and rainy month. 

405. A "cresent moon" has its points tilting downward. Since it can- 
not hold water, look for rain. 

406. If a moon stands on its horns, it will begin to rain within three 
days and continue all month. 

407. A "crescent moon," a moon with points tipping downward, is a 
wet moon ; because water is pouring out of the dipper. 

408. It is sometimes said that a "crescent moon," a moon resting on 
its ends, is a dry moon ; for the water has run out of the dipper. 

409. A moon hanging low in the south is the sign of mild weather. 

410. "Circle round the moon, 
Rain soon." 

or 

"Ring around the moon, 
Rain soon." 

411. "Ring around the moon, 
Brings a storm soon." 

412. A halo round the moon indicates a change of weather. 

413. A circle round the moon means rain. The nearer the circle, the 
sooner the rain. 

414. A disk around the moon is the sign of a storm, 

415. You may expect cold weather, if there is a circle round the moon. 

416. If there is a ring around the moon in the evening, rain will fall 
on the following day. 

417. A large ring around the moon means a change in the weather. 

418. As many circles as there are round the moon, so many will be 
the days until it rains. 

419. It will snow within twenty-four hours, if there are two circles 
around a full moon. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 17 

420. For every star inside the ring around a moon there will be a day 
until the weather changes. 

421. Count the stars within the circle round the moon and the number 
will indicate how many days will pass before bad weather comes. 

422. A star in the circle round a moon is the sign of clear weather. 

423. Two stars within the ring around a moon mean rain within two 
days. 

424. Bad weather for two days may be expected, if the ring around 
the moon contains two stars. 

425. A circle of stars around the moon indicates rain. 

426. "Morning wanders, 
Evening blunders." 

427. It always rains, if you wash the windows on the day you move 
into a new house. 

428. Rain always falls on moving day. 

429. If mules trot about and play, rain will come soon. 

430. A mule rolling at midday is the sign of a storm before midnight. 

431. If a muskrat digs a shallow burrow, we shall have a mild winter. 

432. When a muskrat's nest is built deep in the ground, look for a cold 
winter. 

433. A muskrat always cuts corn stalks and carries them underground, 
if we are going to have a hard winter. 

434. Drive a nail into the ground and there will be rain on the follow- 
ing day. 

435. Your nose itching three times inside of an hour is the sign of 
rain within a day. 

436. A heavy nut crop foretells a heavy winter. 

437. When the nut crop fails, a mild winter may be expected. 

438. When some distant object seems closer than usual, you may expect 
rain. The nearer the object the sooner the rain. 

439. Cut an onion in two, put water on one half, and then plant the 
halves near each other. If the half which was covered with water 
comes up first, the weather will be bad. 

440. You can predict a mild winter, if in the autumn onions have thin 
skins. 

441. If onion skins are thick in the autumn, the winter will be cold. 

442. Colder weather is coming, when an owl hoots in the morning. 

443. An owl hooting in the daytime is the sign of rain. 

444. If an owl hoots during the day, a heavy rain is near. 

445. The hooting of an owl about two o'clock in the afternoon signifies 
rain. 

446. An owl's hoot after daybreak means bad weather. 



18 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

447. When you hear a number of owls hoot at the same time during 
the clay, there will be a change in the weather. 

448. If in the daytime an owl sits on a fence and hoots, look for rain. 

449. The hooting of an owl in the timber along a branch or creek 
during the day indicates wet weather. 

450. If an owl hoots in the daytime on high ground or upon the hills, 
dry weather can be expected. 

451. When you can smell the paper mill, south of Quincy, rain is 
approaching. 

452. A chattering parrot is the sign of rain. 

453. There will be rain, when peacocks run around crying. 

454. A peacock will always strut before a rain. 

455. An exceptional amount of crying by peacocks late in winter means 
that cold weather has ended. 

456. Hearing a peewee is the sign of a storm. 

457. If a phoebe calls during the winter, the weather will become 
warmer. 

458. It will rain, if pigeons return slowly to their roost. 

459. When pigeons are more restless than usual and continually coo, 
there will be a change in the weather. 

460. If a man's pipe smells stronger than usual, you can exi>ect rain. 

461. If the tobacco in a man's pipe becomes hot and sticky, and the 
pipe does not draw well, look for rain. 

462. Bubbles rising from stagnant water in an old pond are a sign of 
rain. 

463. If your potatoes burn while being cooked, the weather will be dry. 

464. When pursley (purslane) blooms, it is sure to rain. 

465. While hunting in winter, if you find rabbits in the brush piles, 
the weather will become cold. 

466. If you see rabbits running in the open fields, when you are on a 
hunt in winter, warmer weather is near. 

467. The winter will be mild, if raccoons are thin in autumn or early 
winter. 

468. Fat raccoons during the autumn or early winter mean a cold 
winter. 

469. It is a sign tliat winter is over, when you see the first raccoon 
tracks. 

470. Prepare for rain to scare it away, 

471. "Rain before seven, 
Stop before eleven." 

472. "Rain in the morning, 
Sailors take warning." 

473. Early morning rains and an old woman's dance are soon over. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 19 

474. Hold out your right hand in the rain and the rain will cease. 

475. A rain will not continue long, if the raindrops are large. 

476. If raindrops are as big as a quarter, it will soon stop raining. 

477. Large raindrops are a sign of dry weather. 

478. When large bubbles form on the ground during a rain, it will 
rain again the day following. 

479. If it begins to rain at three o'clock in the afternoon, the rain will 
continue until three o'clock afternoon the next day. 

480. If raindrops splash up and resemble a fountain on the road, there 
will be rain the next day. 

481. We can expect cold weather, if rain becomes thick and heavy. 

482. Rain from the east means three days of rain. 

483. A Monday rain indicates three rainy days for that week. 

484. If it rains on Monday, it will rain every day that week. 

485. "Rain on Monday, 
Sunshine next Sunday." 

486. A Friday rain is the sign of rain on Sunday. 

487. If it rains on Friday, it will not rain again until the following 
Friday. 

488. It is the sign of rain for seven Sundays, if it rains on Sunday. 

489. There will be fifteen rains during that month in which rain falls 
on the first day of the month. 

490. Rain on the 1st of July brings seventeen days of rain for the 
month. 

491. Rain on the first day of dog days is followed by forty days of rain. 

492. If it rains on Palm Sunday, we shall have rain for seven weeks. 

493. A Good Friday rain is worthless. 

494. You can expect rain for seven days, if it rains on Easter. 

495. Rain on Easter means seven rainy Sundays in succession. 

496. Rain on St. Swithin's Day (July 15th) is followed by forty days 
of rain. 

497. If it rains on New Year's Day, it will rain on six successive New 
Year's Days. 

498. It is said that rain falls on one hundred and twenty days during 
the year. 

499. Some people say that storms follow one of the nuinerous electric 
currents which are thought by them to exist underground. Each 
of these currents is supposed to have a terminal point somewhere. 
Thus, when rain or snow is seen as far as a certain place on the 
ground and then dry land lying beyond, the dead end of an electric 
current caused the storm to stop there. The flow of underground 
water is said to be regulated by the same phenomena. 

500. A rainbow in the morning- means rain. 



20 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

501. A morning rainbow indicates a storm. 

502. If there is a rainbow, it will not rain again that day. 

503. "Rainbow in the morning, 
Farmer take warning." 

504. "Rainbow in the morning, 
Sailors take warning." 

505. "Rainbow in morn, 
Sailors warned." 

506. "A rainbow in the morning 
Is a shepherd's warning." 

507. A rainbow in the forenoon is the sign that it will rain before night. 

508. "Rainbow at noon, 
More rain soon." 

509. A rainbow in the evening foretells fine weather next day. 

510. "Rainbow at night, 
Fisherman's delight." 

511. "Rainbow at night. 
Sailor's delight." 

512. "A rainbow at night, 

Is a shepherd's delight." 

513. If there is a rainbow in the east, we shall have dry weather. 

514. A western rainbow foretells wet weather. 

515. A rainbow during a rain is the sign of three more rainy days. 

516. The calling of a rain crow is followed by rain. 

517. If you hear the cry of a rain crow after a drought, you may look 
for rain. 

518. When a rain crow calls late in the evening, rain will fall on the 
following day. 

519. If you hear a redbird sing, it is singing for rain. 

520. You can expect rain, if a redbird whistles. 

521. If a redbird says, "Wet, wet" look for a heavy rain. 

522. Redbirds flying low is the sign of disagreeable weather. 

523. There will be bad weather, if a redbird is seen in winter. 

524. We are going to have a cold spell, if redbirds appear in winter. 

525. If you are looking at a redbird and it flies away to the right, you 
may expect cold weather. 

526. While watching a redbird, if it flies away to the left, the weather 
will turn warmer. 

527. A redbird singing early in the spring means cold weather. 

528. Rheumatic pains are a sign of approaching rain. 

529. When robins arrive, spring is here. 

530. A robin singing on the ground near the house indicates rain. 

531. If rocks sweat, you may look for rain. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 21 

532. "The circus men say they can always tell when it is going to rain 
by the ropes getting tighter and tighter." From a former circus 
man; but the belief is general. 

533. When salt becomes damp and lumpy in the saltcellar, rain is near, 

534. Accidentally dropping salt on the ground will bring rain. 

535. It is going to rain, if sea gulls fly inland. 

536. The weather of the first three days of any season denotes the 
weather for the season. 

537. If you sing in the bathroom, there will be rain next day. 

538. "Sheep always go to a 'bob wire' (barbed wire) fence when a 
storm is coming and that is why so many of them get killed in a 
storm." 

539. When sheep turn their backs to the wind, look for a cold spell. 

540. " 'Dominicker' (speckled) sky, 
Storm close by." 

541. "Horses' tails and fishes' scales 
Make sailors spread their sails." 

542. "If at morning the sky be red, 
It bids the traveler stay in bed." 

543. "Evening red, morning grey, 
Speed the traveler on his way. 
Evening grey, morning red. 
Bring down rain upon his head." 

544. "Evening red and morning grey. 
Will set the traveler on his way. 
Evening grey and morning red. 

Will pour the rain down on his head." 

545. "Red at night, sailor's delight. 

Red in the morning, sailor take warning." 

546. "Red in the morning, sailors take warning. 
Red at night, sailors' delight." 

547. "Red at night, soldiers' delight, 

Red in the morning, soldiers are mourning." 

548. If there is a mare's tail in the sky, rain may be expected. 

549. "A mackerel sky. 

Never twenty-four hours dry." 

550. "A mackerel sky never leaves the earth three days dry." 

551. "A dapple sky never leaves the ground twenty-four hours dry." 

552. A clear sky with a slight greenish hue is the sign of rain. 

553. A deep blue sky indicates fair weather. 

554. If the sky brightens after a rain and there is sufficient blue in the 
north to make a shirt for a sailor, the weather will become clear. 

555. "I was washing one day and I said to my neighbor, 'I don't know 



22 Memoirs of tJic Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

if to hang out my clothes.' She said, 'Wait until you see a blue 
spot in the sky as large as a handkerchief and it will not rain'." 

556. The weather will clear, if there is enough blue in the sky to make 
a Dutchman a pair of britches (breeches). 

557. The smallest speck of deep blue in the sky, no matter how cloudy 
the weather is, indicates that there will not be any rain within 
twenty-four hours. 

558. Smoke clinging to the ground means rain. 

559. When smoke falls to the ground, you may look for a change in 
the weather. 

560. If smoke hangs to the ground in winter, there will be snow. 

561. Bad weather may be expected, if smoke remains near the ground. 

562. When smoke rises into the air. the weather will be clear. 

563. Smoke going down a stream is the sign of rain. 

564. Smoke pouring out of a railroad engine in white clouds indicates 
fair weather. 

565. If coal smoke puffs out of a stovepipe into the room, snow is 
approaching. 

566. It is the sign of rain, if snails come out in large numbers. 

567. We are going to have rain, if snakes begin to leave the water. 

568. If snakes desert the water and seek higher ground, a considerable 
amount of rain will follow. 

569. A snake crossing your path means rain. 

570. "If you want it to rain, kill a snake. Turn it over. Let its belly 
up and it will sure rain." 

571. Kill a snake and lay it on its back and rain will fall before sun- 
down. 

572. After killing a snake, toss it up into the air and if it falls on its 
back, you may look for rain. 

573. If you kill a snake and throw it up into the air and it comes down 
on its back, there will be rain next day. 

574. Cast in the air a snake that you have killed, and if it drops on 
its stomach, the weather for the day will be fair. 

575. Hang a black snake up by the tail and rain will come before night. 

"One morning on our way to school in the country years 

ago we found some black snakes, and we hung them up by their 
tails in a row on the fence; and it just poured down before we 
went home from school." 

576. If you kill a black snake in diy weather and hang it up, there will 
be rain before morning. 

577. "If you kill a snake and hang it up on the fence with his belly up, 
it will storm like hell in five hours." 

578. When snipe start to cry, winter has been broken. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 23 

579. When it begins to snow, they say that an old woman up in the 
sky is shaking her feather bed. 

580. Some say, when snow starts to fall, that there is an old woman up 
in the sky picking geese. 

581. Large snowflakes are a sign that the snow will not last long. 

582. If snowflakes are small, it will continue to snow. 

583. If snow has stuck to the sides of the trees, it will snow again 
within a few hours. 

584. Snow melting as it reaches the ground indicates that the snowfall 
will be a flurry only. 

585. If a snowfall melts immediately, but some of it remains in the 
fence corners or other sheltered places, snow will soon come again. 

586. The number of days between the first snow and Christmas shows 
how many snows there will be that winter. 

587. Notice the date of the month upon which the first snow falls and 
that will be the number of snows for the winter. 

588. Snow falling on the first day of March means that it can snow 
any time during the next thirty days. 

589. Snowbirds flying along a rail fence indicate that the weather will 
turn colder within twenty-four hours. 

590. It is the sign of rain, when soot drops down the chimney. 

591. Soot burning in your stove during the summer means rain. 

592. If during the winter soot burns in your stove, there will soon be 
snow. 

593. You may look for rain, if soot drops to the ground in summer. 

594. Soot falling to the ground in winter foretells snow. 

595. Six weeks of cold weather may be expected, if sparrows mate 
in March, 

596. When there are a good many spider webs on the grass, rain is 
coming. 

597. If you see outdoor spiders mending their webs, there will not be 
any rain that day. 

598. Spiders will desert their webs before a rain. 

599. Spider webs hanging on the trees in autumn are the sign of 
Indian summer. 

600. To kill (or to step on) a spider means rain that day. 

601. It will rain next day, if a spider is killed. "The teacher (in 

a Quincy Sunday school) was teaching her class of children. A 
big spider came crawling along on the floor. She put her foot out 
and killed it. The children said it would rain the next day so they 
could not have their picnic. She laughed and tried to tell them 
they were superstitious, but when she got up the next morning, it 
was raining." Written contribution. 



24 Memoirs of flic Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

602. To kill a spider on a gloomy day will bring rain that day. 

603. There will be rain, if you see a large number of spiders crawling 
on a wall. 

604. Finding a great many spiders in the house is the sign of rain. 

605. You may look for rain, if you step on a spider in the house. 

606. Kill a spider on a rainy day and rain will fall on the day fol- 
lowing. 

607. If a sponge does not dry out rapidly after using, prepare for a 
storm. 

608. When you see squirrels gathering nuts, look for bad weather. 

609. There will be an open winter, if a squirrel's stock of nuts is small. 

610. If squirrels supply themselves with a large quantity of nuts, the 
winter will be cold. 

611. If squirrels bury their nuts deep in the ground, we are going to 
have a hard winter. 

612. If squirrels hoard their nuts just beneath the leaves on the ground, 
you may expect a mild winter. 

613. Squirrels always store nuts in the autumn, but when you see them 
hoarding grain, a severe winter is coming. 

614. It is a sign of early spring, if you find baby squirrels in an open 
nest during the latter part of February. 

615. If stars look dim, rain is near. 

616. A dull and watery appearance in stars is the sign of rain. 

617. Fine weather may be expected, if stars twinkle brightly. 

618. The direction in which a star shoots shows the way the wind will 
blow on the following day. 

619. Large bright stars in winter mean frost next morning. 

620. The worst storms always follow an east wind. 

621. Severe winter storms are from the east to northeast. 

622. When the first spring storm is froin the north or southwest, all 
subsequent storms will come from the same direction. 

623. If a storm subsides before sunset, next day will be fair. 

624. If stormy weather clears during the night, it will be cloudy on the 
following day. 

625. A Friday storm means stonny weather before Monday. 

626. "If you see a big storm coming up, run and stand in a door that 
is between two rooms. If the house goes over, you will be safe 
in that door." 

627. "When you see a big storm coming up, run and get the axe and 
put the point in the ground and it will cut the storm in two." 

628. "A woman would always take a stick of wood when she would see 
a storm coming, and stick this stick of wood in the fire and let it 
get to burning; then take this burning stick out in the yard and 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 25 

hold it up over her head, and swing it around three times to make 
the storm go around." 

629. It is dangerous to make a noise during a thunderstorm. 

"When we were children, my mother would make us all sit down 
and not move during a thunderstorm." 

630. Burn blessed candles for protection, while it is storming. 

631. Protect the house during a storm by burning palm branches that 
were blessed on Palm Sunday. 

632. Use a telephone during a storm and you will get a shock. 

633. When in fair weather the stove or any iron object rusts overnight, 
you can look for rain. 

634. A milky sun in the early morning is a sign of rain. 

635. A red sun in the early morning means a clear day. 

636. A red sunrise followed by clouds later in the morning foretells 
rain for the day. 

637. If in summer the sun rises red, expect a very hot day. 

638. The sun rising in the southeast indicates a cool summer. 

639. A red sun has water in its eye. 

640. "Circle round the sun, 
Rain none." 

or 

"Ring around the sun, 
Rain none." 

641. If there is a halo round the sun, look for rain before night. 

642. A sun drawing water in the morning is the sign of rain in the 
evening. 

643. If the sun draws w^ater in the evening, it will rain that night. 

644. If in the evening the sun has drawn water, rain will fall next day. 

645. A clear sunset means fair weather on the following day. 

646. The weather will be beautiful for three days, if the sun sets clear. 

647. When the sun goes down behind a cloud, the following day will 
be stormy. 

648. If the sun sets cloudy, it will rain for three days. 

649. A hazy sunset foretells unpleasant weather. 

650. "If the sun should set in grey, 
The next will be a rainy day." 

651. "If the sun goes pale to bed, 

'T will rain tomorrow, it is said." 

652. A red sunset indicates fair weather next day. 

653. It is the sign of a stomi, if the sun sets red. 

654. If the sun sets clear and red, the following day will be fair. 

655. A red sunset in summer means hot weather next day. 

656. Fair weather may be expected for the following day, if the setting 



26 Memoirs of the Alnia Egan Hyatt Foundation 

sun reflects from windows. 

657. Sunshine on Monday is a sign that the sun will shine every day 
during the week. 

658. If the sun goes down Tuesday behind a bank of clouds, there will 
be rain before Friday night. 

659. A cloudy sunset on Wednesday is the sign of rain before Sunday. 

660. It will rain before the end of the week, if the sun sets behind 
clouds on Wednesday. 

661. If the sun is hidden by a cloud at sundown on Thursday, we shall 
not have rain before Sunday. 

662. A clear sunset on Friday means rain before Monday. 

663. The sun setting clear on Friday will bring rain before Monday 
night. 

664. If the sun goes down in a cloud on Friday, look for rain before 
Monday night. 

665. The sun shines every Saturday in the year, if only for a short time. 

666. Though the sun does not shine all week, there will be sufficient 
sunshine on Saturday for the virgin to get a dry shirt. 

667. Regardless of the weather on Saturday, there will always be 
enough sunshine to dry a workingman's shirt. 

668. In each year there are three Saturdays upon which the sun will 
not shine, 

669. Rain will come before Monday, if sunset on Sunday is cloudy. 

670. When the sun is obscured by clouds at sundown on Sunday, you 
may expect a storm before Wednesday. 

671. There is never any sunshine on Good Friday. 

672. During a rainy season, no matter how long it rains or how many 
clouds are in the sky, the sun will shine every fourth day if only 
for a minute. 

673. A sun dog in the morning is the sign of colder weather. 

674. An evening sun dog indicates a change in the weather. 

675. The weather will turn warmer, if there is a sun dog in the evening. 

676. Two sun dogs mean bad weather, 

677. Cold weather can be expected, if two sun dogs appear in the east. 

678. A sun dog on each side of the sun foretell a bad storm in the night. 

679. If a sun dog is seen on the north side of the sun, the next rain will 
come from the northwest, 

680. The next rain can be expected from the southwest, if you see a 
sun dog on the south side of the sun. 

681. A sun dog in winter foreshadows colder weather. 

682. Following an eclipse of the sun there are always five successive 
days of rain. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 27 

683. "A sunshine shower, 
Never lasts an hour." 

684. If the sun shines during a rain, we are going to have rain next day. 

685. When sunshine and rain come together, it will rain at the same 
time on the following day. 

686. You may look for snow next day, if the sun appears during a 
snowfall. 

687. The sun shining during a rain means that the devil is whipping 
his wife. 

688. If sunshine, rain and a rainbow are seen at the same time, the 
devil is fighting with his wife. 

689. It is the sign that the devil is beating his wife, if the sun shines 
during a rain. Stick a black-headed pin into the clay and lower 
your ear to the pinhead and you will hear them. 

690. Rain and sun at the same time are a sign of good luck. 

691. If you stop your swing with your feet, it will rain. 

692. A singing teakettle indicates a change in the weather. 

693. If a teakettle boils dry, a storm is approaching. 

694. After the arrival of a thrush in the spring, there will be no more 
frost. 

695. "Thunder before noon. 
Showers in the afternoon." 

696. "Thunder in the morning. 
Is a sailor's warning." 

697. Thunder in the winter is the sign of colder weather. 

698. If it thunders in late November or early December, the weather 
will not become colder. 

699. A December thunder means that cold weather is approaching. 

700. When you hear thunder in December, you can expect a frost in 
May. 

701. The date of a thunderstorm in January reveals the number of 
spring days during May. 

702. The number of times it thunders in January shows how many 
frosts there will be in April. 

703. If it thunders in January, look for frost in May. 

704. Thunder on the 14th of January means frost on the 14th of May. 

705. If it thunders in January, frost may be expected in June. 

706. Thunder in February is the sign of snow in May. 

707. A February thunder denotes a May frost. 

708. The day upon which it thunders in February will be the date of a 
frost in May. 

709. Thunder on the 6th of February signifies a frost on the 6th 
of May. 



28 Memoirs of the Alma Egaii Hyatt Fouiulation 

710. If on the last day of February you hear thunder, you will see a 
frost on the last day of May. 

711. As many thunders as there are in February, so many frosts will 
there be in May. 

712. Thunder in the latter part of February or during the early days of 
March is the sign that a cold spell is near, 

713. The first thunder of spring indicates that winter is over. 

714. To have thunder while trees are bare foretells cold weather. 

715. If it thunders and lightens before leaves appear on the trees, we 
shall have more cold weather. 

716. Thunder after leaves have appeared on the trees means warm 
weather. 

717. It is a sign of rain, if toadstools spring up in old manure. 

718. If a lot of toadstools pop up overnight, rain will fall before long. 

719. A tree toad calling is the sign of rain. 

720. Killing a toad will bring rain. 

721. "When we were children, whenever we had a dry spell, my father 
would say, 'Children, go out and find all the toad frogs you can. 
Kill them and put all their bellies up so it will rain.' We did, and 
it would rain." 

722. If a train whistle is flat and hoarse, look for rain. 

723. A clear and sharp train whistle indicates fair weather. 

724. To hear train whistles at greater distances than usual means bad 
weather. 

725. The withering of leaves on the trees is the sign of rain. 

726. We are going to have rain, if tree leaves turn inside out or upside 
down. 

727. There will be rain within twenty-four hours, when the leaves on 
trees curl up. 

728. The curling up of elm tree leaves foretells rain. 

729. It will rain, if maple tree leaves turn up. 

730. If oak leaves have turned up, you can expect rain. 

731. The turning up of tree leaves on Monday means rain before 
Sunday. 

732. When dead branches fall from the trees in pleasant weather, rain 
may be expected. 

733. It is the sign of a hard winter, if a fruit tree blooms twice in a 
season. 

734. After leaves have begun to fall in October, if many of them still 
hang on the branches of the trees, there will be much snow that 
winter. 

735. If the bark of sycamore trees remains smooth and white in the 
autumn, you may look for a mild winter. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 29 

7Z6. Cold weather for the winter is foretold, if moss grows on the 

south side of trees in the fall. 
72)7. If tree leaves are scanty, the winter will be mild. 

738. Heavy foliage on trees indicates a hard winter. 

739. A large number of tumblebugs is the sign of a severe winter. 

740. Turkeys always jump up and down before a rain. 

741. In winter, if turkeys go up to the very top of a roost, it will be 
cold; if they stay in the middle of the roost, not very cold; and 
if they remain on the ground, not cold at all. 

742. A rain is coming, if turtledoves begin to coo. 

743. The first call of a turtledove is a herald of spring. 

744. After a turtledove has called in the spring, there will be no more 
frost. 

745. To open an umbrella in the house will bring rain. 

746. Carry an umbrella on a cloudy day and you will scare away the 
impending rain. 

747. Tight hulls on walnuts are the sign of a cold winter. 

748. We shall have a mild winter, if walnut hulls are loose and easily 
removed. 

749. If a wash rag remains damp a long time after using, a shower 
is coming. 

750. Wasps trying to enter the house foretell the approach of cold 
weather. 

751. If you see foam on the water in a stream or river, you may look 
for rain. 

752. If, on the first three days of the year, water runs down the ruts 
in a road, there will be an open winter. 

753. Sweating water pipes are a sign of rain. 

754. Rain may be expected, if a water pitcher sweats. 

755. If boiling water evaporates more rapidly than usual, there will 
be rain. 

756. To hear a weasel call, means rain. 

757. "When the wind is in the east, 

'Tis neither good for man nor beast. 
When the wind is in the north, 
The skillful fisher goes not forth. 
When the wind is in the south, 
It blows the bait in the fish's mouth. 
When the wind is in the west, 
Then 'tis at the very best." 

758. There will be rain, if the wind is in the east. 

759. A wind in the east brings rain inside of thirty-six hours. 

760. It will rain, if the wind remains in the east for three days. 



30 Memoirs of the Ahna Egan Hyatt Foundation 

761. Snow will follow an east wind in winter. 

762. A whirlwind is the sign that it is going to rain. 

763. You can look for rain, if you see a whirlwind going downstream. 

764. Whirlwinds of dust in the spring indicate a dry summer. 

765. If you see whirlwinds of dust, dry weather is approaching. 

766. When a far ofi" whistle sounds very near, you may look for rain, 

767. Wind in the east during early winter or late spring means either 
snow or rain. 

768. It is the sign of warm weather, if the wind blows from the east. 

769. "The south wind brings wet weather. 
The north wind, wind and cold together. 
The west wind always brings us rain. 
The east wind blows it back again." 

770. A south wind indicates warm weather. 

771. Summer rains are usually preceded by winds from the south 
to east. 

772. There will be no rain, if the wind is in the south and the sky is 
cloudy. 

772). When the wind is in the west, it will never rain. 

774. If we have a cloudy sky, and wind from the west, do not look 
for rain. 

775. A wind from the west will bring cold weather. 

776. The weather will turn cold, if the wind is blowing from the north. 

777. Northeast winds in winter are the forerunners of big snowstorms. 

778. We are going to have cold weather, if the wind sweeps down the 
chimney. 

779. If you examine the geese after they have gone to roost, the 
quarter toward which they are looking will be the direction of 
the wir^d on the next day. 

780. The direction of the wind on the first three days of December 
indicates how it will blow during the three following months. 

781. Whatever way the wind is blowing on New Year's Day will be 
its direction for the next three months. 

782. If the wind is in a certain direction on the first day of the year, 
it will be in the same direction every twenty-four hours for forty 
days. 

783. The direction of the wind on New Year's morning will not be 
changed for more than twenty-four hours during the next forty 
days. 

784. If the wind is blowing from a certain quarter on New Year's 
morning at five o'clock, it will blow in the same direction three 
times that year. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 31 

785. A south wind on New Year's Day means wind from the south 
every day that month. 

786. If on New Year's Day the wind is in the south, we shall have a 
dry summer. 

787. To have a north wind on New Year's Day is the sign of a wet 
summer. 

788. If there is a northwest wind on New Year's morning, the wind 
will blow from that direction for forty days. 

789. The direction of the wind on Good Friday will be its direction 
during the forty days following. 

790. In whatever direction the wind is blowing on Easter, it will blow 
in the same direction for the next six weeks. 

791. During the Ember Days of September watch which way the pre- 
vailing winds blow. If they come from the north, we shall have 
a cold winter; but if they blow from the south, the winter will 
be mild. 

792. "March winds and May sun, 
Make linen white and ladies dumb." 

793. It always rains after windows have been washed. 

794. A cold winter foretells a hot summer. 

795. An open winter is followed by a cool and rainy summer. 

796. If you see a great many women on the street, you may look for 
rain. 

797. A large number of worms crawling on the ground is the sign 
of rain. 

798. The winter will be mild, if worms stay near the surface of the 
ground in winter. 

799. If worms remain deep in the ground during late autumn or early 
winter, there will be a cold winter. 



PLANTS AND PLANTING IN GENERAL 

800. Fertilizer placed on the ground in the light of the moon is value- 
less, because it will not decompose. 

801. Scatter manure on a field during the dark of the moon and it will 
sink down into the ground. 

802. If you spread manure over the ground in the light of the moon, 
it will dry up and blow away. 

803. Put fertilizer on the ground in March during the dark of the 
moon and it will enrich the soil. 

804. Spread manure on the ground before eleven o'clock in the morn- 



32 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

ing and wait six clays ; then scatter leaves over the manure, and 
the soil will become exceptionally fertile. 

805. Rusty nails or old iron placed around plants will make them grow 
better. 

806. Plant seeds as soon as the soil has been prepared, or you will not 
be successful with them. 

807. To make a plant grow, spit into the hole that has been dug for it. 

808. "I call it a real example of superstition and set it down as such, 
and as one I have often met, that people believe in the 'planting 
hand.' Some persons are supposed to have a mystic gift like 
second sight, the power to make things grow." Written contribu- 
tion. 

809. If you plant anything in the Name of God, it will flourish. 

810. About ninety years ago in pioneer days, a settler, living near what 
is now a small town in the county, planted his seeds by saying, 
"God bless the seeds." That year he did not get any crop. Next 
year a neighbor of his planted seeds and said, "God damn the 
seeds" and he reaped a large harvest. 

811. Everything planted by a pregnant woman will grow well. 

812. Never thank anyone who has given a plant to you or it will die. 

813. If the giver of seeds is thanked, they will not grow. 

814. Unless you steal plant slips from someone, they will never thrive. 

815. If you want good root crops, you must plant the seeds in the dark 

of the moon. The ancient and perennial witticism of the 

farmer, who does not plant according to the different piloses of 
the moon, runs something like this: "I don't plant in the moon, I 
plant in the ground." The usual test, and one that is frequently 
made by those who believe or want to believe in lunar signs, is to 
plant tzuo rows of some vegetable in the same soil, one row during 
a favorable and the other row in an unfavorable time of the moon. 
The results, if the people trying the experiment are to be trusted, 
always confirm the truth of their beliefs. 

816. The seeds for all root crops will do well when planted during the 
dark of the moon and in the sign of the "lower part of the body." 

817. Seeds will grow and thrive, if planted in the moonlight. 

818. Plant seeds when the moon is full and they will not do well. 

819. Do not plant seeds in the sign of the Waterman, for they will 
decay. 

820. Anything planted in the sign of the "bloom" will flower all the 
time and not bear. 

821. The sign of the Cancer is moist. Therefore plant in this sign and 
you will never have a failure. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 33 

822. The best time to plant crops which grow underground is in the 
sign of the "feet." 

823. Things planted in the sign of the "head" will grow to stock 
and vine. 

824. The sign of the "knee" is a good growing sign. 

825. Never gather a crop when the sign is in the "knee." 

826. Seeds planted in the sign of the "knee" will rot. 

827. If you plant seeds in the sign of Leo, they will grow well. 

828. Everything planted in the sign of Leo will become rotten. 

829. The best planting sign is in the Cancer. For second choice, select 
the sign of the Scorpion. If these two signs are not available, 
choose the sign of the Fishes. 

830. Seeds which mature aboveground should be planted in the 
morning. 

831. For crops that ripen underground, plant the seeds in the afternoon. 

832. If seeds are planted at noon, they will grow. 

833. An unfavorable time to plant anything is on the 31st of the month. 

834. Sow all kind of seeds on Good Friday for luck. 

835. To leave an unfinished row means that the results of your plant- 
ing will be unsuccessful. 

836. If you stretch a yarn string over rows of plants in the early 
spring, the frost will collect on the string and not injure them. 

837. Frost during the light of the moon will not damage plants. 

838. Plants will not be hurt, if there is a frost during the dark of 
the moon. 

839. A frost that follows a full moon will pinch plants. 

840. If there is a frost between the new moon and full moon, it will not 
nip plants. 

841. No matter how heavy a frost is, if the wind blows from the north, 
plants will not be killed. 

842. A frost, when the wind is from the south, will destroy plants. 

843. A frost after March 15th will not cause any damage to plants. 

844. "The man that brings us whipped cream said he never plants 
anything until the frogs have croaked three different times, be- 
cause there will be killing frost until they do. He said they have 
only croaked once this spring and we will have two more killing 
frosts. Says this is a sure sign and always depends on it." 
Written contribution. 

845. When blackberries first are in full bloom, some people say, "Black- 
berry frost" meaning that there will be a frost. This frost 

rarely kills. 

846. If there is no killing frost in September, we shall not have any 
until after the 15th of October. 



34 Memoirs of the Alnia Egan Hyatt Foundation 

847. Water dripping from the eaves of a house on New Year's Day 
is the sign of an excellent crop year. 

848. If a turtledove coos on New Year's Day, the crops will be good 
that year. 

849. Early thunderstorms indicate wonderful crops for the year. 

850. If you can wet a handkerchief with rain on Easter, you may 
expect a fine crop year. 

851. Wrap jxiper around the tops of your plants and the grub worms 
will not cut oflf the stalks at the ground. 

852. Once a week give your house plants cold tea instead of water and 
they will do better, 

853. Keep plants in your bedroom at night for good luck. 



CLOVER-GRASS-MUSHROOMS-WEEDS 

854. If clover seed are sown in the light of the moon, they will not 
sink into the ground. 

855. Plant clover seed in the dark of the moon and they will take root 
in the ground. 

856. Clover seed should be sown on a "no moon day" that is, 

during the twenty-four hours between the changes of the moon. 

857. Sow clover seed in the sign of the Cancer and they will neither 
freeze nor die during the winter. 

858. The person who finds and picks a four-leafed clover will have 
good luck. 

859. "Blessed is the eye that seeth a four-leafed clover, 
And cursed is the hand that plucketh it." 

860. Some people consider four-leafed clovers unlucky. "Thirty 

years ago my son-in-law and I were walking through the grape 
arbor, and looking down we found seven four-leafed clovers. We 
picked them, my son-in-law taking four home and I three. This 
was Sunday afternoon. On Monday afternoon my son-in-law 
went fishing with three other men and they all got drowned in the 
river. The following Tuesday my husband died. So I think four- 
leafed clovers very unlucky." 

861. If you pick a four-leafed clover, another will grow in its place. 

862. Let the finder of a four-leafed clover put it in a Bible and good 
luck will come to him. 

863. If you find a four-leafed clover, place it in your shoe for luck. 

864. When you have found a four-leafed clover, stick it into your shoe 
and you will be lucky as long as the clover leaf remains there. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 35 

865. To obtain good luck after you have picked a four-leafed clover, 

you must wear it in your left shoe. 
865. If a four-leafed clover is found on the 1st of May, keep it and 

you can secure whatever you desire. 

867. To pick a four-leafed clover in May is unlucky. 

868. Finding a four-leafed clover is the sign that you will inherit 
money. 

869. If you find a five-leafed clover, you are going to have bad luck. 

870. Picking a five-leafed clover will bring you bad luck. 

871. When you see a five-leafed clover, you must pick it and throw it 
away to avoid bad luck. 

872. Plucking a five-leafed clover will cause you good luck, provided 
you pass on the clover to another person. This person in turn 
will also have good luck, if he gives the leaf to someone else. 
However, the one who finally keeps the five-leafed clover will be 
unlucky. 

873. If you find a six-leafed clover, you may expect bad luck. 

874. "Years ago they would say the grass would get a better stand, if 
you would sow your seed on a windy day." 

875. Grass seed will not do well, unless sown in the light of the moon. 

876. Cut your grass in the light of the moon and you will soon be cut- 
ting it again. 

877. If you do not want your grass to grow, mow it in the dark of the 
moon. 

878. Place a plank on the grass in the light of the moon and the grass 
will continue to grow, because the plank will warp and turn up. 

879. Lay a board on the grass in the dark of the moon and the grass 
will die, for the board will remain flat on the ground. 

880. Put a board on the grass in the dark of the moon and the grass 
wni die within a week. 

881. If a brick is left on the grass in the dark of the moon, it will sink 
down out of sight into the ground. 

882. A brick laid on the grass during the light of the moon will not 
sink into the ground, and the grass will continue to grow under 
the brick. 

883. Grass will die if watered while the sun is shining. 

884. Hold a grass seed stalk in each hand and then place the heads of 
the stalks crossing one another inside your mouth. Pull the stalks 
outwards between your closed teeth and the number of seeds left 
on the stalk will tell you the time of day. As a matter of fact, 
this rite was primarily a practical joke played by older children 
upon their younger companions. The purpose was to leave a large 
quantity of seeds in the victim's mouth. 



36 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

885. If a man is walking through a field and sees a four-leafed piece 
of grass, he will soon find something. 

886. Toadstools are poisonous. To the uninformed, all mushrootns 

are toadstools. 

887. A devil's-snufifbox is poisonous. As children we took great 

delight in squeezing a devil' s-snuff box to see the brown powder 
fly out. There zvas akvays something mysterious and intriguing 
about these balls, perhaps, because adults told us the brown powder 
was "deathly poison," and if any of it got up our noses, we would 
die. We had no idea that these devil' s-snuff boxes were only dried 
or mature puffballs, and the brozvn pozvder merely ripe spores. 

^S. If weeds are cut in the dark of the moon, they will not come up 
again. 

889. You can kill weeds by cutting them on the 21st, 22nd and 23rd of 
May. 

890. It causes bad luck to have weeds growing around your house. 

891. If you see a piece of nettle pointing toward you, pick it up and 
you will have good luck. 



FLOWERS 

892. Flowers will do well, if planted in the sign of the "bowels." 

893. Flowers planted in the sign of the "bowels" will not open up. 

894. If vining flowers are planted in the sign of the "fingers" they will 
have long vines. 

895. Plant flowers in the sign of the "fingers" and they will be beau- 
tiful. 

896. It is said that flowers will bloom better, if planted in the sign of 

the "flower girl." Virgo, or the sign of the Virgin, is also 

called: "bloom," "flower," "lady (or maid) with the branch," 
"lady holding the flower," and "lady with the flowers in her 
Jmnd." The technical terms of the Zodiac are rarely used, some 
of them never, by the folk; perhaps for two reasons: First, the 
popular names are more concrete and pictorial; and second, the 
technical terms are not easily pronounced. 

897. To have plenty of flowers, plant them in the sign of the "flower 
girl." 

898. Flowers which grow under the ground (tuberous flowers) will 
do w^ell, if planted during the sign of the "lady with the jug in 
her hand" (Aquarius). 

899. If you plant flowers in the sign of the Twins, they will grow well. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 37 

900. Plant flowers in the sign of the Twins and all of them will bloom 
and be more beautiful. 

901. The sign of the Waterman is a bad time to plant flowers. 

902. Always transplant flowering plants in the light of the moon. 

903. Flowers planted in the light of the moon will be filled with 
blossoms. 

904. You can have large and beautiful flowers by planting them in the 
light of the moon. 

905. Your flowers will bloom all the time, if planted during the in- 
crease of the new moon. 

906. Plant flowers in the full moon and they will be beautiful. 

907. If flowers are planted on "Green Thursday" (Maundy Thursday), 
you will get all kind of colors. 

906. Thank the person who has given flower plants to you and they 
will not grow. 

909. If a woman plants flowers while she is menstruating, they 
will die. 

910. Blow tobacco smoke on your flowers and this will keep the bugs 
away from them. 

911. Pour water over Q.gg shells in a Jar and let them stand for three 
days. Sprinkle this liquid on and around your flowers and it will 
kill all the insects. 

912. Mash tgg shells and let them stand in a jar of water. Pour this 
liquid over your flowers and the blossoms will be beautiful. 

913. When watering your flowers, use the water in which you have 
washed your meat, and they will grow well. 

914. Never water your flowers while the sun is shining, or they will die. 

915. Carrying Alay flowers into the house will cause bad luck. 

916. Do not keep "depression flowers" in the room with a sick person, 

for they will sap the vitality of the patient. "A depression 

flower is a lump of coal in a dish with salt over it and bluing and 
mercury, and in no time you will have pretty blue flowers from 
the bluing, pink flowers from the mercury, and white flowers from 
the salt. Some people have very pretty dishes. They were all the 
go last year." 

917. Flowers are always removed from hospital rooms at night, because 
they throw off a poisonous odor. 

918. Some patients object to flowers in the sick room, because flowers 
remind them of a funeral. 

919. It is a sign of jealousy to wear a yellow flower. 

920. Having yellow flowers in your room will bring you bad luck. 

921. Write your troubles on a piece of paper and conceal it in a bou- 



38 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Fomtdation 

quet of flowers ; then attend a funeral and throw the bouquet con- 
taining the note into the open grave, and your troubles will pass 
away. 

922. If spring flowers bloom again in the fall, you may look for a 
sorrowful winter. 

923. Put wood ashes on the soil where you plant asters and the flowers 
will not have lice. 

924. A bridal wreath bush blooming out of season is the sign of bad 
luck. 

925. If a buttercup held beneath your chin casts a reflection against the 
flesh, you are fond of butter. 

926. Dig small holes near the places where you have planted carnation 
seed and put in these holes the dye of any color that you want 
in your flowers. When the carnations bloom, they will be the 
color of the dye placed in the holes. 

927. Plant dahlias on the last week of May in late afternoon during 
the dark of the moon and they will do well. 

928. If you plant dahlias in early morning during the light of the moon, 
they will not bloom but grow to stalk. 

929. Rub a dandelion against the bottom of your chin, and if yellow 
adheres to the flesh, you like butter. 

930. Hold a dandelion below someone's chin, and if you can see a 
yellow reflection upon the skin, he is fond of butter. 

931. Blow a dandelion seed-ball with one strong breath and the number 
of seeds left will tell you the time of day. 

932. Blow three times against a dandelion seed-ball and the number 
of seeds remaining will be the time of day. 

933. When you blow against a dandelion seed-ball, the direction in 
which the seeds fly will show you where to seek your fortune. 

934. Tickle a person's chin with a dandelion and if he laughs, he likes 
butter; but if he does not laugh, he has no taste for butter. 

935. In planting a fern always put some oats in the bottom of the pot 
and the plant will thrive. 

936. Pour a teaspoonful of castor oil around the roots of a fern, if it 
is dying or drying up, and this will revive the plant. 

937. Always water your ferns from the bottom upwards and never 
from the top downwards. 

938. To raise beautiful ferns, sprinkle them with the water in which 
you have washed your clothes after your monthly sickness. 

939. Touch the end (frond) of a fern and the plant will die. 

940. If you give a fern to anyone, you are giving sorrow. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 39 

941. The person who accepts the ^ft of a fern will never settle down 
in life. 

942. "Never let myrtle grow around your house. If you do, you will 
have sickness and trouble in your house as long as it is growing in 
your yard. My mother would never let a piece of myrtle grow in 
her yard. One day I brought a piece home and she threw it over 
the fence. Said it would bring trouble and sickness to our house." 

Prejudice against myrtle is rather general. It is rarely seen 

outside of cemeteries and even there it seems to he disappearing. 

943. Pansies must be planted on the north side of the house or they 
will not flourish. 

944. Unless pansies are planted exactly two inches below the surface 
of the ground, they will not grow. 

945. If you want pansies to be beautiful and to grow tall, plant them 
in the morning at six o'clock and always water them at six o'clock 
in the morning. 

946. Peony plants must not be moved except during the months of 
October and November. If they are transplanted in any other 
month, they will not bloom for three years. 

947. To secure fine roses, set them out on the 25th of May. 

948. "Mrs. E, has a plant that someone gave her thirty-nine years ago 
for good luck, called the sea onion, and it has little onions that 
come out on the sides of it. She gave me one little onion for 
every member of our family this morning and told me to plant 
them, that we would all have good luck, for it was good luck to 
have that plant in your house." 

949. To have sunflowers growing in your back yard will cause you 
good luck. 

950. Soak sweet peas overnight in milk before planting them and the 
blossoms will be twice as large. 

951. Rows of sweet peas must be planted pointing north and south or 
they will not bloom, 

952. If rows of sweet peas run north and south, the plants will blos- 
som profusely. 

953. If sweet peas are planted on St. Patrick's Day (March \7th), 
they will grow well. 

954. Sweet peas planted on St. Patrick's Day will have more fragrance. 

955. "Plant sweet peas on St. Patrick's Day before sunup and you 
will have the best of luck. I always plant my sweet peas on St. 
Patrick's Day and I have beautiful flowers and so many that I 
don't know what to do with them." 



40 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

956. Sweet peas should be planted on Good Friday, if you want to be 
successful with them. 

957. Plant petunia seed in the early morning and always water them 
early in the morning and they will flower abundantly. 

958. Unless you set out two tuberoses near together, they will not 
bloom. One plant is supposed to be a male, the other a female. 
The marks distinguishing the sexes seem to be unknown. 

959. You must remove the little excrescences from a tuberose bulb 
before planting or it will not produce blossoms. 

960. Tuberoses bloom only once in seven years. 

961. If you close yourself up in a room with tuberoses, their perfume 
will kill you. 

962. A tuberose is an unlucky flower. 

963. There is considerable prejudice against tuberoses. Some think a 
tuberose has the w^axy appearance of death; others, that it emits 
an odor of death. 

VEGETABLES 

964. Vegetables which ripen underground should be planted in the 
dark of the moon. 

965. If vegetables mature aboveground, they must be planted in the 
light of the moon. 

966. Those vegetables, of which the leaves are used, ought to be planted 
in the new moon. 

967. If vegetables have blossoms and fruit, plant the seeds in the 
full moon. 

968. Scatter ashes over the garden on Ash Wednesday and lice will 
not molest your vegetables. 

969. If beans are planted in the morning, they will do well. 

970. Beans planted in the morning will grow quicker and bear sooner 
than beans planted in the afternoon. 

971. Plant the seeds at noon and you will have plenty of beans. 

972. Beans will drop their bloom and not amount to much, if planted 
during the afternoon. 

973. Never plant beans when the sign is going down, or they will grow 
down instead of up. 

974. Plant the seeds in the sign of the "arm" and you will secure beans 
as long as your arm. 

975. If you plant the seeds while the sign is descending from the 
"arm" towards the "fingers," you will have more beans on each 
vine than you can hold in your fingers. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 41 

976. The sign of the "breast" is a good time to plant beans. 

977. To obtain low bushes and hence more beans, plant your seeds in 
the sign of the "feet." 

978. You will get flowers and no beans, if you plant them in the sign 
of the "lady holding a flower." 

979. Beans planted in the sign of the "flower girl" will bear until frost. 

980. If you plant beans in the sign of the "flowers," they will bloom 
themselves to death and you will not get a bean. 

981. A good time to plant beans is in the sign of the "thigh." 

982. Plant the seeds in the sign of the Twins and you will pick two 
beans instead of one. 

983. Planting beans in the sign of the Twins and during the light of 
the moon will bring you an excellent crop. 

984. If beans are planted in the sign of the Twins and during the light 
of the moon, they will not stop bearing until frost. 

985. Always plant the seeds in the full of the moon and your vines 
will be full of beans. 

986. The best time to plant beans is when apple trees bloom. 

987. Beans should be planted on Good Friday. 

988. Plant beets when peach trees blossom. 

989. Beets must be planted while the sign is going up. 

990. In the sign of the "ami" is a good time to plant butterbeans. 

991. If butterbeans are planted during the light of the moon and in 
the sign of the Twins, you can pick them until frost. 

992. To have good cabbage, set out the plants when the moon is one 
third full. 

993. If cabbage is planted in the sign of the "heart," the heads will 

rot. "I knew a farmer that lost a whole field of cabbage, 

because he set his plants out in the sign of the heart. The heads 
all rotted and slipped down in the stalk." 

994. To secure large heads, set out cabbage in the sign of the Scales. 

995. If you plant cabbage in the sign of the Twins, the heads will be 
twins ; that is, not head properly. 

996. If you set out cabbage in the sign of the Twins, when you cut oflf 
a head another will grow in its place. 

997. Plant cabbage on Friday in the new moon and the frost will not 
kill it. 

998. Insects will eat up your cabbage ,if it is hoed during dog days. 

999. Scatter elder leaves over your cabbage plants and insects will not 
bother them. 

1000. Sprinkle flour over your cabbage plants while the dew is on them 
and you will drive away the worms. 



42 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

1001. Lay pennyroyal leaves over your cabbage plants and the worms 
will desert them. 

1002. Place plantain leaves over heading cabbage and the worms will 
not molest the plants. 

1003. Tie a head of cabbage to the ceiling on Christmas Day and stick 
nails into it. This will bring you good luck during the coming 
year. 

1004. It is very unlucky to have a head of cabbage in the house on New 
Year's Day. 

1005. "When I was a girl, on Halloween we would go around and lay 
a head of cabbage on every front step that we wanted them to 
have plenty." 

1006. Plant carrots in the sign of the "leg" and they will be long and 
smooth. 

1007. Carrots should be planted when peach trees are blooming. 

1008. The 15th of July is a good time to plant winter carrots. 

1009. If you plant cucumbers on the first three days of May, they will 
bear themselves to death. 

1010. You can secure long or large cucumbers by planting them on 
June 21st, the longest day of the year. 

1011. You will have success with your cucumbers, if the seeds are 
planted on the 6th of July wet or dry. 

1012. Plant cucumbers when cherry trees are in blossom. 

1013. If you plant the seeds in the sign of the "arm," you will gather 
as many cucumbers to a vine as you have fingers on your hand. 

1014. Cucumbers planted in the sign of the Cancer will grow to vines 
and not bear. 

1015. Always plant cucumbers in the sign of the Fishes, because that is 
a watery sign ; and the vines will not wilt or dry out. 

1016. If you plant the seeds in the sign of the "thigh," your vines will 
be full of cucumbers. 

1017. You will i^ick a large crop of cucumbers, if they are planted in 
the sign of the Twins. 

1018. Planting your seeds in the sign of the Twins will give you two 
cucumbers for every one that you would have had, had you 
planted them at some other time. 

1019. Cucumber seed planted in the sign of the Twins will produce two 
cucumbers for every blossom. 

1020. You will have an excellent crop of cucumbers, if they are planted 
in the morning before sunrise. 

1021. To procure a good crop of cucumbers, plant them on the 1st of 
May before the sun rises. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 43 

1022. "Plant cucumbers on the 6th of July, 
You will have cucumbers, wet or dry." 

1023. Scatter flour over your "pickle plants" (cu'cumbers) to drive away 
the lice. 

1024. If you plant cucumbers on the longest day of the year, insects 
will not molest them. 

1025. While wearing your night clothes, plant cucumbers on the 1st of 
May before the sun comes up, and they will not be attacked 
by bugs. 

1026. Put a moth ball in a cucumber hill and tlie vines will not be 
troubled by ants. 

1027. Drop a nasturtium seed into each hill of cucumbers, when they 
are planted, and the insects will not harm the vines. 

1028. Plantain leaves spread among cucumber vines will keep insects 
away. 

1029. "If you will plant radish seed with your cucumbers, the bugs will 
not bother them, for the bugs don't like radishes." 

1030. Keep rhubarb leaves near your cucumber plants and insects will 
not damage the vines. 

1031. Rid your cucumber vines of insects by planting the seeds before 
sunrise. 

1032. Scoop out a turnip and set it upside down by a cucumber plant 
and the insects will crawl into the turnip and not destroy your 
vines. 

1033. Soak your cucumber seed in turpentine before planting them and 
the vines will never be hurt by insects. 

1034. Hang a bunch of garlic over or keep it on the mantel for luck. 

1035. If kohl-rabi is planted in the sign of the "lady with the branch," 
the plants will grow to seeds instead of heads. 

1036. "In planting lettuce I always say, 'Three seeds for the birds and 
three for myself." 

1037. Lettuce should be planted on the 4th of April. 

1038. The 5th of April is a good time to plant lettuce. 

1039. If lettuce is planted in the light of the moon, it will grow to tops. 

1040. Plant lettuce on the decrease of the moon and it will not run to 
seeds. 

1041. If you sow mustard seed in your garden, you will experience more 
trouble that year than you have ever had in your life. 

1042. Onion sets planted when the sign is up will not stay in the ground. 

1043. To secure large onions, plant your sets while the sign is going 
down. 



44 Alcmoirs of the Alma llgan Hyatt I'oundation 

1044. You can obtain large onions and small tops by planting your sets 
in the sign of the "head." 

1045. Your onion crop will be excellent, if the sets are planted on the 
21st of March. 

1046. Always take care that your onion sets stand upright when planted, 
for if the sprouts are downward, your onions will grow through 
the earth to China ; that is, they will not grow at all. 

1047. Carry an onion in your pocket for luck. 

1048. If you transplant parsley, you will have bad luck. 

1049. An old saying for planting parsnips is: "As long as my arm and 
as thick as my wrist." 

1050. Parsnips will be long and smooth, if planted in the sign of the 
"leg." 

1051. Wild parsnips are poisonous. A good many people are in- 
clined to think the same thing of cultivated parsnips. 

1052. You will have low bushes and more peas, if the seeds are planted 
in the sign of the "feet." 

1053. Plant peas in the sign of the "flower" and they will grow to 
flowers. There will not be any peas. 

1054. Peas will bear until frost, if planted in the sign of the Twins and 
when the moon is light. 

1055. You can secure a good crop of peas and full pods, if you plant 
the seeds in the full moon. 

1056. Peas will thrive, if they are planted on St. Patrick's Day. 

1057. Peppers can be grown only by a person who has a violent temper. 

1058. Unless you are angry while planting peppers, they will not grow. 

1059. "A woman I know, when she plants potatoes always said, 'In the 

Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost' to every potato; 

so she would get a big crop." 

1060. Strew a little straw along the furrow in which you plant potatoes 
and you will not have any weeds. 

1061. For a good crop of potatoes, let ever}^ other row be planted with 
onions instead of potatoes. The onions will get into the eyes of 
the potatoes, make them cry, and thus produce continual moisture. 

1062. You must never plant onions near potatoes, because the onions 
will get into the eyes of the potatoes and make them cry. 

1063. The results from planting the sets when the sign is going up will 
be small potatoes and tops. 

1064. Large potatoes can be secured by planting them while the sign is 
going down. 

1065. There will be a big potato crop, if they are planted in the sign 
of the "bowels." 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 45 

1066. Potatoes planted in the sign of the "feet" will have excrescences 
like toes. 

1067. If potatoes are planted in the sign of the Fishes, they will sur- 
vive dry weather. 

1068. To prevent the bugs from eating potatoes, plant your sets in the 
sign of the "heart." 

1069. A good time to plant potatoes is in the sign of the "legs." 

1070. Potatoes will yield well, if planted in the sign of the "thigh;" or 
as some say, in the sign of the Bowman. 

1071. "If you plant potatoes in the sign of the Twins, your potatoes 
will have all little potatoes over them. You will not have a smooth 
potato in the field." 

1072. Plant your sets in the sign of the Twins and you will get two 
potatoes in place of the one that you would have secured, had you 
planted them in some other sign. 

1073. When the moon is on the wane, plant your potatoes and they will 
do well. 

1074. The best time to plant potatoes is in the dark of the moon. 

1075. If you plant the sets in the sign of the "thigh" and when the moon 
is dark, you will get smooth potatoes. 

1076. Plant the sets in the sign of the "thigh" and when the moon is 
light, and you will not secure a potato; for they will grow to 
flowers. 

1077. To make potatoes grow, plant them in the light of the moon. 

1078. Always plant your late potatoes in the last dark moon of June. 

1079. You can secure large potatoes by planting them in the morning 
between the hours of nine and twelve. 

1080. Potatoes planted in the morning will do better than those set out 
in the afternoon. 

1081. Good days on which to plant Irish potatoes are the 17th and 18th 
of the month. 

1082. The 17th and 18th of the month are good times to transplant 
sweet potatoes. 

1083. To have a fine crop, plant potatoes on the last two days of the 
month regardless of the weather. 

1084. Potatoes will do well, if they are planted on the 10th of April; 
in other words, one hundred days from the 1st of January. 

1085. One of the best times to plant potatoes is on election day in the 
spring. 

1086. You will dig up a large crop of fine potatoes, if they arc planted 
on St. Patrick's Day. 



46 Memoirs of tJie Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

1087. A good crop of potatoes may be secured by planting them on 
Good Friday. 

1088. A great many potato bugs on the vines indicates a large number 
of potatoes, 

1089. "If you want to kill potato bugs, you have to go out at the hour 
of twelve to three when the sun is the hottest." 

1090. Carry a small potato in your pocket for luck, 

1091. Plant pumpkins when apple trees are blooming, 

1092. "Plant pumpkin seeds in May, 
And they will all run away." 

1093. "Plant pumpkin seeds in June, 
And they will come soon," 

1094. Seeds taken from a male pumpkin alone, or only from a female 
pumpkin, will grow into flowers. There will not be any pumpkins. 
To secure results you must select your seeds from both the male 
and female pumpkins. The male pumpkin can be distinguished by 
the large "blossom scar" left at the junction of the stem and fruit, 
while on the contrary, the female pumpkin always has a small 
blossom scar. 

1095. Radishes planted in the sign of the "knee" will rot. 

1096. Plant radishes in the sign of the "leg" so that they will be long, 

1097. To secure fine and solid radishes, plant the seeds in the sign of 
the "thigh." 

1098. Plant the seeds in the sign of the "thigh" as it is going down and 
you will get large radishes. 

1099. Radishes are drunkards. They require a lot of water. 

1100. "Never plant rhubarb where anyone walks, because it won't grow. 
It likes to be where it is quiet." 

1101. It is unlucky to plant sage in your garden, 

1102. You will have bad luck, if you plant sage seed in your yard; but 
you can avoid this by planting the seeds somewhere else and then 
setting out the sage plants. 

1103. Plant sage seed and you plant sorrow. 

1104. To set out sage plants means that you are setting someone out of 
your family. 

1105. If you give sage plants to anyone, you will have a quarrel. 

1 106. Squash planted in the sign of the Twins will bear well. 

1107. When peach trees are blooming is a good time to plant tomatoes, 

1108. Tomatoes will grow large, if planted in the sign of the Scales, 

1109. The sign of the Twins is a good time to plant tomatoes. 

1110. Plant tomatoes in the sign of the Twins when the moon is light 
and they will bear until frost. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois A7 

1111. Turnips planted in the sign of the "lady with the branch" will 
grow to tops and seeds. 

1112. To obtain large turnips, sow the seeds in the dark of the moon. 

1113. If the seeds are sown in the light of the moon, the turnips will 
be small. 

1114. Sow turnip seed on the 4th of July wet or dry. 

1115. Plant turnips on the 25th of July wet or dry. 

1116. Your turnip crop will be large and excellent, if the seeds are 
sown on the 10th of August. 

1117. To secure sweet turnips, plant them on St. Laurence Day (lOf/i 
of August). 

1118. The sowing of turnips should be completed before the 20th of 
August. 

1119. If you plant turnips on August 25th wet or dry, you will have a 
good crop. 

1120. Your turnips will be bitter, if you sow the seeds in the afternoon. 

1121. To have sweet turnips, always plant them in the morning before 

eleven o'clock. "One day a man went over to a neighbor's 

house and wanted him to give him some turnip seeds, said his 
turnips were so sweet and his (ozvn) was always bitter. The man 
said, 'When do you plant your turnip seed ?' The man said, 'Any 
old time.' The other man said, 'I will give you some seed and you 
plant them in the morning before eleven o'clock, if you want good 
sweet turnips.' The man took the seed home and forgot to plant 
them. One day he thought about his seeds. It was four o'clock 
in the afternoon. A rain was coming up and he thought he had 
better plant his seed before the rain, forgetting all about the man 
telling him to plant them in the morning. That fall he went and 
told his neighbor that he did not give him the sweet seeds, because 
his turnips were all bitter. The neighbor said, 'When did you 
plant them? I have only one kind of seed.' The man said, 'Four 
o'clock in the afternoon. I forgot what you told me.' The 
neighbor said, 'If you had of did what I told you, plant them in 
the morning, you would of had sweet ones'. " 



FRUITS AND BERRIES 

1122. Snow on Christmas indicates a good fruit year. 

1123. A great quantity of ice between Christmas and New Year's Day 
is the sign of an abundant crop of fruit. 



48 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

1124. We are going to have a large fruit crop, if there is a thick coating 
of ice on the trees in February. 

1125. Fruit trees bear well, if planted in the full moon. 

1126. If you transplant fruit trees on the increase of the moon, they 
will produce more fruit. 

1127. To plant fruit trees during the decrease of the moon will prevent 
them from bearing. 

1128. Frost during the light of the moon will not kill fruit. 

1129. Empty dishwater around the roots of a fruit tree that does not 
bear well and shows signs of dying, and this will revive the tree. 

1130. If you have a fruit tree that does not bear, during the autumn 
drive three rusty nails into its trunk near the ground, and you 
will have fruit next year. 

1131. Fruit trees pruned in the light of the moon will not die. 

1132. Prune fruit trees in the full of the moon and they will be laden 
with fruit. 

1133. Fruit trees should be sprayed on Good Friday. 

1134. The fruit crop will be small, if there is a rain while the trees are 
blooming. 

1135. Rain falling into the blossoms of fruit trees will make the fruit 
wormy. 

1136. Hang elder leaves on fruit trees and the insects will not injure 
the fruit. 

1137. To make fruit trees bear better, scatter ashes about them on Ash 
Wednesday. 

1138. Wood ashes sprinkled around fruit trees will keep the worms 
away. 

1139. If a fruit tree will not bear, tie pieces of iron on the branches. 

1140. "My husband in the spring always put old horseshoes in the fruit 
trees. It will make the fruit hang on the trees." 

1141. If you estimate or count the unmatured fruit on a tree, it will 
drop off before ripening. 

1142. A fruit tree will die, if it is touched by a menstruating woman. 

1143. A fruit tree will be barren next year, if you allow a pregnant 
woman to shake it at harvest time. 

1144. Fruit will not decay, if picked when the moon is increasing. 

1145. Gather fruit on the decrease of the moon and the fruit that is 
bruised will not rot or dry up. 

1146. If you find double fruit, two pieces of fruit grown together, you 
will have good luck. 

1147. You may expect good luck when you find a piece of fruit contain- 
ing two stones. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 49 

1148. A sleet in February will produce a fine apple crop. 

1149. Apples gathered in the light of the moon will not rot. 

1150. After you have accepted an apple from someone and have bitten 
into it, if the apple breaks apart while in your hand, return it to 
the giver at once or you will have bad luck. 

1151. Slipping on a banana peeling brings bad luck. 

1152. The name "blackberry winter" is given to cold weather in May, 

because it makes a good blackberry crop. "You can always 

tell when the blackberries are ripe, because we always have a cool 
spell which is called the blackberry winter." 

1153. There will be no blackberries, if rain falls on the 1st of May. 

1154. Rain on the 2nd of June means a poor crop of blackberries. 

1155. "Mr. K. told me, a man on his block had a cherry tree and it 
would always bloom, but he would not get any cherries. He told 
him to hang the tree full of old bottles. He did, and that year he 
got two crates of fine cherries." 

1156. A single cherry tree will bloom but not bear. You must plant two 
cherry trees to have fruit. 

1157. Eating gooseberries before they are ripe will give you lice. 

1158. There will not be any grapes, if it rains on Easter. 

1159. Rain on the 4th of July means no grape crop. 

1160. Hang rhubarb leaves on your grapevines to drive away the worms. 

1161. Place wood ashes around your grapevines and worms will not do 
any damage. 

1162. Water grapevines with your old dishwater and they will not be- 
come wormy. 

1163. When you trim your grapevines leave two notches on each vine 
and you will secure better grapes. 

1164. Grapevines should be trimmed after the first frost in the fall. 

1165. If you trim your grapevines just before the full moon and in the 
sign of the Cancer, they will not be bothered by birds or worms. 

1166. You will have bad luck, if you burn grapevines. 

1 167. Swallow a lemon seed and a lemon tree will grow in your stomach. 

1168. During the year in which seventeen-year locusts appear, mulber- 
ries will be poisonous. 

1169. If you swallow an orange seed, an orange tree will grow in your 
stomach. 

1170. A December sleet indicates a good peach crop. 

1171. When the wind blows from the south on Christmas Day, there 
will be fine peaches that year. 



50 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

1172. \Vc shall not have any peaches, if it thunders on the 12th of 
February. 

1173. Peach trees in bloom will never freeze in the light of the moon. 

1174. Unless you plant two peach trees, a male and a female, you will 

not get any fruit. "You can tell a woman and man peach 

tree by the leaves. A man peach tree has wide leaves. A woman 
peach tree has narrow leaves." 

1175. The peach tree with the smallest blossoms produces the largest 
fruit, and conversely, the tree with the largest blossoms bears the 
smallest fruit. 

1176. When you plant a peach tree, put old buckets and old shoes in 
the hole, and the tree will grow well. 

1177. "Empty your chamber pot every morning against a peach tree, 
so it will bear better." 

1178. Plant tansy about a peach tree and worms will not molest the tree. 

1179. The person who swallows a peach seed will have a peach tree 
growing in his stomach. 

1180. If someone brings peanuts into your house, you will have bad luck. 

1181. To eat peanuts and drop the shells on the floor will cause you 
bad luck. 

1182. If you litter the floor with peanut shells, a policeman will come to 
your house. 

1183. Never throw peanut shells around the front door, or you will be 
arrested before the week is gone. 

1184. "Never let anyone bring peanuts in your house in the shells; if 
you do, they are keeping money out of your house. I was work- 
ing (as charwoman) in a sporting house (house of prostitution 
in this particular case) years ago and they would not let anyone 
in the house that had peanuts in their shells. Said there would not 
be any money coming in, if they let the peanuts in the house." 

1185. "Years ago (about fifty) when I was a little boy nine years old, 
my father had a beautiful pear tree. Every year it would be just 
full of bloom, but would not bear. One day when my father was 
gone, several boys and I took all of my father's nails and drove 
them into the tree, just to be doing something. When my father 
got home, I sure did get a good whipping for doing it. He 
thought the tree would die. The next year that tree was just full 
of nice pears. You see, the nails did the work. The tree needed 
iron." 

1186. Place old shoes and old buckets about the roots of a pear tree 
when you plant it, and the tree will thrive. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 51 

1187. "We had a blue plum tree for ten, years and it never had a plum 
on it. It would just bloom all the time. One day my grandson 
Rex came to see me, and he was playing out in the yard and he 
took a hatchet and hacked into the tree. My son said, 'Why Rex, 
why did you do that, for you will kill grandma's tree?' And the 
next year that tree was full of blue plums." 

1188. "I had an old yellow plum tree. It would bloom all the time but 
would not bear. One day a lady came to our house and said, 
'Hang all the old buckets you can find on that tree and it will bear 
fruit.' We got all the old buckets we could find and hung on the 
tree, and we had all the plums we could take care of after that." 

1189. If you have a plum tree and it blooms but does not bear, in the 
spring throw salt around the roots and you will get plums that 
year. 

1190. If a baby swallows a plum seed, a plum tree will grow out of the 
top of its head. 

1191. If you swallow a plum seed, a plum tree will grow in your 
stomach. 

1192. You must plant a row of male and a row of female strawberries 
or they will not bear. 

1193. You will not have any strawberries, unless you plant two or more 
varieties in a patch. 

1194. Plant melons when apple trees are blooming. 

1195. If you plant watermelons in the sign of the Cancer, the vines will 
not have a second growth, and your melons will be sweet. 

1196. You can secure a large watermelon crop by planting them in the 
sign of the "heart" and during the dark of the moon. 

1197. Muskmelon planted during the sign of the Cancer in April will 
do well. 

1198. Insects will not damage your watennelons, if the seeds are planted 
during the first sign of the "heart" in May. 

1199. You will have a large watermelon crop, if you plant the seeds on 
the first day of May before the sun is up. 

1200. Insects will not destroy your watermelons, if the seeds are planted 
before sunrise on the 1st of May while you are wearing your 
night clothes. 

1201. "If you want good, sweet watermelons, on the first day of May 
take and make your holes. Then put in two pitchforks of cow 
manure, then drop your seed right on that manure and cover it 
with dirt; and you will have melons so large that you will not 
be able to carry them, and sweet." 



s:^^^' 



52 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foumlation 

1202. You will have plenty of melons by planting the seeds during the 
first three days of May. 

1203. Melons should be planted on the 9th of May. 

1204. There will be a large and excellent crop of watermelons, if the 
seeds are planted on the 10th of May. 

1205. "If you want a watermelon to weigh forty to one hundred pounds, 
make a hole, then put in some manure, then some sand on top 
of the manure, then dirt next, then four watermelon seeds and two 
pumpkin seeds, then cover it with dirt; and you will never get less 
than a forty pound melon." 

1206. To have seedless watermelon : Let the vine grow until it is about 
ready to bloom, then several feet from the hill dig a hole or trench 
four or five inches deep under one of the runners. That part of 
the runner which goes over the hole is to be buried in the hole 
and covered with oats. All of the melons from the hole out to 
the end of the runner will be seedless, but the other melons on 
the vine will have seeds. 

1207. "To see if a watermelon is ripe, you roll the melon from you and 
if it rolls towards you on its own account, it is ripe." 

1208. If you cut open a large watermelon and find it unripe, there will 
be sickness and sorrow in your family. 

1209. After you have cut a muskmelon in two, if you pick up one of 
the halves and the seeds fall out, you will lose all your possessions ; 
but if the seeds do not drop out, you will become rich within a 
few months. 

1210. A watermelon vine will grow in your stomach, if you swallow a 
watermelon seed. 



CORN-OATS-WHEAT 

1211. Plant com in the dark of the moon so that the ears will grow- 
near the bottom of the stalk where they will be within reach and 
easily picked. 

1212. Ears of corn will grow near the top of a stalk, if the seeds are 
planted in the light of the moon. 

1213. Com planted in the dark of the moon will have large ears low- 
on the stalk. 

1214. The sign of the "arms" is a good time to plant com. 

1215. You will have a good corn crop, if the seeds are planted when 
dogwood trees bloom. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 53 

1216. Corn should be planted on the 26th of March. 

1217. The 27th of March is a good time to plant corn. 

1218. Never plant corn during the first three days of May. 

1219. Plant corn when white oak leaves are the size of a squirrel's ear. 

1220. The first appearance of the woodpecker is a signal for corn plant- 
ing. 

1221. More than three grains of com in a hill will not grow. 

1222. Corn will not bear well unless you mix your seeds in the propor- 
tion of one male grain to two female grains. These seeds must be 
taken from male and female ears of corn. The former is long and 
tapering on the top or growing end of the ear, and the latter 
ear is blunt on both ends. 

1223. "When my mother would plant corn, she would always say, 'Here 
is some for the worms, some for the neighbors and some for 
myself and she would always have a plenty." 

1224. In planting corn take five grains to the hill, saying: 

"One for the blackbird, one for the crow, 
One for the mole and two to grow." 

1225. When planting corn, say, "One for the cutworm, one for the 
birds, one for the rats, one for the thief, and one for myself." 

1226. A man who planted corn "on the shares," always dropped two 
grains for the company, one for himself, and three for the mice 
and rats. 

1227. "In planting corn or wheat, I say: 

'One for the cutworm, 
One for the crow; 
Two to plant, 
And two to grow'." 

1228. A farmer planting corn, says : 

"Two for the crow. 

Two to rot. 

And two to grow." 

1229. "My aunt would always plant corn and she would say, 'Three for 
the hill, four for the crow, and two for the cutworm.' The cut- 
worm thinks he has a plenty when he takes two, the crow thinks 
he has had the hill when he takes three, and that leaves four for 
the planter." 

1230. When locust trees are laden with blossoms, there will be a large 
corn crop. 

1231. An excellent crop of corn may be expected, if it thunders in 
November. 



54 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foutidation 

1232. "Mr. P. told me, when he was a boy his father would always 
make him take the cobs from the corn they were planting and 
throw them over in a field to rot. If you would burn the cobs, 
your corn would burn up in the summer when it was growing." 

1233. Corn grows quicker in the light of the moon than it does during 
a dark moon. 

1234. There is no com growing weather until after Whitsunday (seven 
weeks after Easter). 

1235. Expect a good com crop, if the weather is dry in June. 

1236. While husking corn, if you find a blue-spotted ear or "Sally corn," 
it is the sign of good luck. 

1237. "If you have a cornfield and some of the stalks of corn are real 
white and have no green on them, do not pull them up; if you do, 
some of your cattle will drop dead in the field." 

1238. You are going to be sick, if the first new ear of corn that you see 
has white silk. 

1239. Sow oats on the 27th, 28th and 29th of March and you will have 
a crop of grain. 

1240. If oats seed are sown after April 10th, they will grow to straw. 

1241. In sowing wheat by hand years ago, some farmers would say, 
"Here're five for the rabbits, five for the moles and mice, five 
for the birds, and the rest for myself." 

1242. Heavy snows in winter mean a good wheat crop. 

1243. If the nut crop fails, the wheat crop will be poor. 

1244. A large crop of nuts is followed by a good crop of wheat. 

1245. Walk backwards and throw your handkerchief over your left 
shoulder into a wheat field for luck. 



TREES-SHRUBBERY-VINES 

1246. If you plant a tree or bush and name it after some prosperous 
person, it will grow and do well. 

1247. Trees should be planted when the moon is old. 

1248. A good time to plant trees is on the 25th of May. 

1249. Place oats about the roots of a tree that you are planting and it 
will thrive. 

1250. When planting a tree, let it lean a little to the north so that it 
will grow straight. 

1251. No matter how you plant a tree, it will always bend towards water. 

1252. If you transplant a tree, be sure to mark its north side and to 
set it out with this side to the north, or the tree will die. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 55 

1253. Revivify a dying tree by driving a nail into its trunk. 

1254. If a tree is going to die, drive a nail into the north side of its 
trunk and it will live. 

1255. You must immediately paint the stump left, after a limb has 
been sawed from a tree, or the tree will die. 

1256. Peeling bark in the dark of the moon will kill a tree. 

1257. A tree will die, if chopped into during the dark of the moon. 

1258. Timber is easily killed, if cut in the new moon. 

1259. Chop into the bark on an Ember Day and the tree will not live. 

1260. Hew down a tree while the sap is rising and the wood will become 
wormy. 

1261. If you cut down hickory nut trees between March and the 1st of 
June, worms will eat up the timber. 

1262. The best time to kill timber is on June 21st, 22nd and 23rd. 

1263. If you want to kill trees or shrubbery during June or August, 
they should be cut in the sign of the "heart." 

1264. The 13th of August is a good time to kill trees or brush. 

1265. Any tree you cut into from the 7th to the 14th of August will die. 

1266. A tree will be killed, if you stick a penknife into it on the 21st 
of August. 

1267. Fell trees from the 1st of October to the last of November and 
your wood will not become worm-eaten. 

1268. It is the sign of bad luck to have a tree in your yard bloom twice 
in the same season. 

1269. When a tree in your yard has blossoms for a second time during 
the year, pick the blossoms at once and you will not have bad luck. 

1270. "I will not burn any cutting off of a tree, bush or vine. I always 
put them in some corner of the yard and let them rot, for I think 
it is bad luck to burn them." 

1271. Eating buckeyes will poison you. 

1272. Carry a buckeye for good luck. 

1273. It is lucky to keep a buckeye in the house. "My father kept 

a buckeye in his trunk for luck. He would not be without one 
in the house." 

1274. A transplanted cedar tree must be reset in the same position or 
it will not grow. 

1275. It brings good luck to plant a cedar tree in your yard and have 
it live. 

1276. Burning cedar wood will cause you bad luck. 

1277. You must plant two chestnut trees, for one tree will produce burrs, 
but no nuts. 



56 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

1278. If on your first trip to the country you see a field of cotton beaten 
down, do not proceed farther, for you will have bad luck. 

1279. It is unlucky to have ivy growing in the house. 

1280. Lightning strikes the locust more often than any other tree. The 
oak tree comes next. 

1281. Moss always grows on the north side of a tree. 

1282. Plant an oak tree in your yard and you will have good luck. 

1283. Grub out osage orange bushes when the moon is dark in August 
and they will come up again. 

1284. Open a persimmon seed and you will find a knife, fork and spoon. 

1285. One persimmon tree will be sterile. You must plant two of them. 

1286. Do not gather pokeberries in June, for they are then wild and 
\ery poisonous. 

1287. Judas hanged himself on a redbud tree. 

1288. You will have bad luck, if you burn sassafras wood. 

1289. Two walnut trees must be planted together, for one by itself will 
not produce nuts. 

1290. It causes very bad luck to have a weeping willow in your yard. 

1291. You can kill brush by cutting it in the dark of the moon. 

1292. Grub out sprouts in June during the dark of the moon and they 
w'ill not shoot up again. 

1293. If shrubber}^ is cut on an Ember Day, it will not grow again. 

1294. To make vines or bushes thrive, spit into the holes when planting 
them. 

1295. Vines should be planted in the light of the moon. 

1296. You will have splendid results, if you plant vines in the sign of 
the Cancer. 

1297. "If you have a vine and only one side of the vine will bear, tie 
a red string around the side that don't bear and the next year both 
sides w^ill bear. I had a hop vine. Every year one side would be 
just full of hops and the other side of the fence would be bare. 
Someone told me about the red string, so I tied a red string around 
the side that didn't have any hops and left the string on, and the 
next year my hop vine was full on both sides." 

1298. It is very unlucky to have a live-forever vine growing in your 
yard. 

1299. Never let anyone give you a piece of Wandering Jew vine, or it 
will bring bad luck to the house. 

1300. Heavy dews in August make heavy tobacco. 

1301. A tobacco setter will have bad luck, if he allows the dropper to 
get more than a row ahead of him. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 57 

AQUATIC LIFE 

1302. A crawfish pinching one of your toes will not let loose until it 
thunders. 

1303. There is a precious stone in the head of a crawfish. 

1304. Carry on your person the precious stone from the head of a craw- 
fish and you will have good luck. 

1305. It causes bad luck to keep goldfish in the house. 

1306. "If you have goldfish in your house, you will be ailing all the 
time until you get them out." 

1307. Never let anyone give you a goldfish or you will have bad luck. 

1308. "Do you know that if you blow your breath in a goldfish jar, the 
fish will die?" 

1309. Minnows come by spontaneous generation. The old argimient 

mid one formerly submitted as an infallible proof of this belief, 
asserted that a creek will dry up completely duting a drought and 
yet minnozcs always reappear immediately after the first rain. 

1310. Sometimes fish fall during a rain. 

1311. A certain bone in the head of fish will bring good luck, if kept on 
your person. 

1312. The bone in the head of a white perch is especially lucky, if 
carried by a fisherman. 

1313. Keep a piece of oyster shell in your pocketbook for luck and 
money. 

INSECT LIFE 

1314. Ants may be kept out of a house by laying catnip leaves about 
the rooms. 

1315. Scatter cucumber peelings on the floor to drive away ants. 

1316. Keep a piece of hoodoo paper in the house and you will not be 
troubled with ants. 

1317. It is unlucky to step on a mound of ants. 

1318. If you gather fern leaves during the last two days of June and 
place them under the bed, the bedbugs will leave. 

1319. Your bed will not have bedbugs, if you wash it with water in 
which cedar tree leaves were boiled. 

1320. "If you have bedbugs in your house, just take a bottle of ammonia 
and sit it on the floor in the center of the house for three days. 
It will kill the bugs and you won't be worried with them any 
more." 



58 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

1321. A bee will die after stinging. 

1322. You can prevent bees from flyin^g away by putting the roots of 
a blue lily (iris) in the hive. 

1323. A swarm of bees will alight, if you ring a bell. 

1324. To make bees alight while swarming, beat on tin pans. 

1325. "A swarm of bees in May 
Is worth a load of hay." 

1326. "A swarm of bees in June 
Is worth a silver spoon." 

1327. "A swarm of bees in July 
Is not worth a fly." 

1328. Bees will desert the hive before some family misfortune. 

1329. If a strange swarm of bees settles in your garden, you will have 
good luck. 

1330. A stranger is coming, if a bee flys into the house. 

1331. To have a bee enter the house is the sign of good luck, provided 
you let it remain for a few minutes and do not kill it. 

1332. If a butterfly lights on your shoulder, it is good luck for you. 

1333. Pulling ofif a butterfly's wing will bring you bad luck. 

1334. You may expect company, if a butterfly enters the house and 
lights on you. 

1335. If a butterfly flies into the house, you will soon entertain a female 
visitor. 

1336. A butterfly coming into the house indicates that a stranger is 
going to visit you. 

1337. It is the sign of health and happiness, if the first butterfly that 
you see in the spring is white. 

1338. If the first butterfly seen in the spring is yellow, you will have 
much sickness. 

1339. "They say that if you will catch a butterfly and put him in a jar 
and keep him until he turns into a caterpillow, you will always 
have good luck." 

1340. You commit a sin when you kill a caterpillar. 

1341. Chiggers will not bother you, if you keep green pennyroyal in 
your pocket. 

1342. Kill a cricket and its mate will come and cut holes in your socks 
or stockings. 

1343. If a cricket is killed, other crickets will appear and eat holes in 
the clothes of the killer. "I would not kill a cricket for any- 
thing, for I did kill a cricket one day and when I went to get my 
dress, the rest of the crickets had just eaten my dress full of 
holes." 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 59 

1344. Bad luck will be yours, if you kill a cricket. 

1345. To hear crickets sing is always a lucky sign. 

1346. If you hear crickets chirp after you have gone to bed, you may 
expect good luck. 

1347. Chirping crickets are telling you of future success. 

1348. Crickets singing in the house is a sign of prosperity. 

1349. There will be sickness, if a cricket suddenly stops calling and 
leaves the house, 

1350. It is an omen of good luck to have a cricket enter the house. 

1351. A cricket coming into the house is bringing you good luck. 

1352. If cows have gone astray, hold a daddy longlegs by the back legs, 
and with one of his forelegs he will point out the direction toward 

which to seek them. "When we were children, we would 

always catch a daddy longlegs by the hind legs and he would 
always take one of his front legs and tell us where the cows were, 
and we could go right there for them." 

1353. To locate cows that have wandered away, get a daddy longlegs 
and ask him which way they have strayed, and he will put out a leg 

in the correct direction. "Years ago when we negro kids was 

on the farm and could not find the cows, we would always get a 
handful of grand-daddy and make them tell us where the cows 
were ; and they would always stick their legs in the direction, and 
we would go right there and find them." 

1354. When cows have roamed away and become lost, catch a daddy 
longlegs and say, "Tell me where my cows are. If you don't, I will 
kill you." With his front legs he will then point out the direction 
in which the cows can be found. 

1355. Kill a daddy longlegs and your cow will go dry. 

1356. You will lose a friend, if you kill a daddy longlegs. 

1357. A doodle bug will obey you, if you say: 

"Doodle bug, doodle bug, 

Come out of your hole, 

Your house is on fire. 

And your children are burning up." 

1358. A doodle bug will begin to work at the bottom of its hole, if you 
repeat: 

"Doodle, doodle, doodle. 

Your mother and grand-daddy are dead." 

1359. To make a doodle bug come out of its hole pronounce the follow- 
ing rhyme : 

"Doodle bug, doodle bug, stick out your horns. 
And I will give you ten bushels of corn." 



60 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

1360. Speak the following couplet to bring a doodle bug out of its hole : 

"Doodle bug, doodle bug, come out of your hole, 
If you don't, I'll beat you as black as a mole." 

1361. Stoop down over a doodle bug's hole so that it can feel your 
breath, and say until the bug appears : 

"Doodle up, Johnnie Brown, doodle up, 

Johnnie Brown, doodle up, Johnnie Brown." 
After the doodle bug has shown itself, and you want it to go back 
into its hole, repeat the following until it does: 

"Doodle bug, doodle bug, go down, 

Go down, Johnnie Brown, go down." 

1362. If you desire a doodle bug to leave its hole, repeat until it comes 
out: 

"Doodle up, doodle up, doodle up." 
You can make the doodle bug conceal itself again by saying 
repeatedly : 

"Doodle down, doodle down, doodle down." 

1363. "When I was a boy, I would get down on the ground and whistle 
and whistle down one of these doodle bug's holes in the ground, 
and they would crawl out to see what I wanted." 

1364. If you kill a dragon fly, you will have bad luck. 

1365. It is the sign of visitors to have a firefly enter the house. 

1366. When you see a large number of fireflies flying about, you may 
look for company. 

1367. Kill one fly and ten flies will come to its funeral. 

1368. "When one of those 'news flies' (any kind of large fly that con- 
tinually darts about a person) comes and buzzes around you, you 
are going to hear some good news." 

1369. A fly persistently flying about your face indicates that a stranger 
either wants to meet or to talk with you. 

1370. It is very unlucky to kill a Christmas fly. 

1371. Repeat the following rhyme to a grasshopper and he will comply 
with your command : 

"Spit tobacco juice, 
And I'll turn you loose." 

1372. Never kill a katydid, or you will have bad luck. 

1373. Killing a lady-bug will bring bad luck to you. 

1374. A lady-bug will leave you, if you say: 

"Lady-bug, lady-bug. 
Fly away home. 
Your house is on fire, 
Your children will burn." 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Ilhnoi<; 61 

1375. You can make a lady-bug depart by repeating: 

"Lady-bug", lady-bug, 
Fly away home, 
Your house is on fire, 
Your children are alone." 

1376. Drive away a lady-bug by saying: 

"Lady-bug, lady-bug, 

Fly away home, 

Your house is on fire. 

Your children are burning, 

All except little Ann, 

And she crawled under the marble stone." 

1377. If you get sand in your hair, lice will generate on your head. 

1378. To rid yourself of lice, take one of them into the graveyard and 
shoot it ; and the rest will leave. 

1379. If you touch a locust, it will sting you. 

1380. "A man had a bucket of locusts up in the Relief Office (for the 
poor of Quincy) this week and said we are going to have war, 
because every locust had a letter "W" on its wings, and that is 
a sure sign of war." 

1381. When a locust has the letters "W. W." on its wings, it means 
"war" and "want." 

1382. If there is a letter "P" on the wings of locusts, it is the sign of 
peace. 

1383. A locust bearing the letters "P. P." on its wings signifies "peace" 
and "plenty." 

1384. Maggots are produced spontaneously in rotten meat. The same 
thing is thought to be true of cheese mites in cheese. 

1385. Eat greens on "Green Thursday" (Maundy Thursday) and mos- 
quitoes will not bite you that year. 

1386. Mosquitoes will not bite you, if you wear alum on your person. 

1387. To keep mosquitoes from biting you, rub coal oil behind your 
ears. 

1388. If a mosquito alights on your bare flesh, tighten your muscles and 
hold your breath. The mosquito will not be able to fly away and 
you can kill it. 

1389. "If you are harvesting or sleeping outdoors, make your bed on a 
haystack of new hay and mosquitoes will not bite you." 

1390. Bittersweet will attract moths to the house. 

1391. Hang up catnip in the house to drive away moths. 

1392. Place cedar leaves under the carpet and you will not have any 
moths. 



62 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt foundation 

139.3. Prevent moths from entering by hanging up pennyroyal in the 
house. 

1394. A picture falling shows that there are moths in the house. 

1395. Moths flying near cream or milk will turn it sour. 

1396. A snail will melt into a grease spot, if you drop salt on it. 

1397. To make a snail come out of its hole, say: 

"Snail, snail, come out of your hole. 

Or I'll beat you as black as (a piece of) coal." 

1398. A snail will draw in its head, if you repeat this couplet: 

"Snail, snail, put in your head. 

Or else I'll beat you till you're dead." 

1399. "If you see one of those thousand-legger (legged) bugs (centi- 
pede) crawling, and you can kill it with the palm of your hand, it 
will bring you excellent luck." 

1400. To kill a wasp will cause you bad luck. 

1401. A wasp flying into the house is a good omen. 

1402. It is very lucky to have wasps build a nest in a window or on the 
porch or under the eaves of your house. 

1403. Sometimes it rains worms. 

1404. Cut a fishing worm in two and each part will crawl away and 
become a whole worm. 

1405. Spit three times when you see a fever worm and you will not 
have bad luck. 



SPIDERS 

1406. All spiders are poisonous. 

1407. Cobwebs in the house come from dust. A good many people 

used to believe and some even now, that cobwebs result from the 
gathering of dust only. 

1408. If you see a spider on your dress, you may expect a new one. 

1409. To see a spider weaving a web means that a new dress is being 
woven for you. 

1410. Seeing a spider at night will bring you peace. 

1411. It is the sign of a quarrel, if a spider crawls towards you in the 
morning. 

1412. When a spider runs down its web in the afternoon, you are going 
to travel. 

1413. You slay an enemy every time you kill a spider. 

1414. Kill a spider and you will never conquer your enemies. 

1415. A friend is slain each time you kill a spider. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 63 

1416. You may expect to see a friend, if you run into a spider web. 

1417. If a spider comes towards you in the evening, you will liave 
company. 

1418. Look for guests that day, if a spider swings down on its web in 
front of you. 

1419. A spider dropping down before you is a sign that you will meet a 
bosom friend unexpectedly. 

1420. A visitor may be expected, if a spider spins in front of your face. 

1421. If a spider is spinning before your face, look for a welcome caller. 

1422. A spider crawling on your bed means that a stranger is coming. 

1423. When a spider runs over your bed, expect a stranger; but if the 
spider is killed, the stranger will not come. 

1424. If you kill a spider found on your bed, you will not have any 
company that day. 

1425. A stranger is going to call upon you, if you see a spider crawling 
up the door. 

1426. A welcome visitor will come, if a spider begins to weave its web 
in the doorway. 

1427. If a spider drops down on the table w^hile you are eating, you will 
have company to the next meal. 

1428. To find a spider on your table indicates that a stranger will share 
the next meal with you. 

1429. A spider seen at noon means good news. 

1430. A spider is bringing good news to you, if it lets itself down on 
a web. 

1431. When a spider drops a single thread before you, if it returns 
upwards, you will hear good news; but if it continues downwards, 
you may look for bad news. 

1432. If a spider falls down in front of you, you will receive some good 
news that day. 

1433. To walk through a spider web is the sign that you will get a letter. 

1434. When you see a spider spinning its web downwards, kill it in the 
palm of your hand and a letter will come to you. 

1435. If you are in bed and a spider lets itself down from the ceiling, 
you can look for a letter. 

1436. A black-haired person will send a letter to you, if a black spider 
crawls on you. 

1437. A letter may be expected, when a spider lowers itself on a little 
web in front of you. 

1438. "If a spider comes down three times in front of you, you are sure 
of a letter, as sure as if you already had it." 

1439. A letter is coming for you, if you see a spider sinking down in 



64 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

front of your face; but if you kill the spider, you will not receive 
the letter. 

1440. A spicier spinning its web above your head is the sign that you 
will get a letter. 

1441. You may look for a letter, when you find a spider crawling on 
your head. 

1442. If a spider is caught running over your head, a letter will come 
to you from the direction in which the spider moved. 

1443. A letter for you will arrive, if a spider lowers a web onto your 
shoulder. 

1444. Spiders foretell events. "Miss L. told me she knew all about 

the World War, that a spider told her. The spider wrote it on the 
wall three times." 

1445. "If you see a little red spider, it is called the money spider; and 
it is the sign of fortune coming to you, if you do not harm it.'' 

1446. When a very small spider drops in front of you, you are going 
to receive money. 

1447. You will get some money, if a spider is suspended over your head. 

1449. To find a spider on your clothing indicates that you will soon have 
money. 

1450. Carry a live spider in your pocketbook and you will always have 
money. 

1451. Catch the spider that is weaving its web in front of you and put it 
in your purse to secure money. 

1452. "If you wish to thrive, 
Leave the spider alive." 

1453. "If you wish to live and thrive, 
Let the spider walk alive." 

1454. "If you want to live and strive. 
Let the spider go alive." 

1455. "If you wish to live and strive. 
Let the spider run alive." 

1456. Killing a spider will bring you bad luck. 

1457. Never kill a baby spider, or it will cause you bad luck. 

1458. It is the sign of bad luck to kill a black spider. 

1459. If a spider lets itself down on a thread in front of you and then 
climbs up the thread again, it is bringing you good luck, provided 
you do not harm it; but if you kill the spider, you will have bad 
luck. 

1460. To kill a spider found crawling on your person will cause you 
bad luck. 

1461. You may exj^ect to have bad luck, if you kill a spider in the house. 
"Mrs. H. told me she would not kill a spider in the house 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 65 

for one hundred dollars. Said she would always pick them up and 
put them outdoors. One time she had a good job and the house 
was full of spiders, and kept killing them. A negro said, 'Don't 
you know it is bad luck to kill a spider in the house ?' And in two 
weeks she lost her job." 

1462. If you kill all the spiders in your house, you will never have any 
luck. You must always keep a few spiders in the house to be 

lucky. "I always put the big spiders out of the door and let 

the little ones stay in to grow, then put them out." 

1463. Never kill a spider at night ; it is bringing you good luck. 

1464. It is a bad omen, if a spider spins its web at night. 

1465. To see a spider weaving its web from the ceiling after dark will 
cause you bad luck. 

1466. "If you see a spider at night, 

It will bring you joy and delight." 

1467. "If you see a spider in the morning, 
It is a warning." 

1468. "See a spider in the morn, 

It'll bring you sorrow and harm," 

1469. To have a spider spin a web during the morning is a lucky omen. 

1470. A spider that approaches you very early in the morning is bring- 
ing you good luck. 

1471. You may expect good luck, if you see a spider weaving its web 
from the ceiling in the morning. 

1472. Seeing a spider spin its web in the afternoon from the ceiling 
will cause you bad luck. 

1473. Walk through a spider web and you will be unlucky. 

1474. To have a spider crawling on you is a lucky sign. 

1475. Finding a spider on your clothes means good luck. 

1476. If a spider spins its web downwards in front of you, bad luck will 
soon follow. 

1477. It is the sign of good luck to find a spider in the house. 

1478. If a spider makes a web in the corner of your room, do not sweep 
it down, for as long as the web remains you will have good luck ; 
but if you must clean the web away, destroy it after the spider 
has gone, and bad luck will not come to you. 

1479. Catch a live black spider and wrap it up in a piece of brown paper, 
and place this package on the left side of your breast against the 
skin. Let it remain there until the spider dies and you will have 
good luck. 

14^. You can secure good luck by carrying a spider in your pocket- 
book. 



66 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

1481. Put in your purse a spider that drops down in front of you, 
and you will obtain good luck. 

1482. It is lucky to wear a dead sipider in your shoe. 

1483. "If you get a live spider and put it in a piece of paper and put 
that in your right shoe under the instep, so you cannot mash it; 
and on the third day look at that spider, and if it is still breathing, 
you will have excellent luck in whatever you do." 

1484. Wrap up a spider that you have caught crawling on your person 
and you will be lucky. 

1485. Good luck will come to you, if you wrap up a live spider and keep 

it in your stocking. "I have a negro friend, whenever she 

wants to win anything, she always puts a spider in her stocking. 
One morning she put a great big spider in her stocking, and do 
you know, she won ten dollars that day on a lottery ticket." 

1486. "A sporting woman (prostitute) always put a spider in her right 
stocking, if she finds one, for good luck that day." From a negro 
•woman zvho used to be a cliarwoman in the old Red Light district. 



BIRDS 

1487. If you touch the eggs in a bird nest, the birds will never return. 

1488. Robbing a bird nest will bring you bad luck. 

1489. You are committing a sin, if you rob a bird's nest. 

1490. Let a birdcage fall to the floor and the bird will not sing again. 

1491. If a bird in a round cage stops singing and leaves its perch, flying 
around and around the cage, place it in a square cage; for some- 
times a bird in a round cage will become dizzy. 

1492. You can catch a bird by putting salt on its tail. 

1493. If you catch a wild bird and keep it caged, you will have bad luck. 

1494. Birds circling over the house is a sign of visitors. 

1495. Good fortune is coming to you or to your family, when a number 
of birds circle above your head. 

1496. If a bird while flying overhead lets droppings fall on you, you 

will take a long journey. "One day I was out in the yard 

and a bird over me dropped something on my thumb. I took a 
long journey. I went South." 

1497. You will acquire good luck, if you can put salt on a bird's tail. 

1498. A bird that flutters against your windows is bringing you good 
luck. 

1499. It is a sign of speedy news, when a bird flies against your window. 

1500. To have a bird enter the house means bad luck. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 67 

1501. Bad luck may be expected, if a bird comes into the house through 
a door. 

1502. You may look for good luck, if a bird flies into your house and 
then departs through the same entrance by which it entered. 

1503. If a bird enters the house through a window, the first person who 
sees the bird will have bad luck. 

1504. When a blackbird flies across your path, you may expect to en- 
counter bad luck before you have reached your destination. 

1505. To see the first bluebird of spring indicates that you are going to 
have good luck. 

1506. A blue jay coming into your yard is bringing good luck to you. 

1507. A blue jay is never seen on Friday, because on this day each blue 
jay carries a grain of sand to the devil. 

1508. An old negro said to the white person who supplied the follow- 
ing information : " 'Did you know that you never see a jay bird on 
Friday?' I said, 'Why?' He said, 'The jay birds all go to hell 
on Friday and tell the devil all the meanness you people do us 
(negroes) through the week'." 

1509. Never keep two canaries in the same room; they will not sing if 
they see each other. 

1510. A canary that has a wide and forked tail is a good singer. 

1511. Do not sweep in the room where you keep a singing canary, for 
the dust will injure its throat. 

1512. Catching a stray canary will cause you bad luck. "A friend 

of Airs. S. saw a canary in the yard and she didn't know whether 
she wanted to catch it or not, because she said it was bad luck 
to catch a stray canary. It was a very beautiful one, and Mrs. S. 
said if she didn't catch it, she would. So Mrs. S's friend caught 
the canary and put it in a cage, and the next day the rack around 
the room which held all of her china plates fell and broke all of 
the dishes. And the lady said, 'See, I told you I would have bad 
luck'. " Written contribution. 

1513. It is a sign of good luck to have cedar waxwings stop in your 
yard, as they fly to or from the South. 

1514. A crow will be able to talk, if you split its tongue. 

1515. To keep crows from eating seed com when planted or the ripened 
com, construct a scarecrow and set it up in the field. 

1516. To prevent crows from eating your watermelons, stretch a piece 
of binding twine across the patch and attach to it pieces of look- 
ing-glass. The crows will see themselves in the glass and be 
frightened away. 

1517. Crows (or a "crow's roost") near a house are unlucky. 



68 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

1518. Upon seeing crows, interpret the omen as follows: 

"One's unlucky, two's lucky, 
Three is health, four is wealth. 
Five is sickness, and six is death." 

1519. It will cause you bad luck to shoot a dove. 

1520. If while standing still you hear a dove call, you will not prosper 
that year. 

1521. To hear a dove calling while you are going up a hill indicates that 
you will be successful all year. 

1522. When you hear the first dove coo in the spring, go to the tree 
where it is and walk around the tree three times ; and the direction 
toward which the bird's head points will be the way you should 
travel for good luck. 

1523. A white dove flying above your head is a lucky omen. 

1524. "My brother saw three white doves sitting on the foot of his 
bed one night, and the next day his team of horses ran away with 
him and he was sick for a long time. Almost died over it." 

1525. An eagle always carries a lodestone in its mouth and that is why 
it cannot be shot. From an old Indian. 

1526. If a flock of wild geese comes from the west and shifts northward 
as it reaches a town, that community will soon become prosperous, 

1527. It is a lucky sign to have a kingfisher in your yard. 

1528. Good luck is coming to you, if a martin builds a nest in your 
chimney. 

1529. According to an old Irishman: "A negro always thinks because 
an owl takes its claws and scratches a chicken on the back, when 
the chicken is sitting on a tree, that the owl is trying to find out 
if the chicken is fat. The real reason is that the owl can't get a 
hold of the chicken good when he is sitting on a tree, so he 
scratches its back so it will scare the chicken so the chicken will 
flap its wings and start to fly. Then the owl will get a good hold 
on so he can carry the chicken to his nest." 

1530. "Out on north Thirty-sixth Street years ago a German was plow- 
ing out in the field. Did not go in to supper. An old owl that was 
sitting in a tree was hollering, 'Make another round. Make another 
round.' He thought the man at the house was hollering for him 
to keep on plowing. So when it got dark the farmer went out to 
see why the man did not come to supper. He said, 'You kept 
hollering for me to make another round, and I did.' Then they 
found out that an old owl in the tree was doing the hollering." 

1531. You can stop an owl's hooting by turning a brass kettle upside 
down. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 69 

1532. An owl will cease its hooting, if you drop a hatpin into the 
chimney of a lighted lamp. 

1533. To make a screech owl stop calling, burn some salt on the stove. 

1534. The hooting of an owl can be stopped, if you take off your shoes 
and cross one of them over the other. 

1535. Remove your left shoe and turn it upside down, and an owl will 
quit hooting. 

1536. "Whenever an owl goes to hollering, I always put a shovel in the 
stove and when it gets hot the owl will stop." 

1537. There will be trouble of some sort, if you hear a screech owl cal- 
ling at night. "You might find a streak of grey hair in your 

head next morning, the cat dead, or almost anything." 

1538. Some member of your family will have an accident, if an owl 
hoots at midnight. 

1539. To hear an owl hoot at night always means bad luck. 

1540. If an owl hoots while sitting on a fence, bad luck may be expected. 

1541. Imitating the hoot of an owl will cause you bad luck. 

1542. Bad news will follow the hooting of an owl. "I never hear 

an owl hoot unless I hear bad news. Some years ago I was visit- 
ing out in the country and I heard an old owl hoot for three nights 
in succession. I said to the folks where I was, T am going to get 
bad news.' And the next day the mailman brought me three letters 
and in each letter they were telling me of a death in Quincy." 

1543. Keeping a green parrot in the house will bring you bad luck. 

1544. If you have a parrot that curses, you can break this habit by 
holding the bird by its feet and dousing it up and down in water. 

1545. If a peewee comes and calls once only near your house, it is the 
sign of approaching trouble. 

1546. Touch quail eggs and the bird will not return to the nest. 

1547. Some say that the song of the quail is, "Bob white, bob white;" 
whereas others beHeve it to be, "Wheat ripe, wheat ripe." 

1548. Killing a rain crow will cause you bad luck. 

1549. The first redbird that you see in the spring is bringing good luck 
to you. 

1550. To hear a redbird sing in the morning indicates that you are going 
to have good luck. 

1551. When a redbird enters your yard and sings, you may look for 

good luck. "One day a redbird came to our yard and stayed 

around all summer. I just had more work than I could do. One 
day that bird got hurt and died. I lost my job right after that and 
had nothing but bad luck." 

1552. You will have bad luck if a redbird flies across the road in front 
of you. 



70 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

1553. If a redbird crosses your path, you are going to receive a letter. 

1554. It is the sign of company to have a redbird sing near your door. 

1555. Unexpected visitors will come to your house, if you see a redbird 
in the yard. 

1556. To see a redbird is the sign that you will meet someone whom 
you are not expecting. 

1557. You will experience a disappointment on the day that you see a 
redbird in your yard. 

1558. A redbird fiying into your house means that your house is going 
to burn. 

1559. When a robin's nest contains three eggs, and three birds hatch, 
the parents will push one of the birds out of the nest to perish; 
because they will raise only two young ones. 

1560. It is very unlucky to kill a robin. 

1561. If you see a robin in the morning, someone will visit you that day. 

1562. When a robin is seen, stamp it for luck. 

1563. You are going to have good luck, if a robin builds its nest near 
your house. 

1564. A sparrow may be caught by sprinkling salt on its tail. 

1565. Carry the breastbone of a sparrow in your pocket and you will 
never be without money. 

1566. During the month of August take a young sparrow from a nest 
and in its stomach you will find a stone. Wrap this stone in a 
linen handkerchief and wear it under your left arm and you will 
be protected agamst slander. It will also give you an interesting 
personality. 

1567. Boil the heart of a swallow in milk and carry it on your person 
and you can remember anything you hear. 

1568. It is the sign of good luck to hear while walking down a hill the 
first turtledove of spring. 

1569. If while going down a hill you hear the first turtledove of the year, 
you will go down hill all year. 

1570. To hear while walking up a hill the first turtledove of the season 
means that you will have good luck. 

1571. To kill a whippoorwill will bring you bad luck. 

1572. "When you hear the first whippoorwill holler in the spring, if 
you have your hand on money you will have money all year. 
Every spring I carry a piece of money, if it is only a dime, so 
when I hear the first whippoorwill I can put my hand on that 
money, so I will have money all year." 

1573. Pat your pocketbook when you hear the first whippoorwill of 
spring and you will secure money. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 71 

1574. Open and look into your purse when you hear the call of the first 
whippoorwill of the year and you will get some money. 

1575. It is very lucky to have woodpeckers near your house. 

1576. If a woodpecker knocks on a tree near your house, a visitor will 
soon knock at your door. 

1577. To have a woodpecker tap on your house is the sign of sickness. 

1578. Wrens will not enter a wren-house during the first year it is set 
up, but only on the second year. 

1579. If you kill a wren, you will have bad luck. 



FROGS-TOADS-SALAMANDERS-SNAKES-TURTLES 

1580. Frogs sometimes drop from the sky during a rain. 

1581. If while drinking at a spring you swallow a tadpole, it will develop 
into a frog in your stomach. 

1582. Kill a toad and your cows will go dry. 

1583. If you kill a toad or frog, the milk from your cows will be bloody. 

"When we were on the farm I would not kill a frog for 

anything, for I did not want the milk to be bloody." 

1584. Never kill a frog (or toad?) near milking time, or your cows will 
give bloody milk. 

1585. Throw a toad into a pond and bloody milk will be given by your 
cows. 

1586. You will stump your toe and stumble, if you kill a toad. 

1587. After you have killed a toad, your house will catch afire. 

1588. It is very unlucky to kill a toad. 

1589. You can secure good luck by carrying the jawbone of a tree toad. 

1590. Dry the breast of a tree frog and carry it wrapped up in paper 
inside your pocket and you will always have good luck. 

1591. The croaking of a frog at midnight on a battlefield will be fol- 
lowed by a battle within three days. 

1592. Salamanders (itwariably called "lizards") are poisonous. 

1593. If you kill a lizard (salamander) that lives at a spring, the spring 
will dry up. 

1594. Snakes awake in the spring when they hear the first thunder. 

1595. Poisonous snakes are born alive, non-poisonous snakes are hatched 
from eggs. 

1596. A snake will eat once a month only. 

1597. If you cut up a certain kind of snake, the pieces will unite again 
and the snake will crawl away. 

1598. A hoop-snake takes its tail in its mouth, and forming a circle or 



72 Memoirs of the Alum Egan Hyatt Foundation 

wheel, will in this fashion travel along the ground. Its usual 
custom is to roll clown a hill ; and in so doing, if it hits and sticks 
its tail into a tree, the tree will die. 

1599. A snake will swallow her young in times of danger, and when 
the danger has passed, the small snakes will crawl out of the 
mother's belly. This is said to be especially true of black snakes. 

1600. A "snake doctor" (dragon fly) will warn a snake, if danger is 
near. 

1601. The last part of a snake to die is its tail. 

1602. A snake when killed will not die until sundown. 

1603. Kill a snake during the mating season and its mate will come to 
the body. 

1604. A snake charms its victim before striking. 

1605. A blue racer, said an old farmer, will always attack a man before 
it runs. Many years ago while cutting corn down on Mill Creek 
he happened to glance up and saw a blue racer resting on a nearby 
hedge. Knowing what to expect, he held his corn knife in readi- 
ness. The snake made a lunge at him through the air, but missing 
its aim, glided away among the weeds. A blue racer will always do 
this, said the old farmer. 

1606. A snake will wrap itself around a woman's leg. This habit 

in snakes is confined to tales dating from pioneer days. 

1607. A rattlesnake will never strike a small child. A dairyman out in 
Melrose Township said that he had some friends years ago who 
one day found their small child playing with a rattlesnake. They 
were not frightened, because they knew about this old saying; 
but the snake slipped away as soon as it saw the parents. 

1608. "If a snake bites you in June, the place will turn spotted the 
same time next year. My uncle was snake bitten in June bad, and 
every year he turns spotted in June at the same time." 

1609. If you are bitten by a green snake, you will die. 

1610. Let the first thing that you eat on Easter be a green onion and 
you will not be harmed by snakes that year. 

1611. To protect yourself against snakes at night, make a circle of 
horsehair ; for a snake will not pass over horsehair. 

1612. "If you are out camping and are afraid of snakes, if you will take 
a rope and lay it around the tent, a snake will not crawl over it." 

1613. Burn old rubber to keep snakes away. 

1614. Snakes will not enter a garden where gourds are growing, for 
they do not like the smell of gourds. 

1615. Bloody milk from a cow means that she has been sucked by a 

snake. A woman had a cow and sold milk to customers in 

the neighborhood. One day a little girl came to report that her 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 73 

mother would no longer buy the milk, because it was bloody. So 
the owner, who had been unaware of this trouble, tested separately 
each of the cow's udders and discovered that two of them were 
giving bloody milk. Then she knew that her cow was being sucked 
by a snake. Eventually she had to have the cow killed, for a cow 
is never any good after a snake has been sucking her. 

1616. When your cow gives bloody milk, it is a sign that she has been 

sucked by a black snake. "We sure did have a time with the 

black snakes when we were on the farm. The cows sure do like 
the snakes to suck them. Would rather have a snake any day than 

a calf to suck." Another person said, "We had a cow years 

ago that let a black snake suck her all the time. She would not 
come home to be milked." 

1617. Never kill a snake that has sucked a cow, or the cow will go dry. 

1618. There is a long, slim, bluish snake with glassy eyes (not a blue 
racer), which is called a "milk snake," because it sucks a cow. A 
cow will become so attached to this snake that she will hold back 
her milk at night. 

1619. Snakes are fond of cow's milk. A woman who found a snake 

in her dairy house emptied ten large crocks of milk because she 
thought the snake had been drinking some of it. 

1620. Put a horsehair inside a bottle of water and it will eventually turn 
into a snake. 

1621. A hair from a horse's tail when placed in a barrel of rain water 
will soon change into a living snake. 

1622. If a hair from the tail of a grey horse is dropped into rain water, 
it will gradually become a snake. 

1623. During a dry year you will see "lots and lots" of snakes. 

1624. Keep rattles from a rattlesnake in a violin and the instrument will 
play much better. 

1625. To see five snakes at one time indicates trouble in the family. 

"One day I went somewhere and I saw five snakes. When I got 
home I told my mother-in-law and she said, 'Oh, I am so sorry, 
for that is trouble in the family.' And it was no time until my 
husband and I separated." 

1626. A snake crawling into your tent on the battle grounds denotes that 
enemies are near you. 

1627. A snake killed is an enemy conquered. 

1628. If you kill the first snake of the season, you will overcome your 
worst enemy. 

1629. Kill a snake in May and you will subdue your enemies for twelve 
months. 



74 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

1630. It brings good luck to kill the first snake that you see during the 
spring. 

1631. KilHng a snake will bring you sorrow. 

1632. Kill a snake when you see one or you will have bad luck. 

"Years ago I was working for a man for seven long years and we 
got along fuie until one day his brother and wife came to see him. 
Several days after they were there I went out the front door and 
a big black snake was lying across the path. I said to his brother, 
'Will you kill that snake for me?' And he did. I lost my job 
that week. If I had of killed that snake I would of conquered my 
enemies and got to stay, but the brother and wife got to stay 
over me letting him kill the snake." 

1633. It is lucky to kill three snakes on the same day. 

1634. Catch a large rattlesnake, the older the better, and remove its 
rattles. Carry these rattles on your person in a small bag and you 
will never meet bad luck. 

1635. A rattlesnake rattle carried in your pocketbook will give good 
luck to you. 

1636. Keep a black snake in the yard for luck. 

1637. You may expect to have bad luck, if a snake crosses your path. 

1638. To avert bad luck, after a snake has crawled across your path, 

stop and look at the sun for a minute or two. "Whenever 

my grandma would have a snake to cross her path, she would 
always turn and look at the sun to keep her from having bad 
luck." 

1639. Never pick up a snake skin that you see during the spring, or 
you will have a lot of trouble. 

1640. A turtle when killed will not die until sundown. 

1641. It is unlucky to kill a turtle, if you yourself do not intend to eat it. 

1642. If a turtle bites your finger, it will not let go until there is thunder. 

1643. Carry turtle bones in your pocket and you can secure good luck. 



POULTRY AND EGGS 

1644. "If you buy some chickens and want them to stay home, cut off 
the end of their tails and burn the feathers so the wind can't carry 
them away; for if the wind takes the feathers, your chickens will 
fly away too and will not stay home." 

1645. "Another way to keep chickens home, when you buy them, is to 
cut the end of their tails oflf and burn the feathers; then take the 
chickens to the chimney and rub it against the chimney, then turn 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 75 

the chicken over three times and turn it loose, and it will not 
go away." 

1646. If your rooster is whipped by a neighbor's rooster, your chickens 
will not thrive. 

1647. To have chickens free from disease, feed them corn that has been 
soaked in chamber lye. 

1648. For white diarrhea, drop a piece of iron into the water that 
chickens drink and also let them eat corn which has been saturated 
in chamber lye. 

1649. A woman bought five chickens, four of which soon died, and the 
remaining one became sick. She went to the henhouse and said, 
"Now God never put any sickness on anything. Everything is 
perfect." Within several days the chicken was well. 

1650. If a hawk is flying about, throw a horseshoe into the fire and 
leave it there until hot ; and the bird's claws will become so clin- 
ched that it will be unable to capture your chickens. 

1651. Place one horseshoe in the fire and another under the doorstep 
so that hawks will not molest your chickens. 

1652. Putting a round rock in a fire will draw up a hawk's claws so 
that it cannot seize your chickens. 

1653. There will not be any lice or mites on your chickens, if you clean 
the henhouse on Ash Wednesday. 

1654. Scatter ashes in your henhouse on Ash Wednesday before sunrise 
and your chickens will never have any lice. 

1655. Dust your henhouse with ashes on "Green Thursday" (Maundy 
Thursday) and the chickens will not get any lice that year. 

1656. Your chickens will not catch lice, if you hang a banana stock in 
the center of your henhouse. 

1657. "If you will put a piece of sassafras under a setting hen, the 
chicken lice will just scoot away and leave the hen." 

1658. Hit a hen on the back and she will lay an egg. 

1659. Feed ground bones to chickens to make them lay. 

1660. You can make chickens lay by feeding them baked egg shells. 

1661. Chickens will lay if given ground egg shells. 

1662. Too much grit given to chickens will cause blood in the eggs. 

1663. Give raw meat to chickens, to make them lay. A woman 

always chopped up the crows that were killed on the farm and 
fed them to her chickens. 

1664. Hens will not lay near a potato patch. 

1665. "Eggs are seventy percent water. If chickens have plenty of clear 
fresh water, they are bound to lay." 

1666. Thirsty hens cannot lay many eggs. 



76 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

1667. Hens that are compelled to drink ice water will not do well in 
layinj^. 

1668. Chickens will not lay on a windy day. 

1669. You can cure a hen of eating eggs by cutting off the end of her 
beak. 

1670. A hen will not eat her own eggs, if you burn the shells after using 
her eggs. 

1671. Pick a small hole in an egg and insert black and red pepper. This 
will teach a hen not to eat eggs. 

1672. If you boil the egg that a pullet lays, she will not sit that year. 

1673. To prevent a broody hen from sitting, tie a red string around 
her leg. 

1674. A brooding hen will not sit, if you tie a red string around her tail. 

1675. Tie a red string around a broody hen's neck and she will not sit. 

1676. Prevent a hen from sitting by putting her in a crate which has a 
slat bottom. 

1677. You can keep a hen from sitting by placing her head under her 
wing and ducking her three times into a tub of water. 

1678. You will have bad luck with the eggs, if you count your chickens 
before they are hatched. 

1679. Never set a hen on an even number of eggs, or you will not be 
successful with the "hatching." 

1680. Use thirteen eggs to a setting for luck. 

1681. Always set a hen on fifteen eggs and they will hatch well. 

1682. Write someone's name on each egg of a setting and every egg will 
hatch. 

1683. Eggs will hatch well, if when setting them the name of some 
prosperous person is written on each egg. 

1684. If you do not handle eggs as gently as possible, they will not hatch. 

1685. If it thunders while eggs are being hatched, every egg will be 
ruined. 

1686. To prevent thunder from harming a setting of eggs, keep an empty 
jug near the nest. The thunder will enter the jug and not jar the 
eggs. 

1687. A woman who formerly lived near Marblehead said that she could 
not raise chickens there, because the blasting at the lime kiln 
quarries always destroyed the eggs. 

1688. If a hen is sitting in a bam and the barn door slams, the eggs 
will not hatch. 

1689. Eggs will not hatch if they are carried across water. 

1690. If you set an egg that has two yolks, a twin chicken will be 
hatched; but it will live only a few days. 

1691. When a chicken is killed and she contains a mature egg, set it; 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 77 

and the chicken that is hatched will have feathers lying in the 
opposite direction from those of a normal hen. 

1692. If you set a hen in the sign of the "bowels," the chickens hatched 
will have bowel trouble. 

1693. Set your eggs so that they will hatch in the light of the moon and 
you will secure more chickens. 

1694. You will have fine chickens, if the eggs are set in the light of 
the moon. 

1695. Set a hen at sunrise in the light of the moon and all the eggs will 
hatch. 

1696. If eggs are set so that they hatch in the new moon, the young 
chickens will grow quickly. 

1697. Chickens that are hatched in the dark of the moon will not thrive. 

1698. Set a hen in the dark of the moon and half of the chickens hatched 
will be deformed. 

1699. You will have good luck with eggs, if you set a hen in the 
morning. 

1700. The best time to set a hen for a good hatch is exactly at noon. 

1701. Set a hen in the afternoon and you will have bad luck with the 
eggs. 

1702. Every &gg of a setting will hatch, if they are set after sundown. 

1703. If a hen is set when the wind is in the east, the chickens hatched 
from the eggs will stand about chirping all the time and not 
do well. 

1704. Set a hen when the wind is in the south and she will hatch three 
days sooner. 

1705. A hen set on Sunday, provided the wind is in the north, will hatch 
all the eggs. 

1706. You will be unfortunate with the eggs, if you set a hen on Sunday. 

1707. The first broody hen of the season should be set on Monday for 
good luck. 

1708. A brood will be successful, if you set your hen on Monday. 

1709. Set a hen on Friday and she will bring you crosses to bear. 

1710. If you set a hen on Ash Wednesday, each of the chickens hatched 
will be of a color different from the rest. 

1711. Eggs set on Good Friday will produce varicolored chickens. 

1712. To secure a good hatch of chickens, set the eggs on the 6th or 7th 
of any month. 

1713. The chickens hatching from eggs laid and set in June will die. 

1714. Chickens hatched in June will sleep all the time. 

1715. To obtain chickens in June, set the hen so that the eggs will hatch 
in the light of the moon; for if the chicks come out in the dark of 
the moon, they will sleep themselves to death. 



78 Mcinoirs of the Alum Egan Hyatt Foundation 

1716. A chicken hatched during the spring will lay every other day. 

1717. If a chicken is hatched in the autumn, she will lay every day. 

1718. If you want to know whether you will raise pullets or roosters 
during the year, watch to see who enters your house first on New 
Year's Day; if a woman, your chickens will be pullets; but if a 
man, you may expect roosters. 

1719. To ascertain whether eggs will hatch roosters or hens, tie a gold 
ring on a string and hold it above one e.gg at a time. If the ring 
swings back and forth over the egg, it will be a rooster; but if the 
ring remains still, a hen will come from the egg. 

1720. Candle an t-gg and if the air space is on the side, it will hatch 
a hen. 

1721. When a candled egg has the air space on top, a rooster will be 
hatched. 

1722. Set round eggs and they will hatch pullets. 

1723. If you set long-pointed eggs, roosters will be hatched. 

1734. Place a setting of eggs under the hen with your left hand and you 
will have pullets. 

1725. If you put eggs under a sitting hen with your right hand, you 
will secure roosters. 

1726. You can procure pullets from eggs by carrying them to the nest 
in your apron. 

1727. When you want roosters, carry the setting eggs to the nest in 
a man's hat. 

1728. Set eggs before sunrise and they will hatch pullets. 

1729. Pullets will be hatched from the eggs, if a hen is set any time dur- 
ing the morning. 

1730. A hen must be set in the morning before eleven o'clock to produce 
pullets. 

1731. If a hen is set in the morning, only roosters will come from eggs. 

1732. Eggs set in the afternoon will hatch roosters. 

1733. Set a hen in the evening and pullets will be hatched. 

1734. To raise roosters, set the hen after the sun goes down. 

1735. To learn whether little chickens will be roosters or pullets, hold 
each of them up by the feet, letting the head hang down; and if 
it is a rooster, he will bend his head upwards until it meets his 
feet; but if it is a pullet, she will lie absolutely still. 

1736. Soak an egg in vinegar and you can put it in a narrow-necked 
bottle. 

1737. Attempt to spin an egg and you can tell whether it is boiled or 
raw. If it spins, the egg is boiled; but if it does not spin, it is a 
raw egg. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 79 

1738. Do not beat an egg on the day it is laid, for it can be beaten better 
the next day. 

1739. Beating an egg the same day it is laid will cause you bad luck. 

1740. The last egg a hen lays is very small. You must break it at once, 
because keeping or eating this egg will bring you bad luck. 

1741. You will have bad luck, if you find a soft-shelled egg. 

1742. To avert bad luck when you find a soft-shelled egg, throw it 
over the house. 

1743. Bringing eggs into the house after dark is unlucky. 

1744. If you carry eggs out of the house after dark, you may look for 
bad luck. 

1745. Count eggs on Sunday and you will be unlucky. 

1746. A black chicken always has a pale white skin. 

1747. Black chickens have a coarser meat than that of other chickens. 

1748. If you kill a chicken and let it die in your hand, you will have 
bad luck. 

1749. When you wring off a chicken's head, never let it die in your hand, 
or bad luck will befall you. 

1750. It is very unlucky to kill a chicken by wringing its neck. Always 
chop off the head. 

1751. Jerk some feathers from the back of a chicken's head, just before 

killing it, and it will not flop. This practice is usual at a 

certain place in Quincy where chickens are killed. 

1752. Keep a black frizzly chicken in your yard and you will never have 
bad luck. 

1753. Bad luck may be expected, if a grey chicken scratches under your 
window. 

1754. A chicken crossing your path will bring you bad luck. 

1755. If a chicken runs across your path, return home and count ten 
before starting out again and bad luck will be averted. 

1756. Do not leave home on that day upon which your rooster fails to 
crow before daybreak, for great danger lies ahead of you and 
maybe death. 

1757. It is an unlucky omen to hear a general cackling among hens. 

1758. A crowing hen is the sign of bad luck. 

1759. Unless you kill a crowing hen immediately, you will have bad 

luck. "If a chicken crows early in the morning, kill her right 

away and you will not have bad luck. We had a hen that just kept 
crowing early one morning. My mother said we should kill her 
and my father said, 'Oh, let her live. There is nothing to that 
old saying.' And we didn't kill her. It was not a week until my 
father had a stroke and we had nothing but trouble for years. 



80 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

My mother said if another hen would ever crow again early in the 
morning, it would not live." 

1760. When a rooster crows near your door, he is bringing bad luck. 

1761. A rooster crowing on your doorstep on Sunday will cause bad 
luck in the family. 

1762. If a rooster crows while standing on your doorstep on Sunday 
morning, you can prevent bad luck by killing the rooster at once. 

1763. When a rooster goes crowing to roost, you may look for bad luck 
in the family. 

1764. It is a bad omen to have a rooster crow at night. 

1765. Hearing a rooster crow before midnight is an unlucky sign. 

1766. The crowing of a rooster at night, except during the Christmas 
season, is a bad luck sign. 

1767. There will be hasty news, if a rooster crows at noon. 

1768. A rooster's crowing in the afternoon means that you will hear 
speedy news. 

1769. Unexpected news will be heard, if a rooster crows at dusk. 

1770. If about dusk a rooster crows three times at your door, you can 
look for unexpected news. 

1771. It is the sign of bad news to hear a rooster crowing about dusk. 

1772. Bad news will come, if a rooster crows before midnight. 

1773. If a rooster crows three times and looks at you each time, you 
will get a letter from a friend. 

1774. A rooster crowing before midnight is the sign of a fire. 

1775. There will be a fire, if a rooster crows at midnight. 

1776. The crowing of a rooster early in the morning indicates that you 
are going to have company. 

1777. A rooster's crowing before breakfast means that you will have 
visitors before supper. 

1778. When a rooster crows before breakfast, you may look for guests 
before bedtime. 

1779. Someone will come, if a rooster crows on your front porch. 

1780. Company can be expected, when a rooster comes to the porch and 
crows three times. 

1781. There will be an increase in the family, if a rooster turns towards 
the door and crows. 

1782. If a rooster crows in your door during the morning, you will have 
company before the day is gone. 

1783. A rooster crowing in your door foretells the coming of a stranger. 

1784. Visitors are coming, when a rooster crows in front of your door. 

1785. The crowing of a rooster in the front door will bring a welcome 
guest. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 81 

1786. Expect the arrival of guests, if a rooster crows before the front 
door. 

1787. Someone is coming into the family, if a rooster looks in at the 
door and crows. 

1788. If a rooster crows while looking out the door, someone will leave 
the family. 

1789. You are going to have company, if a rooster approaches your 
door and crows three times. 

17*90. If a rooster enters the house and begins to crow while you are 
taking him out, you will have company that day. 

1791. It is the sign that a man is coming to see you, if a rooster crows 
in your back yard. 

1792. Prepare for the arrival of a caller, if a rooster jumps upon a 
fence and crows. 

1793. You may look for a welcome visitor, if a rooster sits on a fence 
and crows while looking toward the house. 

1794. If a rooster on a fence crows when his head is turned away from 
the house, you are going to have an unwelcome guest. 

1795. A large amount of company will come, if chickens gather on the 
porch. 

1796. When two hens fight, you may look for the arrival of two women. 

1797. Two old women will come to your house, if you see two old hens 
fighting. 

1798. A fight between two roosters is the sign that a man is coming. 

1799. If you set a duck in the light of the moon, all eggs will hatch at 
one time. 

1800. Set a duck in the early part of a dark moon and you will be 
compelled to help each duckling out of its shell. 

1801. If there is thunder while a duck is sitting, not an egg will hatch. 

1802. Thunder will ruin a setting of goose eggs, if they are in a nest oflF 
the ground. 

1803. "When I was on the farm I always set my hen and goose eggs 
on the ground so when it thundered it would not hurt them." 

1804. Thunder on Sunday will spoil a setting of goose eggs. 

1805. Goose eggs will not hatch, if there has been any thunder in 
February. 

1806. To prevent lightning and thunder from harming your goose eggs 
during the spring, you must place iron around the nest. 

1807. Pick geese while the moon is shining and you will secure more 
feathers, 

1808. Passing a flock of geese on the road will bring you good luck. 

1809. Never touch guinea eggs or the guineas will change their nest. 



82 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

1810. If you collect a guinea's eggs, always remove them from the nest 
with a spoon and the guinea will not desert her nest. 

1811. A guinea hen will always warn you of the presence of strangers. 

1812. To hear a peacock crying in the night is the sign that you are 

going to have trouhle. "Years ago a girl heard a peacock 

crying all night, just two weeks before she was to be married. 
She said, 'I am sure going to have some trouble.' And her beau 
took sick three days before they were to be married and died." 

1813. Whenever a peacock looks down and sees his ugly feet, he always 
holds his feathers down to hide them. 

1814. A pigeon flying into the house is bringing bad luck. 

1815. Touch pigeon eggs and the pigeon will not return to the nest. 

1816. If you merely touch the nest in which a turkey lays her eggs, 
she will leave the nest and make another one. 

1817. Remove the eggs with a spoon and a turkey will not abandon her 
nest. 

1818. In setting a turkey, put an iron hoop around her nest and thunder 
will not kill the eggs before they hatch. 

1819. A turkey with short claws is the sign that its meat will be tender. 

1820. Long claws in a turkey indicate that its meat will be tough. 



ANIMALS IN GENERAL 

1821. "If you want to make your young stock dapple, take and put a 
piece of elder stick about twelve inches long in their drinking 
water and all your calves and colts will be dapple. I knew a man 
that all of his horses were black, and he put a piece of elder stick 
twelve inches long in their drinking water and when his colts 
come they were black and white. Very pretty." 

1822. Twins and triplets among animals are the result of two or three 
coverings respectively. 

1823. "Many people believe that the only time to castrate or alter an 
animal is when the sign is on Scorpio or the secret parts, that the 
animal will surely die if altered at any other time." Written 
contribution. 

1824. A good time to wean an animal is somewhere about the sign of 
the "knee." 

1825. Animals should be weaned on the decline of the moon. 

1826. Give whiskey to an animal and its growth will be stopped. 

1827. Never enter a barn during a storm ; animals draw lightning. 

1828. All cows will kneel on Christmas Eve at midnight. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 83 

1829. Animals will get on their knees and pray at midnight on Christ- 
mas Eve. "I know this is so, for one Christmas Eve years 

ago when I was living on a farm, I invited some people to my 
house that did not believe that animals prayed at midnight on 
Christmas Eve. And just at twelve o'clock all the horses, cows, 
pigs and sheep on the place came up in the barn lot and got down 
on their knees and looked up in the sky. They were praying. 
And those people believed that animals pray after that." 

1830. Animals can talk to spirits on Christmas Eve at midnight. 

1831. Talk to animals at midnight on New Year's Eve and they will 
understand you. 

1832. Go to the cow shed on New Year's Eve at midnight and you will 
find the cows on their knees in prayer. 

1833. Some people claim a special gift by which they can stop the flow 
of blood in animals. 

1834. "If you don't want your cattle in the barn to be sick, take a file 
and make three crosses in the doorsill that they walk under. My 
brother had a barn full of stock and they were all sick. My sister 
heard him talking about getting a new horse one day, so when 
he started for the horse, she didn't tell him but she got a file and 
went to the barn and make three crosses in the doorsill where that 
horse would go under, and that horse was never sick." 

1835. "When we lived out on the farm, my father had lots of horses 
and cattle, and he always kept a goat running with his stock and 
we never had any diseases." 

1836. Your live stock will be healthy, if the stable is covered with 
cobwebs. 

1837. Keep pennyroyal in your stable and flies will not molest the stock. 

1838. You will have bad luck, if you let an animal die in your hand. 

1839. Spit over your finger when you see a dead animal to prevent 
having bad luck. 

1840. It is a sin to drink the blood of any animal. Always let the blood 
of the slaughtered animal run onto the ground. 



BATS 

1841. A bat is full of bedbugs. 

1842. A bat resting on your head will not let go until there is thunder. 

1843. A bat will fly into a woman's hair and it cannot be removed until 
the hair has been cut oflF. 

1844. Killing a bat will bring you bad luck. 



84 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

1845. It is the sign of bad luck to have a bat fly into the house. 

1846. When a bat enters the house after dark, someone in that house 
will not be there on the following night. 

1847. Carry the heart of a bat on your person and you will be successful 
in everything that you do. 



MOLES 

1848. Moles are blind. 

1849. Sprinkle garlic and sulphur at an entrance to a mole's run and 
the animal will come out of the hole. 

1850. Rats will not remain in a cellar where there is a mole. 

1851. "If you want to catch a mole, always try in the morning between 
five and six, eleven and twelve at noon, and five and six in the 
evening; they are the hours they do their work. To catch them 
you must put your spade about twelve or eighteen inches back of 
where they are working, for when they hear you, they always 
turn back." 

1852. Hold a live mole in your hand just as high as you can over your 
right shoulder, then squeeze the animal until it is dead, and you 
will always have money. 



RODENTS 

1853. Scatter peppermint sprigs about the house to keep away mice. 

1854. If you see a prairie dog go down into his hole three times, he will 
go down a fourth time and bring up a rattlesnake. From an old 
Indian. 

1855. Rabbits have young every month except February. 

1856. If you touch baby rabbits in the nest, the parents will forsake 
them. 

1857. The male rabbit will kill male baby rabbits when they are bom. 

"The farmer that brings us butter told me the other day 

that a male rabbit always kills the male rabbits when they are 
born. We had six little rabbits bom this month and the next day 
the male killed the four best ones and left two little weak ones. 
This farmer said I would find out that the two left were females." 
Written contrihution. 

1858. Rabbits are not good to eat until after the first snow. 

1859. To catch a rabbit put salt on its tail. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 85 

1860. Kill for luck the first rabbit that you see in the winter. 

1861. As long as you carry the ear of a jack rabbit in your pocket, you 
will have good luck. 

1862. Carry a rabbit foot for luck. 

1863. The left hind foot of a rabbit will bring you luck, if carried on 

your person. The left hind foot is sometimes called the 

"fourth pazv." 

1864. Wear a rabbit foot around your neck and it will cause you good 
luck. 

1865. To have good luck, carry the left hind foot of a rabbit that you 
have caught (or shot) at midnight in a graveyard. 

1866. Kill a rabbit in the light of the moon and hang one of its feet 
about your neck for good luck. 

1867. If you have killed a rabbit, carry its right front foot and you will 
be lucky. 

1868. Carry on your watch chain a front foot of a rabbit that has been 
killed by you and good luck will come to you. 

1869. Keep in your pocket the left front foot of a rabbit that you have 
killed and it will bring you good luck. 

1870. If you think that you are going to get into trouble, rub a rabbit 
foot over your head three times while making a wish to avert the 
misfortune ; then return the rabbit foot to your pocket. 

1871. If you carry a rabbit foot in your pocketbook, you will never be 
without money. 

1872. You can always have money by carrying in your purse the left 
hind leg of a rabbit which you yourself have killed. 

1873. It is an unlucky omen to have a rabbit run across your path. 

1874. To avert bad luck when a rabbit crosses the road in front of you, 
you must return home and begin your journey again. 

1875. Bad luck can be avoided, if a rabbit has crossed your path, by 
spitting. 

1876. You will have bad luck, if a rabbit runs from right to left across 
the road in front of you. 

1877. To prevent bad luck when a rabbit crosses your path by running 
from right to left, jerk a hair out of your head. 

1878. A rabbit crossing your path on Sunday morning is bringing you 
wealth and pleasure. 

1879. If a rabbit runs parallel to your path, you may expect good luck; 
but if it suddenly darts in front of you, bad luck is coming. 

1880. A raccoon can live all winter by sucking its paws. 

1881. To drive away rats, singe the hair from one rat and turn it loose. 

1882. Tie a tin can to the tail of a rat that you have caught and then let 
it loose; and all the other rats will leave. 



86 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

1883. You can rid an infested place of rats by killing one of them and 
then either let it lie or hang it up where other rats can see the 
carcass. 

1884. A great increase in the number of rats foretells a war. 

1885. If you see rats leaving a building, it will soon burn. 

1886. Rats will desert a doomed ship. 

1887. You may look for bad luck, if rats cut your clothes. "A rat 

gnawed my dress up one time and I had nothing but trouble all 
that year." 

1888. If a rat gnaws your clothing, you will soon remove your furniture 
from that house. 

1889. You yourself should never mend any clothes that a rat has gnawed, 
for it will bring you bad luck. 

1890. It is the sign of good luck to have a rat jump out of a drawer that 
you have opened. 

1891. If you catch two rats in the same trap, you are going to have 
good luck. 

1892. A squirrel running across your path will cause you bad luck. 



CATS 

1893. A cat has seven lives. 

1894. A cat has nine lives. 

1895. "When Margaret has kittens, old Tom will come and say to the 
cat, 'Where are the babies?' The cat will say, T ain't, ain't going 
to tell you, for you will kill them.' As soon as Tom goes away, 
Margaret will take the babies where he can't find them. If Tom 
does find them, he will turn their behinds up to see which is the 
male and the female and all the males he will choke to death." 

1896. If a cat eats catnip, it has a bellyache. 

1897. A cat eats grass for medicine. If there is no green grass, it will 
eat dry grass. 

1898. To prevent fits in a cat, let it eat a piece of new dough. 

1899. Raw meat eaten by a cat will give it worms which cause fits. 

1900. Every cat has a worm in its tail. If the tail is not cut off, the cat 
will have fits. 

1901. "If a cat moves her kittens away from near a bank on a stream 
or river, it is the sure sign of high water because a cat is very 
smart." 

1902. A cat draws lightning. 

1903. "The first cat that was ever born was when it was lightening.. 
That is why a cat was marked with lightning." 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 87 

1904. "A cat is the only animal that will come out in the lightning. A 
cat is marked with lightning." 

1905. If a cat is dreaming, pull a whisker out of its lip, sleep on it that 
night and you will dream what the cat was dreaming. 

1906. A cat will suck the breath of a sleeping person and cause his death. 

1907. If you tie paper around all four paws of a cat, it will dance itself 
to death. 

1908. Rub the four paws of a cat with grease and it will not leave home. 
Do the same thing to a stray cat, if it comes to your house and 
you want it to stay. 

1909. To keep a cat from running away or to make it return home if 
stolen, cut off and bury the end of its tail under the front doorstep. 

1910. To prevent a stray cat from running av^ay, cut some hair from 
its tail and wear it in your shoes. 

1911. To retain a stray cat, let it see itself in a mirror. 

1912. Never let a cat see itself in a mirror, or it will run away. 

1913. Bring a cat home blindfolded and immediately throw it into the 
middle of the bed and it will never leave. 

1914. If you take a cat away in a sack and drop it, it will always come 
back on the ninth day, 

1915. To keep a cat from returning, always carry it down a stream, 

1916. It is the sign that you have a friendly disposition if a cat 
approaches you in a friendly manner, 

1917. When a cat raises its fur at someone, that person has a bad dis- 
position. 

1918. You may expect company, if a cat fixes its whiskers. 

1919. Visitors will come from the direction toward which a cat looks 
while washing its face. 

1920. After a cat has washed its face, if it turns to the east, someone is 
coming from the east to call on you. 

1921. When a cat has finished licking its face, if it looks to the west, a 
caller from the west may be expected. 

1922. The direction in which a cat's tail is pointing while it washes its 
face, will be the quarter from which you may look for the arrival 
of guests. 

1923. A cat cleaning its face in front of the door is a sign of company. 

1924. There will be visitors from the direction in which a cat looks 
while washing its face in front of the door. 

1925. If a cat sits in a doorway and licks its face, a guest is coming. 

1926. Someone will come, if a cat cleans its face in the house. 

1927. Unwelcome guests will soon arrive, if a strange white cat comes 
to your home. 

1928. If a black cat while running down the road before you, in the same 



88 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

direction as you are walking, turns to the right, bad luck may be 
expected. 

1929. When a black cat runs straight ahead of you, while you are walk- 
ing down a road, and veers to the left, it is the sign of bad luck. 

1930. If a black cat starts to cross your path and halfway turns back, 
you will have bad luck; but if the cat continues across your path, 
you may look for good luck. 

1931. If a black cat runs across your path and then retraces its steps 
in front of you, it is bringing good luck to you. 

1932. You will have bad luck, if a black cat crosses your path. 

1933. It is the sign of seven years of bad luck to have a black cat run 
across your path. 

1934. An old railroad man said that it was very difficult to get a man to 
take out a train, if a black cat ran in front of him on his way to 

work or before his train was due to leave. "I can remember 

when we lived on Fifth Street. My husband came home from 
work and said that a black cat ran across the track in front of 
an engine and the engineer would not take the train out that night. 
They got another engineer. That train had a bad wreck up around 
Galesburg that night and several were hurt." 

1935. A black cat crossing your path will cause you bad luck before your 

journey is over. Mrs. B's nephew told me he went out to 

Coatsburg several weeks ago and took his girl with him. When 
they got out about five miles a black cat ran across the road in 
front of the car. His girl said, 'Let's go back, we will have bad 
luck before the trip is over.' He only laughed and went on. 
"Everything went fine on our way home. When I was about three 
miles from home I said to my girl, 'Well, nothing happened.' She 
said, 'We are not home yet.' When we started up that hill at 
Soldiers' Home, the back end of the car blew out, so we had to 
be hauled in after all; and my girl had her way about the black 
cat." 

1936. The usual method for averting bad luck, when a black cat crosses 
one's path in the city, is to make a detour by walking around the 

block. "I was walking with a woman and a black cat ran in 

front of us. She turned and went back and went around the block 

to keep from having bad luck." A man working for the bus 

line in Quincy several years ago would divert his bus from the 
regular route and drive round the block, if a black cat ran in 
front of him. This practice violated a city ordinance as well as 
the bus company's regulations and made the driver liable to a fine 
or discharge. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 89 

1937. Turn around as soon as you see a black cat crossing in front of 
you and continue your journey by some other way. 

1938. To prevent bad luck when a black cat runs across your path, you 
must return home and begin your trip over again. 

1939. "Three years ago a woman was going to my mother's house and 
after she started a black cat ran across in front of her. She went 
back home and sit down for one half hour and then went to my 
mother's house. Said if you do this you will not have any bad 
luck." 

1940. When a black cat passes in front of you, make a cross on the 
ground, walk backwards three steps, whirl around on your heel, 
then continue your journey and you will not have bad luck. 

1941. Bad luck can be warded off, if a cat walks in front of you, by 
taking nine steps backwards over the cat's path. 

1942. If a black cat crosses your path, walk backwards ten steps and 
you will not have bad luck. 

1943. To avoid bad luck, when a black cat has run in front of you, take 
ten steps backwards and turn around on your heel. 

1944. You can avert bad luck, if a black cat has crossed your path, by 
walking backwards ten steps and whirling around three times. 

1945. You will not have bad luck, if you take twelve steps backwards 
after a black cat has passed across your path. 

1946. "If a black cat crosses the road, I always turn right around and 
walk backward until I get way over the place where the cat 
passed." 

1947. Ward off bad luck, when a black cat runs in front of you, by 
walking backwards until the cat is out of sight. 

1948. Any kind of cat crossing your path will cause bad luck, but you 
can avert this by walking backwards all the way to your destina- 
tion without speaking. 

1949. Count nine to avoid bad luck, if a black cat goes across your path. 

1950. "If a black cat runs in front of me, I always try to pick it up 
and throw it over my left shoulder to keep from having bad luck." 

1951. Turning around three times will ward off bad luck, if a black cat 
crosses your path. 

1952. Turn around three times and spit, after a black cat has crossed in 
front of you, and you will not have bad luck. 

1953. To avert bad luck, whirl around three times and spit on the ground 
while making each turn, when a black cat has crossed your path. 

1954. Spit when a black cat runs in front of you and you will not have 
bad luck. 

1955. If a black cat crosses your path, spit and rub your foot through 



90 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

it; then walk backwards five steps, and bad luck will not come 
to you. 

1956. Take off your hat and spit into it to avoid bad luck, if a cat runs 
in front of you. 

1957. If you spit on your two "front fingers" (index fingers), when a 
black cat passes in front of you, you will not have bad luck. 

1958. Spit on your shoes to prevent bad luck, when a black cat crosses 
your path. 

1959. As soon as you see a black cat start across the road in front of 
you, turn your back ; and if the cat is no longer in sight when you 
look around again, you will not have bad luck. In other words, 
if you do not notice the cat crossing before you, it does not cross 
your path. 

1960. An accident will occur before you get to your destination, if a 

black cat runs across your path. "My friend always laughed 

at me because I would go around the block whenever we would 
meet a black cat. I would make her go with me. One day she 
went downtown two years ago. I did not go with her. A black 
cat ran in front of her. She was in a hurry. She said to herself, 
'I am not going around the block, I am not afraid, I will go on.' 
Before she got downtown she fell over something and broke her 
leg in two places and was in the hospital a long time. She said if 
a black cat runs in front of her again she will not go on, she will 
go around the block," 

1961. You will have an accident before you reach home, if a black cat 

crosses your road. "Several years ago while driving I had 

intended going north on Twelfth Street for the then so-called five 
mile drive. Halfway out a black cat crossed directly in front of 
the car. I immediately turned back to Locust Street and then up 
to Twenty-fourth Street intending to take that road to get to my 
destination. Again about halfway there another black cat crossed 
my path. Again I turned around, retraced my way back to Locust, 
went west to Fifth Street, then north on Fifth Street to again 
connect with the five mile turn. Halfway there a black cat with a 
white belly crossed directly in front of me. My friend said, 'You 
will go ahead this time and quit your superstition or I'll never 
again be seen with you.' I did. I worried all the way. Got there. 
Back again safely in town. But on my way home, one and a half 
blocks from my home, I was hit square in the middle of my 
Hudson roadster by a drunken dentist of Quincy. Wrecked my 
car. Set my companion clear across the street with a torn chest 
and minor bruises. Completely wrecked the dentist's car. And 
to cap the climax, when I took same into court, the dentist had 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 91 

some witness swear he was not drunk or been drinking. This 
other witness, who had to be fished out the wreck, was so drunk 
he could not stand up ; and the judge dismissed the case. Neither 
got nothing. But I got black cat experience. And how !" Written 
contribution. 

1962. While walking along the street, if a black cat passes in front of 
you, it is the sign of bad luck; but if you pick up a penny before 
you reach your destination, you will have good luck. 

1963. "They say, if a black cat crosses your trail, it is bad luck, but I 
say it is good luck. You walk by where he passed, looking up to 
the sky, and you may find some money before you get home that 
day or night." Written contribution. 

1964. If a black cat runs less than four feet in front of you, you will 
not be unlucky. 

1965. You will find a disappointment at the end of your journey, if a 
black cat crosses your path. 

1966. It is the sign of unhappiness to have a black cat run in front of 
you. 

1967. A black and white cat crossing your path means good luck. 

1968. It is very lucky to have a grey cat pass in front of you. 

1969. You may look for sorrow, if a grey cat runs across your path. 

1970. If a white cat crosses your path, you will have good luck. 

1971. There will be sickness in your family, if a white cat passes in 
front of you. 

1972. An old colored woman said that years ago when she was a little 
girl, she and her mother started on a journey, and a big yellow 
cat ran across their path. Her mother immediately turned around 
and walked backwards all the way to where they were going, in 
order to avert bad luck. 

1973. When walking along the street, if you meet a cat and it follows 
you, you will secure some money. 

1974. If while going down the street a black cat is met, you will have 
bad luck unless you return home and start your journey again. 

1975. To see a black cat means good luck. 

1976. Meet a black cat late at night and bad luck will befall you. 

1977. A white cat met late at night will bring you good luck. 

1978. It is the sign of trouble to see a white cat. 

1979. A cat following you home indicates good luck. 

1980. Bad luck can be expected, if a cat follows you home. 

1981. If a stray cat comes to your house, you may look for good luck. 

1982. "Never let a cat come to your house. It is very bad luck. I was 
working at a sporting house (house of prostitution in this case) 



92 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

years ago and they would not let a cat light on the place. Said it 
was very bad luck." 

1983. Steal a cat and take it home and you will have good luck. 

1984. The girl who iinds a strange cat in her bedroom at night will 
be lucky. 

1985. Driving away a cat that has come voluntarily to your house will 
cause you bad luck. 

L986. Keep for luck a black cat that comes to your house. 

1987. "They say if a black cat comes to your house you will have good 
luck, but I am afraid of a black cat and would not feed one for 
anything to see if they were bringing me luck." 

1988. It is lucky to have a black cat come to your house. The blacker 
the cat, the better the luck. 

1989. The person w'ho finds a strange black cat in the house will have 

luck. "Mrs. F's mother-in-law had been trying to get her 

pension for months and one night the old lady told Mrs. F., a 
black cat came in her room and jumped on her bed, and she petted 
the cat and he left. But they thought she was dreaming this 
because they lived in a fiat and it would be difficult for a cat to 
get in. The next night the old lady saw the black cat again, and 
she petted it again, but they still thought the old lady had been 
dreaming. So the third night Mrs. F. got up and went into the 
kitchen and she saw the black cat climbing in the window, and 
^the next morning she waited for the mailman and sure enough 
she got her pension they had given up hope of getting. She said 
black cats are lucky." Written contribution. 

1990. If a white cat comes to your house it is an indication of good luck, 

1991. A white cat coming to your house will bring you good luck, pro- 
vided it remains. 

1992. It is very lucky to have a cat of three colors come to your house. 

1993. A cat eating grass is the sign of bad luck. 

1994. Carry a bone from the left side of a black cat and you will have 
good luck. 

1995. Sailors will have bad luck, if the fur of a cat blows the wrong 
way. This misfortune can be counteracted by greasing the cat's 
jxiws. 

1996. If a ladder is leaning against a building and a black cat walks 
under it, the next person to climb that ladder will have bad luck. 

1997. Letting a cat look into a mirror will cause you trouble. 

1998. You may look forward to a disappointment if an angr^- cat 

scratches you. 

1999. If a cat scratches you, you will be disappointed that day. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 93 

2000. You will always be lucky, if you know how to make friends with 
strange cats. 

2001. Sleep with a cat and you will have bad luck. 

2002. Bad luck will come to the house in which a cat sneezes. 

2003. Remove a two inch piece from the tip of a black cat's tail and dry 
it. Keep this bit of tail in your left shoe for luck. 

20O4-. It brings bad luck to step on a cat's tail. 

2005. If you drown kittens, always throw them into the water with your 
left hand or you will have bad luck. 

2006. Drown a kitten (or cat) and its ghost wnll come back and haunt 
you. 

2007. If you must kill a cat, never drown it, for it will cause you bad 
luck. 

2008. Killing a cat will bring you bad luck. 

2009. "Never kill a cat ; if you do, you will surely have seven long years 
of bad luck, hardships and sorrow, even if you never had it 
before. We killed a cat just after we were married and we had 
nothing but bad luck and sorrow the first seven years of our 
married life. I would not let anyone kill a cat at our place now for 
anything." 

2010. To kill a cat will cause you nine years of bad luck. 

2011. Kill a black cat and the devil will come to you before another 
black cat is seen. 

2012. It is very unlucky to shoot a cat. You must kill it by some other 
means. 

2013. Shoot a cat and your luck will be gone forever. 

2014. Run a straw through a pipestem and then pass the straw through 
a cat's mouth, and the cat will die. 

2015. If your cat is killed and you get another one, give it the same 
name and you will have good luck. 



DOGS 

2016. Large dogs bark but do not bite. 

2017. Small dogs rarely bark but usually bite. 

2018. Cut off and bury the tail of a dog that has bitten you, and he will 
neither bite nor bark again. 

2019. "If you have a little dog and want its tail off, bite it off and it 
will never get sore." 

2020. A dog passing dog fennel always wets on it. 

2021. "If a dog does his business in your yard, take it and burn it and 



94 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

he will not come back, because his bottom will burn all the time." 

2022. When you see a dog answering a call of nature, cross your fingers 
and he will not be able to complete his task until you have un- 
crossed them. Another method for the same purpose, but not so 
common, is to grasp tightly the index finger of the right hand in 
the palm of the left hand. Still more rare is a third method: "If 
a dog goes off in private, you can lock fingers with someone else 
and he can't finish." This pastime, formerly rather general and 
especially among children, seems to be about obsolete. 

2023. "If you don't want your neighbor's dog to sh-t in your yard, put 
red pepper out and they will stay away. A neighbor's dog will 
never sh-t in his own yard. He will always come in your yard. 
I don't know why. But when I used to hang up my washing, I 
got tired of stepping in dog dung; so I put the yard full of red 
pepper, and you bet they never did come back." 

2024. If a bitch is bred during the last week she is in heat, the litter 
will contain males only. 

2025. To cure a sick dog, feed him dog fennel. 

2026. Fits are often caused by a worm which every dog has in his tail. 
To prevent fits, the tail should be chopped oflf during puppyhood. 

2027. On Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve and the eve of The Epiphany, 
feed a dog silver filings on a piece of buttered bread, and he will 
never become mad or have rabies. 

2028. A dog that licks the blood of a dead man will go mad. 

2029. A dog with dewclaws never goes mad. 

2030. "If a mad dog is coming your way and you are going toward him, 
just keep on going. Don't turn back or the dog will sure bite you. 
If you keep on going, the dog will never look back but keep on 
going." 

2031. Let a dog see himself in a mirror and he will die. 

2032. If a dog sees his reflection in a looking-glass, he will always be 
mean. 

2033. You can make a dog savage by feeding him gunpow^der. 

2034. "If you don't want your dog to bite you, take a piece of meat 
and rub it under your arm, then turn it over and rub the other 
side on the bottom of your foot, and feed it to your dog. He 
will never bite you, but will eat other people up for you." Written 
contribution. 

2035. When a dog groans or whines in his sleep, he is dreaming. 

2036. A dog is having dreams, if he stretches himself while asleep. 

2037. To discover the dream of a sleeping dog, pull a whisker from his 
lip and put it under your pillow ; and that night you will dream 
what the dosr dreamed. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 95 

2038. Place your hat over the head of a dreaming dog and that night 
you will have his dreams. 

2039. "If a dog is howling in the neighborhood, 1 always get up and 
turn my shoes upside down and the dog will always stop." 

2040. If a dog howls while someone is sick, turn your shoes upside 
down; and not only will an end be put to the howling, but also 
the sick person will recover. 

2041. To make a dog discontinue his howling, remove your right shoe 

and set it upside down on the floor. An old negro woman 

said, "They would stop just as soon as my shoe was on the floor 
turned upside down." 

2042. The howling of a dog will cease instantly, if you take off your 
left shoe and spit on the sole. 

2043. If a dog has followed you to your house, you will have good luck. 

2044. It is unlucky to let a strange dog follow you home. 

2045. Keep a piece of meat in your shoe and give it to a strange dog 
and he will follow you home. 

2046. It is the sign of good luck for a stray dog to come to you and 
remain. 

2047. You may expect bad luck, if a stray dog appears at your house. 

2048. Boil a dish rag and feed it to your dog and he will not run away 
from home. 

2049. A dog will never leave home, if you cut a few hairs from his head 
and tail. 

2050. If a dog is dissatisfied with the house into which you have recently 
moved, let him smell some hair that you clip from the end of his 
tail and he will stay. 

2051. Remove and bury some hair from the tip of a dog's tail, and he 
will always remain at home. 

2052. A dog will not desert his home, if you sever a few hairs from 
his tail and bury them under the doorstep. 

2053. You can make a stray dog stay at your home by cutting a few 
hairs from his tail and burying them under the front doorstep. 

2054. Into a hole that you have bored in the doorsill, stuff a few hairs 
from a dog's head and tail, and he will not leave home. 

2055. Scratch a dog where is he unable to scratch himself and he will 
never run away. 

2056. To drive away a dog, tie a tin can on his tail. 

2057. A visitor will come, if a dog's ears are turned inside out. 

2058. If a dog so lies in a doorway that his head is inside the house and 
the rest of his body remains outdoors, someone will come into the 
family. 



96 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

2059. A dog lying in a doorway with his head pointed out the door 
means that someone will leave the family. 

2060. You may look for company, if a dog rolls on the floor. 

2061. Watch the tail of a rolling dog and the direction in which it 
points will be the quarter from which to expect guests. 

2062. After a dog has rolled, gotten up and shaken himself, you will 
have visitors from the direction he faces. 

2063. There will be success in the family, if your dog rolls sunwise. 

2064. If your dog crawls on his stomach and moans, expect trouble in 
your house. 

2065. You will have bad luck, if you let a dog look into a mirror. 

2066. It is a bad omen for a dog to cross your path. 

2067. Jumping over a dog will bring you bad luck. 

2068. When a dog chases a cat up a weeping willow, your sorrows have 
been chased away. 

2069. The howling of a dog indicates bad luck. 

2070. If your dog howls at night, there will be bad luck in your family. 

2071. If a dog howls three times near a house and stops, it is a sign of 
bad luck. 

2072. There will be a fire, if a dog howls with his head raised. 

2073. "If a dog comes out and sits down on his behind and hollers, 
looking up to heaven, there will be a big fire." 

2074. A dog whining beneath your window is bringing you bad luck. 

2075. You will have bad luck on your journey, if you meet a growling 
dog in your path. 

2076. It is unlucky to kill a dog. 

2077. Killing a dog will cause you seven years of bad luck. 

2078. When your dog is killed, give your next dog the same name for 
luck. 

2079. Never bury a dog in your yard, or it will cause you bad luck. 



SHEEP 

2080. Shearing sheep on the increase of the moon will produce better 
and stronger wool. 

2081. Shear sheep after the first cold rain in May and you will get a 
lot of wool. 

2082. To secure a large amount of wool, sheep should be sheared on the 
24th, 25th and 27th of May. 

2083. If a lamb of yours is killed or dies, cut out its heart and bury it 
in your yard. This will bring you good luck. 



Folk-Lore from Admns County Illinois 97 

2084. It is a sign of luck to meet a flock of sheep. 

2085. Passing through a flock of sheep will cause you bad luck. 



HOGS 

2086. Pigs can see the wind. 

2087. Suck a nursing sow's tit and you will be able to see the wind. 

2088. Hogs that eat chickens will never grow fat. 

2089. A hog cannot swim, because the front legs are so short that they 
will cut its throat. 

2090. Hogs with worms can be cured, if chamber lye is placed in their 
feed. 

2091. "If your hogs have cholera, put chamber lye in the slop. When 
we were small, our folks would make us wet in the chamber all 
the time and put all of that chamber lye in the slop barrel to make 
the hogs healthy." 

2092. Pigs weaned in the sign of Leo will squeal all the time. 

2093. If a hog is "seeded" when the moon increases, the wound will 
swell. 

2094. "Alter" a pig on the decline of the moon and the wound will not 
swell. 

2095. A hog "bored" in the sign of the "heart" will die. 

2096. You will kill a pig, if you "mark" it in the sign of the "private 
parts." 

2097. Always castrate hogs when the sign is below the "waist." 

2098. A good time to geld a hog is when the sign is between the "knee" 
and "ankle." 

2099. Emasculate a hog in the sign of the "feet" and the swelling will 
go down. 

2100. Slaughter hogs in the sign of the "head" and you will secure 
good meat. 

2101. If hogs are killed when the sign is between the "head" and "legs," 
the meat will shrink and have a bad taste. 

2102. For good meat, hogs should be butchered in the sign of the "neck" 
during the increase of the moon. 

2103. Meat will curl up and turn to lard, if you kill hogs in the hght 
of the moon. 

2104. Hogs slaughtered in the light of the moon will give withered and 
flabby meat. 

2105. Butcher a female hog in the light of the moon for good meat. 
'2106. Kill a male hog in the dark of the moon to have excellent meat. 

2107. By killing hogs in the dark of the moon you can obtain meat that 
will not shrivel. 



98 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

2108. Slaughter hogs in the dark of the moon for lard. 

2109. "We always killed our hogs in the full of the moon for better 
meat." 

2110. "Always kill hogs when the moon is full, then the marrow in the 
bones will be full, and the meat won't shrink." 

2111. Pork from a hog butchered in full moon will not contract and dry 
out, but on the contrary, it will swell up and enlarge while cooking. 

2112. To meet a drove of hogs on the road is unlucky. 

2113. Never give a pig to anyone without accepting a piece of money in 
exchange, if only a penny, or you will have bad luck. 



COWS 

2114. A small bull will sire more male than female calves. 

2115. To secure female calves, cows should be covered by a large bull. 

2116. If you make a steer of a calf in the sign of the "heart" it will die. 

2117. If a calf is unsexed in the sign of the "private parts," it will 
not live. 

2118. Never wean a calf in the sign of the "head," or it will bawl inces- 
santly. 

2119. A calf weaned in the sign of the "head" will take a long time to 
forget its mother. 

2120. To keep a calf from bawling, wean it when the sign of the 
"shoulder" is going down. 

2121. A calf will cry continually, if you wean it when the sign of the 
"shoulder" is going up. 

2122. Take a calf from the mother just before the sign of the "heart." 

2123. Wean a calf in the sign of the "heart" and it will fret itself to 
death. 

2124. If a calf is separated from the cow in the sign of the "heart," 
both animals will moo all the time. 

2125. Neither cow nor calf will bawl, if the calf is weaned in the sign 
of the "thigh." 

2126. "If you wean a calf when the sign is in the "knee," it will be 
satisfied and walk right away from the cow." 

2127. A cow will not miss her calf, if the calf is taken away in the 
sign of the "feet." 

2128. A calf should be weaned in the sign of the "feet" and when the 
moon is dark. 

2129. Separate a calf from the cow on Sunday morning during the 
increase of the moon and you will not have any trouble with either 
animal. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 99 

2130. A good time to wean a calf is just after the new moon. 

2131. The cow will quickly forget a calf that is weaned in the light of 
the moon. 

2132. If you wean calves during the three days preceding full moon, 
you will have splendid and large cattle. 

2133. A calf that is weaned in full moon will not lose weight. 

2134. Cut two inches off the tail of a sucking calf that you have sold 
and the cow will not bawl. 

2135. When you sell a calf, remove the top of its tail and place this on 
the mother's back to keep her from bawling. 

2136. Before selling a calf, tack a piece of its tail on the barn door, and 
the cow will not fret. 

2137. A farmer said that he wanted to buy a calf years ago, but the 
owner refused to sell unless the animal was removed backwards 
from its mother. So the cow and calf were placed in the stable, 
and the buyer, holding the calf by the tail, pulled it away back- 
wards from the mother until neither cow nor calf could see each 
other. 

2138. A cow will go dry, if she eats acorns. 

2139. If a cow eats green apples, she will go dry. 

2140. If a cow eats buck brush, she will go dry. 

2141. If a cow eats pumpkins, she will go dry. 

2142. If a cow eats pumpkin seed, she will go dry, Some farmers 

remove the seeds before feeding pumpkins to a cow. 

2143. If a cow eats ragweeds, she will go dry. 

2144. If a cow eats timothy hay, she will go dry. 

2145. While a cow is being milked, if any of the milk falls on the 
ground, she will go dry. 

2146. To dr)' up a cow, squirt her milk on the ground four or five times. 

2147. A cow will go dry, if she is not milked at the same time each day. 

2148. A cow can be dried up by milking her for the last time on Sunday. 

2149. The last milk from a cow about to go dry should be milked on 
the ground. 

2150. When a cow becomes fresh, jerk the first milking on the ground 
and she will be flush. 

2151. Always feed a cow's milk to the hogs on the first three days after 
she has had a calf. 

2152. If a cow begins to lose her milk, let her drink of it each morning 
before she is fed and the milk will soon return. 

2153. "If a cow gets its tail cut and the sun shines in her rear end, it 
will give sour milk." 

2154. Tie up the front legs of a heifer and while being milked she will 
not kick with her hind legs. 



100 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

2155. If a man milks a heifer for the first time, she will never kick 
when milked. 

2156. "We had an old red and white cow and she would always step 
over the milk bucket when we were milking, and nothing but 
milkweeds would grow on that spot." 

2157. Milk a cow for the last time on Friday morning and she will calf 
in the daytime. 

2158. A cow will calf during daylight, if she is milked for the last time 
on Sunday morning. 

2159. When a cow calves, bury the purification under an apple tree and 
next time she will bear a female calf. 

2160. If twin calves are of the same sex, keep them; but if of a dif- 
ferent sex, get rid of them. 

2161. "Whenever you bake, give the slake (slack) water to the cattle 
and nothing will happen to them. They will be healthy." 

2162. Boil elder leaves or bark, add a half cupful of lard, strain through 
a cloth, and this will make an excellent salve for a cow's sore bag. 

2163. If a cow's bag is hard and feverish, rub it with some of her own 
fresh milk. 

2164. "I knew a man that had a cow and she got a caked bag, and he put 
cow manure all over her bag and it help her." 

2165. "I know a man, he had a cow with a caked bag, and he almost 
lost her; and someone told him about the poke root salve and he 
made some, and it saved his cow." 

2166. To cure a costive cow, cut a cake of soap into five pieces and boil 
in a pint of milk. Administer the same dose twice. 

2167. A cud, according to one farmer, looks like a little sack. Once he 
found a dried cud that some cow had lost. 

2168. A cow will die, if she loses her cud. 

2169. Feed a greasy dish rag to a cow and she will recover her lost cud. 

2170. "We had an old red cow. She lost her cud. We thought she was 
going to die. We made her a cud out of an old dish rag, lard, 
bacon rind, salt and some soot out of the cookstove; and she got 
all right." 

2171. Wrap a dish rag around a stick and let a cow swallow it if she has 
lost her cud. 

2172. When a cow has recovered her cud, she will spit out the false cud 
that has been given to her. 

2173. Cure erysipelas in a cow by feeding her wine soup into which 
two nutmegs have been grated. 

2174. Indigestion in a cow can be cured by feeding her a stolen dish rag. 

2175. If a cow has eaten too much and is swollen up, she can be cured 
by giving her finger-nail scrapings on a piece of bread. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 101 

2176. Tie up a shovelful of human soil in a rag and insert it inside the 
mouth of a cow that has bloated up from eating too much white 
clover. This will make the gas leave her stomach, and she will 
become well. 

2177. To cure founder in a cow, stick a knife completely through the 
hide in between her first and second rib, and the gas will come 

out. Founder is frequently called "founders," and even 

"flounders" inay sometimes be heard. 

2178. If a cow bloats from eating clover, remove the swelling by throw- 
ing a bucketful of water over her. 

2179. If a cow has founder and she is standing up, tie rags around her 
legs and pour hot water over them. This will cure her. 

2180. If a cow has founder and she is lying down, cover her legs with 
straw and pour hot water over them. This will take out the in- 
flammation. 

2181. To cure "hollow horn" in a cow, cut a gash in her tail, fill the 
wound with salt and sew it up. 

2182. Bore a hole in a cow's tail and fill it with pepper and salt for 
"hollow horn." 

2183. For "hollow tail" (tail beginning to rot off at the end) in a cow, 
split the tail at the tip and fill the wound with pepper and salt. 

2184. Pink eye in a cow will disappear, if you rub her bag with some of 
her milk. 

2185. If a cow has "wolf," cut the end of her tail until it bleeds, and 
she will get well. 

2186. It is the sign of bad luck for a cow to enter the house. 

2187. When a cow starts to chase you, put your thumb inside your hand 
and close your fist tightly, and she will not harm you. 



HORSES AND MULES 

2188. A colt will die, if "altered" in the sign of the "heart." 

2189. Never geld a colt in the sign of the "private parts," because you 
will kill it. 

2190. Colts should be unsexed when the sign is between the "knee" and 
"ankle." 

2191. If a colt is weaned in the sign of the "head," it will not easily 
forget its mother. 

2192. A bad time to wean a colt is in the sign of the "heart," for the 
animal will fret itself to death. 

2193. A good time for weaning a colt is in the sign of the "feet" during 
the dark of the moon. 



102 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

2194. Wean a colt just after the new moon and you will not have any 
trouble with the animal. 

2195. "If you go in a stable where a mule is and try to put a bridle on 
him before he eats, he will kick your head off, if you are not 
careful. 

2196. A horse will soon recover his lost appetite, if you rub his teeth 
with garlic and pepper. 

2197. A large lump on the upper lip of a horse is the sign of bots. 

2198. During the spring and fall feed pulverized tobacco to a horse and 
he will never have bots. Powdered tobacco will also cure bots. 

2199. Cure a sore breast in a mare by rubbing it with mashed jimson 
weeds. 

2200. To cure colic in a horse, give him tea made from the white part 
of chicken dung. 

2201. For colic in a horse, let him drink some brine off a salted mackerel. 

2202. Cure distemper in a horse by feeding him a hornet's nest. 

2203. "If a horse has fistula, take an elderberry limb and cover it with 
ashes made from nothing but hickory wood, and use the elder- 
berry limb as a syringe. It will cure a horse twenty-four out of 
twenty-five times." 

2204. Founder in a horse may be cured by feeding him some private 
hair taken from three different persons. 

2205. When a horse has founder, tie him in a pond so that he stands 
with mud and water up to his knees. Do this during the daytime 
for a week and all inflammation will leave. 

2206. Put burnt leather over a galled spot on a horse and the hair will 
not fall out. 

2207. Give sunflower seed to a horse for heaves. 

2208. "An Irishman had a horse that could not pass water. He got a 
teakettle full of water and stood behind the horse and let the water 
pour on the straw, and that horse started to making water. It 
will work nine times out of ten." 

2209. A sore neck or shoulder in a horse can be healed by keeping 
jimson weeds under the horse's collar. 

2210. As a cure for a horse's sore neck or shoulder, put an opossum 
skin under his collar. 

2211. To cure sweeny, make a slit in the horse's shoulder through the 
two white skins until the shoulder blade is reached. Inflate the 
wound by blowing through a goose quill and then sew it up. 

2212. Treat sweeny by using the same method as given in the preceding 
item, but instead of filling the gash with air, insert shot and sew 
up the wound. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 103 

2213. Cut a hole in a horse's shoulder, then fill the wound with borax 
and sew it up. This will cure sweeny. 

2214. For sweeny, make a gash in the shoulder of the horse. Put a 
dime in the wound and sew it up. 

2215. .Tie a live "hop-toad" on the withers of a horse and it will cure 
sweeny. 

2216. Feed slippery elm powder to a horse for worms. 

2217. To cure worms, give the horse a mixture made of chimney soot, 
egg shells, pepper and vinegar. 

2218. If a horse cuts himself on a barbed wire fence, rub a piece of fat 
bacon over the wire that caused the gash, and the wound will heal 
within a few days. 

2219. To prevent blood poisoning in a cut on a horse, wash the wound 
with tea made of poison oak. 

2220. To stop the flow of blood immediately, when a horse has cut him- 
self on a fence, poultice the wound with flour, soot and sugar. 

2221. Profuse bleeding in a horse can be arrested as follows: Bore a 
hole into a tree and put in it some of the horse's blood, and then 
plug up the hole with a wooden peg. 

2222. "A man had a fine horse. He said he would give anyone twenty 
dollars that would stop the horse from bleeding. My sister 
counted fifty backwards and got the twenty dollars for saving 
his horse." 

2223. If a horse steps on a nail, poultice the wound with bread and milk 
to prevent blood poisoning. 

2224. Blood poisoning can be prevented, if the nail removed from a 
horse's hoof is stuck into lard. 

2225. When a horse runs a nail into his foot, remove the nail and carry 
it in your pocket, and the wound will not become infected. 

2226. A horse will neither become lame nor get blood poisoning, if you 
pull out the nail that he has stepped on and drive it into a piece 
of wood. 

2227. Burn up the nail that a horse runs into his foot and he will not 

have blood poisoning. "Several months ago a horse went by 

my house and the horse stepped on a nail. I ran out and helped the 
man take the nail out. Took it right in the house and put it in the 
fire. The man was so thankful. Said it would save the horse." 

2228. Each time a rolling horse turns over he is worth a hundred dollars. 

2229. If a mule can turn over while rolling, he is worth a hundred 
dollars. 

2230. If a mule is unable to turn over when rolling, he is not worth 
fifty dollars. 

2231. "You can always tell a good horse by the way it rolls. If it is a 



104 Memoirs of the Aliiia Egan Hyatt Foundation 

fine horse, it will roll over and over. If it is just a common old 
horse, it will only roll part way over." 

2232. Never buy a horse that shows the white of his eyes, or you will 
not be able to do anything with him. 

2233. When buying a horse, if he has: 

"One white foot, buy him, 
If two, try him. 
If three, wait and see, 
If four, let him be." 

2234. "If you want to buy a horse: If it has one white foot, buy him; 
if two white feet, try him; if three white feet, look for trouble; 
and if four white feet, do not buy him." 

2235. In buying a horse : 

"If he has one white foot, buy him, 

If two, try him. 

Three, deny him. 

Four white feet and a white nose. 

Take off his hide. 

And throw it to the crows." 

2236. A horse with one white foot is always weak in that foot. 

2237. If you buy a horse that has a white foot and the horse becomes 
lame, he will always go lame in the white foot. 

2238. "If a horse has a left hind white foot, he is very tricky. Can 
learn to do anything, like opening a gate." 

2239. Buy a horse with four white feet and he will bring you good luck. 

2240. Never buy a horse with four white feet, or he will cause you bad 
luck. 

2241. "Never buy a horse with four white feet. They are just like 
outlaws. You can't keep them any place. They jump out of 
everj'where." 

2242. If you are offered a fair price for a horse, or any other animal, 
sell it or you will suffer a loss. 

2243. If you sell a horse, never watch him as he is led away from the 
stable, or you will have bad luck. 

2244. To kill a mule will bring you sixteen years of bad luck. 

2245. Keep a black cat near horses for luck. 

2246. W^alking under a horse's head will cause you bad luck. 

2247. To make a balky horse go, pick up a handful of gravel and put it 
in his ear. 

2248. Fill the mouth of a balky horse with dirt from the road and he 
will go. 

2249. You cannot lead a horse from a burning building unless you first 
blindfold his eyes. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 105 

2250. Passing a drove of horses on the road is a sign of good luck. 

2251. When you see a horse, stamp him for luck. 

2252. Count one hundred and fifty horses and you will find something, 

2253. If you see a grey horse, stamp it and you will have good luck. 

2254. Stamp one hundred and fifty grey mules for luck. 

2255. Stamp a white horse for luck. 

2256. Each time you stamp a white horse you add a year to your life. 

2257. It is lucky to see a white horse. 

2258. Spit over your left little finger when you see a white horse and 
you will have good luck. 

2259. Seeing a white horse will bring you bad luck. 

2260. To avert bad luck, when a white horse is seen, spit between your 
two fingers. 

2261. Cross your fingers when you see a white horse and you will not 
have bad luck. 

2262. It is the sign of good luck to meet two white horses on the road. 

2263. To see a white horse means that you will get a buggy ride. 

2264. Seeing a white horse will bring you luck, if you say: 

"Lippety, lippety, white horse, 
When you have good luck. 
Bring it to me." 

2265. When you have met a white horse, you will soon see a red- 
haired girl. 

2266. If you pass a white horse on the road, you will not only see a red- 
haired woman but also have good luck. 

2267. To meet a white horse and a red-haired girl at the same moment 
will bring you good luck. 

2268. To see a white mule indicates that you will soon see a red-haired 
negro. 

2269. After you have seen a red-haired woman, you will meet a white 
horse. 

2270. If you do not see a white horse soon, after meeting a red-haired 
woman, you will have bad luck. 

2271. If you see three white horses, you will meet a red-haired girl. 

2272. Look over your left shoulder, when you meet a white horse, and 
you will see the devil. 



HORSESHOES AND MULESHOES 

2273. Carry for luck a horseshoe-shaped trinket, such as : watch charm, 
tie pin, ring with horseshoe mounting, magnet, tin tag of a well- 
known brand of tobacco, and similar objects. 



106 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

227 A. If you find a horseshoe and pick it up, you will have good luck. 

2275. It is unlucky not to pick up a horseshoe that you have found, 

2276. Not to pick up and hang up a horseshoe that you have found will 
cause you bad luck. 

2277. When you find a horseshoe, hang it on a fence for luck. 

2278. A horseshoe found on a fence will bring you good luck. 

2279. It is the sign of good luck to find a horseshoe with the prongs 

pointing toward you. A' horseshoe lying in this position means 

titat luck is coming towards you, but when the prongs point in the 
opposite direction, luck is going away from you. 

2280. If you find a horseshoe with the prongs pointed toward you, you 
must hang it up to have good luck. 

2281. If a horse drops one of his shoes while passing you, you may 
expect good luck. 

2282. Never keep a muleshoe that you have found ; it is unlucky. 

2283. Picking up a broken horseshoe means bad luck. 

2284. If you find a horseshoe, pick it up by the prongs so that the luck 
will not fall out, and throw it over your head for luck. 

2285. To secure good luck when you find a horseshoe, throw it over 
your left shoulder. 

2286. When you have found a horseshoe, throw it over your right 
shoulder and you will have good luck. 

2287. Finding a horseshoe will bring you good luck, provided you spit 
on it and throw it away. 

2288. Spit on a horseshoe that you have found and throw it over your 
shoulder for luck. 

2289. To have good luck when you find a horseshoe, spit on it and throw 
it over your left shoulder. 

2290. If you have found a horseshoe, spit through it and throw it over 
your left shoulder for luck. 

2201. To be lucky when you find a horseshoe, spit on it and hang it 
over the front door. 

2292. You will have good luck, if you find a horseshoe and hang or 
nail it over the door. 

2293. If you find a horseshoe, hang it "mouth" up (prongs pointing 
upward so that the luck will not fall out) over the door, and it 
will cause you good luck. 

2294. Always nail or hang up a horseshoe so that the prongs point 
upward, for if the prongs lie downward, your luck will fall out. 

2295. If you find a muleshoe and hang it over the door, you will have 
bad luck. 

2296. If you see a horse lose his shoe, pick it up and walk backwards 
into the house and hang it up for luck. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 107 

2297. It is unlucky to remove a shoe from a dead horse. 

2298. Finding a horseshoe without nails indicates bad luck. 

2299. To find a horseshoe containing one or two nails is unlucky, but 
if the horseshoe has three nails, you will have good luck. The 
larger the number of nails after three, the greater the luck. 

2300. If you find a horseshoe with one nail, a year of good luck is com- 
ing to you. 

2301. When you find a horseshoe, you will have as many years of good 
luck as there are nail holes in the horseshoe. 

2302. You can have good luck by carrying a horseshoe nail in your 
pocket. 

2303. It is lucky to wear a ring made from a horseshoe nail, 

2304. If you are having bad luck, spit on a horseshoe and throw it over 
your head, and your luck will change. 

2305. Sleep with a horseshoe under your pillow on New Year's Eve for 
luck. 



PROSPECTS FOR CHILDREN 

2306. If a woman leaves a diaper under a bed in the home where she is 
visiting, there soon will be another birth at that house. Hence the 

sayings: "Don't leave a diaper here" when the hostess does 

not desire a child; and, "Somebody left a diaper" after a 

child has been born. 

2307. A woman on the first visit to a newly born child should not hold 
it in her arms, for she will become a mother. 

2308. If a married woman is the first person to see a recently bom 
infant, she will have the next child. 

2309. The woman who lays her coat or hat on a strange bed will get 
a baby. 

2310. If outgrown baby clothes are given away, the mother will soon 
need them again. 

2311. To find a baby's pacifier means an approaching birth in the family. 

2312. The itching of a woman's loins is the sign of a birth. 

2313. "If there are three women sitting in a room and all three are 
menstruating, it is the sign that one of them will be pregnant 
before the year is out. I was sitting in a room with two ladies and 
all three of us were menstruating. I laughed and said, Tt won't 
be me being pregnant, for I have been married eighteen years and 
have no children.' They had the laugh on me, for before the year 
was out I was pregnant and the only child I have was born." 



108 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

2314. "Some people say that if a couple gets married and go to a picture 
show within the first three days they will have twins." 

2315. "They say that if you go swimming the first day you are married 
you will have twins." 

2316. A bright star in the sky indicates that there will soon be a birth. 

2317. A woman will soon have a baby, if she dreams that her mother 

has had a child. One woman before the birth of each of her 

four children dreamed that her mother had had a child. 

2318. Dreaming of a baby foretells another child coming into the family. 

2319. Count apple seed to discover the number of your future children. 

2320. IjIow a dandelion seed-ball and the number of seeds left will show 
how many children you are going to have. 

2321. The number of knots or lumps on the navel cord of the first baby 
reveals how many children will be born to the mother. 

2322. If you want to learn the number of your future children, attach 
a wedding ring to a string and lower it into a glass tumbler, and 
ask, "How many children shall I have?" The ring will answer 
by swinging to and fro against the sides of the glass, and each 
distinct strike signifies one child. 

2323. Count the veins branching out from the main vein in your wrist 
and that will be the number of children you are going to have. 

2324. Count the wrinkles in your forehead and you will know the 
number of your future children. 

2325. A poor man is certain to have many children. 

2326. Children of late marriages are unhealthy and short-lived. 

2327. A happily married couple will procreate good-looking children. 

2328. If a husband and wife quarrel continually, their children will be 
ugly. 

2329. Twins run in every third generation. 

2330. If a man and his wife couple twice at the time of conception, they 
will have twins; if three times, then triplets. 

2331. Children conceived while the father or mother, or both, is intoxi- 
cated will be idiotic or svibject to epileptic fits. 

2332. The birth of a female proves that the woman is stronger than her 
husband. 

2333. When a male is born, the man has more strength than his wife. 

2334. "If you don't nurse your baby, you will soon have another." 

2335. While a woman is still nursing her baby, she will never be 

"caught." One woman said that she nursed her only child 

six years for this reason, 

2336. "Take a tablespoonful of bluing each morning for nine mornings. 
They say it will make you miscarry." 

2337. "If you want to miscarry, don't eat anything and take a half glass 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 109 

of sweet milk and two teaspoonfuls of black gunpowder. Take 
four doses four hours apart and it will bring you." 

2338. "If a woman that is pregnant will walk under a mare's neck at 
twelve o'clock noon for five days without touching its neck, it 
will make her miscarry." 

2339. "If you are pregnant, get on a horse and ride five miles just as 
hard as you can. If you don't lose it then, you will not." 

2340. "Take the water off rusty nails for nine days without drinking 
anything else and this will make you miscarry." 

2341. "If you will put nine rusty nails in some whiskey and senna tea 
and take it, it will sure make you miscarry. You may not live, but 
it will bring you." 

2342. "Take a half pint of vinegar and nine rusty nails and six table- 
spoonfuls of Epsom salts and let stand nine days before you take 
it. They say it will make you miscarry." 

2343. "Take ten cents worth of prickly ash, ten cents worth of senna 
leaves, one tablespoonful of store tea, and make a tea of each one. 
Then put them in a stone jar with a pint of whiskey and nine 
rusty nails. Let stand for nine days, then give a tablespoonful 
every two hours until they start to flow. It will make you mis- 
carry. I know a woman that was seven months gone and she took 
this and she sure lost it." 

2344. "Make a tea out of peach leaves and the bark. Boil well and get 
it real strong and take. It will bring your sickness, if you are 
not over two months gone." 

2345. A miscarriage can be effected by taking fifteen grains of quinine. 

2346. Use senna tea for abortion. 

2347. Take turpentine once a month just before the period and im- 
pregnation will be impossible. 

2348. "If a woman gets in the family way during the change of life, no 
matter what she does she cannot get rid of the baby unless she 
kills herself." 



DETERMINATION OF SEX 

2349. Boys are had more frequently by youthful than by elderly parents. 

2350. A woman whose right ovary has been excised can have females 
only. 

2351. Males only will be born to a woman after the removal of her left 
ovary. 

2352. When in coitus the woman's stimulation surpasses that of her 
husband's, a son will be conceived. 



1 10 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

2353. If during intercourse a man exceeds his wife in excitement, a 
girl may be expected. 

2354. The woman, who in sexual union lies on top of the man, will give 
birth to a boy. 

2355. A man crouching over the woman during copulation will beget a 
daughter. 

2356. The sex of the child will be female, if a woman after insemina- 
tion rests on her right side. 

2357. The reclining of a woman on her left side after coition will result 
in a male child. 

2358. Conception a few days before "full term," or just at the begin- 
ning of menstruation, is an indication that a girl has been 
generated. 

2359. If a woman is fertilized within several days following menstrua- 
tion, she will have a boy. 

2360. A wife impregnated in the full moon means that her husband will 
father a son. 

2361. The woman who is fecundated on the increase of the moon will 
become pregnant with a daughter. 

2362. Babies begotten in the light of the moon are always girls. 

2363. The absence of morning sickness during pregnancy is a sign that 
the woman is carrying a boy. 

2364. Morning sickness throughout the entire nine months of gestation 
will be followed by the birth of a girl. 

2365. Prepare for a daughter, if the pregnant woman's stomach is small. 

2366. A woman with child will be delivered of a son, if she is large in 
the waist. 

2367. If the baby is going to be a boy, the woman will not be very 
large in her abdominal region. 

2368. The birth of a girl can be looked for, if the woman's stomach is 
unusually large. 

2369. A son will be sired by the man whose wife's hips fill out first. 

2370. If the abdomen of a woman in pregnancy has filled out first, she 
will be brought to bed with a girl. 

2371. For a woman to carry a child all the way around, it means a 
daughter. 

2372. It will be a boy, if the baby is carried high. 

2373. When the child is carried very high, the woman will bear a girl. 

2374. The baby who is carried low is certain to be a boy. 

2375. There will be a girl, if the woman's stomach is shaped to a point. 

2376. If a woman carrying a baby feels considerable movement within, 
a boy will be born. 

2377. The sex of a child can be determined during the last three months 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 111 

of pregnancy by counting the heartbeat of the embryo. The male 
heartbeat is 120-130 times per second and the female heartbeat is 
140-150. 

2378. If a pregnant woman smokes she will have a son. 

2379. When a woman goes two weeks beyond the time she expects her 
baby, it will be a boy. 

2380. The child will be a girl, if it arrives about the time anticipated or 
a little sooner. 

2381. If a woman during gestation wants a boy, she must make a wish 
to that effect while looking at her husband. 

2382. When a daughter is desired, the husband should look at his 
pregnant wife as he makes a wish for this purpose. 

2383. To discover whether a woman with child will have a girl or boy, 
write the Christian names of the parents to be and also the name 
of the month in which conception occurred ; then count the letters 
in these words and divide the amount by seven. If the quotient 
is an even number, the baby will be a girl ; if uneven, a boy. 

2384. If there is a red streak down the middle of a pregnant woman's 
stomach, she will give birth to twins. 

2385. When a child is born with wrinkles on the upper portion of its 
body: if it is a girl, the next baby will be a boy; if a boy, the 
following infant is sure to be a girl. 



GESTATION 

2386. Storks bring babies. 

2387. The doctor delivers children in his medicine kit. 

2388. Infants come from the cabbage patch. 

2389. Babies are found in hollow tree stumps. 

2390. A child born on Christmas Day is presented by Santa Qaus. 

2391. Never give a shower for a baby before it is bom or you will have 
bad luck. 

2392. Bad luck will befall those parents who are expecting a baby, if 
they make any preparations for its arrival. 

2393. After you have acquired a layette for the expected baby, do not 
try the clothes on another child, for it will bring bad luck. 

2394. A woman with child is always lucky. 

2395. There will be trouble for the pregnant woman who attends a 
funeral. 

2396. It is exceedingly unlucky for a woman carrying a child to stand 
in front of a mirror and observe her figure. 

2397. If an expectant mother has her picture taken, it will cause bad luck. 



112 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

2398. A woman during pregnancy should not have a tooth filled, 
because either the filling will become loose before or drop out 
after the child has been bom. 

2399. "When you are pregnant eat one cake of yeast every day and you 
won't have any trouble with your teeth decaying after the baby 
is bom." 

2400. The mother loses a tooth for each child she has. 

2401. To give her baby strong teeth, a woman during pregnancy must 
drink limewater frequently. 

2402. Too much meat eaten by a woman in the "family way" will pro- 
duce an unusually large baby. 

2403. Ill-fortune may be expected, if a woman gains weight in 
pregnancy. 

2404. To be weighed while pregnant is a bad omen. 

2405. A woman is more likely to have an accident while swimming 
during pregnancy than at any other time. 

2406. "I knew a woman that was carrying a baby and she walked under 
her mare's head every few days to hitch her to the buggy and she 
carried her baby eleven months." 

2407. "A woman one time was carrying a baby. It was way past time, 
around ten months. She didn't know what was wrong, so she 
went to a German midwife. And she didn't know what was wrong. 
So the midwife said, 'Do you remember if you ever went under 
a horse's head or not?' And the woman thought and said she 
believe she did. The midwife said, 'Go home and walk back under 
that horse's head, the other way than you walked before.' And 
the woman did. And just as soon as she got under that horse's 
head she started with pains. And the baby came before she got 
into the house." 

2408. If a woman with child steps over a rope to which a horse is tied, 
her gestation will be prolonged to the twelfth month. 

2409. "When I was pregnant, every time I went out I had to stoop to go 
under the clothesline, and when my baby came the navel was all 
around its neck; and we didn't think we could save him. We 
thought he would choke to death." 

2410. The woman who in pregnancy crawls under a fence (some say 
through a hole in a fence) will wrap the navel cord around the 
child's neck and strangle it to death. This calamity can be averted, 
if the woman will crawl back under the fence. 

2411. Stooping for any purpose whatsoever by a woman with child will 
wind the baby's navel cord about its neck and obstruct the wind- 
pipe, hence causing death. 

2412. If a woman when pregnant reaches above her head, the navel 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 113 

string will become twisted around the child's neck and prevent 
respiration, thus causing suffocation. 

2413. A pregnant woman sleeping with her arms stretched over her head 
will twine the umbilical cord about an infant's neck and stifle it. 

2414. During pregnancy, if the child kicks too hard, let the father put 
his hand on the place where the motion occurs and it will stop. 

2415. Twins will be born, if a woman can hear (feel?) distinctly the 
beating of two separate pulses. 

2416. The woman who has heartburn during pregnancy will give birth 
to a child with a large quantity of hair. 

2417. "When you are cleaning a chicken, always save the lining of the 
gizzard. Cook it tender. Put it through a food chopper. Roll it 
with a rolling-pin until a fine powder. If a woman who is preg- 
nant has stomach trouble, give her a small portion of it three 
times a day and it will cure sickness of the stomach." Written 
contribution. 



BIRTHMARKS 

2418. A child can be marked only during the first three (some say four) 
months of pregnancy, because after this time the child is well 
formed and beyond the reach of outside influences. 

2419. Children are marked during the last three months of pregnancy. 

2420. A seven-month child is more easily marked than the child of 
nine months. 

2421. It is an old saying, that when a pregnant woman is frightened she 
should never touch her face. 

2422. If a pregnant woman becomes frightened, she should cross herself 
immediately and say, "In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy 
Ghost" and the baby will not be marked. 

2423. A woman during pregnancy longed for red apples. She could 
have secured green or yellow apples, but these would not satisfy 
her. The child was bom with an inordinate desire for apples. 
Even as a small baby she could be quieted easily, if allowed to 
play with an apple. 

2424. "We have a girl here now fifteen years old that has one arm.. 
Her mother was pregnant and she was out car riding and the car 
turn over and this woman grabbed her right arm, it was hurting 
so; and when her little girl came its right arm was off between the 
elbow and shoulder, with one little finger." 

2425. Upon one occasion a woman with child desired bananas but could 
not get them. Her daughter has always been very fond of bananas. 



1 14 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

2426. Some boys were playing baseball in the yard. As the mistress of 
the house, who had been out in the barnyard, came through the 
gate into the yard, the batter threw back his bat and accidentally 
hit her on the head. She dropped dead, and at the same moment 
the child was born. On this girl's head there is a bald spot of red 
skin just the shape of a baseball bat. 

2427. A man was cutting up a newly killed beef with a butcher knife 
while his wife stood near watching him. Suddenly the knife 
slipped and came within several inches of the woman's face. It 
frightened her. When the child cam^e, he had on his face a large 
red spot that looked like a piece of raw bloody beef. 

2428. "My mother was pregnant and one day she wanted beefsteak. 
When my father went to town, he was very fond of liver, so he 
got a little. My mother did not like liver. So when he came home, 
just to fool her, he threw the liver at her and said, 'Here's your 
steak.' She open the package and said, 'O My God ! Frank, I 
wanted steak and this is liver; and the same time threw her hand 
on her stomach. And when her daughter came, it had two slices 
of liver on her stomach." 

2429. A woman during pregnancy drank large quantities of beer. Her 
daughter is a great beer drinker. 

2430. Years ago a man knocked at the door of a home and asked the 
mistress to buy a Bible. She answered that she would rather have 
a devil in the house than a Bible. Her baby was born with horns. 

2431. "My mother was pregnant and she wanted blackberries, and she 
did not get them. And when my brother was born he had a bunch 
of blackberries on his forehead. They were red, but every time he 
gets angry they are real black." 

2432. A woman while carrying her baby ate so much candy that she 
eventually despised it. The child has never eaten a piece of candy. 

2433. A woman was passing along the street when a cat jumped upon 
her face and frightened her. The child has always been afraid of 
cats. Even when grown she would walk a block out of her way 
to avoid meeting one. 

2434. "A woman was pregnant and she went out in the yard. And she 
was always reaching for cherries. They were so high on the tree 
she could not get them often. So when her boy came he had a 
small cherry tree on the back of his neck. In the winter that tree 

would be dark brown in the springtime and in cherry 

time, red." 

2435. If a baby sticks out its tongue repeatedly, it wants something the 

mother desired during pregnancy but was unable to obtain. 

An infant immediately discontinued this habit when fed "chop 



Folk-Lorc from Adams County Illinois 115 

suey," that being what the expectant mother had craved one 

evening but could not procure. Formerly, when a newborn 

child continually smacked its lips or stuck out its tongue, it was 
rather customary to interrogate the mother in order to discover 
the article of food. 

2436. As a child I occasionally saw on the streets of Quincy a girl 
heavily veiled and attended by a nurse. Naturally she was dis- 
figured in some manner, but in what way, the tales told varied 
considerably. Some people said the mother had been frightened 
by a bull and consequently the girl's face bore an image of that 
animal, while others believed her to have been marked with a 
flaming red hand. Since writing the preceding, what is pro- 
bably a truer version of the story has been discovered. The in- 
formation comes from a woman whose mother lived next door 
to the family. This household, a very large one, kept a herd of 
cows in an adjoining pasture, and retained only one maid to do 
all the work. In these many domestic tasks the mistress of the 
house refused to assist, but instead, she would sit all day at the 
window watching the cows. Her daughter was born with a "cow's 
head," an elongated face and large pointed ears Hke those of a 
cow's. The girl's birthmark according to popular belief was a 
punishment from God, because the mother had sat admiring the 
cows and had failed to help an over-worked servant. 

2437. A woman in the fourth or fifth month of pregnancy was walking 
across the pasture when a black cow started to chase her. She 
became frightened and began to run, at the same time calling her 
husband working in a nearby field. He immediately grabbed a 
club and headed the cow oflf as his wife reached a tree and hid 
behind it. While running, the woman's stocking had fallen down, 
so she pulled it up. Her daughter when born had about one ankle 
a large patch of black skin covered with rough black hair like that 
of the cow's. This girl, now a woman, has always been compelled 
to shave the hair from her birthmark. 

2438. "My mother was pregnant, and they were making sorghum at 
our house years ago. The man that would bring the cane was a 
one arm man, and every time the man would bring a load, my 
mother would say to my two brothers, 'Help that poor man 
unload the cane. I feel so sorry for him with only one ami.' And 
when my new brother came he had only one hand." 

2439. "When you are carrying a baby never cry over every little thing 
or your baby will be cross and irritable." 

2440. There lived in a small town of the county a misshapen moron who 
resembled a monkey (so it is said), and for this reason he was 



116 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

called "the monkey." One day while a woman of that community 
came driving through the town, he hopped upon the rear of her 
buggy. Turning around to see what had happened, and seeing the 
deformed man leering at her, she almost fainted. When her child 
arrived he was not only malformed but also the exact image of 
"the monkey." 

2441. "A woman was pregnant. She went to a dance one night and two 
men got in a fight, and she threw her arms across herself and 
said, 'O, my God !' And when her boy was born his hands were all 
crossed. He was a bad cripple." 

2442. A drunken man who had been in a fight came home with a very 
bloody eye which frightened his wife. The child was born with a 
red circle round one of its eyes. 

2443. Hot grease splashing out of a skillet in which meat was frying 
burned the woman's fingers, and she at once placed them against 
her breast. On the daughter's chest there is the impression of 
the mother's five fingers. 

2444. While a woman watched her husband render lard, the kettle catch- 
ing fire frightened her and she grabbed his arm to pull him away; 
but jerked it so violently that he screamed. The child was born 
with one of its arms purple from wrist to shoulder. 

2445. A woman frightened by fire put her hand up to her face. There 
was a red spot on one side of the child's face, when it was born. 

2446. "Once there was a woman who was playing an organ in Quincy 
and she jarred the lamp and it exploded and started to burn. She 
threw her hands up to her face ; and when the baby came, one 
whole side of her face looked like it was burnt." 

2447. A woman on two different occasions when pregnant became 
frightened by fire. Each child was born with red hair. 

2448. "Mrs. M. just before the birth of one of her numerous children 
was excited by the catching fire of some wood she had placed to 
dry in the kitchen oven. She burned and blackened her hand in 
dragging the wood from the oven and in her excitement pressed 
the injured hand to her face. When her child was born it had ihe 
black imprint of a hand on its face. It died in infancy and Mrs. 
M. in telling the story to Walter many years later expressed 
relief that it had died." Written contribution. 

2449. A man, who during a fishing trip was accompanied by his wife, 
pulled out a fish which flopped against the woman's arm and 
frightened her. There is a fish birthmark on the arm of the child. 

2450. "A woman not knowing anything was wrong with her, killed 
some frogs out in the garden. When her baby came she had a 
big frog on her back." 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 117 

2451. The woman who gave this item has a round brown birthmark 
over her right eye. She said that her mother wanted ginger 
cookies upon several occasions during pregnancy and was unable 
to get them. 

2452. "Once there was a woman and she was pregnant, and she loved 
curly hair. There was a man that came to her house that had 
real curly hair, and every time he would come, she would keep 
staring at this man's curly hair. When her baby came it had real 
curly hair." 

2453. A woman on a visit watched her hostess cooking some home-cured 
ham of which she desired a piece but was too bashful to ask for. 
The daughter when born had an arm without a hand. Instead of 
the missing hand there was a stump at the wrist, and the arm 
tapering from shoulder to wrist looked like a ham. 

2454. "My mother was pregnant and one winter all she done was to 
clean pig feet. And when her daughter came one foot had pig 
toes." 

2455. "In the year of 1884 a woman was taking the fat off the entrails 
of a dead hog that had just been killed. She was standing with 
her back to the slaughtering pen. Her husband not knowing she 
was there fired at another hog and it let out a loud squeal. This 
woman screamed and threw her hands over her face. Her husband 
said, 'My God, are you there !' When their child was born it had 
a hog face. It was just pitiful. The woman almost lost her mind 
when she saw her baby. When the child was about a month old 
they took it to Jacksonville (Illinois) to the hospital and it died 
that night." Written contribution. 

2456. "My mother was pregnant and she wanted some hog meat, and 
they were poor and could not get it. And when I was born I had a 
hog on my leg, and still have it." 

2457. "One day a woman that was pregnant was out in the yard. She 
did not see the family horse, but he came up and put his head on 

her shoulder. And the woman screamed and said, 'O God!' 

and at the same time put her hand on her shoulder. And when the 
baby came it had a square place on its shoulder of horsehair." 

2458. Ice cream, which could not be obtained, made a woman very 
nervous and she kept smacking her lips. As soon as the baby 
arrived it began to smack its lips and continued this habit for five 
days until the midwife, who had fed the child almost ever)^hing in 
an effort to discover what the mother had desired but was unable 
to secure, finally gave it some ice cream. 

2459. A woman who fell and hurt her leg rubbed the injured spot im- 



118 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

mediately. The son was born with one of his legs boneless from 
knee to foot. 

2460. When a married woman begins to associate intimately with another 
man w'hile she is living with her husband, the child will not 
resemble the husband. 

2461. A woman developed a dislike for milk which she transferred to 
her unborn child. This child is now a woman almost seventy years 
old and has never drunk milk in her life. 

2462. A mouse ran over a woman's face while she was lying down and 
frightened her. She brushed it away with her hand. There is a 
birthmark in the shape of a mouse on the child's face. 

2463. A woman frightened by a mouse, threw her hand to her forehead ; 
and as a result, the son was bom with a mouse birthmark on his 
forehead. 

2464. "A woman living at Rushville (Illinois) years ago went to the 
cupboard to get something. As she opened the door a mouse 
jumped out. She screamed and threw both hands on her legs and 
when her little girl was born she had a perfect mouse on each leg 
just above the knee. I know this is true because I saw it fifty 
years ago." Written contribution. 

2465. Six weeks before her child arrived, a woman who had gone down 
into the cellar lifted her head and bumped it against one of those 
old-fashioned nails with a square head. On her daughter's head 
there is a ridge just the shape and size of that nail. 

2466. One Sunday as a woman was on her way to church, she fell down 
and broke her nose ; and immediately grasped it with her hand. 
The child was born wnth a purple nose. 

2467. "When I was pregnant I was out in the barn helping my husband 
hold a sack. He was putting wheat in the sack and he accidentally 
hit me over the nose with the shovel. I grabbed my nose and 
screamed. And when my boy came it had a scar over his nose, 
and still has it." 

2468. A woman wanted dried peaches but her grocer did not have any 
and she was unable to secure them elsewhere. The child was born 
with a birthmark that resembled a dried peach. 

2469. A woman became sick from eating fresh peaches. Since that time 
she could eat tinned peaches only. Her child was bom with a 
dislike for fresh peaches and has never eaten one. 

2470. While on a visit a woman saw her hostess preserving pears, which 
she wanted to taste, but was too reticent to ask for them. Her 
child has always been very fond of pears. 

2471. A woman desired new potatoes but the price was extremely high, 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 119 

since they had just appeared in market, and she could not purchase 
them. The child was born with a potato birthmark. 

2472. "Seventy years ago my father and mother were out in the yard. 
My mother was standing with her back to my father. My father 
just in fun picked up a sweet potato and threw it and hit my 
mother right on the back. My mother threw her hand back where 
the potato hit and turned around and said to my father, 'Ain't you 
ashamed of yourself?' My father said, 'Uh-huh, uh-huh.' When 
my brother was born he had a perfect sweet potato on his back." 

2473. "Years ago there was a woman who was pregnant and she mashed 
a potato bug on her thumb. When the baby was born it had a bug 
on its thumb. She wanted the doctor to take it off, but he refused, 
saying it would go away. The girl is grown now, and she still has 
that bug on her thumb." 

2474. "A woman out here in Burton years ago was pregnant and she 
wanted raspberries. She went to see a neighbor and she was mak- 
ing raspberry pies. This woman said, T have been wanting rasp- 
berries so bad.' And this woman said, 'When you go home I will 
give you a pie for your supper.' And she did. The woman took 
the pie home and put it in the pantry and went out to hoeing her 
garden. When she came in to fix supper, the pie was gone. The 
old man had come in from the field and seeing the pie, eat it all 
up. She started to crying and threw her hand back of her neck, 
and when her baby came, he had a bunch of raspberries on his 
neck." 

2475. "I had a girl friend that has a snake across her stomach. When 
her mother was carrying her, she stepped out into the yard one 
morning and stepped on a snake. Not thinking, she started to 
killing the snake and when her baby girl was born it had a perfect 
snake across her stomach. I have looked at the snake several 
times." 

2476. "Two snakes were fighting one day, just going over and over. And 
one of them got killed. A woman came along pregnant and saw 
the two snakes fighting. And she had twins and they would fight 
all the time. And at last they both died." 

2477. "A pregnant woman once went out to the henhouse to gather eggs. 
A big snake was coiled up in the nest. She got frighten and throw 
her hand to her face. When her baby was born it had the prints 
of five fingers spread out on her face." 

2478. "About seventy years ago a woman was pregnant and she was 
out picking roses, and a big snake was in the bushes and she put 
her hand on the snake. She screamed and threw her hand on her 



120 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

breast and when her baby came she had a rose and a snake on 
her breast. And every spring when snakes shed their skin, the 
skin would peel off of the snake on this woman's body just like 
a snake. In time this woman married, but she would never nurse 
any of her babies, because she didn't want anyone to see this big 
rose and snake. She died just lately." This happened near Camp 
Point. 

2479. "When aunt Lil's mother was in the family way with her, she 
saw a spider crawl down in front of her face. She hit at the spider 
and accidentally touched her nose, and when aunt Lil was born 
she had a little spider on her nose." Written contribution. 

2480. After the first three months of pregnancy, if a woman craves 
something and steals it, the child will become a thief. 

2481. A woman craved strawberries when they were just in season but 
she could not afTord to purchase them. Her child was born with 
a strawberry birthmark. 

2482. One day a woman looked longingly at some strawberries in the 
grocery, but since they were forty cents a box, she felt as if she 
could not afford them. The temptation being too strong, she sur- 
reptitiously tasted one of the berries, but in so doing accidentally 
touched the back of her neck. The child was marked on the back 
of its neck with a strawberry. 

2483. "This is about myself. When we were living out in the country 
near Payson, one day I wanted strawberries. That was all I would 
talk about. I said to the men folks, 'When you go to town bring 
me some strawberries.' I don't know if I was nervous or not, but 
I would always scratch my shoulder when I would tell them to 
bring the berries, and when they would get home without them 
I would scratch my shoulder and say, 'Why didn't you bring 
them?' I was just crazy for strawberries. When my daughter 
was born she had a bunch of strawberries on her shoulder." 

2484. A girl was born with a strawberry over her left breast. Each year 
just before strawberries ripen, this birthmark will turn redder 
and begin to itch. 

2485. If a woman during pregnancy will keep someone in mind for an 
ideal or pattern, her child when born will resemble that person. 

2486. A woman in a "family way" can have any kind of child she wants 
by constantly thinking of and wishing for the desired qualities. 

2487. During pregnancy a woman developed a great liking for tomatoes. 
Tomatoes have always been a favorite vegetable with her daughter. 

2488. If a pregnant woman is frightened by a turtle, the child will be 
born with some of the features of a turtle. Two examples 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 121 

of this belief can be cited, the one of a white girl and the other 
of a colored boy. Upon separate occasions when fishing, the 
mothers of these children had been frightened by turtles. Each 
child possessed a clubfoot, and the girl's fingers were gnarled 
and stiff, faintly suggestive of a turtle's claw. Moreover, her head 
sank down between her shoulders somewhat in the fashion of a 
turtle's. As a matter of fact, the girl's sunken head was the result 
of a fall ; and incidentally, deformity was characteristic of her 
family, her brother being similarly disfigured. 

2489. "I know a woman that was pregnant and she got scared at a big 
turtle. And when her twins came, each one had half of a turtle 
on their front breast." 

2490. To make a birthmark disappear, immediately smear it with some 
of the afterbirth. 

2491. "If a child is born with a birthmark, take it in a dark room and 
rub the afterbirth over the birthmark and bury the afterbirth right 
away without telling anyone, and as the afterbirth starts to decay, 
the birthmark will leave the child." 

2492. To remove a birthmark, wipe it with a dish rag and tlit-n place 
the dish rag in a coffin that contains a corpse, while saying, "O 
Lord, take with Thee what harmeth Thee not, but harmeth me." 

2493. Rid yourself of a birthmark by stroking it with a dead person's 
hand. 

2494. A woman can drive away her birthmark, if she strokes it with 
the hand of a dead man. 

2495. A man can lose his birthmark by rubbing it with the hand of a 
dead woman. 

24%. "Years ago I had a niece that had a big cherry on the side of her 
face. It was a birthmark. And her mother took her to a corpse 
and let that child rulj that birthmark three times over the dead anrl 
it went away." 

2497. A birthmark can be removed by rubbing it with a duck's foot, 

2498. Anoint a birthmark daily with olive oil until it goes away. 

2499. Touch a birthmark with your tongue for nine mornings and it 
will fade away. 

2500. A "broom mark," caused by carrying a baby, can be driven away 
by rubbing it with the child's first wet diaper. 

2501. Sometimes a child is born with a red mark or streak across its 
face which is called a "fire mark" or "temper mark." Lick this 
disfiguration every morning for nine days and it will disappear. 



122 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

PARTURITION 

2502. "When it's around time for your baby to be born and you get 
up some morning feeling real good, look out, because your baby 
will come inside of twenty-four hours." 

2503. To ease the birth pangs, let a woman drink flaxseed tea before 
childbirth. 

2504. Just before the baby arrives, a midwife will make the woman sit 
over a jar of boiling water which contains onions. This is to 
cause an easy delivery. 

2505. Immediately preceding the appearance of the child, a woman can 
procure easy labor by sitting on a jar of hot water containing 
turpentine. 

2506. Previous to the beginning of birth pangs, delivery can be facili- 
tated, if the woman holds her feet in hot water. 

2507. "If a woman has children, the child she suffers the most with at 
delivery will think the most of her when he gets older, and will 
always stick by her while the others will turn her down." Written 
contribution. 

2508. If a pregnant woman crawls over her husband, he is going to 
suffer as many pains as she will have. 

2509. A husband sometimes has the pre-delivery sickness and birth 

pangs experienced by his wife. My mother used to tell about 

a case of this sort which happened at Canton, Missouri, when she 
was a young woman in the early 1870's. The husband not only 
had morning sickness and other ailments peculiar to a pregnant 
woman but also suffered such acute pains during his wife's 
delivery that he almost died. Although the wife's gestation and 
parturition were quite normal, she, being fearful she might kill 
her husband, would never have another child. 

2510. To check an excessive flow in a confinement case, poultice the 
woman with cow manure. 

2511. Afterpains can be stopped by putting a razor under the woman's 
bed. 

2512. To lessen afterpains, place an axe beneath the woman's bed. 

2513. "I was so sick and they could not find the axe or razor, so I told 
them to put the butcher knife under the bed. Anything with a 
sharp point would cut the pain. And it sure did help." 

2514. Make a poultice for afterpains by stirring two ounces of linseed 
oil and two ounces of hempseed oil in a dish with the yolks of 
three eggs. 

2515. Give chamomile tea to a recent mother. This purifies the blood 
and heals the wound. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 123 

2516. Bury the afterbirth and the mother will not have any afterpains. 

2517. "Always bury the afterbirth deep, so the dogs can't dig it up; for 
if they do, it will bring the mother very bad luck." 

2518. If one can get and keep some of a baby's afterbirth, the child 
will always be in that person's power. 

2519. If you permit a mother to see her baby on the day of its birth, 
she will never love it. 

2520. Hot biscuits eaten by a woman in confinement will kill her. 

2521. The woman who eats cabbage during confinement will die. 

2522. Never let a woman during her lying-in eat fish; if you do, you 
are murdering her. 

2523. If a woman in confinement is allowed to eat sweet potatoes, she 
will die. 

2524. Do not visit a recent mother until she has left her bed, or you will 

have bad luck. "I never go to see a new baby until the 

mother is out of bed, for I think it very unlucky." 

2525. While calling on a woman in confinement, always sit down before 
you look at the baby; if you do not, the baby will have bad luck. 



TIME OF BIRTH 

2526. Children born in the light of the moon are more intelligent than 
those born in the dark of the moon. 

2527. A child born in the sign of the "fish" will be "crazy" about 
water, that is, very fond of aquatic sports. 

2528. If a child is born on a stormy night ,it will be a cross and nervous 
baby. 

2529. A person's life is influenced by the star under which he was bora. 

2530. The child will be born at the same time during the day as its 
begetting was effected. 

2531. If a child is born about four o'clock in the afternoon, it will be 
moderately rich throughout life. 

2532. A child who is born about four o'clock on Saturday afternoon 
will be very wealthy during its life. 

2533. The day of the week on which you were born will always be 
lucky for anything you attempt to do. 

2534. "Monday's child is fair of face. 
Tuesday's child is full of grace. 
Wednesday's child is a child of woe. 
Thursday's child has far to go. 
Friday's child is loving and giving. 



124 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

Saturday's child must work for its living, 
Sunday's child will never know want." 

2535. "Monday's bairn is fair of face. 
Tuesday's bairn is full of grace. 
Wednesday's bairn has far to go. 
Thursday's bairn is full of woe. 
Friday's bairn is loving and giving. 
Saturday's bairn works hard for a living. 
But a child born on the Sabbath day, 

Is lucky and bonny, wise and gay." 

2536. "Monday's child is fair of face. 
Tuesday's child is full of grace. 
Wednesday's child is loving and giving. 
Thursday's child must work for a living. 
Friday's child is full of woe. 
Saturday's child has far to go. 

But the child that is born on the Sabbath day, 
Is blythe and bonny and good and gay." 

2537. "Wednesday's child is merry and glad. 
Thursday's child is sour and sad." 

2538. Anyone born on Friday must work for a living. 

2539. Saturday is an unlucky day on which to be born. 

2540. A child born on Saturday will never be wealthy. 

2541. Babies bom on Sunday do not like to work. 

2542. It is lucky to be born on Sunday. 

2543. If twins are born on Sunday, they will always have good luck. 

2544. Twins born on Sunday bring good luck to the family. 

2545. A person born on Sunday will be capable in the management of 
animals. 

2546. The child who is born on Christmas Day will have the power to 
understand the speech of animals. 

2547. Christmas Day is a lucky time for a birth. 

2548. A child born on Christmas Day is gifted with the power to see 
spirits. 

2549. Spirits can be seen by a child who is born on Good Friday. 

2550. If a child is born on the thirteenth day of the month, it will die 
on the same date. 

2551. A child born on the thirteenth day of a month will not reach 
old age. 

2552. The person who is born on or between the twenty-first and 
twenty-fourth day of a month will have good luck on the thir- 
teenth day of any month. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 125 

2553. If two members of a family are born in the same month of a year, 
whether the same year or different years, it is unlucky. 

2554. Anyone born between the 21st of January and the 21st of 
February will always have bowel trouble. 

2555. A woman born in February will be clever and sincere. 

2556. A shrewd eye for business is characteristic of a man bom in 
February. 

2557. A bashful and slow disposition is one of the characteristics of a 
man who is born in March. 

2558. If a woman is born in March, she will be faithful in love and a 
good wife. 

2559. A person will be free-hearted, if he is born in March. 

2560. Industry and fondness for her home and children are the traits 
of a woman born in April. 

2561. A man born in April will be very jealous, but he possesses other 
qualities which indicate the making of a good husband. 

2562. If a woman is born in May, she will worry about trivial affairs. 

2563. Women will exert an undue influence over the man who is born 
in May, and as a consequence, he may expect to meet many crosses 
in life. 

2564. Being a good wife and mother is the distinctive element in the 
character of a woman born in June. She will live a happy life. 

2565. The distinguishing traits of the man born in June are honesty 
and success in love. 

2566. Children born on the 16th or 17th of June will lead a life 
of shame and sorrow. 

2567. For anyone born in June, the 23rd of June will always be a 
lucky day. 

2568. The person who is born in July will have a sulky disposition. 

2569. You will never accumulate any wealth, if you were born in July. 

"My mother told me that was why I was always poor, 

because I was born in July." 

2570. The person born in August, a month during which the weather is 
oppressively hot, will be hot-headed. 

2571. A woman born in September may be described as prudent and 
modest. Moreover, she is always virtuous. 

2572. If a man is born in September, he will be honest, just and mo- 
derate in his dealings, 

2573. A woman who is born in December will have a quiet and good 
disposition. 

2574. The disposition of a man born in December will be characterized 
by ambition and restlessness. 

2575. A child born in December will have large knee joints. 



126 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF BABIES 

2576. Colored babies are born white but as soon as the air strikes them 
they begin to turn black. 

2577. If a baby has large ears, it will be free-hearted, 

2578. A baby will become a criminal, if there is no crease between the 
lobe of its ear and cheek. 

2579. All babies are born with blue eyes. 

2580. A baby whose chin quivers will have a bad temper. 

2581. The child who is born with long fingers will become a pianist. 

2582. A baby born with a large amount of hair will have trouble in life. 

2583. The child who is bom with considerable hair will prosper in life. 

2584. If a baby is born without hair, it will meet very little trouble 
during life. 

2585. The baby who is born with long hair will soon die unless the hair 
falls out. 

2586. A baby whose hair is long will live, 

2587. A baby with hair of a fine texture will not live long. 

2588. If a baby has a cowlick, it will have a stubborn disposition. 

2589. It is the sign of intelligence for a baby to have a crown on the 
center of its head. 

2590. To be born with two crowns means luck. 

2591. If a baby is born with a closed hand, it will be closefisted or stingy 
in life, 

25^2, A baby born with an open hand will have an open-handed or a 
generous disposition, 

2593. There is a "soft spot" (the sutui-es) on the top of every baby's 
head, and until this place becomes firm, the child will not talk. 

2594. A baby is unable to walk until the "soft spot" on its head grows 
hard. 

2595. If a baby has a large mouth, it will become a good singer. 

2596. A blue vein across a baby's nose indicates that it will not reach 
maturity. 

2597. If there is a blue vein on a baby's nose, the child will not live to 
see its wedding clothes. 

2598. A child born with teeth will not live long. 

2599. A daughter will be lucky, if she resembles her father. 

2600. The boy who looks like his mother will have good luck. 

2601. A beautiful child will be homely when it has matured, 

2602. If a baby is homely during infancy, it will be handsome on reach- 
ing maturity, 

2603. "Ugly babies make pretty ladies. 
Pretty babies make ugly ladies." 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 127 

2604. Anyone who is ugly in the cradle will be beautiful in the saddle. 

2605. A baby born with a caul (or veil) will be gifted with second sight. 

2606. The person who is born with a web has an augmented power of 

second sight. "A web is a coarse piece of netting that is 

over your veil when you are born, and if you have a web over 
your veil, you can see still better." 

2607. If one is born with two webs and a veil, he can always talk to 
ghosts. 

2608. The child who is born with a veil will be able to see ghosts. 

2609. Anyone born without a veil will be unable to see ghosts. 

2610. Keep the veil and after a year has past, let the baby look through 
it and the child will become a fortune teller. 

2611. A child born with a veil is endowed with the gift of healing. 

2612. A baby will be intelligent, if it is born with a veil. 

2613. Always preserve the veil which sometimes covers a baby's face at 
birth and it will bring the child good luck. 

2614. Save the veil, if a child is born with one, and sew it in its clothes 
for luck. 

2615. A baby's veil should be retained for luck, but if you lose or throw 
it away, the child will be unlucky. 

2616. If your child is born with a veil, guard it carefully; for if the 
veil is stolen, the baby will have perpetual trouble. 

2617. "If someone is born with a veil and they keep it, it should always 
be buried in the coffin with the person; if not, the family will 
have trouble as long as the veil is out of the coffin." 

2618. Carry a caul and it will preserve you from drowning. 

2619. Put a caul in your pocket when going to war and you will never 
be shot. 

2620. The sons of left-handed mothers will be left-handed. 

2621. If the father is left-handed, his daughters will be left-handed. 

2622. A seven-month baby or a baby born before the seventh month 
will never live. 

2623. A posthumous child has the power of healing. 

2624. Almost every disease, and sometimes deformity, can be cured by 
a posthumous child breathing against the patient's face. 

2625. The seventh son of the seventh son possesses power to heal. He 
is specially gifted in stopping the flow of blood. 

2626. Future events can be foretold by the seventh son of the seventh 
son. 

2627. The birth of a seventh son always brings good luck to the family. 

2628. The seventh daughter of a seventh daughter is endowed with 
good luck. 



128 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

2629. The seventh child of a seventh child always becomes brilliant and 
famous. 

2630. A jx^rson born with a talent for playing a harp will always have 
good luck. 



LACTATION AND WEANING 

2631. If camphor is rubbed on breasts before the birth of the baby, 
the mother will not have any milk. 

2632. Rub some of the afterbirth over the mother's nipples and she will 
not have sore breasts. 

2633. A salve for a woman's sore breasts can be made by mixing and 
boiling as follows : Two ounces of unsalted butter, two ounces of 
marrow of beef bone, two ounces of rosin, and two ounces of 
tallow. 

2634. Caked breasts can be cured by applying a poultice of (hot) cow 

manure. • "Years ago a woman living in T. (a small town in 

the county) was sick in confinement. Her husband was a doctor 
and he had a call out in the country. And his wife's breast got 
caked, and they put cow manure on it and she got all right." 

2635. If a woman has caked breasts, poultice them with mashed elder 
leaves. 

2636. Boil elder leaves, if in summer ; or elder bark, if in winter 

then add a half cupful of lard, cook down to a salve, and strain 
through a cloth. Apply this to a woman's sore breasts. 

2637. A flaxseed poultice is good for caked breasts. 

2638. For caked breasts, fry hops in lard and apply hot. 

2639. Lay hot pancakes on sore breasts as a cure. 

2640. Poultice breasts with crushed parsley leaves to prevent caking. 

2641. A salve made of poke roots is good for caked breasts. 

2642. If a woman has "weed breasts" or caked breasts, they can be 
cured by letting a puppy suck them. 

2643. The mother who eats boiled cabbage while nursing a baby will 
give it colic. 

2644. A mother will kill her nursing child, if she eats fish and drinks 
milk at the same time. 

2645. A baby on reaching maturity will be affected by the sign in which 
it was weaned. For examples : If you wean a child in the sign of 
the "head," it will have headaches; if in the sign of the "heart," 
heart trouble; and if in the sign of the "feet," sore feet. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 129 

2646. A baby weaned in the sign of the "heart" will never cry. 

2647. The child should be weaned in the sign of the "feet" to give a 
mother an easy task. 

2648. Wean a baby in the sign of the "fish" and you will not have any 
difficulty with the child. 

2649. Weaning an infant in the sign of the "head" will hurt its brains. 

2650. To wean a baby in the sign of the "head" will make it headstrong. 

2651. The child who is weaned in the sign of the "heart" will cry itself 
to death. 

2652. You will not experience any trouble with a child, if you wean it 
as the sign is leaving the "heart." 

2653. In the sign of the "legs" is a good time to wean a baby. 

2654. A child will cry all the time, if it is weaned in the sign of Leo. 

2655. A baby should be weaned when the sign is below the "sex organ." 

2656. Wean a child in the light of the moon while the sign is receding 
from the "knees" towards the "feet." 

2657. One of the best times to wean a baby is on the decline of the moon. 

2658. A woman can dry up her breasts readily by weaning the baby in 
the dark of the moon. 

2659. Friday is a good day on which to wean a child. 

2660. A child born on Friday and weaned on Friday will always do well. 

2661. Babies should be weaned from the tenth to the seventeenth of 
the month. 

2662. "If you wean a baby in May, 
You will wean it away." 

2663. Put bluing on the mother's breasts to wean a child. 

2664. Breasts may be dried up by rubbing them with camphor. 

2665. Nurse a baby for the last time beneath an elder bush and it will 
not cry for breast milk again. 

2666. If a baby dies before it has been weaned, dry the shirt which the 
infant was wearing and place this over the mother's breasts to 
dry up the milk. 

2667. Let a mother sprinkle some of her milk over a flame or fire and 
her breasts will dry up. Jewish. 

2668. To wean a baby, place stove soot on the mother's breasts. 

2669. Turn over a stove lid and squeeze some of your milk on the soot, 
then replace the lid, and your breasts will dry up. 

2670. To dry up breasts, squirt some of the milk on a hot stove each 

morning for nine days. "I would always milk my breasts 

on the stove every morning for nine mornings when I wanted to 
wean my baby." 



130 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

DENTITION 

2671. For teething, keep a necklace of allspice about a child's neck. 

"I had nine children and every one of them wore a string of all- 
spice around their necks when they were cutting teeth, and I did 
not have any trouble. I think it very good." 

2672. If the brains of a black hen are rubbed over a baby's gums, it will 
teethe easily. 

2673. An infant will not have a difficult time in cutting teeth, if you 
rub its gums with a boiled egg and then let the child eat the &gg. 

2674. Take a minnow out of a creek and pass it aHve over a baby's gums 
to make teething easy. 

2675. Give fennel tea to a teething child and also smear its gums with 
honey. 

2676. To prevent a child from having a cough when cutting teeth, a 
flannel cloth should be kept around its stomach during the whole 
period. 

2677. If a man's hat is placed on a baby before it teethes, the infant 
will have a hard time. 

2678. A child will not experience any difficulty in cutting teeth, if you 
hang a hog's tooth or a necklace of hog teeth about its neck. 

2679. To make teething comfortable for a child, put about its neck the 
lucky bone from a hog's head. 

2680. Sore gums in a baby may be cured by the application of honey. 

2681. To assist a child while cutting teeth, let it wear a necklace of Job's 
tears. 

2682. A necklace of Job's tears worn by an infant when teething will 
ward off spasms. 

2683. Never allow a baby to look into a mirror preceding dentition or 
you will have a bad time with the child. 

2684. Catch a mole and cut ofif one of its paws, which you must hang 
up to dry. An infant will not be bothered with its first tooth, if 
this dried mole-paw is suspended from the baby's neck. 

2685. To ease the pains of teething, let a child wear the right leg of a 
mole. 

2686. Pains during teething can be relieved by suspending from a baby's 
neck the right f>aw of a mole sewed in a small bag. 

2687. The front paw of a mole carried in a little sack about the child's 
neck will assist teething. 

2688. Hang the two front feet of a mole round a baby's neck to help 
it teethe. 

2689. String a nutmeg, through which a hole has been bored, and place 
it on a child's neck for easy teething. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 131 

2690. The wearing of an orris root about the neck of a baby will aid 
teething. 

2691. Cut up a potato and string the pieces. Let a baby wear this neck- 
lace to teethe easily. 

2692. If a baby is cutting teeth, apply to its gums the brains of a wild 
rabbit, and the child will not suffer any pains. 

2693. Tie a black ribbon about an infant's neck during the teething 
period and it will have an easy time. 

2694. Rubbing the gums with sheep brains will assist a baby in cutting 
teeth. 

2695. To have a baby teethe easily, its gums must be rubbed with a 
piece of silver. 

2696. Aid a baby in cutting teeth by rubbing its gums with a (silver) 
thimble. 

2697. Boil a violet root in milk for a half hour and then punch a hole 
through it. Place this root on a string and let the baby wear it 
for cutting teeth. 

2698. There will soon be another baby, if the preceding baby teethed 
early. 

2699. It is a very bad omen when a baby cuts its upper teeth first. The 
child will go down to the grave instead of growing up. 

2700. The child who first cuts its upper teeth will be the first one to die 
in the family. 



CARE OF INFANTS 

2701. If a child is bom blind, the mother can make it see by squeezing 

some of her milk into its eyes. A woman said that she tried 

this remedy upon her blind baby without success. 

2702. Before a newborn baby is dressed, someone should hold it by the 
feet, letting the head hang down, and give it a gentle shaking. 
This will prevent the child from having colic. 

2703. A baby becomes liver-grown by lying continually in the same posi- 
tion. The character of this disease is such that the child's liver 
sticks to the back or to some other internal part of the body. 

2704. To keep a baby from becoming liver-grown, every morning give it 
a good shaking, letting its head hang downward. 

2705. When a baby becomes liver-grown, hold its feet up in the air and 
swing it back and forth. At the same time, or between swings,, 
let someone rub the child downwards from the shoulder blades. 
This will effect a cure. 

2706. Prevent sore mouth in a baby by rinsing out its mouth with urine. 



132 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

"Years ago I knew a midwife that every baby she brought 



she would always wash their mouth out with urine from the 
chamber and she never had a baby to have sore mouth." 

2707. "When you take the navel cord off a baby, don't let it change 
hands or don't lay it down. Put it right in the fire, for if you lay 
it down or change it from one hand to another, it will make the 
baby's navel sore. When my baby was born, my mother carried 
the baby right to the stove before she took the navel off, so she 
could drop it right in the stove. And the baby was not sick with 
its navel." 

2708. If you lay down the navel cord removed from a baby, you will 
make the child a bed-wetter. 

2709. If a baby's navel will not heal, dust it with powder secured by 
pulverizing a mud dauber's nest. This will cure the wound quickly. 

"I know a woman that had a little baby and the midwife let 

the navel get very sore. It would not heal. She got another mid- 
wife and that was all she done for that sore navel was to get a 
mud dauber's house, mash it to powder and put on that baby's 
navel, and it got well right away." 

2710. Cut a large raisin in half and lay it on a navel that is beginning 
to get sore, and over this bind a twenty-five cent piece. The sore- 
ness will "soon disappear. 

2711. "If a newborn baby can't wet, take the white skin out of an egg 
and lay over its privates and it will make water right away." 

2712. Burn the first soiled diaper removed from a child and it will 
never have any stomach complaint. 

2713. As soon as a baby is born give it a spoonful of water and it will 
never have a bellyache. 

2714. It is unlucky to change the day fixed for a baptism. 

2715. A child will have bad luck, if taken from home before it has been 
baptized. 

2716. A baby dying before baptism will not go to heaven. 

2717. If you let a male baby wear beads during the first year of his life, 
he will die by hanging. 

2718. Unless the doctor's bill is paid promptly, the baby will not grow. 

2719. If a child is carried upstairs before taken downstairs, it will rise 
in the world. "When Mrs. R's son was born the grand- 
mother carried him up a ladder into the garret of the one-storied 
house to make sure that he would rise in the world. I remember 
that the nurse who attended the mother of our prominent citizen 
Mr. K. insisted on performing the same ceremony, which was 
in that case made easier by the existence of stairs." Written 
contribution. 



Folk-Lore fj-otn Adams County Illinois 133 

2720. Carry a baby downstairs before taking it upstairs and it will 
become rich. 

2721. Let a baby see a sunrise before it sees a sunset and it will have a 
long Hfe. 

2722. If a child in its first year is taken across a river on a boat, it 
will die. 

2723. A child will die, if rain falls on its head before it is a year old. 

2724. Rain falling on a child's head before it is a year old will give it 
freckles. 

2725. A baby will acquire the disposition of the person who first carries 
it out of the house. 

2726. During the first six weeks of a baby's life, always keep it wrapped 
in a piece of cloth ; for if you dress the infant, it will never live 
to reach maturity. 

2727. "I always put my baby's clothes on over its feet instead of over 
its head until it was a year old to keep it from having bad luck." 

2728. When dressing a newborn baby, place its right arm in the sleeve 
first so that it will be right-handed. Beginning with the left arm 
will make the child left-handed. 

2729. The first time a child wears stockings, put on the right before the 
left stocking, to make it right-handed. If you start with the left 
stocking, the infant will be left-handed. 

2730. Never change a diaper that has been placed upside down on a 
baby, or it will die within a week. 

2731. A baby will become a thief, if the first diaper used is an old one. 

2732. You will make a baby cross, if you iron its diapers. 

272)Z. "I was visiting my father (fifty-five years ago) and I went and 
put the remains out of the diaper in the fire, and he said my baby's 
bottom would burn." 

2734. Dress the baby in its best clothes on the first three Sundays of its 
life so that it will always wear its clothes well and appear stylish. 

2735. Preserve a baby's first pair of shoes for luck. 

2736. To stop a baby's coughing, rub the "soft spot" on top of its head. 

2737. Rocking the cradle without the baby is unlucky. 

2738. To rock an empty cradle will make the baby cross. 

2739. If you rock a sleeping baby in the cradle, it will become cross. 

2740. Rock an empty cradle and the baby will not sleep well. 

2741. If an empty cradle is rocked, the child will not live long. 

2742. Bad luck will come to a child, if its baby carriage is sold. 

2743. A precocious child will not reach maturity. 

2744. To make a good-natured man of a male baby, let him suck a piece 
of fat bacon. 



134 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

2745. Keep a red ribbon around a baby's neck to prevent someone from 
giving it a bad eye. Jewish. 

2746. Use scissors in cutting a baby's nails before it is six months old 
and it will die. 

2747. Cut the finger-nails of a baby during its first year and it will not 
live. 

2748. If you trim the finger-nails of a baby before it is one month old, 
the infant will become light-fingered. 

2749. Do not clip a baby's finger-nails during its first year, because you 
will make it a thief. Scissors are made of steel, therefore the baby 
will steal. 

2750. A child will develop thievish tendencies, if you bite off its finger- 
nails. 

2751. Every child has a guardian angel that protects it from harm. 

2752. Wrap a baby in fur before you dress it for the first time so that 
it will have curly hair. 

2753. Immediately after birth, place the baby on a curly rug and the 

child's hair will become curly. "Mrs. M. told Walter that 

when her child was about to be born her mother prepared for its 
advent by placing conveniently near an old rug. Upon this she 
placed the newborn child before it touched a fabric of any kind. 
This was to insure its having curly hair." Written contribution. 

2754. You can give curly hair to a child by frequently rubbing on top 
of its head with your finger in a circular motion. 

2755. Brush a baby's hair upwards every day to make it curly. 

2756. A baby's hair will fall out, if it is cut during the first year of the 
child's life. 

2757. If you clip a child's hair before it is a year old, the baby will die. 

2758. Trim a child's hair for luck on Friday when the moon is growing. 

2759. Save the first clippings from a baby's hair for luck, 

2760. Place a dime in the hand of a recently born baby and it will never 
be without money. 

2761. It is unlucky to put someone's hat on a baby's head before the 
child is a year old. 

2762. You will kill a baby, if you press the "soft spot" on its head. 

2763. To discover whether or not a baby is sick, touch its forehead with 
your finger, and if the perspiration tastes salty, it is sick; but if 
the perspiration does not taste like salt, the infant is well. 

2764. You can ward off sickness during the first two years of a baby's 
life by tying around its neck the two front feet of a mole on a 
string sufficiently long to allow them to rest on the stomach. 

2765. W^hen a baby under a year of age is very sick, never buy any new 
clothes for it, or it will die. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 135 

2766. Pass a baby, before it is a year old, through a horse's collar to 
make or to keep it healthy. 

2767. Wash a baby's arms and feet in dishwater to make them strong. 

2768. Dip the feet and hands of a newborn baby into cold water and 
they will never become cold. 

2769. Do not place a recently born baby on a table, for it will have bad 
luck. 

2770. To lay a child on a table before it is a year old is unlucky. 

2771. If an infant under a year of age is laid on a table, its growth will 
be stopped. 

2772. Placing a baby on an ironing board will cause bad luck. 
277Z. To hand a baby through a window is unlucky. 

2774. "They say that if you pass a baby through a window over to 
another window to a neighbor, it is bad luck for the baby." 

2775. Laying a child down on its left side before it is a year old will 
make it left-handed. 

2776. During the first year always put a baby down on its right side to 
make it right-handed. 

2777. Crack on a Bible the first louse found in a male baby's hair and 
he will become a preacher. 

2778. "I have two sons, and years ago when I found the first louse in 
their heads, I cracked it on the bottom of a tin cup and they are 
both good singers." 

2779. "When a child is born, if you will take a slice of apple and rub 
over its tongue before anything else gets on their tongue, it will 
make a wonderful singer of them. When my daughter was born, 
my wife had someone to rub a slice of apple over her tongue 
before she had anything else and she was a wonderful singer. My 
daughter married and had several children and they are all won- 
derful singers, because she had someone to rub a slice of apple 
over their tongue before they had anything else." 

2780. Place in an infant's hand, as soon as it is born, some object that 
symbolizes the occupation you want the child to adopt in later 
life, and your hope will be fulfilled. 

2781. Measure a baby before it is a year old and it will not live to reach 
its second year. 

2782. Stretch out the anns of a child two years of age against the wall 
and measure them finger tips to finger tips. Twice this distance 
will be the child's height when grown. 

2783. Kissing a baby on the mouth is unlucky. 

2784. To choose a definite name for an unborn baby is unlucky. Always, 
pick out several names and select one of these after the child is 
born. 



136 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

2785. If you name your child after either its father or yourself, you 
will not have any more children. 

2786. Bestowing a saint's name upon your child will bring it good luck. 

2787. It is unlucky to name a child for a dead person. 

2788. A baby to whom the name of a dead person has been given will 

not live long. "My uncle named two of his children after 

dead people and he lost both of them." 

2789. To change a child's name will cause it bad luck. 

2790. You must always use a nipple of the same color or the baby will 
refuse to take the bottle. 

2791. If you take a baby's picture before it is three months old, it will 
die. 

2792. It is the sign of bad luck to have a baby's picture taken before its 
first birthday. 

2793. A child's first gift should come from its mother for luck. 

2794. If a baby is unable to sleep, give it tea made of caraway seed. 

2795. While a baby is asleep, turn it occasionally so that its head will 
not flatten on one side. 

2796. When a mother first arises from confinement, let her carry water 
in a thimble and the child will not slobber. 

2797. "If a baby slobbers, take a live minnow and draw it back and 
forth three times through its mouth, then throw the minnow in 
running water and the fish will swim away with the baby's slob- 
bers. This is true because I tried it years ago. I had a baby and 
it slobber all the time. One day we went fishing and I thought I 
would try it, for we had a bucket of minnows ; so I took a large 
minnow and drawed it through the baby's mouth three times and 
threw it in the creek, and the minnow went down the stream. 
You may laugh at me, but my baby never slobber after the fish 
was out of sight." 

2798. Whenever a child more than a year old sneezes, always say, "God 
bless you" to keep it from having bad luck, 

2799. If you step over a child lying on the floor, you will stunt its 
growth, unless you step back over it at once. 

2800. Counting a baby's teeth is unlucky. 

2801. A child will not live long, if you think too much of it. 

2802. It causes bad luck to tickle a baby. 

2803. If a baby is ticklish on the soles of its feet, it will become a roamer. 

2804. If a child is tickled, it will become a stutterer. 

2805. Tickling a child on the feet before it is a year old will make it 
stammer. 

2806. When first visiting a recently born baby, kiss it and you will have 
good luck. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 137 

2807. On your first visit to a new baby, kiss the bottoms of its feet and 
you will give it luck. 

2808. The first time you see a newborn baby, kiss it while you make a 
wish, and your wish will come true. 

2809. Never visit a baby for the first time unless you take it something 
to eat. If you do this, the child will always have food. 

2810. If you visit a baby for the first time, point a loaf of "twist bread" 
at it as you enter the door, and the child will have a long life. 
Jewish. 

2811. A baby visited by you for the first time will have good luck, if 
you hold a fresh egg in front of it. 

2812. If the first visitor to see a recently born baby offers it a piece of 
money, the infant will be rich. 

2813. Tie a pink string around the little finger of a baby on your first 
visit to see it and the child will be lucky. 

2814. It is very lucky for a man to let a newborn male wet on him. 



BEHAVIOR OF INFANTS 

2815. If a baby "sweeps" the floor, company will come. 

2816. A child crawling to the center of a room is the sign of visitors. 

2817. If a child crawls towards a door, a disappointment of some sort 
will detain the guests that were expected. 

2818. After a child has cried three nights in succession, it will never 
cry again at night. 

2819. A child who cries continually during infancy will have a good 
disposition when it becomes an adult. 

2820. It is a lucky omen to have an infant cry while being baptized. 

"I know this is true because my baby cried at christening 

and it had very good luck." 

2821. The crying of a baby girl during baptism is a sign that she likes 
her name. The godmother is supposed to give the child a pair of 
shoes for luck. 

2822. A baby boy crying at baptism means that he approves his name. 
The godfather should give him a pair of boots for luck. 

2823. A woman will be a happy old maid, if she was cross in infancy. 

2824. The baby who is permitted to drink liquor will become a drunkard. 

2825. Unless a child falls out of bed once, it will never be reared. 

2826. A baby must tumble out of bed at least three times before it will 
grow. 



138 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

2827. If a child does not fall out of bed before it is eleven months old, 
it will become a fool. 

2828. A child will be intelligent, if it falls from bed before it is a year 
old. 

2829. It is unlucky for a baby to see itself in a looking-glass. 

2830. When a baby looks into a mirror before it is a year of age, it will 
have bad luck. 

2831. To allow a child to look over your shoulder into a mirror before 
it is a year old will bring it some misfortune. 

2832. Show a baby its reflection in a looking-glass and it will not survive 
the end of the first year. 

2833. A baby looking into a mirror will become vain. 

2834. "Let an infant before it is a year old look into a mirror and it 
will see the devil's butt." 

2835. If a baby smiles while asleep, angels are talking to it. 

2836. An infant desires something, when it holds out its tongue. 

2837. Never let a baby suck its thumbs, or its upper teeth will stick out. 

2838. It is a bad sign for a child to talk or walk too soon. 

2839. If a baby learns to talk earlier than usual, its walking will be 
retarded. 

2840. The child who starts to walk sooner than is customary will have 
its speech delayed. 

2841. A few words spoken by a baby long before the time for speaking 
begins, indicates a calamity in the family. 

2842. When talking precedes walking in a child, the child's tongue will 
cause its ruination. 

2843. If a baby walks before it is six months old, it will be unlucky in 

after life. "My sister's boy could walk before he was six 

months old and he lost in everything he done. He just could not 
have any luck." 

2844. A baby will become selfish, if it closes its fists tightly. 

2845. The habit of keeping the fists doubled is a sign that the child will 
be stingy. 

2846. It is a sign of love for money, if a child clutches a coin put in its 
hand. 

2847. If a child refuses to grasp a coin given to it, it will become a 
spendthrift. 

2848. If a coin placed in an infant's hand is held firmly, the child will 
become wealthy; but if the coin is dropped, money will slip 
through its fingers. 

2849. Let a baby see a new penny, a shiny nickel and a bright dime. 
Whatever coin the child picks out will foretell the measure of its 
financial success in life. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 139 

2850. To discover the child's future occupation set before him on the 
floor a Bible, a dollar and a bottle. If he takes the Bible, he will 
be a preacher ; the dollar, a banker ; and the bottle, a drunkard. 

2851. You can find out what a child's work in life will be by placing in 
front of him on the floor a dollar, a bottle and a hammer. If he 
chooses the dollar, he will be a banker ; the bottle, a drunkard ; 
and the hammer, a carpenter. 

2852. To learn what a child will do in life, show him a bottle, a Bible 
and a hammer. If he selects the bottle, he will be a drunkard; the 
Bible, a preacher; and the hammer, a carpenter. 

2853. To divine the future calling of a baby, let him look at a piece of 
money, a book, a bottle and a hammer on the floor. If he 
prefers the money, he will become a banker; the book, a lawyer; 
the bottle, a doctor; and the hammer, a carpenter. 

2854. When a baby first can crawl, lay before him a dollar and a bottle 
of whiskey. If he crawls to the whiskey, he will be a drunkard; 
and if to the dollar, he will always have plenty of money. 



HUMAN BODY IN GENERAL 

2855. The entire composition of the body changes every seven years. 

2856. Human vitality is at its lowest between midnight and dawn. 

2857. By exhaling all air from the lungs the body becomes much lighter 
and can be easily lifted. 

2858. A nervous person can do twice as much work as the one who has 
steady nerves. 

2859. A fat person is always good-natured. 

2860. A fat man has a little penis. The last word is seldom used 

by the folk. It is a substitution here and elsewhere for a variety 
of popular terms. 

2861. A tall man has a large penis. 

2862. A small man has a large penis. 

2863. A large man has a small penis. 

2864. You can keep thin by drinking a half glassful of vinegar every- 
day. 

2865. Reduce (or keep down) your weight by smoking tobacco. 

2866. Stand up frequently if you want to grow tall. 

2867. Iron taken in any form will strengthen the body. 

2868. Wear a leather strap around your wrist to make the arm strong.. 

2869. Tobacco smoking will check a child's growth. 

2870. In order to promote a child's growth, on his birthday give him a. 
slap for each year of his age and one to grow on. 



140 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

2871. Jumping through a window will stop a person's growth. 

2872. A child will cease growing, if he crawls through a window, 
2S73. It is an old saying among colored folk that a "coal-black" negro 

is a bad character. The reverse is thought to be true by white 
people, that a yellow or light-colored negro is no good. 

2874. Negroes also say that if a young colored boy drinks coffee, it 
will make him blacker when he grows up. 

2875. "If you can get to a person as soon as they have been electrocuted 
and bury them in the ground with only their head out of the 
ground, it will draw all the electricity from their body." Written 
contribution. 

2876. "If a man sees a woman naked, he will soon lose his mind and go 
crazy." Written contribution. 

2877. The power of hearing can be increased, especially in the dark, if 
the mouth is kept open. 

2878. I f someone sticks a person in the navel with a needle or pin, it 
will cause almost instant death. 

2879. A negro is more sensitive on the shin than a white person. Hence, 
the first rule in a "free-for-all" fight with a negro is to kick him 
on the shin. 

2880. Measure yourself and you will bring your family bad luck. 

2881. If you receive a scratch, it means that someone has told a false- 
hood about you. 

2882. If you find a scratch on your body, you will soon take a ride. 



HEAD-CHIN-FACE-FOREHEAD-NECK 

2883. Placing quicksilver on your head will give you bad luck. 

2884. To have good luck, rub your hands on a negro's head. 

2885. If two persons accidentally bump heads with one another, they 
will be together next year at the same time. 

2886. "I am ninety-six years old and I have never had warm water on 
my face. In the summer I use ice water when I can get it. The 
barbers call me an old Indian crank (the narrator is an Indian), 
because I will not let them use warm water when they shave me. 
I make them use the cold. I have not a wrinkle and I am not 
going to have any." 

2887. Wrinkles can be prevented by eating ten or twelve dried prunes 
daily. 

2888. Sleeping with your head raised high will give you wrinkles. 

2889. "Dimple in the cheek, 
Mild, gentle and meek." 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 141 

2890. "Dimple on the chin, 
Devil within." 

2891. A girl with a dimple on her chin is not to be trusted. 

2892. A burning face means that someone is thinking of you. 

2893. People with high foreheads are very intelligent. 

2894. A low sloping forehead identifies the possessor as a moron. 

2895. If the back of your neck itches, you will receive a shock, 

2896. An itching on the back of your neck indicates that you will meet 
with some failure. 



HAIR-COMBING-COMB 

2897. Hair on the body signifies strength. 

2898. A large quantity of hair on the body is a sign of virility. 

2899. An unusual amount of hair on the head shows sexual potency. 

2900. An abundance of pubic hair is an indication of virility. 

2901. Hairy anns mean strength. 

2902. Legs well covered with hair are an evidence of strength. 

2903. It is a mark of wealth to have hairy arms. 

2904. Hairy legs are a token of wealth. 

2905. A person with a cowlick will be lucky. 

2906. Two crowns (or a double crown) indicate that you will live in 
two countries (governments or kingdoms). 

2907. Anyone who has a double crown will eat bread on two continents. 

2908. A person with two crowns will meet death by drowning. 

2909. You will be lucky, after you have found the first grey hair on 
your head. 

2910. Remove one grey hair and two will take its place. 

2911. Pull out a grey hair and you will soon find five. 

2912. If you jerk out a grey hair, ten will come to its funeral. 

2913. Eleven grey hairs will grow in the place of the one that has been 
removed. 

2914. Fright will turn a person's hair white. 

2915. Hair will become white overnight from fright. 

2916. Bald-headed men have more brains than men with an abundance 
of hair. 

2917. Men who become grey prematurely are usually good-natured. 

2918. A Hght-haired man is always conceited. 

2919. Women who have blond hair are less dependable than woman 
with darker shades of hair. 

2920. A blonde has a loving disposition but is fickle and unreliable. 



142 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

2921. The best husbands will be found among men with fine brown hair. 

2922. Very dark hair in a man is always a sign of loyalty. 

2923. A dark-haired woman is faithful and trustworthy. 

2924. Women with dark hair are more loyal than light-haired women. 

2925. A woman who has black hair with a fine texture is highly strung. 

2926. Coarse black hair in a woman is a sign of a cross disposition. 

2927. People with dark hair are more sensual than those who have 
lighter tints of hair. 

2928. A "redhead" is always a "spit-fire." 

2929. A person with red hair either has a great many freckles or is 
very fair. 

2930. To have good luck, rub your hand on the head of a person who 
has red hair, 

2931. You will burn your hand, if you rub it on red hair. A generation 
ago it was a rather common prank for a large boy to pretend that 
his hand was burning while he rubbed his knuckles none too lightly 
on the head of a small boy who had red hair. The prank was 
never attempted unless the "redhead" was considerably smaller 
than the aggressor. 

2932. If you have tangles in your hair, rats have slept in it, 

2933. Good fortune will come to a person whose crown itches. 

2934. If one of your hairs will curl when you pull it between your 
finger-nails, you have a terrible temper. 

2935. Finding a hair in your mouth means that you will kiss a fool. 

2936. If one of your loose hairs falls over your nose, you will receive 
money unexpectedly. 

2937. To find a hair on your shoulder indicates that you will get a letter. 

2938. A string in your hair shows that someone is thinking about you. 

2939. Hair should be cut during the change of the moon. 

2940. Secure thick hair by trimming it on the increase of the moon. 

2941. You will have hair with a fine texture, if you cut it in the "grow- 
ing" of the moon. 

2942. Hair clipped during the new moon will grow in twice as heavily, 

2943. Let a girl clip the ends of her hair every new moon and her hair 
will grow faster. 

2944. If you cut your hair in the light of the moon and rub a new penny 
over the ends it will grow quickly. 

2945. Hair will always grow well, if cut on the first Friday of the new 
moon. 

2946. Cut your hair on Friday in the new moon and it will grow. 

2947. You will become bald, if your hair is trimmed during the decrease 
of the moon. 

2948. Cutting your hair in the dark of the moon will make you bald. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 143 

2949. To make hair "blunty," cut it in the dark of the moon. 

2950. A man will lose his strength, if he allows a woman to cut his hair. 

2951. Cure dandruff by washing your hair with a lotion made of one 
fourth apple juice and three fourths water. 

2952. If you dye your hair often, it will injure your brain. 

2953. Eat crusts of bread to make your hair curly. 

2954. Let a cat lick cow's cream off your face and you can grow a heavy 
beard. 

2955. You may obtain curly hair by frequently eating a large number 
of eggs. 

2956. Use the sap from grapevines trimmed in the spring as a tonic for 
hair. 

2957. You will not become bald, if you wash your hair with tea made of 
wild grapevine blossoms. 

2958. To wear a hat in the house will make you bald. 

2959. If you boil a mole in an earthen pot and use this liquid when 
washing your hair, your hair will turn white. 

2960. Using a strong tea made of peach leaves will cure dandruff and 
falling hair. 

2961. If you wash your hair with peach leaf tea, it will grow. 

2962. Never put peroxide on your hair ; it will affect your brain. 

2963. Rain falling on your bare head will make your hair grow. 

2964. You can cause your hair to grow by washing it with rain water. 

2965. If it rains on your head during dog days, you will lose your hair. 

2966. Cold sage tea is a good hair tonic and it also will darken the hair. 

2967. Singe the ends of your hair to prevent its falling out. 

2968. Wash your hair with March snow water to keep it from coming 
out. 

2969. Tea made of walnut hulls is a good hair tonic and dye. 

2970. To burn combings will cause you bad luck. 

2971. All your hair will fall out, if you burn your combings. 

2972. You will become stupid, if your combings are burned. 

2973. If it takes a long time for your combings to burn, you will live 
to be very old. 

2974. *T never throw my hair out or burn it. I always put it in the 
water-closet so it will grow." 

2975. Never burn your combings, but put them out where the birds 
can get them for nests. If you do not, it is a sin. 

2976. Birds building a nest with your combings will put tangles in your 
hair. 

2977. If you throw your hair cuttings outdoors and birds make nests 
of them, you will have good luck. 



144 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

297^. There will be an increase in the family, if birds construct a nest 
from your combings. 

2979. It causes bad luck to have birds fly over the combings which you 
have thrown away. 

2980. If birds make a nest with a man's combings, he will become bald. 

2981. When your discarded hair rots after birds have made a nest of 
it, all the hair will drop out of your head. 

2982. Always place your combings under a rock and your hair will 
never fall out, 

2983. To make your hair grow, put your clippings beneath a rock. 

2984. Bad luck will befall you, if you lay your hair clippings under a 
rock. 

2985. Your hair will grow, if some of your cuttings are buried in the 
ground. 

2986. Stop hair from falling out by burying some of the combings. 

2987. Throw your hair clippings or combings into running water and 
you will lose your mind, 

2988. Keep a slip of your hair in your locket for luck. 

2989. A woman's hair will not take a "permanent wave," if she is 
menstruating. 

2990. If a woman during menstruation permits someone to comb her 
hair, her hair will fall out. 

2991. It will cause bad luck, if two persons comb someone's hair at the 
same time. 

2992. If you are compelled to finish combing your hair after someone 
has started the task, expect bad luck. 

2993. To comb your hair at night in front of a mirror is unlucky. 

2994. You will be disappointed, if you comb your hair while sitting on 
a bed. 

2995. If you comb your hair just before going to bed, you will become 
crazy. 

2996. To see a woman combing her hair in the light of the full moon 
is a bad omen. 

2997. "To comb hair after dark. 
Brings sorrow to the heart." 

2998. Combing your hair after dark (or after sunset) will make you 
forgetful (or absent-minded). 

2999. It is unlucky to comb your hair after dark, 

3000. To drop combings while you comb your hair in the morning will 
cause bad luck. 

3001. Misfortune will follow, if you count the teeth of a comb while 
using it. 

3002. To let a comb fall is the sign of a disappointment. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 145 

3003. If you drop a comb while preparing to go somewhere, you will 
be disappointed and compelled to remain at home. 

3004. Dropping a comb and picking it up will bring you disappoint- 
ment. 

3005. Let someone pick up the comb that you have dropped and you will 
not be disappointed. 

3006. Step on a fallen comb to avert a disappointment. 

3007. When you drop a comb, prevent a disappointment by placing your 
right foot on it. 

3008. Expect company, if you let a comb fall while combing your hair. 

3009. Letting a comb drop while combing your hair means that you will 
receive some money. 

3010. To drop a comb will give you bad luck. 

3011. If you let a comb fall, step on it and you will be lucky. 

3012. A dropped comb should be stepped on three times and kissed to 
avert bad luck. 

3013. If the comb drops while you are combing your hair, prevent bad 
luck by letting someone step on it before you pick it up. 

3014. Trouble may be expected, if you let a comb fall behind you while 
combing your hair. 



MOUTH-LIPS-TONGUE 

3015. If the corners of a person's mouth droop, he possesses a jealous 
nature. 

3016. A large number of wrinkles around your mouth means that you 
are a story-teller. 

3017. A woman who has a large mouth has a large vagina. 

3018. A man with a large mouth is a c s (vaginam 

mulieris ling ere). 

3019. Itching lips indicate that you will kiss someone. 

3020. It is a sign that you will be kissed, when your upper lip itches. 

3021. A man will kiss a woman soon, if his lips itch. 

3022. A woman whose lips itch will soon kiss a man. 

3023. If your lips itch, someone is crying about you. 

3024. A man with a mustache will come, if your upper lip itches. 

3025. A blister, pimple or sore on your tongue shows that you have told 
a lie. 



146 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

TEETH 

3026. To cut your wisdom teeth early means that you will die young. 

3027. Cutting your wisdom teeth late is the sign of a long life. 

3028. Whenever you cut your wisdom teeth, your life is half over. 

3029. You will never gain any knowledge or be wise until you have 
cut your wisdom teeth. 

3030. A space between the two front upper incisors indicates that you 
will live far from your childhood home. 

3031. Teeth close together in front are a token that you will always live 
near the place where you were born. 

3032. Broad front teeth reveal that you will be a lifelong traveler. 

3033. A broad space between the front teeth signifies a long life. 

3034. If your front teeth are wide apart, you will accumulate wealth. 

3035. To count your teeth will bring bad luck. 

3036. Picking your teeth with a pin will cause bad luck. 

3037. Pick your teeth with a needle or pin and they will decay. 

3038. Eat bread crusts to make white teeth. 

3039. Qean your teeth with cigar ashes to preserve and to make them 
white. 

3040. Chew tobacco to preserve your teeth. 

3041. Preserve your teeth by washing them with urine. 

3042. If a tooth is lost, its mate will soon follow. 

3043. "If a young man sheds his teeth before he is twenty-one, he won't 
live long." 

3044. "If a man sheds his teeth after he is twenty-one, he will live to 
be a hundred years old." 

3045. When a girl is in her ninth year or thereabouts, never have one 
of her teeth pulled, or it will lead to serious trouble. 

3046. It brings very bad luck to extract a tooth when the sign is in the 
"head." One person knew a woman who died because she pulled 
her tooth during this sign. 

3047. Teeth should be pulled in the sign of the "shoulder." 

3048. Pull a tooth in the sign of the "thigh" during the dark of the 
moon and it will not hurt. 

3049. If you have your first tooth pulled without using an anesthetic, 
throw the tooth over your head and you will never have another 
decayed tooth until you die, 

3050. Hide a pulled tooth under a rock and your next tooth will be 
straight. Moreover, you will never have toothache in the new 
tooth. 

3051. Throw an extracted tooth over your right shoulder and another 
tooth will grow in its place. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 147 

3052. Cast a pulled tooth over your shoulder, without watching to see 
where it goes, and a straight tooth will grow in its place; but if 
you turn around to look, the new tooth will come in crooked. 

3053. If an animal finds a tooth which you have thrown away, the new 
tooth will resemble the teeth of that animal. 

3054. If you throw away your first tooth and a chicken picks it up, you 
will get a chicken tooth. 

3055. If a dog gets the tooth that you have thrown away, a dog tooth 
will grow m its place. 

3056. If a dog steps on (or walks over) the tooth that you have thrown 
away, the new tooth will look like a dog tooth. 

3057. If you throw a tooth away and a rabbit runs over it, your next 
tooth will be a rabbit tooth. 

3058. If a rat finds a tooth that you have thrown away, you will get a 
rat tooth. 

3059. Always drop a baby's tooth into a rat hole and the new tooth will 
be beautiful. 

3060. If a tooth comes out, put it under your pillow and in the morning 
you will find a dime in the place of the tooth. 

3061. Sleep on a pulled tooth and during the night it will turn into a 
nickel. 

3062. Place a pulled tooth under your pillow and it will change into a 
piece of money. 

3063. Put a pulled tooth in a glass of water and after twenty-four 
hours it will become money. 

3064. If a pulled tooth is left overnight in a glass tumbler, next morning 
you will see a piece of money instead of the tooth. 

3065. Drop the first tooth of a child into a glass of water and the witches 
will come that night and put a penny inside the glass. 

3066. Keep your tongue out of the hole left by the extraction of a tooth 
to prevent a gold tooth from growing there. 

3067. Always burn a pulled tooth for luck. 

3068. It will cause you bad luck, if a pulled tooth is not burned. 

3069. Place a pulled tooth beneath your pillow and you will have good 
luck. 

3070. Sleep on a pulled tooth and good luck will come to you. 

3071. Carry a pulled wisdom tooth on your person for luck. 

3072. Put a pulled tooth behind your grandmother's water pitcher and 
she will have good luck. 

3073. Throw a pulled tooth over your right shoulder to be lucky. 

3074. To have good luck, throw a pulled tooth over your left shoulder. 



148 Memoirs of the Abna Egan Hyatt Foundation 

CRYING-LAUGHING-SPITTING- YAWNING 

3075. "Take a piece of sky-blue ribbon six inches long and print on 
it the words 'weep not.' Work these words with scarlet red silk 
floss and repeat, 'In the Name of the Father, the Son and the 
Holy Ghost.' Wear it and you will not weep." Written contri- 
bution. 

3076. To laugh in bed is a sign that you will cry before morning. 

3077. "If you laugh before seven, 
You'll cry before eleven." 

3078. After you have arisen in the morning and before dressing or eat- 
ing, laugh at yourself three times while facing a mirror, and you 
will be happy all day. 

3079. "Laugh at the table 
And sing in bed. 

You are sure to shake hands 
With a man not right in the head." 

3080. Laugh on Friday and you will cry before Sunday. 

3081. Laughing is catching. That is, to laugh at another's misfortune 
will bring bad luck to one's self. 

3082. "If you laugh at a person or make fun of a person, you will have 
bad luck and something will happen to you." 

3083. To mock someone will give you bad luck for the rest of your life. 

3084. It is unlucky to spit on anyone. 

3085. If you spit on yourself, a lie will be told about you. 

3086. Spit for luck. 

3087. You can avert bad luck by spitting. 

3088. Draw a cross and spit on it for good luck. 

3089. If one person yawns, everybody in the room will yawn. 

3090. Avoid bad luck while yawning by placing your hand over your 
mouth. 



SINGING 

309 L Go to bed singing and you will wake up crying. 

3092. Sing in bed and you will cry before the following night. 

3093. "If you sing in bed. 
The devil is overhead." 

3094. "If you sing in bed, 

Sorrow hangs over your head." 

3095. Singing in bed is the sign of a whipping, 

3096. You will get a spanking next day, if you sing in bed. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 149 

3097. It is unlucky to sing in bed. 

3098. To sing in bed will bring you bad luck throughout the day. 

3099. If in the morning you arise singing from bed, you will be happy 
all day. 

3100. "If you sing before you dress, 

You'll have trouble before you undress." 

3101. "If you sing before seven, 
You'll cry before eleven." 

3102. "If you sing before you eat, 
You'll cry before you sleep." 

3103. To sing before breakfast means that you will cry before night. 

3104. Singing before breakfast indicates that you will cry before bed- 
time. 

3105. If you sing before breakfast, expect a disappointment. 

3106. The person who sings before breakfast will fall into the mud. 

3107. A child who sings before breakfast will get a beating before the 
end of the week. 

3108. It causes bad luck to sing before breakfast. 

3109. A whipping will be given to the child who sings at the table. 

3110. Singing at the table is followed by a disappointment. 

3111. Never sing at the table, or you will have bad luck. 

3112. "If you sing on the street. 
Displeasure you will meet." 

3113. It is unlucky to sing on the street. 

3114. The one who unconsciously begins to sing in the bathtub will 
have good luck. 

3115. If two persons begin to sing the same song at the same time, 
both of them will be lucky. 



SPEAKING-CALLING-SWEARING-LYING-BRAGGING 

3116. Talking to yourself shows that you are crazy. 

3117. If you say anything disagreeable, it might happen. 

3118. In saying something good of a person you cause him bad luck. 

3119. Do not call anyone a fool, for you will have bad luck. 

3120. Biting your tongue while speaking indicates that your next remark 

will not be true. 

3121. If someone is forced to sneeze while talking, it proves the truth of 
his statement. 

3122. A person who forgets what was on the tip of his tongue is about 
to tell a lie. 



150 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

3123. If you do not finish what you began to say, expect a disappoint- 
ment. 

3124. When two persons speak the same thing at the same time, one of 
them will have good luck. 

3125. A sudden silence falling upon several persons while speaking 
means that angels are passing through the room. 

3126. To call a person by another's name indicates that the latter is 
thinking of you. 

3127. If you think someone has called your name, but find yourself 
mistaken, you will receive something good in life. 

3128. "If it sounds to you like someone called you at your door and you 
open it and don't see anyone, you had better be careful, because 
it is the devil after you sure." Written contribution. 

3129. "If you are walking along and it sounds like you hear someone 
call you and you look and don't see anyone, then it's the devil 
after you." Written contribution. 

3130. "If you are out in the woods and you hear something holler like 
a person, take heed and go back, because you will get killed if 
you don't." Written contribution. 

3131. It is a sign of bad news to hear a mysterious voice call your name. 

3132. If you hear your name spoken by a person who is dead, you will 
have a long spell of sickness. 

3133. A person who stutters can be cured by keeping a pebble under his 
tongue. 

3134. When about to swear, count ten and the impulse will be gone. 

3135. Let an angry person count ten before speaking and his temper will 
leave. 

3136. If you accuse a person of something he did not do, you will have 
bad luck. 

3137. "It is an old saying, the only way to stop a liar from telling lies 
is by telling him a bigger one, and he will stop lying to you." 
Written contribution. 

3138. "They say the only sure way to get the truth out of a crook is by 
putting a woman in his cell with him, and she will get him every 
time, because her power is so strong he can't resist telling her the 
truth." Written contribution. 

3139. Rap on wood when you brag or you will be unlucky. 

3140. If you have had good luck with something and boast about it, 
knock on wood three times or your luck will change. 

3141. Never brag about anything before eleven o'clock in the morning or 
you will have bad luck in the afternoon. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 151 

EARS 

3142. Large ears indicate that you are free-hearted. 

3143. Large ears mean a generous nature. 

3144. Small ears show a stingy disposition, 

3145. It is a sign of someone talking about you, if your right ear burns. 

3146. If your ears are burning, someone is saying something evil about 
you. 

3147. To have an ear burn means that someone is speaking of you: The 
right ear for spite, the left ear for love. 

3148. When your right ear burns (is red or itches), something good is 
being said of you. 

3149. You are being spoken of in an ill manner, if your left ear burns 
(is red or itches). 

3150. If your right ear burns (or itches), someone is speaking badly 
about you. 

3151. Something good is being told about you, if your left ear burns 
(or itches). 

3152. Put saliva on your ear when it burns and the person gossiping 
about you will be outwitted. 

3153. To discover what is being said about you, spit on your ear and 
if it stops burning, the conversation is good; but if the ear con- 
tinues to burn, the talk is bad. 

3154. Make a cross with saliva over the ear that burns and name it for 
someone you know. If your ear ceases burning, the person named 
was the talker; but if your ear continues to burn, repeat the pro- 
cess until the correct name is revealed. 

3155. Spit on a burning ear and say, "If it is good, talk on." 

3156. Outwit the speaker when your ear burns by spitting on it and 
saying, "If it is bad, I hope you will bite 3'our tongue." 

3157. Encourage the talker when your ear burns by spitting on it and 
saying, "If a friend, talk on." 

3158. Rub saliva on your ear when it burns and say, "If enemies, wish 
me no harm." 

3159. It signifies that a man is speaking of you, if your right ear burns. 

3160. A burning left ear means that a woman is talking about you. 

3161. A ringing in your ear shows that someone is speaking of you. 

3162. Someone is talking about you, if there is a ringing in your right 
ear. 

3163. If your ear rings, it means: 

"Left for might, 
Right for spite." 

3164. Something good is being said of you, if your right ear rings. 



152 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

3165. The talker is speaking ill of you, when your left ear rings, 

3166. The remarks of the speaker are unkind, if your right ear rings. 

3167. If your left ear rings, kind remarks are being made of you. 

3168. Bite your tongue when your ear rings and you will make the 
person talking about you bite his tongue. 

3169. Mention the names of three persons whom you think are talking 
about you when your ear burns, and the name upon which your 
ear stops burning will identify the speaker. 

3170. A singing in your left ear indicates that someone is asking for you. 

3171. It is a sign that you are in the thoughts of a dear friend, if your 
right ear sings. 

3172. You will hear a secret from a girl friend, if your left ear itches. 

3173. A secret will be told to you by a boy friend, if your right ear 
itches. 

3174. A tingling in your ears means sudden news. 

3175. Pleasant news will follow a ringing in your right ear. 

3176. There will be unpleasant news, if your left ear rings. 

3177. If your ear itches, company will come. 

3178. To have a ringing in your right ear is a sign of bad luck. 

3179. You will have good luck, if your left ear rings. 

3180. If you have a burning in your ear, there will be a fire in your 
neighborhood inside of a month. 



EYES 

3181. You will be able to see on the darkest night, if you grease your 
eyes with the blood of a bat. 

3182. Kill a black cat and make a pair of gloves from its hide. Wear 
these gloves and you can walk around in the dark and no one 
will see you. 

3183. Carry a dried owl's eye in a little bag and you can see people, 
while you yourself remain invisible to them. 

3184. If a large amount of white shows in a negro's eyes, he is dan- 
gerous. 

3185. A black-eyed woman should not be trusted. 

3186. A woman with blue eyes is always faithful. 

3187. A person with blue eyes will always be lucky. 

3188. The woman who has grey eyes is greedy. 

3189. Rub vaseline on your eyebrows to make them grow, become long 
or thick. 

3190. A person with long eyelashes will always have good luck. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 153 

3191. The person whose eyebrows meet will be a thief. 

3192. Never trust a person, if his eyebrows come together. 

3193. The meeting of eyebrows indicates a jealous disposition. 

3194. To have your eyebrows meet is a sign that you will become 
wealthy. 

3195. If one eyebrow is higher than the other in a person, he has criminal 
tendencies. 

3196. If your eye itches, you will cry. 

3197. When your right eye itches, you are going to cry. 

3198. It is an indication that you will cry, if your right eye burns. 

3199. An itching of the left eye signifies that you will laugh. 

3200. If your right eye jumps, you are going to laugh. 

3201. "Right eye, cry eye. 
Left eye, laugh eye." 

3202. The quavering of a right eye means that something will please 
you. 

3203. You will be pleased by something, if your left eye itches. 

3204. It indicates anger for your right eye to itch. 

3205. A twitching in your left eye foretells that you are going to be 
angry. 

3206. If your left eye bats, you will have trouble. 

3207. An itching right eyebrow is the sign that you are going to look 
at something pleasant. 

3208. Something unpleasant will be seen, if your left eyebrow itches. 

3209. It is the token of a new friend, to have your right eyebrow itch. 

3210. You will make an enemy, if your left eyebrow itches. 

3211. The quivering of your right eye reveals that you will see a woman 
whom you have not seen for a long time. 

3212. If your left eye trembles, a man who has not been seen for a 
long time will be met by you. 

3213. Good news follows the itching of your right eye. 

3214. Bad news is indicated, if your left eye itches. 

3215. Expect a letter from a dear friend, when your eyebrow itches. 

3216. To have your right eye itch is the sign of a letter. 

3217. The itching of the right eye means that you will receive money. 

3218. Either eye itching at night is a mark of good luck. 

3219. Bad luck will follow, if your right eye itches. 

3220. It signifies good luck for your left eye to itch. 

3221. To see a cross-eyed person will bring you bad luck. 

3222. If walking along the street you look into the eyes of a cross-eyed 
person, you will have bad luck. 

3223. Seeing a cross-eyed sailor over your left shoulder aboard a ship 
is unlucky. 



154 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

3224. Beware of a woman with cross-eyes, for if you meet one, you 
will certainly die before long. 

3225. Bad luck for the week is indicated, if you look at a cross-eyed 
woman on Monday. 

3226. It is a sign of bad luck for the day to encounter cross-eyes in the 
first woman met that morning. 

3227. Avoid bad luck when you meet a cross-eyed person by turning 
and going in the opposite direction. 

3228. Cross your first and second fingers to prevent bad luck, if you 
meet a cross-eyed person. 

3229. If you see a cross-eyed person, cross two fingers and spit, and 
you will not be unfortunate. 

3230. When a cross-eyed woman looks at you, cross your fingers and 
spit over them to avert bad luck. 

3231. Misfortune can be driven away by spitting, if you see a cross- 
eyed man. 

3232. "I am very superstitious. If I should see a cross-eyed person, 
even in church I would take off my hat and spit in it, so I would 
not have bad luck." 

3233. Spit into your hat, if you meet a cross-eyed Jew, and you will 
be very lucky. 

3234. To meet a person with a squint eye is unlucky. 

3235. If you meet a "cockeyed" person on the street and he looks at 
you, you will have bad luck. 

3236. To keep your spectacles from steaming when you enter a house, 
walk in backwards. 

3237. Wipe your glasses with a dollar bill and they will not steam. 

3238. If a person winks his left eye at you, according to sign language 
he does not like you. 

3239. In sign language, when you wink your right eye at someone, it 
means that you want to meet him. 



NOSE 

3240. People who have pointed noses are busybodies; always meddle 
with the affairs of others. 

3241. A red nose is the mark of a heavy liquor drinker. 

3242. A large nose in a man is an indication of a large penis. 

3243. An itching nose discloses that you had your nose in (interfered 
with) someone's business. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 155 

3244. "If your nose itches, it is the sign of being wanted at home at 
once, and it may be serious." 

3245. If your nose itches, something is being said about you. 

3246. An itching of the nose indicates that you will have a quarrel. 

3247. You will be in a quarrel that day, when your nose itches. 

3248. If your nose itches, you will receive some mail. 

3249. If the tip of your nose itches, you will get a letter that day. 

3250. The right side of your nose itching means a letter for you that 
day. 

3251. An itching on the end of your nose signifies a letter from some- 
one who is on a journey. 

3252. Good news will follow the itching of your nose. 

3253. When your nose itches, you will hear news immediately. Make 
a wish for good news. 

3254. The right side of your nose itching is the sign of good news. 

3255. Bad news will be heard, if the left side of your nose itches. 

3256. An itching nose foretells money. 

3257. If your nose itches, you will kiss a fool. 

3258. A tickling on your nose indicates that you will kiss an old person 
before the end of the day. 

3259. "If your nose itches, your mouth is in danger. 

Shake hands with a fool, and meet a stranger." 

3260. Expect company, if your nose itches. 

3261. If your nose itches, someone with a hole in his breeches will come. 

3262. "Cream and peaches, my nose itches, 
Somebody's coming with a hole in his breeches." 

3263. If the right side of your nose itches, a man is going to call upon 
you. 

3264. The itching of your nose on the left side means a woman visitor. 

3265. A woman will come, if the right side of your nose itches. 

3266. A man is to be expected, if the left side of your nose itches. 

3267. The nose itching on the right side at night signifies that an un- 
known man will visit you next day. 

3268. A woman who is not known will call upon you the following day, 
if the left side of your nose itches at night. 

3269. If you have a pain in your nose, someone is coming. 

3270. If your nose itches at the end, someone will come riding. 

3271. An itching on the end of your nose means that someone riding in 
a buggy is going to visit you. 

3272. There will soon be a change in your affairs, if your nose itches.. 

3273. Rub an itching nose with your hand, then rub this hand on wood,, 
and finally rub your knee with the same hand. This will bring- 
you good luck. 



156 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

3274. It is a sign of good luck to have your nose itch on the left side. 

3275. Bad luck is coming to you. if your nose itches on the right side. 

3276. Wipe your nose on a teatowel for luck. 



SNEEZING 

3277. If you feel inclined to sneeze, press your finger under your nose, 
327S. To prevent sneezing, rub your finger up and down the ridge of 
your nose. 

3279. Avoid sneezing by rubbing your finger across the top of your nose. 
However, this remedy is dangerous, since it causes sore eyes. 

3280. Always say, "God bless you" when you sneeze, to keep the 

devil from flying down your throat. 

3281. If someone sneezes, say, "God bless you and may the devil miss 
you." 

3282. When anyone sneezes, say, "Gesundheit (health)." The person 
who has sneezed must answer, "Gesundheit ist besser wie krank- 
heit (Health is better than siekness)." 

3283. Sneezing is the sign of a cold. 

3284. Sneeze before arising in the morning and you will have bad luck. 

3285. "Sneeze before seven. 
Company before eleven." 

3286. "Sneeze before you eat, 
Visitors before you sleep." 

3287. "Sneeze before breakfast, 
Company before supper." 

3288. If you sneeze before breakfast, you will receive a letter that day. 

3289. A sneeze before breakfast is the sign that you will hear exciting 
news before the end of the day. 

3290. Sneeze before breakfast and you will cry before dinner. 

3291. To sneeze three times in succession before breakfast means good 
luck. 

3292. It is an omen of bad luck to sneeze on three separate occasions 
before breakfast. 

3293. If you sneeze at the table, you will have one more person to the 
next meal. 

3294. A letter will come to you that day, if you sneeze at the table. 

3295. Sneezing at the table with your mouth full of food will cause 
you bad luck. 

3296. If you sneeze once, you are permitted to make a wish. 

3297. Sneeze three times in succession and you will be disappointed. 

3298. It indicates that you will be kissed, if you sneeze twice. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 157 

3299. Five consecutive sneezes will bring you something new. 

3300. To sneeze six times is the indication of a journey. 

3301. If you sneeze twice, you will have two visitors that day. 

3302. Sneezing thrice foretells a letter. 

3303. To sneeze before three o'clock in the afternoon shows that you 
are going to receive a letter. 

3304. You may expect a letter, if you sneeze four times. 

3305. Sneezing to the right signifies prosperity. 

3306. It is the sign of worry, if you sneeze to the left. 

3307. "Sneeze on Monday for health. 
Sneeze on Tuesday for wealth. 
Sneeze on Wednesday for a letter. 
Sneeze on Thursday for something better. 
Sneeze on Friday for sorrow. 

Sneeze on Saturday, see your sweetheart tomorrow. 

Sneeze on Sunday, safety seek. 

For the devil will be with you the rest of the week." 

3308. "Sneeze on Monday for danger. 
Sneeze on Tuesday, kiss a stranger. 
Sneeze on Wednesday, get a letter. 
Sneeze on Thursday, something better. 
Sneeze on Friday, sneeze for sorrow. 

Sneeze on Saturday, see your sweetheart tomorrow." 

3309. "Sneeze on Monday, sneeze for danger. 
Sneeze on Tuesday, to kiss a stranger. 
Sneeze on Wednesday for a letter. 
Sneeze on Thursday, something better. 
Sneeze on Friday for sorrow. 

Sneeze on Saturday to meet your beau. 
Sneeze on Sunday, watch your step." 

3310. "Sneeze on Monday, 

Pay your bills on Tuesday." 



ARMS-BACK-SHOULDERS 

3311. A long scratch on your arm means that you will take a long ride. 

3312. If your left arm trembles, a woman desires to see you. 

3313. A quiver in your right arm indicates that a man wants to see you. 

3314. If you hit your "funny bone" (crazy hone), two women will visit 
you. 

3315. The itching of your right elbow signifies good news. 

3316. It is the sign of bad news to have an itching on your left elbow. 



158 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

3317. There will be a present for you soon, if your left elbow itches. 

3318. If your right elbow itches, a surprise is coming to you. 

3319. To strike your left elbow is the token of a surprise. 

3320. Hitting your right elbow will bring you bad luck. 

3321. An itching back foretells a whipping. 

3322. You will soon experience a sorrow, if your left shoulder itches. 

3323. If your right shoulder itches, expect to receive a gift shortly. 

3324. To read over anyone's shoulder will cause you bad luck. 

3325. Looking at someone over your left shoulder means in sign lan- 
guage that you wish to meet him. 



HANDS 

3326. A left-handed person must work three days for the devil. 

3327. Cold hands reveal a warm heart. 

3328. Wide hands show an ability to earn money. 

3329. When partly closing your hand, if the lines of the palm form the 
initial M, you may expect a long life; but contrariwise, you will 
die young. 

3330. To break anything in a person's hand causes bad luck. 

3331. Scratching your hand with your finger-nails will bring you bad 
luck. 

3332. It means bad luck, if you stand up with your hands behind your 
head. 

3333. Long hair on the backs of your hands signifies wealth. 

3334. If your hand itches, money is coming to you. 

3335. The itching of the left hand is a sign of money. 

3336. You are going to receive money, if your right hand itches. 

3337. An itching in the palm of your right hand indicates that you will 
get money. 

3338. You will obtain money soon, if your left hand is itching. The 
greater the itch, the larger the amount. 

3339. Spit on your left hand when it itches, then rub your hand on 
wood, and you will secure money. 

3340. Spit into the palm of the left hand when it itches, then rub your 
hand over your buttocks, and you will get money. 

3341. Rub your itching left hand on unvarnished wood and you will 
procure money. 

3342. If you rub your itching palm on wood you will inherit money. 

3343. The itching of your left palm is an indication of receiving money 
unexpectedly. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 159 

3344. A person from whom you are not expecting money will present 
it to you, if your left hand itches. 

3345. If your left hand itches, you will pay out money. 

3346. An itching in the left palm indicates that you are going to pay 
out money. 

3347. You will give money away, if your right hand itches. 

3348. "I always get work whenever my left hand itches." 

3349. If your left palm itches, you will be called to visit someone you 
love. 

3350. News will come to you from afar, when your right palm itches. 

3351. Spit into the palm of an itching right hand and you will receive a 
letter. 

3352. A letter is coming to you, if your right hand itches. 

3353. If your left hand itches, you will be disappointed. 

3354. When your right hand itches it is the sign of bad luck. 

3355. Scratch your itching hand on wood for luck. 

3356. When your left hand itches: 

"Rub it on wood 

And it will come good." 

3357. You will have a caller, if your palm itches. 

3358. If your left hand itches, expect company. 

3359. The itching of your right hand is an omen of visitors. 

3360. A friend whom you have not seen for a long time will be met, if 
your palm itches. 

3361. You will receive a call from a friend whom you have not seen 
for a long time, if your right hand itches. 

3362. If your right palm itches, you will meet a stranger. 

3363. Someone will soon shake hands with you, if your right hand itches. 

3364. When your right hand itches, an old friend will soon shake hands 
with you. 

3365. It signifies that you will shake hands with a stranger, if your right 
hand itches. 

3366. The itching of your right hand indicates that you will shake 
hands with a stranger who is an unknown friend. 

3367. If your right hand itches, you will shake hands with a stranger 
who will become your friend. 

3368. Shaking hands with your left hand will bring you bad luck. 

3369. It is most unlucky to shake hands while wearing gloves. 

3370. To shake hands over a gate is the sign of bad luck. 

3371. If you and someone else attempt to shake hands with a third 
person, the three of you will be invited to the same party. 

3372. When two couples shake hands at the same time, they will have 
good luck. 



160 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

ZZ7Z. If four persons while shaking hands accidentally cross each other's 
hands, it is lucky for all of them. 

3374. "I never shake hands with anyone when they leave my house. If 
you do, they will never come back to that house to see you." 

3375. If you enter a house and shake hands with someone, do not shake 
hands with that person when you depart, for you will have bad 
luck. 



FINGERS AND FINGER-NAILS 

3376. Short fingers are the sign of an easy life. 

Z2)77. Long fingers mean that you will be compelled to work for a living. 

3378. The person who has long fingers is given to thievery. 

3379. Long fingers in a person reveal a grasping nature. 

3380. If you are able to see through your fingers, you will be a spend- 
thrift. 

3381. Anyone possessing a crooked little finger is a crook. 

3382. Cross your fingers for luck. 

3383. Long narrow fingers are the sign of a good ancestry. 

3384. Short stubby fingers denote that you descended from ancestors 
who worked for their livelihood. 

3385. If anyone points a finger at you, you will have a mishap before 
the end of the day. 

3386. "Some people say if you point your fingers at someone it will 
give them bad luck for two weeks." 

3387. A half-moon on each finger-nail proves that your forebears were 
of good stock. 

3388. A half-moon near the bottom of each finger-nail demonstrates 
that your family came from excellent blood. 

3389. White specks on your finger-nails are a mark of health. 

3390. If you have white spots on your finger-nails, you are anemic. 

3391. White marks on your finger-nails show a lazy temperament. 

3392. To have white spots on the finger-nails signifies wealth. 

3393. Each white speck on your finger-nails discloses a lie that you 
have told. 

3394. The number of white marks on your finger-nails indicates how 
many presents you are going to receive. 

3395. Count the white spots on your finger-nails just before December 
25th and their total will reveal the number of Christmas presents 
you will get. 

3396. You can discover your fortune by counting the white specks on 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 161 

your finger-nails, starting with the thumbs and repeating: 
"Friends," "foes," "presents," "beaus," and "journeys to go." 

3397. Biting your finger-nails is the sign of nervousness. 

3398. A finger-nail biter will become insane. 

3399. Anyone who bites his finger-nails will not grow tall. 

3400. If you bite your finger-nails, you have thievish tendencies. 

3401. Short finger-nails in a person mean that he is a talebearer. 

3402. One should trim his finger-nails in the light of the moon for luck. 

3403. It is lucky to cut finger-nails during the new moon, 

3404. Clipping your finger-nails in the dark of the moon will bring you 
bad luck. 

3405. You will have bad luck, if you manicure your finger-nails in the 
presence of company. 

3406. Cut your finger-nails on: 

"Monday for news. 
Tuesday for a pair of shoes. 
Wednesday for wealth, 
Thursday for health. 
Friday for woe. 
Saturday for a journey to go. 
Sunday for evil." 

3407. If you trim your finger-nails on: 

"Monday, a letter comes to you. 

Tuesday, brings a new garment. 

Wednesday, cares are few. 

Thursday, brings you riches, 

Friday, brings love's joys. 

Saturday, brings misfortunes and troubles to annoy," 

3408. File your fi.nger-nails on Monday for good luck. 

3409. Pare your finger-nails on Monday before breakfast and you will 
receive a present. 

3410. If you cut your finger-nails on Monday before breakfast, you 
will get a present before the end of the week. 

3411. Trim your finger-nails on Monday and a present will be given to 
you before the week is over. 

3412. It is lucky to file finger-nails on Tuesday, 

3413. To pare finger-nails on Wednesday will bring you good luck. 

3414. Cutting finger-nails on Friday is followed by bad luck. 

3415. Never trim your finger-nails on Friday if you are engaged in a 
business deal, or you will lose during the transaction. 

3416. Manicuring your finger-nails on Sunday will cause you bad luck. 

3417. Clip your finger-nails on Sunday and evil stories will be told about 
you throughout the week. 



162 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

3418. To cut your finger-nails on Sunday will make you blush before 
the day is gone. 

3419. The devil will be in you (have you, rule you, seek you) all week, 
if you cut your finger-nails on Sunday. 



STOMACH-THIGHS-KNEES-LEGS-SITTING 

3420. An itching stomach is the sign of an invitation to a feast. 

3421. "If your belly itches, you will be invited to a big feast." 

3422. You are going to change your "sleeping-place," if your thighs itch. 

3423. The itching of the left knee means bad news. 

3424. If your right knee itches, you will hear good news concerning 
business. 

3425. Something about business not to your advantage will be heard, if 
your left knee itches. 

3426. When your left knee itches, expect to hear news that will cause 
comment and gossip. 

3427. There will be a change in your afifairs, if your right knee itches. 

3428. If a woman's knee itches, she is fond of men. 

3429. If your kneecap itches three times within an hour, you will have 
your leg taken ofif inside of a month. 

3430. A woman with large legs has a large vagina. 

3431. It is the indication of a painful sickness coming to you, if your 
shin itches. 

3432. An itching ankle indicates that you will soon receive a gift of 
money. 

3433. Large ankles in a person reveal a descent from ancestors of the 
working class. 

3434. A person who has slender ankles comes from good stock. 

3435. If anyone places his foot upon the chair in which you are sitting, 
you will have bad luck. 

3436. Sitting cross-legged is the sign of coming good fortune. 

3437. To sit cross-legged on a chair will cause bad luck. 

3438. To cross your knees and to sit with your hands crossed over your 
knees means that you are brooding trouble. 

3439. The boy who sits on his foot will be a tailor. 

3440. If a man, instead of sitting down normally flops into his chair, 
he masturbates. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 163 

FEET-TOES-TOENAILS 

3441. The person who has large feet is generous. 

3442. Large feet signify intelhgence. 

3443. A man with small feet has a large penis. 

3444. A man with large feet has a little penis. 

3445. To wake up a sleeping foot, moisten your finger with saliva and 
make a cross over your knee. 

3446. If your foot is asleep, you can awaken it by making a cross on 
your leg with saliva. 

3447. If your foot itches, you are going to walk in a strange land. 

3448. An itching on the bottom of your feet indicates that you will 
walk on strange ground. 

3449. It is a sign that you will walk on strange ground, if your right 
foot itches. 

3450. An itching foot foretells a long journey. 

3451. You will take an unpleasant trip, if the left sole of your foot 
itches. 

3452. The itching of the right sole of your foot means that you will 
go on a journey from which you will derive pleasure. 

3453. If your left foot itches, you will go where you are unwelcome. 

3454. If your right foot itches, you are going where you are welcome. 

3455. If the sole of your right foot itches, you will undertake some task 
and be successful with it. 

3456. If the sole of your left foot itches, you will attempt to do some- 
thing and meet with failure. 

3457. You will get a new pair of shoes, if your feet itch. 

3458. Itching feet are a sign of sorrow. 

3459. To have an itching right foot signifies good luck. 

3460. It indicates bad luck to place your feet on a bed. 

3461. Beware of the devil, if you cross your feet while dancing. 

3462. If your toes are far apart, you will never reside anywhere except 
in the town of your birth. 

3463. Always burn your toe-nail parings for luck. 

3464. Throw the parings from your toe-nails onto the floor or ground 
and you will be forced to pick them up when you die. 

3465. If someone steps on the toe-nail clippings which you have thrown, 
onto the floor, you and that person will soon disagree. 

3466. Cutting your toe-nails on Monday will give you success. 

3467. To trim toe-nails on Sunday will cause you grief "A maa 

living near me wanted his wife to cut his finger-nails and toe-nails 
one Sunday. She did not want to do it. She said, 'Charlie, it will 



164 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

bring you bad luck, if I do.' He said, 'Go on and do it. There 
is nothing to that.' Monday night he took a stroke and died that 
night." 

3468. It is unlucky to cut toe-nails on Sunday. 

3469. Never pare your toe-nails on Sunday, or you will have bad luck 
all week. 

3470. If you cut your toe-nails on Sunday, the devil will possess you 
throughout the week. 



SHOES-SHOE STRINGS-STOCKINGS-GARTERS 

3471. An old shoe is a lucky object. 

3472. Burn an old shoe for luck. 

3473. Always burn your discarded shoes and you will have good luck. 

3474. It causes bad luck to burn old shoes. 

3475. "We had a man in our neighborhood when he would get ready 
to start out in the buggy, if no one was at the house to drop an 
old shoe after him, he would always put one in the buggy and just 
as he was going out the gate would drop it himself, so he would 
not have any bad luck on his trip." 

3476. When a person leaves home on a journey, throw an old shoe after 
him so that he will have good luck. 

3477. Never accept a gift of old shoes, or you will walk in the former 

owner's troubles. "This Germ.an woman told me that a 

woman gave her a pair of shoes and this woman (who gave the 
shoes away) had dropsy. She put the shoes on one morning to 
go to work and that night her feet were so swollen she could not 
walk, and for several days her feet every night were so swollen, 
she did not know what was wrong; for her feet never did swell 
before. So she put on her own shoes and worked all day in them 
and her feet were fine. She thought she was getting the dropsy 
from the shoes (given to her), so she burned up the other woman's 
shoes and didn't have any more trouble with her feet." 

3478. "Years ago a man died with the smallpox, and after he was dead 
five years, they gave his shoes to a man to wear. And that man 
took the smallpox and died." 

3479. If you give a pair of shoes to a friend, he will walk away from 
you. 

3480. Never borrow a pair of shoes from anyone or your friendship 
with that person will soon be broken. 

3481. Wear salt in the heel and toe of your right shoe to be lucky. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 165 

3482. Keep red pepper and salt in your shoes for luck, 

3483. Salt and pepper kept in your left shoe causes good luck. 

3484. To have good luck, salt and pepper an old shoe and bum it. 

3485. Stick a hairpin into your shoe and you will meet a good friend. 

3486. Wear red pepper in your shoes to keep out of trouble. 

3487. Wearing pepper in your shoes will keep your feet warm during 
cold weather. 

3488. During the winter, place red pepper in your shoes to keep your 
feet warm. 

3489. Put sugar in your shoes to coax your shirt tail down. 

3490. You can coax your trousers down by keeping sugar in your shoes. 

3491. Old shoes should be worn on Friday the 13th for good luck. 

3492. It is a sign of good luck to have old shoes squeak while you are 
walking in them. 

3493. If your new shoes creak as you walk, it means that you still owe 
the shoemaker his bill. 

3494. You may prevent shoes from squeaking by driving a peg into the 
center of each sole. 

3495. "Never walk around with one shoe on and one off. My brother 
did that all the time. I tried to stop him, but he would not listen, 
for it is bad luck. And he lost his mind." 

3496. To walk in one shoe will bring you as many bad days as steps 
taken. 

3497. If you walk about with one shoe on and one ofif, you will have a 
year of misfortune for each step. 

3498. Every step taken in one shoe is a step into trouble. 

3499. As many steps as a child takes in one shoe, so many whippings 
will he receive. 

3500. "If you wear your shoes out on the toe, 
You will spend money as you go." 

3501. By wearing holes in the soles of your shoes you will become 
wealthy. 

3502. To place old shoes high oflf the floor is unlucky. 

3503. New shoes that have never been worn should be put high above 
the floor for luck. 

3504. Set your removed shoes higher than your knees and you will be 
sick. 

3505. It causes misfortune to place your shoes higher than your head. 

3506. To lay your shoes on the bed means bad luck. 

3507. Never put a slipper on a bed, or it will bring you bad luck. 

3508. It is a bad sign to set your shoes under a bed. 

3509. If you stand your shoes under a bed and the toes point inward, 
you will have bad luck. 



166 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

3510. To obtain good luck, let your shoes remain under the bed so that 
their toes point outward. 

3511. Rest your shoes on a chair and you will be unfortunate. 

3512. Tying your shoes together and hanging them on a nail will give 
you bad luck. 

3513. It is an omen of bad luck to place shoes on a table. 

3514. Putting new shoes on a table is unlucky. 

3515. If you let your shoes (or slippers) rest on a table, you will 
quarrel with someone soon. 

3516. Setting your shoes on a table will involve you in a quarrel before 
night. 

3517. It is fatal for one's success to lay shoes on a table. 

3518. Removing the left shoe first is very unlucky. 

3519. To hook first the top buttons of your shoes will bring you bad 
luck. 

3520. Place your left shoe on first for luck. 

3521. It indicates bad luck to step into your left shoe first. 

3522. The right shoe should be put on first to secure luck for the day. 

3523. It is an indication of bad luck to put the right shoe on first. 

3524. To place the left shoe on the right foot foretells an accident. 

3525. Placing the left shoe on the right foot signifies a misfortune. 

3526. If your shoes are placed on the wrong feet, you will have an 
accident with one of your feet. 

3527. To put on two shoes that are not mates is the sign of good luck. 

3528. If you pull on odd shoes and change them, you will meet with an 
accident. 

3529. To dress one foot completely before starting the other will bring 
you bad luck. 

3530. If you dress one foot entirely before beginning the other, you 
will always be poor. 

3531. It is lucky to put your left shoe and stocking on first. 

3532. "My brother would not think of putting on his left shoe first. He 
always puts on his right shoe and sock first, so he will have good 
luck through the day." 

3533. To acquire good luck for the day, put your right foot out of bed 
first and draw on your right sock. 

3534. Dressing the left foot first means a misfortune that day. 

3535. If you dress the left foot first, you will quarrel that day. 

3536. Put on both stockings first for luck. 

3537. To place your stockings on wrong side out denotes good luck, if 
you do not change them. 

3538. If you have put on a stocking inside out, remove it and spit on it, 
and you will have good luck. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 167 

3539. If your stockings are on wrong side out, change them at noon 
and spit into each heel for luck. 

3540. Donning your stocking inside out is the sign of a present. 

3541. If unintentionally you put a stocking on your left foot first, on 
a Friday morning, you will be lucky. 

3542. To secure good luck all day, put your right stocking or sock on 
first and your right arm in your underwear and shirt first. If 
you accidentally start with the right side of your body, you must 
undress completely, return to bed and begin to dress again. 

3543. Putting your stockings in your shoes before going to bed will 
cause you bad luck. 

3544. Look for bad luck, if you do not place your stockings inside youi 
shoes at night. 

3545. Check a runner in your stocking by spitting on it. 

3546. If there is a hole in your stocking, you will receive a letter. 

3547. A hole in your stocking means a letter. The size of the letter 
depends upon the size of the hole. 

3548. It is an omen of good fortune to have a hole in your stocking. 

3549. If a measuring worm crawls on your stocking, you will get a new 
pair. 

3550. An aviator should wear a woman's stocking around his neck 
for luck. 

3551. Never let a man give you a pair of stockings, or you might put 
your foot in trouble. 

3552. The left shoe and right garter should be taken off first to procure 
good luck. 

3553. Put on the right garter and left shoe first and you will be fortu- 
nate. 

3554. It is lucky to don the left gaiter and right shoe first. 

3555. If a man gives a pair of garters to a woman, she should always 
let him put them on her the first time they are worn for luck. 

3556. A woman who loses her garter is being deceived by one she trusts. 

3557. If your shoe string comes unlaced, someone is talking about you. 

3558. A shoe string coming untied shows that you are in the thoughts 
of a friend. 

3559. To have your left shoe string come loose means that evil is being 
spoken of you. 

3560. Something good is being said of you, if your right shoe string 
comes undone. 

3561. If you are walking and your shoe string comes unfastened, your 
father loves you better than your mother does. 



168 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

3562. When walking, if your shoe string comes untied, you are loved 
more by your mother than by your father. 

3563. While walking it is unlucky for your shoe string to come un- 
loosened. 



CLOTHES 

3564. "If you wear black and white, you'll surely have a fight. 
If you wear white, you will always be pure. 

If you wear pink, you will stink. 

If you wear brown, you will wear a crown. 

If you wear red and yellow, you will catch a fellow. 

If you wear green, you will be forsaken. 

If you wear grey, you will pray. 

If you wear yellow, you will be jealous. 

If you wear blue, you will always be true." 

3565. It is unlucky to wear black. One person knew a young man 

who for this reason would not wear any article of black clothing, 
not even shoes or socks. 

3566. To wear black is a sign of mourning; that is, never wear black 
unless in mourning. 

3567. You will have bad luck, if you wear a green dress. "A girl 

told me she got a new green dress. The first night she had it on, 
her beau went back on her. The second night she came in one 
point of winning the head prize at cards. The third time she was 
on a committee at a church supper and the supper was a failure. 
So she gave the dress away. Said it was bad luck." 

3568. The person who wears green clothes will soon begin work in some 
toilsome occupation. 

3569. Always wear a green dress on Friday for luck. 

3570. To have luck, wear a green article of clothing or a green ornament 
on Friday. 

3571. Wear something red for good luck and money. "Mrs. D. 

told me yesterday that a girl was in the store and said always 
wear something red for good luck and money. This girl said, *I 
always wear red bloomers for luck and money'." 

3572. It causes bad luck to wear a yellow costume. 

3573. If a butterfly lights on your shoulder, you will secure a new dress 
which has the color of the butterfly. 

3574. Bite oflF a butterfly's head and you will get a new dress the color 
of its wings. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 169 

3575. Putting on clothing wrong side out brings good luck, regardless 
of whether or not the article is changed. 

3576. Wear the clothes all day which you have put on wrong side out 
and you will have good luck. 

3577. To remove a garment that you place on wrong side out will make 
you unlucky. 

3578. An article of clothing that has been put on wrong side out should 
not be taken off until noon. This will prevent bad luck. 

3579. If you place your dress on inside out, do not change it until bed- 
time and you will be lucky. 

3580. When a dress is put on backwards, spit on it and turn it around 
for luck. 

3581. To prevent bad luck when a dress is placed on wrong side out, 
spit on the hem. 

3582. Bad luck can be averted by letting someone take off the dress 
which you have put on wrong side out. 

3583. Go behind a door and change the garment that you have placed 
on wrong side out and you will not have bad luck. 

3584. If you must remove the dress that you have donned wrong side 
out, take it off over the back of your head and you will not be 
unlucky. Never let the dress fall down over your face, or this 
will cause you bad luck. 

3585. After you have on your coat wrong side out, it is unlucky to 
change. 

3586. To have your drawers on wrong side out means good luck. 

3587. If you put your dress on wrong side out, you will get a new dress. 

3588. Do not change the dress which you have on wrong side out and 
you will receive a present before the end of the day. 

3589. It is the sign of a fire in the neighborhood to place your night- 
gown on inside out. 

3590. Something unpleasant will happen to the woman who puts on a 
petticoat wrong side out. 

3591. Expect an insult, if your shirt is on wrong side out. 

3592. To put on your shirt backwards will bring you bad luck for the 
day. 

3593. Socks placed wrong side out on your feet foretell good luck for 
the rest of the day. 

3594. If your sweater is on wrong side out do not change it, because 
you will have bad luck. 

3595. To thrust your left arm first into a sleeve is unlucky. 

3596. Always put your right arm first in a sleeve to avoid trouble 
for the day. 

3597. It is lucky to stick your left arm first into a coat sleeve. 



170 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

3598. Finding a ravel on your dress is an indication that you will obtain 
a new dress. 

3599. To find a ravel on your dress signifies that you are going to travel 
soon. 

3600. Bastings left in a dress show that it is not paid for. 

3601. If the hem of your dress turns up when you put it on, good luck 
is coming to you. 

3602. Kiss the hem of your dress if it is turned up and pull it down 
for luck. 

3603. When your dress turns up in back, spit on it and you will receive 
some money. 

3604. The turning up of your dress behind, when you arise from a chair, 
means a disappointment that day. 

3605. Spit on the turned up hem of your dress and pull it down, and 
you will get a new dress. 

3606. To have the hem of your dress turn up indicates that you are 
liked better by your father than by your mother. 

3607. An underskirt or petticoat hanging lower than your skirt shows 
that your father loves you better than your mother does. 

3608. It is lucky to wear your underskirt shorter than your dress. 

3609. If a man's shirt tail hangs out of his pants, there is a letter for 
him in the post office. 

3610. Long skirts are the sign of bad times. 

3611. In good times skirts are short. 

3612. Old friends should exchange dresses for luck. 

3613. To tear your dress behind will cause you bad luck. 

3614. The woman who kicks up her dress in back will be a thief. 

3615. A butterfly lighting on you is bringing you a new dress. 

3616. Upon whatever piece of your clothing a cricket crawls, you will 
soon get that article new. 

3617. Finding a measuring worm on your person means that you will 
secure a new garment. 

3618. You will soon acquire new that article of clothing upon which 
you have found a measuring worm. 

3619. When meeting someone who has on anything new, you must say 
three times, "It is pretty" or something will happen to the owner 
before the article is worn out. 

3620. If a person wearing a new dress for the first time is pinched by 
someone who does not know that the dress is new, the owner will 
have good luck. 

3621. You will obtain good luck for the entire year, if you wear some- 
thing new on New Year's Day. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 171 

3622. Not to wear something new on Easter will cause you bad luck 
all year. 

3623. Wearing a new suit for the first time on Saturday is unlucky. 

3624. To don anything new on Saturday for the first time will bring 
you bad luck. 

3625. Holes worn into the knees of your pants show tliat you will 
become rich. 

3626. A lie will be told on you, if you burn a hole in your dress. 

3627. Your troubles will never cease, if you burn a hole in your clothes. 

3628. Bum a hole in your apron and someone will tell a lie about you. 

3629. If you burn a hole in the front of your apron, expect trouble and 
sorrow. 

3630. The woman who drops her apron will lose a friend. 

3631. To have your apron string come untied means that someone is 
thinking of you. 

3632. If while wearing an apron, the wearer and another woman, or 
two other women, dry on it at the same time, they will have a 
quarrel. 

Z62)Z. You will quarrel with the person from whom you accept the gift 
of a pair of gloves. 

3634. Dropping your gloves will bring you a disappointment. 

3635. To drop your gloves is the sign that you will shake hands with 
someone who has cold hands. 

3636. "I would not let anyone give me a handkerchief for anything, 
because they bring me tears. For every time anyone gives me 
one, I cry ; so I always tell my friends not to give me any, I would 
not accept one, if I know they are giving me one." 

3637. Wipe your tears on a handkerchief and throw it into an open 
grave and your tears will be taken away. 

3638. Never pick up a handkerchief that you let fall, or you will have 
bad luck. 

3639. To avert the bad luck which will follow the dropping of a hand- 
kerchief, let someone pick it up for you. 

3640. To hold a handkerchief against the ear means, "I cannot under- 
stand you." 

3641. Holding a handkerchief over both eyes indicates, **I am sorry" 
or "I regret." 

3642. To pull your handkerchief through your hands and look at some- 
one is the sign you want to meet that person. 

3643. If while walking along you throw your handkerchief around your 
head, you want to be loved. 

3644. Placing a handkerchief against your mouth signifies, "Do not 
talk to me. I am finished with you." 



172 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

3645. If you rub your handkerchief against your mouth, you want to 
be kissed. 

3646. A handkerchief held in the right hand and tossed downwards 
expresses, "Go to the devil." 

3647. To hold a handkerchief thrown over your right shoulder says, 
"Follow me." 

3648. Dropping a handkerchief shows that you want the man behind 
you to pick it up and follow you. 

3649. It is very unlucky to wear a stuffed bird or a part of a bird on 

your hat. "When we were girls, my father would not let 

any of us wear a bird on our head. Said we were wearing some- 
thing dead." 

3650. Wearing two hats on your head will bring you bad luck. 

3651. The child who wears two hats on his head will get a whipping. 

3652. If you see a straw hat, stamp it for luck. 

3653. When your hat blows off your head three times within an hour, 
you will be hurt that day. 

3654. The boy or man who enters the house wearing his hat will have 
bad luck. 

3655. It signifies misfortune for a man or boy to wear a cap while sitting 
in the house. 

3656. Eating at the table with your hat on will make you unlucky. 

3657. To lay or throw a hat on the bed will cause you bad luck. 

3658. It is unfortunate to lay a hat on the bed unless you place the 
crown down against the counterpane. 

3659. If a hat is laid crown downwards on a bed, the owner of the hat 
will meet with bad luck. 

3660. Laying a hat on a bed will bring bad luck to the person who sleeps 
in the bed. 

3661. If you place your coat on a bed, you will never have any luck. 

3662. To spread a new dress or garment on a bed is the sign of bad luck. 

3663. Spread on the bed a new dress that has never been used and you 
will have bad luck before the dress is worn out. 

3664. If you put your nightgown on while looking into a mirror, you 
will be unfortunate. 

3665. When a man gives a pair of pants to a woman, she should for luck 
always let him see them on her the first time they are worn. 

3666. Never remove your winter clothing before the 10th of May; it is 
dangerous. 

3667. If a rat cuts your clothes, you will not remain long in that house. 

3668. It is unlucky to lay away anything that you wear frequently. 

3669. Food that tastes good will spot clothes. 

3670. Clothing will not be stained by food that does not taste good. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 173 

3671. Do not take soiled laundry from one town to another, for you 

will have bad luck. "When I used to work in hotels, the 

traveling men would give me their dirty clothes, if they did not 
have them washed. Said they would have bad luck at the next 
town if they took them dirty." 

3672. The woman who kisses the first person she meets after seeing the 
new moon will get a new dress. 

3673. Let a man kiss the first person he meets after seeing the new 
moon and he will secure a new suit of clothes. 

3674. If a woman has had an unobstructed view of the new moon, let 
her kiss the first person met and she will obtain a new dress. 

3675. To find a measuring worm on your head is the sign of a new hat. 



SEWING-NEEDLES-SCISSORS 

3676. To sew anything new on an old garment will bring you bad luck. 

3677. If the thimble falls from your finger while you are sewing, you 
are slow and lazy. 

3678. As many stitches as you take in a garment which you have on, 
so many tears will you shed. 

3679. Permitting anyone to mend an article of clothing that is on you, 
will make you stupid. 

3680. If you sew a garment while it is on you, you will have bad luck. 

3681. Sew something on a dress that you are wearing and you will 
always be poor. 

3682. Sewing a button on a garment while wearing it will cause you bad 
luck. 

3683. Hold a straw in your mouth wlien mending the clothes you are 
wearing and you will not be unlucky. 

3684. To sew up a hole in the stocking on your leg means that someone 
will utter a scandal about you. 

3685. Sew something on a dress you are wearing and someone will tell 
a lie about you. 

3686. If you mend a garment on you, there will be a lie told about you 
with as many words as stitches used. 

3687. To prevent a lie being told about you, keep a needle, pin or some- 
thing with a point in your mouth when sewing the garment while 
wearing it. 

3688. The sewer who threads a needle with a long thread is a careless 
person. 

3689. When your thread knots while sewing, you will have a quarrel. 



174 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

3690. "If you burn a hole in a dress while making it, you had better 
burn it up, for it is very bad luck. I knew a woman that was 
making a dress and a spark from the stove blew on it and made a 
small hole in the dress. She said it was very bad luck and put the 
whole dress in the stove and let it burn up to keep from having 
bad luck." 

3691. Sew on Friday and you will be unfortunate. 

3692. If you begin sewing on Friday, you will never finish your task. 

3693. You will have bad luck with the garment that you begin on 
Friday but are unable to finish the same day. 

3694. "I never cut a dress out on Saturday, because I think Saturday 
unlucky." 

3695. It is unlucky to sew or to cut a garment on Sunday. 

3696. "If you sew on Sunday you are making Jesus' heart bleed." 

3697. "Real old people say, if you sew on Sunday you are sticking the 
needle through Christ's heart." 

3698. The number of stitches you take on Sunday will be the number 
of lies told about you the following week. 

3699. Sew on Sunday and you will remove the stitches on Monday. 

3700. If you sew on Sunday, you will be compelled to pick out the 
stitches with your nose. 

3701. Sew on Sunday and you will rip out each stitch with your nose 
on Monday. 

3702. Every stitch that you took on Sunday must be ripped out with 
your teeth on Judgment Day. 

3703. Sew on Sunday and you will have to take out all the stitches 
when you are dead. 

3704. For each stitch taken on Sunday the devil will take nine stitches 
in your eyelids when you die. 

3705. Do not use a thimble when you sew on Sunday and the bad luck 
will not be so severe. 

3706. "If you sew on Sunday, sew without a thimble, so you won't have 
to pick it out in the other land with your nose." 

3707. When you sew on Sunday, prevent bad luck by keeping a stick in 
your mouth. 

3708. Cross your feet when you darn on Sunday and you will not have 
bad luck. 

3709. Never sew or knit between Christmas and the fourth day of the 
new year and you will be lucky. 

3710. "If you want to have good luck, start a pillow slip when the old 
year is going out and the new year is coming in, and do not give 
it away. If you give the slip away, you will have bad luck. I 
started a pair of pillow slips one year on New Year's Eve and 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 175 

gave the pair away and I had very bad luck right after I gave 
them away." 

3711. If you find a needle and do not pick it up, it will cause you bad 
luck. 

3712. Finding a needle means bad news. 

3713. To drop a needle is the sign of good luck. 

3714. If you let a needle fall and it sticks in the floor, expect bad luck. 

3715. If a needle drops and sticks in the floor, you will have unexpected 
company. 

3716. If you lose your needle and someone asks whether it was threaded, 
the needle will be found. 

3717. It is unlucky to break a needle. 

3718. To break a needle while sewing foretells the loss of a friend. 

3719. If while sewing you break your needle, you will live to wear out 
the garment on which you are working. 

3720. If you break your needle in a garment that you are making for 
someone, he will live to wear it out. 

3721. The person for whom a garment is being made will not live to 
wear it out, if you break your needle. 

3722. Never borrow a needle from a neighbor, or you will have a fight 
with her. 

3723. To accept the gift of a needle from anyone will bring you bad 
luck. 

3724. Before you give a package of needles to a woman, extract one of 
them from the package and prick her arm. This will prevent her 
from having bad luck. 

3725. Dropping a pair of scissors will make you unlucky. 

3726. When you let a pair of scissors fall, step on them to avert bad 
luck. 

3727. If you drop a pair of scissors on Sunday, prevent bad luck by 
letting them lie until Monday. 

3728. It is the sign of good luck, if a pair of scissors open while falling 
and then stick in the floor. 

3729. Not to have a pair of scissors open and stick in the floor, when 
dropped, will give you good luck. 

3730. If you drop a pair of scissors and the point sticks in the floor, 
someone will come. 

3731. To drop a pair of scissors and have the point stick in the floor 
will bring you an unknown visitor. 

3732. Letting a pair of scissors fall means a disappointment. 
3723. It is unlucky to break a pair of scissors. 

3734. Using a pair of scissors on Sunday will cause you bad luck. 



176 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

3735. To leave scissors open while sewing is an indication that you will 

be disappointed. 
2)72^. Never let a pair of scissors lie about, but always hang them on a 

nail and you will have good luck. 
Z7Z7. To sit on a pair of scissors is a bad omen. 



PINS-HAIRPINS-SAFETY PINS-BUTTONS 

3738. It is lucky to find a pin. 

3739. "If you see a pin and pick it up, 
All that day you'll have good luck." 

or 

"If you see a pin and pick it up, 

The rest of the day you'll have good luck." 

3740. "If you pick up a pin as you walk along. 
You'll have good luck all day long." 

3741. "If a pin points toward you and you let it lay, 
You'll have bad luck all that day." 

3742. "See a pin and pick it up. 

All the day you will have good luck. 
See a pin and leave it lie, 
All the day you will cry." 

3743. "See a pin and let it lie, 

You'll want a pin before you die." 

3744. "If you see a pin, never let it lie, 

For you will need it some day before you die." 

3745. Pick up a pin that you find in order to avoid bad luck all week. 

3746. Stepping on a pin is unlucky. 

3747. Drop a pin and step on it and you will have bad luck. 

3748. Good luck will come to you, if you see and pick up a crooked pin. 

3749. To pick up a crooked pin will cause you bad luck. 

3750. When you find a pin, throw it over your shoulder for luck. 

3751. It is a sign of finding money, if you find a pin. 

3752. Wear in your right shoe a pin that you have found and it will 
bring good luck. 

3753. Pick up a pin in the morning and you will receive a present that 
afternoon. 

3754. You will get a new friend if you pick up a stray pin. 

3755. A pin found with the point toward you means "sharp luck." 

3756. The pin pointing toward you should be picked up for luck, but if 
it points in the opposite direction, let it lie or bad luck will befall 
you. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois \77 

2)7 S7. If a pin is pointed toward you, pick it up and stick it into your 
clothing for luck. 

3758. When the point of a pin is lying toward you, pick it up and stick 
it into wood to be lucky. 

3759. Pick up the pin pointing toward you and it will bestow good luck, 
provided you pitch it over your right shoulder. 

3760. If a pin points away from you, pick it up and give it to someone 
else and you will obtain good luck. 

3761. The person who finds a pin pointing toward him will soon find 
money. 

3762. A pin found pointing away from you indicates the loss of money. 

3763. It is an indication of a disappointment to find a pin with its point 
toward you. 

3764. You are going to be disappointed, if the point of a pin is away 
from you. 

3765. To find a pin with the head toward you signifies "blunt luck." 

3766. Do not pick up a pin if the head is lying toward you or you will 
have bad luck. 

3767. You will receive a letter, if you see a pin with the head toward 
you. 

3768. If a pin is found with the side toward you, you will be invited to 
take a buggy ride. 

3769. Finding a pin indicates that you will take a ride that day in the 
direction toward which the pin points. 

3770. When you find a pin, you will get a letter from someone who lives 
in the direction toward which it is pointing. 

3771. Always turn the point of a pin towards you before picking it up. 
Never pick up a pin by the head first or you \\\\\ be unlucky. 

3772. Pick up a pin sideways and you will take a buggy ride. 

3773. A pin clinging to your dress is the sign that someone desires to 
speak with you. 

3774. If you happen to find a pin sticking straight in your dress, some- 
body wants to see you; if two pins, two persons wish to see you. 

3775. Somebody is talking about you when a pin sticks you. Name 
someone and if the pin stays in, it is the person named; if the pin 
falls out, it is not that individual. 

3776. Placing a white pin in a black dress will be followed by bad luck. 
Z777. You may expect bad luck, if you put a black pin in a white dress. 

3778. Anybody who pulls a pin out of your dress will give you bad luck. 

3779. To stick your finger with a pin will cause you a disappointment. 

3780. It means that someone is angry with you, if a pin sticks you. 

3781. The loss of a friend is indicated, if you accept the gift of a pin 



178 Mciiinirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

by taking it from someone's hand. To avert this misfortune, let 

the giver first lay down the pin before you pick it up. 
3782. If you ask for a pin and receive it, do not thank the giver or you 

will have bad luck. 
378v3. Never take a pin out of anyone's right hand but always remove 

it from his left hand in order not to be unlucky. 

3784. If you let a pin drop and it sticks in the floor, someone will come. 

3785. Always keep a well filled pincushion and you will always have 
money in your pocket. 

3786. The finding of a hairpin is lucky. 

3787. The man who picks up a hairpin from the street will have bad luck. 

3788. Hang up in the first convenient place a hairpin that you have 
found and it will bring you a letter. 

3789. If you find a hairpin and hang it on a nail, you will get a letter. 

3790. A hairpin found and hung on a nail or any iron object will cause 
you good luck. 

3791. The first friend you meet will be lost, if you do not hang up a 
hairpin that you find. 

3792. If you find a hairpin early in the morning, you will receive money 
before the day is gone. 

3793. Find a hairpin and you find a friend. 

3794. When you find a hairpin, hang it on the first nail seen and you 
will secure a friend. 

3795. You will obtain a new friend, if you find a hairpin and hang it up 
on the first thing available. 

3796. After you have found a hairpin, name it for a friend and hang 
it upon something. Whoever removes this hairpin before the end 
of the week is going to take that friend from you. 

3797. Name a hairpin that you find and stick it into your hair, and you 
will acquire a new friend. 

3798. If you find a hairpin and it is new, you will procure a new friend; 
if it is old, an old friend will be lost. 

3799. A friend is found, if you find a hairpin. Measure the hairpin and 
if the two prongs are even, the friend will be a boy; if uneven, 
a girl. 

3800. Never pick up a hairpin or you will pick up someone's troubles. 

3801. The woman who lets a hairpin fall and does not pick it up will 
lose a friend. 

3802. It is a sign that someone you like has you in mind, when a hairpin 
drops from your hair. 

3803. Lose a hairpin and you lose a friend. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 179 

3804. If you find a hairpin and the prongs are straight, a straight-haired 
woman lost it. 

3805. Crooked prongs in the hairpin which you have found mean that 
it was dropped hy a curly-haired woman. 

3806. It is a good omen to find a safety pin. 

3807. To put a safety pin in your dress and fail to fasten it is unlucky. 

3808. Good luck will come to you, when you find an open safety pin. 

3809. You will have good luck for the rest of the day, if you find an 
open safety pin. 

3810. "If you find a safety pin, pick it up, 
And all day you will have good luck." 

3811. To find a safety pin open is the sign of bad luck. 

3812. Pick up a safety pin and it will bring you "sharp luck." 

3813. Close an open safety pin that you find, spit through it and throw it 
over your shoulder for luck. 

3814. When you have found a safety pin, place it on a wire fence and 
you will have good luck. 

3815. If on New Year's Day a safety pin in the right side of your dress 
comes unfastened, you are going to be unlucky all year. 

3816. Pick up for luck a button that you find. 

3817. Never walk over a button without picking it up or you will be 
unfortunate. 

3818. Do not pick up a button from the road or sidewalk, for it will 
bring bad luck to you. 

3819. If a button is found, you will find a friend that day. 

3820. To be lucky, always pick up a pearl button that you see lying on 
the ground. 

3821. If you find a pearl button on the ground and fail to pick it up, you 
will have bad luck. 

3822. You can secure good luck by sticking the button that you have 
found into your shoe. 

3823. It is the sign of a letter to find a button. 

3824. The man who loses a button from his waistcoat will become pros- 
perous. 

3825. If accidencally you tear oiT a button from your clothes, you are 
going to be invited to a party. 

3826. While dressing in the morning, it is very unlucky to pull ofT a 
button from your clothing. 

3827. A "charm string" is made by collecting a button from each of 
your friends and then stringing these buttons. Carry this string 
of buttons for luck. 



180 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

RINGS-BIRTHSTONES-PERSONAL ORNAMENTS 

3828. Never allow anyone to remove a ring from your finger, or it will 
bring you bad luck. 

3829. Whoever removes a ring from another person's finger will have 
misfortune. 

3830. Taking a ring off a friend's hand will break your friendship. 

3831. If a friend takes a ring from your finger, your friendship will be 
broken. 

3832. A birthstone should be worn for luck. 

Zd>2>2). Wearing a ring with a setting which is not your birthstone will 
cause trouble. 

3834. Giving a person his birthstone will bestow good luck. 

3835. Never keep a ring on the middle finger of each hand; it will 
make you unfortunate. 

3836. It is unlucky to wear two rings on the same finger. 

3837. Secure good luck by wearing a ring with a cat's-eye setting. 

"I have a ring with a cat's-eye and I never take it off my finger, 
for I have good luck in everything I do." 

3838. Wear a moonstone for luck. 

3839. An opal is an unlucky stone. 

3840. A ring with an opal setting means bad luck only for those who do 
not have this jewel as a birthstone. 

3841. It causes good luck to wear an opal in a ring, if it is your birth- 
stone. 

3842. If the opal is your birthstone, wear it and you will always have 
work. 

3843. Wearing a pearl ring will bring you bad luck, unless it is your 
birthstone. 

3844. Wear pearls and you will shed tears. 

3845. Pearls are said to gain coloring and life when worn against the 
human flesh, and if not used in this manner, to become dull and 
lifeless. 

3846. A dark and cloudy appearance in a pearl ihat you are wearing 
indicates trouble. 

3847. It is lucky to wear a sapphire. 

3848. The sapphire inspires sentiments of love. 

3849. During the week wear the following stones I'or luck: 

"Yellow stones on Sunday, 

Pearls on Monday, 

Rubies on Tuesday, 

Sapphires on Wednesday, 

Garnets or red stones on Thursday, 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 181 

Emeralds or green stones on Friday, 
Diamonds on Saturday." 

3850. If a girl breaks her beads, she will have bad luck. 

3851. It is unlucky for a young girl to wear black beads. 

3852. The person who wears a pin or the symbol of a lodge or club 
to which he does not belong will be unfortunate. 



BEAUTY 

3853. To have slim ankles, every morning lie down and rest them on 
the foot of the bedstead. 

3854. You can secure a fair complexion by washing your face with 
buttermilk. 

3855. Eating carrots will give you a good complexion. 

3856. If you eat chicken feet, you will become handsome. 

3857. To be pretty, eat chicken gizzards. 

3858. Stand on your head in a corner of the room and eat a chicken 
gizzard to make yourself beautiful. 

3859. If a girl eats chicken gizzards, she will have large breasts. 

3860. Become good-looking by eating chicken hearts. 

3861. Swallow a raw chicken heart to acquire beauty. 

3862. Never drink cofTee ; it will give you a "muddy" complexion. 

3863. Wash your face in dew to become lovely. 

3864. Before the sun comes up on the Ist of May rub your face with 
dew and it will make you attractive. 

3865. "A maid who on the first of May, 
Goes to the fields at the break of day, 

And washes in dew from the hawthorn tree. 
Will ever after handsome be." 

3866. Get up before sunrise on the first three mornings of May and 
cover your face with dew to be comely. 

3867. On the first three mornings of May bathe your face in the dew 
from an old stump and you will become beautiful. 

3868. To procure large legs, a woman should wash them every morning 
with the dishwater after the dishes have been cleaned. 

3869. You may give yourself a better color by eating the yolks of eggs. 

3870. Eat the skins of Irish potatoes and you will have rosy cheeks. 

3871. Keep your face soft by always wiping it on a linen towel. 

3872. Obtain a fine complexion by bathing your face in March snow 
water. 

3873. To pose habitually in front of a mirror will make a person ugly. 



182 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

3874. A girl can gain a beautiful complexion, if she sleeps in the moon- 
light. 

3875. Comeliness may be attained, if you rub dry oatmeal over your 
face each morning upon arising. 

3876. Beautify yourself by eating pumpkin seed. 

3877. "They say that if a girl does not know what shade of cheek rouge 
she should wear, for her to squeeze the tip end of one of her 
fingers and whatever shade the blood in the tip looks like, that is 
the proper shade she should wear." 

3878. You can have rosy cheeks, if you eat the skins of sweet potatoes. 

3879. Swallowing a turkey heart will make you good-looking. 

3880. Use a baby's urine as a face lotion to become handsome. 

3881. To produce loveliness, wipe your face every morning with a diaper 
that a baby has wetted. 

3882. If you wash your face each morning with your first urine, you 
will be attractive. 

3883. Bathe your face once a day in your own urine and it will bleach 
your skin and create an excellent complexion. 

3884. Washing your hands with your own urine will make them white 
and beautiful. 

3885. "Smoke follows beauty" (zvill go towards a beautiful person). 

3886. "Snakes follow beauty." 

3887. The sleep before midnight is known as "beauty sleep." 



BATHING AND TOWELS 

3888. "If two persons wipe hands together, 
They will be friends forever." 

3889. "If you dry your hands together, 
You will be friends forever." 

3890. Two persons simultaneously wiping their hands and faces on the 
same towel will have a quarrel at the same time next day. 

3891. There will be a quarrel between the two persons who do not twist 
a towel after they have wiped on it together. 

3892. It is unlucky for two persons to dry on the same towel at the same 
time. 

3893. Getting a towel twisted after using it will bring you bad luck. 

3894. A towel falling from your hand is the sign of a female visitor. 

3895. Never wash your face with soap every day or hair will grow on 
your face. 

3896. You will be clean all year, if you take a bath on New Year's night. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 183 

3897. The person who washes himself with cold water does not stay- 
clean as long as the one washing in hot water. 

3898. Bathe between Christmas and New Year's Day and you will 
remain clean the whole year. 

3899. Two persons washing hands together in the same water will 
quarrel that day. 

3900. If you use the water that someone else has washed in, you and 
that person will have a quarrel. 

3901. Never empty the water that has been used by someone else or the 
two of you will quarrel. 



FRECKLES-BLACKHEADS-PIMPLES 

3902. A person with freckles has good health. 

3903. A large number of freckles indicates that your blood contains a 
great amount of iodine. 

3904. Bathe your face with buttermilk and your freckles will leave. 

3905. To remove freckles, smear your face once with "cow plaster" 
(cow manure). 

3906. "If you want to take of? freckles, cover your face with cow 
manure. Years ago two girls out in the country near Burton and 
Liberty was going to a party. They had their dresses made, but 
both girls had a lot of freckles; and they heard that if you would 
put cow manure all over your face, it would take them off. So 
they made up their mind to try before the party. They both 
stayed at one house, and put it all over their faces. The next 
morning when they washed, they were all green. The cow had 
been eating something green and it stain their faces. It took the 
girls several days to get the green off their faces. They got rid 
of the freckles but didn't get to go to the party, for their faces 
were too green. It got out and the boys and girls had a good time 
over them missing the party over getting rid of the freckles." 

3907. Arise on the first day of May and walk out of the house back- 
wards. Bathe your face with dew and your freckles will disappear. 

3908. Wash your hands with dew on the first day in May and rub them 
over your face; then lay the hands on some other part of your 

body, and the freckles will go to that place. "My face was 

just full of freckles, so I got up on the first day of May and 
washed my hands in the early morning dew. Then I put my 
hands on my shoulders and the freckles left my face and went to> 
my shoulders." 

3909. Take away freckles by washing in the dew that is on clover. 



184 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

3910. Before dew disappears off the grass, rub some grass over your 
face and the freckles will soon fade away. 

3911. Freckles can be removed, if you wash your face with dew from 
grass on the first nine mornings of May. 

3912. You will never have freckles, if on the first day of May you bathe 
your face in the dew off growing wheat. 

3913. Mix dew from growing wheat with rose water and oil of lilies. 
Use this lotion to drive away freckles. 

3914. If you wash your face with wild grapevine sap, your freckles will 
go away. 

3915. Rid yourself of freckles by covering them with lemon juice. 

3916. March snow water is a good lotion for removing freckles. 

3917. In the spring children pop "squirters" (the seedpods of the soft 
maple tree) into each other's faces. This juice is supposed to 
cause freckles. 

3918. Melon rind rubbed over the face will take off freckles. 

3919. To make freckles disappear, wash your face with water that is 
standing in a hollow stump. 

3920. Freckles may be driven away, if you bathe them with the water 
that has collected in an oak stump. 

3921. Lose freckles by washing them with your own urine. 

3922. Wipe your face daily with a baby's wet diaper to get rid of 
freckles. 

3923. A "flesh worm" (blackhead) will come out, if covered with wet 
corn meal. 

3924. You can take out a "flesh worm" by applying milkweed juice. 

3925. Let urine remain in a pot overnight and next morning remove 
the scum. Bathe your face in the clear liquid to get rid of 
blackheads. 

3926. Eating raw pork will give you pimples. 

3927. If you eat sausage that is not well cooked or smoked, such as 
"summer sausage," you will have pimples. 

3928. Arise before daylight on the first three mornings of May and 
wash your face in the dew. This will drive away your pimples. 

3929. Drink clover blossom tea night and morning to clear your face of 
pimples. 



MOLES AND WENS 

3930. A f)erson without any moles will lead a happy but uneventful life. 

3931. It is lucky to have a mole on the right side of the body. 

3932. A mole on the left side of the body is a sign of bad luck. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 185 

3933. "A mole on the face, 
You'll suffer disgrace." 

3934. If you have a mole on the face, it will bring you good luck. 

3935. "A mole on the lip, 
You're a little too flip." 

3936. "A mole on the ear, 

You'll have money by the year." 

3937. Anyone who has a mole behind the ear will die by hanging. 

3938. Death by strangling is the meaning of a mole on the neck. 



"I have two moles on my neck and I told my family I knew I 
will strangle when I die." 

3939. The significance of a mole on the neck is death by hanging. 

3940. "Mole on your neck, 
Money by the peck." 

3941. "Mole on the neck, 
Gold by the peck." 

3942. "Mole on the arm. 
You're a man's charm." 

or 

"Mole on the arm, 

You are a gentleman's charm." 

3943. "Mole on your arm, 
You'll live on a farm," 

3944. "If you have a mole on your arm, 
You'll have money on a farm." 

v?i945. "A mole on your arm. 

You'll never be harmed," 

3946. To have a mole on the arm or shoulder indicates that you possess 
great wisdom. 

3947. When your elbow bears a mole, you will become rich. 

3948. Some disaster will come before you die, if a mole is on your hand. 

3949. A mole on the "life line" of your hand foretells that you will 
meet with a calamity in life. 

3950. A mole on the stomach reveals a glutton. 

3951. "A mole on your back. 

More money than you can pack," 

3952. "Mole on your back. 
Money by the pack." 

3953. "Mole on the back. 
Money by the sack." 

3954. "Mole on the back. 
Brains you will lack." 



186 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

3955. A mole on the buttock denotes death by hanging. 

3956. The man who has a mole on his knee will be very wealthy. 

3957. A woman with a mole on her left knee will have many children. 

3958. A mole on the left leg shows a bad temper. 

3959. A mole on the right leg discloses a good disposition. 

3960. If you pinch a mole ofi your body, or get it knocked off, you will 
bleed to death. 

3961. To remove moles: "Take a pinch of nitre and white cream of 
tartar, pound separately. Then mix it and after sifting, put it in 
a deep dish until it burns up and becomes like cake. Then put it 
in another dish. Pour water over it. Stir with the finger till it 
dissolves. Afterwards strain through a filter. Pour into a new 
earthen pot upon the lire but do not boil. Just dry and pulverize. 
After this is done, take nine ounces of distilled vinegar, two 
ounces of brandy. Put into a glass and mix the powder. Let it 
remain in the sun for three days and save it. Wash the moles 
morning and evening and in a few days the moles will disappear." 
Written contribution. 

3962. "If you want to take a mole off, go and stand in the opening and 
look at a full moon and don't look at anything else and say : 

'O full of the moon, 

O full of the moon, 

O full of the moon, 

Work thy charms, 

Work thy charms, 

Work thy charms. 

And take the mole from off my face, 

And take the mole from off my face, 

And take the mole from off my face' 

and it will go away if you don't take your eyes from the moon." 
Written contribution. 

3963. "If you have a mole, take your monthly fluid and rub over the 
mole every night just before going to bed, and do this every night 
during your period. Aly daughter was five years old and had a 
big mole on the side of her face, and after she went to sleep, every 
night during one of my periods I rub the monthly fluid over this 
mole and it left." 

3964. "I had a wen on my hand. I tried several things and it would 
always come back. A negro man got burned in a fire and died. 
I went to see him and took his hand and rubbed it over my own, 
and it left and never did come back." 

3965. Tie a white silk thread around your wen and leave it on for three 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 187 

nights, then bury the thread under the eaves where water drips. 
When the thread rots, the wen will be gone. 
3966. Take off a mole by rubbing it with the milk of a cottonweed thrice 
daily for three days. 



CORNS AND BUNIONS 

3967. Cut your corns as the moon begins to decrease. 

3968. Corns should be trimmed in the dark of the moon. 

3969. If you pare your corns on Sunday, you will be shamed before the 
end of the day. 

3970. Cure a corn by rubbing it every morning with alum. 

3971. Always drop the parings on an ant mound and eventually the corn 
will disappear. 

3972. To get rid of a com, rub it with a candlestick. 

3973. Use castor oil to deaden the pain of a corn. 

3974. Remove a com by treating it with castor oil. 

3975. A pinch of common chalk scrapings bound in a linen rag on a corn 
is a good remedy. 

3976. When passing a cherry tree, without being seen by anyone pull off 
some leaves and rub them over your corn ; then bury the leaves, 
and after they have decayed, the corn will be gone. 

3977. Heat sap from a cherry tree and spread it over a corn, letting it 
remain there for three days ; then the corn will fall off if soaked 
in warm water. 

3978. Get rid of a corn or bunion by bathing it with coal oil. 

3979. Apply coal oil to a corn for nine nights and during the ninth 
night the corn will leave. 

3980. "I had a corn on my little toe. Blood poison had set in. I put 
fresh cow manure on it and it got well." 

3981. Poultice a corn with freshly mashed cranberries for a cure. 

3982. A corn may be removed by cutting it off. 

3983. You can lose your corns, if you walk barefoot in the dew on 
the first three mornings of May. 

3984. To remove a corn, sprinkle it with gunpowder; then light the 
gunpowder and let it burn up completely. 

3985. Swathe a corn in lard nightly for a week and the corn will come 
off during the seventh night. 

3986. Place a small slice of lemon on your corn every night until the 
corn goes away. 

3987. Dissolve a pearl button in lemon juice and apply this salve until 
the corn comes out. 



188 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

3988. Whittle a match to a sharp peg, rub this over a corn, and then 
drive the peg into the north side of a tree. The corn will soon 
be cured. 

3989. Remedies for removing corns are more effective if tried in the 
dark. 

3990. Everything concerned with the following remedy must be done in 

the dark. "Remove shoes and stockings, cut a piece from a 

raw onion and bind it on the corn. Go to bed without any light. 
The next morning remove the rag and the onion from the corn 
and drop both of them into any kind of hole in the ground, so 
they will disappear from view in falling. Wait one night and the 
corn will have disappeared, supposedly following up the rag and 
onion." Written contribution. 

3991. To drive away a bunion, cover it with a piece of newspaper that 
does not contain any printed matter. 

3992. Pennyroyal leaves made into a poultice and applied to a com 
will remove it. 

3993. As a corn cure, bandage it with crushed mint leaves. 

3994. One can take away a corn, if it is rubbed with saliva on a piece 
of cotton. 

3995. Rid yourself of a corn by rubbing it with your first spittle in the 
morning. 

3996. Treat a corn by spitting on it for nine mornings. 

3997. Each night before retiring and every morning after arising, spit 
on your corn until it disappears. 

3998. Night and morning for six months rub saliva on a corn to make 
it leave. 

3999. A corn can be taken off by sandpapering it. 

4000. Corns may be cured, if they are anointed with a mixture of 
bruised "sour sorrel" (sorrel) and lard. 

4001. Wrap a rag, which has been dipped into turpentine, about a corn; 
and within several days the cure will be effected. A variation of 
this method is to apply turpentine night and morning. 

4002. Put baking soda on a soft corn, then moisten with vinegar, and 
the corn will come out. 

4003. Dip a piece of raw boiling-beef into vinegar and bind it over a 
corn. Do this for three nights and you may then remove the com. 

4004. Soak a piece of copper in vinegar and then wash your com with 
this liquid. The corn will soon drop off. 

4005. A poultice of pepper, salt and vinegar is good for a corn. 

4006. The removal of a corn is certain, if you trim it well and then 
stick it with a hot piece of wire. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 189 

4007. Keep on a com a piece of wool from a lamb and after a time the 
corn can be removed. 

4008. Boil together until thick, a two inch square of yeast bread, two 
tablespoonfuls of catnip and a tablespoonful of sweet milk. Use 
this as a poultice to take oflf a bunion. 

4009. A callus on the bottom of the foot can be cured by walking in 
the dew for three nights or mornings. 



WARTS 

4010. It is a sign of wealth to have a wart on the body. 

4011. The person who has a wart will be lucky. 

4012. A wart on the chin indicates a mean disposition. 

4013. "A wart on the chin 
Is a devil within." 

4014. Hold a frog in your hand and you will acquire a wart. 

4015. A bullfrog wetting on you will give you warts. 

4016. You will get warts, if you touch a toad. 

4017. Kill a toad and your hands will be covered with warts. 

4018. Unless you spit as soon as you see a toad, a wart will appear on 
your hand. 

4019. Count the stars by pointing at them with a finger and you will 
have a wart on that finger. 

4020. People who possess the power to remove warts are sometimes 
known as "wart doctors." 

4021. The seventh son of the seventh son is able to cure warts. 

4022. Some people can heal warts by counting them off. 

4023. One healer could drive away a wart by rubbing it three times with 
his finger. 

4024. "A man had three warts. A woman took her finger and put it 
in her mouth, then on the wart. She did this to all three warts 
and in two weeks they were gone." 

4025. It is possible for a man to remove a woman's warts, but a woman 
is unable to cure a man's warts. 

4026. If a healer reveals his secret for removing warts, the power will 
disappear 

4027. To cure a wart, mash ants on it. 

4028. Rub slices of an apple over a wart, then bury them; and when 
the slices rot, the wart will go away. 

4029. Halve an apple and rub each piece on a wart ; then put the apple 
together and bury it. As the apple rots, the wart will disappear. 



190 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

4030. To drive away a wart, cut an apple in two and rub both halves 
around the wart while saying, "In the Name of the Father, Son 

and Holy Ghost" three times; then put the two pieces of 

apple together and bury it. 

4031. "If you have a wart, take an apple and cut it in half and rub 

over your wart as you say, 'In the Name of the Father' 

then again when you say, 'Son' and again when you say, 

'Holy Ghost' and bury it where water will drip on it; and 

when the apple rots, the wart will go." 

4032. A wart can be removed, if you rub it with a rotten apple and then 
bury the latter. 

4033. A piece of bacon rubbed about a wart on the decrease of the 
moon will remove it. But you must bury the bacon. 

4034. Cure a wart by rubbing it with a piece of bacon. Bury the bacon 
and when it decays, the wart will be gone. 

4035. Tie a piece of bacon over a wart and let it remain for one night. 
Next morning bury the bacon on the east side of the house and 
the wart will gradually wear off. 

4036. To remove a wart, rub it with a piece of bacon. Hide the bacon 
under a rock and after the former becomes rotten, the wart will 
leave. 

4037. Two days after the full moon rub a wart with a piece of bacon 
while saying, "In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost 

wart go away." Bury the bacon where water can drip on 

it and your command will be heeded. 

4038. Hang in a tree the piece of bacon that you have rubbed over your 
wart, and after birds have eaten the bacon, the wart will go off. 

4039. Slice bacon into small bits and tie them up in paper ; then rub your 
wart with this package. Throw the package away and whoever 
picks it up will get your wart. 

4040. At sunrise rub a piece of bacon over your wart, making a cross 
and saying, "In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost." 
Bury the bacon where water can drip on it and cover it with a 
rock. As soon as the bacon rots, you will lose your wart. 

4041. "I had a bad wart on my hand. One evening my beau said, 'Let 
me take off your wart.' He pick it until it bled ; then told me to 
go somewhere and steal some baking soda without anyone know- 
ing it. He rub it all over my wart and in a few days my wart was 
gone." 

4042. To lose a wart, rub it with a bean and then secretly bury the 
latter. When the bean sprouts, you will be rid of the wart. 

4043. To make warts leave, rub each of them with a white bean, then 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 191 

conceal these beans in a hillside and walk away without looking 
back. 

4044. You can drive away a wart by rubbing it with a bean and then 
dropping the bean into a water-closet. 

4045. Spit on a bean and throw it away. This will take off a wart. 

4046. To drive a wart away, rub it with a bean and cast the bean over 
your shoulder without looking back. 

4047. A wart may be cured by rubbing it with a bean and then throwing 
the bean over your left shoulder. 

4048. A wart on the nose may be driven away by rubbing it with a bean 
and then placing the bean where water can drip on it. As the bean 
starts to sprout, the wart will begin to come off. 

4049. After rubbing your wart with green beans, put them beneath the 
front doorstep. When the beans decay, you will no longer have 
the wart. 

4050. Cut off the end of a green bean and rub it over your wart. Place 
the bean under your front door and the wart will soon be lost. 

4051. Split a lima bean in half and rub it over your wart. Toss the bean 
into a well and the wart will vanish. 

4052. To get rid of a wart, rub it with a bean and cast the latter in 
a well. 

4053. Put as many beans in a paper sack as you have warts and place 
the sack at the intersection of two streets. The person who picks 
up the sack will take your warts. 

4054. Let the grocer lay out nine white beans. Lift up one bean at a 
time, rubbing it over your wart until you have thus used the entire 
number. Then place them in a sack and while taking a walk, 
casually drop the sack somewhere along your way. Whoever 
picks up the beans will get the wart. 

4055. Take a bean leaf when no one is watching, if anyone sees you 
the charm will not succeed, and rub it over your wart. Bury the 
leaf and when it decays, the wart will depart. 

4056. Scratch a wart until it bleeds and smear some of the blood on a 
bean leaf, which you must then secretly bury. The wart will 
disappear within three days. 

4057. Pluck a bean leaf and let someone rub it over your wart. Then 
have the same person bury the leaf secretly; and when it rots, 
the wart will be gone. 

4058. "Years ago my hand was just full of warts. My brother took me 
to the bean patch and took a handful of leaves and rub over my 
warts, then went a little way and took another handful of the 
leaves and rubbed over my warts, and then threw them down in 



192 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

the patch and said, 'You will leave all your warts in this bean 
patch.' And I did, for my warts went away." 

4059. Rid yourself of a wart by anointing it with the juice from 
several bean leaves. 

4060. As a cure, rub your wart with a white bean and then toss the 
bean over your left shoulder without turning around to see where 
it went. 

4061. "If you have a wart and don't like someone, get a white bean and 
rub over your wart. While you are rubbing the bean over your 
wart, wish all the time the one you don't like will get your wart, 
then throw it over your left shoulder where you can't find the 
bean, and your wart will go away." 

4062. Rub your wart with a piece of raw beef, then bury the latter ; and 
when the meat rots, the wart will disappear. 

4063. When you see a bone, pick it up and rub it over your wart ; then 
restore the bone to its original position and the wart will soon 
vanish. 

4064. Pick up a bone that has been lying on the ground and rub the 
underside of it over your wart. Throw the bone away and your 
wart will eventually come off. 

4065. Upon finding a bone, rub it on your wart and then cast it over 
your shoulder. Do not look back and your wart will leave. 

4066. Scarify a wart until you draw blood and then place two broom- 
straws in the shape of a cross over it. Bury the broomstraws and 
after they decay, the wart will be cured. 

4067. Rub a wart thrice with three broomstraws and then bury them 
where water drips. When they rot, the wart will be gone. 

4068. Anoint a wart with castor oil twice a day to cure it. 

4069. You can make a wart go away by anointing it with castor oil for 
three mornings and evenings. 

4070. Drive away a wart by applying castor oil nightly for seven nights. 

4071. Mark your wart with a piece of chalk; and when the latter is lost, 
you will lose the wart. 

4072. Place a chalk mark on a stove and after the mark has disappeared, 
your wart will go away. 

4073. Draw one chalk mark around a wart and make another mark with 
chalk on a stove. When the chalk mark goes off the stove, you 
will no longer have the wart. 

4074. If a circle is drawn around your wart with a piece of chalk and 
a chalk mark made on a stove lid, the wart will leave after the chalk 
mark has burned off the stove lid. 

4075. To make a wart disappear, rub it with a dead chicken foot. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 193 

4076. Sticking your wart until it bleeds and then rubbing it with the 
inside of a chicken gizzard lining will drive away the wart. 

4077. For a wart cure, twist a chicken gizzard three times above your 
head and then throw the gizzard away as you depart without look- 
ing back. 

4078. The intestines of a black chicken rubbed over your wart and then 
buried will take oflF the wart. 

4079. "My brother had a big seed wart and he killed a chicken and took 
the head and rub over his wart while the head was warm, and 
his wart went away." 

4080. Kill a rooster and immediately rub its head on your wart; then 
bury the head and when it decays, the wart will leave. 

4081. Scratch your wart until it bleeds and put some of the blood on a 
piece of bread ; then feed the latter to the chickens and the wart 
will disappear. 

4082. "On Sunday morning at the noon service while the preacher is 
praying for church to be over, tie a string around your wart and 

say, *In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost take 

my wart away.' Then when church is over, take that string out 
and bury it, and say again while you are burying the string, 'In 

the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost take my wart 

away.' When the string rots, the wart will go away." 

4083. Cover your wart with cinnamon to get rid of it. 

4084. Make a wart vanish by picking it with a grain of corn and then 
letting a red rooster eat the corn. 

4085. A grain of corn rubbed over a wart until blood is drawn, and 
then fed to a chicken, will drive off a wart. 

4086. Take a grain of corn for each wart, count the grains and warts, 
and then bury the corn. After the latter has decayed, the warts 
will be cured. 

4087. Picking your wart with a grain of corn until you draw blood, and 
then letting someone bury the corn where you cannot find it, will 
remove the wart. 

4088. Have a friend bury the grain of corn with which you have picked 
your wart until it bled: If the corn rots, the wart will come off; 
if the corn grows, the wart will remain. 

4089. To get rid of a wart, rub it with a grain of corn and then toss 
the grain over your left shoulder. As soon as a chicken eats the 
com, the wart will be gone. 

4090. Prick a wart with a grain of corn until blood comes and throw 
the grain over your left shoulder. Whatever picks up the corn 
will have your wart. 



194 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

4091. Stick a wart and put some of the blood on a grain of corn. Cast ' 
the corn away and when it decays the wart will leave, 

4092. Thrust a pin into a wart and cover several grains of corn with the 
blood. Feed this corn to an old rooster and he will catch your 
warts. 

4093. A wart will disappear, if you rub it with a grain of corn and then 
pitch the corn over your head without looking back. 

4094. Rub a grain of corn on your wart and then drop the former into 
a well while saying, "Here goes my wart." The wart will be 
removed when the corn rots. 

4095. Count your warts and rub them with as many grains of corn as 
you have warts. Let the grains fall into a well and after the corn 
decays, the warts will go off. 

4096. Make a wart go away by rubbing it with six grains of corn and 
feeding the corn to a speckled hen. 

4097. Drive away a wart by rubbing it with seven grains of corn and 
giving the corn to your neighbor's chickens. 

4098. Seven grains of corn rubbed on your wart, then buried and 
covered with a stone so that they will not sprout, will take off the 
wart as soon as they have decayed. 

4099. A wart can be cured by rubbing it with nine grains of corn, which 
must then be buried. 

4100. Your warts may be removed by letting someone count them off, 
but whoever does the counting will get the warts. 

4101. Warts will leave, if someone counts them off without your 
knowledge. 

4102. To remove a wart, rub a fresh dandelion stem over it each morn- 
ing for three days. 

4103. When someone dies, go to the graveyard at midnight and call the 
devil. He will come and take away your wart. 

4104. "If you have a wart, go where they are laying out someone that is 
dead and take that piece of cloth that is over the dead one's face 
and rub that piece of cloth over your wart. Then you must put 
that piece of cloth in the coffin with that dead one and let it be 
buried with the dead, and your wart will go away." 

4105. To cure a wart, take one of the candles standing by a coffin and 
rub it over the corpse. 

4106. Remove a wart by stroking it with the hand of a corpse while 
saying, "Wart, wart, go away. It is no good to me, and it will 
do you no harm." 

4107. During the tolling of a church bell at a funeral say, "In the Name 

of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost" and make the sign of 

the cross three times. This will take away a wart or a growth. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois . 195 

4108. A wart will leave, if you rub it on a corpse. 

4109. Take a wart away by rubbing it over a corpse three times. 

4110. A wart can be taken off, if you rub it over a dead person's face. 

4111. A woman can cure her wart, if she rubs it three times on the 
corpse of a male. 

4112. A man may drive away his wart by rubbing it thrice over a female 
corpse. 

4113. While the bell is tolling, as a corpse is being taken from church, 
say, "Now the bells are tolling for to put the dead one in its grave. 
With this I will wash my warts away." Then rub your hand over 
the wart saying, "In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy 
Ghost" and the wart will leave. 

4114. Just as the full moon begins to decrease, rub your hand on a 
corpse and then pass the hand over your wart. This will make 
the wart depart. 

4115. Cure a wart by taking a dead cat to the cemetery. 

4116. A wart may be removed if you bury a dead cat in a graveyard at 
night. 

4117. To drive away a wart, a dead black cat should be buried at mid- 
night by the grave of someone who was wicked in life. 

4118. Carry a dead cat at night, passing through a cemetery on your 
way, to a crossroad. Here rub your warts with the dead cat and 
they will be gone by morning. 

4119. Tie a string around a wart and let it stay there for fifteen minutes, 
then put the string in a coffin containing a corpse ; and when 
the body rots, the wart will disappear. 

4120. Sprinkle dirt from a newly dug grave over your wart and it will 
leave. 

4121. Just before the funeral procession starts from the house, rub your 
wart on the face of the corpse and say, "In the Name of the 

Father, Son and Holy Ghost take my wart." After the body 

decomposes, a cure will follow. 

4122. To remove a wart, on three Fridays in succession and thrice 
during the day make a cross over the wart. 

4123. If a stolen dish rag is rubbed over a wart and then buried, the 
wart will come off as soon as the dish rag decays. 

4124. Steal an old dish rag and rub it over your wart. Bury the dish 
rag under the eaves and when it becomes rotten, the wart will be 
gone. 

4125. If a string from a dish rag is tied around a wart and then buried 
beneath a rock, the wart will vanish after the string has decayed. 

4126. Cut a small corner off a dish rag and rub it on your wart ; then 



196 Memoirs of the Ahna Egan Hyatt Foundation 

place this piece of dish rag under a stone to rot, and the wart 
will go away. 

4127. Rid yourself of a wart by rubbing it with a stolen dish rag and 
throwing away the dish rag. 

4128. You must walk backwards throughout the whole of the following 
wart cure rite : Carry a dish rag to a stump, dip it into the water 
in the stump, wash your wart with the dish rag, and then return 
home. 

4129. A wart will come oflf, if it is rubbed three times with a strip taken 
from your dish rag. 

4130. Rub your wart with an old dish rag; then bury the dish rag 
secretly and when it decays, you will no longer have the wart. 

4131. To cure a wart, rub it with a stolen dish rag and then drop the 
dish rag at the forks of a road. 

4132. Remove a wart by rubbing it with a stolen dish rag and burying 
the latter under a stone. 

4133. "Years ago a woman had a little boy. He was playing out in the 
yard and a toad just wet all over him. His face was just full of 
warts. This woman went and stole her neighbor's dish rag and 
washed this boy with it, then put it under the neighbor's doorstep, 
and in no time this boy lost his warts." 

4134. "I had a wart and stole a dish rag, and rubbed it over my wart 
and then threw it over the eaves of the house." 

4135. "Years ago my hand was full of warts. My mother got a elder 
stick and laid it over my warts and made a notch in the stick; 
then told me to go in the house and not watch where the cut would 
drop. Then she started to walking around the yard, cutting on the 
stick, without looking to see where it (the various pieces cut off 
the stick) went; and when the stick was all gone, went in the 
house. In a few days my warts were gone." 

4136. Pick a wart until it bleeds and place the blood in an envelope. 
Drop the envelope on the road and the one who finds it will take 
your wart. 

4137. Pare your finger-nails to the quick and rub some of these parings 
over your wart. When your finger-nails grow out again, the wart 
will be cured. 

4138. To lose a wart, kill a frog and while the legs are still twitching, 
cut off one of them and rub it over your wart. Then throw away 
the leg. 

4139. Make a wart leave by rubbing it with a gold ring. 

4140. A wart may be lost by rubbing it with a piece of newly cut grape- 
vine. Bury the grapevine where it cannot be found. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 197 

4141. Tie several strands from your combings around a wart and bury 
the hair used. After this hair has decayed, the wart will disappear. 

4142. As a cure for a wart on your hand, stroke it with the other hand 
while saying, "Water won't burn, fire won't freeze." Repeat this 
formula nine times. 

4143. To make a wart leave, rub it with grass that grows during the 
spring among the bricks in a sidewalk. 

4144. Take a hickory stick off the tree and in it cut a notch for each 
of your warts. Bury the stick and when it rots, your warts will 
go away. 

4145. Rub on your wart a piece of the frog from the hoof of a horse; 
then put this piece of frog under a doorstep and the wart will 
leave. 

4146. "If you have a wart, get a piece of dirt right off the bottom of a 
horse's foot and rub over your wart; then throw that dirt over 
your shoulder, and when the first rain comes and melts that dirt, 
your wart will go away." 

4147. Cure a wart by tying a hair from a horse's tail about it and 
burying the hair. 

4148. Tie a horsehair around a wart and every morning for nine days 
pull the knot tighter. On the ninth morning the wart will be gone. 

4149. To wish away a wart, count ninety-nine white horses and then one 
white mule. When you see the white mule, make a wish that he 
will take it away. 

4150. Jimson weeds rubbed over a wart will cure it. 

4151. Rub jimson weed leaves on your wart and then bury them. The 
wart will disappear, after the leaves rot. 

4152. Drive away a wart by anointing it with lemon juice. 

4153. Drink a tablespoonful of limewater after each meal to make a wart 
disappear. 

4154. You can lose your wart by covering it with cow manure. 

4155. Get rid of your warts by making as many notches in a match as 
you have warts and then burying the match. 

4156. Let a match burn and then rub the charred wood over your wart. 
This will remove it. 

4157. "Your monthly fluid will take off a wart. My husband had a big 
seed wart, and after he went to sleep at night, I would rub some of 
my monthly fluid over this wart. Did this the whole period, and 
he lost his wart." 

4158. Take off a wart by rubbing it with the milk from a milkweed. 

4159. A wart will come off within twenty-four hours, if rubbed with 
milkweed juice. 

4160. Walk up to a milkweed, break off a piece of the plant and rub the 



198 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

juice on your wart; then throw the piece of milkweed over your 
left shoulder without looking back, and the wart will soon leave. 

4161. To remove a wart, look up at a full moon and say: 

"What I see is growing, 
What I'm rubbing is going." 
You must do this when alone and for three consecutive nights. 

4162. If your wart is rubbed with a green bean during the decrease of 
the moon, the wart will vanish with the old moon. 

4163. To cure a wart, rub it with a green bean leaf during the decrease 
of the moon while saying, "In the Name of the Father, Son and 

Holy Ghost." 

4164. Lose your wart by going outdoors at midnight and saying to the 
new moon : 

"What I see is growing. 
What I am rubbing is going." 
Repeat this operation three nights in succession. 

4165. Pass your hand over a wart while looking at the new moon and 
say: 

"You grow, 
And you go." 
Do this three times to remove the wart. 

4166. During the full moon rub a wart with your mother's dish rag. 
The wart will disappear, if the dish rag is buried at midnight in 
the center of a crossroad. 

4167. "When Mrs. N. was a little girl, her mother took her to a man 
who said he could take warts away, but he told her she had to 
come on Friday night and it had to be a moonlight night. So they 
went and he took her out on the front porch in the moonlight and 
repeated, 'In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy 

Ghost' three times ; and in a week's time her warts were 

gone." Written contribution. 

4168. Pick a wart with a needle, and having made a knot on a string, 
rub the knot in the blood. Throw the knot away and the wart 
will be lost. 

4169. To rid yourself of warts, scratch the largest with a needle and 
then place a drop of this blood on as many grains of corn as there 
are warts. The corn must be fed to a rooster. 

4170. Draw blood from a wart by scratching it with a needle, and rub 
this blood on the two halves of a grain of corn that you have cut 
in two. Then tie the two pieces of com together and throw it 
away. Your wart will soon come off. 

4171. A wart can be taken away inside of a few days, if you pierce its 
threads several times with a needle. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 199 

4172. Make a wart bleed by running a needle into it. Wrap up the 
needle in paper and drop it at a crossroad to drive the wart away. 

4173. Run a needle into a wart until blood comes. The wart will then 
disappear, provided it is washed in a puddle of snow water. 

4174. "Take a new needle and stick that needle in your wart. Then take 
nine matches, one at a time and light them, and hold the match to 
the eye of the needle until it burns out. Then light another and 
hold to the eye of the needle, and when you get to the ninth 
match you can lift that wart right out. I had a wart. I took a new 
needle and nine matches and burned each match to the eye of the 
needle until I used all nine. It sure did hurt and burn, but when 
I got to the ninth match the wart came right out." 

4175. Pierce a wart with a needle until it bleeds, and then stick the 
needle into the ground near your front doorsteps. The wart will 
be gone when the needle rusts. 

4176. After drawing blood from a w^art by scratching it with a needle, 
burn up the needle and the wart will be cured. 

4177. A wart can be removed by rubbing it with an onion and throwing 
the onion away without watching to see where it falls. 

4178. Rub a wart with an onion and bury the onion. When the onion 
rots, the wart will go away. 

4179. Divide an onion into two halves and rub one of them over your 
wart; then throw this lialf away and as it dries up, the wart will 
dry up. 

4180. Let someone cut an onion in half. Rub one of these pieces on your 
wart and then fit the two halves together and bury them. This 
will cure the wart. 

4181. Cut an onion in two and rub one of the halves over your wart. 
Fit the onion together again and bury it saying, "In the Name of 
the Father, Son and Holy Ghost." The wart will disappear. 

4182. Bake an onion in ashes and rub some of its juice over a wart for 
a cure. 

4183. Remove a wart by anointing it with the milk from an osage 
orange. 

4184. Anoint your wart three times with the milk from a "hedge ball" 
(osage orange), then bury the latter and when it rots, the wart 
will leave. 

4185. Smear a few drops of blood from your wart on a piece of paper; 
then go to a crossroad and throw the paper over your left shoulder. 
Whoever picks up the blood will take your wart. 

4186. To get rid of a wart, rub it with a green pea and then drop the 
latter into a cistern. As soon as you hear the pea hit the water, 
walk away without looking back. 



200 Monoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

4187. Rub three peach leaves over your wart and lay them on the ground. 
Do this three times. The person who walks over these leaves will 
get your wart. 

4188. Having rubbed your wart with leaves from a peach tree, bury 
them ; and when they decay, the wart will be gone. 

4189. Carve three notches in the limb of a peach tree. You will lose your 
wart v/hen these notches have grown together. 

4190. Break a small limb oflf a peach tree and cut in it as many notches 
as you have warts. Bury the limb where water drips and after it 
has decayed, the warts will vanish. 

4191. Cut in a peach tree a notch for each of your warts. Never look 
at the peach tree again ; and when the notches grow together, you 
will no longer have the warts. 

4192. Cure a wart by rubbing it with a pebble and throwing the latter 
over your left shoulder. 

4193. To remove a wart, rub it with pebbles; then put the pebbles in a 
sack and throw them over your shoulder. 

4194. To lose a wart, rub it with a pebble; then cross running water 
and throw the pebble back over your left shoulder into the water. 

4195. Get rid of your wart by letting someone buy it for a pin. 

4196. Sell a pin to someone for money and your wart will disappear. 

4197. "I had two warts on my hand. A woman said to me, 'Do you 

want to lose those warts?' I said, 'Yes.' 'Well, here, take 

this pin out of my clothes and stick it in your coat and wear it.' 
I did and my two warts went away." 

4198. To take off a wart, run a pin through it and then heat the pin by 
placing it against the flame of a match. 

4199. A wart may be cured by sticking it with a pin and driving the pin 
into an old stump. 

4200. Make a wart bleed by piercing it with a pin. Throw the pin 
directly in front of you as far as you can; then turn around and 
walk in the opposite direction. This will take away your wart. 

4201. Heat a pin by holding it over a lighted candle, then stick the pin 
into your wart, and the wart will go away within seven days. 

4202. Fry poke roots in lard and place them while hot on your wart. 
Do this on four occasions and your wart will come off. 

4203. Paint a wart three or four times with poke roots and it will go 
away. 

4204. "I had about nine warts on my hand. One day I took a piece of 
pork meat and rubbed over my warts and gave the meat to the 
dog. And I lost all my warts." 

4205. "I had several bad warts on my hand. One day I rubbed a potato 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 201 

over my warts and took the potato and buried it so it would not 
grow. One day I looked and all my warts were gone." 

4206. A wart will fall off, if you rub it with a potato twice a day for 
two weeks. 

4207. Slice a potato and rub the pieces over your wart. Bury the slices 
of potato and when they have shriveled up, your wart will depart. 

4208. Cut a potato in two, rub both halves over your wart, and then 
bury them. If the potato sprouts, your wart will grow; if the 
potato rots, your wart will leave. 

4209. To make a wart go away, quarter a potato and rub each piece over 
your wart. Then tie the potato together and bury it. 

4210. Rid yourself of a wart by rubbing it with potato peelings and 
throwing them over your left shoulder. 

4211. "Take and cut an eye from a potato and rub over your wart, then 
bury it and your wart will go. I know this is so, for I tried it on. 
my hand and on several more people and they left." 

4212. Boil potatoes and wash your hands in the water to cure a wart. 

4213. "I had a bad wart. I took a rubber band and tied it so tight over 
my wart that the end of my finger was all blue. Then I threw the 
rubber band away and my wart left me." 

4214. Bind a rubber band around your wart and the wart will disappear 
within three days. 

4215. You can drive a wart away by wetting it three times daily with 
saliva. 

4216. Spit on your finger and spread this saliva over your wart. Do 
this on nine mornings and the wart will come oflf. 

4217. Rush up and seize unexpectedly the person who has a wart and 
spit on it. This will drive the wart away. 

4218. Licking a wart with your tongue, as soon as you arise in the 
morning, will remove it. 

4219. For three mornings in succession, lick a wart with your tongue 
before eating or drinking, and the wart will disappear, 

4220. As a wart cure, sell the wart and keep the money. 

4221. Sell your wart for a penny and put the money away so that you 
cannot use it, and the wart will go away. If you spend the money, 
the wart will reappear. 

4222. Let someone buy your wart for a penny, and whoever makes the 

purchase v/ill get the wart. "Mrs, H. gave her niece a penny 

for each wart she had, and in a week Mrs. H. had a handful of 
warts." Another person relates : "One day I stopped at a house 
and a little boy was just full of warts. I said to the little boy, 
T will give you a penny for your warts.' The boy said, 'Mister,. 
when are you going to take my warts ?' I said, 'O, sometime when 



202 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

you are not watching I will get them.' I forgot all about the warts 
and the next season (the speaker sells fruit trees) when I stopped 
there, the boy said, 'O Mister, have you got all my warts, for they 
are all gone?' I looked and sure enough they were gone." 

4223. Spread a spider web over your wart, then burn the web, and the 
wart will vanish. 

4224. To remove a wart, pick it with a splinter until it bleeds, and then 
throw away the splinter. 

4225. Swish the finger containing the wart in some spunk water at mid- 
night and say : 

"Barley corn, barley corn, Injun (Indian) meal shoots. 
Spunk water, spunk water, swallow these roots." 
This will cure the wart. 

4226. For each of your warts cut a notch in a stick and lay the latter 
near the house so that water can drip on it. The warts will disap- 
pear after the first rain. 

4227. To cure warts, carve notches on a stick to represent them; then 
dip the stick into vinegar and rub it over the warts. 

4228. Pick up a stone at midnight and rub it on your wart ; then restore 
the stone exactly as you found it, and the wart will be cured. 

4229. To drive away a wart, take a stone from a spring and rub it over 
your wart and replace the stone in its original position. 

4230. Tie a black string around your wart, letting it remain for three 
days ; then remove the string and wrap it about a cherry tree, 
leaving it there for the same period of time. This will kill the 
cherry tree, but you will lose the wart. 

4231. If a string is tied around your wart and then buried; the wart 
will disappear when the string becomes rotten. 

4232. "I had several warts and I tied a string around each wart, then 
took them off." 

4233. Tie a woolen string around your wart and let it stay there all night. 
Next morning bury the string and after it rots, you will no longer 
have the wart. 

4234. Draw blood from a wart by tying it tightly with a string. Conceal 
the string beneath a rock and if no one finds or removes it, the 
wart will disappear. 

4235. Having tied a string around a wart and rubbed the wart with fat, 
bury the string and fat; and when they decay, the wart will 
come off. 

4236. Tie a wart with a string and then tie the string to a rafter in the 
loft of a barn. The wart will leave after the string rots. 

4237. Put as many knots in a string as you have warts and bury the 
string. When the string decays, the warts will go away. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 203 

4238. "I had a big wart and I took a string and tied it full of knots and 
then rub the knots over my wart and buried the string under a 
board and my wart left." 

4239. I\Iake a knot in a string for every wart you have and then rub 
these knots on the warts. Bury the string beneath the eaves and 
when it has decayed, the warts will depart. 

4240. During the spring, tie as many knots on a white cord string as 
you have warts, then cut a notch in a white oak tree for each of 
these knots. When autumn comes, revisit the tree and you will 
find its trunk covered with warts ; and yours will be gone. 

4241. Scratch a wart until it bleeds and then make three knots in a 
string. Rub this string over the wart and say, "In the Name of 

the Father, Son and Holy Ghost take my wart." Bury the 

string and say, "In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost." 
This will cure the wart. 

4242. "If you have a wart, take a red string and tie a knot in it, and 

while you are tying it say, 'One' and don't speak until after 

you bury the string. If you happen to have two or three, each 
time you tie the knot say, 'One' and nothing else." 

4243. "My daughter had several bad warts and I tied a string around 

each one and said, 'O Jesus, take my warts away' and buried 

the strings and they left." 

4244. Stroke a wart thrice with your hand, then rub your hand three 
times over a stump and the wart will leave. 

4245. Wash a wart in stump water to remove it. 

4246. Wrap a wet cloth around a sword and then wash your wart with 
the cloth. Bury the cloth and when it decays, the wart will go 
away. 

4247. Tie a thread about a wart and then put the thread where water 
will run on it. When the thread rots, the wart will be removed. 

4248. A black linen thread tied about a wart is a good remedy. 

4249. A wart can be taken off by tying a silk thread around it until the 
blood stops. 

4250. Let a toad wet on your wart to cure it. 

4251. You can cure your wart by putting tobacco juice on it. 

4252. Wet a piece of twist tobacco and apply it to your wart for two 
nights and the wart will leave. 

4253. Rub a wild turnip over your wart for three mornings and on the 
third morning the wart will be cured. 

4254. If you put baking soda on a wart and then a drop of vinegar on 
the baking soda, it will take off the wart. 

4255. Rub a green walnut over your wart and then bury the walnut. 
If the walnut rots, your wart will disappear. 



204 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

4256. To remove a wart, rub it with the blossoms of a walnut tree. 

4257. Pick a wart until it bleeds and then wash it in a puddle of rain 
water. When the water dries up, the wart will vanish. 

4258. To cure a wart, wash it with water and then throw the water over 

your right shoulder. "I went and took some water and rubbed 

it good over my wart and threw the water over my right shoulder, 
and a drop of that water got on my cheek and I got a wart on 
my cheek, and didn't lose the other wart either." 

4259. Drive a wart away by rubbing it very rapidly with a wedding ring 
for three consecutive mornings. 

4260. Stand with your back to a well and tie a string around the wart. 
Then throw the string over your shoulder into the well and you 
will soon lose the wart. 

4261. Tie a wheat straw around your wart and leave it on for three 
days, then throw the straw away and the wart will depart. 

4262. You may take off a wart by wishing it on a friend. 

4263. As a wart cure, write a wish on a piece of paper and carry it to a 
crossroad, where you must tear up the paper and scatter it to the 
four winds. 



SICKNESS 

4264. As a preventive against contagious disease wear a piece of 
asafetida sewed in a sack tied around your neck. 

4265. A small bag containing camphor worn on your person will ward 
off sickness. 

4266. Remove the seeds from the ends of cloves and string them. If 
a child wears this necklace, he will never get a disease. 

4267. Keep a piece of garlic in your clothes, taking a bite of it now and 
then, and you will never catch a disease. 

4268. An Indian always carries live-forever leaves in his bosom to keep 
off disease. From an old Indian. 

4269. A disease will not be caught by the child who wears a string of 
madder seed about his neck. 

4270. A baby will not become sick, if during its first year a mole foot is 
kept around its neck. 

4271. Hold your nose (or breath) when passing a house where there is 
a contagious disease and it will not harm you. 

4272. "The bark off of the north side of the red oak tree will cure 
almost any disease." 

4273. If you carry an onion in your pocket, you will never have a 
disease. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 205 

4274. Immunize yourself against contagion of any sort by eating onions. 

4275. Cut a cross on each of three small onions and put them over the 
transom of the door. If anyone with a contagious disease enters, 
you will be immune. 

4276. "If there is any disease in your house, just take a few garlic 
onions and hang them up in your house and they will draw all 
the disease out in three days." 

4277. Keep a blessed palm above your bed to protect you against serious 
sickness. 

4278. Tie rattlesnake rattlers in a sack and wear it around your neck 
to keep disease away. 

4279. Walk barefoot in the first snow and you will be free from sickness 
all year. 

4280. You will be protected against disease, if you place a spider in a 
nutshell and wear it about your neck. 

4281. Go swimming before sunrise on the first of May and you will not 
be attacked by a contagious disease that year. 

4282. Take a swim on the first of June to prevent any sickness during 
the summer. 

4283. Eat the first three violets that you find in the spring and you will 
not be sick that summer. 

4284. To discover whether someone will recover from sickness, rub a 
piece of bread over the patient's teeth and then feed it to a dog. 
If the dog eats the bread, the person will be restored to health. 

4285. To find out whether a sick person will recuperate, rub a piece of 
meat over his feet and then give it to a dog. If the dog eats the 
meat, the patient's recovery is certain. 

4286. If a sick person sneezes three times in succession before breakfast, 
he will regain his health. 

4287. It is unlucky for a sick person to see himself in a mirror. 

4288. The sick person who looks into a mirror will grow worse. 

4289. When a patient sings on the third day of sickness, it means that 
he is becoming better. 

42)90. A patient singing on the third day of sickness indicates a relapse, 

4291. Yawning during sickness is a bad omen. 

4292. Bad luck will befall the sick person who jumps over a fence. 

4293. If someone while sick hears faint soft music and cannot account 
for its origin or locate its source, it presages some misfortune. 

4294. To buy or make a garment for a sick person denotes that he will 
not get well. 

4295. While a person is sick, if you dream that someone goes away, the 
patient will die. 



206 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

4296. Never take anyone to a hospital on Friday : 

"Friday flitting, 
Short sitting." 

4297. As a general rule the power to heal cannot be revealed or its 
efficacy will be lost. It may be disclosed to another person only 
when the possessor is on his deathbed. 

4298. The power of healing is destroyed if the healer accepts money in 

payment for services. A munber of people refused to explain 

their methods of curing when they learned that these remedies 
were going to be printed in a book which ivould be sold. 

4299. Two women of German extraction were known to have used 
springs for healing purposes, but their secrets could never be 
discovered. The one woman was a specialist in curing sore mouth 
and sun pains ; the other woman's only contribution is given in the 
following item. 

4300. "If anyone is sick in the house, get up on Easter before sunrise 
and go to a spring and pray. Do not say a word to anyone going 

or coming and you will get well." This old woman was 

rather vague about the prayer, so it evidently included an incanta- 
tion of some sort. Years ago she took her sick son to a spring in 
South Park, Quincy, on an Easter mortiing. The boy spoke on 
the way home from the spring and consequently died within a year. 

4301. "If there is a sick person with you with whom the usual bodily 
remedies have failed, fill a small flask with olive oil and water. 
Pronounce over it with reverence the 18th psalm. Anoint all the 
limbs of the patient and pray a suitable prayer in the name of 
Eel Jah (?) and he will soon recover." Written contribution. 

4302. "If you are sick a long time in one room, move into another room 
so you will get well; for sometimes if you cannot get well in one 
room, you can in another." 

4303. Moving a bed that contains a sick person will cause bad luck. 

4304. Make something for a sick person from a piece of shroud and he 
will surely recover. (Jewish). 

4305. When you have any kind of sickness, cross water and you will 
improve. 

4306. "Ten or eleven years ago (about 1920-192U I came upon a super- 
stition which was quite new to me at the time. Questioning a little 
girl about the health of her cousin who was suffering from a 
badly infected arm, I was told that his condition was very serious 

'Grandma had to talk to him last night.' On inquiry I 

learned that Grandma knew how to 'talk over' people who were 
afflicted with wounds or sores and made them well, and that she 
frequently exercised her art for all sorts of people. She had 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 207 

'talked over' Marie herself, but Marie declined regretfully but 
firmly to tell what she said. 'You dassunt tell or something bad 
will happen.' The school janitor to whom all the secrets of the 
'South End' are an open book, told me that he knew several old 
women who pretended to this skill, and he mentioned one within 
two blocks of the school, a radius that would include Grandma 
also. I mentioned Grandma's curious practice to Mr. B., pastor 
of K. Church. He received the tale without any surprise and 
acknowledged that the thing was common. Walter asked several 
acquaintances of German parentage what they knew about it, and 
he found that old women who will 'talk over' you can be found in 
northeast Quincy as well as in south Quincy. No doubt this is 
an old German superstition. It is certainly alive and fllourishing 
in Quincy." Written contribution. 



AILMENTS OF INFANCY AND CHILDHOOD 

BEDWETTING-CHOLERA INFANTUM-COLIC-CROUP 

SPASM-THRUSH-WHOOPING COUGH-WORMS 

4307. Male babies wet more than female babies. 

4308. Infants who are circumcised wet more than other children. 

4309. Baby boys are more difficult to break of bed-wetting than baby 
girls. 

4310. "A child will not catch cold lying in its own pee." 
43n. Playing with fire will cause a child to wet the bed. 

4312. The bed will be wetted by the child who plays with matches. 

4313. When a child sings in bed, he will wet the bed. 

4314. "If a kid (child) drinks tea when he is young, it will make him 
let water in the bed at night." 

4315. You can prevent a person from wetting in bed, if you compel 
him to sleep on a hard bed. 

4316. Keep a child from wetting in bed by heating a brick and letting 
him wet on it. 

4317. Tea made from the pulverized lining of a chicken gizzard will cure 
a child of wetting in bed. 

4318. "To stop bed-wetting, take a handful of pop corn silk and a quart 
of water and let boil slowly for fifteen minutes. Then give to a 
child when he goes to bed one fourth cup to drink and that will 
cure him." 

4319. To cure a child of bed-wetting, conceal a piece of his clothing in 
a coffin containing a corpse. 



208 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

4320. Throw some of a child's urine into an open grave to stop bed- 
wetting. 

4321. Let a person who wets in bed urinate into an open grave and this 
will cure him. 

4322. Cure a child of bed-wetting by pouring some of his urine into a 
bottle and then secreting the bottle in a coffin with a corpse. 

4323. "When someone is going to be buried, take a bottle and put some 
of the urine of that person that is wetting the bed in that bottle. 
Leave the cork loose so it will drip out, and put it in the coffin 
and bury it with the dead. When the urine is all out of the bottle, 
they will stop wetting the bed." 

4324. If a female child wets in bed, place some of her urine in a bottle 
and let it drip out of the bottle into a grave that has been dug for a 
male corpse. Stop a male child from wetting by doing the same 
thing with a grave opened for a female corpse. 

4325. Stop a child's bed-wetting by feeding him garlic. 

4326. Bed-wetting may be cured, if a child is made to eat a head louse 
on a piece of bread. 

4327. A tea made of mice will keep a child from wetting in bed. 

4328. Fry a mouse and let a child eat one of the legs to cure bed-wetting. 

4329. As a bed-wetting remedy, let the child eat a roasted mouse. 

4330. "If a child wets the bed, take and put a mouse in a cloth and tie it 
in the cloth ; then bite the head off the mouse in that cloth. Then 
put the head and cloth around that baby's neck and throw the 
mouse's body away. And let the child wear that head tied in that 
cloth for several days. That will stop it from wetting the bed." 

4331. Give tea made of red oak bark to a child as a bed-wetting cure. 

4332. To make a child quit wetting in bed, let him urinate on a pig's toe 
and then bury it, 

4333. Tea from plantain leaves is a good remedy to cure wetting in bed. 

4334. To keep a child from wetting in bed, hollow out a turnip and let 
him urinate into it ; and then hang the turnip in the chimney. 

4335. "A very old saying is, if a kid (child) makes water in the bed at 
night, get some of his water and make him drink it two or three 
times, and it will break him of the habit at once and at all times." 

4336. Tea of wintergreen leaves will cure wetting in bed. 

4337. To prevent cholera infantum, let a baby during the second year 
wear a flannel band over its stomach. 

4338. Cholera infantum can be cured by letting a baby wear the right 
hind foot of a mole. 

4339. To cure colic, put a piece of asaf etida the size of a thumb-nail in 
whiskey or tea and administer for as many weeks as the baby is 
old. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 209 

4340. Take a baby to a blackberry patch where the vines droop over and 
touch the ground. Pass the baby back and forth under these 
arches to cure its colic. 

4341. Soak a fev/ bay leaves in brandy within a warm room, and as soon 
as colic appears, give one to four teaspoonfuls of this liquid. 

4342. If a baby has "six months colic," let it suck a calamus root. 

4343. Calamus root tea is good for a baby's colic. 

4344. Cure "cramp colic" by letting the child chew a small piece of 
dried calamus root. 

4345. Use caraway seed in whiskey for colic. 

4346. As a cure for colic, let a baby drink tea made of catnip leaves. 

4347. Place the white droppings of a chicken in a white rag, pour hot 
water over it, and give a teaspoon ful of this liquid every hour 
for colic. 

4348. Administer hourly to a child with colic a teaspoonful of tea made 
from the white dung of a dog. 

4349. Fan an infant and it will get colic. 

4350. Fennel tea is good for a baby's colic. 

4351. Never kiss an infant on the mouth, you will give it colic. 

4352. "Winter colic" may be cured by drinking mule-tail tea. 

4353. Dissolve the following ingredients in warm wine: a spoonful of 
olive oil or sweet oil, a pound of crab-eyes, and the peelings from 
four carefully dried and pulverized oranges. This mixture will 
relieve colic pains. 

4354. "If a baby has the colic, lay it down on its stomach; then pick it 
up by its feet and shake it the opposite direction ; then lay it down 
and pick it up by the feet again, and shake it the other direction." 

4355. Put every kind of spice in a bag and dip the bag into hot water. 
Lay this bag on a child's stomach for colic. 

4356. Tie a black silk string around a baby's neck to ward off colic. 

4357. Pass a child three times around the leg of a table to cure its colic. 

4358. Never let a teakettle boil in the same room with a baby or it will 
give colic to the child. 

4359. Treat an infant's colic by blowing tobacco smoke up under its 
clothes. 

4360. Blow tobacco smoke into some milk from your breast and 
administer a teaspoonful of it to a baby with colic. 

4361. If tobacco smoke is blown on a child's stomach, colic will be 
prevented. 

4362. To cure a baby's cohc, pull it through the fork of a tree during 
the dark of the moon. 

4363. Give a little water to an infant as soon as it is born and the child 
will never have colic. 



210 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

4364. As a croup remedy, poultice a baby's neck with bacon rind. 

4365. Croup can be cured by wrapping the child's neck with a rag that 
has been soaked in coal oil. 

4366. Beat egg yolks and stiffen with sugar. This is a good remedy for 
croup. 

4367. Whip the white of an egg and add a pinch of alum. This will cure 
membranous croup. 

4368. Jelly made of elderberries is good for croup. 

4369. For croup, give a teaspoonful of goose grease sweetened with 
sugar. 

4370. Bring two cupfuls of milk to a boiling point and add one cupful 
of honey. Administer hot to a baby with croup. 

4371. Let a child drink tea made of mullein leaves for croup. 

4372. A buckskin string worn about a child's neck will cure croup. 

4373. Let a child wear a piece of calfskin or leather around its neck 
and it will never have croup. 

4374. Slice an onion into a saucer, dust with sugar, and cover with 
another saucer for several hours. This makes a good syrup for 
croup. A variation of the same remedy is to cover sliced onions 
with sugar and let them stand overnight. 

4375. Cover the chest with a poultice of cooked onions to cure croup. 

4376. Wrap an onion in brown paper, bake it in the oven, then remove 
the juice and give it to a baby with croup. 

4377. Take red pepper for croup. 

4378. Grease a black silk ribbon and let the child wear it about the neck 
as a preventive against croup. 

4379. "My brother always had the croup. After my mother put the 
(ungreased) black silk ribbon around his neck and let it hang 
down over his stomach, he never had the croup again." 

4380. Keep a black silk string on a baby's neck as a protection against 
croup. 

4381. "Sheep nanny" tea is good for croup. 

4382. Rub skunk oil on the throat to cure croup. 

4383. If a child has croup, stand him against a tree and into the trunk 
drive nails just above his head. When he grows as high as the 
nails, he will be well. 

4384. Croup can be cured by bandaging the neck with a tobacco poultice 
that has been dipped into grease. 

4385. "My baby was real sick with the croup and someone told me about 
the urine and I gave my baby a tcas^xjonful of my urine and it 
got well right away." 

4386. To cure croup, give the child a teaspoonful of urine three times 
a day. 



Folk-Lorc from Adams Comity Illinois 211 

4387. "My brother was very bad with the croup one time and my mother 
took urine and put a lump of alum in it, let boil good, and gave 
him a teaspoonful every few hours. She said it was the only thing 
that saved him." 

4388. Cure croup by taking a few drops of urine. 

4389. Melt yellow vaseline and administer to children for croup. 

4390. When a child has spasms, it must be handled carefully and in a 
certain manner, or it will be disfigured for life. 

4391. "If a baby has a spasm, burn up all the clothes they have on when 
having the spasm ; you are burning up the spasms, and they will 
not have any more." 

4392. To stop spasms in a baby that is teething, let the mother bite off 
the head of a mouse. 

4393. Treat spasms by holding a half onion under a child's nose. 

4394. A spasm can be checked by putting salt in the infant's mouth. 

4395. If a child has a spasm, and its fingers are clinched, open them and 
place salt in the hands. This will bring the child out of the spasm. 

4396. For convulsions, bathe the baby's feet in hot water to which plenty 
of mustard has been added. 

4.397. "I knew a woman about thirty-five years ago that had a baby and 
it was having one spasm after another. It had eleven spasms that 
day. An old woman came along and wanted to know what was 
wrong, for the woman was crying, and said, 'My baby is going to 
die.' The old woman said, T will stop that. Just take off her 
flannel skirt and turn it wrong side out, then bury the skirt.' And 
they did. And the baby never had another spasm." 

4398. Rub turpentine round a child's navel to cure a spasm. 

4399. Cure a child's spasm by placing turpentine in the left hand and on 
the left foot. 

4400. Bring a child out of a spasm by putting the feet in hot water, a 
cold cloth on the head, and a pinch of salt on the tongue. 

4401. For thrush, take equal parts of borax and sugar and sprinkle the 
throat. Thrush is frequently called "thrash." 

4402. Drop a handful of the inside of persimmon bark into a pint of 
water, boil down, strain and add sugar, and then add a small 
piece of alum. This makes a good wash for thrush. 

4403. To cure thrush : Let a man, who never saw his father, breathe into 
the baby's mouth. 

4404. Thrush can be cured by letting a woman, who never saw her 
father, breathe into the child's mouth. 

4405. As a thrush cure, rinse out the baby's mouth with its father's 
urine. 



212 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

4406. It is better for a nursing baby to have whooping cough than one 
who is already weaned. 

4407. Tea of chestnut leaves sweetened with rock candy will cure whoop- 
ing cough. 

4408. Boil chestnut tree bark into a tea and give to a child with whooping 
cough. 

4409. For a whooping cough remedy, let a child drink tea made of 
chestnut bark that has been taken from the tree as near to the 
ground as possible. 

4410. Red clover tea is very good for whooping cough. 

4411. "Take an tgg and set it in a glass, then take a lemon and squeeze 
the juice over the tgg and let set twenty-four hours. That will 
take all the shell off of the tgg. Then beat the tgg and shell good 
and give a child a teaspoonful every two hours for whooping 

cough." The woman zvJio gave this remedy had just tried it 

on her son, and she said that he zuas well within two weeks. 

4412. As a whooping cough cure, let a child drink tea made of the bark 
taken from the north side of an elm tree. 

4413. If a child has whooping cough, take it to the city "gas house" and 
carry it through the building several times. 

4414. A child can be cured of whooping cough by having a horse breathe 
into its face. 

4415. "If a child has the whooping cough real bad, take a horse and run 
it up and down the road real hard until the horse is almost out of 
breath. Then hold the child up by the horse's mouth and let the 
horse throw what little breath he has left in that child's mouth. 
Do this for three mornings and the child will get well. Seventy- 
five years ago my brother and sister had the whooping cough bad. 
And my mother run a horse up and down the road for three 
mornings, and let the horse blow its breath in their mouth. She 
said she almost killed the horse, but my sister and brother got 
well." 

4416. Squeeze the juice of two or three lemons into flaxseed tea and 
sweeten with honey. This is good for whooping cough. 

4417. To cure whooping cough, let the child drink mare's milk. 

4418. For whooping cough, mix equal parts of raw linseed oil, honey 
and whiskey : To a young baby give a teaspoonful three times a 
day, and to an older child administer a tablespoonful thrice daily. 

4419. Peach leaf tea is good for whooping cough. 

4420. Rub a wine glass of rum and half as much turpentine on the 
child's chest to cure whooping cough. 

4421. Cook sunflower seed until you have a thick liquid. Use this for 
whooping cough. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 213 

4422. A black velvet band w^om around the child's neck will prevent 
whooping cough. 

4423. Cross running water with the child who has whooping cough and 
the disease will soon be cured. 

4424. "If a child has whooping cough and you take it across a body of 
water from one state to another, it will make the case lighter." 

4425. If a child picks his nose and eats what is picked, he will have 
worms. 

4426. A child has worms, if he grits his teeth. 

4427. When a child is pale and without color, it is a sign that he has 
worms. 

4428. If a child swallows a cat hair, he will get worms. 

4429. The person who has a ringworm will die, if the ends of the ring- 
worm meet. 

4430. Worms can be eliminated from the body by eating cantaloupe. 

4431. Eating carrots every morning will cure worms. 

4432. Catnip tea is good for worms. 

4433. As a cure, rub wet cigar ashes over a ringworm. 

4434. To cure worms, take powder made from baked €^gg shells. 

4435. The juice of elderberries mixed with honey cures roundworms. 

4436. Tapeworms may be cured by taking the oil from a "male fern" 
and mixing it with a half teaspoonful of common oil. Accord- 
ing to an old colored zvoman, a male fern has a coarse leaf and 
the female fern a fine leaf. 

4427. When a green fig is pulled from a tree, several drops of milk are 
exuded by the broken stem. Rub this milk on a ringworm to kill it. 

This old remedy comes from the southern pari of the United 

States. 

4438. A good remedy for worms is to eat finely ground garlic. 

4439. Give a child a head louse in a teaspoonful of jelly to rid it of 
worms. 

4440. Dip a rag into a manure puddle and rub it over a child's stomach 
to free him from worms. 

4441. Milkweed juice will cure a ringworm. 

4442. Take onion juice for worms. They do not like the smell of onions 
and will leave. 

4443. If you eat raw potatoes, you will not have worms. 

4444. Eat pumpkin to cure worms. 

4445. Put a pound of finely chopped pumpkin seed in milk and take for 
worms. 

4446. A tapeworm can be exterminated by eating pumpkin seed. 

4447. Cure worms by drinking pumpkin seed tea. 



214 Memoirs of iJic Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

4448. Eat pumpkin seed and nothing else except milk for twenty-four 
hours, then take a dose of castor oil, and your worms will pass. 

4449. Tea made from a mixture of rhubarb and burdock roots will cure 
worms. 

4450. Treat worms by drinking tea of rue. 

4451. Sage tea will cure worms. 

4452. Rub saliva on a ringworm for nine mornings to make it disappear. 

4453. Cure ringworm by rubbing saliva in a circular motion over the 
bottom of a used kettle, while repeating: 

"Ringworm round, 

Ring^vorm red, 

Ringworm die, 

To make (name) glad." 

4454. Moisten the index finger in the mouth, ru!) it (-ver the bottom of 
a sooty pot, and then make a cross on your rmgwonn. This will 
kill the ringworm. 

4455. A tablespoonful of salt in warm water taken as an injection will 
make worms pass within two days. 

4456. As a remedy for ringworm, apply mashed shoemake (sumac) 
berries after they have been steeped in vinegar. 

4457. "Use slippery elm for worms. Makes the intestines so slippery 
the worms can't hold on." 

4458. If you have a tapeworm, do not eat for a long time; this will 
starve the tapeworm. Then chew a piece of fried "'eeisteak and 
hold it in your mouth. The hungry tapeworm will smell the steak 
and put its head up in your mouth, where you can grab its head 
and pull it out. 

4459. Place powdered sulphur on a knife and blow it into a child's 
mouth to cure worms. 

4460. A mixture of sulphur and molasses is good for worms. 

4461. To cure a ringworm, rub a thimble round it seven times. 

4462. Put tobacco leaves in a rag and pour boiling water over them. 
Then place the rag containing the tobacco on a child's navel and 
this will cure worms. 

4463. A drop of turpentine taken with a little sugar will drive out 
worms in a child. 

4464. "If a child has worms, take a teaspoonful of turpentine, half a 
teaspoonful of fresh lard. Rub right in the middle of the throat 
and rub down never up. If you do rub up, the worms will go up 
and choke the child. Rub down until you get to the navel. Then 
rub around the navel nine times for nine nights. It will kill all 
the worms." 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 215 

4465. Cure a ringworm by rubbing it with the inside of a green walnut. 

4466. A worm remedy: "God went upon an acre field, upon red acre 
land. He made three furrows and found three worms. The first 
was black, the other was white, and the third was red. Forthwith 
N N (name of patient) all worms are dead. In the Name of the 
Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Move three times with the finger 
around the navel, while pronouncing the three holiest names." 
Written contribution. 

4467. Steep yellow dock roots in vinegar and rub on a ringworm for a 
cure. 



AMPUTATIONS AND OPERATIONS 

4468. An amputated finger must be buried in the ground or the wound 
will never heal. 

4469. Always burn an amputated limb. If it is buried in the ground, 
the wound will hurt until the limb rots. 

4470. If you have any to€s or fingers removed, the others will hurt till 
the surgeon buries the amputated ones. 

4471. "I knew a man that had three fingers taken off. His hand hurt 
all the time. They took up his three fingers and straightened them 
and after that he did not have any more pain." 

4472. Eating your finger-nails will cause an operation. 

4473. Never have an operation when the sign is in the "head," "lungs" 
or "bowels ;" it will kill you. 

4474. Successful operations can be performed only when the sign is 
going down and in the "knee." 



ASTHMA-BRONCHITIS-CATARRH-HAY FEVER 

4475. Asthma may be cured by wearing a necklace of amber beads. 

4476. As a cure for asthma, soak blotting paper in saltpetre water, then 
dry and burn it in the patient's bedroom. 

4477. "If you have asthma, chestnut leaves tea is very good. Take it 
for several months and you will have wonderful success." 

4478. If a child has asthma, stand him in the chimney corner and drive 
a nail into the masonry just the height of his head. When the 
child grows higher than the nail, he will be cured. 



216 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

4479. To cure a child's asthma, bore a hole into the door jamb just level 
with his head; then place one of the child's hairs in this hole, 
cover it with putty ; and when his height exceeds that of the hole, 
he will be well. 

4480. Sleep on a pillow stuffed with hops to cure asthma. 

4481. Smoking dried mullein leaves in a pipe will cure asthma. 

4482. Place the furry side of a muskrat hide over your lungs to secure 
relief from asthmatic pains. 

4483. To smoke dried peach leaves in a pipe is good for asthma. 

4484. Cure asthma by drinking wild plum bark tea. According to 

one old woman, "The first cup will do you good." 

4485. Dry inner bark from the wild plum tree just before the blossoms 
open and make a tea of it. Drink two or three cupfuls a day for 
asthma. 

4486. If you have asthma, hide a lock of your hair in an old stump; and 
when the hair rots, the disease will be gone. 

4487. "My brother had asthma bad. My father took him out in the 
woods and stood him up against a tree, then took his knife and 
cvit a piece of the bark off and put some of my brother's hair in 
that hole; and just as soon as my brother's head was above that 
hole, he got well. My brother is a old man and he has never had 
the asthma since that." 

4488. Stand a child against an oak tree and drive three nails into the 
trunk just the height of his head; and when he grows higher than 
the nails, his asthma will be cured. 

4489. Eat garlic to cure bronchitis. 

4490. Bronchitis may be cured by drinking tea made of mule-ear leaves. 

4491. Drink mullein leaf tea for bronchitis. 

4492. Crush juniper berries and smoke them in a pipe to cure catarrh. 

4493. As a remedy for catarrh, snuff a little lemon juice mixed with 
water up your nose. 

4494. Snuff up your nose four times daily a mixture of lemon juice 
and honey for catarrh. 

4495. A good cure for catarrh is to smoke dried mullein leaves. 

4496. Smoke dried sunflower seed for catarrh. 

4497. A tea of elder roots will cure hay fever. 

4498. For hay fever, make a pillow from the leaves of life everlasting 
(cudzueed) and sleep on it. 

4499. Tea made from life everlasting leaves is good for hay fever. 

4500. Smoke dried sunflower seed as a hay fever remedy. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 217 

BITES AND STINGS 

4501. If something bites you and you think blood poisoning will develop, 
put equal parts of pulverized sassafras and slippery elm in a pan 
with enough water to cover it ; then place this in a sack and apply. 

4502. When you are stung by an insect, rub three kinds of weeds over 
the wound to prevent swelling and to assuage the pain. 

4503. A mixture of oil of sassafras and vaseline will dislodge lice from 
your head. Also rub some of it on your clothes. 

4504. To rid your head of lice, apply hot vinegar every day until the 
nits are killed. 

4505. If you get chiggers, put five drops of turpentine on a half tea- 
spoonful of sugar and eat. The chiggers will not suck your blood. 

4506. Make a cross over the mosquito bite with your finger-nail ; it will 
cease itching and disappear. 

4507. Tobacco placed on a wasp sting will prevent swelling and allay 
the pain. 

4508. Cure a bee sting by covering it with earwax. 

4509. Immediate relief from a bee sting can be secured by covering it 
with a piece of lean raw meat. 

4510. When you are stung by a bee, apply a mud poultice to check the 
swelling and to lessen the pain. 

4511. Chew plantain leaves and place them on a bee sting. 

4512. Rub a slice of onion over a bee sting to remove the pain and 
swelling. 

4513. Rub a bee sting with a mixture of yellow clay and juice from 
peppermint leaves. 

4514. A mixture of vinegar and clay applied to a bee sting will stop the 
swelling and ease the pain, 

4515. If a bee sting is covered with three leaves from three different 
kinds of weeds, swelling will be prevented and soreness removed. 

4516. When bitten by a snake, immediately suck the blood from the 
wound and spit it out. 

4517. "If a person is bitten by a snake, if they will place a string above 
the wound so as to keep the blood from circulating, and then place 
a silk handkerchief over the wound and have someone suck the 
blood out of it through the handkerchief, and have them spit it 
out, the bite will not be dangerous." Written contribution. 

4518. "If you are bitten by a snake, take a wing right off of a live 
chicken and put it to the bite and it will draw out all the poison." 

4519. Split open a young chicken and bandage the raw meat around a 
snake bite. 



218 Memoirs of flic Alma Ecjan Hyatt Foundation 

4520. "If a person gets snake bite, if someone will kill a chicken and 
split it open and put it on the bite while the chicken is still kicking, 
it will draw the poison out." 

4521. Cut a black chicken open and tie half of it about a snake bite. 

4522. If a rattlesnake bites you, crush the roots of horehound and take 
a teaspoonful as soon as possible. 

4523. Mud rubbed over a snake bite will draw out the poison. 

4524. If you have been bitten by a snake, the application of a poultice 
made by mixing salt with a handful of bruised peach leaves will 
remove the inflammation. 

4525. Plantain leaf juice rubbed on a snake bite is a good remedy. 
Indian. 

4526. To cure a snake bite, go to a thorn bush and pick oiT a few of its 
leaves. Mash these leaves and apply. 

4527. A chew of tobacco laid on a snake bite will effect a cure. 

4528. Binding a leaf of natural tobacco round a snake bite will cure it. 

4529. A snake bite can be cured by drinking whiskey until you are 
drunk. 

4530. Immediately kill the snake that has bitten you, and wrap it around 
the wound. The bite will not cause any trouble. 

4531. "If a rattlesnake bites you, kill the snake right away and cut it 
open and put the insides on your bite, and your bite will never 
hurt you." 

4532. The hair of the dog that bit you is good for its bite. 

4533. Cure a dog bite by cutting off some of the hair from his tail and 
binding it over the wound. 

4534. When a dog bites you, rub some of his hair over the wound to 
prevent blood poisoning. 

4535. If a dog goes mad after biting someone, that person will also go 
mad. To avert this, kill the dog at once. 

4536. A person becomes mad on the ninth day after he is bitten by a 
mad dog. 

4537. To cure the bite of a mad dog, use a madstone. 

4538. If you are bitten by a dog, take the precaution of touching a mad- 
stone. You will not go mad, even if the dog does. 

4539. "If a person is bitten by a mad dog, if they will get the person to 
a madstone and put the stone on the bite, it will draw all the 
poison out. And if the dog was not mad, the stone will fall off. 
And if he was, the stone will stay on until it has drew all the 
poison out." Written contribution. 

4540. A madstone, according to an old farmer who once saw one used, 
is grey and resembles a hog kidney. Years ago someone living 
near him had been bitten by a mad dog, and the owner of a mad- 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 219 

stone was called in to work the cure; which he began by putting 
his madstone against the bite, where it stuck for a long time like 
a magnet and could not be removed. This signified, said the 
operator, that the madstone was sucking out the poison; further, 
as soon as it was thoroughly saturated, it would drop off the 
wound. Thus the madstone eventually let loose, and he placed it 
in a crock of milk which turned grey immediately. This process 
of administering the madstone and then dipping it into the milk 
was repeated seven times. When it was applied for the eighth 
time, it no longer adhered, indicating that all the poison had been 
extracted ; but to make certain, the healer asked for another crock 
of milk and swished the madstone in it as a final test. The milk 
remained white. 

4541. "A blue gum negro is very dangerous. It is just too bad for you 
if he should bite you." 

4542. The bite of a blue-gummed negro is poisonous. 



BLADDER TROUBLE-DIABETES-KIDNEY AFFLICTIONS 

4543. Boil one ounce of barberry leaves in a pint of water and use for 
chronic diseases of the bladder. 

4544. As a cure for bladder complaint, take thrice daily a glassful of 
tea made from hops. 

4545. Horse-radish tea will cure an afflicted bladder. 

4546. Let a person, who is unable to urinate, drink tea of juniper berries. 

4547. Tea made from pumpkin seed is good for bladder trouble. 

4548. Drink alfalfa tea to cure diabetes. 

4549. For diabetes, fry a piece of meat in an envelope, and then eat 
the meat when browned. 

4550. Diabetes can be cured by bathing in salt water. 

4551. Drinking sauerkraut juice will cure diabetes. 

4552. Stew a hive of bees and feed the broth to anyone suffering with 
kidney trouble. 

4553. As a remedy for kidney trouble, keep a peeled carrot in your 
pocket and take a bite of it occasionally. 

4554. Cook either the stems or leaves of "cheeseweed" and take for 
kidney trouble. 

4555. Kidney trouble may be cured by drinking a tea of crowfoot roots. 

4556. Place six egg shells in a cup of boiling water and cook for ten 
minutes. Take this liquid for kidney trouble. 

4557. Drink the urine of a goat for a kidney complaint. 



220 Memoirs of the Ahna Egan Hyatt Foundation 

4558. "If you have kidney trouble, go out in your back yard. You must 
get right back of the house and dig three little holes in the ground, 
then blow your breath in each hole and cover them up again. 

You will get well." Some people say that you are not to 

blow into the three holes at the same time; hut into the first and 
fill it, then into the second while filling the first, and finally into 
the third as the second is being filled. 

4559. Horsemint tea is a good remedy for kidney trouble. 

4560. Treat kidney trouble by taking tea made from juniper berries. 

4561. Eat liver frequently to cure kidney trouble. 

4562. Cure kidney trouble by drinking tea made from a mixture of dried 
mullein and smartweed. 

4563. Tea made of orange peelings is a good remedy for kidney trouble. 

4564. Kidney trouble can be cured by taking a cupful of parsley tea 
each night before going to bed. 

4565. A good remedy for kidney trouble is peach leaf tea. 

4566. Tea made from the leaves of a "male peach tree" will cure kidney 
trouble. Upon asking this old negro woman what a "male peach 
tree" was, she said, "When you have a peach tree that is always 
full of bloom and the blossoms drop off and you have no fruit, 
that is a male tree. The female tree always has fruit on it, if 
it blooms." 

4567. Take pills made of pine pitch for kidney trouble. 

4568. As a remedy for kidney trouble, carry a potato in your pocket. 

4569. A tea of plantain leaves will cure kidney trouble. 

4570. For kidney trouble, drink tea made of plantain seed. 

4571. Tea from watermelon seed is good for kidney trouble, especially 
if the patient is unable to pass water. 

4572. Kidney trouble can be cured by taking a tea made of wild carrot 
roots. 



BLOOD TROUBLES-BLOODPOISONING-BLEEDING 
HEMORRHAGE-CUTS 

4573. For bad blood, drink burdock root tea. 

4574. "Raw cabbage chopped fine and mixed with salt, pepper, vinegar 
and sugar, and eaten once a day, is the finest thing to take down 
high blood pressure." 

4575. Take daily a cupful of tea made from red clover blossoms and 
alfalfa hay. This will reduce high blood pressure. 

4576. A good drink for the blood is the liquid from three inches of 
flaxseed soaked in a quart jar of water. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 221 

4577. To check high blood pressure, drink three cupfuls of garhc tea 
daily for three days, and on the fourth day begin to eat a garlic 
each day for five days. Repeat this alternate process of drinking 
garlic tea and eating garlic until well. 

4578. Drink grape juice to make blood. 

4579. To purify the blood, drink twice daily a tea made of hops. 

4580. If you eat too much meat, you will have high blood pressure. 

4581. Take molasses and sulphur to thin the blood. 

4582. Too much nutmeg eaten by a person will dry up the blood. 

4583. Tea from white oak bark makes a good spring tonic. 

4584. Eating too much pepper will dry up the blood. 

4585. A very good tonic can be made during the spring by cooking poke 
roots with greens. 

4586. Blood may be purified by eating raisins. 

4587. In the spring thin your blood by drinking sassafras tea boik'd 
either from the bark or the roots. 

4588. To cool the blood, either tie a cold rag around or let cold water 
run over the left wrist. 

4589. It causes high blood pressure to drink at night water that has been 
standing in a pail. You should always draw fresh water, but if 
you must use the standing water, shake it well before drinking. 

4590. Treat high blood pressure by drinking tea made of watermelon 
seed. 

4591. "Take wild cherry bark and white oak bark and boil together; 
makes the best tonic there is in the spring." 

4592. Blood poisoning never attacks a cut made in your foot while 
swimming during the first ten days of August. 

4593. To cure blood poisoning, use a poultice of beets. 

4594. Apply a bread and milk poultice for blood poisoning. 

4595. Blood poisoning can be cured by using chamomile tea as a wash. 

4596. "If you have blood poison, take one cup of corn meal, one table- 
spoonful of baking soda, one teaspoonful of salt, a handful of 
peach leaves ; put the leaves in a pint of boiling water, let boil, then 
strain and add the rest and apply to the poison." 

4597. Scratch a bite or scab with your finger-nails and you will get 
blood poisoning. 

4598. Boil a tablespoonful of Epsom salts and ten cents worth of cedar 
oil in a quart of water. Rub this liquid on blood poisoning for 
a cure. 

4599. Treat blood poisoning by applying a poultice of crushed live- 
forever leaves. 

4600. "My arm was bad with blood poison and I mashed plantain leaves 



222 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

and put one layer after another on my arm, and let stay overnight, 
and the next day again ; and my arm got well in no time." 

4601. Cure blood poisoning by drinking slippery elm tea. 

4602. Poultice blood poisoning with sugar and soap as a remedy. 

4603. Rub turpentine and salt on blood poisoning to effect a cure. 

4604. Apply dusty cobwebs to stop the bleeding and to heal the wound. 

4605. The lining of an egg placed on a cut will check the flow of blood. 

4606. Bleeding may be stopped by putting some browned flour on the 
wound. 

4607. A paste of flour and vinegar applied to a cut will arrest the bleed- 
ing. 

4608. "One day a man was out in the field cutting corn and he cut his 
leg with the corn knife, and he stuck the knife right down in the 
ground and his leg stopped bleeding." 

4609. "I stepped on a tack in the yard. I pulled it right out of my foot 
and stuck the tack in the ground and it stopped bleeding right 
away." 

4610. Use ink to stop a bleeding. 

4611. A cut made during the dark of the moon will not bleed much. 

4612. If you cut yourself in the light of the moon, the wound will bleed 
profusely. 

4613. It causes bad luck to draw blood during the full moon. 

4614. Bleeding can be stopped by poulticing the cut with dried sage 
leaves. 

4615. Check the bleeding of a sore by placing salt on it. 

4616. Tie a snake skin on a cut and the flow of blood will stop im- 
mediately. 

4617. Soot from a chimney rubbed on a wound will arrest the flow of 
blood. This method is seldom used because it is said to leave a 
black scar. 

4618. Cover a cut with sugar to stop the bleeding. 

4619. A cut can be kept from bleeding by applying brown sugar. 

4620. To stop the bleeding, hold wet tea leaves to a cut. 

4621. Do not draw blood on Thursday or you will have bad luck. 

4622. Bind a leaf of natural tobacco (or a piece of chewing tobacco or 
a chew of tobacco) round a cut. This will check the bleeding and 
act as a disinfectant. 

4623. Vinegar in water will stop a bleeding, even if an artery is severed. 

4624. Repeat the following to check a bleeding : "Upon Christ's grave 
three lilies grow. The first is named youth, the other virtue's truth, 
the third Subue (?). Stop blood. In the Name of the Father, 
Son and Holy Ghost." Written contribution. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 223 

4625. To make a bleeding cease, say the following : "Blessed is the day 
on which Christ was born, blessed is the day on which Christ died, 
blessed the day on which Jesus Christ arose from the dead. These 
are holy three hours. By these N N (name of patient), I stop 
thy blood. Thy sores shall neither swell nor fester, no more shall 
that happen, than that the Virgin Mary will bear another son. 
In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost." Written con- 
tribution. 

4626. Check a hemorrhage by laying an axe under the patient's bed. 

4627. Treat a bad cut by rubbing it with charcoal. 

4628. If you cut yourself in the sign of the "heart," the pain caused by 
the wound will be greater. 

4629. "In order to disinfect a cut or wound and to ensure its healing, 
the instrument must be greased. A man who lived next door to 
us many years ago cut his foot with an axe. He was given medical 
attention, but for good measure the family greased the axe head 
and laid it away carefully. If the axe had rusted the wound would 
not have healed." Written contribution. 

4630. Mix a half pound of lard, one fourth pound of beeswax and a 
fourth pound of resin. This makes a good salve for cuts (or 
burns). 

4631. Disinfect and heal a cut by washing it with mullein leaf tea. 

4632. When you cut yourself with a piece of tin, the wound will heal 
if you bury the tin in the ground. 



BLISTER-CHAFING-ITCH-PRICKLY HEAT 

4633. "I had a bad fever blister several weeks ago and I took the saliva 
on my finger, then some of my earwax, and rubbed on it; and it 
cured the fever blister right away." 

4634. "If you kiss a girl too much, you will have fever blisters; but the 
girl won't have any at all, because the heat from the girl will come 
to you." Written contribution. 

4635. Carry a piece of alum in your pocket to prevent galling. 

4636. Avoid chafing by keeping bitterweed in your pocket. 

4637. You will never be chafed, if "dogweed" leaves are kept in your 
pocket. 

4638. "We went and planted several elderberry bushes in our back 
yard so we could get the leaves in the summer so we could carry 
them in our pockets to keep from getting galled." 

4639. If you are galled, apply browned flour. 

4640. To prevent being chafed, keep grape leaves in your pocket. 



224 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt foundation 

4641. You will not be galled if you carry mullein leaves in your hip 
pocket. 

4642. "In winter if you will rub a little mutton tallow on the baby every 
time you change its diaper, your baby will never be galled." 

4643. If you wash in cold water and never wipe, you will not be galled. 

4644. To cure chafing, use wheat dust. 

4645. If you step on the ground where cows wet, you will get ground 
itch, that is, your toes will crack. 

4646. "Salve for itching hands : Take meadow rue, boil in olive oil, mix 
a little beeswax therewith, so that is becomes a salve. Grease the 
hands with it and soon they will be all well." 

4647. As a cure for itch, wash in tea of poke roots. 

4648. If a baby has itch, roll him in sulphur and lard. 

4649. Sulphur and molasses is good for itch. Swallow some and rub 
some on the place that itches. 

4650. "Ointment for cure of itch : Take green corn or broom seed, press 
the sap therefrom, boil it in the same manner mush is cooked, 
and add five cents worth of sulphur and a quarter pound of lard. 
Rub the body with it every night." 

4651. Put twelve walnut leaves in a quart of water and boil down to a 
pint, then strain and add a teaspoonful of sulphur; and use this as 
a wash for itch. 

4652. Ground itch can be cured by tying yarn around your toes. 

4653. To stop an itching toe, tie a yarn string around it. 

4654. To cure toe itch, hold your toes under a cow while she is relieving 
herself and let the urine run over them. 

4655. Prickly heat can be cured by rubbing it with crushed elder leaves. 

4656. "If a person has prickly heat, if they will take a wash rag and 
dip it in vinegar and wring it out and rub it over the places, it 
will make the person cool and also kill the prickly heat." 



BOWEL TROUBLE-CONSTIPATION-DIARRHEA 
PERITONITIS 

4657. Take three spoonfuls of apple vinegar thrice daily to regulate 
the waste of the body. 

4658. "My mother would always make a jarful of light bread biscuits 
on Good Friday and whenever any child in the neighborhood 
would get the summer complaint, my mother would take one of 
these biscuits and grate it up real fine like powder and give to 
the child, and they would get over the bowel trouble." 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 225 

4659. Drink bonesetweed (honeset) tea as a laxative. 

4660. Tea made from the bark of a butternut tree is a fine laxative and 
does not cause griping. 

4661. To treat bowel trouble in a child, bathe his stomach with a mixture 
of catnip tea, fresh butter and sugar. 

4662. Take tea made of hops for bowel trouble. 

4663. If you swallow a hair, you will have inflammation of the bowels. 

4664. To cure inflammation of the bowels caused by swallowing a hair, 
eat a herring and then take a dose of castor oil. 

4665. For inflammation of the bowels, drink kale soup. 

4666. Tea of "mule-ear" leaves is good for loose bowels. 

4667. Tea made of the bark from the east side of a peach tree is a good 
laxative. 

4668. Brown plantain seed on the stove and make a tea from them to 
stop running off of the bowels. 

4669. As a laxative, eat sauce made from the stems or drink tea boiled 
from the roots of the rhubarb plant. 

4670. For bowel trouble: Take a tablespoonful of salt, a teaspoonful of 
black pepper, two inches of cider vinegar in a glass, and then fall 
the glass with water and stir. Use a teaspoonful every twenty 
minutes until well. 

4671. When taking a tea for a laxative, add sugar and you will never 
gripe. 

4672. To make a mild cathartic, slice turnips, sprinkle with sugar and 
let them stand overnight. 

4673. Walnut leaf tea is good for bowel trouble. 

4674. Catnip tea is an excellent remedy for constipation in children. 

4675. Eat corn meal mixed with cold water to cure constipation. 

4676. Constipation may be cured by eating oatmeal. 

4677. Drink thrice daily a tea made from peach tree leaves for constipa- 
tion. 

4678. Take blackberry cordial for diarrhea. 

4679. Cure diarrhea by using tea from blackberry roots. 

4680. Diarrhea can be checked by eating a teaspoonful of powdered 
white chalk. 

4681. Eat a pinch of powdered tgg shells to stop a severe attack of 
diarrhea. 

4682. To prevent diarrhea during a baby's second summer, keep a piece 
of flannel over its navel. 

4683. Cook flour in water to a heavy paste and administer for diarrhea.. 

4684. Brown some flour and take a tablespoonful of it to stop diarrhea. 

4685. Three teaspoonfuls of flour, one fourth teaspoonful of pepper and 
enough water to make a paste, will cure diarrhea. 



226 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

4686. Diarrhea may be checked by chewing ironweed. 

4687. Boil an ounce of the root, bark or leaves of meadowsweet in one 
pint of water. Two tablespoon fuls of this liquid administered 
three times a day will cure diarrhea in children. 

4688. "Mule-tail" leaf tea is very good for diarrhea or "summer com- 
plaint." 

4689. Chew "mule-tail" leaves to cure diarrhea. 

4690. Mix a half teaspoonful of grated nutmeg and a half teaspoonful 
of flour in water and give to a child for diarrhea. 

4691. Drink a tea made from the inner bark of an oak tree to cure 
diarrhea. 

4692. Scrape upwards, never downwards, on a peach tree ; and take a tea 
made of these scrapings for diarrhea. 

4693. For diarrhea or "summer complaint," steep a handful of pepper- 
grass in a pint of boiling water and take a teaspoonful with each 
meal. 

4694. Boil plantain seed in milk and administer for diarrhea. 

4695. Diarrhea can be cured by drinking quince seed tea. 

4696. Chew ragweed leaves to check diarrhea. 

4697. "Take ragweed leaves, pull the leaves up from the stem, never 
down, and put the leaves in a bowl. Pour boiling water over them. 
After it stands half an hour, strain and sweeten; and give a baby 
a teaspoonful every few hours. It is very good for the diarrhea. 
We lived out in the country years ago and could not get a doctor. 
Our baby spoiled fifteen diapers in one hour. We thought she was 
going to die. Someone told us about the ragweed leaves tea and 
we gave it to her. It saved her life." 

4698. Tea made of raspberry leaves is a good remedy for diarrhea. 

4699. To cure diarrhea in a child, give it a tea made from the new 
sprouts of a black raspberry plant. 

4700. Diarrhea may be cured by drinking tea made of rhubarb roots. 

4701. Soak slippery elm in water and take this liquid to cure diarrhea. 

4702. Eat cinnamon to check diarrhea. 

4703. To cure diarrhea in a child, let it drink milk to which ground nut- 
meg has been added. 

4704. "Take five cents worth of allspice, cloves, and about four pieces 
of cinnamon bark, and a cup and a half of water. Boil like tea. 
Take a tablespoonful after each meal for diarrhea." 

4705. Take smartweed tea for diarrhea. 

4706. Remove the alcohol from whiskey by burning it, then sweeten and 
drink for diarrhea. 

4707. W^ild alumroot (alumroot) tea is very good for diarrhea. 

4708. Diarrhea can be cured by drinking witch-hazel bark tea. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 227 

4709. "Chicken grass" tea will cure the last stages of flux. 

4710. Flux can be cured by eating the yolks of hard-boiled eggs. 

4711. "R. told me a man was very sick out on Thirty-second and State 
Street years ago with peritonitis. His wife went out and stood 
behind the horse and caught the fresh droppings in her apron, 
squeezed out the juice, and gave it to her husband to drink. He 
got well. This is true, because they know the people." Written 
contribution. 



BACKACHE-BEDSORE-BRUISE-BURN 

FELON-INFLAMMATION-PAIN-SIDEACHE 

SORE-SORE LIP AND MOUTH-SPLINTER 

STIFF NECK-SWELLING-LACERATED VEIN-WHITLOW 

4712. "I had the backache one time so bad I could not lay down or do 
anything. I went out to a farmhouse and stood behind the cows 
and caught a bucketful of the fresh manure and took it home. 
That night I took two towels and put that manure in it and put it 
around my back. I sit up all night in a chair with that manure on 
my back and the next day my pain was gone. It is an old remedy 
but it is better than any doctor can do for you." 

4713. Wear an eelskin around your waist for lumbago. 

4714. As a remedy for backache, drink horse-radish tea. 

4715. A pine-resin plaster will cure backache. 

4716. Heat salt or sand, then place it in a bag and apply to the back for 
lumbago. 

4717. Bathe the back with coal oil; then heat salt until it is brown and 
bandage the salt on the back, leaving it there for two or three 
days. This will cure lumbago. 

4718. To cure lumbago, pour a teaspoonful of turpentine into a quart of 
water. Soak a rag in this liquid, then spread the rag over the back 
and iron it dry. 

4719. For a pain in the back, rub it with the following mixture: Five 
cents worth of old sweet oil, a small quantity of voboilium, sperm 
oil and bayberry oil. 

4720. Lay an axe beneath the bed of a sick person and he will not get 
bedsores. 

4721. Prevent bedsores by putting a pail or tub full of old iron under 
the patient's bed. 

4722. Place a pan of water beneath a patient's bed to keep him from 
having bedsores. 



228 Memoirs of the Alnia Egan Hyatt Foundation 

4723. A bruise, cut or open sore should be covered with grated carrots. 

4724. Kiss a bruise or bump to make it well. 

4725. Put mashed live-forever leaves on a bruise. 

4726. To cure a bruise, apply the smooth side of f>each tree leaves. 

4727. Poultice a bruised finger with crushed plantain leaves. 

4728. Bathe a bruise with vinegar and it will not turn black and blue. 

4729. If you burn the bandage that has been wrapped around a burn 
or sore, the wound will never heal. The bandage must be buried. 

4730. "A man has got to tell this to a woman, or a woman to a man. 
A man told it to me. If you burn yourself, blow on it real easy 
and hold your breath while repeating this and say, 'Blow in frost 
and come out fire.' You must say this nine times and the burn 
will not hurt." 

4731. "Repeat the following three times for bums: Away burns, undo 
the hand; if cold or warm, cease the hand. God save thee N N 
(name of the person), thy flesh, thy blood, thy marrow, thy bone 
and all thy veins. They all shall be saved, for warm and cold 
reign. In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost." Written 
contribution. 

4732. "Mrs. O's neighbor had a little girl and one day she fell against 
the stove and burnt her hand very bad, and the mother couldn't 
stop the child from crying, and she thought she was going to go 
in convulsions. So she brought her over to Mrs. T. to see if she 
could quiet her any ; and some man was delivering coal to Mrs. T, 
and asked what was the matter with the little girl, and she told 
him. He said, *I can make her stop crying if her mother wants 
me to.' So he mumbled a few words over the child's hands and 
Mrs. T. said the child stopped crying instantly. Mrs. T. asked 
him what he said, and he said he couldn't tell anyone; if he did 
tell, he would lose the power of healing all burns." Written 
contribution. 

4733. "My sister could take out a burn on your body. She would make 
a cross over the burn, then say, 'In the Name of the Father, Son 
and Holy Ghost' and it would come out." 

4734. Bruised century plant leaves are ver}' good for a burn, 

4735. When you burn your finger, touch the soft part of your ear and 
this will remove the soreness immediately. 

4736. A flaxseed poultice will take the inflammation out of a burn. 

4737. Place the smooth side of peach tree leaves on a burn. 

4738. Grated onions will remove "the fever" from a burn. 

4739. Rub a burn with a peeled potato to take out the inflammation. 

4740. If you burn your finger, put it in your mouth. This is known as 
"sucking out" a burn. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 229 

4741. A poultice of tea leaves will cure a bum. 

4742. "If you have a felon coming on your finger, take the small end of 
a fresh egg, break it open on the end, put your finger in it as far 
as possible, leave your finger in the egg until it begins to feel 
warm, then take it out. Repeat six tirnes, using a fresh tgg every 
time, and your felon will leave." 

4743. Poultice a felon with jimson weed leaves. 

4744. As a cure for a felon, apply a slice of lemon. 

4745. "Take fresh ox gall, boil it, and apply as warm as one can bear 
it by dipping the finger therein, and keep it there until it becomes 
cold. Thus the felon or worm dies soon." Written contribution. 

4746. A poultice of mashed peach tree leaves is very good for felons. 

4747. Cure a felon by tying a "hop-toad" on it. 

4748. Blow tobacco smoke on a felon to relieve the pain. 

4749. Tobacco spit is good for a felon. 

4750. Take a small live frog from a spring and tie it on your felon, and 
leave it there several hours. The frog will die and the felon will 
become well. 

4751. Keep sliced balsams in whiskey and tie a piece of this balsam on 
an inflammation for a cure. 

4752. Poultice an inflammation, sore or wound with crushed beet leaves. 

4753. To cure an inflammation, apply cabbage leaves. 

4754. Use a poultice of dog fennel for the inflammation in a sore. 

4755. To heal an inflammation, cover it with mashed grape leaves. 

4756. The application of bruised jimson weed is good for an inflam- 
mation. , 

4757. Treat an inflammation by rubbing it with rabbit fat. 

4758. Whenever you have a pain, never rub up, but always rub down 
so that the pain will pass out through the hands or feet. 

4759. Cook soup beans and make a poultice of them for pains. 

4760. Lessen a pain by applying a poultice of ground flaxseed. 

4761. Pain can be eased by using a hot mush poultice. 

4762. For pains, use a salve made of turpentine, camphor and lard. 

4763. To cure "side-ache," pick up a clod of dirt, spit on the underside, 
and restore the clod to its original position. 

4764. The cloth with which you wipe a sore must always be burned. If 
you wash the cloth, the sore will not heal. 

4765. Apply a piece of bacon to a sore or wound and it will prevent 
blood poisoning. 

4766. Blackberry leaf tea, used as a wash or applied with a bandage, 
will stop a running sore. 

4767. To cure an "inflammation sore," cut open a black chicken and 
apply. 



230 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

4768. If a woman has a bad sore, she should rub the hand of a dead man 
over it, saying, "In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost 

take this sore away." A man who has a bad sore must use 

the hand of a dead woman and repeat the same words. 

4769. Cure a sore by letting a dog lick it. 

4770. Work honey, the older the better, into rosin. This salve is good 
for a sore or a scald. 

4771. Take a piece of lard the size of a bean, melt it, add the yolk of an 
egg and some saffron, and stir well together. This salve will heal 
open sores. 

4772. "If you have an open sore, nothing is better than putting on sor- 
ghum molasses." 

4773. A poultice made of plantain leaves is good for a sore. 

4774. A sore may be cured by applying a slippery elm bark poultice. 

4775. Stepping on a dead snake will make sores break out on your 
fingers. 

4776. To heal a sore on the toe, tie a yarn string around it. 

4777. Treat a sore by covering it with a wad of tobacco. 

4778. "If you have sores on your head, wash your head with chamber 
lye. Years ago we had a boy in our neighborhood and his head was 
just full of sores, and they could not find anything to get the 
sores well. One morning this boy was standing near a window 
and a neighbor, not seeing him, threw the chamber out the window 
and it went all over the top of this boy's head. And the sores got 
well right away," 

4779. Use a poultice of vinegar and yellow clay on a sore to prevent 
blood poisoning. 

4780. Sore lips may be cured by washing them with a strong tea of 
white oak bark. 

4781. To cure chapped lips, rub a finger behind your ears and then rub 
your lips with the same finger. 

4782. Wiping your mouth with a dish rag will give you hairy lips. 

4783. I f you have a sore mouth or gums, chew the leaves of a soft maple 
tree. 

4784. To make a wash for sore mouth, boil peach bark, honey and alum 
together. 

4785. Quince seed tea is good for a sore mouth. 

4786. "I know a woman that had her mouth full of canker sores and 
they heat chicken droppings and gave it to her through a straw 
and she got well." 

4787. If there is a splinter in your hand and you are unable to remove it, 
apply a piece of bacon and this will draw out the splinter. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 231 

4788. "My daughter got a splinter in her foot. About a month after 
that, inflammation set in. I took her to the doctor. He could find 
nothing wrong. A friend told me about the mashed beet tops 
poultice. I put it on her foot that day. The next day a splinter 
about one eighth of an inch came out." 

4789. Bury the splinter which you have extracted from your foot and 
the wound will not become infected. 

4790. When you have a splinter or thorn, poultice it with a mixture of 
crushed carrots and honey, and this will draw out the splinter or 
thorn and also soothe the pain. 

4791. If a splinter is under your finger-nail and you are not able to pull 
it out, keep your finger wrapped in a cold water bandage. This 
will loosen the spHnter. 

4792. For a crick in your neck, rub it on a tree against which a hog has 
rubbed itself, and the crick will leave. 

4793. To cure a stiff neck, lay a piece of blanket over it, then iron down 
on the blanket and the pain will go out through your elbow. If 
you do not iron down, the stiffness will spread through your whole 
body. 

4794. Keep a woolen string around the neck to prevent cramps in the 
neck. 

4795. Mix five cents worth of anise seed, oil of turpentine and oil of 
juniper. Stir well and use this ointment on a swelling to make it 
disappear. 

4796. To reduce a swelling, make chamomile tea, drink some and use the 
remainder as a poultice. A woman said that her husband had a 
swollen arm, which the surgeon decided to remove. The day 
before the operation she finally persuaded her husband to try the 
chamomile remedy. In the morning the swelling had decreased to 
such an extent that an amputation was unnecessary. 

4797. A poultice of fresh clay is good for swellings and inflammation. 

4798. Apply fresh cow manure to reduce a swelling. 

4799. A swelling can be reduced by using a salve made of wheat flour, 
eggs, saffron and vinegar. 

4800. Mash wild geranium leaves and vines; then place in a bag and 
put on a swelling to reduce it. 

4801. Press a knife against a swelling to reduce it and to prevent dis- 
coloration. 

4802. To reduce a swelling caused by a bump, hold a silver or steel 
knife against it. 

4803. For a lump or bump, first put butter on it and then apply a knife. 

4804. Reduce a swollen ankle by rubbing it with hot lard. 

4805. Put vinegar on mullein leaves and apply to a swelling or bruise. 



232 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

4806. Brown paper soaked in vinegar will reduce a swelling. 

4807. Scrape a parsnip and bind the scrapings on a "white swelling" to 
reduce it. 

4808. Reduce a lump or swelling on your arm by holding a silver spoon 
against it. 

4809. A swelling may be reduced by bathing it in your own urine. 

4810. To reduce a swelling repeat the following: "Blissful be the day, 
bhssf ul be that hour when thou will neither be smitten with swell- 
ing or boil, till the Virgin Mary with another son will toil. In 
the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost." Written coti^ 
trihiiiion. 

4811. If a vein is cut or torn, mash some "cart worms" and tie them 
over the wound ; and on the fourth day the vein will heal without 
any pain. 

4812. For varicose veins, apply tea made from sheep sorrel. 

4813. Apply a paste of gunpowder and vinegar to cure a ring-around 
(xvhitlozv). 

4814. Burn a piece of writing paper in a saucer and add one drop of 
water to the ashes. Rub this paste on a run-around (tvhitlow) and 
it will soon be cured. 

4815. Bandage a green walnut hull on a run-around and it will get well. 



CHOKING AND SWALLOWING 

4816. When a person is choking, a violent slap between the shoulders 
with the open hand will effect a dislodgment. 

4817. Raise a baby's left hand over its head, if it is choking. 

4818. To cure choking, let the patient chase a cow until he is tired. 

4819. If a baby swallows anything, turn it upside down and the object 
will drop out of its mouth. 

4820. Years ago a man swallowed a cat hair. He became so emaciated 
that Ills friends suspected tuberculosis. Old Dr. X. of Quincy 
treated the ailment for a long time, but it did not seem to improve. 
Finally the doctor's wife, who felt sorry for the patient, asked 
her husband why he could not cure him. Dr. X. answered, "That's 
the way I make my living. I could easily cure the man if I wanted 
to. All he would have to do is to eat a whole herring, head and 
all, and he would get well." It so happened that the maid over- 
heard this conversation, and also knowing the patient, she told 
him what to do. The man ate a whole herring and soon recovered. 

4821. "If a mother knows that her child has swallowed a hair, give them 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 233 

all the mashed potatoes and butter they can eat. then the next day 
olive oil; and the hair will come with the potatoes the next day. 
I knew a woman that her child was sick for almost a year. The 
doctor could not even find out what was wrong. I said to her one 

day, 'Maybe your child has a hair' and told her about the 

mashed potatoes. So this mother gave her child the potatoes and 
oil, and in several days when the potatoes passed, it was just full 
of hair. The child got well after that." 

4822. One must be careful when drinking at a spring, because a young 
snake or snake egg might be swallowed ; and it will grow in the 
stomach. As a remedy, the person should not eat or drink for 
some time, then hold his head over water or milk ; and the starved 
and thirsty snake will come out through the victim's mouth. 

4823. If you swallow a snake, eat ivy and salt; then walk three miles, 
and the snake will pass from you. 

4824. Years ago a girl's stomach began to increase in size. It grew 
larger and larger. Finally the doctor operated, and he removed a 
large snake. 

CHILLS 

4825. To cure "dumb chills." take a piece of alum the size of the little 
finger tip. 

4826. If a person has chills, set an axe under his bed with the cutting 
edge pointing upward at the patient. This will cure him. 

4827. Wear camphor gum around your neck to prevent chills. 

4828. Sitting in the sun and looking at a yellow caterpillar will give 
you chills. 

4829. A tea of corncobs is good for chills. 

4830. Always soak cucumbers in salt water before using them and they 
will never cause chills. 

4831. If you place a yellow cucumber out in the sun and then sit back 
in the shade to watch it, you will get chills. 

4832. Keep a cyclamen plant in the house and you will have chills. 

4833. Squeeze the juice of a half lemon into a beaten egg and let it 
stand overnight, then add three tablespoonfuls of whiskey. Drink 
this liquid and lie in bed for twenty minutes. Repeat the process 
for three mornings and it will break up your chills. 

4834. Treat chills by taking a tablespoonf ul of powdered egg shells three 
times a day. 

4835. Boil the green bark of the elder in milk and drink for chills. 

4836. You can cure chills, if you drink every morning a cupful of tea 
made from hops. 



234 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

4837. To break up chills, take Jamaica ginger and gin twice a day for 
three days. 

4838. A strong tea made of jimson weed seed will cure chills. 

4839. "My husband had the chills and he wrote on a piece of paper, 'I 
want to get well.' Then he folded it up and took it to a oak tree 
in the woods, and took a piece of bark off and put the paper 
against the tree, and put mud over the bark to hold it in place. 
My husband got well and the tree died." 

4840. Pieplant (rhubarb) roots in whiskey is a good remedy for chills. 

4841. Keep salt in your shoes to cure chills. 

4842. Sassafras tea is good for chills. 

4843. Bake sheep lice and put them in jelly. Eat the jelly and it will 
cure chills. 

4844. Chills may be cured by drinking tea made of sheep droppings. 

4845. Ague can be cured by taking a plunge into cold water. 

4846. A plunge into cold water will cure "three days chills." 

4847. Your chills will be gone by morning, if you set a pan of water 
under the bed. 

4848. Wild cherry bark in whiskey will cure chills. 

4849. Cure chills by drinking willow bark tea. It is necessary that the 
bark be scraped downwards from the tree and not upwards. 

4850. "My sister had the chills years ago and she took a cup of salt and 
went down to this creek that goes through South Park now (this 
was before the creation of the present park) and stood on the bank 
with her back to the water and throw this salt over her shoulder 
into the creek, saying in the three highest names (In the Name of 
the Father, Son and Holy Ghost), and she got well." 



COLD-COUGH-DIPHTHERIA-INFLUENZA 
SORE THROAT 

4851. "Feed a cold and starve a fever." 

4852. The person who removes his flannels on the 1st of May will not 
catch a cold. 

4853. "My father would always make us go barefooted on the first day 
of May. He did not care how cold it was. He would make us so 
we would not have a cold that year." 

4854. Wear a small sack of salt tied around your neck and you will not 
have a cold all winter. 

4855. If you are caught in a rain, never change your wet clothes and 
you will not take a cold. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 235 

4856. If you are out driving at night and go through an alley, you are 
certain to catch a cold. 

4857. Burn alcohol and drink the residue for a cold. 

4858. "Take and cook balsam with enough water to cover it. Put 
through a rag. Then take cup for cup of the balsam juice and 
sugar, just like jelly, and cook twenty minutes. Then put up in 
glasses and bottles. In the winter, if you have a very bad cold, 
take three tablespoonfuls, half a lemon juice, and put in a cup of 
hot water and drink. It will cure any cold. I keep balsam jelly 
in the house all the time." 

4859. Boneset weed tea is very good for a cold. Indian. 

4860. "Take strong brandy and dip a soft cloth into it and wet the soles 
of the feet mornings and evenings and the cold will go away." 

4861. "To cure a cold, take eight or ten drops of camphor on sugar 
every two hours until better. Two or three doses will cure as 
a rule." 

4862. Catnip tea is good for colds. 

4863. As a remedy for a cold, drink red clover tea. 

4864. Take a teaspoonful of coal oil and a little sugar to cure a cold. 

4865. "Take dandelion roots and leaves, and white clover and red clover, 
and make a tea. Very good for colds. I always keep dandelion roots 
and leaves, and white clover and red, dry in a bag ; and whenever 
anyone in the family gets a cold, I always make tea, and it sure 
does help them." 

4866. A cold can be cured by drinking tea made of dr}- elder blossoms. 

4867. Tea made of elderberries will cure a cold. 

4868. For a cold or fever, drink a strong tea made from a mixture of 
elder blossoms and pennyroyal. 

4869. "If you have a cold, eat garlic. We always do when we have a cold 
and find it very good." 

4870. A good remedy for a cold is ginger tea. 

4871. Rub downwards with goose grease, first on the chest, then in the 
palms of the hands and finally over the feet; and this will drive 
a cold out of your body through your feet. 

4872. A tea made from the scaly bark of a hickory nut tree is good for 
a cold. 

4873. "If you have got a cold and want to get rid of it quick, just get 
some hog hoofs and make a tea out of it and drink it, and it will 
cure your cold inside of nine hours." Written contribu'tion. 

4874. Boil horehound, licorice and sugar to a syrup and add honey and 
glycerine. Take this to cure a cold. 

4875. As a remedy for a cold, drink tea made from dried hollyhock 
blossoms. 



236 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

4876. Drink horsemint tea and your cold will leave. 

4877. Grate horse-radish, sprinkle with sugar and salt, and eat for a cold. 

4878. To treat a bad cold, mix ten or twelve drops of turpentine with a 
tablespoonful of lard and rub on the chest. 

4879. Cut a lemon into a half cup of honey and add a little glycerine. 
This is good for a cold. 

4880. For a bad cold, beat the white of an e^g and the juice of a lemon 
together, add enough sugar to sweeten, and then take. 

4881. "Take mule-ear leaves and dry them in the shade. Then make a 
tea and put in enough rock candy to make it sweet. Then drink 
that for a bad cold." 

4882. A cold may be cured by drinking tea made from mullein leaves. 

4883. Slice a large white onion and cover with sugar. Take this juice 
for a cold. 

4884. To cure a bad cold, cut up an onion and sprinkle the slices with 
sugar, and let them stand until a syrup forms. Eat these slices of 
onion just before going to bed. 

4885. Pour hot water on sliced onions which have been sugared and take 
the syrup for a cold. 

4886. Sprinkle sugar on onions and bake them in an oven. This syrup 
will cure a cold. 

4887. To cure a cold, poultice the chest with fried onions in a flannel 
bag. 

4888. Rub a roasted onion on the soles of your feet and a cold or cough 
will disappear. 

4889. Drink tea made from pennyroyal for a cold. 

4890. Tea made from peppermint leaves W\\\ cure a cold. 

4891. Take pine needles from a tree, boil in a small quantity of water 
and add a little sugar. This is good for a cold. 

4892. Dust hot pop corn with salt and feed it to a child who has a bad 
cold. 

4893. Cure a cold by drinking tea made from sage leaves. 

4894. Drink sage tea mixed with honey for a cold. 

4895. Take a teaspoonful of salt, two of vinegar and two of water for 
a cold. 

4896. Skunk fat is very good as a cold remedy. 

4897. A cold may be cured, if you drink tea made of slippery elm bark. 

4898. For a cold, use tea from sunflower seed. 

4899. Mix a half cup of syrup, a lump of butter, a little pepper, and a 
teaspoonful of vinegar; and take for a cold. 

4900. "If a baby has a bad cold, rub tallow on the baby's foot and it 
will cure it. My mother always would rub tallow on the bottom 
of our feet when we had a cold." 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 237 

4901. Cut a turnip into five slices and cover each slice with a teaspoonful 
of sugar. The syrup will cure a cold. 

4902. Put spice and sugar in warm vinegar, and drink for a cold. 

4903. When anyone has a bad cold, surreptitiously place a pan of water 
under the patient's bed and he will quickly recover. 

4904. Wild cherry bark tea is good for a cold or a cough. 

4905. Boil wild cherry bark and flaxseed together, then strain and add 
sugar. Take a tablespoonful of this syrup three times a day for 
a bad cold. 

4906. As a remedy for a cold, boil equal parts of wild cherry bark, 
mullein leaves and horehound ; strain and add sugar, and drink a 
cupful of this liquid daily. 

4907. Dip a soft cloth into strong brandy and rub the soles of the feet 
morning and evening for a cough. 

4908. Cure a cough by eating cloves. 

4909. A bad cough may be cured, if you stroke your throat with the 
hand of a corpse. 

4910. To stop a child's cough, pull three hairs from the crown of his 
head. 

4911. A good remedy for a cough is to boil white oak bark and to use 
it either as a gargle or a drink. 

4912. Treat a bad cough by drinking tea made of raspberry leaves. 

4913. Eat a mixture of sugar, salt and pepper from a teaspoon to cure 
a cough. 

4914. Bind a piece of old bacon around the neck to cure diphtheria. 

4915. Heat a piece of rancid bacon in vinegar and wrap it about the 
throat for diphtheria. 

4916. To cure diphtheria, cook carrots and mash them well, then spread 
this on a quill feather and swab the throat. 

4917. '* Years ago they were dying all around me with diphtheria. I had 
it very bad. They said I would not live until moniing. ]\Iy mother 
took and put the hog manure poultice all around my neck and it 
stayed on all night. The next morning I was some better. Then 
my mother put on a new one and I got well soon; and they said 
that was all that save me." 

4918. A child will not get diphtheria if he wears sulphur in a bag on 
his neck. 

4919. To cure "flu" (influenza), place onions about the patient's room 
and the disease will enter the onions. 

4920. Steam horse manure and rub it on a person who has influenza. 

4921. It a child writes on a steamy window with his finger, he will get 
a sore throat. 



238 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

4922. Never remove a bandage from a sore throat, but let it fall off of 
its own accord, or you will not rid yourself of the cold. 

4923. Always wear beads and you will never have a sore throat. 

4924. To cure a sore throat, rub it with a mixture of camphor gum and 
lard. 

4925. A sore throat can be healed by taking a teaspoonful of coal oil 
each morning. 

4926. Apply a poultice made from scrapings of crowfoot roots to cure 
a sore throat. 

4927. Drink elm tree bark tea for a sore throat. 

4928. For sore throat, use a poultice of Epsom salts. Make the bandage 
as cold as possible. 

4929. Cure a sore throat by tying it up in a red flannel cloth. 

4930. To cure a sore throat, take three hairs from the top of your head 
and rub them over your throat while saying, "In the Name of the 
Father, Son and Holy Ghost take my sore throat away." 

4931. A sore throat or swelling may be cured, if it is rubbed with the 
marrow out of a hog jowl. 

4932. Poultice a sore throat with hog manure. 

4933. A poultice of crushed hops is very good for sore throat. 

4934. Make a tea from ten cents worth of horehound and some chestnut 
leaves, and drink for a sore throat or a cold. 

4935. For a sore throat, mix one cupful of lard and a half cupful of 
sugar, and take inwardly when needed. 

4936. Tie a slice of lemon on your neck to cure a sore throat. 

4937. As a remedy for sore throat, use a poultice of mashed live-forever 
leaves. 

4938. Heat mullein leaves in warm vinegar and apply to the neck and 
chest for a bad sore throat. 

4939. Boil the inner bark from an oak tree and use as a gargle for sore 
throat. 

4940. If you have tonsilitis, gargle with strong tea made of white oak 
bark. 

4941. Roll an onion in flour paste and bake over hot coals. This makes 
a good poultice for a sore throat. 

4942. "I knew a man that had a sore throat. He had not been able to 
eat for three days. And someone told him about the persimmon 
bark, and he started to chewing it and got well right away." 

4943. Eating tinned pineapple is good for a sore throat. 

4944. Sprinkle pepper on fat pork, the older the better, and wrap this 
around the neck to cure a sore throat. 

4945. Let a slice of salted pork or fat bacon simmer for a few minutes 
in hot vinegar and then bandage it about the neck for sore throat. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 239 

4946. Boil potatoes in their "jackets," then place them in an old stocking 
and mash until a juice oozes out. This will be only a small quan- 
tity. Wrap the stocking containing the potatoes, as hot as you can 
bear it, around the neck as a sore throat remedy. 

4947. Treat a sore throat by gargling with strong sage tea. 

4948. Gargle with salt water to cure a sore throat. 

4949. To cure sore throat, bandage a ball of snow around it. 

4950. A sore throat can be cured by wrapping a dirty stocking about it. 

4951. Before going to bed, turn a stocking inside out and place the foot 
against the sorest part of your throat ; then tie the whole stocking 
around the neck and in the morning your sore throat will be gone. 

4952. Tie the left stocking, which you have worn that day, around a 
sore throat; and it will be well by morning. 

4953. As a cure for sore throat, wrap about it the right stocking that 
you have worn during the day. 

4954. "I had ten children. I always kept a silk string around their neck 
and we never did have any sore throats in the family." 

4955. Cure a sore throat by taking a spoonful of powdered sulphur. 

4956. Gargle with your own urine to cure a sore throat. A woman who 
gave this item said that she had tried the remedy years ago. It 
made her sick but it was the only thing which helped her. 

4957. A vinegar gargle will cure a sore throat. 

4958. To cure sore throat, make a poultice by mixing violet leaves and 
red clover. 

4959. Yellowroot is very good for sore throat. 



DROPSY 

4960. Repeat the following for a cure of dropsy : "Three flowers stand 
upon the grave of the Saviour Jesus Christ. The one signifies 
goodness of gold, the other humility, the third God's will. Water 
stand still. In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost." 
Written contribution. 

4961. Make a tea from the whole plant of a bulrush, leaves, stems, every- 
thing ; and give to a person who has dropsy. Indian. 

4^2. "If you have dropsy, take one of those round green cactus and 
bake it ; then cut it up in a quart of water and take it three times 
a day. It will take the water away from the heart." 

4963. "I knew a woman that had dropsy real bad and an old man came 
along one day and he told the people to get a half bushel of carrots 



240 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

and make wine out of them and give it to her to drink. They did 
and the woman got well." 

4964. Instead of tea or coffee, drink tea made of dried chestnut leaves ; 
this will cure the worst case of dropsy. 

4965. "For a dropsy cure, take one gallon of sweet cider and boil it down 
until about half. Take a cup of green elder bark and let it boil 
in one and one half cups of water until you have one half cup of 
the elder, then put that in the boiled cider ; and take a wine glass 
full three times a day." 

4966. Red clover blossom tea is very good for dropsy. 

4967. "If you cook clover blossom and make a tea, it is very good for 
dropsy. All the water in your body will pass with your bowels." 

4968. To cure dropsy, mix two tablespoonfuls of cream of tartar in a 
quart of water and take this dose frequently. 

4969. Dropsy can be cured by drinking elder blossom tea. 

4970. "Take the inner bark of the elder and make a tea of it and drink, 
if you have dropsy; and it will make the water pass." 

4971. "I had the dropsy bad. My legs were all swollen up and my whole 
body. I took some elderberry roots and dry them, then scraped 
them down, as the water in dropsy goes down ; and you must 
never scrape up. Then I took a teaspoonful in a cup of water 
three times a day. And I am well today." 

4972. "If your feet swell, if you press in on it and it comes out at once 
you don't need to worry; but if you press in on it and the flesh 
stays, that is the sign of dropsy." 

4973. A good remedy for dropsy is juniper berry tea. 

4974. Boil milkweed in water and when cool bathe your feet. This will 
cure dropsy. 

4975. You will not have dropsy if you eat potatoes. 

4976. "Take a cup of rye and a quart and a half of water and let it boil 
for one half hour. Then drink the tea ofT of that just like water. 
It will dry up all the water in dropsy. My husband was getting 
dropsy. All of his family died with it. His stomach was swelling 
so, I had to put a eight inch piece of cloth in the back of his pants. 
Someone told me about the rye, so I went out to Pape & Loos 
and got some rye and made him a tea. He started to taking it 
just like water. And it was no time before his stomach went 
down. And I took that piece of cloth out of the back of his pants. 
I just think rye tea is wonderful. I would tell anyone to take rye 
tea, if their feet or legs or anything went to swelling." 

4977. An old colored woman said that years ago she had had dropsy, 
having caught it from the man in the house where she worked. 
"I went to the mill when the moon was going down, got nine 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 241 

pounds of wheat bran, urinated in it nine times, put it in a white 
sack, tied it up; then after dark I went out in the yard and took 
my left hand and threw it up in a tree, and did not look at that 
tree for seven years. Then I was well." 

4978. Drink tea made from the roots of a wild cherry tree to cure dropsy. 

4979. Treat dropsy by drinking tea made of wild geranium leaves. 

4980. Burn "winter grape" (ivild grape) roots on a stone and then drink 
some of the ashes in a cup of water for dropsy. 



EARACHE AND DEAFNESS 

4981. "People say that if a deaf person will go up in an airplane, they 

will get their hearing back." It is also said, "If a child is 

deaf and can't hear, if you will take it up in the air very high, it 
will bring back their hearing." 

4982. As a remedy for earache, breathe into the afflicted ear. 

4983. Heat cow manure in sweet milk, then place this in a bag and tie 
it against the ear for earache. 

4984. "Take the dirt dauber's (mud dauber) nest, put in a teacup and 
pour boiling water over it. Let it set for one hour and it will clear, 
then strain through a cloth and put in a bottle. Warm it and put 
one teaspoonful in each ear every night. It will cure earache, 
risings in the head, and will cure you if you are hard of hearing. 
This lady had a daughter who was very hard of hearing in both 
ears. You would have to shout to her to make her hear. Some 
man gave the remedy and she thought she would try it on her 
daughter's ear. It couldn't do any harm. And she put one tea- 
spoonful in each ear every night for one week. Her daughter 
could hear so well that she could hear one whisper across the 
room." 

4985. To cure deafness, rub a gold ring around the ear while continually 
repeating, "In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost." 

4986. Cure earache by keeping the ear filled with goose grease. 

4987. Put some hair from a negro's head in a child's ear to stop earache. 

4988. Earache can be cured by placing hot milk in the ear. 

4989. Roast an onion on ashes, then remove the burnt skin and squeeze 
the onion over a rag. Put a drop of this juice in the ear to cure 
earache. 

4990. For earache, dip a piece of cotton into ground black pepper and 
put this wad in the ear. 



242 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

4991. Place ground black pepper on a wad of cotton and then add a few 
drops of sweet oil. Put this in the ear for earache. 

4992. Treat earache by wrapping ground black pepper in a rag and 
sticking it into the ear. 

4993. Rub lard and ground black pepper on a piece of cotton and place 
it in the ear to stop earache. 

4994. To cure earache, boil a potato in its skin until almost done, then 
cut it in half, crosswise, and scoop out a hole in the meat side of 
one of the halves. Place a rag over this hole and then bandage 
the potato against the ear, tying it on with a towel or flannel 
cloth. This will drive the steam from the potato into the ear and 
eflfect a cure. The same remedy may be used for a gathering in 
the ear. 

4995. Fry a piece of rabbit fat and put one drop of the grease in the 
ear for earache. 

4996. Cure earache by placing three drops of rabbit fat oil in the ear. 

4997. Hold a bag of hot salt against the ear to cure earache. 

4998. Warm salt water put in the ear will stop earache. 

4999. As an earache remedy, use skunk fat. 

5000. To stop earache, drop sweet oil into the ear. 

5001. Put sweet oil in the ear and then take a pipestem and blow into 
the ear. This will cure earache. 

5002. "If a child has earache, take and make a funnel; then take brown 
sugar and burn it, and let that smoke from the sugar go in that 
funnel to the ear. Will stop the ache." 

5003. Treat earache by blowing tobacco smoke into the ear. Some say 
that this must be done by an old man and through a pipestem. 

5004. To cure earache, place syrup in the ear and then blow tobacco 
smoke on it. 

5005. Remove an insect from your ear by putting a few drops of urine 
in the ear. 

5006. A little urine rubbed in the ear will cure earache. 

5007. Urinate on a piece of cotton and piit this in the ear to stop the 
pain. 

5008. A child's earache can be stopped by placing some of his urine in 
his ear. 

5009. For a boy's earache, put in his ear a few drops of urine from a 
girl. 

5010. Stop a girl's earache by inserting into her ear a few drops of 

urine from a boy. "I know a woman's little girl that had the 

earache. She cried all night with it. A neighbor woman came 
in and said, T can cure your little girl.' She went home and had 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 243 

her little boy to urinate in a bottle, and then went back and put a 
few drops in this girl's ear; and it stop aching right away." 

soil. If you have earache, place some urine from a boy on a piece of 
cotton and put it in your ear. 

5012. Treating an ear with urine will cure deafness. 



ECZEMA-ERYSIPELAS-RASH-SCROFULA 
SKIN DISEASE-TETTER 

5013. Dry up eczema by washing it with chamomile tea. 

5014. Eczema can be cured by stroking it with the hand of a corpse. 

5015. Get up before sunrise, secure three twigs and rub them over your 
eczema; and then burn the twigs while saying, "In the Name of 
the Father, Son and Holy Ghost." Do this for three mornings and 
the disease will be cured. 

5016. To cure eczema, steam white oak bark and elder bark, and bathe 
the affected parts with this liquid. 

5017. "This old man said, years ago everyone that had any diseases 
would go down to this creek (in South Park) and wish it in the 
creek. He said he knew a woman one day that was well and 
walked across the bridge that went over that creek and got eczema 
bad and almost died." 

5018. Put dog waste in a quart of fresh milk and stir and strain through 
a cloth. Drink this for erysipelas. 

5019. "When I was a girl I had erysipelas bad. My mother took me to 
an old woman. This woman put me on a long board, made me lie 
down, then took three long strings, one white, blue, and red, and 
started at my head and went to my toes with the three strings ; just 
like she was measuring me. She done this three times at a time 
and three times a day, and she would powwow all the time. And 

in two days I was well." Pemisylvania, Dutch happened 

sixty years ago. 

5020. "My son never saw his father, so he had the power to cure rash 
by blowing his breath on any child. People would come for miles 
for my son to blow his breath on their children when they had 
the rash." 

5021. "My brother had scrofula bad. His neck was just a fright. My 
mother took several large balsams and put them in the stove and 
baked them, then scrape out the inside; and in several days he 
was all right. We think it was wonderful." 

5022. Boil a burdock root in a gallon of water and drink this tea for 
scrofula. 



244 Memoirs of flic Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

5023. Reduce one ounce of bittersweet and one and a half pints of 
water to one pint of liquid by boiling. Take two tablespoonfuls 
three times a day to cure skin eruptions. 

5024. Heal a skin disease by rubbing it with a mixture of butter and 
sulphur. 

5025. Poke root tea is very good for skin disease. 

5026. Let plantain leaves simmer in butter and then use them as a 
poultice for tetter. 



EYE TROUBLE-SIGHT-STY 

5027. To cure sore eyes, lay a piece of rotten apple on them overnight. 

5028. Put a piece of raw beef (usually beefsteak) on a black eye to 
draw out the discoloration. 

5029. If you blacken your finger-nails with blackberries on Friday and 
wash this off next morning, you will never catch sore eyes from 
anyone. 

5030. Bathe sore eyes night and morning with chamomile tea. 
503L Pierced ears will prevent sore eyes. 

5032. Piercing the ears will make the eyes stronger. This will be more 
effective, if done in childhood. 

5033. To prevent sore eyes, wear earrings. 

5034. Wear earrings and you will not become blind. 

5035. Strengthen a baby's weak eyes by washing them with tea made 
of elder blossoms. 

5036. "If you have granulated eyelids, take a little Epsom salts every 
morning in a little water for a whole year and bathe the eyes in 
it. This will keep the blood cool and will cure the worst cases that 
doctors can't cure." 

5037. Plucking hairs from the eyebrows will give you weak eyes. 

5038. To remove a particle from the eye, turn back the eyelid and blow 
the nose. 

5039. When you have a particle in your eye, close the eyehd, blow the 
nose, and the particle will come out through the nose. 

5040. A particle can be removed from your eye by holding the upper 
eyelid over the lower eyelid while you count twenty. 

5041. If you get anything in your eye, raise and close the eyelid three 
times and then blow your nose hard. 

5042. If there is something in your eye, hold one nostril shut and blow 
your nose. The particle will come out through the open nostril. 

5043. When you have pains in your eyes, rub three fingers over your 
eyeballs and the pains will leave. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 245 

5044. Place a flaxseed in the eye to remove a particle. 

5045. To cure sore eyes, rub them with the sap taken from grapevines 
in March. 

5046. Cure sore eyes by rubbing them with sap taken from grapevines 
when they are cut in the spring. 

5047. "My husband had very sore eyes and could not see. He went to 
a woman before sunrise and she said, 'In the Name of the Father, 

Son and Holy Ghost make this man's eyes better.' He went 

for three mornings and on the third morning he was well and 
could see good." 

5048. Ha mother continually points a finger at her baby, it will get 
cross-eyes. 

5049. Never stand behind a baby, or it will look backwards at you and 
eventually become cross-eyed. 

5050. Wash a baby's eyes with milk from your breast to cure its sore 
eyes. 

5051. You will make a baby cross-eyed, if you let it look into a mirror 
before it is a year old. 

5052. A child will become cross-eyed if you lay it where the moon can 
shine into its eyes. 

5053. H you look into a mirror that has a wreath around it, you will 
go blind. 

5054. "A woman had bad eyes. Someone told her to eat an orange every 
morning and it would help her eye?. She did, and her eyes got 
well." 

5055. To remove black rings from under your eyes, poultice them with 
fresh oysters. 

5056. A potato placed on a black eye will draw out the color. 

5057. Pink eye can be cured with a poultice of grated potatoes. 

5058. "A woman had a growth on her eyes and she took a radish and 

said, Tn the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost' and 

rubbed the radish over her growth and it went away." 

5059. "Mrs. B's mother had something growing on her eye and she said 
it was very painful. It was the size of a pea. And one day some 

old German fellow said, 'Let me see your eye' and he spit 

on his finger and rubbed it across her eye. And the next week he 
asked her how her eye was getting along, and she said it was still 
growing and it was still painful. So he spit on his finger and 
rubbed her eye again. And in another week he came back and 
asked her the same thing, and it wasn't any better. So he spit on 
his finger and rubbed her eye the third time. And she didn't 
notice it, and when he came back to ask her about her eye it was 
completely gone. She asked him how he did it and he said he just 



246 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

used the spit and said nothing. But a man has to use his spit on 
a woman and a woman has to use her spit on a man, once each 
week for three weeks." Written contribution. 

5060. As a remedy for sore eyes, rub them with the sahva of a new- 
born boy. 

5061. Cure diseases of the eye by rubbing them with the saliva of the 
first-born child on the male side of the family. 

5062. Sore eyes may be cured by bathing them with salt water. 

5063. Use snow water on sore eyes. 

5064. Treat sore eyes with March snow water. 

5065. Water melted from the last snow in March will cure sore eyes. 

5066. If you can see small black spots when your eyes are shut, your 
sight is failing. 

5067. Your sight is good, if you are able to see small white spots through 
your closed eyes. 

5068. "If you have sun pains over your eyes, go to a spring and stick 
your head under the water before sunup. You must do this nine 
mornings and you will get well. My son had sun pains over his 
eyes. They would come just before sunup and leave just at sun- 
down. Someone told him about going to the spring before sunup 
and sticking his head under the water. So he thought he would 
try it. And he went there nine mornings just before sunup and 
put his head under the water and he got well." 

5069. To cure a cold in the eyes, bathe them with hot tea. 

5070. To remove the discoloration from a black eye, poultice it with 
damp cold tea leaves. 

5071. "If a person has a tusk, some people say that if they have it pulled, 
it will effect their eyesight." 

5072. "My brother had very bad eyes. Someone told him to wash his 
eyes with his urine. He did and his eyes got well." 

5073. If a firecracker explodes into your eye, apply a vinegar bandage 
to remove the gunpowder. 

5074. If an eyelash falls into your eye, you will have a sty. 

5075. When anyone has a sty on his eye, they say he has wetted in an 
alley. 

5076. While crossing a field, if you stop in the path to urinate, you will 
get a sty. 

5077. If you stop in the road to defecate, you will have a sty. 

5078. Wet in the road and it will take ofif your sty, and the next person 
who walks over your urine will catch the sty. 

5079. Rub three beans over your sty and lay them down in the road. 
The first person who steps over them will take your sty. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 247 

5080. Heat a brass thimble by friction, then rub it over your sty for 
a cure, 

5081. A sty can be cured by rubbing it with the tail of a black cat. 

5082. You can cure a sty by rubbing it three times with the tip of a 

black cat's tail. "I have had several stys and I always take 

the end of a black cat tail and rub over my sty three times and 
they always go away." 

5083. To cure a sty, stand at a crossroad and say : 

"Sty, sty, leave my eye, 
Take the next one passing by." 
or 

"Sty, sty, leave my eye. 
Go to the next passer-by." 

5084. Rub a dish rag over a sty, then bury the dish rag and when it rots, 
the sty will be gone. 

5085. Cure a sty by rubbing it with a dish rag while saying : 

"Sty, sty, leave my eye. 

Catch the first one passing by." 
Then throw the dish rag over your left shoulder without watching 
to see where it goes. 

5086. As a remedy for a sty, look through a knot hole in a fence. 

5087. A gold ring rubbed over a sty will drive it away. 

5088. Cure a sty by rubbing it with a gold wedding ring. Sometimes the 
gold wedding ring is first rubbed on a blanket, or over one's knee, 
or on a rug to make it hot. 

5089. For taking ofT a sty, rub it with a gold wedding ring that has 
been blessed. 

5090. To remove a sty, rub it three times with a gold band ring. 

5091. "If you have a sty, take a gold ring and rub it until it gets wami, 
then rub the ring twice one way and then one time the otlier way 
over the sty ; and your sty will be gone in the morning." 

5092. Trfeat a sty by rubbing it nine times with a gold ring, each time 
saying, "Sty, sty, leave my eye." 

5093. "If you have a sty, take a gooseberry brier and rub three times 
over your sty and it will go away." 

5094. To cure a sty, stick it with a gooseberry bush thorn and then 
throw the thorn over your left shoulder. 

5095. "If you have a sty, go to a gooseberry bush and pull off nine of 
those little stickers, and each one point at your sty; then throw 
them over your right shoulder and your sty will leave." 

5096. As a sty remedy, place on it a piece of brown paper in which meat 
was wrapped. 



248 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

5097. Cure a sty by rubbing it three times with a potato. Then bury the 
potato. 

5098. A sty can be removed, if it is poulticed with grated potatoes. 

5099. Pick up a rock and rub it over a sty, then put the rock in your 
pocket ; and when the rock is lost, the sty will go away. 

5100. For a sty, apply a poultice of tea leaves. 

5101. To take off a sty, go to running water, rub some salt over the sty 
and repeat three times, "Salt disappear like malt on the water." 



FEMALE AILMENTS 

5102. Drink tea made from the bark of a sweet apple tree to prevent 
miscarriage. 

5103. Menstrual blood is poisonous. 

5104. During the change of life take tea made of chestnut leaves. 

5105. Take a little cinnamon to stop an excessive flow. 

5106. "If a woman eats too much cinnamon or nutmeg while she is 
unwell, it will dry up her blood." 

5107. "If you burn your menstruation cloth up, you will die; because 
that will dry your blood up." 

5108. "If you bum up your monthly cloths, you are burning up that 
much of your life. I knew a girl that always burned her monthly 
cloths and she got so thin and sick that they had to send for the 
doctor ; and he told the mother, 'Do you mean to tell me you don't 
know what is wrong with this girl? Well, she is burning up her 
cloths every month and she is just burning up her life. If she 
don't stop, she will die ; and I can't do a thing for her as long as 
she does'. " 

5109. Drinking tea made from the dried blossoms of white clover will 
cure whites. 

5110. "My mother always made me pee on red-hot coal whenever I 
would get any pains in my ovaries. I would have to stand over 
the bucket and let the steam come up." 

5111. "If you will put a teaspoonful of cream of tartar and one lemon 
in a half gallon of water and drink, will keep down the swelling 
in change of life." 

5112. A teaspoonful of cream of tartar and a teaspoonful of vinegar in 
a quart of water is good for the menopause. 

5113. "If you want a good wash for female trouble, take and make a 
tea out of white elderberry blossom. It will cure any female 
trouble." 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 249 

5114. "Take elderberries when ripe and make a tea and give to a woman 
when flowing and it will stop the flow." 

5115. A tea made from elder blossoms and leaves is good for the 
climacteric. 

5116. "Take ginger tea and sit over a jar containing hot water; that will 
bring your monthly sickness." 

5117. "If you have female sickness, dig seven holes in the ground and 
burn in each of them grapevine not over a year old. Then go and 
sit down by the first hole with a cup and drink, and so on until 
you have sit by all seven holes. At the seventh hole say, 'Let 
me recover'." 

5118. When the menstrual flow is irregular, boil the wood of the red 
grapevine in red or white wine and drink. 

5119. "If a person doesn't come in her monthly, take gunpowder in 
broken doses for three mornings, thinking about it all the time; 
then she will come." 

5120. "You can always tell if a girl is menstruating by feeling the palm 
of her hand. If the center is very warm and all the rest of her 
liand cold, that is the sure sign." 

5121. "If you take a cold and want to bring your sickness, make a tea 
of horehound, sassafras and anise seed and take." 

5122. "If you take a bad cold and your sickness don't come, take five 
cents worth of juniper berries, five cents worth of senna; put a 
pint of whiskey over it. Let stand two days. Then take a table- 
spoonful before each meal. I know a girl that had a very bad cold. 
Her sickness didn't come for three months. She didn't want to 
tell her mother. She told me, and I told her about the five cents 
of juniper berries and five cents of senna, and let it stand for two 
days and take a tablespoonf ul before each meal ; and she got over 
her cold." 

5123. "Take the blossoms of a linden tree and make a tea to bring your 
sickness." 

5124. "Never drink milk during your monthlies, for it will give you 
cramps." 

5125. "If a girl drinks too much milk while she is menstruating, it will 
dry up her blood." 

5126. Mistletoe tea is a good remedy for menstruation that has been 
stopped by a cold. 

5127. "Take a hot mustard foot bath to bring your monthly sickness." 

5128. The inner bark of oak boiled in water will cure whites. 

5129. "If a woman has female weakness, take the tops of three Persian 
onions. Boil them in wine and let the woman drink, saying, 
'Recover from thy sickness' and she will recover." 



250 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

Sometimes the tops of three (white) onions are used, with or 
without an incantation. 

5130. A tea made of parsley roots will promote the menstrual flow, 

5131. Pennyroyal tea is a j^ood remedy if menstruation has been stopped 
by a cold. 

5132. "A woman told me to wear a potato in a sack around my waist for 
falling of the womb." 

5133. "If a woman has female weakness, let her bathe her lower parts 
of her body with rose water." 

5134. "Tansy is good to bring on the menstrual flow. Take the tansy 
and let a little water remain on it for some time, then take a wine 
glass full." 

5135. "Take turpentine and sugar if you are irregular and it will sure 
bring you." 

5136. "If a young girl's sickness stops on her from a cold, don't let her 
eat bread or anything white; let her have everything red to eat, 
like red onions, red beets, and red tomatoes ; and that will bring 
her again." 

5137. "Take a handful of caraway seeds and a handful of saffron; boil 
them together in wine and let a woman that has female weakness 
drink that. It is very good." 

5138. "Never tell a woman having change of life anything that will 
worry her or she will brood over it and it will cause her condition 
to be bad." 



FEVER-MALARIA-MEASLES-SMALLPOX 
TYPHOID FEVER 

5139. Seeing a caterpillar will give you ague unless you spit. 

5140. If a caterpillar crosses your path, you can prevent fever by spit- 
ting. 

5141. Spit three times when you see a "fever worm" or you will have 
fever. 

5142. Kill a caterpillar and you will catch fever before the summer is 
gone. 

5143. To secure a good remedy for fever or measles, ask for one from 
a stranger on horseback. If the stranger is riding a white horse, 
the remedy will be more effective. 

5144. "To keep from having a fever, go and sit on a crossroad; and as 
soon as you see an ant carrying something in its mouth, get the 
ant and put it in a copper pan and let it die there, and you will not 
get the fever." 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 251 

5145. To cure fever, tie one piece of fat bacon on the pulse and another 
piece on the back of the neck, 

5146. Bind cabbage leaves on your forehead as a fever remedy. 

5147. Cut the ear of a cat and let three drops of blood fall into some 
brandy, then add a little pepper; and have a patient drink this 
for fever, 

5148. "My daughter had a very high fever and one day someone told 
me about bathing her in cockleburs. So I went out in the woods 
and got a handful and mashed them, and made a tea and started 
to bathing her. That night when the doctor came he took me out 
in the kitchen and said, 'What have you done to your daughter? 
She is so much better tonight. Her fever is going down.' Then 
I told him I had been bathing her all day with the cockleburs. 
The doctor said, 'Keep it up, for she sure is better.' And in a 
few days she was all right." 

5149. To prevent fever in a baby with a coated tongue, wipe off the 
tongue with the diaper that the baby has been wearing. 

5150. Dog fennel tea is good for fever and measles. 

5151. "If one is sick with a burning fever, take a knife made all of 
iron and go to a thorn bush and tie one of their hairs to the knife ; 
then tie the knife to the thorn bush, after making a notch in the 
bush. You must go back the second morning and make another 
notch; then the third morning cut the thorn bush off at the 
ground saying, 'O thorn bush, O thorn bush, I trust in thee that 
they will get well'." 

5152. Sweeten strong mullein tea and take for fever. 

5153. Fever can be cured by poulticing the bottom of each foot with 
chopped onions and salt. 

5154. If a person has fever, place an onion under his bed and the fever 
will go into the onion. 

5155. "My husband was very sick with malaria fever and I did not have 
any onion in the house, so I took two large potatoes and cut them 
in halves and put them under the bed. His fever left and went 
into the potatoes and he got well." 

5156. Peppermint tea is an excellent remedy for fever and chills. 

5157. For fever let the patient drink tea made of sheep droppings. This 
is also used to make measles break out. The tea is usually 
sweetened. 

5158. To cure or to prevent fever, put a (new) silver coin and a priece 
of salt of equal weight in a sack and carry it hanging over the 
heart. 

5159. Tying a snake skin around your head will cure fever, "Years 



252 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

ago my mother always kept a snake hide in the house to tie around 
our heads, if we got the fever." 

5160. For fever, a good remedy is to drink slippery elm tea. 

5161. "If a baby has high fever, take and put two tablespoonfuls of 
soda in a pint of hot water and take rags and wet them good and 
tie them around each foot and each ankle and each wrist and 
around their head; and when the rags get dry, wet them again. 
This will break the fever. Three weeks ago Mrs. C's baby was 
very sick with high fever, she done this, and broke the fever. 
When the doctor came he wanted to know what she done, and 
she would not tell him, afrai(d he would laugh. But some old 
woman told her this." 

5162. Drink sauerkraut juice as a cure for intermittent fever. 

5163. Use tansy leaf tea for fever. 

5164. "If you have a high fever and are past twenty years old, take and 
put eight drops of turpentine on one half teaspoonful of sugar 
and take that for three mornings. If it is a baby or small child, 
only use two drops of turpentine." 

5165. As a remedy for fever, place a bowl of water under the head of 
the patient's bed ; or put a pan of water beneath the bed. 

5166. A person who has had malaria will have it every seven years. 

5167. Buttermilk is good for malaria. 

5168. Take tea made from the bark of a horse-chestnut tree and it will 
cure malaria. 

5169. For malaria, administer walnut leaf tea. 

5170. Measles will kill you, if they do not break out. 

5171. If a person has measles during apple blossom time, he will not 
have them so badly. 

5172. Wear a piece of asafetida round your neck and you will not catch 
measles. 

5173. To cure measles, drink tea made from bark taken off the north 
side of a cherry tree. 

5174. When trying to force measles to break out, if you begin with cold 
drinks, you must continue them. 

5175. If you attempt to bring out measles and start by using hot drinks, 
they must be continued. 

5176. As a measles cure, drink tea made of dandelion petals. 

5177. Hot tea from elder blossoms will make measles break out and 
check the fever. 

5178. Measles may be cured by drinking a tea made from the white part 
of chicken dung. 

5179. To make measles break out, bathe the patient in hot ground 
mustard water. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 253 

5180. Take saffron tea to bring out measles. 

5181. When a baby has measles, he will become well if rubbed with his 
wet diaper, 

5182. Eat lettuce to prevent smallpox. 

5183. A person who has had smallpox will never have tuberculosis. 

5184. *Tf you have typhoid fever, kill two chickens and put each foot 
in a chicken while it is still warm, don't take anything out of the 
chickens, and it will draw all the fever into the chickens." 

5185. "In the last stages of typhoid, put cotton socks on their feet and 
fill the socks full of corn meal. Put in all the socks will hold, then 
soak feet, socks and all in apple vinegar; and it will cure nine 
times out of ten." 

5186. Drink goat milk three times a day for typhoid fever. 

5187. If a person has typhoid fever and his hair comes out, his new 
hair will come in curly. 

5188. Sliced onions placed in the room of a typhoid fever patient will 
suck up the poisonous odors. The onions will turn black. 

5189. "My daughter was real sick with typhoid fever. The doctor told 
us she was going to die, that he could not do anything more for 
her. A neighbor told me, if I would get apple vinegar and bathe 
her, it would help. So after the doctor left, I sent my other girl 
to the store to get some apple vinegar, and started to bathing her 
all over, and kept it up. When I started to bathing her, she was 
so weak she didn't know us, and the second day she started to 
knowing us. And I got her well after the doctor said she would 
die. And apple vinegar was what save her." 



FOOT AND HAND TROUBLES 

5190. Bathe your hands with the first snow to prevent them from chapn 
ping during the winter. 

5191. Hands should be bathed in March snow water and they will 
not chap. 

5192. Treat chapped hands by washing them with your own urine. 

5193. "If you have cramp in the bottom of your feet, put a board in 
the bed and put the bottom of your feet against it, and the cramp 
will leave. I knew a woman that was pregnant. She could not 
sleep at night. She would have such pains in the bottom of her 
feet. Someone told her about the board and she had her husband 
to get a board and put it in bed. And after that she kept her feet 
on that board and she could sleep fine. Had no more cramp," 



254 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

5194. When the muscles of your legs contract and become knotted, drink 
buckeye tea for a cure. 

5195. Tie a candlewick around the leg just below the knee to prevent 
cramps. 

5196. Wear a copper wire bracelet for cramps in the arm. 

5197. Stop a cramp in your leg by crossing the other leg over the leg 
that pains. 

5198. To cure swollen legs, rub mustard seed over them and wet the 
seeds with the water in which the legs have been washed. Then 
tie the seeds in a bag and bury it in the ground. 

5199. You will never have cramps in your legs, if you keep red pepper 
in your shoes. 

5200. Wrap plantain leaves about swollen legs to take out the soreness. 

5201. To cure cramps in the legs, wear a wide rubber band just above 
the knee. In addition you must keep a dime under the rubber 
band. 

5202. "When I have cramps in my arms, and I have them a lot, I only 
make a cross on my arm, then spit on it, and they will go away." 

5203. If you have cramps in the legs, spit on your linger, then make 
the sign of the cross on the bottom of your feet; and the cramps 
will leave. 

5204. Keep a pair of pointed scissors under your pillow or in the bed 
to prevent cramps. 

5205. Treat cramps in the legs by placing your shoes beneath the bed 
so that the toes point outward. 

5206. Lay your shoes under the bed, with the toes pointing inward, and 
you will not have cramps in your legs. 

5207. If you have cramps in your legs after going to bed, get up and 
place your shoes upside down beneath the bed. 

5208. Your legs will be free from cramps at night, if you set your 
shoes crossing each other under the bed. 

5209. To secure relief from cramps in the legs, keep your shoes crossed 
and upside down beneath the bed. 

5210. "I keep a soda bottle in my bed all the time, so if I get a cramp 
in my feet or legs I can stand on it. I know this is so, because I 
have tried it. Just as soon as I stand on the soda bottle my cramps 

leave." The following remedy is also used: "If you take a 

cramp in the leg or foot, place a round object like a broom handle 
on the floor and place the ball of your foot on it and press hard ; 
the cramp will leave." 

5211. Put your socks in your shoes, then turn the latter upside down 
and lay them under your bed each night for nine nights. This will 
cure cramps in your legs. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 255 

5212. Sleep with your socks on and you will never have cramps in 
your feet. 

5213. Hang your stockings up by the toes at night to prevent cramps 
in your legs. 

5214. Tie string on your ankle for cramps in the legs. 

5215. "When I have cramps in my legs, I always take strings and wind 
them around my legs to stop the cramps." 

5216. As a cure for cramps in your legs, wear red string about the legs. 

5217. Bind a cotton string on your leg just below the knee to stop 
cramps in the legs. 

5218. If your leg hurts, wrap a string around it just above the knee. 

5219. If you carry sulphur in your pocket, you will not have cramps in 
your arms or legs. 

5220. Lay a small bag of sulphur at the foot of the bed to keep your 
feet from cramping. 

5221. Place a bowl of water under your bed at night as a remedy for 
cramps in the feet. 

5222. For cramps in the legs, arms or any part of the body, wrap the 
afifected part around and around with yam at night ; and the pain 
will be gone by morning. 

5223. Walk around the house every morning barefoot in the snow 
and your feet will never become cold or frozen. 

5224. To cure frostbitten feet, burn to ashes a white woolen cloth that 
has never been used and rub these ashes over the feet. 

5225. A frostbite can be cured, if it is rubbed with stale beer. 

5226. Use coal oil on frozen feet as a remedy. 

5227. Treat frostbitten feet or chilblain with an application of cow 
manure. 

5228. As a cure for frozen feet, rub them with onion juice. 

5229. Rubbing frostbitten feet with tallow will cure them. 

5230. For frozen hands or feet, apply twice daily for several days a 
mixture of turpentine and salt. 

5231. Hold frostbitten feet in scalding water to cure them. 

5232. "If you freeze your feet or hands, place them in cold water to 
draw out the frost." 

5233. When you have aching feet, sit with them stuck in wet clay to 
remove the pain. 

5234. Bathe sore feet with three tablespoon fuls of coal oil in a pan of 
hot water. 

5235. Tired feet should be bathed in a pan of hot water containing a 
tablespoonful of coal oil and a little Epsom salts. 

5236. To cure sore feet, walk barefoot in the early morning dew. 



256 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

5237. For sore and swollen feet, bathe them with a mixture of elder 
bark and salt. 

5238. Get up before sunrise on Good Friday, run up and down the road 
barefoot, and you will not have sore feet all year. 

5239. "I had a swelling- in my foot. It was twice the size it should be. 
My father took me to a man and he spoke over it saying, 'In the 
Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.' He said that three 
times, and my father had to take me three mornings. And I 
got well." 

5240. Boil a bunch of mullein leaves and some salt in a half gallon of 
vinegar, and bathe swollen feet with this. A similar remedy : Boil 
two tablespoonf uls of salt and a bunch of mullein leaves in a half 
pint of vinegar and a gallon of water. 

5241. White oak bark in hot water makes a good bath for sore feet. 

5242. Treat swollen feet by bathing them with the water in which 
potatoes have been cooked. 

5243. Soak sore and tender or swollen feet in hot salt water. 

5244. If your feet hurt, or a corn aches, remove your shoes and place 
them so that the toes point under the bed. 

5245. For swollen feet, bathe them in a half gallon of vinegar to which 
a tablespoonful of baking soda has been added. 

5246. Cure sore feet by wearing insoles of zinc in your shoes. 

5247. Sprinkle powdered alum in your shoes to keep your feet from 
sweating. 

5248. If you get up before sunrise on the 1st of May and walk barefoot 
in the dew, it will prevent sw^eaty feet. 

5249. To keep feet from sweating, wash them with your own urine. 

5250. When a person has stepped on a nail, slice beets and apply them to 
the wound. This will draw out any infection. 

5251. If you run a rusty nail into your foot, pull it out and burn it up 
immediately; and you will not have blood poisoning. 

5252. As soon as possible after stepping on a nail, put the foot in a 
bucketful of fresh cow manure. 

5253. A nail wound in your foot will heal quickly, if you grease the 
nail and carry it in your pocket. 

5254. To avert blood poisoning, after a nail has pierced your foot, grease 
the nail and put it on a high shelf. 

5255. If you tread on a rusty nail, extract it and place it in your pocket ; 
and your foot will not become infected. Never put the nail as 
high as your head, or you will then have blood poisoning. 

5256. Grease the nail or tack that you have removed from your foot and 
place it higher than your head near the door to avoid infection. 



Folk-Lorc from Adams County Illinois 257 

5257. To prevent lockjaw or blood poisoning, when you have stepped on 
a nail, grease the nail and drive it into the ground. 

5258. A wound caused by running a rusty nail into your foot will heal 
rapidly, if you bury the nail in the ground, 

5259. If you step on a rusty nail, drive it into the ground up to its head 
to make the swelling go down. 

5260. A nail wound will not become sore, if the nail is hidden where it 
cannot be found. 

5261. "Keep a piece of fat hanging in the barn so if the horses or anyone 
step on a nail, you can pull the nail out and go and stick it in that 
fat, and it will never hurt whatever steps on a nail. My father, 
when I was young, kept a piece of fat hanging up in the barn; 
and whenever we children or the horses step on a nail, he would 
stick it in that fat and leave the nail in it. That old piece of fat 
was just full of nails and tacks, but we never had a sore foot." 

5262. "I was harrowing the ground years ago and one morning stepped 
on a harrow tooth. My mother went and mashed up some live- 
forever leaves and put a piece of bacon with it and made a poultice 
of it, and put on the bottom of my foot and I didn't have any 
trouble." 

5263. "If you run a nail in your foot, light a woolen sock and put it in 
a bucket to bum, then hold your foot over that bucket with a 
woolen cloth over the bucket and your foot, and the steam from 
that woolen sock will take out all the poison in your foot." 

5264. P^in can be removed from a nail wound in the foot by smoking it 
for fifteen minutes over the fumes of a burning woolen cloth. 

5265. To prevent an infection in your foot, put a chew of tobacco over 
the wound caused by treading on a rusty nail. 

5266. If you step on a rusty nail, apply to the wound a piece of bacon 
that has been soaked in turpentine. 

5267. "A lady today told me that she is sixty-four years old and when 
she was five, she fell down and hurt her leg. Several doctors have 
wanted to take her leg off, but she would not let them. One doctor 
gave her up fifteen years ago, when this old German woman told 
her about the raw turnips and rye flour poultice, and she has been 
using it now for fifteen years. Her leg still hurts, but the poultice 
keeps the swelling and poison out." Written contribution. 

5268. Bum a "soup bone" and put the ashes on an "open leg" as a 
remedy. 

5269. "Mrs. J. had an uncle in the Civil War who was wounded in battle 
and had lost the use of one of his legs. An Indian doctor, who 
came through town, gave him a recipe as follows: Fry onions in 



258 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

new butter without salt, or in fresh lard, and rub the affected part. 
His leg healed quickly." 

5270. To cure an ingrowing toe-nail, lift up the corner of the nail and 
let the tallow from a lighted candle drip on it. 

5271. "It will amuse you to hear that my brother Walter, fourteen at 
the time, just then made a great slash in his leg with his new 
Christmas pocketknife. In the excitement the knife disappeared 
and was not found for months. It at last turned up swathed in 
grease and rags, where it had been hidden by our faithful colored 
maid, who did not intend that her favorite Walter should be 
endangered in life and limb by any foolish negligence of his 
family." Written contribution. 



GOITRE AND MUMPS 

5272. If you strain your neck, you will get a goitre. 

5273. Goitre may be cured by keeping a necklace of amber beads around 
the neck. 

5274. "I had a very bad goitre. It hung way down over my breast. And 
that was all I did, was to take nine different kind of bean leaves 
and put them on a cloth, so the smooth side of the bean leaves 
would be next to my goitre, and put it around my neck; and it 
cured me. You can see for yourself it is gone." 

5275. Wear a necklace of black beads and when the supporting string 
rots, the goitre will disappear. 

5276. Cure a goitre by wearing a necklace of coral beads. 

5277. As a remedy for goitre, stroke it with the hand of a corpse. 

5278. "My brother saw a little girl fourteen years old with a bad goitre. 
She went to where a dead person was laid out, and this girl took 
the dead person's hand and rubbed it over her goitre three times, 
and lay the dead hand back in the same position that it was in; 
and in a year my brother met this girl and her goitre was gone." 

5279. "If you have a goitre, you should go to a corpse, and if your 
goitre is on the left side, take the dead person's left hand and rub 
over your goitre on the left side; and if on the right side, take the 
dead person's right hand and rub on the right side. Never only 
take one hand and rub all around your neck. My sister had a bad 
goitre and when our mother died, she took her left hand and 
rubbed it all over her left side ; and her goitre got well on the left 
side and never did get well on the right side." 

5280. To cure your goitre, kneel down near a dead person and pray. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 259 

asking- the Lord to have the corpse take it away. After burial, as 
the body decays, in Hke manner will your goitre gradually fade 
away. 

5281. Rub a (greasy) dish rag over a goitre, then bury the dish rag; 
and when it rots, the goitre will vanish. 

5282. Drop a live frog into a skillet of hot lard and let it fry until dead, 
then spread this grease over a goitre and it will go away. 

5283. Rub the belly of a live frog on your goitre three times and throw 
the frog over your left shoulder. Your goitre will disappear and 
the frog will die. 

5284. Wear a gold bead necklace to cure or prevent goitre. 

5285. For goitre, keep a bag containing hops about your neck. 

5286. To keep from having a goitre, wear a necklace of Job's tears on 
the neck. 

5287. A necklace of red beads worn around the neck will cure goitre. 

5288. "My sister had a large wen (this cure is also used for goitre) on 
the back of her head and it went away without her having a 
doctor. I just know she took a potato and rubbed over her wen. 
I would beg and beg her to tell me how she lost her wen, but she 
would not tell me. I guess she was afraid to tell me. She was 
afraid it would come back. She was always telling me to cut a 
potato in three pieces and rub over my goitre. So one day I did, 
and took the pieces way out in the country and buried them right 
up against a tree, so no one could walk over it. And when I buried 
them, I said, 'In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.' 
I didn't wait long enough to see if my goitre went away without 
the doctor, for I had a very bad goitre. One night I almost choked 
to death and they took me right to the hospital. I know the potato 
would of helped me, if I had of rubbed it on sooner." 

5289. Keep a wide silk band about the neck to cure goitre. "I know 

this will cure it, for I had a goitre and I put a wide silk piece 
around my neck and it left." 

5290. You will never get a goitre, if you wear a black silk ribbon on 
your neck. 

5291. "A man's sister had a goitre. He went and killed a black snake, 
cut its head right off and tied a string around the snake's neck; 
then wrapped that snake around his sister's neck three times, then 
took it off and wrapped it around again three times, then again 
three times. This last time he let it stay on his sister's neck until 
she started to getting blue in the face; then took it off, and the 
goitre went away." 

5292. "H you have a goitre and everything fails, get tin foil and wrap 
around your neck and leave it there until the goitre disappears. 



260 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

My cousin had a goitre and nothing would help. One day some- 
one told her about the tin foil and she tried it, and her goitre 
disappeared." 

5293. Rubbing a toad over a goitre will cure it. 

5294. You can cure a goitre by keeping a toad around your neck. 

5295. The following remedy comes from an old witch doctor who used 
to sell it for five dollars: "Take a cup of sugar and a pint of 
water and let that come to a boil, then let that come to lukewarm. 
Buy an ounce of iodine and put three fourths of the ounce in this 
syrup. Then take the other one fourth of iodine and put that in 
a ten cent bottle of vaseline, and stir the iodine in the vaseline 
good; that is the salve to rub on the outside of the goitre. And 
the syrup is to take. Take a teaspoonful before each meal and 
one before going to bed." 

5296. "If a woman gets the mumps and they go down on her, she won't 
be able to have any children." 

5297. To prevent mumps from "going down" or "falling on" a person, 
tie a string around the patient's waist. 

5298. Put bacon on mumps to remove the soreness. 

5299. Pain in mumps can be relieved by drinking hot catnip tea. 

5300. Drink tea made of dog fennel leaves for mumps. 

5301. "Years ago I took mumps in the morning. My mother took me 
out to the hog trough, rubbed my neck over the hog trough, just 
got my neck full of that old green slime. I was well by night." 

5302. "If you have the mumps, go to a hog trough where the hogs have 
rubbed and rub where your mumps are three times. They will go 
away." 



GOUT-NEURALGIA-NEURITIS-RHEUMATISM 

5303. Place an ant hill in a bag and cook it and use as a poultice for 
gout. 

5304. Poultice gout with a mixture of goat milk butter and cow manure. 

5305. Cut your finger-nails and toe-nails on Friday and you will not get 
neuralgia. 

5306. As a remedy for neuralgia, put horse-radish leaves on the stove 
until they wilt, then apply these leaves to the aching place and 
the pain will stop. 

5307. To cure neuralgia, rub the affected parts with a lemon. 

5308. Wear a nutmeg around your neck and you will never have neu- 
ralgia. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 261 

5309. Neuralgia may be cured, if a nutmeg attached to a red string is 
worn on the neck. 

5310. "Green rye tea will cure neuralgia, or kidney trouble. I always 
keep rye growing in my yard and if I get sick with my kidneys 
or feel neuralgia coming on, I always make tea out of the green 
rye and take it." 

5311. "Years ago Mrs. D. had a bad case of neuralgia. A traveling-man 
told her husband that she should always put on her left stocking 
and left shoe first. She did and her neuralgia left and has never 
returned. Even today when she goes to buy a new pair of shoes, 
she makes the clerk put on the left shoe first, because she is afraid 
the neuralgia might come back." 

5312. Smoke dried sumac berries in a clay pipe to cure neuralgia. 

5313. For neuritis, keep a bag of alum in the bed. 

5314. Fill a "soda bottle" wuth coal oil and a dime's worth of camphor. 
Use this liniment for neuritis. 

5315. To prevent neuritis, remove the "hearing bone" from the head 
of a hog and wear it around your neck. 

5316. Carry a piece of alimi to cure or to prevent rheumatism. 

5317. Rheumatism can be cured by sleeping on a sock that contains 
powdered alum. 

5318. A bee sting will cure rheumatism. 

5319. Cure rheumatism by wearing a brass ring. Some say that you 
must not wear a gold ring at the same time. 

5320. Keep a brass ring on the middle finger of the left hand to ward 
ofif rheumatism. 

5321. Rheumatism may be prevented by carrying a buckeye in your 
pocket. 

5322. Treat rheumatism by drinking buckeye tea. This will either kill 
or cure you. 

5323. Render a buzzard into grease and use this for rheumatism. 

5324. "I will never have the rheumatism, because every night when I 
go to bed, I tie a bag of camphor under each knee to keep from 
having it." 

5325. Each night sleep with your feet against a cat and your rheumatism 
will go into the cat. 

5326. The following is said to be an Indian remedy for rheumatism : 
Boil three bunches of celery in two gallons of water until you 
have one gallon of liquid. Drink three glassfuls a day. 

5327. After killing a chicken, and while it is dying, if you hold it by the 
feet with its head hanging down, you will get rheumatism. 

5328. "Take a chicken and cut it in two and leave all the entrails in, and 
put your foot right in the chicken and it will take all the rheu- 



262 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

matism you have in your body. The poison will go into the 
chicken." 

5329. Drink hard cider for rheumatism. 

5330. To cure rheumatism, put a copper band on the affected place. 

5331. A good remedy for rheumatism is to wear a copper wire round 
your right wrist. 

5332. Make two bracelets of fine copper wire and wear one of them on 
the ankle and the other about the wrist to cure rheumatisui. 

5333. If you keep a piece of copper in your pocket, you will never have 
rheumatism. A negro said the rheumatism goes into the coj^per 
and turns it black. 

5334. Sleep with a dog to cure rheumatism. The dog will absorb the 
disease and become crippled. 

5335. Put dog fennel blossoms in a bottle and then fill it with coal oil. 
Let this stand until autumn and you will then have an excellent 
liniment for rheumatism. 

5336. The rheumatic parts of your body can be cured by wrapping an 
eelskin around them. 

5337. Wear elder leaves in your shoes to ward off rheumatism. 

5338. To cure any rheumatic part of your body, keep a piece of elk skin 
on it. 

5339. A piece of red flannel worn about the wrist will cure rheumatism. 

5340. "I always take a strip of red flannel about three inches wide and 
wrap around my legs for the rheumatism." 

5341. Wear a red flannel string around the knee to prevent rheumatism. 

5342. Rheumatism may be cured by alternately drinking three cupfuls 
of garlic tea daily for three days and then eating a garlic a day 
for five days. 

5343. To throw the cuttings from your hair on the floor will make your 
bones crack and give you rheumatism. 

5344. You must always burn your hair clippings or you will get rheu- 
matism. 

5345. "Take ten cents worth of hartshorn and four eggs, and break one 
tgg with just a little hole in the corner so the egg will come out; 
then fill the tgg shell full four times with salt, four times with 
vinegar, four times with turpentine ; then beat it all up good and 
put in a bottle and rub it on for rheumatism." 

5346. As a remedy for rheumatism, take a hot bath in water to which 
hayseed has been added. 

5347. Bend a horseshoe nail into a ring and wear it on your little finger 
for rheumatism. 

5348. Keep an Indian turnip in your pocket as a preventive against 
rheumatism. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 263 

5349. To prevent or cure rheumatism, eat a lemon with salt every morn- 
ing before breakfast. 

5350. Eat a lemon every morning one hour before breakfast until you 
have consumed sixty-two lemons, and you will never have rheu- 
matism. 

5351. Place two tablespoonfuls of Epsom salts, the juice of two lemons, 
and a quart of rain water in a bottle and shake well. Take a tea- 
spoonful night and morning for rheumatism. 

5352. "Aly daughter had rheumatism bad. She could not even sit up. 
We had several different doctors. They could not do her any 
good. One day I had a new man friend to come to the house and 
he said, 'What is wrong with your daughter ?' I told him she had 
rheumatism, that she had not been out of the bed for weeks. This 
friend said, T will have your daughter out in a week.' I said, 
'What is the matter with you? I have had two doctors and they 

can't get her out.' 'Well I will show you I can.' He was 

working on a farm. In several days he came to my house and 
brought me some May apple roots and told me to make the tea. 
I thought it would do no harm, because I had tried everything 
else and I did want to get her out of bed, because she had three 
little children. So I took the roots and made a tea and strained 
them, gave her a tablespoonful every two hours. The second day 
she was sitting up in bed and just as he said, she was on her feet 
working around the house in a week time. It was just wonderful 
how soon she got well over taking that May apple roots tea, when 
the doctors could not help her." 

5353. Boil mullein leaves in vinegar and use as a poultice for rheu- 
matism. 

5354. You will get rid of rheumatism, if you keep a nutmeg in your 
pocket. 

5355. For rheumatism, drink red oak bark tea. 

5356. Treat any rheumatic condition by rubbing the afflicted part with 
oil origanum. 

5357. Use a poultice of peach tree leaves for rheumatism. 

5358. As a cure for rheumatism, carry a penny in your pocket. 

5359. Rheumatism will be cured or prevented, if a penny is worn in 
each shoe. 

5360. To treat rheumatism, make a liniment by putting red pepper in a 
bottle and then fiUing it with coal oil. 

5361. Juice from pressed peppermint leaves mixed with yellow clay will 
make an excellent poultice for rheumatism. 

5362. Eat uncooked pokeberries for rheumatism. 



264 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

5363. Rheumatism may be treated by drinking a tea made of dried 
pokeberries. 

5364. For rheumatism, drink a tea made from poke roots. 

5365. Tea from poke leaves and stems is good for rheumatism. 

5366. "Take two tablespoonfuls of pokeberries and place in one quart 
of whiskey. Let it stand for twenty-four hours before using. 
Take one tablespoonful three times a day and it will cure rheu- 
matism." 

5367. "I had rheumatism bad in my arm. I could not raise my ami up. 
I went out in the wood and got some pokeberries and put in a 
pint of whiskey and let it stand nine days, then took a table- 
spoonful night and morning; and when the pint was gone, the 
pain was gone. I think it is very good for rheumatism." 

5368. "Take twenty-five cents worth of potassium and a pint bottle full 
of water and take for rheumatism. Take one tablespoonful before 
each meal." 

5369. Just as soon as you put a peeled potato in your pocket, your rheu- 
matism will begin to disappear; and by the time the potato drys 
up, the rheumatism will be gone. 

5370. Carry a potato in your pocket: If the potato rots, your rheu- 
matism will leave; but if the potato becomes hard, the remedy will 
be ineffective. 

5371. Keep three small potatoes in your pocket for rheumatism. 

5372. Cut a potato in two and wear a half on each knee for a rheu- 
matism remedy. 

5373. Spit on a rock for three mornings, then hide the rock under your 
front porch and forget about it; and this will cure your rheu- 
matism. 

5374. Cure rheumatism by keeping salt in your shoes. 

5375. Skunk oil rubbed over any rheumatic part of the body v/ill cure it. 

5376. Last spring a man said that he was watching for the appearance 
of the first black snake so that he could kill it and wear the skin 
to cure his rheumatism. He does this each year. 

5377. Wear rattlesnake rattles in your hatband to prevent rheumatism. 

5378. For a rheumatism cure, keep a teaspoonful of sulphur in each 
shoe. One negro explained that the sulphur will go up through 
your system. 

5379. A tea made from the innermost bark of a sycamore tree will cure 
rheumatism. 

5380. "The nurse at E. told me today that she went to see a very old 
negro woman who had a severe case of rheumatism. This old 
negress said to the nurse, Tf I could only get a thunderbolt, I sure 
would get well.' The nurse asked, 'What is a thunderbolt?' The 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 265 

old negress explained that they are found under the trees after a 
big thunderstorm." 

5381. Rheumatism can be cured by rubbing the ailing parts with the 
"gold meat" (yellow meat) of a turtle. 

5382. When you wash your hands and face in the morning, dry your 
hands first and you will never have rheumatism. 

5383. To cure rheumatism, swallow four or five times daily a capsule 
containing five drops of wintergreen; and at the same time, rub 
the affected parts with wintergreen. 

5384. Mash up angleworms (also called "earthworms" , "fishing-worms" 
and "red-ivorms") or let them decompose in the sun, and use this 
oil for rubbing rheumatic parts. 



HEADACHE 

5385. Carry a buckeye in your pocket to prevent headache. 

5386. Headache may be cured by drinking tea made of the butterfly 
bush. 

5387. To treat headache, put cabbage leaves on the forehead. 

5388. Drink catnip tea for headache. 

5389. Cure a headache immediately by snuffing carrot juice. 

5390. You will have headaches throughout the year, if you cut your 
hair in March. 

5391. Keep your combings in a dark place or you will get a headache. 

5392. To cure headache, hide your combings under a rock or where they 
will not be found. 

53(93. Always bury your hair cuttings and you will never have a head- 
ache. 

5394. If a bird picks up your combings and makes a nest of them, it 
will give you a headache. 

5395. When a bird builds a nest of your combings, you will suffer with 
headaches until the nest is destroyed. 

5396. If birds find your combings, you will have headaches the rest of 
your life. 

5397. To sit in the house with your hat on will cause a headache. 

5398. For headache, poultice the forehead with hops boiled in water. 

5399. As a headache remedy, put crushed horse-radish leaves on the 
forehead. 

5400. Lay mashed horse-radish leaves on the back of the neck to cure a 
headache. 



266 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

5401. You can get rid of a headache, if you dip bruised horse-radish 
leaves into vinegar and bandage them around the forehead. 

5402. Wear a match in your hair to prevent headache. 

5403. Soak brown paper in vinegar and bind it about the forehead for 
headache. 

5404. Headache can be cured by carrying a potato in your pocket until 
it withers. 

5405. The following prayer will cure headache or backache: "Lord of 
the world may it please thee to be my physician and helper. Heal 
me and relieve me from my severe headache and backache, because 
I can find help only with thee, and only with thee is counsel and 
action to be found. Amen." Written contribution. 

5406. Tie a cold cloth around the head to cure headache. 

5407. Keep rattlesnake rattlers in your hatband to ward off headaches. 

5408. Putting on your left shoe first will give you a headache. 

5409. To be free from headaches, wash your head with snow water on 
Good Friday. 

5410. "One day I was working out in a field and I said to a man, *I 
have such a bad headache. I wish I had some medicine.' He said, 
'Take your fingers and rub under your arms real hard, then smell 
them.' I did and my headache went right away." 

5411. Ha boiling teakettle is kept in the room, you will not get a 
headache. 

5412. Rid yourself of headaches by wearing one of your pulled teeth 
around your neck. 

5413. If a woman has a headache, put a live toad in a piece of white 
linen and tie it on her head; and she will never have a headache 
again. 

5414. Cure a headache by drinking a large quantity of hot water. 

5415. Black pepper and a few drops of vinegar taken in hot water will 
cure a headache. 

5416. Put your legs up to the knees in a tub of hot water containing a 
handful of mustard and your headache will leave almost im- 
mediately. 



HICCOUGH 

5417. If a person has hiccough, he has told a lie. 

5418. Having hiccough means that someone is talking about you. 

5419. Stop a person's hiccough by making him angry. 

5420. Lie on your back and stretch your arms straight up in the air to 
cure hiccough. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 267 

5421. Treat hiccough by taking a slow deep breath and holding it as 
long as possible. 

5422. To get rid of hiccough, hold your breath while counting nine. 

5423. As a remedy for hiccough, take teaspoonful doses of tea made 
from the dill plant. 

5424. Hiccough can be cured by placing your two little fingers in your 
ears and holding your breath. 

5425. Put the ends of your thumbs behind your ears and press them in 
tightly to stop hiccough. 

5426. To cure hiccough, hold both ears tightly closed and let someone 
give you a drink of water. 

5427. For hiccough, keep your fingers tightly in your ears and have 
someone give you three swallows of water. 

5428. To check hiccough, hold your index fingers out in front of you 
and try to see how near you can bring them together without 
touching. 

5429. Frighten a person to scare away his hiccough. 

5430. Hiccough may be checked by standing on your head. 

5431. Rid yourself of hiccough by letting someone place a knife blade 
on your tongue. 

5432. "To stop hiccoughs, take a glass of water and hold a knife down 
in the glass while you are drinking it ; and that will cut the water 
and stop your hiccoughs." 

5433. Swallow a little sugar in a teaspoonful of lemon juice as a hic- 
cough remedy. 

5434. Wear a nutmeg around your neck and you will not have hiccough. 

5435. "There was an old man out at the Soldiers' Home that had the 
hiccoughs for five days, and the doctor said, 'Get the old Indian. 
He will stop them.' So I gave him five drops of peppermint in 
a half glass of water and he got right over them." 

5436. Eat plum preserves for hiccough. 

5437. For a severe attack of hiccough, eat a potato three nights in suc- 
cession instead of supper and then take a tablespoonful of castor 
oil in hot coffee. 

5438. To drive away hiccough, lift up one end of a rock, but be careful 
to keep the other end on the ground, and then spit under the rock 
and restore the rock to its original position. 

5439. Letting a teaspoonful of sugar dissolve on the tongue is good for 
hiccough. 

5440. Saturate a lump of sugar with vinegar and eat for hiccough. 

5441. Hiccough will leave, if you stick out your tongue and hold it there 
as long as possible. 



268 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

5442. Keep a swallow of water in your mouth, close both ears with your 
fingers, then swallow and the hiccough will go away. 

5443. As a cure for hiccough, hold a mouthful of water and swallow just 
when about to hiccough. The remedy is more effective if the ears 
are kept closed. 

5444. "Drink three sups up 

Will cure the hiccoughs up." 

5445. Take three swallows of water while holding your breath to stop 
hiccough. 

5446. Cure hiccough by taking seven swallows of water as you hold 
your breath. 

5447. Hiccough can be stopped by holding the breath while drinking nine 
swallows of water. 

5448. Hold nine sips of water in your mouth, count nine backward, then 
turn around nine times ; and your hiccough will be gone. 

5449. For hiccough, swallow ten drops of w^ater while holding your 
breath. 

5450. Twelve sips of water will cure hiccough. 



HYSTERICS-NERVOUS TROUBLES-SHINGLES 
ST. VITUS DANCE 

545 L Grind dried chicken dung into a powder and give a pinch of it 
in a prune to anyone with hysterics. 

5452. Eat apples for the nerv^es and nervous troubles. 

5453. Three spoonfuls of apple vinegar taken thrice daily is good for 
nervousness. 

5454. When you are nervous, drink catnip tea. "It is the very be.^t 

medicine you can take for the nerves." 

5455. As a remedy for nervousness, administer one teaspoonful of 
celery seed in a cupful of hot water three times a day. 

5456. If you kill a chicken and let it die in your hand, you will become 
nervous. 

5457. To cure nervousness, sleep with a bag of hops under your pillow. 

5458. Drink peppermint tea for tired nerves. 

5459. Tea of lady-slipper roots is good for nervousness. 

5460. "If you are nervous, take and put pine needles in a bag and put 
them under your pillow and sleep on them. I think they are very 
good. I keep a bag under my pillow all the time to make me 
sleep." 

5461. Read Psalm XXIII when nervous. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 269 

5462. It is the sign of nervousness, if a person "runs over" the heels 
of his shoes. 

5463. Do not smoke in bed at night for it will make you nervous. 

5464. You can get rid of nervous trouble by eating walnuts. 

5465. An excellent tonic for the nerves is wild cherry bark tea. 

5466. Tea of wild geranium leaves is good for the nerves. 

5467. When the two ends of a chain of shingles meet, the patient will 
die. 

5468. "If you will take a black cat and kill it, and while the blood is 
dripping put the blood on anyone that has the shingles, it will 
cure him.'' 

5469. "If you have shingles, take a black hen and kill it, and rub the 
blood all over your body, and that will cure them if you are not 
too far gone." 

5470. Apply a poultice of cranberries to cure shingles. 

5471. Mix a teaspoonful of sulphur, a tablespoonful of lard, and ten 
drops of camphor. Treat shingles with this salve. 

5472. Drink tea made from the leaves or flowers of horsemint to cure 
St. Vitus dance. 



LUNG TROUBLE AND PNEUMONIA 

5474. Tea made from the roots of the butterfly weed is good for lung 
trouble or pleurisy. 

5475. "If a child has lung trouble, take off all the child's clothes. Take 
and boil corn on the ear, just like you feed a horse. When it gets 
good and hot, wrap it in towels and put all around the child. Put 
a cold rag on its head. My boy had lung trouble bad. Next to 
pneumonia. I put the boiling hot corn around him and the cold 
rag on his head. It sure did help him." 

5476. For lung trouble, drink milk in which garlic has been boiled. 

5477. Let a person with weak lungs drink "billy goat" urine. 

5478. "I had a boy that was very sick with pneumonia. The doctor said 
he could not get well. After the doctor left, I took fat bacon and 
put a piece on each arm, and tied a piece on each bottom foot, 
and a piece back of his neck, and left it on all afternoon. About 
time for the doctor to come I started to taking it off, and the 
doctor caught me. He wanted to know what I was doing and I 
told him. He let me put it back on, and in two days we could see 
he was getting better. And he got well. That bacon took out all 
the fever." 



270 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

5479. As a lung trouble remedy, boil garlic in milk and add a pinch of 
salt. 

5480. Apply a hot poultice of mullein leaves to the chest as a lung 
trouble remedy. 

5481. To cure lung trouble, place sheep lice in some article ot food and 
eat it. 

5482. "My boy was very sick w^ith pneumonia. The doctor told me one 
night he could not get v^^ell, he was very low, and to call him in 
the night if anything went wrong. After the doctor left, 1 v. as 
sitting in the kitchen crying, when a woman that lived in 'Slab 
Holler (Hollow)' came to my house. She had heard how low my 
boy was, and said, 'If you will let me, I will help you gel your 
boy better.' I said, T will try anything.' Then she told me about 
the cow manure and bread dough. I said I would try it. So she 
went and got the cow manure and I made up some light bread. 
We tied his feet up in that light bread dough and started to plot- 
ting on hot cow manure poultice on his lungs. Just as soon as 
they would get a little cool we would put another one on. We 
kept that up all night. The next morning when the doctor rame, 
w^hen I open the door, he said, 'How is the boy? I was looking 
for you to call me last night.' I said, T believe he is better.' He 
just looked at me. When he saw the boy, he said he was better. 
*I believe he will live. What happened?' I said, 'Doctor, I don't 
want you to laugh at me, but I will tell you what I did.' W^hen 
I told him about the cow manure and dough, he said, 'That is 
a good one for the doctor's book, cow sh-t and dough.' I knew 
he was making fun of me, because he said, 'cow sh-t.' I said, 
'Well doctor, you can make fun of me if you want to, but T saved 
my boy and that is all I care about. Put it in the doctor's book 
if you want to'." 

5483. Pneumonia can be cured by keeping a piece of freshly killed 
chicken on the chest. 

5484. "If someone has pneumonia in the last stages, on the ninth day 
throw the covers all off and open all windows, and nine times 
out of ten they will pull through." 

5485. "It's a funny thing about doctors. They claim that they can cure 
everything but the pneumonia, but the superstitious people say 
that they can cure the pneumonia with hogs hoof. They say, take 
some hog hoofs, wash them clean and then put them in hot boiling 
water and let them boil until they steam, then take the water and 
drink it and it will cure the pneumonia. The name of the water 
is hogs hoof tea." Written conttihution. 

5486. "Take six or ten onions, put in a large pan, then add the same 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 271 

quantity of rye meal and vinegar, enough to make a thick paste. 
Stir it thoroughly and let cook ten minutes, then put in a cotton 
bag, large enough to cover the lungs, and just as hot as a patient 
can bear. For pneumonia this remedy never fails." 

5487. "My boy was very low with double pneumonia. The doctor raid 
he would not get well. I said to the doctor, 'I have an old remedy. 
Can I try it?' The doctor said, 'Do anything you want. Your son 
is very low.' I had some Granger Twist tobacco in the house. I 
took it and pulled it all apart and put it in a pan. Then I pur 
skunk oil over it, put it on the stove. When it was good and hot, 
I put it on the bottom of his feet, lungs, just ever^'where; and my 
boy got well. I will tell anyone, that when a doctor fails with 
pneumonia, take and cure them with skunk oil and tobacco and 
they will get well." 

5488. "If anyone has pneumonia, take Duke Mixture tobacco and fry 
the tobacco in lard and put it in a bag the size of your lungs, and 
lay that bag over them. It will take out all the fever and cure 
you. We keep a can of Duke Mixture tobacco fried in lard all 
the time in the house. The longer you keep it the better. And 
when anyone gets a cold in their lung, we put it right on." 

5489. As a remedy for pneumonia or a cold, make a poultice of white 
vaseline to which a pinch of ground nutmeg has been added, and 
place it between the shoulder blades. 



NOSEBLEED 

5490. A woman, now dead, who formerly lived out in the country, 
possessed the power to heal nosebleed as well as other ailments at 
a distance. She was not a Christian Scientist. About a year or 
so ago someone in Quincy had a severe nosebleed and telephoned 
this healer to seek her advice. The latter, saying a cure could be 
worked immediately, asked for the color of the patient's hair 
and eyes ; and then assured her that the bleeding would stop within 
a certain number of minutes. 

5491. To stop a bleeding of the nose, wear a necklace of amber beads. 

5492. Nosebleed can be cured by sticking the blade of an axe into the 
ground. 

5493. As a remedy for nosebleed, wear a necklace of red beads. 

5494. Wearing a necklace of red corn will cure a bleeding nose. 

5495. When your nose bleeds, count twenty and it will stop. 

5496. Count fifty backward to cure nosebleed. 

5497. If you put a wad of cotton in your nostril, it will check nosebleed. 



272 Memoirs of flic Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

5498. Place a piece of cotton under the upper lip as a nosebleed remedy. 
54S)9. Treat a bleeding nose by holding a dime against the roof of the 
mouth with your tongue. 

5500. For nosebleed, keep a dime under the upper lip. 

5501. A nose will cease bleeding, if a dime is held between the lower 
lip and teeth. 

5502. Wrap two dimes in separate pieces of brown paper and insert 
these packages, one on each side, under your lower or upper lips. 
This will cure nosebleed. 

5503. To arrest nosebleed, dip a dime into cold water and lay it on the 
back of the neck. 

5504. Pressing under both ears simultaneously will stop nosebleed. 

5505. It is lucky to have your nose bleed on Friday. 

5506. Hold a gold ring against the roof of the mouth and your nose will 
cease bleeding. 

5507. To rid yourself of nosebleed, chew gum. 

5508. Cure a bleeding nose by raising and holding both hands above 
your head. 

5509. To make a nose stop bleeding, put ice on the back of your neck. 

5510. To check bleeding of the nose, dip a piece of cotton into good ink 
and place it in the nose. 

5511. Keep your nose from bleeding by dropping a key down your back 
or holding a key against your back. 

5512. To be free of nosebleed, wear a key on a green string about your 
neck. 

5513. Tie a bunch of keys on a green string and wear them around your 
neck to cure nosebleed. 

5514. "To keep from having a nosebleed; after it has started, put the 
end of a key in your nose and then take it out and tie the key 
around your neck next to your skin, and it will not only stop the 
nosebleed, but you will not have the nosebleed as long as the key 
is around your neck." Written contribution. 

5515. You can stop your nose from bleeding by letting the blood drip 
on a knife and then sticking the knife into the ground. 

5516. Your nose will not bleed ; if you keep around your neck a necklace 
of lead bullets or shot. 

5517. If worn about the neck, a bullet with which something has been 
killed will cure nosebleed. 

5518. Wear a piece of lead that has never touched the ground and your 
nose will not bleed. 

5519. "If you have the nosebleed, take a piece of lead and put a hole 
through it and hang it around your neck, letting the piece of 
lead hang in that hollow place in your neck." 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 273 

5520. Drop a nail down your back for nosebleed. 

5521. Leave rusty nails in cider vinegar until the rust comes off and 
then drink this liquid as a nosebleed remedy. 

5522. If your nose bleeds, hold a nickel against your gums. 

5523. "When I was a little girl I had the nosebleed all the time and my 
mother put two nutmegs on a red string and made me wear them 
all the time to school. If I would take them off, my nose would 
start to bleed." 

5524. For a bleeding nose, roll up a piece of paper and press it under 
the upper lip. 

5525. You may keep your nose from bleeding by chewing brown paper. 

5526. Chew a piece of brown wrapping-paper and place the wad under 
your upper lip to cure nosebleed. 

5527. Nosebleed can be stopped by biting on a piece of paper held be- 
tween your teeth. 

5528. As a nosebleed remedy, soak a piece of brown paper in vinegar 
and put it under your upper lip. 

5529. Drop brown paper down your back for nosebleed. 

5530. Tear one of the corners from a paper sack, fold up this piece of 
paper, and then push it under your upper lip for nosebleed. 

5531. Cure nosebleed by inserting a piece of writing paper under the 
upper lip. 

5532. Go where you cannot be seen and let your nose bleed on a white 
rock, then turn the rock over and depart; and your nose will 
cease bleeding. 

5533. One can cure nosebleed by holding a pair of scissors against the 
back of the neck. 

5534. "Our neighbor would always drop a pair of scissors down any- 
one's back that had the nosebleed." 

5535. Keep a piece of silver under the upper lip to check nosebleed. 

5536. Tie or hold a "snuff-ball" (devil's-snuffbox) under your nostrils 
and your nose will stop bleeding. 

5537. Check nosebleed by keeping a spoon under your tongue. 

5538. Make a nose quit bleeding by pressing a spoon against the roof 
of your mouth. 

5539. As a cure for nosebleed, tie a string around the little finger of the 
left hand. 

5540. Yam string tied about one of the little fingers will cure nosebleed. 

5541. Nosebleed may be checked by tying a yarn string around the left 
little finger. 

5542. Wrap a piece of red yarn on the thumb for nosebleed. 

5543. If your right nostril is bleeding, tie a string around your right 
arm above the elbow as a remedy. 



274 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

5544. When your left nostril bleeds, it can be stopped by tying a string 
about the left arm above the elbow. 

5545. Your nose can be kept from bleeding by wearing a piece of red 
yarn or red string around the neck and letting it remain there for 
three days. A woman said that she had tried this remedy. As 
soon as she removed the yarn, her nose began to bleed ; but when 
she replaced the yarn the bleeding stopped immediately. By 
experiment she discovered that the yarn could be taken off only 
after the third day. 

5546. If your nose begins to bleed, suspend a dime from a red yarn 
string and tie it on your neck, then open the Bible and say, "In 

the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost stop my 

nosebleed." 

5547. A piece of stiff cardboard pressed firmly between your teeth will 
prevent nosebleed. 

5548. To cure nosebleed, hold a folded napkin or some solid substance 
between your teeth, bite it hard, and at the same time clinch your 
hands tightly. 

5549. Pour cold water on your neck for nosebleed. 

5550. Cure nosebleed by placing a wet or cold rag on the back of your 
neck. 

5551. To stop a severe nosebleed, tie a woolen string around the neck 
and put a cold cloth on the head. 

5552. Take a mixture of wild alum roots and red pepper for bleeding 
of the nose. 

5553. Pour hot water over wild cherry bark and a pod of red pepper. 
Drink some of this liquid as a nosebleed remedy. 



PILES AND RECTAL TROUBLE 

5554. If you sit on a cold stone, you will get piles. 

5555. To prevent piles, carry alum in your pocket. 

5556. Keep a buckeye in your pocket either as a preventive or cure for 
piles. 

5557. Piles can be cured by applying a salve made from twentynfive 
cents worth of calamus and one half cup of lard. 

5558. Rub piles with burnt cork for a remedy. 

5559. Use a mixture of burnt cork and lard to cure piles. 

5560. "Take fresh hog manure, put it on the stove and let it melt. Let 
it become cold. Put a few drops of turpentine in it, and it will 
cure any bad case of piles." 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 275 

5561. Carrying mullein leaves is good for piles. 

5562. Put mullein leaves in a jar, pour hot vv^ater over them, and then 
sit on the jar to ease pain caused by piles. 

5563. A good ointment for piles can be made by mixing lard w\\h. 
cooked mullein leaves. 

5564. Boiled white oak bark is a good v^^ash for piles. 

5565. Bathe piles with a liquid made by boiling white oak bark and alum. 

5566. "If you have bleeding piles, take two large handfuls of peach 
leaves and fry in lard until black, then strain, and it will make a 
very good salve to apply." 

5567. For piles, chew peach and cherry leaves together and insert the 
wad in the rectum. 

5568. A good salve for piles is made by cooking pumpkin seed one and 
one half hours, straining, then adding lard and boiling down until 
the mixture becomes thick. 

5569. Drink slippery elm tea to cure piles. 

5570. Bleeding piles may be healed by drinking a tablespoonful of 
powdered sulphur in a pint of milk each morning or night. 

5571. Treat piles by using a salve made of sweet oil and camphor. 

5572. Wipe yourself with a piece of your old underwear, then burn it 
up, and your piles will go away. 

5573. Fill one half jar of vaseline with coal oil and use for piles. 

5574. A good remedy for piles is to drink a glass of hot water, as hot 
as you can take it, morning, noon and night. 

5575. Yellowroot powder mixed with lard is very good for piles. 

5576. "Put red-hot charcoal in a jar and some rosin and sit over it, 
and it will cure rectum trouble." 

5577. "Take five white onions and slice them, put them in a four-gallon 
jar, then put in one half gallon of hot water ; sit over it for an 
hour every day with a blanket over you to make you sweat. If 
you do this, it will cure rectum trouble. Years ago a very rich 
man living at Palmyra, Missouri, had rectum trouble bad. Spent 
lots of money. He could not get well. An old colored woman 
went to this man and told him she could get him well, if he would 
do what she told him to do. He said, 'I will do anything to get 
well. If you can get me well, you and your old man will never 
want. You can have a home with me here.' So she told him about 
the white onions. He could not get them in Palmyra, so he sent 
and got a barrel full of white onions at St. Louis. Every morning 
this old colored woman would fix the jar and he would sit on it 
for an hour. He did this for one year and got well. The old 
colored folks had everything they wanted." 



ZJd Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

POISONING AND POISON IVY 

5578. If you are poisoned out in the woods, rub coal oil on the affected 
place for a cure. 

5579. A dime placed under your tongue will turn green, if you are 
poisoned. 

5580. When you are poisoned, drop three lilac leaves into a cup of 
boiling water and drink this liquid to make you vomit. 

5581. Mullein leaf tea makes an excellent wash for poisoning. 

5582. A poultice of nightshade leaves is good for poisoning. 

5583. Tie a white onion on any poisoned spot and it will draw out the 
poison. 

5584. If you accidentally take poison, drink urine to cause vomiting. 

5585. If you get "poison ivy," you will have it for seven consecutive 
summers. 

5586. An application of strong catnip tea mixed with olive oil is good 
for "poison ivy." 

5587. Place goldenrod leaves in cold water and wash with this liquid to 
cure "poison ivy." 

5588. Put ironweed roots in an iron pot so that they stand upright and 
then cook them. Use this liquid as a wash three or four times 
daily for "poison ivy." 

5589. As a "poison ivy" remedy, eat a poison ivy leaf. 

5590. Chew poison ivy leaves occasionally and you will never be 
poisoned by the plant. 

5591. Treat "poison ivy" by drinking a tea made of poison ivy leaves. 
This will make you sick, but you will never catch the disease again. 

5592. For "poison iv}^" apply a poultice of crushed live-forever leaves. 

5593. "Poison ivy" can be cured by using a paste of mashed nightshade 
berries mixed with sweet cream. 

5594. If you were born in a month containing the letter R, you will 
always be poisoned by poison ivy; but if the month of your birth 
does not have the letter R, you are immune. 

5595. When you have touched poison ivy, wash with apple vinegar to 
keep poison from breaking out. 

5596. Wash "poison ivy" eruptions with strong cider vinegar and cover 
them with cornstarch. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 277 

STOMACH TROUBLES 

5597. A good remedy for indigestion is to take three spoonfuls of apple 
vinegar thrice daily. 

5598. For stomach trouble, drink the water in which dried beans have 
been cooked. 

5599. If you are sick at your stomach, put camphor on your throat and 
a cold cloth on your head. 

5600. Wheel an empty baby carriage back and forth and you will give 
the baby a "stomachache." 

5601. A baby will have "stomachache," if you rock it in the cradle. 

5602. Pulverize the dried lining of a chicken gizzard and take a tea- 
spoonful in a little water for catarrh of the stomach. 

5603. Tea of red clover blossoms will cure indigestion or stomach 
trouble. 

5604. Eat red clover blossoms for indigestion. 

5605. To cure cramp in a woman's stomach, hang her dress upside down. 

5606. Hang a man's trousers upside down to drive away his stomach 
cramps. 

5607. Tea made of elder flowers is good for cramps in the stomach. 

5608. As a remedy for stomach trouble, drink dog fennel tea. 

5609. "Chew the roots of wild ferns that grow along the banks of a 
small stream and they will cure the worst case of sore mouth 
caused by a bad stomach." 

5610. When you can taste the gold in the filling of your tooth, you 
have an upset stomach. 

5611. Tea of hops is good for stomach trouble. 

5612. Any ailment of the stomach can be cure by drinking tea made of 
the horsemint plant. 

5613. Grated horse-radish is good for indigestion. 

5614. Eat Indian turnip to cure stomach trouble. 

5615. Jimson weed tea will cure stomach cramps. 

5616. Eat a lemon with salt every morning before breakfast and you 
will never have stomach trouble. 

5617. Chew "mule-tail" leaves for cramps in the stomach. 

5618. Sprinkle pepper on your ice cream and you will never have a 
"stomachache" after eating it. 

5619. "A man out by Kinderhook (a few miles outside Adams County) 
by the name of P., his stomach was always coming up (not vomit- 
ing, but the stomach seemed to rise in his body). He just could 
not stand the feeling. He called in the doctor and the doctor said, 
T will give you something that will hold your stomach down.' The 
doctor took number two buckshot and sugar-coated them, and 



278 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

told him to take three a day until he had taken twenty- four, and 
that would hold his stomach down. He took the pills the doctor 
gave him and did not have any more trouble until thirty-five years 
after that. He called in the same doctor and he gave him a good 
physic, and the twenty-four buckshot passed from him and he 
lived to be an old man." 

5620. If a person craves sour foods like pickles, slaw and sauerkraut, it 
is the sign of biliousness. 

5621. Turn a somersault to cure indigestion. 

5622. "Chamber lye is very good for cramp in the stomach. Years ago 
(about seventy- five) my grandmother was at a country church and 
a man got the cramps so bad they didn't know what to do with 
him. One old lady said, 'K we could just get some chamber lye, 
he would get all right.' So they look around and found a can and 
let someone use it, and gave it to this sick man and he got all right. 
Years ago they called urine, chamber lye." 

5623. Crush green violet leaves and place them on the stomach to cure 
inflammation of the stomach. 



TOOTHACHE 

5624. "For toothache my mother always toasted a piece of bread, put lots 
of black pepper on it, then put hot vinegar on that, then put it 
on my face, and the toothache would go away." 

5625. Fold a handkerchief three times, blow your breath thrice through 
these six layers of cloth, and then rub your open hand down over 
your face nine times. This will cure toothache. 

5626. Toothache can be cured by chewing cloves. 

5627. "If you have the toothache, take and bite into a white dog t-rd; 
then throw the t-rd away and your toothache will stop. I know 
several people that done that, and it always stopped their tooth- 
ache." 

5628. Place a little of your carwax on an aching tooth. 

5629. To stop the pain in an ulcerated tooth, warm mashed figs and 
hold them against your tooth until cold; then throw them away 
and use other figs. 

5630. Cut your finger-nails on Friday and you will never get toothache. 

5631. "It is an old saying if you trim your toe-nails on Friday you will 
never have the toothache. Two years ago we had a neighbor that 
had two bad teeth aching. He didn't know about this cutting your 
nails on Friday to keep from having the toothache, so he went 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois' 279 

to the dentist one Thursday and had his teeth worked on, and the 
dentist told him to come back the next week and he would fill 
them. That night he was telling me about it, and I said, 'Trim 
your toe-nails on a Friday.' The next day he got up and trimmed 
his toe-nails on Friday, and has been doing it ever since. And 
he never went back to have the two teeth filled, because they have 

not ached since ; and that is two years ago." Another person 

said : "I am getting to be an old man and I have never had the 
toothache. Years ago my mother told me if you would trim your 
toe-nails on Friday, you would never have the toothache. So I 
never trim my toe-nails any day but Friday and I have never had 
the toothache." 

5632. As a toothache remedy, insert a piece of garlic in the cavity of 
the tooth. 

5633. "I knew a woman that said she had a tooth pulled and she buried 
it in the ground, and after it was buried fifteen years she took it 
up just to see if she would get the toothache; because she had 
always heard her mother say, that as long as the tooth was in the 

ground you would not have toothache. And she said just 

as soon as that tooth was out of the ground she got the toothache, 
and she had not had the toothache for fifteen years." 

5634. Use a hot poultice of hops for toothache. 

5635. "If you have a toothache, take and make a poultice of horehound 
leaves and apply to the swollen parts of the tooth and it will get 
well right away." 

5636. If you prick the gum until it bleeds, using a splinter from a tree 
that has been struck by lightning, your toothache will leave. 

5637. To get rid of toothache, apply a poultice of bruised "mule-ear" 
leaves. 

5638. "If you have the toothache, take a nutmeg and make it square and 
put a hole through the middle, and wear it around your neck and 
your toothache will stop." 

5639. Rub the gum about an aching tooth with red oak bark tea. 

5640. Stick a whole black pepper into the cavity of a tooth for toothache. 

5641. Sleep on a pillow stuflfed with feathers from the breasts of quails 
and you will not be bothered by toothache. 

5642. If you still have pains from the tooth that has been pulled, place 
the tooth on a rock and hit it with a hammer. This will prevent 
toothache in the future. 

5643. Pick sage leaves when the plant is blooming and let them dry. If 
you have a toothache, wet some of these leaves with warm water 
and place them around your tooth. The pain will stop. 

5644. Fill the cavity of a tooth with salt to cure toothache. 



280 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

5645. Treat toothache by heating a sack of salt and placing it on top 
of your head. 

5646. Always remove your right shoe first to keep from having tooth- 
ache. 

5647. The person who chews tobacco never has toothache. 

5648. "After the tooth has been pulled, take a little vinegar in your hand 
and put it on the root of your pulled tooth; then take that tooth 
and lay it in the sun to dry, and you will never have the toothache 
again." 

5649. To stop a toothache, lay a cold cloth on your head and hold your 
feet in hot water. 

5650. When you have toothache, fill your mouth with water and sit on 
a stove until the water boils. This will cure the toothache. 

5651. As a remedy for toothache, hold a swallow of whiskey against the 
aching tooth. 

5652. Drink whiskey to cure a toothache. 

5653. Chew wild cherry bark to stop a tooth from aching. 

5654. You may cure toothache by holding very hot wild cherry bark tea 
in your mouth. 

5655. For toothache, jumping through a window will take away the 
pain. 



ULCER-TUMOR-CARBUNCLE-CANCER-BOIL-ABSCESS 

5656. Make a poultice of May apple root for ulcer. 

5657. To heal an ulcer of the stomach, take a teaspoonful of sulphur 
with a glass of warm water daily for ten mornings. 

5658. A tumor or cancer is caused by a bruise. 

5659. "If you have a tumor, take red clover blossoms and bloody butcher 
corn (red corn) and make a tea of it ; and take a cup of tea three 
times a day and it will dry up a tumor. I have a tumor and I am 
taking a cup of tea three times a day made from red clover blos- 
soms and bloody butcher corn, and I am feeling lots better." 

5660. To cure a tumor or abscess, get a human bone from a graveyard 
and rub it over the tumor or abscess, then bury the bone under a 
waterspout of a roof, where neither sun nor moon can shine on it. 

5661. "If you have a tumor on the outside of your body, take it and 
rub it over the corpse of a dead person three times and it will go 
away. I know this is true, because when my father died, our 
neighbor had a tumor on her arm and she came and rubbed her 
tumor over my dead father three times, and in no time the tumor 
was gone." 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 281 

5662. A poultice of pulverized slippery elm bark will cure a tumor. 

5663. "I had a carbuncle on my neck. Nothing would help. Someone 
told me to put fresh cow manure on my neck. I did and it got 
well." 

5664. If a bruise is going to turn into a cancer, it will do so within five 
years or never. 

5665. "Take green cactus and rub all those little stickers off, then cook 
and strain, and give to someone who has cancer. It is very good." 

5666. Dry the lining of a chicken gizzard; pulverize it and take for 
cancer of the stomach. 

5667. "I had a friend that had a very bad cancer; in bed all the time. 
Someone told her son about the clover tea. It was in the winter 
and he could not get the fresh clover, so he got some clover hay 
and took the best parts out and made tea out of it. It did help, 
for his mother was able to get out of bed and is doing nicely. 
Still living." 

5668. "Take red clover blossom and make a strong tea and apply to a 
cancer. If you act in time, it will cure the cancer." 

5669. "A Quincy woman was sick for a long time with a cancer. She 
had one breast taken off. Her husband was a druggist and worked 
in one of Quincy's best drug stores. Her father was a druggist. 
And they could not find a thing that would do her any good. This 
woman got down in bed. She could not even sit up in bed for nine 
months. My mother (a colored woman) went to work there. She 
told this druggist if he didn't care, she would get his wife out of 
bed, that she had got two women out of bed with cancers years 
ago over in Missouri. So he told her to do whatever she wanted 
to. My mother went out in the country and got a flour sack full 
of red clover and a sack full of red com. The com and ear both 
must be red. She came home and told the druggist she was going 
to get his wife well. Then she put on a big pot of clover to boil 
and a big pot of the corn, and let boil good for one half day. Then 
she strained both and started to giving her the tea off of both. 
In three weeks that sick woman started to sitting up a little each 
day, and after she had took the tea for four months she was able 
to do most of her work. And the woman got well and lived thirty 
years after she took the red clover tea and red com tea." 

5670. Put a poultice of corn meal and milk on a cancer and this will 
take it out by the roots. 

5671. "If someone has a cancer on the outside, take raw cranberries 
and mash them. Put them on the cancer and let them stay over- 
night. Next morning make a poultice out of water and corn meal 
and apply to the cancer. It will take it out by the roots." 



282 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

5672. "Take fresh hog manure and fry it in fresh lard, and when it is 
cool put in a few drops of turixMitine and apply to the rectum. 
That will cure cancer of the rectum." 

5673. "Take the back part of the horse hoof and scrape it and make a 
tea out of it, and give that to anyone that has a cancer; it will 
cure it." 

5674. You can cure cancer in its initial stages by applying a poultice of 
mashed live- forever leaves. 

5675. "Take a sheepsark plant and squeeze it all up and take the juice 
and apply on any spot that you think is a cancer and it will cure 
it. I know a lady that had a bad cancer and the doctors could not 
help her, and an old Indian told this woman about the sheepsark ; 
and she got some and made this juice and applied on her cancer, 

and that woman is living today ninety-three years old. I was 

talking to her about ten years ago and she said the sheepsark 
cured her cancer." 

5676. Mash sheep sorrel and place it where the sun can draw out the 
oil. Use this oil for a cancer. 

5677. Cure a cancer with a poultice made from the whole plant of a 
blooming wild violet. 

5678. Cancer may be cured by drinking tea made of violet leaves. 

5679. A combination of violet leaves and red clover makes a good 
poultice for cancer. 

5680. Every boil is worth five dollars. 

5681. If you have a boil, you will have seven more. 

5682. To have one boil means that you will get nine others. 

5683. One boil is followed by thirteen more. 

5684. "You will never have boils, if you don't wash your feet; for if 
you don't wash your feet, the poison will all stay in your feet." 

5685. To rid yourself of a boil, you must always burn the bandages. If 
you throw the bandages away, the boil will remain indefinitely. 

5686. A boil can be healed by poulticing it with a rotten apple. 

5687. To cure a boil, apply a poultice made by boiling bitterweed in milk. 

5688. A bread and milk poultice will draw a boil to a head. 

5689. As a cure for a boil, use an application of tea made from burdock 
roots. 

5690. Make a boil come to a head by using the white of an egg. 

5691. The lining in the end of an egg, when put on a boil, will bring it 
to a head. 

5692. Soreness can be removed from a boil by covering it with the skin 
from an egg. 

5693. "If you have boils, take enough elderberry leaves to make a sheet 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 283 

and lay on them all night ; and in the morning your boils will all 
be to a head." 

5694. If you have a boil, take a tablespoon ful of Epsom salts every day 
for a week and you will not have another boil. 

5695. To bring a boil or carbuncle to a head, apply a flaxseed poultice. 

5696. A poultice of ginger and flour w^ill draw a boil to a head. 

5697. Place a poultice of lime and lard on a boil or gathering. 

5698. Apply a poultice of linden roots, these must be freshly dug, 
to a bloody boil at night; the core will be out by morning. 

5699. Mash up a handful of yellow peach leaves and put on a boil to 
remove soreness. 

5700. "I know a woman that had a large boil right under her breast. 
The doctor didn't help her, so I told her about the plantain leaves. 
This was years ago. I was working for this woman. She let me 
get some plantain leases. I mashed them good, then I put the 
smooth side next to the boil ; and the next day the boil broke and 
all the poison came out, and the woman got well." 

5701. Eat raisins for boils. 

5702. "I knew a boy that was just full of boils, and his mother made 
a tea out of saffron and anise seeds ; and it was no time before 
they were gone." 

5703. "My uncle years ago had fifty-six boils. He went to see the doctor 
and the doctor said, 'You have better medicine at home than I 
can give you.' The doctor said, 'You go home and take three 
shots out of your gun and a glass of water.' He did and got well." 

5704. Swallow nine gunshot to cure boils. Take these in one dose or 
one by one at different times. 

5705. "My son was just full of boils and we took a pound of shot and 
a pint of milk and boiled it and he took the milk and his boils 
left." 

5706. Pour boiling water over slippery elm and make a paste. When 
applied to a boil, this paste will bring it to a head. 

5707. Mix lard and powdered slippery elm bark. This salve is good 
for boils, 

5708. A (brown) sugar and (brown) soap poultice will draw a boil or a 
gathering to a head. 

5709. Put a little salt on some damp and moldy straw, then wrap this 
around a boil, and a cure will follow. 

5710. Boil some sycamore tree bark in a half gallon of water for two 
hours. Drink this and it will cure your boil. 

5711. As a boil remedy, apply fresh chewing tobacco. 

5712. If you have a large boil under your arm, you can get rid of it by 
urinating on the road. 



284 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

5713. A poultice made from the roots of the white pond lily is good 
for a boil. 

5714. To remove an abscess, rub it with the hand of a corpse; but you 
must not say a word while rubbing. 



VARIOUS AILMENTS 

APPENDICITIS-CONSUMPTION-EPILEPSY-FAINTING 

HEART TROUBLE-HIVES-INSANITY- JAUNDICE 

KERNEL AND PARALYSIS 

SEASICKNESS AND TRAINSICKNESS 

SPRAIN-SOCIAL DISEASE-SUNSTROKE 

SWIMMING CRAMPS 

5715. Swallowing any kind of seed, especially grape seed, will cause 
appendicitis. 

5716. Tea made from cat-tail flowers is good for appendix trouble. 

5717. If a baby keeps one thumb in its mouth and the other thumb in 
its navel, the child will have appendicitis before it dies. 

5718. One who becomes sunburned is not so likely to get consumption 
as a person without sunburn. 

5719 "If a person is very low with T. B. (tuberculosis) in the summer, 
they are pretty sure to live until the leaves fall in the fall." 

5720. About twenty years ago the author knew a woman in Quincy 
who had tuberculosis. Her doctor told the husband and aunt that 
she would live only a short time. The aunt refusing to accept this 
verdict resorted to the following remedy : She wrapped the woman 
from head to foot in a dough poultice about an inch thick. The 
old poultice, which turned greenish black, was removed daily and 
a fresh one applied. The woman died within a few weeks. 

5721. Red clover tea will cure tuberculosis. 

5722. If a person has tuberculosis, cook a young pup and let the patient 
eat it. 

5723. For tuberculosis, render a dog into lard and use it for cooking 
everything the patient eats. 

5724. Wash some rusty nails clean; put them in a bottle and fill the 
bottle with whiskey. Let this liquid stand for twenty-four hours 
and take a tablespoonful before each meal for tuberculosis. 

5725. Tuberculosis can be cured by drinking a cupful of warm blood 
from a pig that has just been slaughtered. 

5726. Give milk from a sow to a child with tuberculosis. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 285 

5727. Epileptic fits are always more frequent and severe during the 
increase of the moon. 

5728. "If you have epileptic fits, take the white part of chicken drop- 
pings and dry them and make a powder, and give to the person 
a teaspoon ful after each meal. I knew a child that had fits all the 
time and the doctor could not help her, and someone told the 
mother about the white part of the chicken droppings ; and she 
tried it and the child got over the fits." 

5729. Give three seeds of the jimson weed thrice daily to a person who 
has epileptic fits. 

5730. An ounce of powdered peony root boiled in a pint of water is 
good for epilepsy. 

5731. As a remedy for epilepsy, drink tea made of pokeberries. 

5732. When a person has epileptic fits, cut off the front part of his 
undershirt, boil and strain it, and let him drink this liquid. 

5733. "If anyone has epileptic fits, take the undershirt right off after 
they have a spell, and lay it on live coals to let smolder. Then 
take a teaspoonful of the ashes in a glass of holy water and say, 
'In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.' And take it 
three times a day." 

5734. To cure a woman who has epileptic fits, give her three times a 
day a tablespoonful of urine from a man whom she has never 
seen ; and do the same thing for a man with epileptic fits by using 
the urine of a strange woman. 

5735. Administer a teaspoonful of holy water to a child who has fainting 
spells. 

5736. Lying down with your arms above your head will give you heart 
trouble. 

5737. Boil garlic in milk and drink for heart trouble. 

5738. "If your heart runs all night and your hands bum, you will have 
a heart attack soon." 

5739. Tea made from the lily of the valley is good for heart trouble. 

5740. If you smoke while swimming, it will cause heart trouble. 

5741. "If a person has hives, they say if you go in swimming or get 
wet and they go in on you, you will die." 

5742. Drink tea of red clover roots to cure hives. 

5743. Treat hives by drinking daily a cupful of tea made from dried 
red clover blossoms. 

5744. Cook potato peelings and peanut butter in lard and rub this on 
hives for a cure. 

5745. Hives can be cured by bathing in vinegar. 

5746. An insane person always becomes worse during the increase of 
the moon. 



286 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

5747. Cut a hole in the top of a carrot, fill this hole with your urine, 
and then hang the carrot in a chimney. When the carrot decays, 
your yellow jaundice will go away. 

5748. As a cure for jaundice, place two small coins in wine and then 
drink this liquid. 

5749. Roll a raw egg in soot and eat it for yellow jaundice. 

5750. Drinking tea made of "goose corks" (goose dung) will cure yellow 
jaundice. 

5751. "A lady told me that her sister-in-law had yellow jaundice bad. 
They gave her up at the hospital, sent her home to die; and some 
old lady told them about making pills out of sheep lice and flour 
and sugar. And they did. And she got well." 

5752. Eat three sheep lice in some article of food to cure yellow jaun- 
dice. 

5753. Boil some sow bugs in water and add enough meal to make a cake. 
Bake this cake and when it is done, your jaundice will be gone. 

5754. "Take the roots of the low wild rose and boil them, and it will 
cure the worst case of yellow jaundice." 

5755. Cure a kernel by making a cross over it with soot. 

5756. Rub some of your saliva on the bottom of a kettle and then rub 
the same finger over your kernel. This will take it away. 

5757. To remove a kernel from your leg, urinate on a bucket of live 
coals. 

5758. The third paralytic stroke is always fatal. 

5759. You can cure seasickness by taking pills made of brown bread. 

5760. To cure seasickness, keep a piece of writing paper against the pit 
of the stomach. 

5761. Swallow a piece of salted pork for seasickness. 

5762. Stand on tiptoe while eating sour pickles on board a ship and you 
will never be seasick. 

5763. Prevent train-sickness by putting a newspaper under your shirt 
against the skin. 

5764. Keep a potato in your traveling bag to ward oflF train-sickness. 

5765. Train-sickness can be prevented by wearing a piece of writing 
paper on the pit of the stomach. 

5766. "If you have a sprain, the white of an egg and salt mixed to a 
thick paste is one of the best remedies." 

5767. Bruise and boil juniper berries and hay flowers in old wine. Use 
this as a poultice for a sprain. 

5768. Boil red oak bark and add corn meal and apple vinegar, and apply 
to a sprain. 

5769. Treat a sprain by rubbing it with oil of cedar. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 287 

5770. Steep a handful of smartweed in boiling water and bathe a sprain 
with this liquid; then bind the smartweed around the sprain. 

5771. Crush the green stalks of wormwood and moisten them with 
vinegar. Poultice a sprain with this. 

5772. Bathe a sprain in hot vinegar to which salt has been added. 

5773. "You can always tell if a person has a social disease; if the white 
part of their eyes is white, they have it." 

5774. "To find out if a man has a social disease, take his hat and turn 
the inside band down. If it goes back in the hat of its own 
account, he is all right; if it stays down, he is not." 

5775. "If you have a social disease, let someone put you in a manure 
pile and cover you all up but your head, so they can feed you; 
for you may have to stay for several days. The manure will draw 
out all the poison in your body." 

5776. Place cabbage leaves on the head to prevent sunstroke. 

5777. There will be no danger from sunstroke, if you wear elder leaves 
under your hat. 

5778. Avert sunstroke by keeping elder leaves in your pocket. 

5779. Put grape leaves in your hat and you will not be sun-struck. 

5780. "If you get hot and are afraid of getting overcome with the heat, 
eat a mule-tail weed and you will be all right." 

5781. Line your hat with oak leaves as a protection against sunstroke. 

5782. Eat an onion before going out into the heat and you will keep 
cooler. 

5783. If you become overheated, drink a half cupful of vinegar and 
water. 

5784. Cramps can be prevented by laying a forked stick on your clothes 
when you go swimming. 

5785. To prevent cramps while swimming, rub urine over your body 
before entering the water. 

5786. Test the water with your feet, then with the hands, and finally 
sprinkle a little of the water on your clothes. Do this before 
getting into the water and you will not have cramps when swim- 
ming. 

VOMITING-LINIMENT-SALVE 

5787. To cure vomiting, hold an tgg on the hollow below the Adam's 
apple. 

5788. "Take the lining of a chicken gizzard and make a tea to give to 
stop vomiting. This will cure when nothing else will." 

5789. Vomiting can be prevented by holding a piece of ice in the hollow 
of the throat. 



288 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

5790. Drink peach leaf tea to check vomiting. 

5791. Vomiting can be checked by taking smartweed tea. 
57)92. Timothy seed tea is very good to stop vomiting. 

5793. Chamomile tea must be made carefully and in the following man- 
ner to be effective. Place the flowers in a cup (it must not be a 
crock or any other receptacle) in which there has been no grease 
of any kind, and then pour in the hot water. Count thirty and 
strain immediately. If your chamomile tea is not made exactly 
in this way, it will be poison. 

5794. Mayweed blossoms in alcohol makes a good liniment. 

5795. To make a healing salve, fry the green inner bark of the elder in 
unsalted butter or in tallow. 

5796. "Take five cents worth of mutton tallow, one cup of goose grease 
without salt, and two balsam apples. Cook these together and 
strain. Then put in a few drops of carbolic acid, and it will make 
a good salve for sore lungs and chapped hands." 

5797. "Cut a raw potato in half and put it in one pint of gasoline. Let 
it set for one month and it will make a fine liniment." 



SLEEP 

5798. Sleep is caused by a sandman who sprinkles sand into the eyes. 

5799. Go to bed on the left side and get up on the right side, and you 
will have good luck all day. 

5800. If you enter the bed on the right side and arise from the left side, 
you will be unlucky that day. 

5801. Crawling into bed over the footboard is unlucky. 

5802. Never climb over another occupant of the bed, it causes bad luck. 

5803. Lie on your right side to be lucky while sleeping. 

5804. Enter bed right foot first, then lie on your right side for a few 
minutes, and you will have a peaceful and dreamless night. 

5805. To sleep peacefully, lie on your right side for ten minutes when 
you go to bed, then turn over and recline on your left side. 

5806. When you go to bed, rest on your left side for five minutes, then 
turn over and lie on your right side ; and you will sleep well. 

5807. Open a Bible and place it under your head, if you are unable to 
sleep. 

5808. When restless in bed, count one hundred backward and you will go 
to sleep. 

5809. If you become nervous during the night, get up and eat some- 
thing. This will calm your nerves. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 289 

5810. As a remedy for nervousness at night, keep a hatchet beneath the 
mattress. 

5811. Use a pillow stuffed with hops instead of feathers and you will 
have a restful sleep. 

5812. "Whenever I cannot sleep, I always get up and put a knife and 

fork crossed under my pillow, and then go right to sleep." 

The same remedy is good for nightmare. 

5813. Eating an onion before going to bed will induce a sound sleep. 

5814. You will sleep soundly, if you keep an onion over the head of 
the bed. 

5815. To sleep well, drink peppermint tea before retiring for the night. 

5816. A vase of poppies kept in your bedroom will make you sleep 
soundly. 

5817. "If you can't sleep at night, if you will get up and put a handful 
of salt in your pillow slip, you can sleep fine after that. I get up 
two or three times a week at nights, when I can't sleep well, and 
always put a handful of salt in my pillow slip and I go right to 
sleep." 

5818. Set your shoes with the toes pointing away from the bed and you 
will sleep well. 

5819. To secure a sound sleep, place your shoes under the bed wuth the 
toes touching each other and make the sign of the cross saying, 
"In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost." 

5820. If you awaken in the night and cannot go back to sleep, get up 
and change the position of your shoes or turn them in the opposite 
direction. 

5821. Drink wild cherry bark tea for sleeplessness. 

5822. When nervous, get out of bed and walk around the block, then 
return to bed and you can go to sleep immediately. 

5823. Keep an axe under the head of your bed at night and you will 
obtain "sharp luck." 

5824. If you go to bed with your clothes on, you will get up backwards 
and cross next morning. 

5825. It brings bad luck for a woman to go to bed with a comb in her 
hair. 

5826. Sleep with an electric light shining on your face and you will have 
a growth on your eye. 

5827. To secure good luck during the night, sleep on some gravel which 
you have picked up from under your right foot that day. 

5828. If you are trying to memorize something from a book, stimulate 
and strengthen your memory by sleeping on the book. 

5829. When learning a poem by heart, say it twice after you have gone 
to bed and you will never forget it. 



290 Memoirs of the Alma Egau Hyatt Foundation 

5830. Sleep on the book and you will know your lesson next morning. 

5831. Sleeping in the moonlight will make your head swell. 

5832. It is unlucky to move a bed while someone is in it. 

5833. A child will never grow if he sleeps with an old person. The latter 
absorbs the vitality of the former. If they must sleep together, the 
ill effects can be lessened by placing a pillow between them. 

5834. Never let a child sleep with an old person, the child's life will be 
shortened. 

5835. Lying on more than one pillow will make you round-shouldered. 

5836. "My aunt bet me I could not sleep on a pair of man's pants all 
night as a pillow. I thought that would be easy. I said, 'I bet you 
a dollar I can.' So she gave me a pair of pants. I folded them 
up, put them under my head, tried and tried to sleep. Do you 
know I lost my dollar? I did not shut my eyes that night to sleep." 

5837. Prayers said after going to bed are addressed to the devil. 

5838. "When you go to bed, say three Our Fathers and ask the poor 
souls to wake you at a certain time. They will call you at that 
time and you will never need an alarm clock." 

5839. If you sleep with a razor blade under your head, you will have 
"sharp luck." 

5840. Sleep on an unironed sheet for luck. 

5841. Throw your shoes under the bed when retiring for the night and 
it will bring you good luck. 

5842. If when going to bed you place your stockings in your shoes, 
you will be unlucky. 

5843. Put your shoes with the toes pointing under the bed to ward off 
bad luck at night. 

5844. If it is your custom to set your shoes beneath the bed, always turn 
out the toes to have good luck during the night. 

5845. It is unlucky to smoke in bed. 

5846. Three persons sleeping together in the same bed is a sign of bad 
luck. 

5847. "Whenever I have bad luck through the day, that night I always 
set a pan of water under the head of the bed, so my luck will 
change for the next day." 

5848. "If you go to bed and want water to drink and won't get up and 
get it, it is bad luck for you." 

5849. Whistling in bed causes bad luck. 

5850. "My folks would never let us sleep with our heads to the north. 
Said it was very bad luck." 

5851. Set your bed so that it faces south and you will be lucky. 

5852. Your bed should always face the north, if you wish to sleep well. 

5853. If your bed faces north, it will cause you a lot of trouble. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 29\ 

5854. To sleep with your head and feet lying north and south will 
bring good luck. 

5855. Bad luck will come to you, if you sleep facing the west. 

5856. Sleep with your head toward the east and you will always have a 
clear head. 

5857. It is exceedingly unlucky to sleep facing the east, for that is the 
way the dead are buried. 

5858. Let your bed face the east for luck. 

5859. You will get up with a headache, if you sleep with your head 
toward the west. 

5860. If your head is pointed eastward in the bed you will arise sunwise 
and have a headache. 

5861. Have the head of your bed to the east and you will never get up 
with a headache. 

5862. The head of your bed to the west will give you a great amount 
of trouble. 

5863. Always leave your bed from the same side you entered it to avoid 
bad luck. 

5864. It causes bad luck to get out on the left side of the bed. 

5865. Get up on the right side of the bed and you will have good luck 
for that day. 

5866. If when arising you place your left foot first on the floor, it will 
bring bad luck all day. 

5867. To rise from the bed with your left foot first will make you cross 
and unfortunate during the day. 

5868. Getting out of bed on the left foot will cause bad luck for the 
day; but if you re-enter the bed and lie down again, then get out 
on your right foot, you will have good luck. 

5869. Always stand on your right foot when leaving the bed. To put 
your left foot first on the floor is a sure sign of an unpleasant day. 

5870. Arise from bed with your right foot first and you will have good 
luck all day. 

5871. If you get up before dawn and see the moon over your left 
shoulder, expect bad luck. 

5872. If you hurt your foot when getting out of bed in the morning, 
do not say anything bad and you will be lucky. 

5873. To find a feather in your hair upon awakening means that you 
have overslept an hour. 

5874. If there is a feather in a child's hair when he gets up in the morn- 
ing, he will receive a whipping. 

5875. If the first thing seen as you leave the bed in the morning is a 
needle, and it points toward you, you will be lucky all day. 

5876. It is unlucky to have breakfast served in bed. 



292 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

SNORING-SLEEPTALKING-SLEEPWALKING 

5877. When a person snores, whistle and he will stop immediately. 

5878. Snoring can be stopped, if you tell the sleeper to quit. 

5879. "If anyone is talking in their sleep, and you want to know what 
they are saying, lay a horseshoe on their breast with the point up 
and they will tell all they know. Years ago we were living on a 
farm out near Burton and rny brother came to town. When he 
got home he forgot what he did with the money. I said, 'Mother, 
wait until tonight and I will find out.' So when he went to sleep, 
I put the horseshoe on his breast and he started to tell what he 
did with the money. He bought a girl a cheap dress and a pair 
of stockings. The next morning I told him what he done with the 
money, and he said he did buy them." 

5880. Ask a sleeptalker questions and he will answer correctly, if you 
do not mention his name. 

5881. Hold the big toe of the one who is speaking in his sleep and you 
can understand what he says. Do the same thing to make a person 
talk while asleep. 

5882. A sleeptalker may be made to speak by holding his little finger 
in a glass of water. 

5883. A person who talks when sleeping will disclose his secrets, if 
you lay a wet cloth on his head. 

5884. While someone is sleeping, put his hand in water and he will 
reveal his secrets. 

5885. Place the hand of a sleeper in muddy water and he will answer 
your questions. 

5886. It is unlucky for one to talk in his sleep. 

5887. To awaken a sleepwalker will kill him. 

5888. The person who walks in his sleep will not fall or do anything 
dangerous, as long as you refrain from calling him by name or 
arousing him. 

5889. Prevent sleepwalking by placing a pan of water under the sleep- 
walker's bed. 

5890. "If someone walks in their sleep put a tub of water by their bed 
so when they first put their feet out, both feet will go in the tub ; 
and they will never walk in their sleep again. My aunt was always 
walking in her sleep and we put a tub by her bed one night, and 
when she started to get out, both feet went in the tub and she 
never did walk in her sleep again." The same remedy was used 
by another person: "My aunt tried that on her husband. She put 
a tub of water in front of the bed. He fell in it and it sure broke 
him from walking in his sleep." 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 29^ 

5891. "If someone walks in their sleep, take a glass of water and put 
under their bed; then get up the next morning and empty the 
glass without them knowing it. Do this every night until they 
stop." 

5892. "My son walked in his sleep. One night he came down the stairs. 
The second time I said, 'I am going to put a pan of water for you 
to fall in, if you come down again.' In about an hour I heard my 
son coming down the stairs for the third time. I went and put 
a big pan of water at the foot of the stairs. When he got to the 
bottom, he fell in the water. That broke him. He never walked 
again in his sleep." 



NIGHT SWEAT 

5893. To cure night sweat, lay an axe beneath your bed. 

5894. As a night sweat remedy, drop a handful of the inner bark from 
a birch tree into a pint of boiling water and let it remain there 
for twenty minutes. Take this tea cold just before going to bed, 

5895. Sleep with cedar bark or leaves in a bag under your head and 
you will not have night sweat. 

5896. Boil red corncobs in your teakettle until you have a quart of 
juice. Drink a half cupful of this tea each night until it is 
exhausted and your night sweat will be gone. 

5897. Stop night sweat by drinking tea made from the inner bark of an 
oak tree, 

5898. Drink cold sage tea before going to bed and it will prevent night 
sweat. 

5899. Night sweat can be prevented, if you place a cup of sage tea under 
the bed at night. 

5900. For night sweat, set your shoes beneath the bed and point the 
toes out. 

5901. You will be free from night sweat, if you put your shoes under 
the bed so that the toes point toward the foot of the bed. 

5902. Turn your shoes upside down under your bed for night sweat. 

5903. Get rid of night sweat by keeping a pan of water under the bed. 
Some say that the pan must contain a gallon of water. 

5904. If someone without telling you will place a pan of water under 
your bed and let it remain for nine nights, you will no longer have 
night sweat; but if you look under the bed or learn that the water 
is there, you will not be cured. 



294 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

5905. "If you have the night sweats, take a tub of water and put it 
under the bed ; the first night leaving the width from water to 
the top of the tub the width of a dollar, the second night the width 
of fifty cents, the third night the width of twenty-five cents, the 
fourth night the width of a dime. If you do this, you will never 
have the night sweats any more." 



NIGHTMARE 

5906. Rid yourself of nightmare by sleeping on your back. 

5907. Keep a Bible under your pillow and you will not have nightmare. 

5908. If you place a hatchet beneath the head of your bed, you will not 
get nightmare, 

5909. Hanging a horse halter on the head of your bed will cure night- 
mare. 

5910. Put a knife under your pillow to prevent nightmare. 

5911. "I sleep with a man's pocketknife under my pillow every night 
to keep from having the nightmare." 

5912. Place an open pocketknife beneath your pillow for nightmare. 

5913. Cure nightmare by laying a pair of scissors under your head at 
night. 

5914. You can prevent nightmare, if you keep a piece of steel under 
your pillow. 

5915. To cure nightmare, set your shoes at the foot of the bed with the 
toes pointing away from the bed. 

5916. As a nightmare cure, turn your shoes upside down with the toes 
pointed toward the head of the bed. 

5917. Prevent nightmare by letting the toes of your shoes face east. 



DREAMS 

5918. Dreams are warnings of what is to happen. 

5919. Dreams always come true. 

5920. Interpret dreams by their opposites. 

5921. Interpret dreams on the basis of similarities. 

5922. If you have the same dream more than once, it will come true. 

5923. The same dream on two successive nights will come true. 

5924. When the same thing is dreamed on three occasions, it will come 
true. 

5925. If you dream the same thing three tinges in succession, it will 
come true. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 295 

5926. What is dreamed on the first night you sleep in a new house will 
come true. 

5927. On the first night you sleep in a new house, put a bucket under 
the bed beneath your head, and whatever you dream will come 
true. 

5928. The first time you sleep under a new quilt your dream will come 
true. 

5929. If you put the "dream bone" from a ham beneath your pillow, 
your dreams will come true. 

5930. "Saturday and Sunday dreams told, 
Come true before a month old." 

5931. Sleep on a piece of wedding cake and your dream will come true. 

5932. Pick up some dirt from under your left heel, when you first see 
the new moon, and put this dirt under your pillow. What you 
dream that night will come true. 

5933. To discover your fortune, repeat the following: 

"New moon, true moon. 

Star in the stream, 

Pray tell my fortune in my dream." 

5934. Remove nine pieces from the shoulder blade of a rabbit and put 
them under your pillow. What you dream that night will come 
true. 

5935. Count seven stars for seven nights and what you dream on the 
seventh night will come true. 

5936. If you sleep on your back you will dream. 

5937. When you are awakened while dreaming, put your head down at 
the foot of the bed and your dreams will soon return. 

5938. Sleep with a pair of open scissors under your pillow and you 
will never dream. 

5939. To prevent dreaming set a glass of water under the bed. 

5i940. Put both shoes beneath the foot of your bed and you will not 
dream. 

5941. Lay a Bible under your pillow and you will always have good 
dreams. 

5942. You can secure pleasant dreams by walking backwards to bed. 

5943. You will have bad dreams, if you bite your finger-nails. 

5944. Keeping your shoes under the bed at night will give you bad 
dreams. 

5945. If you eat pie before going to bed, you will have bad dreams. 

5946. Exciting dreams mean that you have overloaded your stomach. 

5947. When you eat too much supper, bad dreams will follow. 

5948. Expect bad dreams, if you do not empty the water in which your 
feet have been washed. 



296 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

5949. Never He where the moon can shine on your face while sleeping ; 
you will have bad dreams. 

5950. When you have bad dreams and immediately awake, sit up in 
bed, raise your right hand several times straight above your head, 
and you will return to a peaceful sleep. 

5951. Having had a bad dream, next morning read a verse from the 
Bible. 

5952. If you have bad dreams, burn some salt on the stove next morn- 
ing and this will break the spell, 

5953. You can prevent bad dreams by laying your shoes under the bed 
so that the toes point outward. 

5954. "A dream out of season, 
Trouble out of reason." 

5955. "Dreams out of season, 
Trouble without reason." 

5956. "Dreams of things out of season, 
Bring trouble without reason." 

5957. Tell your dream before breakfast and it will come true. 

5958. To have your dream come true, reveal it before breakfast on 
Friday morning. 

5959. To prevent a bad dream from coming true, never relate it before 
breakfast. 

5960. A dream told immediately after eight o'clock in the morning will 
come true. 

5961. If you disclose your dream before breakfast, you will have bad 
luck. 

5962. A dream on the seventh night after a new moon is of special 
importance. If you reveal this dream, you will have bad luck. 

5963. Always conceal a dream, if you do not want it to come true. 

5964. If you have a dream and do not want it to come true, just as 
soon as you get up and before saying a word, burn salt in the 
stove. 

5965. Your dream will be concerned with the last thing you think of 
before going to sleep. 

5966. To dream of an angel means that you should "watch your step" 
(he careful). 

5967. To dream of apples on a tree foretells prosperity. 

5968. To dream of picking ripe apples off a tree and eating them is an 
omen of good fortune. 

5969. If you dream of ashes, you will lose a very dear friend. 

5970. A dream of ashes forebodes a death. 

5971. Dreaming of a large pile of ashes is a portent of sorrow and 
mourning. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 297 

5972. To buy a new automobile in your dream is a sign that you will 
be invited to a party. 

5973. An automobile accident in your dream indicates that someone will 
attempt to inveigle you into a foolish investment. 

5974. It is a very bad omen to dream of an axe. 

5975. A dream of babies means good luck. 

5976. When you dream of a laughing baby, it will bring good luck to 
your home. 

5977. If you dream of a crying baby, some deep sorrow will come to 
your home. 

5978. A newborn baby in your dream foretells a wedding. 

5979. To dream of a baby means news of a death. 

5980. A dream of a newborn baby is the sign of a death or marriage in 
the family. 

5981. To dream of picking green beans portends a death in the family. 

"One night I dreamt I was out picking green beans. I had 

so many green beans I didn't know what to do with them, and in 
two days my husband died." 

5982. Seeing a bear in your dream means that you have bitter enemies. 

5983. There will be a death, if you dream of a bed. 

5984. Trouble will follow a dream of bedbugs. "I always have 

some bad trouble every time I dream of bedbugs." 

5985. You will have success in business, if you dream of bees. 

5986. When you dream of bees at work, they are bringing you good luck. 

5987. It is unlucky to see a beehive in your dream. 

5988. To dream of a beggar is a bad sign. 

5989. Entertain hope for wealth, after seeing yourself a beggar in your 
dream. 

5990. When you see birds in your dream, they will bring friends and 
fortune. 

5991. To dream of a bird bodes a death. 

5992. If you dream of seeing a bird in a cage, it indicates an approaching 
wedding. 

5993. Catching a bird in your dream means some big gain. 

5994. To dream of birds with beautiful feathers: If by a woman, she 
will secure a rich husband ; if by a man, he will get a rich wife. 

5995. Dreaming of a birth indicates that someone is going to die. 

5996. If you dream of your birthday, you will have trouble and sorrow. 

5997. To dream that something bites you is a sign of coming sorrow. 

5998. If you dream that a person bites you, someone is very jealous. 

5999. To dream of anything black means bad luck. 

6000. You will soon have trouble, if you dream of blackberries. 



298 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

6001. A dream of blackberries presages a death or very bad luck. 

6002. To dream of being blind means that you will be very poor. 

6003. The significance of blood in a dream is bad luck. 

6004. It is a sign of sorrow to dream of blood. 

6005. Dreaming of a boat in clear water foretells happiness. 

6006. A dream of a boat in muddy water signifies disgrace. 

6007. Breaking bread in a dream is a death warning. 

6008. To dream of a lot of bread indicates death. 

6009. If a woman dreams of kneading light bread, she will have a 
miscarriage. 

6010. It is a good sign to cross a bridge in your dream. 

6011. To fall through a bridge while crossing it in your dream is a bad 
omen. 

6012. To dream that burglars enter your house means some great loss. 

6013. A dream about your brother will be followed by a sudden death 
in the family. 

6014. Seeing a butcher slaughter some animal in your dream foretells 
the death of a friend or relative. 

6015. If you dream of cabbage, some of your friends are very sick and 
there is little hope of their recovery. 

6016. If you dream of cabbage growing, good fortune is coming to you. 

6017. If you dream of eating cabbage, you will experience a sorrow. 

6018. Dream of playing cards and you will receive money. 

6019. It brings good luck to dream of cats. 

6020. A family quarrel is imminent, if you see a cat in your dream. 

6021. To dream of a cat signifies that you have a very deceitful friend. 

6022. If in your dream a cat jumps on you, you will soon receive money 
from a relative. 

6023. When you dream that a cat jumps at you and fails to reach you, 
bad luck will follow. 

6024. A dream of black cats is followed by misfortune. 

6025. Some danger threatens you, if a black cat crosses your path in 
a dream. 

6026. To dream of a cellar indicates that you will be very sick. 

6027. To dream that you are in a cellar foretells that you will be sick 
and almost die. 

6028. Very good luck and a very long life are yours, if you dream that 
you are in a cemetery. 

6029. If you dream of being chased by Indians or bandits, and are 
captured and about to be killed, it means beware of someone 
posing as your friend who soon will do you a "bad turn" finan- 
cially. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 299 

6030. Dreaming that you receive a check means the loss of money. 

6031. If you dream of picking and eating cherries, some financial gain 
will follow. 

6032. If you dream of picking cherries and throwing them away, you 
will suffer a loss of money. 

6033. A dream of chickens is a sign of wealth. 

6034. To dream of hens which appear contented is an excellent omen. 

6035. To dream of a half-starved chicken signifies that someone sup- 
posed to be your friend is actually your enemy. 

6036. To dream of a scrawny chicken means an enduring friendship. 

6037. It is lucky to find the nest of a hen in your dream. 

6038. To dream of cooking a chicken indicates that you are going to 
hear good news. 

6039. A crowing cock in your dream will bring you good news. 

6040. It is a sign of money to dream of a child. 

6041. If you dream of robbers kidnapping your child, your child will 
become sick. 

6042. A dream of having children means that you will be childless. 

6043. To dream of a church signifies that secret enemies are trying to 
harm you. 

6044. To dream of a church is a warning for you to change your habits 
and to live a better life. 

6045. A woman who dreams that she is in church nodding towards the 
preacher will be married to a preacher. 

6046. Dreaming of a churchyard is the sign of a happy life. 

6047. It is a death portent for some member of your family, if you 
dream of being on a cliff. 

6048. To dream of climbing indicates that you will rise to honor. 

6049. If you see a large pile of clinkers in your dream, trouble is coming. 

6050. It causes bad luck to dream of soiled clothes. 

6051. You will move, if you dream of washing clothes. 

6052. A great sorrow follows a dream in which you are dressed in black. 

6053. If in your dream you lend a black dress to someone, you will have 
bad luck. 

6054. If a sick person dreams of a black dress, he will get better. 

6055. Dreaming of a black coach is a death warning. 

6056. It indicates bad luck to see a coffin in your dream. 

6057. Someone in the family will die, if you dream of a coffin. 

6058. The death of a dear friend is presaged, when you see a coffin in 
your dream. 

6059. If you dream of a coffin, and see someone in it, that person will 
die. 



300 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

6060. When you see a coffin in your dream, it means that you will marry 
rich but not live long. 

6061. If in your dream you put someone in a coffin, you will soon 
marry and have a home of your own. 

6062. There will be an increase in your family, if you dream of corn. 

6063. Seeing a cornfield in your dream foretells an addition to your 
family. 

6064. To dream of corn is a sign of wealth. 

6065. When you see full ears of corn in your dream, you will have as 
many good years as there are ears of com. 

6066. When you see scanty ears of corn in your dream, you will have 
as many bad years as there are ears of corn. 

6067. To gather corn in a dream means very good luck in everything. 

6068. Walking behind a corpse in your dream indicates that you will 
hear of an accident. 

6069. If you dream of exhuming a relative, another member of your 

family will die. "One night my aunt dreamt that she crawled 

out to the cemetery on her hands and knees, and dug up her little 
boy ; and the very next week her other boy burn up playing with 
matches and died." 

6070. To dream of a cow is the sign of prosperity. 

6071. To dream of a calf means certain gain. 

6072. A dream of cows is followed by a quarrel. "One night I 

dreamt of three cows. Two were standing still and one jumped 
over me. The next day I had a big fuss with a woman." 

6073. Dreaming of cows indicates excitement: If the cows are standing 
still, the excitement is for someone else; but if the cows start to 
chase you, you will have the excitement. 

6074. If you dream of cattle, you will hear of a happy marriage. 

6075. It signifies good luck, if in your dream you see a cow with milk 
running out of her udders. 

6076. To see dirty milk coming from the udders of a cow in your dream 
foretells bad luck for a year. 

6077. To see a crazy person in your dream means that you will receive 
a present and become rich. 

6078. You will hear of a wedding, if you cry in your dream. 

6079. To dream of weeping is a sure sign of pleasure. 

6080. To dream that you are weeping and miserable, means good news 
and an important change in your affairs. 

6081. If you dream of a green cucumber, someone will die. 

6082. A cyclone seen in a dream foreshadows a death in the family. 

6083. When a cyclone in a dream blows off the roof of a house, the 
head of the family will die. 



Folk-Lorc from Adams County Illinois 301 

6084. It is a good omen to dream of dancing. 

6085. A dream in which you are dancing indicates that you will soon 
have trouble. 

6086. If you are about to be married and dream of dates, your engage- 
ment will be broken. 

6087. It is a good sign to dream of a clear day. 

6088. Dreaming of the dead indicates that you will hear from the living. 

6089. A dream of the dead is the sign that you will receive a letter. 

6090. Dreaming of a dead person or death means a marriage. 

6091. To dream of seeing your father or mother laid out in a coffin and 
ready for burial means an approaching wedding either in your 
immediate family or among your relatives. 

6092. If you dream of your dead father, he is in purgatory and must be 
prayed out. 

6093. To dream of a dead person means that he is asking for your 
prayers. 

6094. If you dream of a dead person coming to life, you will hear of 
sickness. 

6095. When in your dream a dead person leads you into a flower garden, 
a death is portended. 

6096. To dream of a death is the sign of a death. 

6097. It is an omen of death to dream of death three times. 

6098. Dreaming of a dead person is the sign of a big storm. 

6099. It will rain soon, if you dream of the dead. 

6100. If you dream that someone is dying, a baby will be bom. 

6101. If you dream of a death, you will hear of a birth. 

6102. A dream of death means a sickness. 

6103. After you have dreamed of the dead, stay indoors for a day; you 
may be killed in some peculiar manner, if you leave the house. 

6104. Seeing the devil in a dream is a sign of sickness and trouble in 
your family. 

6105. It is a good sign to dream of the devil. 

6106. A dream in which you are playing with dice will be followed by 
some disgrace. 

6107. To dream of dirt means poverty and misery. 

6108. It brings good luck to dream of a dog. 

6109. It causes bad luck, if a dog bites you in your dream. 

6110. If you dream of a dog and he bites you, you will have good luck; 
but if he does not bite you, you will have bad luck. 

6111. There will be a death in the family, if you dream of seeing a 
donkey, 

6112. It is a good sign to dream of passing through a door. 



302 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

6113. To dream of a dove means happiness at home. 

6114. A dream in which you see a person exceptionally well-dressed 
indicates that that person is going to die. 

6115. If a man dreams of drowning, it will bring him sorrow. 

6116. If a woman dreams of drowning, she will have a happy marriage. 

6117. To dream of a half-starved duck means that someone who pre- 
tends to be a friend is an enemy. 

6118. Seeing a "real poor duck" in your dream indicates that you will 
soon commence an important task. 

6119. To dream of a duel means a quarrel with your lover. 

6120. If you see "lots" of dung in your dream, shame and misery will 
come to you through dissipation. 

6121. It is a good sign, when an eagle flys over you in your dream. 

6122. Bad luck will follow a dream of freshly dug earth. 

6123. It is a sign of sickness to dream of an earthquake. 

6124. A dream of eggs causes bad luck, 

6125. A dream of eggs brings good luck, if they are unbroken. 

6126. A dream of broken eggs is followed by bad luck. 

6127. If you dream that you are handling eggs and break one acciden- 
tally, you will have good luck ; but if you do not break any, you 
will be unlucky. 

6128. Dreaming of eggs means happiness. 

6129. "If I dream of eggs I know I am going to have a fuss with 
someone." 

6130. To dream of a large quantity of broken eggs is the sign of a 
quarrel. 

6131. To dream of eggs means that you will receive money. "I 

dreamt I found a nest with five eggs in, one night, and the next 
day I got ten dollars for a present." 

6132. When you dream of eggs, you will receive money. The greater 
the number of eggs, the larger the amount of money. 

6133. A dream of eggs is a warning of death. 

6134. To see an elephant in your dream shows that the devil is after you. 

6135. If you dream of an elopement, you will receive an offer of mar- 
riage. 

6136. When you make excuses in your dreams, it indicates that you will 
tell lies. 

6137. Seeing the face of an old woman in your dream is followed by 
good luck. 

6138. It brings bad luck to dream of falling. 

6139. It causes bad luck to dream of someone falling. 

6140. To dream of falling through the air and striking the ground fore- 
bodes the death of the dreamer. 



Folk-Lorc from Adams County Illinois 303 

6141. To fall in a dream and not to awaken before reaching the ground 
portends the death of the dreamer. 

6142. To dream of falling on the ground means dishonor and shame. 

6143. If you dream of falling from a horse, it bodes misfortune and 
disappointment. 

6144. Sickness and poverty will come to your family, if you dream that 
you are on a ship and fall overboard. 

6145. To dream of falling into a swamp means that you will fall into 
poverty. 

6146. If you dream of falling out of a window, you will have an 
accident. 

6147. It causes bad luck to dream of feet. 

6148. If you dream of going somewhere barefoot, your life will be 
free from cares. 

6149. When you dream of someone playing a fiddle, it is a sign that 
you will be happy. 

6150. A dream of filth means money 

6151. To dream of a fire is the sign of a fire. 

6152. If you dream of a fire and see bright flames, you will have good 
luck. 

6153. If you dream of a fire and see smoke only, you will be unlucky. 

6154. To dream of a dying fire is an omen of bad luck. 

6155. Dreaming of a fire foretells a coming joy. 

6156. To dream of a lire which is blazing furiously means danger. 

6157. If you dream of a raging fire, you will be separated from a friend. 

6158. Dream of a fire and you will hear hasty news. 

6159. To see a sparkling fire in your dream indicates that you will have 
plenty of money. 

6160. If you dream of a stove and there is a fire in it, you will secure 
wealth; but if the stove is cold, you will live in poverty. 

6161. To dream of a stove without a fire signifies a lawsuit. 

6162. A dream of fire is a sign of death. 

6163. Dreaming of a fire means that a relative will die. 

6164. A dream in which you go fishing will be followed by trouble and 
sorrow. 

6165. To dream of catching a large fish indicates gain and profit. 

6166. Catching a large fish in your dream foretells poverty. 

6167. If you dream of going fishing, someone will cheat you out of 
money. 

6168. It is the sign of death to see a fish in your dream. 

6169. "If you dream you see someone bringing in a sack of flour in the 
house, that is death. One night a woman dreamt her husband 



304 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

brought home a sack of flour. She told me about her dream. I 
told her it was death. And they lost their little girl right after 
that." 

6170. It causes bad luck to dream of flowers. 

6171. To pick flowers in a dream is a sign of good luck. 

6172. A dream of flowers out of season means bad luck. 

6173. To see bright flowers in a dream indicates a pleasant life. 

6174. Gathering flowers in a dream is a sign of a lasting friendship. 

6175. To dream of casting flowers away signifies despair and quarrels. 

6176. A dream of flowers indicates a death in the neighborhood. 

6177. To dream of flowers is an omen of death. "One night I 

dreamt I had so many flowers I did not know what to do with 
them, and my best friend died that week." 

6178. Planting flowers in your dream is the sign of death. 

6179. The significance of a dream in which you fly is a journey soon 
to be taken. 

6180. "Dreams of old friends, 
Bring news of them." 

6181. "If you dream of a frog croaking, it is the sign you will succeed 
just as soon as you quit fussing and go to work." 

6182. Dreaming of a funeral (procession) means a death. 

6183. To dream of being in a garden means that a joy is coming to you. 

6185. It brings bad luck to dream that your garden is growing well. 

6186. "If you dream of a nice garden growing, it is the sign of death. 
One night I dreamt of seeing a garden just full of fine cabbage 
and my mother died in three days." 

6187. Concerning a dream of gloves: If they are new, you will have 
much pleasure; but if they are old and soiled, you will have a 
disappointment. 

6188. To dream of wearing gloves is a sign of good fortune. 

6189. If you dream of wearing gloves, you will have honor and pros- 
perity. 

6190. Dreaming of a white goat signifies prosperity. 

6191. To dream of a black goat means a sickness, and it is uncertain 
whether you will recover. 

6192. It brings good luck to dream of gold and silver. 

6193. Dreaming of a goose indicates profit and pleasure. 

6194. To see a white goose flying in your dream is a sign that an angel 
is coming for someone in the family. 

6195. To dream of a large grain field foretells a happy marriage. 

6196. It is a sign of pleasure to dream of grapes. 

6197. If you dream of green grass, you will receive money. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 305 

6198. It causes bad luck to dream of someone digging a grave. 

6199. To dream of someone digging a grave means that another grave 

will soon be dug. "A week after my mother died, I dreamt of 

the funeral all over, and saw my mother's coffin at the cemetery 
and a man digging another grave right by my mother's coffin, as 
fast as he could dig. I knew it was going to be my father, because 
it was right by my mother's grave. My father died seven months 
after that." 

6200. If in your dream you see yourself digging a grave, there will be 
a death in the family. 

6201. A dream of any kind of grease is the sign of death. 

6202. Whoever plays on a guitar and sings in his dream will be lucky 
in love. 

6203. It brings bad luck to dream of firing a gun. 

6204. To dream of your hair is a sign of misfortune. 

6205. If you dream that someone is hanged, you will rise to great honor. 

6206. To dream of being hanged is a sign of success in all your affairs. 

6207. A dream of hell means that you should change your habits and 

live a purer life. "I dreamt I died and went to hell. I went 

to a big door and the devil was standing there with his pitchfork 
turning over the dead on the fire. The devil said to me, 'What 
do you want?' I told him I wanted to come in. He said, 'Go 
back, I don't want you.' I knew then that I should change my 
ways and do better, for I was not doing right. For even the devil 
did not want me." 

6208. It brings good luck to dream of ascending a hill. 

6209. It is unlucky to dream of going down a hill. 

6210. To dream of a hole in the ground is the sign of bad luck. 

6211. A dream of a hole in the ground is an omen of death. 

6212. To dream of a trench dug in the ground portends a death. 

6213. Dreaming that you go down into a hole in the ground means death 
for some member of the family. 

6214. To see in your dream a pile of earth, which has been removed 
from a hole, indicates a death. 

6215. It is a sign of good fortune to dream of a horse. 

6216. To dream of a white horse foretells good luck. 

6217. It is unlucky to dream of a black horse. 

6218. A dream in which a horse is running means bad luck. 

6219. It signifies a disappointment, if you dream of a black horse. 

6220. If you dream of a bay or grey horse, you will receive a letter. 

"I always get a letter the next day after I dream about a bay 
horse." 



306 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

6221. Dreaming of a black horse means that you will receive a letter. 

"When I dream of a black horse I always get a letter and 

the letter has bad news in it." 

6222. To dream of a grey horse indicates that an officer is coming to 
your house. 

6223. If you dream that you are on a horse, you will rise in the world. 

6224. A dream of a white horse is a warning of death. 

6225. To dream that you are in a hotel is a sign of bad news. 

6226. If you dream that you are in a large house, there will be a change 
in your aflfairs. 

6227. To dream that you are in an empty house forebodes a death in 
the family. 

6228. To dream of your husband is an indication that you will receive 
money. 

6229. If you dream of leaving your husband, it is a certain sign that you 
will be separated from him. 

6230. If you dream that you have the itch, or that your body itches, you 
will receive money. 

6231. A dream of joy indicates that you will probably lose something. 

6232. To dream of a key signifies hate and anger. 

6233. If you dream of being kissed, you will have disagreeable visitors. 

6234. To dream of kissing someone means disappointment in love. 

6235. It is an excellent omen to dream that you are in a kitchen. 

6236. "If you dream of a knife, you will quarrel with someone soon. 
Look out you don't cut them." 

6237. A dream of knives is the sign of anger and disputes. 

6238. To dream of going up a ladder indicates that you will rise in life. 

6239. To dream of descending a ladder means that you will sink into 
poverty. 

6240. If you dream of climbing a ladder, you will have trouble; but if 
you descend the ladder after ascending it, you will survive the 
trouble. 

6241. It is an omen of sorrow and suflfering to dream of lighting a lamp. 

6242. A dream of writing a letter indicates good news. 

6243. Dreaming of a letter is a sign that you will meet a new friend. 

6244. If you see a bundle of letters in your dream and get them, you 
will have bad luck. 

6245. It signifies happiness to dream of receiving a bundle of letters. 

6246. A dream of lice is an omen of death. 

6247. To dream of lice is the sign of poor health. 

6248. If you dream of lice on your head, you will soon have a "sick 
spell." 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 307 

6249. It is lucky to dream of a light. 

6250. A dream of lightning is followed by trouble. 

6251. To dream of lightning presages a death in the family. 

6252. It is a good sign to dream of lilies in season. 

6253. Good luck will come to you, if you dream of a lion. 

6254. Dreaming of a lion means treachery from a friend. 

6255. "If a married woman dreams of being lost, it is the sign of her 
husband putting her out of the house." 

6256. "If a single girl dreams of being lost, she will come up with a 
baby without a husband." 

6257. To dream of new lumber indicates sickness. 

6258. If you dream of new lumber, it is an omen of a death; and the 
nearer the lumber, the nearer the death. 

6259. To dream of a man or men signifies that you will be very lucky. 

6260. It is an indication of bad luck to dream of a man. 

6261. To dream of a marriage is the sign of bad luck, 

6262. Good luck and happiness will come to you, if you dream of a 
wedding. 

6263. If you dream of a marriage, you will inherit money. 

6264. A dream of a wedding means that you will never marry, 

6265. To dream of a wedding is the token of a death, 

6266. Dreaming of a marriage indicates that someone in the family 
will die. 

6267. Wealth will come to you, if you dream of matches. 

6268. To dream of eating a large meal means that you will soon attend 

a funeral, "Every time I dream of a big meal I am sure to 

go to a funeral soon." 

6269. If you dream of meat, you will go to a wedding. 

6270. A dream of spoiled meat indicates that you will hear of someone 

getting into trouble. "My mother dreamed one night that my 

father brought her home some spoiled beef and the next day her 
brother got into jail," 

6271. If you dream of white meat, a very white person will die; if you 
dream of brown meat, a very brown person will die; and if you 
dream of black meat, a very dark person will die. 

6272. Meeting someone in your dream is an indication of prosperity. 

6273. To dream of mice indicates dangerous friends. 

6274. A dream of milk is the sign that you will fall in love, 

6275. It is an omen of treachery to dream of looking into a mirror, 

6276. Someone will slander you, if you dream of a looking-glass. 

6277. To dream of money is the sign of bad luck, 

6278. It causes good luck to dream of finding money. 



308 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

6279. To dream of finding a small piece of money is unlucky. 

6280. It is a good omen to dream of finding a large piece of money. 

6281. A dream in which you find a large amount of money means good 
luck. 

6282. If you dream of finding a purse full of money, you will have good 
luck. 

6283. A small amount of money found in a dream indicates bad luck. 

6284. Fortune will favor you soon, if you dream of losing money. 

6285. It causes good luck to dream of silver money, 

6286. A dream of silver money brings bad luck. 

6287. It is an indication of good luck to dream of finding silver money. 

6288. To dream of finding two pieces of silver money is the sign of 
good luck. 

6289. It brings bad luck to dream of paper money. 

6290. To dream of finding money is the sign of losing money. 

6291. You will be disappointed, if you dream of inheriting money. 

6292. A dream of money is the sign of a quarrel. *Tf I dream of 

money I know I am sure going to have a fuss with someone." 

6293. There will be a sickness in your house, if you dream of money. 

6294. It signifies a wedding to dream of money. 

6295. A dream of finding money is an omen of death. 

6296. To dream of paper money forebodes a death. 

6297. It is lucky to dream of the moon. 

6298. It brings good luck in love and money to dream of the moon. 

6299. If you see the moon and stars in your dream, and they have tails, 
it is the omen of a death in the family. 

6300. It is a sign of rain, if you dream of your mother. "When I 

dream of my mother, it will just pour down rain the next day." 

6301. "If you dream of moving, you will sure move. Every time I 
dream of moving we do move in a few weeks." 

6302. To dream of moving is a sign of trouble. 

6303. To dream of mud means a sickness. 

6304. To dream of a mulatto signifies success in love. 

6305. To dream of murdering someone is the sign that you have false 
friends and are in danger. 

6306. If you see a naked woman in your dream, you are going to be 
married. 

6307. Dreaming of a naked woman means honor and joy. 

6308. To dream of being naked is a death warning. 

6309. It is the sign that someone will die, if you see a naked person in 
your dream. 

6310. If you dream of a naked woman, you will hear of a man's death. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 309 

6311. If you dream of a naked man, you will hear of a woman's death. 

6312. To dream of a naked man is the sign that you will die. 

6313. You will be unlucky, if you dream of negroes. 

6314. To dream of coming face to face with a negro means that you will 
have some good gain. 

6315. Expect a disappointment, if you dream of a negro. 

6316. Dreaming of negroes indicates that you will have a serious quarrel, 
and perhaps blood will be shed. 

6317. Great happiness will come to you, if you dream of eating nuts. 

6318. To dream of nutmegs means that you will rise to a high position. 

6319. If you dream of onions, you will have trouble and sorrow. 

6320. Dreaming of fried onions indicates that a friend is very ill but 
will recover. 

6321. It is an excellent omen to dream of oranges on a tree. 

6322. To dream of an orchard means that you will receive a large amount 
of money. 

6323. You will be poor, if you dream of peanuts. 

6324. If a man dreams of eating pickles, he will be loved by a sour and 
crabby old maid. 

6325. If a girl dreams of eating pickles, she will be kissed by an old 
bachelor. 

6326. To dream of a pig is an indication of assured gain. 

6327. It brings good luck to dream of a pigeon. 

6328. It is the sign of reconciliation to dream of a pigeon. 

6329. A dream of a white pigeon is a death portent. 

6330. To dream of plums is the sign of a death in the family. "One 

night I dreamt we had a table full of fine plums. That next 
morning I said to my son, 'We are going to have a death in the 
family, because I dreamt of plums last night.' My son said, 
'Mother you are always looking for something.' That was Monday 
morning. Tuesday my son took sick and died Friday of the same 
week." 

6331. Dreaming of a policeman is a warning to beware of false friends. 

6332. A dream of potatoes indicates that you have secret enemies of 
whom you are unaware. 

6ZZZ. To dream of a row of potatoes, with the potatoes protruding from 
the ground, is a sure sign of death. 

6334. "If you dream you are peeling a potato, and also see some money, 
you can always look for trouble in two days after that dream." 

6335. To dream of quarrehng and fighting means that you will hear 
good news unexpectedly. 

62)2)6. It is an omen of trouble to dream of a rabbit. 



310 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

6337. If you dream of rabbits, you will have pleasure and gain in some- 
thing you are about to undertake. 

6338. To dream of rabbits is a sign that you will receive a love letter 
containing a proposal. Accept it, because it means happiness. 

6339. To dream of running a race: If you lose, it will bring bad luck; 
but if you win, all your troubles will be surmounted, 

6340. It signifies shame and misery to dream of old rags. 

6341. To dream of being out in the rain is a warning of death. 

6342. It is a sign of secret enemies to dream of rats, 

6343. If you dream of rats, someone will steal something from you, 

6344. "If you dream of a red cross it is a sure sign of a death in the 
family. Two nights before my mother died I dreamt of a red 
cross in the heaven, and it came down and touch the ground and 
I woke up; and my mother died in two nights after that," 

6345. To dream of a relative indicates that a relative will die soon. 

6346. There will be a quarrel in the family, if you dream of breaking 
your ribs, 

6347. To dream of large rocks and that you are on them: If you get 
off the rocks, you will have good luck; but if you are unable to 
get off the rocks, you will have bad luck, 

6348. You will always have many friends, if you dream of roses, 

6349. It is a good omen to dream that you are running, 

6350. Everything will go wrong, if you dream of spilling salt, 

6351. To see a pair of scissors in your dream means that you will quarrel 
with your sweetheart, 

6352. Someone is going to flatter you, if you dream of a shawl. 

6353. If you lose your shawl in a dream, it signifies that your lover will 
jilt you. 

6354. It is a sign of great pain to dream of sheep, 

6355. To dream of shoes is an indication of good luck, 

6356. A dream of new shoes means good luck. 

6357. It is a sign of bad luck to dream of old shoes, 

6358. Dreaming of good shoes indicates good luck and honor, 

6359. Losing a shoe in a dream is a bad omen, 

6360. If you dream of losing your shoes, you will be very poor, 

6361. To dream of old and shabby shoes means financial troubles and 
the loss of a dear friend, 

6362. You will lose a friend, if you dream of losing a shoe, 

6363. If you dream of shoes, you will hear of a fight, 

6364. To dream of losing your shoes indicates that you will lose some- 
one in the family. 

6365. "If someone is sick and you dream they run away or get out of 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 311 

the house, they will sure die. If you find them in your dream 
and get them back into the house, they will get well." 

6366. To dream that someone is ill in bed foretells that he will never 
recover. 

6367. It causes bad luck to dream of smoke. 

6368. To dream of smoke is a sign of death. 

6369. It brings bad luck to dream of snakes. 

6370. To dream that you have been bitten by a snake is a sign of bad 
luck, 

6371. It means good luck, if you dream of being bitten by a snake. 

6372. Dreaming of a snake is an omen of trouble. 

6373. If you reveal a dream in which a snake has been seen, you will 
quarrel with someone soon. 

6374. To dream of a writhing and twisting snake indicates danger and 
imprisonment. 

6375. To dream of a snake means that your house will catch fire. 

6376. Snakes in a dream signify enemies. 

6377. If you dream of snakes, it means that you have as many enemies 
as snakes seen in your dream. 

6378. If you dream of killing a snake, it indicates that you have con- 
quered an enemy. 

6379. If you dream of a snake and do not kill it, an enemy will harm 
you. 

6380. "If you dream of a snake and the snake is hollering and making 
a noise, that is a sure sign of a death in the family." 

6381. A dream of black snakes forebodes a death in the family. 

"One night I dreamt a big black snake was on my bed and another 
big black snake was trying to get on the bed. The next morning 
at ten o'clock my niece was playing around a tub of hot water 
and fell in and died before they could get a doctor." 

6382. To dream of snow out of season means good luck. 

6383. Dreaming of snow indicates that an important event in your life 
will soon occur. 

6384. If you dream of snow, you will either be disappointed or suffer 
a loss. 

6385. If you dream of someone, you will hear from him next day. 

6386. To dream of a spider spinning its web means that you will receive 
a large sum of money. 

6387. A dream of spiders indicates success in love. 

6388. To dream of a spider crawling on you is a sign that you are the 
victim of a treacherous act. 



312 Memoirs of flic Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

6389. To dream of spirits or ghosts indicates that you will discover 

something which has been concealed from you. 

6390. If you dream that someone spits into your eyes, your feelings 
will soon be hurt. 

6391. It is a good sign to dream of spring weather. You will be 
fortunate in something. 

6392. It is a portent of death in the family to dream of starvation. 

6393. To dream of stealing at night will bring bad luck. 

6394. It is a good omen to dream of stealing in the daytime. 

6395. To dream of a stork bodes a great misfortune. 

6396. It is a sign of reconciliation to dream of a storm. 

6397. If you dream of a big windstorm, you will be very sick. 

6398. Dreaming of a storm or windstorm is a warning of death. 

"I dreamt one night we had a big storm and it took the awning 
off the house. My uncle died that week." 

6399. To dream of strawberries means a new love and a happy mar- 
riage. 

6400. It is lucky to dream of the rising sun. 

6401. To dream of teeth is a sign of good luck. 

6402. To dream of losing a tooth foretells that you will lose a friend. 

6403. If you dream that your false teeth fall out, you have false friends. 

6404. A dream of pulling teeth is an omen of sickness. 

6405. To dream of teeth portends a death. 

6406. To dream of having a toothache is a death warning. 

6407. To dream that your teeth fall out is a death portent. 

6408. There will be a death in the family, if you dream of having a 
tooth pulled. 

6409. If you dream of having a tooth extracted and it hurts, expect the 
death of a near relative; but if it does not hurt, a distant relative 
will die. 

6410. To dream of pulling your own tooth presages a death in the family. 

"Years ago I had a very sick brother. We were living out 

in the country, and the doctor told us one night if he was no 

better the next day to come in town and he would change the 
medicine. The next morning Charlie was no better, so my mother 
said to my father, 'After breakfast I want you to go to town and 
get some medicine from the doctor.' My father said, Tt is no use 
of me going to town. I am making the trip for nothing, for you 
know whenever I dream of pulling a tooth, we have a death ; and 
last night I dreamt I was pulling my tooth.' At last my mother 
got my father to go for the medicine, still saying he was making 
the trip for nothing, so sure brother would die. He got in town. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 313 

got the medicine and stopped at the post office and found a letter 
from his folks, that his sister was dead. So the dreaming of the 
tooth was for his sister and not his son as he thought." 

6411. It is a sign of bad luck to dream that you are in a theatre. 

6412. A dream in which thieves enter your house and rob you indicates 
profit and honor. 

6413. It brings good luck in love afifairs and business to dream of prepar- 
ing or eating tomatoes. 

6414. Dreaming of many green trees means that great wealth is coming 
to you. 

6415. If you dream of pulling up a tree by the roots, a relative will die. 

"I dreamt one night of pulling a little tree up by the roots 

and took it right through the house. The next day I got a telegram 
my cousin was dead." 

6416. To dream of seeing a turkey reveals that you have enemies but 
will overcome them. 

6417. If you dream of a turkey, you will receive a large amount of 
money. 

6418. You will have family troubles, if you dream of eating turnips. 

6419. To dream of healthy twins is the sign of success in business. 

6420. Dreaming of sickly twins means sorrow. 

6421. It is a good sign to dream of an umbrella. 

6422. Dreaming of an umbrella will bring good luck, if you do not walk 
under it. 

6423. To dream of an umbrella means that you will receive a great 
amount of money. 

6424. If you dream of an undertaker, you will die. 

6425. It bodes misfortune to dream of eating vegetables. 

6426. If you dream of a villain, you will lose your property. 

6427. Dreaming of vinegar indicates family quarrels and misunder- 
standings. 

6428. If you dream that you are vomiting, you will soon become ill. 

6429. To dream of walking shows that you will change your residence. 

6430. To dream of opening and eating walnuts is a sign that you will 
receive money. 

6431. To dream of warts is an indication that you are loved by some- 
one but do not know it. 

6432. "If you dream of wasps, look out, for you are going to look into 
some danger." 

6433. Dreaming of wasps is a sign that you have enemies who are going 
to injure you. 

6434. To dream of dropping a watch foretells trouble. 



314 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

6435. It is a sign of trouble to dream of breaking a watch. 

6436. A dream of water means bad luck. 

6437. It causes good luck to dream of clear water. 

6438. To dream of muddy water is unlucky, 

6439. It signifies good luck to dream of running water, 

6440. If you dream of clear water, exj>ect either to hear good news or 
to receive money, 

6441. A dream of clear water indicates happiness. 

6442. If an unmarried woman dreams that she is wading in clear water, 
she will soon be happily married to the man of her choice. 

6443. Dreaming of muddy water means that you are going to have 

trouble. "I always have lots of trouble and everything goes 

wrong when I dream of muddy water." 

6444. To dream of muddy water foretells that you will have a quarrel 
before the day is over. 

6445. It is a sign of sickness to dream of muddy water. 

6446. To dream of bloody w^ater indicates that you will hear of some- 
one who is going to shed blood soon. 

6447. A dream of muddy water is a death omen, 

6448. To dream of walking through muddy water portends a death. 

6449. If you dream of water running off a house, someone in the family 
will die. 

6450. To dream of something white is a sign that you wall receive a 
letter. 

6451. If you dream of anything white, you will see a shroud. 

6452. Dreaming of anything white means a death. 

6453. It is a bad sign to dream of a will. 

6454. To dream of making a will indicates that you will live long and 
be successful in business. 

6455. Someone will accuse you falsely, if you dream of going through 
a window. 

6456. It is a sign of domestic happiness to dream of a window. 

6457. Dreaming of worms signifies that you will catch a contagious 
disease. 

6458. If you dream of a sign that has an "X" on it, misfortune will 
overtake you. 

6459. "Captain Michael P. in his youth was a bricklayer. He had one 
night a dream which so impressed him with a feeling of danger 
that he did not go to work next day. It was well for him that he 
did not, for the scaffold on which he would have been working 
fell from a great height. It would be easy to supply from imagina- 
tion details of the dream and of a fatal accident to those on the 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 315 

scaffold, but to tell the truth my memory of the story as it was 
told me records neither. Captain P., who was a man of intelligence 
and force sufficient to raise him from the position of illiterate, 
friendless Irish immigrant boy to that of respected lawyer, poli- 
tician, postmaster, told this story to his children and believed 
firmly that the dream had saved his life." Written contribution. 



WISHES 

6460. If you fail to get your wish, you will have bad luck. 

6461. Wish for something long enough and you will get it. 

6462. "If three persons center their minds on a certain thing, it will 
come true." 

6463. Reveal a wish and it will not come true. 

6464. To discover whether you will obtain your wish, take a deck of 
cards and turn over one card at a time. If a red ace comes up 
first, you will secure your wish ; if a black ace, you will not. 

6465. After you have made a wish, count ten before speaking. 

6466. Let two persons make wishes while dividing a double almond. 
When they next meet, the first one to say, "Philippino," will have 
his wish. 

6467. Wish when you see a red automobile. 

6468. If a red automobile is seen, stamp it and make a wish. 

6469. Upon seeing a red automobile, run up and pinch someone and at 
the same time make a wish. 

6470. As soon as you see a red automobile truck, pinch yourself while 
wishing. 

6471. Make a wish as a load of empty barrels passes. 

6472. A wish will come true, if it is made in a bed that has never been 
slept in. 

6473. Wish before opening the Bible. If you see the words, "And it 
shall come to pass," you will get the wish. 

6474. Having made a wish, if you can blow out all the candles on your 
birthday cake with one breath, the wish will come true. 

6475. The person who has a birthday may make a wish before he cuts 
his birthday cake. 

6476. As the boat goes through the draw of a bridge, make a wish. 

This is frequently done on excursion boats out of Quincy. 

6477. Spit into the water while on a bridge and make a wish. 

6478. If you spit into the water when on a bridge, then walk across 
the bridge and make a wish, you will obtain the wish. 



316 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

6479. Count twelve and make a wish as you cross a bridge. 

6480. Make a wish while passing over a new bridge. 

6481. Wish when you are crossing a railroad bridge, and if you do not 
speak until the bridge has been crossed, you will get the wish. 

6482. If you let a broom fall, make a wish before picking it up. 

6483. You may make a wish when you find a button. 

(3484. Look at the forepaws of a grey cat when you see one and make a 
wish. The wish will come true, if you never see the cat again. 

6485. The girl who finds a cat in her room should, before removing it, 
stroke its back seven times and make a wish with each stroke. 

6486. Wish as you eat the heart of a chicken. 

6487. Swallow a small chicken heart whole and make a wish while it is 
going down. 

6488. Throw the heart of a rooster over your left shoulder while mak- 
ing a wish and you will have good luck. 

6489. When you have found a four-leafed clover, make a wish as you 
hold it above your head. 

6490. If you find a four-leafed clover, make a wish while putting it in 
your shoe. 

6491. After finding a four-leafed clover, kiss it and place it in your shoe ; 
then remove the clover on the day you want your wish to come 
true. 

6492. Place a four-leafed clover in your shoe while making a wish, and 
when the clover is lost, you will get the wish. 

6493. Eat the first four-leafed clover that you find during the spring 
and any wish made by you will come true. 

6494. Let the person who plucks a four-leafed clover make a wish and 
toss the clover away. 

6495. Do not pick a four-leafed clover, but make a wish; and as the 
clover grows, so will your wish grow. 

6496. Make a wish while picking a five-leafed clover and then throw 
the clover away. 

6497. Make a wish as you pick a five-leafed clover and you will not 
have bad luck. 

6498. If coffee grounds are left in your cup, set the cup upside down 
and put your thumb on the handle; then turn the cup around 
three times while making a wish. 

6499. After dropping a comb, step on it and make a wish before picking 
it up. 

6500. If you let a comb fall while combing your hair, turn the teeth 
down and make a wish. This is done either to get a wish or to 
keep from having bad luck. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 317 

6501. When you find a grain of corn, make a wish and bury the corn. 

6502. If a grain of corn is found, make a wish and count ten while 
burying the grain. 

6503. Wish on a dandelion that has gone to seed and then blow the seed- 
ball; if the seeds come off with the first blow, your wish will be 
granted. 

6504. Make a wish before picking up a dish rag that you have dropped. 

6505. If you let a dish rag fall, step on it and wish; then pick it up. 

6506. Steal a dish rag and bury it secretly while making a wish. 

6507. It is lucky to meet your double, especially if you make a wish 
when you see him. 

6508. A wish made at the sound of the first dove of spring will be 
fulfilled. 

6509. If your dress is turned up, make a wish before turning it down. 
This will give you either your wish or good luck. 

6510. When the hem of your dress is turned up, make a wish and kiss 
it before turning it down. 

6511. A dress put on backwards should not be changed until you have 
made a wish. This will avert bad luck and bring you your wish. 
Some say that you must wish three times to avoid the bad luck. 

6512. Clothes put on wrong side out must not be removed until eleven 
o'clock that morning; then you may take them off while making 
a wish. 

6513. While making a wish, drop the white of a fresh &gg into a glass 
of cold water; if the white of the egg goes to the bottom and 

stays there, you will get your wish if the white of the G.gg 

bubbles and comes to the surface of the water, your wish will not 
be fulfilled. 

6514. When there is an eyelash on someone's cheek, let him make a wish 
and guess which cheek has the eyelash. If he guesses correctly, 
the wish will come true. 

6515. Make a wish before picking up a fork that has fallen to the floor. 

6516. Attend the "Three Hour Service" in a Roman Catholic Church 
on Good Friday. Make a wish during this service, and if you 
remain the whole three hours, you will get the wish. 

6517. If a wish is made as you untangle your hair, it will come true. 

6518. Hang up a hairpin that you find and make a wish. 

6519. Wish when you find a hairpin and hang the latter on a nail. 

6520. If a hairpin is found and hung on a rusty nail, you may make a 
wish. 

6521. After finding a hairpin, put it on a wire and make a wish. 



318 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

6522. Hang on a nail the hairpin that you find and make a wish. This 
will bring you a letter. 

6523. When you find a hairpin, let your sweetheart hold one end of it 
while you grasp the other end; bend it and make a wish, then 
throw the hairpin over your left shoulder. 

6524. Wish upon seeing a haystack in a field and do not look at the 
haystack again. 

6525. Repeat the following rhyme when you see a hay wagon : 

"Load of hay, load of hay, 

Take my wish and go away." 
or 

"Load of hay, load of hay. 

Make a wish and look away." 
"Mrs. B. told me this afternoon she was sitting in the rocking- 
chair looking out of the front window and saw a load of hay go 
by. She wished she would become sick this month, as she had not 
been for several months, and the next day she came." 

6526. If a load of hay is seen, make a wish and count thirteen, then 
look away. 

6527. Make a wish when you see a load of baled hay and when the bales 
are broken you will get your wish. 

6528. Failing to make a wish while passing a load of hay will cause you 
bad luck. 

6529. There will be a serious sickness and perhaps a death in your 
family, if you pass a load of hay without wishing. 

6530. Wish just before you begin to climb a hill, and do not look back. 

6531. W^ish when you see a white horse. 

6532. If you see a white horse, say: 

"White, white, horse. 
Ding, ding, ding. 
Where I go, 
I'll find something." 
Then make a wish and it will be granted. 

6534. Stamp a white horse that is seen and make a wish. 

6535. Spit over your little (left) finger, if you see a white horse, and 
make a wish. 

6536. Wish when you see a white horse and you will get the wish, 
provided you do not see the horse again, 

6537. Stamp two white horses that are pulling a load of hay ; then make 
a wish. 

6538. Count seven white horses and you will meet a red-haired woman ; 
then make a wish. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 319 

6539. After you have met seven white horses on the same day, wish 
when you see the seventh horse. 

6540. Stamp every white horse you meet and make a wish, and after 
you have stamped the twentieth horse, the wish will come true. 

6541. Make a wish after you have seen fifty white horses and a load 
of hay. 

6542. Count one hundred white horses and wish on the hundredth horse. 

6543. When you see a grey horse, kiss the back of your hand while 
making a wish, and then spit. 

6544. Wish on the first colt seen during the spring. 

6545. If you find a horseshoe, make a wish and throw the horseshoe 
over your left shoulder. 

6546. Wish when a horseshoe is found, and toss it over your right 
shoulder. 

6547. Having found a horseshoe, pick it up with your right hand and 
make a wish while throwing the horseshoe over your right 
shoulder. 

6548. Spit on a horseshoe that you have found ; then make a wish and 
pitch the horseshoe over your left shoulder. 

6549. When you find a horseshoe, make a wish while spitting on it, and 
then throw the horseshoe over your right shoulder. 

6550. Having wished and spit on a horseshoe that you have found, throw 
it over your head; and if the prongs on the toe remain up, you 
will get your wish. 

6551. If you find a horseshoe with the prongs toward you, make a wish 
and throw the horseshoe over your right shoulder. 

6552. The first person to pass under a horseshoe that you have hung 
above a door may make a wish. 

6553. Make a wish when entering a new house for the first time. 

6554. When you first enter a new house, walk in backwards while mak- 
ing a wish. 

6555. As soon as you go into a new house, look at the kitchen and make 
a wish. 

6556. On the first night you move into a new house, wish as you name 
the four corners of your bed. 

6557. Make a wish at the first meal you eat in the house of "newlyweds." 

6558. Light a match as you make a wish ; and if you can hold the match 
until it burns out, the wish will be fulfilled. 

6559. Wish when you see a man with a wooden leg. 

6560. If you meet a man who has a wooden leg, make a wish and spit 
on the sidewalk. 

6561. A wish for money should be made when the sun is brightest. 



320 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

6562. You must wish on the increase of the moon to secure money. 

6563. Wish at the appearance of the new moon. 

6564. A wish made when you first see the new moon will come true, 
provided you refrain from looking at the moon until it becomes 
new again. 

6565. The first time you see the new moon, bow to it three times while 
making a wish. 

6566. On seeing the new moon for the first time through the branches 
of a tree, make a wish. 

6567. When the new moon first appears, make a wish while looking at 
it over your left shoulder. 

6568. At the first appearance of the new moon, look at it over your 
right shoulder while making a wish, 

6569. Look at the new moon for the first time and make a wish while 

you are picking up a piece of silver. "My sister held a silver 

dollar in one hand and bent over and picked it out of her hand 
with the other hand, making a wish and looking at the moon all 
the time, and she got her wish." 

6570. Never pick up a mop that you have dropped without first stepping 
on it and making a wish. 

6571. If a nail is found, drive it into something while making a wish. 

6572. Do not make a wish soon after New Year's Day or you will have 
bad luck. 

6573. Put onion peelings on live coals and make a wish while they burn. 

6574. Open a persimmon seed in a certain manner and you will see a 
knife, fork and spoon. Make a wish while doing this. 

6575. Make a wash while eating last the point of a piece of pie. 

6576. Wish when you find a pin pointing toward you. 

6577. When a pin in your dress sticks you, remove it while making a 
wish; then replace the pin, and if it stays, you will get your wish. 

6578. Upon finding a pin, stick it on your left shoulder with your right 
hand while wishing; then give the pin away, and your wish will 
be granted. 

6579. Make a wish if a pin drops and sticks in the floor. 

6580. The first thing every morning before speaking to anyone, read 
Psalm XXIII and make a wish. This will bring you success. 

6581. You may make a wish while a rabbit is running across your path. 

6582. Wish as soon as you see a redbird. 

6583. Wish upon seeing a redbird, and if you are able to spit three times 
at the bird before it disappears from sight, your wish will come 
true. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 321 

6584. When a redbird is seen, make a wish; and if you can count three 
before the bird flies, you will get your wish. 

6585. A wish made upon seeing a redbird will come true, if the bird 
flies to the right. 

6586. As soon as you see a redbird, say: 

"Redbird, redbird, 
If you will be true, 
I will see someone soon, 
I am not expecting to." 
Then wish to see this person and your wish will be fulfilled. 

6587. Place a ring on a person's finger and make a wish. 

6588. While making a wish, turn a ring around eighteen times on some- 
one's finger. 

6589. Make a wish while turning a ring with a setting around three 
times on the finger of a friend. You will get your wish, provided 
the wearer of the ring does not remove it until so instructed by 
you. 

6590. Wish a ring on a friend's finger and tell her to take ofif the ring 
about the time you desire your wish to come true. If she removes 
the ring before the appointed time, the charm will be broken. 

6591. Put a ring on a friend's finger and make a wish. She is to remove 
the ring three days later at the same time. 

6592. Make a wish, if you see a robin. 

6593. Stamp one hundred robins before summer arrives and then make 
a wish. 

6594. Throw some spilled salt over your left shoulder while making a 
wish. 

6595. If you spill salt, make a wish and throw some of the salt over your 
right shoulder. 

6596. Drop a pinch of salt on the fire just before going to bed and make 
a wish. Do this for three nights. 

6597. When a saw falls and sticks in the floor, make a wish before 
pulling it out; and then hang it up. 

6598. You should always make a wish while giving a sharp-pointed 
article to anyone. If you fail to do this, your friendship will be 
broken. 

6599. Let two persons wish while folding a sheet, and if the last fold 
comes out even, they will get their wishes. 

6600. Spit on a new pair of shoes while wishing. 

6601. You are permitted a wish, if your shoe string comes unloosened. 

6602. Wish while tying a person's shoe string. 



322 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

6603. Put salt and pepper on a pair of old shoes and make a wish while 
burning them. 

6604. "A sky of red mixed with blue, 
Make a wish with closed eyes, 
And it's sure to come true." 

6605. Make a wish after sneezing. 

6606. If about to sneeze, make a wish quickly ; and if you do not sneeze, 
your wish will come true. 

6607. Let two persons who speak the same word simultaneously join 
their little fingers while making a wish. 

6608. When the same expression or word is uttered by two persons at 
the same time, each must make a wish, touch wood, and then touch 
something blue. 

6609. If the same thing is spoken by two persons at the same time, they 
should interlock their little fingers and make a wish. Then one 
of them says a word and the other must give its opposite. For 
example: The first person begins with, "salt," the second person 
replies, "pepper ;" or if the first word is "man," the second word 
could be "woman." After uttering two such words, both persons 
repeat together, "When a man marries his troubles begin." 

6610. Two persons accidentally saying the same thing together must, as 
described in the preceding item, repeat alternately: 

"Red, 
Blue, 
Needles, 
Pins, 

Shakespeare, 
Longfellow." 
Each is then permitted a wish. 

6611. If two persons say something identical at the same time, they 
must take hold of each other's hands with the little finger and 
repeat alternately: 

"Needles, 

Pins, 

Triplets, 

Twins, 

When a man marries. 

His troubles begin. 

What goes up the chimney. 

Smoke, 

Knives, 

Forks, 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 323 

Longfellow, 

Shortfellow." 
Then they make a wish, and together say, "thumbs." Never make 
any other remark before the final word or the charm will be 
broken. 

6612. If a spider drops in front of you on its web, put the spider in 
your pocket and make a wish. 

6613. You will obtain success, if you make a wish each night while read- 
ing the fourteenth chapter of the Gospel of St. John just before 
going to bed. 

6614. Wish as soon as you see the first star. 

6615. A wish made at the appearance of the first star will come true, 
provided you do not speak until another star is seen. 

6616. When you see the first star, say: 

"I see stars, 
And stars see me, 
I wish I may, 
I wish I might, 
Get this wish, 
I wish tonight." 

6617. At the appearance of the first star, recite : 

"I see stars. 
And stars see me, 
I wish I will see, 
Somebody tomorrow night, 
I am not expecting to see." 

6618. Repeat the following rhyme as soon as you see the first star: 

"Star, star, star. 
First star I've seen tonight. 
Wish I may, wish I might. 
Have the wish I wish tonight." 

6619. While looking at the first star of the evening, speak the following: 

"Starlight, star bright. 

First star I see tonight, 

I wish I may, I wish I might. 

Bring true the wish I wish tonight." 

6620. It is unlucky to see a shooting star unless you make a wish im- 
mediately. 

6621. If you can make a wish before a shooting star disappears, your 
wish will come true. 

6622. The following rhyme should be repeated as soon as a shooting 
star is seen: 



324 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

"Starlight, star bright, 
First star I've seen tonight, 
Wish I may, wish I might, 
Have the wish I wish tonight." 

6623. Count seven stars for seven consecutive nights and then make a 
wish. 

6624. Make a wish when you hear the first thunder during the spring. 

6625. Carry in your pocket for three days a thimble wrapped in a piece 
of silk and make a wish each time you enter or leave the house. 

6626. Tie your two big toes together and wish while walking backwards 
to bed. 

6627. When you stub your toe, kiss your thumb and make a wish. 

6628. Throw your pulled tooth over the house as you make a wish. 

6629. Wish while you toss your pulled tooth over your head or shoulder 
or left shoulder. 

6630. Make a wish if you see a freight train. 

6631. Wish when you see a freight train, saying, "Yes, no; maybe so" 

until you no longer see the train. The word spoken, either 

"yes" or "no," as the train disappears, shows whether your wish 
will be granted. 

6632. As soon as you hear the first turtledove of spring, walk three times 
around the tree in which the bird is perched and make a wish. 

6633. Make a wish while passing a loaded wagon. If you pass the wagon 
a second time, the wish will not be fulfilled; moreover, you will 
have bad luck. 

6634. W^ish while looking into a well for the first time and any wish 
made will come true. 

6635. Upon seeing the first whippoorwill of the year, make a wish. 

6636. When the first whippoorwill of the season is heard, take three 
steps backwards and pick up whatever lies beneath your left heel ; 
then make a wish. 

6637. As soon as you hear the first whippoorwill in spring, turn over 
the money in your pocket and wish for more. 

6638. Wish before breaking a wishbone with someone and you will be 
lucky. 

6639. Each of the two persons making a wish before breaking a wish- 
bone together will get his wish. 

6640. After a wishbone is broken, the one who holds the longer piece 
will obtain his wish. 

6641. The wish will be granted only to the person getting the shorter 
l>iece of a broken wishbone. 

6642. The one who secures the larger piece of a broken wishbone will 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 325 

get his wish; and the other, holding the smaller piece, will be 
married first. 

6643. The holder of the shorter piece of a broken wishbone will be the 
first to marry ; and the person having the longer piece will obtain 
the better dinner. 

6644. Make a wish with someone before breaking a wishbone with him, 
and then place your piece over an outside door. 

6645. Put your piece of the broken wishbone over a door, and you will 
secure your wish after the bone has decayed. 

6646. Wish on a piece of "wish vine" (love vine) and throw it over 
your right shoulder; you will get your wish if the vine grows. 



SIGNS OF LOVE 

6647. The person who eats beets is in love. 

6648. If there is a fever blister on someone's lips, it is a sign that he 
has been kissed. 

6649. Anyone having a dimple on the chin has been touched by Cupid. 

6650. If a boy and girl while eating reach for the same thing at the 
same time, a romance is brewing. 

6651. A white spot on your little finger-nail reveals that you have a 
sweetheart. 

6652. A boy wearing a flower to school wants to get a girl. 

6653. When a girl places a man's hat on her head, she desires a kiss. 

6654. It indicates that you have a lover, if a lighted match laid down 
by you burns up entirely. 

6655. It is the sign of love to have a bleeding nose. 

6656. When a man sends orchids to a girl, he is in love with her. 

6657. Eating pickles is a sign of love. 

6658. Salty soup means that the cook is in love. 

6659. A shoe string coming untied shows that your thoughts are directed 
toward your beau. 

6660. To find a spider on your neck signifies that you possess a secret 
lover. 



WHEN YOU WILL SEE YOUR BEAU 

6661. Press against your forehead the seeds of an apple, and the number 
of those which do not fall off will tell you how many days it will 
be until you see your beau. 



326 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

6S62. To ascertain when you will see your sweetheart, remove the skin 
from an apple in one continuous peeling and throw this over your 
left shoulder; if the peeling breaks, you will not see him; if it 
remains whole, you will see him before the end of the week. 

6663. A girl will meet her lover on the day she finds a four-leafed clover. 

6664. "If you drop the comb while combing your hair you will see your 
sweetheart before your hair gets mussed up." 

6665. The dropping of a dish rag is a sign that your lover will come. 

6666. To hear the call of a hawk means that your beau is approaching. 

6667. Stamp a grey horse and you will see your sweetheart on the fol- 
lowing day. 

6668. If you let a knife fall, your "boy friend" will soon call upon you. 

6669. The girl who cuts her nails on Saturday will see her sweetheart 
on Sunday. 

6670. Never eat onions on Saturday night or you will not see your lover 
on Sunday. 

6671. If a pan falls and rests upside down on the floor, you will soon 
see someone you love. 

6672. Pick up a pin found pointing toward you and you will see your 
beau that day. 

6673. Seeing a redbird on Saturday morning signifies that your sweet- 
heart will visit you. 

6674. To see a redbird means that you will soon see your beau. 

6675. The singing of a redbird indicates that you will see your sweet- 
heart before the week is gone. 

6676. If you make a rhyme, you will see your beau before bedtime. 

6677. Make a rhyme in order to see your beau before nine o'clock. 

6678. Turn around three times a ring on someone's finger, and when 
you have repeated this process with a ring on the hand of fourteen 
different individuals, you will see your sweetheart. 

6679. As soon as you see the first robin, sit down and remove your left 
stocking; and if it contains a hair, your beau will soon call upon 
you. 

6680. "Sneeze before you eat, 

See your sweetheart before you sleep." 

6681. Sneeze before breakfast and you will see your sweetheart before 
Saturday night. 

6682. "If you love a person, think of them real hard and they will come 
to you soon." 

6683. "Stub your right toe, 
You'll see your beau." 

6684. "If you stub your toe, 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 327 

You'll see your beau. 
Kiss your thumb, 
He'll be sure to come." 

6685. After stubbing your toe, kiss your thumb and face the opposite 
direction; and you will see your sweetheart. 

6686. Walk backwards over the spot where you stubbed your toe, turn 
around and kiss your thumb; and you will see your "fellow." 

6687. If you stump your toe, kiss your thumb and think of your beau, 
and you will see him. 

6688. A tablespoon dropping to the floor is a sign that your lover is 
coming. 

6689. A toad crossing the road in front of you indicates that you will 
see your sweetheart that day. 

6690. When a toad hops across your path, your beau will come to see 
you from the same direction. 

6691. If you see a turkey buzzard sailing through the air, say: 

"Sail, sail lonesome turkey buz'zard. 

Sail to the east and sail to the west, 

Sail to the one that I love best. 

Flap your wings before you fly out of sight, 

That I may see my sweetheart before Saturday night." 

6692. Spit on a piece of burning wood that falls down and name it your 
sweetheart; then replace it on the fire, and he will arrive before 
it bums up. 



WHAT YOUR SWEETHEART IS DOING 

6693. An apron slipping oflf a girl shows that her sweetheart is talking 
about her. 

6694. A girl's beau is thinking about her, if her apron becomes un- 
fastened and drops ofT. 

6695. If a girl burns bread while baking, her beau is very angry with her. 

6696. To burn bread when baking means that your sweetheart is think- 
ing about you. 

6697. When biscuits are burned, the girl's beau is angry with her. 

6698. A girl's lover is talking about her, if her cheeks burn. 

6699. The girl who finds a one-leafed clover will receive a letter from 
her sweetheart. 

6700. A burning on your left ear indicates that you are in your beau's 
thoughts. 

6701. Your lover is thinking about you, if your eye quivers. 



328 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

6702. A girl is being thought of by her sweetheart, if the fire goes out 
while she is making it. 

6703. A fire failing to burn shows that your beau is not busy. 

6704. If you are able to tie a knot with a love vine, you are in the 
thoughts of your sweetheart. 

6705. When your nose itches, your "girl friend" is in danger. 

6706. It is the sign of an angry sweetheart, if your shoe string comes 
unlaced, 

6707. A shoe string coming untied signifies that your beau is thinking 
about you. 

6708. The sweetheart is thinking about the girl whose skirt catches in 
a briar. 

6709. A girl's skirt turning up indicates that her lover is in a saloon. 

6710. A thread getting tangled while a girl is sewing means that her 
beau is thinking about her. 

6711. When a girl's stocking falls down, she is being thought of by her 
sweetheart. 

6712. If a girl spills water while drinking, she is in her beau's mind. 

6713. If a girl upsets coffee, water or any drink, her sweetheart is think- 
ing of her. 



WHETHER YOU ARE LOVED 

6714. Wet three apple seed, then name and shoot them up towards the 
ceiling. The seed that hits the ceiling reveals the name of the 
person who loves you. 

6715. Name apple seed and place them on the grate. The seed that 
jumps first will show by whom you are loved. 

6716. Let somebody name an apple and if you can break it in two, the 
one named loves you. 

6717. Give a name to an apple that is suspended from a string on Hal- 
loween Eve, and if you succeed in biting it, you are loved by the 
person named. 

6718. Before you go to bed, name the corners of your bedroom. The 
corner first looked at in the morning will indicate which of the 
four persons named loves you best. 

6719. Tie a knot in a cedar limb and name it. If it grows, you are 
beloved by the person whom you have named. 

6720. Place chestnuts in a fireplace or on a grate and name them. The 
nut which jumps first signifies which one loves you most. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 329 

6721. If you can with one breath blow off all the seeds from a dandelion 
seed-ball, your sweetheart loves you. 

6722. Your dress turning- up on the left side means that you are not 
loved by your beau. 

6723. When the right side of your dress is turned up, it shows that your 
beau loves you. 

6724. The person who winks at you with the right eye loves you. 

6725. Name an eyelash your lover and blow it away. If you never see 
the eyelash again, you are loved by him. 

6726. If you can make a fire that will burn, your sweetheart or husband 
loves you ; but if the fire does not burn well or goes out, you are 
not loved. 

6727. The man who is able in the morning to make a hot fire easily is 
loved by his wife. 

6728. Pick one by one the petals from a flower, usually a daisy, and 
repeat, "He loves me, he loves me not." The last petal of the 
flower will show your fate. 

6729- Pull off all the petals one by one from a daisy while saying, "He 
loves me, he loves me not." This will make you lucky. 

6730. Tie a "lover's knot" with your handkerchief and after naming 
the ends pull them. You are loved best by him whose name cor- 
responds to the tightest end in the knot. 

6731. Think of your sweetheart when you have hiccough; if it stops 
immediately, he loves you ; if it continues, you are not loved by 
him. 

6732. Name holly leaves and throw them into the fire. The leaf named 
for the one who loves you best will pop out first. 

6733. To discover whether your beau or husband is loyal to you, cut a 
lemon in half and rub both pieces on the four posts of your bed ; 
then put the two halves of the lemon under your pillow. If you 
see him in a dream, he is faithful; if you do not dream of him, 
he is faithless. 

6734. Let the girl who gets a letter from her sweetheart fold it up and 
keep it next to her heart for three days and nights. If on the third 
night she sees beautiful trees in a dream, the sweetheart is true; 
if she dreams of water, he is false. 

6735. Name a live-forever vine for your sweetheart and plant it at a 
comer of your house. If it grows, he loves you; if it dies, you 

are not loved by him. "When we were girls we were always 

naming a live-forever vine and sticking it on the corner of old 
log houses to see if it would grow and see if our beaus loved us." 

6736. The girl who can tie two knots in a love vine without breaking it 



330 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

is loved by her sweetheart. "When I was a girl I was always 

trying to see if my beau loved me by tying knots in a love vine." 

6737. Name a love vine and place it on a bush. If it grows, the person 
named loves (or will love) you. 

6738. Name a match and strike it. If it lights, you are loved by the one 
named. 

6739. Think of a boy while striking a match. If it bums from end to 
end without breaking or going out, he loves you. 

6740. Light a match and let it burn as near as possible to your finger, 
then spit on the burnt part and hold the match by the head. If the 
match bums up entirely without breaking, your beau loves you. 

6741. "Take and fill a saucer with water, turn a glass upside down, strike 
a match and put it under the glass; if it sucks the water up in 
the glass, it's the sign your sweetheart loves you." 

6742. Bend the stalk of a mullein plant in the direction towards your 
sweetheart's house. If it stays down, he does not love you; if it 
becomes erect again, you are loved by him. 

6743. While bending the stalk of a mullein plant to the ground, name it ; 
if it remains down, you are not loved by the person named; if it 
straightens up again, he does love you. 

6744. After naming four onions put them under your bed. The onion 
that sprouts during the night will show which of the four persons 
named loves you. If none of the onions sprouts, you are not 
loved by any of the four individuals. 

6745. "Years ago we would write our beaus names on a piece of paper, 
then light the paper. I f the paper burned up, he did not love us ; 
if it would burn just around the name and not burn the name any, 
he would love us." 

6746. "If you want to find out if som^eone loves you, peel a peach without 
it breaking and name it the one you love best. Take your right 
hand and throw it over your left shoulder, and if he loves you, 
it will fall in his first initial." Written contribution. 

6747. Upon moving into a new house, name the corners of the room in 
which you sleep. The one you dream about loves you. 

6748. "If you want to find out if your beau loves you, take a spoonful 
of pepper and put on a cold stove lid, then a spoonful of salt, then 
another of pepper, then another of salt; then name one for you, 
one for your beau, and one for you and one for your beau ; then 
put a fire under that lid and if the ones you have named your 
beau blaze up and burn, he loves you; if they don't blaze up, he 
don't." 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 331 

6749. Give a rose petal your sweetheart's name and if you can make it 
pop, you are loved by him. 

6750. Think of the one you love when you are about to sneeze and at 
the same time touch your upper lip. If your beau loves you, you 
will not sneeze. 

6751. Name a pan of soap bubbles. If they do not burst, you are loved; 
but if they break, you are not loved. 

6752. If you put your stockings on wrong side out, your sweetheart 
loves you. 

6753. If you can remove all the seeds from a thistle ball with one 
breath, your beau loves you. 

6754. "If you want to find out what boy loves you, go out in the field 
and get some blue thistle buds, then write the names of boy friends 
on paper and pin each name on the bottom of a bud, then put 
them in a big pan of water and set under your bed when you go 
to bed that night ; and the one that loves you and you will marry 
will all be bloom out floating around on the top." 

6755. Let a girl whose thread knots while sewing name it for her sweet- 
heart; and if she is loved, the knot can be loosened. 

6756. "If a girl wants to find out which one of two boys likes her best, 
if she will tie both her big toes with a twine string and then tie 
the other ends of the strings to something else or else hold them 
in her hand, and then name each toe the name of the boys, in the 
morning the toe that is still tied is the boy that cares the most 
about her." Written contribution. 

6757. Give your sweetheart's name to a worm while fishing and then 
bait your hook with it. If you catch a fish with that worm, he is 
true to you. 



LOSING LOVER OR HUSBAND 

6758. An apron coming untied means that the girl has lost her beau. 

6759. The girl who loses her apron and cannot find it will lose her 
sweetheart. 

6760. The wife who loses her apron will lose her husband. 

6761. To discover whether a quarrel with your lover will be patched up, 
fold up three clean aprons and place them under your pillow. If 
you dream of him, he will come back; if you do not see him in 
your dream, he will never return. 

6762. Meeting a cat with green eyes indicates a quarrel with your beau. 
"One night my sweetheart and I were going home from a 



332 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

dance when we met a black cat. I said it had green eyes. He said 
it didn't. And we quarreled all the way home over that cat's eyes, 
and didn't speak for a long time after that." 

6763. If a girl lets her dishwater boil, her lover will go up the flue. 

6764. Lose your garter and you will lose your sweetheart. 

6765. If you let a woman have some of your combings, she will take 
your lover or husband. 

6766. Losing a hairpin is a sign that you will lose your beau. 

6767. If you are holding hands with your sweetheart while walking, and 
you are separated by a post or tree, your friendship will be broken. 

6768. "Never burn your sweetheart's letters or you will fall out with 
him." 

6769. To hold a man's affections, never write to him after dark or you 
will lose him. Always write in the daytime. 

6770. "If you love a man a real lot, if you will sit down and write it 
all out on a piece of paper, then tear it up, you will not lose him ; 
but if you don't tear it up, you will." 

6771. The man who strikes matches on the bottom of his chair will lose 
his girl. 

6772. If you accept a string of pearls from your sweetheart, you will 
not only lose him but also shed a tear for each pearl. 

6773. "If you have a pin in your dress when you are out with a man 
and you happen to stick him with it, that is the sign you will lose 
him." 

6774. The absence of lover's quarrels foretells fights after marriage. 

6775. "A man should never give a girl, that he thinks a lot of, a cheap 
ring ; because when the ring turns her finger, it will also turn her 
love away from him." 

6776. "A scratch up and down 
Is a lover found, 

And a scratch across 
Is a lover lost." 

6777. Give a pair of shoes to your lover and he or she will walk away 
from you. 

6778. "Don't let your teakettle boil; if you do, it will boil all your beaus 
away." 

6779. "The girl who steps on your toe 
Will soon steal your beau." 

6780. A Christmas gift of an umbrella will break up a courtship. ■ 

"I was going with a man for two years and he gave me an um- 
brella for Christmas and we had a fight before Christmas week 
was over." 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 333 

PROSPECTS FOR SECURING LOVER OR HUSBAND 

6781. Count apple seed and say: 

"One, I love, 

Two, I love. 

Three, I love, I say, 

Four, I love with all my heart, 

Five, I cast away. 

Six, he loves. 

Seven, she loves, (this and the preceding line are often 
reversed) . 

Eight, both love, 

Nine, he comes, 

Ten, he tarries. 

Eleven, he courts. 

Twelve, they marry." 
Occasionally the verses end as follows: 

"Thirteen, a happy life. 

Fourteen, a happy wife, 

Fifteen, a lot of fun. 

Sixteen, a little one." 
Sometimes, but rarely, the rhyme closes as follows: 

"Thirteen, they live happily together, 

Fourteen, they part. 

Fifteen, she died of a broken heart." 

6782. Repeat the name of a boy you love while you cut open an apple, 
and if the apple contains twelve seeds, you will marry him. 

6783. The girl who has the strength to break an apple in two will be an 
old maid. 

6784. You will be able to secure anyone desired, if you can break an 
apple apart. 

6785. Let someone name an apple for you, and if you are able to break 
the apple in two, the person named will become your lover. 

6786. Using your thumb, pop an apple seed up into the air; and the 
direction towards which the seed flies will indicate where your 
sweetheart lives. 

6787. Drop apples into a tub of water at a Halloween party and the one 
who succeeds in biting an apple will be certain to marry. 

6788. On Halloween Eve place stemless apples in a tub of water; the 
first person, who by bobbing can lift an apple from the tub with 
his teeth, will be the first one of that group to get married. 

6789. The corner of your apron turning up means that you are going to 



334 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

marry; if already married, you will have a second husband. 

6790. On a Friday night say: 

"This Friday night I go to bed, 

With a three-folded apron under my head. 

This very night in a dream I will see. 

Him who my true love is to be. 

Not in gorgeous apparel or bridal array, 

But in the garments he weareth every day. 

If I am an old maid to be, 

Let me in a green field be." 

After repeating these verses, do not speak another word and go 

to bed backwards. 

6791. If a girl looks under her bed before getting into it at night, she 
will be an old maid. 

6792. Upon retiring for the night, leave near your bed three berries, one 
white, one red and one black. When you awaken next morning, 
close your eyes and choose one of the berries. If you select the 
white berry, you will be married within the year; the red one, 
you will soon be engaged ; and the black one, you will never marry. 

6793. If a bird that has entered the house flies towards the west, some- 
one in that house is going to be married. 

6794. The first person to see a bird that has flown into the house will 
marry before the year ends. 

6795. To ascertain your fate after finding a bird's nest: If the nest is 
empty, you will be an old maid ; if there are eggs in the nest, each 
tgg indicates a year's delay before your marriage. 

6796. A girl will become an old maid, if she takes the next to the last 
biscuit. 

6797. To discover your fortune for the coming year, on New Year's 
Eve set four bowls on a table and put a coin in the first, a ring 
in the second, a sprig of myrtle in the third, and leave the fourth 
empty. Then blindfold someone and let him walk around the table 
and bowls three times. After this, and still blindfolded, he must 
place his hand on one of the bowls. If he touches the bowl with 
the coin, you will get money; if the bowl with the ring, you will 
receive a proposal of marriage; if the bowl with the myrtle, you 
will be married that year; and if the empty bowl, there will be no 
change in your lot. 

6798. Take the last piece of bread and you will be an old maid. 

6799. A girl will be an old maid, if while baking she lets her bread bum. 

6800. Never step over a broom or you will be an old maid. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 335 

6801. The person who steps in front of a broom that is being used, will 
not marry that year. 

6802. A girl will not get married that year, if a broom falls down in her 
house. 

6803. If the first butterfly that you see in the spring is white, you will 
go to a wedding before the end of the year. 

6804. Taking the last piece of cake means that you will never marry. 

6805. To take the slice of cake lying on top of a cake signifies that you 
will never get married. 

6806. The person, who with one breath can blow out all the candles on 
his birthday cake, will be married before the year is gone. 

6807. Before going to bed remove seven cards from a deck without 
looking at them ; put them in an envelope and place the envelope 
under your pillow. Examine the cards next morning. If the 
majority are hearts and diamonds, you will be married that year; 
if spades and clubs, you will not marry that year. 

6808. A girl will be an old maid, if she is fond of cats. 

6809. Let the girl who is anxious to be married feed a cat from her old 
shoes. 

6810. The first person at whom a cat looks, after washing its face, will 
be the first one to marry. 

6811. A number of girls may hold up a quilt and toss a cat into its 
center. The girl towards whom the cat goes, as it climbs out of 
the quilt, will never be married. 

6812. The girl who walks across a cellar door may expect to become 
an old maid. 

6813. Step over a cellar door and you will be an old maid for seven 
years. 

6814. If you walk across three cellar doors within one block, and while 
passing over each cellar door name it for the same man, you will 
meet him before you reach home. 

6815. Knock over a chair and you will not be married that year. 

6816. You will not get married for a year, if your chair is knocked over 
by you while arising from the table. 

6817. A chair falling over inside the house indicates that there will not 
be a marriage in the house during the year. 

6818. "If you will put a handful of chestnuts on the fire on Halloween, 
you can tell how many beaus will pop the question; for every 
chestnut that pops, a beau will pop the question." 

6819. "If a boy and girl walking along the street stop in a store and get 
some gum (chewing gum), each one should take a stick of gum 
and chew for a while. Then the boy should give the girl lialf of 



336 Memoirs of the .lima Egan Hyatt Foundation 

his g-uni to chew, and the girl half of her gum to the hoy to chew. 
While they are chewing, if it don't crumple up they will get mar- 
ried; if it crumples all up, they will never marry." 

6820. When a chicken comes into the house with a piece of straw in its 
beak and lays it down, there will be a wedding soon. 

6821. You can have anyone you wish, if you swallow a raw chicken 
heart. 

6822. To find a two-leafed clover is a sign that you will be kissed by 
your sweetheart. 

6823. You may marry whom you desire by swallowing a four-leafed 
clover. 

6824. After finding a four-leafed clover, put it in your left shoe and 
shake hands with the first person met. If this person is of your 
sex, you will never marry; if of the opposite sex, you will get 
married. 

6825. Keep in your shoe a four-leafed clover which you have found and 
you will soon meet a lover. When you have met him, then you 
must wear the same four-leafed clover over your heart so that 
your love will run smoothly. 

6826. As soon as you find a four-leafed clover, hang it over a door ; and 
if the first person who comes through that door is unmarried, your 
wedding will take place that year. 

6827. The girl who looks into the coffeepot while it is boiling will be 
an old maid. 

6828. A girl will never marry, if she dips bread or cake into her coffee. 

6829. To drop a comb and accidentally step on it means that a mansion 
of stone is being built for you. 

6830. Finding a red ear of corn foretells your wedding within a year. 

6831. If the first ear of corn you see in the season is red, you will hear 
of a marriage before hearing of a death. 

6832. A cow lowing during the night is the sign of an approaching 
wedding. 

6833. The person who is able to eat a crab apple without making a face 
can get whom he wants. 

6834. If a girl drops a cup and it breaks, she will be an old maid. 

6835. Blow a dandelion seed-ball three times and count the seeds left. 
This number will indicate how many lovers you are going to have. 

6836. The number of seeds remaining on a dandelion seed-ball, after you 
liave blown it once, will tell how many years will pass before 
your wedding. 

6837. You are certain to be married, if you can with one breath drive 
away all the seeds of a dandelion seed-ball. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 337 

6838. "If you are washing dishes and a fellow is helping you, and he 
takes the dish rag out of the pan and wipes the table ofif, then puts 
the rag back in the dish pan, and you pick up that rag and wash 
some more dishes, you will marry that man." 

6839. A dog scratching his romp along the ground means a marriage. 

6840. Never let a man enter the front door on Monday, if you want to 
be married. Make him come in through the back door or you will 
be an old maid. 

6841. The quarter in which you hear the cooing of the first dove of the 
season is the direction from which a new sweetheart will come. 

6842. A turned-up hem on your dress signifies that you are going to 
receive a kiss. 

6843. If a girl's skirt turns up, she should kiss it before turning it down, 
and she will be kissed by her former sweetheart. 

6844. The hem of a girl's dress turning up means that she will soon 
have a lover. 

6845. A girl should spit on the hem of her skirt before turning it down 
and she will get a new beau. 

6846. "A dimple on the chin, 
Many lovers you will win." 

6847. Taking the last portion of foo<l from a dish will delay your wed- 
ding another year. 

6848. Let your dishwater boil and you will not get married that year. 

6849. Swallow the heart of a wild duck and you may have whom you 
please for a husband. 

6850. The itching of your left ear means that you will hear of a wed- 
ding. 

6851. Pluck a feather from the tail of a rooster and put it in your glove ; 
then shake hands with the man you want, and you will get him. 

6852. Crook your little finger when holding a cup while drinking and 
you will be an old maid. 

6853. To cut your finger while carving meat means a marriage. 

6854. The one who is able to make the index finger and little finger 
meet, when crossing them over the other two fingers, can marry 
anyone desired. 

6855. A white speck on your little finger-nail foretells a new sweetheart. 

6856. The number of white marks on your finger-nails shows how many 
lovers you will have. 

6857. Tie a bouquet of flowers to the back of a chair, and pin on the 
bouquet a note addressed to your sweetheart, telling him how 
much you love him. This must be done three successive nights. 



338 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

If on the third night you dream of him, keep the bouquet for 
three weeks, and he will soon be your husband. 

6858. Sit on your foot and you will be an old maid. 

6859. When the table is being set, if two forks are put at one place, 
there will be a wedding in that house ; or it means an approaching 
wedding. 

6860. The person who places two forks at a plate while setting the table 
will be an old maid, if a woman; a bachelor, if a man. 

6861. If a woman finds two forks by her plate at the table, she will have 
two husbands. 

6862. If two forks drop to the floor and He crossing each other, it is the 
sign of a wedding. 

6863. "I had a girl friend that wanted a man she was very much in love 
with and she borrowed a married woman's yellow garter and put 
it on her right leg and made a wish that she would get that man 
and she did marry him." 

6864. If a man buys a woman a pair of garters, she should let him put 
them on her the first time for good luck. 

6865. You can secure a girl's love by pulling a hair from her head. 

6866. Finding and picking up a hairpin will bring you a (new) sweet- 
heart. 

6867. If a girl finds a hairpin and does not throw it away, she will 
receive a proposal before the year is out. 

6868. If the hairpin found by a girl is kept for six months, someone 
will propose to her when this time has expired. 

6869. If three persons shake hands and accidentally cross each other's 
hands while so doing, one of the three will marry soon. 

6870. If four persons while shaking hands happen to cross each other's 
hands, one of the four will get married soon or before the year 
is gone. 

6871. If two unmarried couples who have not seen each other for a long 
time should meet and shake hands, so crossing hands that they 
form a cross, one of the couples will marry before the year is out. 

6872. One of your hands crossing the other while passing something at 
the table means that you wull get married inside of a year. 

6873. If two persons cross hands as they pass something at the table, 
one of them will marry soon. 

6874. Shaking hands across a communion table indicates that you will be 
married. 

6875. "If a man tickles a girl's palm, he wants to sleep with her." 

6876. "I met a young man and I sure wanted him to come and see me. 
He happened to drop his handkerchief on the ground. I did not 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 339 

give it to him. I took it home and put it in a pan of water, then 
held it over the fire until it crisped. He sure did come that next 
night." . 

6877. It signifies that a man wants to kiss a girl, if he places his hat on 
her head. 

6878. On Halloween lay a row of hazelnuts in the ashes along the edge 
of the fireplace and name the nuts after boys and girls. When the 
nuts become hot they will hop. Any two nuts named for a boy 
and girl, jumping towards each other, indicates that they will 
marry; if the two nuts jump away from each other, the boy and 
girl symbolized will not get married. 

6879. A boy and girl bumping heads together will become lovers. 

6880. "Where the hollyhocks grow, 
The beaus won't go." 

6881. Count one hundred white horses and you will be married before 
the year is gone. 

6882. The girl who counts one hundred grey horses will get married on 
the day the last horse is counted. 

6883. Each nail in a horseshoe that you find represents one year before 
your marriage. 

6884. If a girl scorches clothes while ironing, she will be an old maid. 

6885. Let a girl pin an ivy leaf or a piece of ivy over her heart and keep 
it there for three days. At the expiration of this time, if the first 
person with whom she shakes hands is a bachelor, she will marry 
inside of a year ; if a woman, there will be no marriage that year, 

6886. Kissing a girl on the nose will cause trouble. 

6887. A man will have bad luck, if he kisses a girl behind the ear. 

6888. If a man can kiss a girl's hand, he will get her; and a girl will 
secure the man whose hand she is able to kiss. 

6889. If the blade of a knife falling from the table hits the floor first, 
there will be a wedding. 

6890. Two knives by the same plate at a table signify an approaching 
marriage, or a marriage within a week, or a marriage in the family, 

6891. The person who while setting the table puts two knives at one 
place will get married soon. 

6892. A man finding two knives at his plate will have two wives, 

6893. If two forks and two knives are laid at the same place on the 
table, there will be a marriage before the year is out. 

6894. While setting a table, if two knives are placed at one plate and 
two forks by another plate, expect a wedding in the house before 
the end of the year. 

6895. Walk under a ladder and you will never be married. 



340 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

6896. If you climb a ladder but cannot reach the top, count the rungs 
above you and the number will tell how many years will pass 
before your wedding. 

6897. "Two lamps in the room, 
There'll be a bride soon." 

6898. When there are two lighted lamps on a table at the same time, it 
is the sign of a marriage in the family soon. 

6899. Pour melted lead into a bucket of water at midnight on New 
Year's Eve and the lead will assume various forms. If a crown is 
formed, you will marry during the coming year. 

6900. Girls have the privilege of proposing during leap year. 

6901. Attend two marriages on the same day and you will get a beau. 

6902. Light a match and let it burn out. The head of the match will 
bend towards the place where your sweetheart lives. 

6903. Strike a match and lay the unlighted end on some fire-proof sub- 
stance, usually a stove, and when the match has burned out, it 
will fall in the direction of your sweetheart's home. 

6904. Name a lighted match and if it burns to the end without breaking, 
the person named loves you; if it breaks in the middle, you will 
marry him. 

6905. To get a lover, look over someone's shoulder into a mirror. 

6906. It is the sign of a wedding, if two persons kiss under the mistletoe. 

6907. You may kiss anyone who is standing beneath the mistletoe. 

6908. Name two leaves of mistletoe for a boy and girl, and place the 
leaves on a hot stove. If the leaves jump towards each other, 
there will be a marriage between the boy and girl named. 

6909. "New moon, true moon, hail on me. 
Who my true love is to be. 

If I am to marry, let me hear 

A dog bark near. 

If I am to marry far away, 

Let me hear a cow low. 

If I am not to marry. 

Let me hear my coffin beat." 

6910. You can secure anyone you want by cutting your nails on nine 
successive Sundays. 

6911. When three unmarried persons bearing the same Christian name 
meet at the same table, one of the three will get married inside of 
a year. 

6912. Having written the names of a boy and girl, cross out the letters 
which are the same in each name, and repeat the following words 
over the letters that remain: "Love," "friendship," "hatred" and 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 341 

"marriage." The word spoken on the last letter will reveal the 
relationship between the boy and girl. 

6913. "When you meet a person at a party and you wish him or her to 
be your affinity, repeat their name in a low voice twenty times 
right there. Then that night just before going to sleep, wish 
twenty times you will see them again, and you will sure get them." 

6914. Oak trees are unlucky for lovers. 

6915. "On the first day of May my mother and another girl went out 
into the orchard and took hold of a tip end of a leaf on a tree. My 
mother said, 'If I am to marry, let me hear a bird whistle keen' 

and she did and got married. The other girl said, 'If I am 

never to marry, let me hear a cow low' and she did. This 

girl never did marry." 

6916. Always carry the heart of an owl and you can get whom you want. 

6917. If a man gives a pair of pants to a woman, she should for luck 
let him see them on her the first time she wears them. 

6918. To discover how soon you will marry, hang over the door a pod 
that contains nine peas. Do this secretly and watch to see who 
enters first. If an unmarried man comes in, you will be married 
before the year is over ; if a woman, there will be no wedding for 
you that year. 

6919. Name the three corners of a piece of pie after friends and make 
a wish, then start to eat the piece of pie by beginning in its center. 
The first corner reached will be the name of the beau with whom 
your wish will come true. 

6920. If a pair of pigeons circle above you and your sweetheart while 
walking, it means a marriage. 

6921. A white pigeon coming near your doorstep indicates that your 
lover will soon propose to you. 

6922. To have a white pigeon approach your doorstep signifies a wed- 
ding in the near future. 

6923. "If you see a pin, pick it up and you will have an engagement 
that night with a fellow; and he will come from the direction the 
pin points to." 

6924. A pin catching in your petticoat as you try on a dress foretells 
marriage for you that year. 

6925. If while trying on a dress a pin catches in your petticoat, you will 
not be married that year. 

6926. If you lose your pocketknife, you will lose your heart. 

6927. Poplar trees bring bad luck to lovers. It is especially unlucky for 
a lover to have one growing in his yard. 

6928. "Never ask a man you are out with to put your vanity case, comb 



342 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

or handkerchief in his pocket; if you do, he won't find favor in 
your eyes." 

6929. If a number of girls are quilting, and having finished a quilt 
remove it from the frame, the first girl to put a corner of the 
quilt over her head will be the first one in that group to marry. 

6930. The one who is able to walk seven railroad rails without stepping 
oflf can marry any person he or she chooses. 

6931. "If four of you are riding in the front seat of a car and you sit 
on your date's lap, it is very bad luck for you." 

6932. Tie a ring on the end of a long horsehair, and holding the free 
end of the horsehair, lower the ring into a glass tumbler. The ring 
will soon begin to swing back and forth. The number of times 
the ring knocks against the side of the glass shows how many 
years will elapse before your marriage. 

6933. Use the same method as given in the preceding item. A distinct 
strike against the glass indicates one year and an incomplete or 
blurred strike means a month or a day. 

6934. To learn how long it will be before you marry, tie a wedding ring 
to the end of one of your hairs and lower the ring into the center 
of a glass tumbler. If the ring starts to swing and strikes against 
the glass, you will be married that year; if it does not hit the side 
of the glass, you will be an old maid. 

6935. "If you want to have good luck with a girl, just wear a rose." 

6936. Upsetting salt at the table is a sign that you will not get married 
that year. 

6937. If you let a pair of scissors fall and they stick in the floor, make 
a wish while pulling them out ; then cut a new piece of cloth, and 
you will have a new sweetheart within a week. 

6938. Set your shoes higher than your head and you will never be 
married. 

6939. It is the sign of a wedding to see two snakes (coiled) together. 

6940. Sneezing twice before breakfast will bring you a new sweetheart 
that week. 

6941. To sneeze three times in succession means that you will not marry. 

6942. "Where the spider web grows, 
The beaus don't go." 

6943. Your lover will leave and never return, if he sees a cobweb hang- 
ing in your house. 

6944. If you see the letter "M" in a spider web, it signifies marriage for 
you. 

6945. It is the sign of a wedding to have two spoons in the same cup. 

6946. If you find two spoons in your saucer, you will get married twice. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 343 

6947. Never drink from a glass when there is a spoon in it or you will be 
an old maid. 

6948. If you wear out your stockings in the heel before they are worn 
out in the legs, you will be an old maid. 

6949. Falling up the steps means that you will not marry that year. 

6950. The girl who stumbles up the steps will not be married for seven 
years. 

6951. If a girl trips while going upstairs, she will marry. The higher up 
the steps the tripping occurs, the sooner her wedding. 

6952. Some member of your family will soon get married, if you see a 
star fall. 

6953. "Where sunflowers grow, 
The beaus don't go." 

6954. A girl will be an old maid, if she is hit by a broom while someone 
is sweeping. 

6955. If while sweeping you sweep your feet with the broom, you will 
never get married. 

6956. If someone sweeps your feet with the broom, there will be no 
wedding for you. 

6957. When sweeping, if you sweep someone's feet, that person will 
never marry. 

6958. Never let anyone sweep under your feet or beneath the chair on 
which you are sitting; you will not be married. 

6959. The person under whose feet you sweep will not get married that 
year. 

6960. If you sweep under the chair on which someone is sitting, that 
person will be married once only. 

6961. Sweeping beneath the chair on which someone is sitting means 
that the wife or husband of that person will marry soon after her 
or his mate dies. 

6962. "If you sit on the table, 
You'll marry when able." 

6963. "If you sit on the table, 

You'll marry before you are able." 

6964. Place on the back of one hand some tea leaves taken from your 
cup, then slap your wrist with the other hand and if with one 
blow all the leaves fall off, you will be married inside of a year; 
if they are not removed at the first attempt, the number of blows 
required to dislodge them tells how many years will pass before 
your marriage. 

6965. "If a maid sees a stalk of tea plant floating in her cup, if she will 
stir the tea three minutes, then hold the spoon up in the middle 



344 Memoirs of flic Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

of the cup if the stalk comes to the spoon, she will soon be 

asked to marry." 

6966. Never let a teakettle boil or you will be an old maid. 

6967. Wearing a thimble on your left hand shows that you will never 
marry. 

6968. If the thread knots while a garment is being made, the sewer will 
get married before the finished garment wears out. 

6960. Let two girls occupying the same bed tie their big toes together ; 
the first one to go to sleep will be the first to marry. 

6970. To learn their futures, two girls sleeping in the same bed should 
tie their big toes together with yarn. The yarn will break during 
the night, and the girl who has the shorter piece in the morning 
will get married first. 

6971. Put a turkey wishbone above a door and the first one who comes 
in will kiss you. 

6972. If you find a twin fruit, like an apple or a peach, your marriage 
will soon take place. 

6973. When a twin vegetable is found such as a carrot or a potato, your 
wedding is approaching. 

6974. Raise an umbrella in the house and you will never be married. 

6975. The man and woman who while walking allow some obstacle to 
separate them will not marry each other. 

6976. When someone fails to recognize you, it means that you are going 
to get married. 

6977. If your friends do not know you as you come down the street, 
it is an omen of your approaching marriage. 

6978. You may be married before the end of the year, if you can walk 
around the block with your mouth full of water. 

6979. Put in a pan of water on the table a button, coin, nut, ring and 
stone. Blindfold yourself and with a spoon attempt to scoop out 
one of the articles from the i>an. Three trials are allowed. If you 
lift out the button, you will live in single blessedness; the coin, 
you will acquire wealth; the nut, you will toil for a living; the 
ring, you will marry; and the stone, you will travel a rocky road. 
This divination is usually tried on Halloween. 

6980. "My mother and a girl on the first day of May went to a well with 
a piece of smoked glass and looked into the well. My mother saw 
a man and she got married. The other girl saw her coffin and she 
died inside of a year." 

6981. Never climb through a window; you will be an old maid or a 
bachelor. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 345 

6982. Go out into the woods after dark and repeat : 
"If I am to marry near, 
Let me hear a bird cry. 
If I am to marry far, 
Let me hear a cow low. 
If I am to single die, 
Let me hear a knocking by." 



DISCOVERING FUTURE LOVER OR HUSBAND 

6983. The first letter picked up in your spoon when you are eating soup 

will be the initial of your future mate. This refers to a 

variety of macaroni shaped in the letters of the alphabet. 

6984. If two apple seed are named and one of them stuck on each of 
your eyes, the seed adhering to the skin will reveal the name of 
your destined mate, and the seed falling off will indicate the name 
of the person who does not love you. 

6985. Give names to five apple seed and lay them on your face. The 
first seed to drop ofT will tell you the name of your future married 
partner. 

6986. Put three apple seed on a stove lid and name them for beaus. The 
seed that jumps first will tell you whom you will marry. 

6987. Name a number of apple seed and put them on the kitchen stove. 
The first seed that hops from the stove will show you the name of 
your prospective husband, and he will come from the direction 
towards which the seed moved. 

6988. Toss an apple paring, which you have removed from the fruit 
without a break, over your left shoulder; the paring lying on the 
floor will assume the form of the initial of the person whom you 

are to marry. This rite is sometimes reserved for the \st 

of May. 

6989. Peel an apple while looking over your right shoulder into a mirror 
and throw the peeling over your left shoulder. You will see your 
future husband or wife reflected in the mirror. 

6990. During Halloween Eve write the name of a boy on each of a 
number of apples and place the latter in a tub of water. Let a girl 
kneel down beside the tub and, having her hands held or tied 
behind, try to lift up an apple by the stem. This must be done with 
the teeth. The apple she succeeds in raising out of the water will 
bear the name of her prospective husband. 



346 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

6991. On Friday night when you go to bed, shp under your pillow an 
apron that has been folded three times, and say, "Every night in 
dreams let me see him who my true love is to be." 

6992. To discover your future mate, visit some lonely and empty house 
after dark and drop a ball of yarn in the yard. You must hold 
the free end of the yarn and begin to walk around the house while 
continually repeating, "I wind. Who holds?" Before you have 
made the first circuit of the house your fortune will be revealed. 

6993. Go to a deserted house on a hill at night, enter and raise a window ; 
then, keeping the loose end of the yarn in your hand, throw a ball 
of yarn out into the yard while saying repeatedly, "I hold. You 
wind." Your future husband will pick up the ball of yarn and 
begin to wind until he reaches the window. 

6994. Having made a string of beans, throw it up into the air ; and the 
initial assumed by the beans after they fall will be that of the 
person you are going to marry. 

6995. Give a name to each of the four posts of your bed, and the post 
upon which you have your hand next morning will disclose your 
destined mate. 

6996. Name the bedposts on the first night you sleep in a room, then, 
having donned your nightgown, leave the room and re-enter it 
walking backwards. That night you will dream of the one you 
will marry. 

6997. When you stay all night with another girl, let her name the bed- 
posts for you and you give names to the bedposts for her. The 
first two bedposts seen in the morning will identify your respective 
future mates. 

6998. "If you want to find out if you will get your beau, take two 
lemons and wear one in each pocket of your apron all day, then 
peel them and rub the four corners of your bed with the lemon; 
if you are to get him, he will appear in your sleep and make you a 
present of two lemons; if he don't appear in your dream and give 

you the lemons, you will not get him." Some say that the 

lemons must be carried in the pockets of a dress; further, that if 
you are not offered the tzvo lemons in a dream, you will be an old 
maid. This rite is also used to discover an unknown future lover. 

6999. "If you want to get married, stand on your head and chew a piece 
of wit leather (piece of gristle) out of a beef neck and swallow it, 
and you will get any man or woman you want." 

7000. Sleep with a Bible under your head for three successive nights 
and you will see your allotted mate in your dreams. 

7001. Put a key in a Bible, letting the head of the key protrude beyond 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 347 

the edge of the pages. Rest the tip of a finger upon the key and 
say, "And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return 
from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and 
where thou lodgest, I will lodge : thy people shall be my people, 
and thy God my God." (Ruth 1 :16). Then continue by repeating 
the alphabet ; and the letter upon which the key turns will be the 
initial of your future husband. 

7002. Enter a deserted house at midnight, light a candle and stick a pin 
into it; and when the pin falls out, your appointed mate will 
appear. 

7003. "Make a wedding cake, then give three people a slice of that cake, 
then take a slice yourself, then let each of the three people take a 
bite out of your piece of cake, then you take a bite out of it, then 
wrap your piece of cake up in paper and put it under your pillow ; 
and you will dream that night of your true love." 

7004. Walk across nine cellar doors and you will marry the first man 
to whom you speak. 

7005. You can discover your future mate by looking into a mirror on 
the cellar steps. Do this on Halloween. 

7006. On Halloween hold a candle in one hand and a mirror in the other 
hand, and walk down the cellar stairs backwards. You will see in 
the mirror the one you are to marry. 

7007. While picking a four-leafed clover say, "I pluck thee four-leafed 
clover and lay thee next to my heart, so grant me my dearest wish 
and let me see my future husband tonight in my dreams," 

7008. Lay a four-leafed clover beneath each corner of the sheet and you 
will dream of your destined mate. 

7009. When you find a four-leafed clover, put it in your shoe and you 
will see your future husband in a dream. 

7010. Place in the heel of your shoe the first four-leafed clover found, 
and you will marry the first person met. 

7011. After finding a four-leafed clover, stick it in your left shoe; and 
the first man you speak to will be the husband allotted to you by 
destiny. 

7012. Hang a four-leafed clover over the door and you will be married 
to the first man who enters. 

7013. Think of a man while you swallow a four-leafed clover and you 
will marry him. 

7014. Upon hearing the first dove of spring, look down into your shoe 
and you will see a hair the color of your destined mate's. 

7015. As soon as you hear a dove coo, turn around three times and take 



348 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

off your left shoe, and in it you will find a hair like that of your 
future mate's. 

7016. Whirl around three times on your heel when the first turtledove 
of the season is heard; and in your stocking there will be a hair 
that resembles the hair of the person you will marry. 

7017. The first time you hear a turtledove in the spring, sit down and 
remove your shoes and stockings. In the heel of one of the stock- 
ings you will find a hair resembling the hair of the one to whom 
you will be married. 

7018. "If you want to get married, catch a dove and bite its head off 
and throw it over your left shoulder ; and the first man or girl who 
comes along after that will be your future mate." 

7019. If a young man rescues a girl from drowning, he will marry her. 

7020. To have a "dumb supper" or "silent supper," several girls must 
prepare a meal in the dark by doing everything backwards without 
speaking a word. When everything is ready, they should put a 
pan of water and a towel on the doorstep, leaving the door open, 
and place a chair for each girl at the table wnth a vacant chair 
opposite, and then sit down. The future husbands of the girls will 
soon appear, wash in the pan of water, dry with the towel, sit on 
the empty chairs opposite the girls, and eventually disappear. 

7021. In the following method of having a "silent supper," the future 
husbands of the girls will appear at midnight : "When I was a 
girl, one night six of the girls I run with thought we would have 
a silent supper and see who would come and sit by us. Our house 
had one of those wide halls that went right through the house, 
and we girls thought we would set the table in that big hall and 
leave both doors open so our beaus could come in at either door. 
We did everything backward in the dark and did not say a word. 
We then sit down at the table backwards to wait for our future 
husbands. When all at once a big storm came up and just as the 
clock was about to strike twelve there was a loud crash of lightning 
that just made the whole house tremble, and at the same time the 
cat and dog out in the yard had a fight and the dog ran the cat 
through the hall right over us. We did not know at that moment 
it was the dog and cat fighting. We thought it was the devil after 
us. Maybe you think we were not a bunch of frightened girls. 
We never did see our future husbands that night. We were too 
scared." Written contribution. 

7022. Let several girls set a table, each putting at her own place a plate, 
knife, fork, spoon, glass of water and chair. Then each girl must 
stand behind the chair that is in front of the place which she has 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 349 

prepared, and wait to see who comes into the room. If she is to 
marry, her future husband will enter and drink the water; if she 
is going to be an old maid, a coffin will slide into the chair before 
her. 

7023. "Years ago I went walking backwards to the cupboard on Hal- 
loween and took three things (articles of food) out, then sit down 
backward to wait for my beau to come and eat. I sit there a little 
while and the geese hollered and the wind blew so hard that I got 
frightened and didn't wait for my beau to come to eat." 

7024. If a girl will fast on Midsummer Eve and set a table by laying 
on it a clean cloth, bread and cheese ; then open the door and sit 
down at the table as if to eat, the man she is going to marry will 
come into the room. 

7025. Three or four years ago a girl of high school age decided to hold 
a "silent supper." Her mother, knowing of the plan, played a 
practical joke by having one of the boys in the neighborhood 
climb into her daughter's window at midnight. The girl was 
terribly frightened ; ill for several weeks. 

7026. Eat the yolk of a hard-boiled &gg and fill the cavity left in the 
white part with salt ; then eat the latter. You will dream of your 
future husband. 

7027. After removing the yolk from a hard-boiled egg fill the white 
portion with salt and eat it just before going to bed. Your destined 
husband will bring you a drink in your dream. 

7028. Cut a hard-boiled egg in two; remove the yolk from one of the 
halves and fill the hole with salt. Eat this white part of the tgg 
that contains salt, without drinking water, and go to bed back- 
wards; and in your dream the man you are to marry will hand 
you a drink. 

7029. Everything concerned wnth the following rite is to be done back- 
wards without laughing or speaking. Let the girl cook a hard- 
boiled tgg, cut it in half, remove the yolk, and fill the cavity with 
salt. Then she must sit down on something upon which she has 
never sat before, get up and go to bed. The husband awarded her 
by fate will appear in a dream and offer her a drink. 

7030. Remove the yolk from a hard-boiled €:gg, fill the white part w^ith 
salt, and eat the latter just before going to bed. The man to 
whom you will get married will give you a drink in your dream : 
If in a tin cup, he will be poor; if in a gold cup, wealthy. 

7031. "If you want to find out who your future husband is, if two 
people will take a egg on a spoon without speaking a word and 
carry it on the spoon to the teakettle and drop it in, making a 
wish at the same time when the egg is done take it out, cut 



350 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

it in half, then take off the shell, then take out the yellow, then 
fill the white with salt, eat it and go to bed ; and your true love 

will bring you a drink that night if rich, in a glass tumbler; 

if poor, in a tin cup." 

7032. "If you want to find out if you are going to marry a man, take 
an egg and take a cord string and wrap that string around and 
around that egg. Put on all the cord string you can get on it, then 
put that egg on the fire to burn. Name it the man you love. If 
the string burns off, you will marry the man ; if it don't, you will 
not marry him. Do this on Halloween. Years ago when I was a 
girl, I was going with a fellow that I thought a great deal of ; so 
I took an egg on Halloween and wrapped a string around and 
around it, put all the string I could get on the egg, named it my 
beau and put it on the fire to burn. I was very much put out at the 
time, for the string would not burn ; and it was no time until we 
fell out. And I married another man." 

7033. "One night just before I went to bed, I trimmed my finger-nails 
and put them in the lamp to burn, hung my shirt over the cook- 
stove; and the next morning when I got up there was a perfect 
picture of a man's face on the windowpane, and it stayed there 
until noon. About four years after I married a man that looked 
just like that picture on the window glass." 

7034. Pare your finger-nails just before going to bed and drop the 
parings into the chimney of a lamp, then hang your bloomers over 
the stove ; and while the parings are burning, the likeness of your 
prospective husband will appear on the wall or in the looking- 
glass. 

7035. Give names to the white specks on your finger-nails and the speck 

that stays on longest will reveal your future husband. "Years 

ago when I was a girl I named all the marks on my fingers names 
of the boys I knew, but I did not get the one I wanted to stay 
on my finger." 

7036. "One morning early in the spring I set down on the ground and 
reached behind and got a handful of dirt, and found a black curly 
hair in the dirt, and I married a man with black curly hair." 

7037. In the hole you make by turning around three times on your right 
heel you will find a hair like that of your destined mate's. 

7038. Take three steps backwards and whirl around thrice on your heel ; 
in the hole made you will see a hair like the hair of the person 
you will marry. 

7039. Walk backwards nine steps on a dusty road; raise your left heel 
and under it you will find a hair like that of your prospective 
husband's. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 351 

7040. A hair found in the heel of your shoe will be the color of your 
future husband's hair. 

7041. Put in your shoe a hairpin that you pick up from the road and 
you will be married to the first person met. 

7042. When a hairpin is found, place it in your shoe; and you will 
marry the first man you meet who wears a red necktie. 

7043. On the evening of the 29th of April spread a handkerchief on 
the lawn under a tree, and next morning you will find on the 
handkerchief the initial of your future mate. 

7044. Stamp a white horse while wishing to see your future husband, 
and the first unmarried man you meet will be he. 

7045. On seeing a team of white horses name ten different colors; and 
when you meet a man with a necktie of the last color named, you 
will marry him. 

7046. Stamp ten white horses and the first man you see, who is wearing 
a red necktie, will be your appointed husband. 

7047. Count ten white horses and you will marry the first man you kiss. 

7048. Each time you see a grey horse, make a wish ; and when you have 
done this for twenty grey horses, you will meet someone with red 
hair. The next man met will be your future husband. 

7049. Count one hundred white horses and you will marry the first 
unmarried man you meet. 

7050. If you count ninety-nine white horses, the one driving the 
hundredth white horse will be your prospective mate. 

7051. After counting one hundred white horses, the first man seen 
riding a white horse will be your future husband. 

7052. Count one hundred white horses and mules, and if you do not 
marry the first man you see after the hundredth white horse has 
been counted, you will be an old maid. A white mule is counted 
as ten white horses. 

7053. Spit each time you see a white horse ,and when you have counted 
one hundred white horses, the first person whom you meet will 
be your future mate. 

7054. After you have counted one hundred white horses, lay a wishbone 
over the door; and the third man who comes through that door 
will be your destined husband. 

7055. Let a girl who finds a horseshoe hang it over the door or front 
door and the first man to enter will be her future husband. 

7056. During "Old Year's Night" melt lead and pour it on something. 
In the lead you will see either the picture or the initials of your 
prospective husband. 

7057. Write down the license numbers of ten consecutive automobiles 
on which the following numerals occur in succession: 000, 111^ 



352 Memoirs of the Alnm Egan Hyatt Foundation 

222, 333, 444, 555, 666, 777, 888, and 999. Then you must meet 
three white horses and a hald-headed man. The first man you 

meet after this will be your future husband. One girl said 

tfiat it took her fifteen months to secure ten consecutive license 
plates bearing the successive numerals as listed. 

7058. If you sleep with a mirror under your pillow, you will dream of 
your prospective mate. 

7059. Keep a mirror beneath your pillow for three nights in succession 
and on the third night you will see your future husband in a 
dream. 

7060. Sleep on a mirror for seven nights in succession and you will 
dream of your destined mate. 

7061. You can discover your future husband by looking into a mirror on 
Halloween. 

7062. Lay a mirror upside down under your pillow on Halloween, and 
as the clock begins to strike at midnight, get up and look into the 
mirror. You will see your allotted mate. 

7063. Sweep the parlor backwards on New Year's Eve while looking 
into a mirror, and in the latter you will see your future husband. 

7064. On seeing the new moon, look over your left shoulder and recite : 

"New moon, true moon, 
Dressed in blue. 
If I should marry a man. 
Or he should marry me, 
What in the name of love, 
Will his name be." 
Make a wish and you will get it. 

7065. While looking over your left shoulder at the new moon, repeat: 

"New moon, new moon, let me see, 

Who my future husband is to be. 

The color of his hair, 

The clothes he is to wear, 

And the happy day he is to wed me." 

7066. Look at the new moon and say : 

"New moon, new, pray let me see. 

Who my future husband is to be, 

The color of his hair, 

The color of the clothes he is to wear, 

And the happy day he is to wed me." 
7068. Go down into the cellar with a mirror at midnight and stand near 
a window so that the new moon can shine on the mirror. Then 
recite three times : 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 353 

"New moon, true moon, 
Come unto me and tell me, 
Who my true love shall be." 
You will see your true love in the mirror. 

7069. If on a moonlight night you walk backwards around the house 
while looking into a mirror held in your hand, your future husband 
will look over your shoulder into the mirror. 

7070. Make a wish while looking over your right shoulder, when you 
first see the new moon, and you will dream of your appointed 
husband that night. 

7071. Walk backwards nine steps on the first night of a new moon and 
reaching behind you, pick up anything that you touch. Place this 
beneath your pillow, and next morning you will find there a hair 
like that of your sweetheart's. 

7072. After you have made ready for bed, set a lighted candle on the 
floor in the center of the room and step over it. You will see 
reflected upon your nightgown the shadow of your future husband. 

7073. If you count thirteen neckties of the same color, you will marry 
the next man you meet who is wearing a necktie of this color. 

7074. Count ninety-nine blue neckties and the hundredth man you see 
with a blue necktie will be your prospective husband. 

7075. Write on a slip of paper the name of the man you love and lay 
the slip under your pillow. If the person named also loves you, 
you will dream of him that night. 

7076. Put beneath your pillow before retiring three pieces of paper 
upon each of which you have written the name of a boy. Remove 
one paper as you enter the bed and another when you get up next 
morning. The paper left beneath the pillow bears the name of 
your future husband. 

7077. On Halloween name two nuts, one for yourself and the other for 
your beau, and place them on the grate. If they burn well, you 
will marry your beau; if the nut named your beau hops away 
from the nut that represents you, he does not love you. 

7078. "During the Civil War there was a plant that grows in the garden 
called old man plant, and if you would take a piece of that and a 
horseshoe and hang them both over your door, your man was sure 
to come under that door you would marry." 

7079. Give names to four large onions and lay them on the stove. The 
onion that sprouts during the night will disclose the name of the 
man you will marry. 

7080. If you carry two orange peelings in your pocket during the day 
and sleep on them that night, you will dream of your destined 
mate. 



354 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

7081. Place over a door the first pea that you find, and the first man 
who comes through that door, provided he is not a relative, will 
be your future married partner. 

7082. Put above the door a pod containing nine peas, and the first person 
entering, if of the opposite sex and unmarried, will be the one 
whom you are going to marry that year. 

7083. Wrap nine peas in a piece of paper upon which you have written 
the words, "Come in, come in, my dear." Slip this piece of paper 
under the doormat and the first unmarried man to enter will be 
your future husband. 

7084. "If you want to find out your future husband, walk out of the 
house backward and walk to a peach tree, break off a small limb, 
then walk backward to the house and throw that limb in the fire, 
then walk backward to the door while that peach limb is burning ; 
and when you get to the door, your future husband will grab 
you in his arms." 

7085. If a pin is about to fall from your dress, touch the pin each time 
you repeat a letter of the alphabet ; and the letter spoken as the 
pin drops, will be the initial of your destined husband. 

7086. Lay grains of pop corn on a hot stove and name them your 
friends. The first grain to pop will reveal the name of the one you 
will marry. 

7087. The man of whom you dream on the first night that you sleep 
under a new quilt will be your future husband. 

7088. The girl who can walk seven railroad rails, without tumbling off 
or speaking, will marry the first man met after she has finished 
this task. 

7089. If the sun shines during a rain, lift up a stone and under it you 
will see a hair the color of your prospective husband's hair. 

7090. When you see a rainbow while the sun is shining, look under a 
rock and you will find a hair the color of your future mate's. 

7091. On the first day of spring shout into a rain barrel that stands at 
the corner of the house. If you hear an echo, you will marry the 
first unmarried man who comes around the corner of the house. 

7092. The first person met after you see a redbird will be your lover. 

7093. Think of a color as you put a ring on your finger, and you will 
marry the next man you see with a necktie of that color. 

7094. Pass a piece of cheese through a wedding ring three times, then 
lay the ring under a girl's pillow; and she will dream of her 
future husband. 

7095. Wear for several hours a wedding ring that you have borrowed, 
and then put it in one of your old shoes. Just before going to bed 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 355 

repeat these words: "A wedding ring shall be mine." If you are 
to marry, you will see your destined husband in a dream. 

7096. Slip a wedding ring on a silk thread, and holding the two ends of 
the thread in your left hand, lower the ring into a glass tumbler. 
Recite the letters of the alphabet, and the letter mentioned as the 
ring strikes the side of the tumbler will be the initial of the one 
you are to marry. 

7097. Turn the rings on the fingers of thirteen different persons, and the 
first one to whom you speak after doing this will be your future 
mate. 

7098. If a boy turns the rings on the fingers of thirteen different persons 
and then turns a ring on the hand of a girl, he will marry her. 

7099. Let a girl run thrice round the house, touching the same rock 
each time she makes the circuit, and she will then see a hair like 
that of her future husband's. 

7100. Make a rhyme before going to bed and you will see your destined 
mate in a dream. 

7101. Count the words in a rhyme that you have made by accident and 
let each word represent a letter of the alphabet. The letter 
representing the last word in the rhyme will be the initial of your 
sweetheart. 

7102. Sit down and remove your stocking, as soon as you hear the first 
robin of spring, and in the stocking you will find a hair like that 
of your future mate's. 

7103. Repeat the letters of the alphabet while skipping rope, and the 
letter upon which you miss will be the initial of your next beau 
or future husband. 

7104. Name the corners of a room on the first night you sleep in it, and 
the first corner you look at next morning will reveal whom you 
will marry. 

7105. Put a thimbleful of salt under your pillow and you will dream 
of your future lover that night. 

7106. If you eat a thimbleful of salt and go to bed backwards, your 
sweetheart will offer you a drink in a dream. 

7107. Eat a thimbleful of salt for three nights in succession and go to 
bed without drinking or speaking. You will dream of your future 
mate two nights out of the three. 

7108. Eat a thimbleful of salt without drinking and walk backwards 
down the stairs. You will see your future mate in a dream. 

7109. Take salt, using just enough flour to hold it together, and make a 
cake. This is called a "salt cake." Then while wishing, eat half of 
this cake and put the other half under your pillow. The man 
offering you a drink in your dream will be your future husband. 



356 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

7110. Set your shoes in the form of a "T" on going to bed and do not 
speak again that night. You will marry the man whom you see 
in your dream. 

7111. If you lay your shoes under the bed for three successive nights, 
you will dream of your future husband on the third night. 

7112. Sleep in your new shoes on the first night you have them and your 
future husband will come and take them off during the night. 

7113. Lay a snail on one piece of paper and cover it with another. The 
snail in crawling will write the initials of your future husband's 
name. Do this on the first day of May. 

7114. On the first of May put a snail on a board and set the board out 
in the sun. The snail crawling about will make the initials of the 
man you will marry. 

7115. "An old Irishwoman said when she was a girl she would hunt up 
all the snails she could find and put them in the milk house with a 
big pan of corn meal, to see the snails make letters in the corn 
meal of her future husband." 

7116. On the first of May hold a mirror over a spring and in the water 
you will see a reflection of your future lover. 

7117. Look over your left shoulder into a mirror while standing at a 
spring on the first day of May, and you will see the face of your 
future sweetheart or husband reflected in the glass. 

7118. When you see three stars in a row, say: 

"Three stars in a row, 
Send me tonight my beau." 
Then make a wish and it will be fulfilled. 

7119. Sit down on the sidewalk and count seven stars, and you will 
marry the first man who passes by. 

7120. If you can count seven stars every night for seven consecutive 
nights, on the last night you will see your future mate in a dream. 

7121. Count nine stars each night for nine nights and on the last night 

you will see the man you will marry. "It took me a year 

before I could count nine stars for nine nights straight, and just 
twenty minutes after I counted on the ninth night a swell looking 
man went by our yard. My chum said, 'You will never marry that 
man. He is too swell for you.' Just the same, I met that man and 
married him in less than a year." 

7122. Count nine stars for nine nights in succession and on the ninth 
night, having placed a mirror under your pillow, you will dream 
of your future husband. 

7123. After counting thirteen stars on thirteen successive nights, on 
the thirteenth night you will dream of the one you will marry. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 357 

7124. You can discover your future husband by counting one hundred 
stars and then looking to your left. 

7125. Walk backwards down the steps while looking into a mirror, and 
reflected in the latter you will see whom you are to marry. 

7126. Shake up the tea leaves in your empty cup and they will form the 
initial of your future husband. 

7127. Sleep on a twin berry or fruit and you will marr}' the person of 
whom you dream. 

7128. Look at the veins in your right hand and whatever letter they 
resemble will be the first initial of your future husband's name. 

7129. "If two single people will take a tub of water and sit it down by 
a stove that has a fire, then each one put a foot in the tub and 
wash it, then each one take a piece of red coal out of the fire and 
drop in this tub of water, wishing you will find the colors of your 
future mate's hair in this coal, then put your other foot in and 
wash it; then after you take out that foot pick up the piece of 
coal out of the water and break it open, you will find the color 
of your future mate's hair. Years ago my mother told me about 
washing your feet to find the color of your beau's hair, so one 
day my brother and I thought we would try it, and we did. We 
done just what mother told us to do. And when I opened my piece 
of coal I found black hair just like the man I married, and brother 
light just like the woman he married." 

7130. Let a girl write her beau's name on one slip of paper and her name 
on another, roll up the two slips, and walking backwards drop 
them into a basin of water that has been placed on a chair in the 
center of the room. If next morning the beau's name is turned 
face-upwards, she will marry; if her own, she will be an old maid. 

7131. If a girl writes the names of boys on slips of paper and places 
these slips in a pan of water, the slip that rises first to the surface 
will show whom she will marry. 

7132. Roll up slips of paper on each of which you have written the 
name of an admirer, and let the slips fall into a bowl of water. 
The slip that remains unrolled next morning will bear the name 
of your future husband. 

7133. Write each letter of the alphabet on a separate slip of paper and 
put these slips in a pan of water. The first letter found on top 
of the water in the morning is the initial of the man you are to 
marry. 

7134. Set a glass of water under your bed and across the rim of the 
former lay a small piece of wood. You will dream of your 
husband crossing a bridge. 

7135. Drop a small stick of wood into a glass of water and place the 



358 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

latter beneath your bed. In a dream you will meet your prospective 
mate as he crosses a bridge. 

7136. Put a glass of water under your bed on Halloween Eve and on the 
rim of the glass lay a piece of wood. You will dream of your 
future husband bringing you a drink of water: If in a glass, you 
will be rich; if in a tin cup, poverty will be your lot; and if in a 
delft cup, you will live in moderate circumstances. 

7137. If you set a glass of water beneath your bed on Halloween and go 
to bed backwards, you will dream of your future husband. If he 
hands you a drink of water in a glass, he will be wealthy; if in a 
cup, he will be poor; but if he does not offer you a drink, you 
will be an old maid. 

7138. Place a pan of water under your bed at night and in the morning 
you will see in the water a reflection of the man whom you will 
marry. 

7139. On Halloween put a basin of water at the side of your bed, turn 
off the light and get into bed ; then raise up quickly and look into 
the water, and you will see the face of your prospective mate. 

7140. Go to a spring on Halloween and take a mouthful of water, but 
do not swallow it. Then walk home backwards, get into bed 
backwards, and swallow the water. Your future mate will give you 
a drink in your dream. This entire operation must be done without 
speaking. 

7141. About dusk walk backwards to a well while looking over your 
right shoulder into a mirror, and you will see your future husband. 

7142. Look into a mirror while walking backwards to a well on the 1st 
of May, and you will see your destined mate when you reach the 
well. 

7143. You can see the one you are going to marry by looking into a well 
at midnight. 

7144. Lie down on your back by a well on Halloween and hold a mirror 
over your head so that you can see a reflection of the bottom of 
the well. If you are to marry, the picture of your future married 
partner will appear in the mirror. 

7145. Hold a mirror over a well on the first day of May in such a 
manner that it reflects the bottom of the well. You will see the 
face of your future sweetheart in the mirror. 

7146. If you look into a well on the 1st of May, you will see either your 
future husband or a coffin. 

7147. "On the first day of May just at noon, if you will take a looking- 
glass and hold it up and look into a well, you' will see your future 
mate or a ball of fire (meaning the devil will get you), or your 
coffin." 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 359 

7148. A girl may learn what her future husband is doing, if she looks 

down into a well at sunrise on the 1st of May. "I had a friend 

and she looked down in a well on the first day of May at sunrise, 
and she saw a man riding on a white horse, and she married a 
man with a white horse." 

7149. To discover whom you will marry, walk around a wheat field on 
the 1st of May. 

7150. "When I was a girl I put my handkerchief out at midnight on the 
growing wheat field, and on the 1st of May before sunrise I went 
to see what my future husband's initials were. There were letters 
on the handkerchief but I could not make them out." 

7151. On the last night of April walk to a wheat field backwards, and 
reaching behind you, lay your handkerchief on the wheat. Then 
go to bed. Visit the wheat field next morning before sunrise. If 
you find initials on the handkerchief, you will be married; if there 

are not any initials, you will never marry. "Years ago my 

sister and I tried it. My sister found the initials J. W. on hers 
and she married a man with those initials. I did not have anything 
on my handkerchief, and I am still an old maid." 

7152. Break a wishbone with someone and put your portion over the 
door. You will marry the first man who enters that door. 

7153. Let the person who gets the shorter end of a broken wishbone 
place his or her piece above the door, and the first man or woman 
coming through the door will be the future husband or wife. 

7154. Hang a wishbone over the door between Christmas and New 
Year's Day and the first one who passes through the door will be 
your prospective mate. 

7155. Lay your part of a broken wishbone over a door, and you will 
marry the first person who finds your piece of broken wishbone. 



FUTURE MARRIED MATE 

CHARACTER-DISPOSITION-FINANCIAL CONDITION 

OCCUPATION-PHYSICAL QUALITIES 

7156. The one who can break an apple in half will never be "bossed" by 
the other married partner. 

7157. If a girl is unable to make a bed well, she will get a worthless 
man for a husband. 

7158. It is unlucky to marry a person whose birthday occurs in the same 
month as yours. 



360 Memoirs of the .lima Egan Hyatt Foundation 

7159. Never marry a man who was born on the same day of the month 
as you were; you wnll not Hve successfully together. 

7160. If you were born in October, do not marry one whose birth 
occurred in January. 

7161. Taking the next to the last biscuit from the plate means that you 
will marry a handsome man. 

7162. Drop a biscuit and you will have a husband who is poor. 

7163. If you leave dough in the bowl after making biscuits, your 
husband will be a drunkard. 

7164. If a girl burns her bread while baking, she will have a shiftless 
husband. 

7165. To burn bread when baking foretells that your marriage will be 
unhappy. 

7166. Spilling flour (on the front of your dress) while baking means 

that your husband will be a drunkard or a shiftless man. 

'T know this is so, for I never bake unless I get flour all over 
myself, and my husband drinks anything he can get." 

7167. You can discover your future husband's occupation by counting 
your buttons as you say : 

"Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief, 

Doctor, merchant, lawyer, chief." 
The button counted on the last word will show his occupation. 
The same rhyme is used for the same purpose while skipping rope. 

7168. Let each of three blindfolded girls go into a vegetable garden and 
pull up a cabbage by the roots. If the roots are straight, her 
husband will be handsome; if crooked, he will be ugly; and if a 
considerable amount of dirt clings to the roots, she will marry a 
wealthy man. 

7169. Take the last piece of cake on the plate and your future husband 
will be handsome. 

7170. The one who likes cats will be an excellent wife or husband. 

7171. If a girl in love finds a strange cat in her bedroom at night, she 
will be lucky in her love. 

7172. "If you are thinking of getting married and are not sure about 
the man being the right one, place a cocoanut on the floor and 
break it open. By watching the shapes of the pieces as it falls 
apart, you will be able to learn if your marriage will be right. If 
large pieces fall, all right; if small pieces fall apart, no good." 

7173. A man and woman having the same complexions will be unlucky in 
marriage. 

7174. If a man and wornan with dififerent complexions marry, they will 
be lucky. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 361 

7175. Cousins should never marry, because their children might be 
deformed or idiotic. 

7176. Having placed three cups on a table, fill the first with milk, the 
second with vinegar, and the third with water. Blindfold yourself 
and dip a finger into the first cup touched. If it contains milk, 
your married life will be happy; if vinegar, your married partner 
will have a sour disposition; and if water, you will never marr}\ 

7177. A person with a fiery disposition should marry someone who is 
mild, and they will always get along well together. 

7178. Anyone fond of dogs will make a good married partner. 

7179. A dog following a girl home is bringing her a handsome husband. 

7180. "When I was a girl, one night when the bells were ringing out 
the old year and the new one in, I got out of bed and got a glass 
one half full of water and put the white of an egg in it, and set 
the glass in the window. Did not say a word. Then went back 
to bed. In the morning when I got up, I found a perfect ship in 
the glass, and I married a sailor." 

7181. If you have heavy eyebrows and they are close together, you will 
marry a rich person. 

7182. A girl who always has dirty elbows will marry a poor man. 

7183. Two fat persons should never marry; they cannot live happily 
together. 

7184. Anyone who can make the index finger and little finger meet will 
rule the household when married. 

7185. If the fire that a girl is making does not burn well, her husband 
will not be a "smart" man. 

7186. One who is unable to make a good fire will never marry well. 

7187. If you are able to build a good fire, you will get a good mate in 
marriage. 

7188. To ascertain whether your husband will have curly or straight 
hair, comb your hair on Saturday night, then, removing one of 
the hairs from the comb, put this hair in the palm of your Irnnd 
and roll the hair until it curls into a little ball. Finally, try to 
straighten the hair out by using a finger. If the hair remains 
straight, he will have straight hair; if it curls, he will have curly 
hair. 

7189. A girl with hairy legs will marry a rich man. 

7190. On interlocking your fingers when you fold your hands, if you 
always lay the right thumb over the left thumb, you will be the 
boss in your future household. 

7191. On Halloween pour melted lead into a pan of water by letting the 
lead pass through the handle of a key. Whatever tool is formed 



362 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

by the molten lead will disclose that tool with which your future 
husband will work. 

7192. If the lines in the palm of your hand form the letter "M," you 
will marry a rich person. 

7193. "To change the name and not the letter, 
Is a change for the worse, not the better." 

7194. "Changing the name and not the letter, 
Is changing for worse instead of better." 

"I know a woman that got married twice and changed her 

name and not the letter and she has had nothing but trouble in 
both marriages. The first husband shot himself before they were 
married a year, and the second got killed before they were married 
two years." 

7195. To learn what your future husband's occupation will be, grate a 
hazelnut, nutmeg and walnut ; then mix these grated nuts with 
butter and sugar, and make pills of the paste. Swallow nine pills 
on going to bed. If you dream of wealth, you will marry a gentle- 
man ; of white linen, a clergyman ; of darkness, a lawyer ; of 
noises, a tradesman or laborer ; of thunder and lightning, a soldier 
or sailor; and of rain, a servant. 

7196. The person who takes the last piece of pie from the plate will 
secure a handsome married partner. 

7197. "If you can walk twelve steps on the rail of a railroad track 
without stepping off, you can conquer any man you marry." 

7198. "If you wear your shoes out on the side. 
You will be a rich man's bride." 

7199. While skipping rope, say, "Stone," "brick," and "wood." The 
material named as you miss a skip will tell you the type of house 
in which your future husband and you will live. 

7200. Examine the first snail that you see on the 1st of May, and if it 
has a shell, you will marry a man with a house ; if there is no shell, 
your husband will be a poor man. 

7201. It is unlucky for a girl to marry a man shorter than herself. 

7202. Hold a mirror over a spring on the 1st of May and you will see 
reflected in the mirror a picture of your future husband. Whatever 

he is doing will be his occupation. "Years ago a girl went to 

the spring and held a looking-glass over the spring to see her 
future husband, and she saw a man plowing. And she married a 
farmer that looked just like the man in the spring." 

7203. Marry a stranger and you will not live long. 

7204. If a man's great toe is shorter than his second toe, he will be 
henpecked when married. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 363 

7205. If a woman's first toe is shorter than her second toe, she will be 
the ruler in her future household. 

7206. The husband will master the woman whose first toe is longer than 
her second toe. 

7207. If a girl splashes dishwater (or the water with which she is 
washing clothes) over her apron or dress, she will have a drunkard 
for a husband. 

7208. If you get your dress wet when washing, you will marry a 
drunkard; but you may prevent this, if you can hang on the 
clothesline all his shirts wrong side out. 

7209. If you are able to take your washing out of the boiler with your 
finger, you will never marry a "drinking" man. 

7210. A girl when out walking (years ago this was usually done when 
she went after the cows) may ascertain whether she will marry a 

young man, a bachelor, a widower by stopping, listening, 

and saying: 

"A young man, a bird sings, 

A bachelor, a cow bawls, 

A widower, a young one squals." 
A distinction was formetly made between a young man and a 
bachelor. The former was usually u/nder twenty-five years of age, 
the latter older. 

7211. Marry young and you marry for trouble. 



ENGAGEMENT 

7212. After the banns have been published, an engaged couple should 
not be photographed until the wedding has taken place. 

7213. Between the reading of the banns and the wedding, it is unlucky 
for an engaged couple to have a lover's quarrel. 

7214. If you kiss a man before you marry him, you will never Hve 
happily with him. 

7215. If the banns have been called and a person stumbles down the 
stairs before the wedding, it is the sign of bad luck. 

7216. If a man gives his fiancee a pair of gloves, he will not marry her. 

7217. The girl who tries on another's engagement ring will never get 
one for herself, 

7218. It is lucky to have your birthstone in your engagement ring. 

7219. If a girl loses her engagement ring, she will not be married to the 
man who gave it to her. 



364 Memoirs uf the .lliiia Egan Hyatt Foundation 

TIME OF WEDDING 

7220. Marry while the hand of the clcx:k goes up and you will succeed 
in life. 

7221. If you are married as the hand of the clock goes down, your life 
will be a failure. 

7222. A wedding should be solemnized on the hour for good luck. 

7223. "Wed in the morning. 
Quickly undoing." 

7224. To be lucky, marr>' during the full moon. 

7225. You will have bad luck, if you marry in February. 

7226. Get married in May and you will always be sorry. 

7227. The 14th of May is an unfavorable day for a wedding. 

7228. It causes bad luck to marry on the 27th of May. 

7229. If one must marry in May, let it be either on the 24th or the 25th. 
All other days of the month are unlucky and a marriage on any 
of them will end disastrously. 

7230. June is a lucky month for love and marriage. 

7231. Marry in June and your husband will treat you well. 

7232. The man wdio marries in June will soon lose his wife. 

7233. The 3rd and 4th of June are the best days for a wedding. 

7234. It is unlucky to marry on the 16th or 17th of June. 

7235. The three lucky months for a wedding are June, October and 
December. 

7236. "Married on Monday, married for health. 
Married on Tuesday, married for wealth. 
Married on Wednesday, the best day of all. 
Married on Thursday, married for losses. 
Married on Friday, married for crosses. 
Married on Saturday, no luck at all." 

The rhyme is also given in the f ollow'ing form : 
"Marry on Monday for health." 

7237. "Wed on Monday, always poor. 
Wed on Tuesday, w^ed once more. 
Wed on Wednesday, a happy match. 
Wed on Thursday, a plenty catch. 
Wed on Friday, poorly matched. 
Wed on Saturday, better waited. 
Wed on Sunday, cupid wooing." 

7238. "Marry on Monday, 
Divorce on Tuesday." 

7239. The most fortunate day in the week for a wedding is Wednesday. 

7240. Marry on Wednesday and you will be happy. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 365 

7241. If you are married on Friday, you will be \&vy unhappy. 

7242. Bad luck will be yours, if you marry on Friday. 

7243. Never marry on Friday; it is "hanginan's day." 

7244. Never marry on Saturday; it is "nigger's day." 

7245. Saturday has become the favorite day for a wedding. 

7246. "Marry in Lent, 
You'll live to repent." 

7247. A lucky time for a wedding is during the forty days following 
Easter. 

7248. "Who marry between the sickle and the scythe will never thrive." 

7249. Marrying on your birthday will bring you bad luck. 



WEATHER AT THE WEDDING 

7250. "Happy be the bride on whom the sun shines. 
Unhappy the bride on whom it rains." 

7251. "Happy is the bride the sun shines on, 
Tears for the bride the rain falls on." 

7252. Rain on the wedding day is unlucky for the bride. 

7253. The husband will not treat his wife well, if it rains on the day 
of the wedding. 

7254. A bride's life will be full of tears, if she is married on a rainy day. 

7255. A rainy wedding day means that the bride will shed a tear for 
each raindrop. 

7256. As many drops of rain as there are on her wedding night, so many 
tears will the bride shed. 

7257. H it rains on the day following the wedding, the bride will have 
many sorrows. 

7258. "They say a new joy comes with every raindrop on your wedding 
day." 

7259. The girl who marries on a rainy day will be a bad housekeeper. 

7260. When rain or snow falls on the bridal carriage as it goes to 
church, the couple will separate soon after marriage. 

7261. Snow falling on the day of the wedding foretells happiness for 
the bridal couple. 

7262. If it snows on the wedding day, the husband will be good to his 
wife. 

7263. If there is a storm on the day preceding the wedding, the bride 
will have a stormy life. 

7264. A stormy wedding day indicates trouble for the bridegroom. 

7265. Thunder during your wedding signifies unhappiness in your 
married life. 



366 Memoirs of flic Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

BRIDAL ATTIRE 

7266. Skip rope while saying, "Silk," "satin," "calico," "rags" 

and the article named as you miss a skip reveals the material out 
of which your wedding gown will be made. 

7267. Count the buttons on your dress as you repeat, "Silk," "satin," 

"calico," "rags" and the material mentioned on the last 

button will be that which you are going to wear at your wedding. 

7268. If a drop of blood falls on your wedding dress while it is being 
made, your husband will kill you. 

7269. "Married in white, you've chosen all right. 
Married in green, ashamed to be seen. 
Married in grey, you'll go far away. 
Married in red, you'll wish yourself dead. 
Married in blue, love ever true. 

Married in black, you'll wish yourself back." 

7270. "Marry in white, sailor's delight. 
Marry in red, wish yourself dead. 
Marry in black, wish yourself back. 
Marry in brown, you will live out of town. 

Marry in green, you'll wish you had never been seen. 

Marry in pink, you are going to sink. 

Marry in yellow, you will be ashamed of your fellow. 

Marry in purple, you will always want to be in the circle. 

Marry in blue, you will always be true. 

Marry in lavender, you will always be savage." 

7271. "Married in grey, you'll go far away. 
Married in black, you'll wish yourself back. 
Married in brown, you'll live out of town. 
Married in red, you'll wish yourself dead. 
Married in pearl, you'll live in a whirl. 
Married in green, ashamed to be seen. 
Married in yellow, jealous of your fellow. 
Married in blue, he'll always be true. 
Married in pink, your spirits will sink. 
Married in white, you have chosen right." 

7272. The girl who marries in a black dress will be an unhappy bride. 

7273. "If you marry in blue, 
Your love will be true." 

7274. "If you marry in green, 
You'll always be seen." 

7275. You will have bad luck, if you get married in green. 

7276. It is unlucky for a bride to wear red at her wedding. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 367 

7277. If a woman marries in red, her husband will soon die. 

7278. Yellow is an unlucky color for a bride. 

7279. "If you marry in yellow, 
You'll get another fellow." 

7280. A bride at her wedding should wear: 

"Something old and something new, 
Something borrowed and something blue." 

7281. Let a bride at her marriage wear something: 

"New and blue, 
Old and gold." 

7282. It is the sign of good luck for the bride to find a spider crawling 
on her wedding dress. 

7283. A girl should never let the future husband see her dressed in her 
wedding gown until the actual ceremony. 

7284. It is unlucky for the bride's dress to be seen on her until she is 
ready to leave for the church. 

7285. After a wedding dress is finished, a girl should not try it on again 
until she dresses for the ceremony. If she does, it will cause her 
bad luck. 

7286. The loan of a wedding dress means good luck to the borrower 
and bad luck for the lender. 

7287. Wearing out your wedding clothes will bring bad luck to you. 

7288. A bride will not be lucky until she wears out her wedding clothes. 

7289. You will never prosper as long as you keep your wedding clothes. 

7290. If you wear out your wedding clothes quickly, you will always 
have money. 

7291. Never wear a wedding veil in a play; you will be an old maid. 

7292. If you can use at your wedding the bridal veil worn by your 
grandmother, you will always have wealth. 

7293. It causes bad luck for a girl to show her bridal veil to anyone, 
members of the family excepted, before the wedding. 

7294. A bride will have bad luck, if she wears out her wedding slippers 
before the end of the first year. 

7295. Wear earrings when you are married and you will always be 
happy. 

7296. The bride who wears pearls will shed tears. 

7297. For each pearl that a bride wears, her husband will give her cause 
for weeping. 

7298. Orange blossoms are lucky, whether worn by the bride or used in 
the wedding decorations. 

7299. To have luck, be married with your mother's wedding ring. 

7300. The loss of a wedding ring means a misfortune. 



368 Memoirs of the ^llina Egan Hyatt Foundation 

7301. If a bride loses her wedding ring, she will never live happily with 
her husband. 

7302. Removing a wedding ring from your finger will cause you bad 
luck. 

7303. It is unlucky to take a wedding ring off your finger until you have 
been married a year. 

7304. "As the wedding ring wears, 
So wears away life's cares." 



THE WEDDING 

7305. Feed a cat out of an old shoe and your wedding day will be a 
happy one. 

7306. The sneezing of a cat in front of a woman on the day before her 
marriage is a lucky omen. 

7307. It is a bad omen, if a girl has an unpleasant dream on the night 
preceding her wedding. 

7308. The girl who reads the marriage service on the night before the 
ceremony wall be unlucky. 

7309. If a betrothed couple read the ceremony together before the wed- 
ding, they wall have bad luck. 

7310. Let the bride w^ear something of yours and you will either receive 
a proposal inside of a year or be married the following year. 

7311. If you can secret a lock of your hair in the hem of the bride's 
dress, you will be married before the end of the year. 

7312. Lend some article to the bridegroom and you will marry next year. 

7313. If a girl is seen by her fiance an hour before the wedding, she will 
have an unhappy married life. 

7314. The bride who looks into a mirror just before leaving for the 
church will be unlucky. 

7315. A bride will have bad luck if she carries a handkerchief that was 
used by a bride. 

7316. Let the bride wear a piece of money in the heel of her left shoe 
at the wedding and she will be wealthy. 

7317. A girl at her wedding should carry her mother's prayer book 
for luck. 

7318. A bride can always be happy, if she carries salt in her pocket 
when she goes to church to be married. 

7319. A bridegroom can secure good luck by carrying a horseshoe in 
his pocket while being married. 

7320. The postponetnent of a wedding is unlucky. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 369 

7321. If two persons in the same family marry during the same year, 

one of them will be unfortunate. 
7Z22. It is unlucky for two members of a family to be married at the 

same time. 

7323. The first marriage in a family determines the character of the 

following ones. "My sister had three children. The first one 

to marry married poor, and the other two both married very 
poor." 

7324. It is lucky to be married at home. 

7325. "I heard grandma tell, that before the Civil War they never got 
a license to marr}\ The colored folks would have to walk back- 
wards and jump over a broom, and they were married." 

7326. An old colored woman said that during slavery: "If two women 
were in love with the same man and wanted him, their master 
would give each woman a whip and they would start to whipping 
each other; and the woman that could hold out the longest got 
the man. That was called lap jacket." 

7327. Attend a wedding in your old shoes for luck. 

7328. If anyone wears a tuberose to a wedding, someone in the bridal 
party will die before the year is over. 

7329. A bridal couple should not enter the church within twenty- four 
hours after a funeral; if they do, they will never see old age 

together. "My cousin was buried one morning from the 

church and I was to be married next morning in the same church. 
My father wanted to put my wedding off. Said I would not live 
long with my husband. I only laughed and got married. And we 
did not live together long. My husband got sick and died." 

7330. A flock of birds flying over the bridal carriage on its way to 
church signifies that the couple will have many children. 

7331. If you see a dove while going to church to be married, you will 
have good luck. 

7332. A bride will be unlucky, if her carriage on the road to church 
passes a funeral procession. 

7333. It is a sign of good luck, if a bridal party on its way to church 
meets a lamb. 

7334. If a bridal carriage is on the way to church and a pig crosses its 
path, it is a bad omen. 

7335. Never hand a telegram to a bride or bridegroom while they are 
on their way to the church. 

7336. If going to the wedding or at the wedding, the bride sees the bride- 
groom before he sees her, she will always retain her influence over 
him ; but if the bridegroom sees the bride before she sees him, he 
will always retain his influence over her. 



370 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

7337. A bat flying into the church duringja wedding ceremony is the sign 
of bad hick. 

7338. The bride will have good luck, if her wedding veil is torn at the 
altar. 

7339. Stepping on the bride's veil is unlucky. 

7340. Good luck will come to the bride if her veil is accidentally torn. 

7341. If the sun comes out from behind a cloud and shines on the 
altar during the wedding ceremony, the persons being married 
will have happy and prosperous lives. 

7342. It is unlucky for the bridegroom to misplace the wedding ring and 
hunt for it. 

7343. A wedding ring falling at the ceremony is a sign of bad luck. 

7344. When hands are joined during the marriage service, the one whose 
thumb is on top will be the master of the household. 

7345. Give the clergyman officiating at the wedding service an odd sum 
of money for luck. 

7346. Give one of your hairs to a man and ask him to hold it between 
his thumb and index finger. His first word thereafter will be his 
first to his bride. 

7347. To have good luck, a bride should take off her wedding ring and 
put it back on just before leaving the church, and then never 
remove it from her hand again. 

7348. On leaving church a bride should always put her right foot first 
for luck and happiness. 

7349. "If a man and a woman get married and the wife steps out of 
church with her left foot first, her marriage will be very unsuc- 
cessful and will end up in court." Written contribution. 

7350. Throw rice after a newly wedded couple to give them luck. 

7351. Rice thrown at a newly married couple increases the chances of 
their having children. 

7352. The throwing of an old shoe after a newly wedded couple brings 
them good luck. 

7353. If you throw an old shoe at a bridal pair and it hits one of them, 
they will be lucky. 

7354. It means bad luck for the groom, if the wedding party on its way 
from church meets a funeral. 

7355. The newly wedded couple will have bad luck, if on the way home 
from church they pass a funeral. 

7356. You may be lucky by kissing a bride. 

7357. If you can kiss a bride before her husband has an opportunity, 
you will have good luck all year. 

7358. If an ex-lover with hatred in his heart kisses the bride on her 
wedding day, her honeymoon will be unhappy. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 371 

7359. The girl who catches the bride's bouquet will be the next to marry. 

7360. If the bride's bouquet is not caught, but falls to the floor, she will 
have bad luck. 

7361. A bride can secure good luck in married life by jumping over a 
broom after the wedding. 

7362. It is unlucky for a bride to have an unequal number of guests at 
her wedding breakfast. 

7363. If two spoons are found together at the bride's table, it means 
another marriage in the family soon. 

7364. The person who at a bridal party is accidentally seated between 
the bride and bridegroom will soon be engaged. 

7365. If you find the dime in a wedding cake, you will marry for money. 

7366. The one finding the thimble in the wedding cake will never marry. 

7367. To find the money in the wedding cake signifies that you will be 
long in marrying. 

7368. Sleep with a piece of wedding cake under your pillow for luck. 

7369. You may dream of your future married partner by sleeping on a 
piece of wedding cake. 

7370. If a girl sleeps on a piece of wedding cake three nights and dreams 
of the same man each night, she will marry him. 

7371. Write separately six names and the word "stranger" on seven 
slips of paper. Lay these slips and a piece of wedding cake under 
your pillow. Each morning remove one slip, and on the seventh 
morning the last slip will reveal your fate. 

7372. When a bridesmaid desires to be married before the year is out, 
let her pass a piece of wedding cake thrice through a wedding 
ring and then sleep on the former. If she dreams of the man 
desired, she will be married to him. 

7373. Three times a bridesmaid, never a bride. 

7374. If you can get the bride's handkerchief or some trinket of hers, 
make a wish and it will come true ; but you must then return the 
article to the bride or your luck will change. 

7375. It is lucky to find anything lost or misplaced by the bride. 

7376. Acting the part of a bride in a play is unlucky unless there is 
also a bridegroom in the cast. 

7Z77. A white pigeon flying near a house, in which there is a bridal 

party, indicates that someone in that house will marry before the 

year is gone. 
7378. Let someone throw an old shoe among the guests at a wedding, 

and the person hit by the shoe will be the first one of that group 

to marry. 



Z72 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

7379. Let the bridegrooni hold a broom and stand on one side of the 
room, and liave the unmarried men hne up at the opposite end of 
tlie room. At a given signal they must race towards the broom, 
and the first one to reach it will be the first to marry. 

7380. After the wedding feast let the bride take the tablecloth and 
attempt to ensnare with it one of the unmarried girls. The first 
one she catches will be the first girl in the group to be a bride. 

7381. You will give sorrow to the bride and bridegroom, if you give 
them a fern. 

7382. It is unlucky to give away a wedding present. 

7Z^Z. A bride will have trouble, if she breaks anything on her wedding 
day, 

7384. The bride who breaks something on her bridal day will quarrel 
with her mother-in-law, and the husband will side with his mother, 

7385. If a bride weeps on her wedding day she will have bad luck. 

7386. A bride crying on her wedding day is a lucky sign, for it shows 
that she has wept all her tears away, 

7387. If a bride and bridegroom part the day of their marriage, they 
will have bad luck. 

7388. If one of the bridesmaids pours hot water on the doorsteps as the 
newly married couple leave the house on their honeymoon, some- 
one in the bridal party will be married inside of a year. 

7389. When a bride first enters her new home, the husband should carry 
her over the threshold for luck, 

7390. Let a bride jump over a broom just before she goes into her new 
home and she will never be "hoodooed" there, 

7391. The mother-in-law should break a cake or a loaf of bread over 
the bride's head as she first enters the door of her new home. This 
will establish friendly relations and make both happy, 

7392. "Take a pound of Limburger cheese, spread between two towels, 
making a poultice. Place under the pillow of newlyweds on their 
first night together, and good fortune and many offspring will be 
theirs." Written contribution. 

7593. The first one of the bridal couple to go to sleep on the wedding 
night will be the first mate to die. 

7394. It is unlucky for a bride to have an uneven number of guests at 
her first party. 

7395. If a recent bride writes her maiden name by mistake, she will have 
bad luck. 



Folk-Lorc from Adams County Illinois 2>7Z 

MARRIED LIFE 

7396. The following are the wedding anniversaries : 

First — cotton Eleventh — steel 

Second — paper Twelfth — silk and fine linen 

Third — leather Thirteenth — lace 

Fourth — fruit and flowers Fourteenth — ivory 
Fifth — wooden Fifteenth — crystal 

Sixth — sugar Twentieth — china 

Seventh — woolen Twenty-fifth — silver 

Eighth — rubber Thirtieth — pearl 

Ninth — willow Fortieth — ruby 

Tenth — tin Fiftieth — golden 

Seventy-fifth — diamond 

7397. If your husband leaves the house in an angry mood, go to a 
friend's house and eat apple sauce ; and when he comes home 
everything will be forgotten. 

7398. To ascertain whether your husband is faithful, sleep with a piece 
of your wedding anniversary cake under your pillow and you will 
get an answer in your dream. 

7399. The fur of a cat blowing the wrong way means that your sweet- 
heart or husband is looking favorably at another woman. This 
may be counteracted by greasing the fur. 

7400. Always choose your second married partner at the grave of the 
first one and you will have good luck. 

7401. If a woman leaves her first husband and marries before he dies, 
her mother will be unlucky. 

7402. If a man's fire bums well in the morning, his wife will get up in 
a good humor; but if the fire smolders, his wife will arise cross. 

7403. When a woman's fire will not burn, it is a sign that her husband 
is out of humor. 

7404. A man will have bad luck, if he kisses another woman in front of 
his wife, 

7405. If your wife becomes angry and tries to fight you, catch and kiss 
her while she is angry. If you do not, some other man will kiss 
her before the year is out. 

7406. The following prayer if carried on the person will bring peace 
between a man and his wife. This comes from a woman who was 

carrying it in her purse, and is given as written : "Qirist is 

Born in Peice then through him 12 Deciples. St. Marcus & St. 
Mathias St. Lucas. St. Johanas. 4 Avangelis T. N. Protect us 
through the Holy birth & Magesty in the Holy Trienty. Aman. 



374 Memoirs of the Alnia Egan Hyatt Foundation 

1 G. V. 1 R 312 Be with us in all Liberty XXX. In the Name 
of the Father the Son & the Holy Ghost. Aman." 

7407. To stop continual quarrels in the family, sprinkle sugar on the 
floor; then sweep it up and burn it. 

7408. A woman whose large toe is smaller than her next toe will live 
longer than her husband. 

7409. If a man's large toe is smaller than the next toe, his wife will die 
first. 

7410. "Never, never, let a man see you undress. It always causes trouble 
in a family and maybe a divorce." 

7411. Taking cod-liver oil will make a man passionate. 

7412. A man will become passionate, if he eats hard-boiled eggs 



HOUSE AND ENVIRONS 

7413. To begin to build a house or anything on Saturday is unlucky. 

7414. If the foundation for a house is laid in the dark of the moon, it 
will sink into the ground. A foundation should be constructed 
during the light of the moon. 

7415. Roof a house in the dark of the moon. If the shingles are laid in 
the light of the moon, they will warp. 

7416. The building of a new house is the sign of a birth or death in 
the family. 

7417. Before you move into a new house that you have built, let a 
priest bless it for luck. 

7418. If a door is cut in a new house after it is built, the owner will have 
bad luck. 

7419. Cutting a new door in an old house is unlucky. "Mrs. B. had 

a friend who went to look at a house with the idea of renting it. 
The landlady informed the prospective renter that she was going 
to put in a new door. The prospective renter then said, T will not 
take it, for that is very bad luck.' The landlady replied, 'I am not 
superstitious. I will live here and let you have my house' (which 
was next door). This arrangement was agreed upon. The land- 
lady lost both of her daughters before the year was out." 

7430. It causes bad luck to cut a window in a house that has just been 
built. 

7421. Posts for a fence must be set into the ground during the dark of 
the moon to be firm. If they are put in the ground when the moon 
is light, they will become loose. 

7422. Begin work on a worm fence (cigzag rail fence) during the light 



Folk-Lorc from Adams County Illinois 375 

of the moon. If you start construction in the dark of the moon, 
the fence will sink down into the ground. 

7423. A fence should be made and repaired when the horns of the moon 
point upward so that the fence will not sink down into the ground. 

7424. Bad luck will befall the two persons who talk over a back fence. 

7425. Touching an open gate will bring you bad luck. 

7426. It is unlucky to shake hands over a gate. 

7427. Hanging or swinging on an open gate causes bad luck. 

7428. Do not shut an open gate or you will have bad luck. 

7429. To close an open gate is unlucky unless you go through it first. 

7430. You will pick up someone's troubles by shutting an open gate. 

7431. Hang an old flatiron on a gate for luck. 

7432. There will be bad luck in the family, if a gate is nearer to the 
house than sixteen feet. 

7433. Breaking a glass door is a bad omen. 

7434. You will be unlucky, if you hang anything on a door knob. 

7435. A door opening of its own accord means that an unwelcome visitor 
is coming. 

7436. An unexpected guest will soon arrive, if a door flies open by itself. 

7437. To have good luck, drive a nail into the top of the front door and 
back door. The nail must be in the exact center. 

7438. To be lucky, scrub in front of your door every morning with lye. 

7439. It is lucky to have a gypsy spit on your doorstep. 

7440. Coming into the house through a door and going out through a 
window will give you bad luck. 

7441. Climbing through a window is unlucky. 

7442. To enter a house through a window will cause grief. 

7443. To avert the bad luck that comes from crawling through a window, 
go back through the window. 

7444. If you break a window, you will be unlucky. 

7445. It is an omen of bad luck for a window to fall down when no one 
is near. 



TOOLS 

7446. Carrying an axe into the house is unlucky. 

7447. Carry the axe out of the house as it was brought in, and bad luck 
will be averted. 

7448. You will have bad luck, if you walk over an axe. 

7449. To step on an axe is unlucky. 



376 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

7450. Avert bad luck by putting under the carpet near each outer door 
a file with its point toward the door. 

7451. You will have bad luck if you step over a hoe. 

7452. To cany a hoc through the house will bring bad luck. 

7453. Bad luck caused by a hoe taken into the house can be prevented, 
if you carry the tool out the door while walking backwards. 

7454. It is unlucky to rest a hoe against the house. 

7455. If you drag a hoe across the porch, you will be unfortunate. 

7456. Throw your hoe over a fence and bad luck will befall you. 

7457. Walking under a ladder or stepladder is followed by bad luck. 

7458. One who walks under a ladder will be unlucky for seven years. 

7459. Bad luck caused by walking under a ladder may be counteracted, 
if you turn around and walk back under the ladder in the opposite 
direction. 

7460. If you are having bad luck, walk under a ladder and you w^ill 
become lucky. 

7461. It is a sign of good luck, if you find a nail. 

7462. A nail found with its point toward you indicates good luck; if 
the head is pointing toward you, you will be unlucky. 

7463. When you see a nail, pick it up and throw it over your left shoulder 
for luck. 

7464. If you find a nail, carry it in your pocket for luck. 

7465. Do not pick up a rusty nail tliat you find, but turn it around and 
let it lie. This will bring you good luck. 

7466. Dragging a rake across the porch causes bad luck. 

7467. You will have bad luck, if you take a rake through the house. 

7468. Letting a rake lie on the ground with its teeth upward will give 
you bad luck. 

7469. Keep a small saw in the window and it will saw your troubles in 
two. 

7470. The one who carries a shovel or spade into or through the house 
will be unfortunate. 

7471. To avert the bad luck that comes from the spade or shovel carried 
into or through the house, remove the implement in the same way 
it was brought in. 

7472. Prevent bad luck, when a spade has been brought into the house, 
by taking the tool out the door while walking backwards. 

7-173. Leaning a shovel against the house means bad luck. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 377 

FURNITURE AND FURNISHINGS 

7474. Sprinkle salt around the wick before lighting a candle and it will 
not drip. 

7475. A small stranger is coming, if a short flame rises from a candle. 

7476. If the candle flame is long, a tall stranger will visit you. 

7477. A lamp should always be extinguished, for it causes bad luck to 
let it go out. 

7478. When a lamp fails to go out at the first blow, each blow required 
to extinguish the lamp represents a lie that you will tell. 

7479. To drop a lamp globe while shining it is a sign of bad luck. 

7480. It is very unlucky to have a lamp chimney break in your hand. 

7481. If you use a coal oil light, keep a red flannel rag in the bowl of 
the lamp and it will bring you good luck. 

7482. To place a second lighted lamp on the same table means bad luck. 

7483. Keeping two lighted lamps in the same room will cause bad luck. 

7484. If an empty chair creaks, it is a bad omen. 

7485. The breaking of a chair leg shows that you have an enemy. 

7486. Bad luck will come to the house, if a child plays with a chair. 

7487. To "walk" a chair is unlucky. 

7488. Spinning a chair around on one leg (while dusting) will bring 
bad luck. 

7489. The child who twirls a chair about on one leg will receive a 
whipping. 

7490. When dusting a chair, never swing it around on one leg, or you 
will soon have a bad quarrel wnth someone. 

7491. Turning a chair around on one leg signifies a quarrel in the family. 

7492. To straddle a chair, facing its back, will cause bad luck. 

7493. Accidentally placing two chairs back to back is a sign of company. 

7494. If you turn over a chair and then pick it up and sit down on it, 
you will have bad luck. 

7495. A vacant rocking-chair beginning to rock by itself is a bad omen. 

7496. It is very unlucky to rock an empty rocking-chair. 

7497. If you rock an empty chair, you are rocking up trouble for 
yourself. 

7498. Rocking an empty chair will bring bad luck to the house. 

7499. To arise from a chair and leave it rocking foretells a "fuss." 

7500. You will have bad luck, if you do not stop a rocking-chair after 
you have arisen. 

7501. Never sit in a rocking-chair at the dinner table, it causes bad luck. 

7502. If a child rocks an empty rocking-chair, he will get a spanking 
before he goes to bed. 

7503. It is a sign of bad luck for a clock to stop running. 



378 Memoirs of the Alnia Egan Hyatt Foundation 

7504. If you keep a clock that does not run, it will bring you bad luck. 

7505. It is very unlucky to turn a clock so that it faces the wall. 

7506. Good luck will come to the house, if a clock strikes three times 
on Friday and then stops and does not run again. 

7507. A cup that falls from your hand and does not break, indicates an 
invitation to a stranger's wedding. 

7508. Keeping old-fashioned dishes decorated with birds is unlucky, 
unless they are heirlooms. 

7509. If a plate falls and spins around, it is spinning you bad luck. 

7510. To avert bad luck when a plate drops and spins around, spin the 
plate in the reverse direction. 

7511. When a dish flies to pieces in your hand, there will be trouble for 
some member of the family who is absent. 

7512. If a dish drops out of your hand and breaks, you will receive bad 
news. 

7513. Breaking a dish causes bad luck. 

7514. To change your luck after breaking a dish, buy something though 
it cost but a penny. 

7515. To drop a dish and have it break will bring you seven years of 
bad luck. 

7516. If you drop a dish and it does not break, you may expect seven 
years of good luck. 

7517. The woman who breaks a dish and accidentally steps on the 
pieces will have bad luck. 

7518. Keeping cracked dishes in the house will cause bad luck. 

7519. If you break one dish, you will not stop until you have broken 
the complete set. 

7520. Breaking one dish is the sign that you will break two more dishes 
before you have finished. 

7521. To break a dish indicates that you will break three things before 
the end of the week. 

7522. If you let a glass fall and it does not break, success awaits you. 

7523. Break a glass and one of your secrets will become known. 

7524. To drop a glass and break it will give you bad luck. 

7525. Creaking furniture is a bad omen. 

7526. You will have bad luck, if you split up and bum old furniture. 

7527. "Move your furniture around every month in your front room 
and you will have good luck. I never let a month go by that I 
don't change everything around in my room, so I will have good 
luck." 

7528. P.adjuck will befall the person who breaks a milk bottle. 

7529. It is unlucky to break a mirror. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 379 

7530. The number of pieces into which a mirror is broken will show 
how many unlucky years you will have. 

7531. Breaking a mirror will cause you seven years of bad luck. 

7532. "Whenever we would break a looking-glass, my mother would 
make us children look and look so we would get every little piece, 
so she could burn them so we would not have bad luck." 

752)Z. If you break a looking-glass, bury all the pieces to prevent bad 
luck. 

7534. Bad luck resulting from a broken mirror can be warded off by 
visiting a graveyard at midnight on a starless night. 

7535. To avert the bad luck that comes from breaking a mirror, throw 
the pieces of glass into a river and all your trouble will be washed 
downstream. 

7536. When you break a mirror, keep bad luck away by throwing the 
pieces of glass into running water. 

7537. If you break a mirror, break seven more mirrors and you will 
not have bad luck. 

7538. After you have broken seven mirrors you will have good luck. 

7539. To break a mirror means that you will lose your best friend. 

7540. Some say it is unlucky to look into a mirror. 

7541. Looking into a mirror over someone's shoulder signifies a disap- 
pointment. 

7542. It causes bad luck to look into a mirror over someone's shoulder. 

7543. You will have bad luck, if you look into a mirror over anyone's 
left shoulder. 

7544. Two persons who look into a mirror at the same time will be 
unlucky. 

7545. If two friends stand side by side and look into a mirror, they 
will have trouble soon. 

7546. When two persons see themselves together in a mirror, they will 
be disappointed before the end of the day. 

7547. The two persons who look into a mirror at the same time will be 
parted forever. 

7548. Friendship between two friends will be broken, if they look into 
a mirror at the same time. 

7549. "They say it is a sin to make faces in the looking-glass." ' 

7550. If a pan turns upside down when dropped, it is a sign that you 
will be out of food before the end of the week. 

7551. The falling of a picture means bad luck. 

7552. It is a sign of bad luck, if a picture drops out of its frame. 

7553. To have a picture fall from the wall indicates that something 
terrible will happen. 

7554. If a person's portrait drops to the floor, trouble is coming to him. 



380 Memoirs of the Alum Egan Hyatt Foundation 

7555. A picture hanging crooked on the wall is a bad omen. 

7556. There will be bad luck for that house in which a picture or 
portrait on the wall hangs crooked. 

7557. A knocking behind a picture foretells bad luck. 

7558. Storing away family pictures will be followed by misfortune. 

7559. Someone throwing a pillow at you will give you bad luck. 

7560. It is lucky to have a greeting embroidered on each of your pillow- 
cases. 

7561. To drop a poker indicates that a woman is coming to the house. 

7562. A window shade flying up to the ceiling will be followed by bad 
luck. 

7563. If a window shade slips from your hand and rolls up, you may 
expect company. 

7564. There will be trouble in the house, if a statue falls to the floor. 

7565. If paint drops off a statue, expect bad luck. "I would not 

have one of those old statues sitting in the house that is made of 
plaster paris for anything, for I think it brings bad luck to the 
house." 

7566. It is unlucky to have a stove in the front room. 

7567. A stove lid turning upside down when dropped signifies that 
someone will tell a scandalous tale about you. 

7568. To hear a table creak is a sign of bad luck. 

7569. If you sit on a table, you will be unfortunate. 

7570. Sitting on a table will bring you a disappointment. 
7l''7\. To wrap a rope round a trunk causes bad luck. 
7572. It is very unlucky to sit on a trunk. 

7^^7?). You will have bad luck, if you knock a vase off the mantel. 
7574. Breaking a water pitcher is a bad omen. 



UMBRELLA 

7575. To be hit with an umbrella will cause you bad luck. "If I 

see anyone with an umbrella, I stay away, for I don't want it 
even to touch me, if someone is carrying it, for I think it very 
bad luck." 

7576. Never raise (some negroes say "hoist" or "high") an umbrella in 
the house, it will bring you bad luck. 

7577. A person will stop growing, if in the house you hold an open 
umbrella over his head. 

7578. It is very unlucky to open and put an umbrella over your head 
while in the house. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 381 

7579. Dropping an umbrella is the sign of a disappointment. 

7580. To avert the disappointment caused by dropping an umbrella, let 

someone pick it up for you. 

7581. Laying an umbrella on the bed is unlucky. 

7582. It signifies bad luck, for a man to give an umbrella to a woman. 

7583. If you borrow an umbrella, you will have bad luck. 

7584. In sign language, carrying an umbrella over your right shoulder 
means, "Follow me." 

7585. To carry an umbrella down in front of you indicates, "I do not 
like you." 



SHARP INSTRUMENTS 

7586. Finding a pocketknife is a sign of good luck, no matter how old 
and useless the knife may be. 

7587. You will have bad luck, if you break a knife. 

7588. It is unlucky to present to someone anything with a sharp point. 

7589. Do not give a sharp-pointed article to a person, but lay it down 
and let him pick it up. This will avert bad luck. 

7590. Give away a knife or a sharp- pointed instrument and you give 
away your luck. 

7591. The gift of a knife or sharp-edged implement will cause a quarrel 
between the giver and recipient before the year is gone. The 
quarrel may be averted, if a coin (usually a penny) is paid in 
exchange for the gift. 

7592. Stick a friend while giving him a sharp instrument and bad luck 
will be averted. 

7593. "Don't give a friend anything sharp, because it will cut holes 
through your friendship." 

7594. It is a sign of bad luck to hand a person a sharp instrument point 
first; for as some say, "It will cut their luck." 

7595. If when lending a knife you throw it to the borrower instead of 
handing it to him, you will lose your knife soon. 

7596. "If you take a closed pocketknife and grip it in your hand, and 
hit someone with your fist, it will kill them." 

7597. If someone closes a knife that you have opened, you will be 
unlucky. 

7598. Never hand an open pocketknife to a friend; he might close the 
knife and thereby cut your friendship. 

7599. If someone lends you an open pocketknife, return it open or you 
will have bad luck. 



382 Memoirs of the Ahna Egan Hyatt Foundation 

7600. If a closed pocketknife was handed to you, return it closed for 
luck. 

7601. A sharp instrument falling and sticking in the floor or ground is 
lucky. 

7602. If a knife drops and the blade sticks in the ground or floor, it is 
an omen oi good luck. The good luck will come from the direction 
toward which the blade of the knife is pointing. 

7603. If anything with a sharp point falls and sticks in the floor, com- 
pany will come. 



KNIVES-FORKS-SPOONS 

7604. Silverware turning blue indicates that a dark cloud is gathering 
over the house. 

7605. Dropping silverware on the floor is a sign of company. 

7606. Expect company, if you drop a piece of tableware on the floor. 

7607. If you let a piece of tableware fall, someone will come hungry. 

7608. It is a bad omen to carry away from the table a plate or saucer on 
which there are two knives or two spoons. 

7609. To drop a knife and fork together means that a couple is coming 
to eat with you. 

7610. If a knife and fork cross each other, when accidentally dropped 
together, bad luck may be expected. 

7611. It is the sign of a christening in the family, if you place two forks 
at the same plate. 

7612. Crossing two forks on the table foretells trouble. 

7613. Two knives crossed at the table signify misfortune. 

7614. Accidentally placing a knife crosswise over another knife on the 
table will cause a quarrel. 

7615. "If I put two knives and two forks at a place without thiiikii.g, 
I always have company for the next meal." 

7616. Putting two spoons in a pot indicates that two women will visit 
you. 

7617. To drop a knife means that someone is coming. 

7618. When a knife drops to the floor, someone hungry will come. 

7619. If a knife that has fallen to the floor points toward the door, it is 
a sign of company. 

7620. Dropping a knife on the floor will bring visitors from the direction 
in which the blade points. 

7621. If you drop a knife on your plate, guests will come from the 
direction toward which the blade is pointing. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 383 

7622. After dropping, if a knife sticks upright in the floor, look for a 
visitor. 

7623. If you let a knife fall, a man is coming to visit you. 

7624. When a knife drops, the door will open and a man will enter. 

7625. If you drop a knife, expect a man who will surprise you. 

7626. A policeman will come, if you let a knife fall. 

7627. To drop a knife on "wash day" indicates the coming of an old 
man. 

7628. If a butcher knife is dropped on "wash day," an old man will visit 
you. 

7629. Expect a policeman at your house, if you drop a butcher knife. 

7630. If a butcher knife falls, a preacher will come. 

7631. When a butcher knife is dropped, a preacher is coming to eat a 
meal in your house. 

7632. A woman will come, if you drop a knife. 

7633. If you drop a knife, a woman will come from the direction in 
which the blade points. 

7634. If a knife falls, a strange woman is coming. 

7635. Dropping a knife indicates that a hungry woman will come. 

7636. If a knife is dropped, a girl will visit your house. 

7637. Drop a knife and a child will call on you. 

7638. Whoever drops a knife at the table will be disappointed. 

7639. Do not pick up a dropped knife, for a friendship will be cut in two. 

7640. The person who picks up the knife that someone has dropped at 
the table will have good luck. 

7641. It is unlucky to drop a knife while eating. 

7642. Bad luck caused by dropping a knife can be warded off by leaving 
the table at once. 

7643. Another method by which bad luck can be averted, when you drop 
a knife at the table, is to remain at the table but stop eating. 

7644. If you let a butcher knife fall and it sticks in the floor, you will 
be lucky. 

7645. Spinning a knife on the table is unlucky. 

7646. If a knife drops, you will have a quarrel, 

7647. There will be a quarrel in the house, if a fallen knife lies edge 
upward. 

7648. When you buy a knife, always cut a piece of paper or wood with 
it first to prevent bad luck. 

7649. If someone is sharpening a knife and the blade points toward you, 
it signifies a quarrel. 

7650. Sharpen a bread knife on something other than a whetstone and 
there will soon be strife in the house. 

7651. Scouring bread knives on Sunday is unlucky. 



384 Memoirs of llic .iliiia Egaii Hyatt Foundation 

7652. Company will come, if you drop a fork. 

7653. If a fork falls to the floor while you are eating, someone will come 
from the direction toward which the tines point. 

7654. The dropping of a fork means that a woman is coming. 

7655. A man will visit the house, if a fork is dropped. 

7656. A man will come from whatever direction the prongs of a fallen 
fork point. 

7657. The falling of a fork indicates that a young man will visit you. 

7658. You are going to have a boy visitor, if a fork drops. 

7659. Expect a strange man, if you drop a fork. 

7660. If a fork is dropped on "wash day," a male visitor will come. 

7661. The dropping of a fork means that a hungry man is coming. 

7662. If you let a fork fall, expect a man who will surprise you. 

7663. A little friend is going to visit you, if you let a fork drop. 

7664. Letting a fork drop while you are eating will bring bad luck. 

7665. To prevent the bad luck caused by dropping a fork at the table, 
leave the table immediately. 

7666. Bad luck can also be averted, after you have dropped a fork while 
eating, by staying at the table and refraining from food. 

7667. It is a sign of bad luck to spin a fork at the table. 

7668. Stir with a fork while cooking and you will stir up sorrow. 

7669. Beware of flattery when someone gives you a fork. 

7670. To drop a spoon is the sign of company. 

7671. "Drop a spoon. 
Company soon." 

7672. "If you drop a spoon, 

You're sure to have company soon." 

7673. A visitor will come from the direction toward which the handle 
of a fallen spoon points. 

7674. If the open part of a dropped spoon remains up, expect a hungry 
guest. 

7675. If the bowl of a fallen spoon remains up, a caller will come 
when the meal is finished. 

7676. Expect a man, if you drop a spoon. 

7677. The dropping of a large spoon or tablespoon will bring a woman 
to your house. 

7678. Letting a large spoon fall foretells the coming of a widow. 

7679. You may look for an old woman, if you drop a big spoon. 

7680. A big spoon falling on a "wash day" is the sign of a woman 
coming. 

7681. Expect a negro caller, if you drop a large spoon. 

7682. An entire family will visit you, if you drop a tablespoon. 

7683. You will have a large family as guests, if you drop a large spoon. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 385 

7684. Dropping a big spoon indicates that a big fool will visit you. 

7685. If a teaspoon or small spoon falls, a little fool is coming to see you. 

7686. A visit by a young girl will follow the dropping of a teaspoon. 

7687. If a teaspoon falls, you may expect a child to visit you. 

7688. A disappointment will follow the dropping of a spoon. As some 
say, "You will be disappointed that day." 

7689. Never pick up a fallen spoon, or it will bring a disappointment. 

Let somebody pick it up for you. "I will never pick up a 

spoon, if I drop it. I will let it lay there all day until someone 
else picks it up." 

7690. You are going to have a little disappointment, if you drop a 
teaspoon. 

7691. To drop a tablespoon will cause you a big disappointment. 

7692. If you turn over the spoon holder while setting the table and the 
spoons fall out, you will have a "fuss" with someone soon. 

7693. It is a sign of bad luck and perhaps death, if you drop a spoon 
while eating at the table. 

7694. To avert the bad luck which follo\vs the dropping of a spoon at 
the table, leave the table at once. 

7695. Ward off bad luck, when you have let a spoon fall while at the 
table, by keeping your seat; but you must stop eating. 

7696. Turning a silver spoon over in your mouth is unlucky. 

7697. To spin a spoon at the table will bring bad luck. 



SALT AND PEPPER 

7698. It is very unlucky not to have salt in the house. "I never get 

out of salt. I would not be in a house a minute without salt, for 
I think it is very bad luck." 

7699. When there is trouble in your house, sprinkle salt in the comers 
of all rooms at night ; then sweep up the salt next morning and 
throw it in front of the house. This Vv'ill drive away the trouble. 

7700. To protect your home from harm, sprinkle salt on the front 
doorstep. 

7701. Sprinkle red pepper around your front door for luck. 

7702. Keep salt and red pepper under your carpet and you will always 
have good luck. 

7703. As you sit down to eat, throw a pinch of salt over your shoulder 
for luck. 

7704. Drive away your troubles by throwing a handful of salt over your 
left shoulder. 



386 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

7705. While crossing a river on a boat, throw a handful of salt into the 
water over your shoulder, saying, "All my troubles go into the 
river" and they will leave you. 

7706. You can prevent a new servant from leaving by sewing salt in her 
clothes. 

7707. Carry salt in your pocket when you go somewhere and you will 
never be homesick. 

7708. "Crazy people eat lots of salt." 

7709. Borrowing salt causes bad luck. 

7710. To borrow salt from a neighbor foretells a quarrel. 

7711. If necessity compells you to borrow salt, throw a pinch of it into 
the fire to prevent bad luck. 

7712. Bad luck can also be averted by giving something in exchange for 
borrowed salt. 

7713. Borrowed salt should never be returned, because it will bring bad 
luck. 

7714. Never permit anyone to return salt that has been borrowed from 
you, or you will have bad luck, 

7715. If a person borrows salt and repays it, the friendship between 
borrower and lender will be broken. 

7716. Spilling salt at the table means that you will have company at the 
next meal. 

7717. To spill salt will bring you a disappointment. 

7718. Never pick up a saltcellar that you have knocked over at the table ; 
you will be disappointed. 

7719. Dropping salt indicates that you will cry before bedtime. 

7720. If a child spills salt, he will get a whipping before night. 

7721. You are going to have a quarrel, if you spill salt. 

7722. To avert a quarrel when you spill salt, throw some of it over your 
left shoulder. 

7723. Expect trouble, when you drop salt on the ground. 

7724. It is unlucky to spill salt. 

7725. To ward off bad luck when you have spilled salt, throw some of 
it over your shoulder. 

7726. Throw over your left shoulder a pinch of the salt that you have 
spilled and you will be lucky. 

7727. If you upset the salt, throw some of it over your right shoulder 
with the left hand for luck. 

7728. To avert bad luck when you have spilled salt, burn some of it in 
a fire. 

7729. When you spill salt, throw some of it into the fire and your 
troubles will be burned up. 

7730. "If you spill some salt, pick up some of the salt you spilled and 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 387 

put a little on the stove and let it burn. You will not have bad 
luck. Every time my father spilled salt, he run and throw a little 
on the stove to burn and he will not have bad luck." 

7731. You can avert bad luck by dropping some of the spilled salt down 
the chimney of a lighted lamp. 

7732. When setting down the saltcellar, if you spill some of the salt, 
take the saltcellar and shake salt first over your right shoulder 
and then over your left shoulder ; and you will not have bad luck. 

7733. To spill salt between yourself and the person sitting next to you 
at the table means that you two will have a quarrel. 

7734. Whoever passes salt to you at the table passes you trouble. 

7735. "My grandma would not take a saltcellar stand out of anyone's 
hand for anything, if someone passed her the salt. She would tell 
them to set it down, then she would pick it up; for she thought 
some very bad luck would come to her, if she took the salt out 
of your hand." 

7736. Always smile while passing salt at the table, or you will soon be 
on bad terms with the person to whom the salt is passed. 

772)7. Burning salt will make you unlucky. 

7738. Burn salt and you will be forced to pick every grain of it out of 
hell when you die. 

7739. If the pepperbox falls over towards you and some of the pepper 
spills out, it signifies that you are going to have bad luck. 

7740. Never replace the pepperstand that you have knocked over, or 
you will be disappointed. 

7741. Spilling black pepper is the sign of a quarrel. 

7742. When pepper is spilled, you can avoid a quarrel by mixing a pinch 
of salt with the pepper and throwing it over your left shoulder. 



EATING AND DRINKING 

7743. Eat bananas to grow tall. 

7744. Beans cause flatulence, hence they are vulgarly known as "wind 
fruit." 

7745. Alwayai blow the foam off your glass of beer for luck. 

7746. "Beer is always better when drunk out of a can. Try it." 

7747. "If a person wants to drink a lot of beer and don't want to get 
drunk, if they will eat some butter before they start to drinking, 
the beer will not make them sick." 

7748. Eat something when you drink beer and you will never become 
drunk. 



388 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

7749. The person who takes the last biscuit must kiss the cook. 

7750. If a person shts down to eat without first saying the blessing, his 
food will not please him. 

7751. To take the last piece of bread means bad luck. 

7752. To drop a piece of bread while eating it, signifies that someone is 
coining hungry. 

7753. A loaf of bread breaking in two while you are cutting it is an 
unlucky sign. 

7754. If a woman cuts bread into thick slices, she will be a good step- 
mother. 

7755. Breaking your bread into crumbs at the table will bring you 
fMDverty. 

7756. You will be unluck}% if you break bread in someone's hand. 

7757. If anyone begins to break the bread which you are passing to 
him, set the plate down immediately, or you will lose his 
friendship. 

7758. Someone will come hungry, if you take two pieces of bread at a 
helping. 

7759. To reach for a piece of bread, when you already have some on 
your plate, means that a hungry friend is coming to see you. 

7760. Two persons reaching for bread at the same time indicates! the 
coming of a hungry visitor. 

7761. "Never cut hot bread, for if you do, it is cutting Jesus' heart." 

7762. You can learn to whistle by eating bread crusts. 

7763. Eat burnt bread and you will be able to whistle. 

7764. Eating bread crusts will give you rosy cheeks. 

7765. Eat "lots" of bread and it will put hair on your chest, that is, 
make you strong and healthy. 

7766. To serve yourself bread and butter when you already have them 
means that a hungry guest is coming. 

7767. When a piece of bread falls, the buttered side to the floor, expect 
a hungry visitor. 

7768. Soak a Good Friday hot cross-bun in water until soft; then dry 
and wrap it up in something. Preserve this bun and you will have 
good luck all year. 

7769. Breaking a piece of cake in another person's hand is unlucky. 

7770. If a piece of butter falls under a chair, the automobile will be 
stolen that day. 

7771. Never tip your chair back while eating at the table; it will bring 
you bad luck. 

7772. A good cheese must be ripened in a manure pile. 

777 Z. The unpleasant odor in some varieties of cheese comes from the 
manure pile in which they were ripened. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 389 

7774. If a person eats cheese for breakfast, it is gold; for dinner, it is 
silver; and for supper, it is lead. 

7775. Eat cherries for brain food. 

7776. Eating the heart of a chicken is lucky. 

7777. Sauerkraut should be eaten for luck on Christmas. 

7778. Pork and black-eyed peas for Christmas dinner will bring you 
luck throughout the coming year. 

7779. Worms in the apples give cider a good flavor, 

7780. It brings bad luck to leave anything in a cup or glass after a meal. 

7781. Stirring coffee v^^ith a fork will cause bad luck. 

7782. If you leave any coffee in your cup, even a few drops, you will 
cry later. 

7783. You will have trouble and worry for a week, if you upset a cup of 
coffee. 

7784. If you can skim the bubbles off your coffee and swallow them 
before they burst, you will get some money. 

7785. If you can sip the bubbles off your coffee, you are sipping money. 

7786. To drink a small bubble off your coffee means that you will receive 
a small sum of money. 

7787. Drinking a large bubble off your coffee will bring you a large 
sum of money. 

7788. When pouring coffee into a cup, if the bubbles collect in a circular 
form and you can drink them before they break, you will be rich. 

7789. Drink the bubbles that arise to the surface, after you have dropped 
sugar into your coffee, and you will drink money. 

7790. If you can count all the bubbles on your coffee before they disap- 
pear, you will receive some money. 

7791. Count the bubbles on the surface of your coffee and you will get 
a dollar for each bubble. 

7792. Failing in your efforts to capture the bubbles on your coffee 
means that you will lose money. 

7793. "I would not drink out of a bottle for anything after someone 
has taken some out and then put it back, for I think it very bad 
luck." 

7794. Spilling liquor on your clothes is a sign that you will get drunk. 

7795. A drunken man never hurts himself. 

7796. To be the last one eating at a table means that you will live the 
longest. 

7797. Stand for ten minutes after you have eaten and before you do 
anything, and you will always be lucky. 

7798. To reduce weight, every morning before breakfast eat an egg 
which has been boiled a half hour. 



390 Memoirs of the Abna Egan Hyatt Foundatioti 

7799. Never go in swimming- or take a bath immediately after eating; 
it will make you sick. Always wait an hour. 

7800. Some people believe that a negro will not eat anything sweet in 
the morning until he has had a piece of fat meat, 

7801. Fish is good for the brain. 

7802. If anyone eats fish and ice cream while drinking whiskey, the 
combination will kill him. 

7803. To eat fish and drink milk at the same meal will make you sick. 

7804. Eat a lemon when you swallow a fish bone and it will dissolve 
the bone. 

7805. "One day a woman ordered some finnie haddie fish (fimmn 
haddie) at the Hotel Quincy and the colored waiter said, 'Lady, 
did you ever eat any of that fish before ? Do you know it always 
makes a woman sick?' She said, 'What is wrong with you? I am 
ordering finnie haddie fish.' The waiter brought it to her, and 
before she was through eating she took sick and had to leave the 
table, and almost died that night with running off of the bowels." 

7806. To drop food while you are eating means that someone else 
desired it. 

7807. If three persons drink out of the same glass without rinsing the 
glass each time it is used, they will have bad luck. 

7808. Cook black-eyed peas on Good Friday for luck. 

7809. Navy beans should be cooked for luck on Good Friday. 

7810. If two persons shake hands across the table, one of them will 
break the friendship immediately. 

7811. Helping yourself to something which you already have on your 
plate indicates that someone will come hungry. 

7812. When at the table you serve yourself something that you already 
have, expect a hungry visitor. 

7813. "Some people say we should eat horse meat instead of a cow, 
because a cow has a split hoof." 

7814. Eat horse-radish only in the months that have the letter "R." 

7815. Never eat ice cream and cucumbers at the same meal. 

7816. If you eat ice cream and drink beer at the same meal, they will 
kill you. 

7817. To sober a person who is drunk, give him the juice of two 
lemons. 

7818. "If you eat lots of mustard it will turn your insides yellow." 

7819. If someone accidentally knocks a napkin oflF your lap, do not use 
it, for it will bring you bad luck. 

7820. When someone accidentally knocks a napkin off your lap, pick it 
up and shake it. This is shaking out the trouble. Then get yourself 
a clean napkin and you will have good luck. 



Folk-Lore from Adams Comity Illinois 391 

7821. If you fold your napkin after a meal at which you are a guest, 
you will never be invited there again. 

7822. Always have food cooked in your house on New Year's Day, or 
you will lack something to eat before the year is out. 

7823. On New Year's Day cook some article of food that swells and 
your pocketbook will be swollen all year. 

7824. Cook white beans on New Year's Day and you will not be "broke" 
during the year. 

7825. Eat cabbage on New Year's Day and you will have plenty to eat 
all year. 

7826. Fry cabbage for breakfast on New Year's Day and you will have 
money all year. 

7827. The person who eats cabbage on New Year's Day will not be 
without money during that year. 

7828. Have a head of cabbage in your house on New Year's Day and 
you will be successful all year. 

7829. Boil a head of cabbage on New Year's Day and serve it cut in 
four equal pieces, and you will have gold all year. 

7830. Eating cabbage and pork on New Year's Day will bring you 
money. 

7831. One must eat fish on New Year's Day to have luck for the coming 
year. 

7832. To have money throughout the year, eat herring on New Year's 
Day. 

7833. Eat herring at midnight on New Year's Eve and you will have 
money all year. 

7834. If you eat hog head on New Year's Eve at midnight and hold a 
piece of money in your pocket, you will have money in your 
pocket all year. 

7835. Black-eyed peas and hog jowl eaten on New Year's Day will 
bring you good luck all year. 

7836. Eat rice on New Year's Day and you will have silver all year. 

7837. At midnight on New Year's Eve eat sauerkraut and you will have 
money all year. 

7838. Serve sauerkraut for dinner (midday meal) on New Year's Day 
and you will have luck all year. 

7839. To overcome a dislike for olives, you must eat seven of them, 

7840. You will never like olives until you have eaten nine of them. 

7841. Eating onions nourishes the marrow of the bones. 

7842. Oysters are not good to eat except in a month that has the letter 
"R" in its name. 

7843. If two persons cross hands while passing something at the table, 
they will quarrel. 



392 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

7844. If a piece of pie on the table has its point toward you, you will 
have good luck. 

7845. What you have eaten will not be fattening, if you have pineapple 
for a desert. 

7846. Always keep a seat for the unexpected guest, because some day 
you might entertain an angel in disguise. 

7847. Never change places at the table ; it will bring bad luck. 

7848. "Pork is poison because it came from a Jew, meaning a Jew was 
turned into a hog." 

7849. "If you eat raw potatoes, you are evil and hate everything 
you see." 

7850. Taking the last potato from the plate indicates that a hungry 
person is coming. 

7851. When reaching across the table, if your two arms form a cross, 
you will quarrel that day. 

7852. If at the table two persons reach for the same thing at the same 
time, they will be together for another year. 

7853. Two persons reaching simultaneously for the same thing at the 
table is a sign of bad luck. 

7854. A fat person can reduce his weight by eating rhubarb and lemons. 

7855. Worms in the cabbage used will give sauerkraut a good flavor. 

7856. Drink a bottle of soda into which you have dropped an asperin 
and it will make you drunk. 

7857. Always eat something green on St. Patrick's Day for luck. 

7858. Spilling sugar will bring you a disappointment. 

7859. It is a sign of company to find tea leaves in a cup of tea. 

7860. Finding tea leaves in your cup of tea means that you will receive a 
present soon. 

7861. If the tea leaves in your cup float to the surface while you are 
drinking, look for company. 

7862. Using cream in hot tea will kill you. 

7863. If at a party a person leaves a few drops of wine in his glass, 
after he has drunk a toast, he will quarrel with one of the guests 
before departing. 

7864. It is unlucky to eat tomatoes before they are in season. 

7865. Drink tomato juice when intoxicated and it will sober you. 

7866. It is unlucky to drop a toothpick. 

7867. To overturn the toothpick holder is the sign of a quarrel. 

7868. Each vegetable and fruit is good for some part of the human body. 

7869. Pouring water into a glass that is already filled indicates a quarrel 
with your mother-in-law. 

7870. You will have trouble, if you pour water into your glass when it 
already contains some. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 393 

7871. If someone's glass contains water and you add more, it is a sign 
of bad luck. 

7872. If you drink water quickly, it will make you fat. Avoid this by 
sipping water slowly. 

7873. Drinking water with your meals will make you fat. 

7874. Drink well water and the minerals in it will make you tall. Some 
say, without being able to specify the names of the minerals, that 
this must be a certain kind of water. 

7875. Stand on your head while drinking a glass of water and you will 
have good luck. 

7876. "If you go to a spring and the water is right cold and blue, don't 
drink it; it is poison." 

7877. Eating in a water-closet will bring bad luck. 

7878. Drink good whiskey all week and buttermilk on Sunday for luck. 

7879. The child who drinks whiskey will never grow. 

7880. "An old saying is, if you drink whiskey all the time, it will kill 
you; but I know a man here in town who drinks whiskey every 
day for eighty-six years and is still living." 



PREPARATION OF FOOD AND DRINK 

FIRE 

COOKING AND BAKING 

CHURNING-SAUERKRAUT MAKING-WINE MAKING 

7881. If you start a fire and it goes out, expect bad luck. "One 

morning I built a fire in the kitchen stove, then went in the sitting 
room to build one. When I came back in the kitchen my fire was 
out. That day at work I was cutting timber and almost cut my 
foot oflf." 

7882. It is unlucky if your fire dies out before its fuel is consumed. 

7883. Stir a fire with a broom and bad luck will befall you. 

7884. Playing with fire will cause you bad luck. 

7885. Drop salt down a chimney that is ablaze and the fire will subside. 

7886. Never burn sassafras wood inside the house; it will bring bad 
luck. 

7887. Bad luck can be kept away from the household by burning alum 
within the house. 

7888 A spark flying from a fire foretells visitors. 

7889. To have a fire roar (sing or pop) is the sign of a family quarrel. 

7890. "I never cook white beans unless I drop three negro toe rocks 



394 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

(small black rocks) in them to cook. It makes them so much better. 
You can always go out and pick them up out of the gravel. And 
I never use the same three rocks over three times." 

7891. If you bum beans, take them off the stove and put the pan in cold 
water. This will remove the burnt taste. 

7892. Boiling-beef will cook twice as quickly if you put a little vinegar 
in the water. 

7893. A woman who burns anything that is to be eaten will want food 
before she dies. 

7894. Lay a heel of hard bread on the lid of the pan in which cabbage 
is cooking and there will not be any odor in the house. 

7895. During her monthly sickness a woman cannot make good candy. 
It will not get hard. 

7896. Stick two nails into a tough chicken while it is cooking and this 
will make the fowl tender. 

7897. "If you are cooking a chicken and it is very greasy, drop a red 
ai3ple in the pot and the grease will all go to that red apple." 

7898. Burn your coffee and you will have bad luck. 

7899. To spill coffee while making it is a sign of good luck. 

7900. If when making coffee the cook forgets to put the lid of the 
coffeepot down, there will be company at the next meal. 

7901. If you want a soft-boiled tgg, sing the first stanza of "Nearer 
My God to Thee," and the tgg will be ready to serve. 

7902. Hold a pin in your mouth while grating horse-radish and your 
eyes will not water. 

7903. Jelly made on a rainy day will be cloudy. 

7904. To make tough meat tender, lay it in strong vinegar water for a 
few minutes just before cooking. 

7905. Meat or vegetables will be tender, if you drop two nails into the 

pan in which they are cooking. "I always keep two nails and 

put them in everything I cook to make it tender. I have a pot of 
white beans on the stove now and have two nails in them. I could 
not cook without my nails." 

7906. Keep a piece of bread in your mouth while peeling onions and 
your eyes will not water. 

7907. Your eyes will not be bothered by the onions if when peeling 
them you hold a fork in your mouth. 

7908. If you are peeling onions, stick a needle into your dress near the 
shoulder and you will not shed tears. 

7909. To prevent crying as you pare onions, keep a pin in your mouth. 

7910. You can avoid weeping by holding a potato in your mouth while 
}:>aring onions. 

7911. Your eyes will not water, if you place a small potato on the end 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 395 

of your knife while peeling onions. The onion fumes will go into 
the potato. 

7912. Begin at the root of the onion and peel upwards to keep from 
shedding tears while peeling onions. 

7913. Holding a toothpick in your mouth while paring onions will keep 
your eyes from watering. 

7914. The fumes from an onion will not get into your eyes, if you peel 
the onion upside down. 

7915. Peel onions under water and your eyes will not be troubled by 
the fumes. 

7916. If a woman preserves pickles during her monthly sickness they 
will spoil. 

7917. "If a pregnant woman makes pickles, they will turn out to be soft 
every time." 

7918. The cook who burns potatoes while they are on the stove will have 
bad luck. 

7919. To have good preserves, they must be made in the light of the 
moon. 

7920. "If you don't want to stir your rice when it is cooking, put three 
or four marbles in the pan; and when the water gets hot, the 
marbles will start to moving and keep moving through the rice so 
you don't have to stir it. When the rice is done, the marbles will 
come to the top of the pan." 

7921. Sausages will not crack or break, if you leave the lid off the pot. 

7922. "If you are cooking something and get too much salt in it, just 
lay a wet dish rag on the lid and all the salt will go into that 
dish rag." 

7923. Never cook with anything sour during your monthly sickness ; it 
will spoil. 

7924. A woman who is menstruating will be successful in cooking any- 
thing that is sweet. 

7925. A watched teakettle or pot never boils. 

7926. Let a teakettle boil and you will boil away your friends. 

7927. To prevent lime from settling in the teakettle, always keep a 
marble in the teakettle. 

7928. Spilling vinegar is the sign of a quarrel in the family. 

7929. A barrel of vinegar will spoil, if it is touched by a woman during 

her monthly sickness. "My mother would never let any of us 

near the vinegar or sauerkraut barrel when we were menstruating. 
Said they would spoil." 

7930. Vegetables or fruit will spoil, if they are preserved while a woman 

has her monthly sickness. "A neighbor on the block with 

Mrs, S. ordered two bushels of tomatoes last week, and she 



396 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

became sick ; so she sent them back, because the old saying is, the 
fruit will spoil." 

7931. Vegetables that grow under the ground will cook better, if you 
keep the lid on the pot while they are cooking. 

7932. Always leave the lid off the pot when cooking vegetables that 
grow on top of the ground. 

7933. The water in the pan should be boiling, before you put in it 
vegetables that grow underground. 

7934. Vegetables that grow aboveground must be put in a pan of cold 
water when they are set on the stove. 

7935. "I was cooking white beans several weeks ago and a neighbor 
came in and said, 'O, are you cooking beans? I am too, so I will 
throw mine away, for I would not eat them for anything; for 
it will bring bad luck, if two people cook the same thing in the 
same house on the same day'." 

7936. The two women who bump into each other while preparing a meal 
will work together next year at the same time. 

7937. Set your bread before the sun comes up so that the bread will rise 
with the ascending sun. 

7938. Always bake bread in the morning and it will rise as the sun 
comes up. 

7939. Never bake bread after sunset or the bread will sink. 

7940. Bake cake in the morning and it will rise as the sun rises. 

7941. A cake baked in the afternoon will sink with the setting sun. 

7942. Icing for a cake will not be any good, if it is made on a cloudy 
day. 

7^43. Stir a cake away from you and you stir away bad luck ; that is, 
you will be lucky. The opposite is said to be true, that you will 
stir good luck away from you ; in other words, you will be unlucky. 

7944. Stirring bread towards you will cause you bad luck. 

7945. If you stir a cake two different ways, the cake will fall. 

7946. A cake will fall, if two or more persons stir it. 

7947. A woman who is menstruating cannot make a good cake. 

"Mrs. C. told me she would not think of making bread or a cake, 

if she was sick; for it would not be good." Another person 

said: "If a girl makes a cake during her monthly sickness, it will 
be a flop." 

7948. If the yeast used in making bread is carried across water, the 
bread will not rise. 

7949. Never thank a person who gives you yeast; the bread will fail 
to rise. 

7950. Putting too much soda in the bread dough means that you will 
soon have company. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 397 

7951. Bread or cake rising and then falling suddenly is a bad omen. 

7952. It signifies an increase in the family, if bread cracks open while 
baking. 

7953. The woman who cuts bread dough with a knife will always be 
poor. 

7954. You can make a cake rise by laying on top of the stove the tgg 
shells used. 

7955. Never bum the tgg shells used in making a cake until the cake 
has risen; if you do, the cake will not rise. 

7956. Hold against your nose a loaf of bread as soon as you take it 
from the oven; and if the loaf does not burn your nose, the 
bread is done. 

7957. To ascertain whether a loaf of bread is done, hold your face 
against the bottom of the loaf; if it bums your face, the bread 
is done. 

7958. It is very unlucky to turn upside down a loaf of bread that you 
have just removed from the oven. 

7959. To drop a biscuit when taking the pan from the oven means that 
someone is coming hungry. 

7960. The baker who burns bread will be compelled to pick the same 
amount of bread out of hell-fire after death. 

7961. If you burn anything that can be eaten, you will have to pick it out 
of hell-fire when you die, 

7962. To bum bread while baking it means a disappointment, 

7963. If you burn bread when baking it, you will go hungry or come 
to want before you die. 

7964. You commit a sin when you bum bread while baking, 

7965. If you burn pastry dark, someone with dark eyes is coming. 

7966. When butter will not come, stick a hot poker into the churn. 

7967. An old negro woman said that when she was a girl and butter 
failed to come, she would repeat the following rhyme by the hour : 

"Come butter come, 

Come butter come, 

Peter's waiting at the gate. 

Waiting for butter and cake. 

Come butter come 

I used to carry marks on my hands for weeks, if I would get tired 
of churning, mother whipped me so hard." 

7968. It used to be a saying that Germans always made an extra barrel 
of sauerkraut for medicine . 

7969. You may obtain good sauerkraut by making it in the sign of the 
"feet." 



398 Monoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

7970. Sauerkraut made in the sign of the Fishes will be soft and 
tasteless. 

7971. Sauerkraut will be excellent if made in the sign of the "fish" and 
when the moon is dark or on the wane. 

7972. If you make sauerkraut in the dark of the moon, the brine will 
sink to the bottom of the barrel and remain there ; and the sauer- 
kraut will rot. 

7973. The best time to make sauerkraut is in the light of the moon. 

7974. Sauerkraut will taste better, if it is tamped into the barrel with 
the bare feet. 

7975. Sauerkraut will spoil if a menstruating woman touches or even 
approaches the barrel. 

7976. If you are cooking sauerkraut, drop an unpeeled apple into the 
pan and there will not be any odor in the house. 

7977. You will always have good wine, if it is made in the light of the 
moon. 

7978. Make wine on a cloudy day and the wine will be cloudy. 

7979. To have clear wine, make it when the weather is clear. 

7980. New wine will sour, if it is put in old bottles. 



SOAP MAKING-CLEANING DISHES-DISH RAG 

GARBAGE-REMOVING ASHES-SCRUBBING 
WASHING CLOTHES-IRONING-BED MAKING 

7981. "If you want to have good soap, make it in the full of the moon 
and your pot will be just full of soap." 

7982. Soap made during the full moon will be thick. 

7983. If you boil soap in the dark of the moon, it will not thicken. 

7984. Your soap will be "nice and thick," if it is boiled in the dark of 
the moon. 

7985. Soap will decrease while you are making it in the dark of the 
moon ; and when the boiling is finished, there will not be any soap 
left in the kettle. 

7986. Soap cooked in the dark of the moon will not shrink after it is cut. 

7987. Cook soap in the light of the moon and it will be thin. 

7988. Never make soap when the moon is light ; the soap will shrink 
after it is cut. 

7989. Soap made on a cloudy day will turn to lye. 

7990. To secure good soap, it must be boiled during fair weather. 
799L You can have excellent soap by boiling it in March snow water. 
7992. It is unlucky to drop a dish towel. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 399 

7993. Letting a tea towel fall is the sign of company. 

7994. If a tea towel drops to the floor, you will get a letter. 

7995. Dropping a dish rag on the floor is a sign of company. 

7996. If you do not w^ant company to come, after letting a dish rag fall 
to the floor, step backwards over the dish rag. 

7997. To keep company from coming, when you let a dish rag drop, pick 
up the dish rag and shake it. This will shake away the company. 

7998. When a dish mop drops, it means unexpected guests. 

7999. If a dish rag falls from your hand, you will have a male visitor. 

8000. To drop a dish rag signifies that a preacher is coming. 

8001. If a dish rag stays together when it falls, a man will call on you. 

8002. If a dish rag spreads out when it drops, you may expect a woman. 

8003. A dish rag dropping to the floor indicates that someone who is not 
"dressed up" will come. 

8004. After a dish rag has fallen, look for the arrival of a "no account 
person." 

8005. If a dish rag is dropped, someone dirtier and slouchier than, you 
will soon appear. 

8006. "Drop a dishcloth on the floor, 
Expect a bum at your door." 

8007. When a dish rag falls to the floor, it means that an old hag 
will come. 

8008. If a fallen dish rag leaves a wet spot on the floor, someone dirtier 
than you is coming; and he will wet on the floor. 

8009. You may expect a female visitor if a fallen dish rag leaves a wet 
spot on the floor. 

8010. If a wet dish rag falls to the floor and does not leave a spot, a 
man is coming. 

8011. Someone hungry will come after you have dropped a dish rag. 

8012. It signifies a hungry guest before the next meal, if a dish rag 
falls to the floor. 

8013. If a dish rag does not open when it falls, you will have good luck. 

8014. It is a sign of bad luck for a dish rag not to open when it drops 
to the floor. 

8015. It is unlucky to touch anyone with a dish rag. 

8016. Steal someone's dish rag and keep it for luck. 

8017. When you are having bad luck, you can break the spell by boiling 
a dish rag in dirty water. 

8018. Drying two dishes at once means that you are doubling your 
troubles. 

8019. Washing your sugar bowl on Sunday night signifies that you will 
have a houseful of company. 

8020. Forgetting to wash a skillet indicates a guest at the next meal. 



400 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

8021. Never let your dishwater boil; it will cause family quarrels. 

8022. You will scald the fairies if you empty dishwater out the back 
door at night. 

8023. Do not throw away your used coffee grounds, but bum them for 
luck. 

8024. I f on New Year's Day you throw anything out of the house, such 
as coffee grounds, dishwater and ashes, it will bring you bad luck 
all year. 

8025. Your own bones will ache if you burn bones on the fire. They 
must be thrown away. 

8026. Bury fish bones instead of throwing them away, and you will 
be lucky. 

8027. "I never throw tgg shells out. I always burn them so I won't 
have any trouble." 

8028. Letting onion peelings lie about is unlucky. Burn them for luck. 

8029. You will have bad luck if you drop onion peelings on the floor. 
To avoid this, pick up the peelings immediately and burn them. 

8030. Always burn your used tea leaves for luck. 

8031. If you brush the crumbs off the table onto the floor, you will 
always be poor. 

8032. Shaking your tablecloth outdoors after dark will cause you bad 
luck. 

8033. Empty your garbage can after dark and you will be unlucky. 

8034. Do not shake your rugs after dark or you will shake away your 
luck. 

8035. Emptying ashes outdoors after dark will bring trouble to the 
house. 

8036. If you take ashes out of the house after four o'clock on Friday 
you will have bad luck. 

8037. It is unlucky to remove the ashes on Christmas Day. 

8038. "I would not take up ashes on New Year's Day for anything, 
for I think it is the worst thing you can do; for it brings you 
such bad luck." 

8039. "I said to a woman one day, 'What a nice clean kitchen you have.' 
She said, 'When I get up in the morning I never throw the cham- 
ber outdoors. I always empty it on the floor and take a broom 
and scrub ; and that is why it is so nice and white, my floor'." 

8040. Scrub the floor on New Year's Eve at midnight and you will be 
prosperous throughout the year. 

8041. It is unlucky to step on a mop handle. 

8042. Pick up a mop as soon as you drop it, for if someone steps over it, 
you will have bad luck. 

8043. If you spill water on the floor, never wipe it up by pushing a mop 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 401 

or a rag around with your foot. Get down on your knees and 
wipe it up, or there will be a serious quarrel in your family. 

8044. "If you wash on Monday, 
You have all week to dry. 
If you wash on Tuesday, 
You are not so much aware. 
If you wash on Wednesday, 
You wash for shame. 

If you wash on Thursday, 
You are not so much to blame. 
If you wash on Friday, 
You wash for need. 
If you wash on Saturday, 
O you are sluts indeed." 

8045. Never do your washing on Friday; you will be unlucky. 

8046. "Wash on Friday, wash in need, 
Wash on Saturday, a slut indeed." 

8047. It is unlucky to hang out washing after dark. 

8048. "If you iron the hem of your old man's shirt, you will have bad 
luck." 

8049. The woman who irons the hem of her husband's shirt will iron 
away his money. 

8050. Iron the hem of a man's shirt and it will make him bad-tempered. 

8051. If the tail of the back of a man's shirt is ironed, it will make him 

cross. "Mjy mother used to work for a woman years ago 

and she would not let my mother iron the back of her husband's 
shirt. Said it would make him cross, for whenever she forgot 
and ironed the back of his shirt, he was always cross." 

8052. Ironing the back of a man's shirt means that he will not live to 
wear out the shirt. 

8053. It causes bad luck to button a man's shirt after it has been ironed. 

8054. Never iron the bed sheets or you will be unlucky. 

8055. You will have bad luck, if you iron on Sunday. 

8056. Always clean the bed in the dark of the moon and it will never 
harbor bedbugs. 

8057. Putting sheets wrong side out on the bed is the sign that you 
will soon move. 

8058. After you have begun to make a bed, never stop to do something- 
else or you will have bad luck. 

8059. You will be lucky all day if you make your beds early in the 
morning. 

8060. If a woman makes her beds in the morning, it shows that she is 
a good housekeeper. 



402 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Fowidation 

8061. The woman who makes her beds at noon is a lazy housekeeper. 

8062. Two persons making the same bed together will have bad luck. 

8063. If two persons make a bed together, they will soon quarrel. 

8064. Not making the bed on Sunday will cause you bad luck. 

"I would not let my bed go unmade for anything on a Sunday. 
I make it the first thing when I get up to keep from having bad 
luck." 

8065. Turning a feather bed on Sunday is unlucky. 



SWEEPING AND BROOMS 

8066. "If you sweep after dark, 

You will bring sorrow to your heart." 

8067. To sweep after dark will bring trouble to the house. 

8068. Never sweep the kitchen after supper, whether daylight or dark, 

or you will sweep out all your money. "I used to work for 

a woman and she would not let me sweep after supper. She didn't 
care how much dirt was on the floor. Said it would sweep all her 
money away." 

8069. If you sweep after dark, you will sweep out the money made 
that day. 

8070. Sweep after dark and you will never be rich. 

8071. Sweeping after dark means that you will lose a friend. 

8072. You sweep away your best friend by sweeping after dark. 

8073. When you sweep after dark, you sweep away your friends and 
let your enemies in. 

8074. Your luck will be swept away, if you sweep your kitchen after 
sunset. 

8075. If you must sweep your kitchen after sunset, you can avert bad 
luck by burning the dirt. 

8076. Never sweep your kitchen early in the morning before sunrise, or 
you will be unlucky. 

8077. It causes bad luck to sweep a porch after dark. 

8078. Sweeping dirt over a doorstep after six o'clock in the evening 
will bring bad luck. 

8079. If dirt is swept out a door before sunrise, you may expect bad 
luck. 

8080. To sweep dirt out the door is the sign of a slovenly housekeeper. 

8081. Never sweep dirt out the front door; it will bring you bad luck. 

8082. Always sweep dirt out the back door or you will sweep away your 
best friend. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 403 

8083. It is unlucky to sweep dirt out a door at any time. Pick up the 
dirt and carry it outdoors for luck. 

8084. When a small child takes a broom and begins to sweep, company 
is coming-. 

8085. "If someone comes in to see you and you pick up a broom and go 
to sweeping in front of them, that is the sign they are not wanted 
and you want them to go home." 

8086. Do not sweep immediately after the departure of a guest or you 
will sweep him bad luck. 

8087. To brush your foot with the broom while you are sweeping will 
give you bad luck for a week. 

8088. "If you sweep in front of someone, you are sweeping them off 
the earth." 

8089. Sweeping under a chair upon which someone is sitting will make 
you unlucky. 

8090. If you sweep under someone while he is sitting on a chair, you 
are giving him bad luck. 

8091. Sweep under a person's feet while he is sitting on a chair and 
he will not grow any more. 

8092. The person under whose feet you sweep will always be poor. 

8093. Touching anyone with a broom while you are sweeping causes 

bad luck. An old colored woman said, "I will fight in a 

minute, if anyone touches me with a broom, for my mother 
always said it was bad luck." Another negro said, "My son will 
not stay in the house when I was sweeping. He will always get up 
and go in another room or outdoors." 

8094. The one who is hit by a broom will soon be arrested. "I was 

sweeping around a woman's chair and I accidentally hit her with 
the broom, and she was arrested before night." 

8095. Hitting someone with a broom means that he will go to jail 
before a week has passed. 

8096. If you hit a person with a broom just before he starts "uptown," 
he will have trouble before returning. 

8097. The person who is hit on the top of the head with a broom will be 
arrested. 

8098. When someone is hit with a broom, he should spit on the broom 
and take ten steps backwards. He will neither have bad luck nor 
be arrested. 

8099. It signifies bad luck, if you sweep under a bed on which someone 
is lying. 

8100. Sweep the top of a bed and you will have bad luck. 

8101. Dropping a broom while sweeping is the sign of a new carpet. 

8102. Letting the sweeping edge of a broom wear off at the two corners 



404 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

("run into a funnel," as one person said) will bring- you bad luck. 

8103. Keep the corners of your broom square or even for luck. 

8104. It is unlucky to sweep on Monday. 

8105. Sweep dirt out of the house on Friday and it will cause you 
bad luck. 

8106. If dirt is swept out of the house on Friday, the house will burn. 

8107. Bad luck will befall you all year, if you sweep on New Year's Day. 

8108. If you must sweep on New Year's Day, you can avert bad luck 
by not taking up the dirt. Leave it in a pile on the floor. 

8109. Sweeping on New Year's Day means that you will sweep out the 
money made during the coming year. 

8110. Burn up the rubbish when you sweep on New Year's Day and 
you will have money throughout the new year. 

8111. Sweep on the third day after Easter and you will have bugs in 
the house. 

8112. Never burn up a broom; it will bring you bad luck. 

8113. It is unlucky to borrow a broom. 

8114. If you must borrow a broom, take it without the owner's know- 
ledge, and you will not have bad luck. 

8115. Lending a broom will cause you bad luck. 

8116. If you hand a broom through a window to someone, you may 
expect bad luck. 

8117. It signifies bad luck, to carry a broom through the house from the 
front door to the back door. 

8118. Carry a broom under your arm for luck. 

8119. Carrying a broom over your shoulder will give you bad luck. 

8120. To set a broom in the corner with the brush up shows that you 
are an untidy housekeeper. 

8121. Let a broom rest with the straws up and you will be lucky. 

8122. To have good luck, place the broom on its handle in a corner. 

8123. Leaving a broom with its handle up will bring you bad luck. 

8124. Stand a broom on its handle and you will always be poor. 

8125. Lean a broom against a bed and you will be unlucky. 

8126. It is the sign of misfortune, to lay a broom on a bed. 

8127. Stepping over a broom is a sign of slovenliness. 

812-8. If you go to someone's house and have to step over a broom, it 
shows that the mistress of that household is an untidy housekeeper. 

8129. A broom dropping in front of the door means company before the 
day is over. 

8130. If you let a broom fall and do not step back over it immediately, 
someone dirtier than you will come. 

8131. To step over a broom will start a quarrel in the house. 

8132. Step over a broom and you will break your mother's back. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 405 

8133. The child who steps over a broom will get a whipping. 

8134. When a broom falls across the door, it indicates that you will 
walk on strange ground. 

8135. If you step over a broom you will be arrested. 

8136. If a broom falls in front of you and you step over it before 
picking it up, you will have a "bed of sickness." 

8137. Stepping over a broom will bring sorrow to your heart. 

8138. Stumbling over a broom handle will bring you good luck. 

8139. Always pick up for luck a broom that is lying on the floor or 
ground. 

8140. You will be unlucky, if you do not pick up a fallen broom at once. 

8141. Walking over a fallen broom will cause you bad luck. 

8142. To avert bad luck after you have walked over a fallen broom, 
step backwards across the broom. 

8143. It is a sign of good luck to have a broom drop in front of you. 

8144. If a broom falls as you are passing it, you will have bad luck. 

8145. It means bad luck, when a broom falls across the door. 



MOVING 

8146. On New Year's Eve sit on the floor with your back to the fire 
and kick off one of your shoes so that it will go over your shoulder. 
If the toe of the shoe points toward the stove, you will remain in 
the house another year; if it points toward a door or window, 
you will move before the end of the year. 

8147. If you do not hear a turtledove in the spring, you will not move 
that year. 

8148. When you hear the call of the first turtledove of spring, the direc- 
tion from which the sound comes will be the direction in which 
you will move. 

8149. If the first thing you hear in the morning is the cooing of a dove, 
you will soon move in the direction from which the sound is 
coming. 

8150. It is unlucky to move on Monday. 

8151. Friday is an unlucky day for moving. 

8152. Moving on Friday will bring sickness to the family. 

8153. You will have bad luck if you move on Saturday. 

8154. You will not remain long at the house into which you move on 
Saturday. It is also said that, "you will keep on moving." A 
woman who owns a house, said, "I will never let anyone move 
in my house on Saturday." 



406 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

8155. Move on Saturday and you will "break up" housekeeping before 
the year is gone. 

8156. The best day for moving is Sunday. 

8157. Moving on Sunday will cause bad luck. 

8158. Never move between two suns or you will have bad luck. 

8159. One should move during the full moon for luck. 

8160. "I would never move into a new house, if it was raining. I would 
always wait until the next day so I would stay in the new house." 

8161. "If someone moves on a rainy day and they get their bundle wet, 
they will not stay long, for a wet bundle doesn't lay long." 

8162. Helping a tenant move from your house will give you bad luck. 

8163. It is unlucky to move twice within the same month. 

8164. Move into a house where there has been trouble and you will have 

trouble. "A woman told me about a family that had had 

trouble in a house, the husband having lost his mind. This family 
moved and the house remained vacant a long time. When the next 
family moved in, the husband also lost his mind." 

8165. Never move back into a house where you once lived; you will 
have bad luck. 

8166. When you inspect a house with the idea of renting it, carry a 
broom under your arm for luck. 

8167. "I was renting a house from a woman and when she took me to 
the house to turn the keys over, she threw a broom into the house 
before we went in. I said, 'What is that for?' She said, 'So we 
will not fall out about the house'." 

8168. Do not sweep the old house after everything has been removed 
or you will have bad luck in the new house. One article should be 
left behind while you are giving the old house its final sweeping. 

8169. As you leave an old house for the last time, throw a broom over 
it and you will leave all your troubles behind. 

8170. To avert bad luck, throw a broom over the house out of which 
you are moving. 

8171. Let the broom be the last thing taken out of the house when 
you move. 

8172. While moving, carry the broom out of the house handle first for 
luck. 

8173. Taking the broom with you when moving will bring bad luck to 
the family. 

8174. Before moving out of the old house, send a broom and a loaf 
of bread to the new house for luck, 

8175. "Whenever you move, never put a broom on the wagon. Always 
let someone carry it that don't belong to the family, and when 
they get to the house pitch it over the gate for luck." 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 407 

8176. The first thing carried into a new house should be the broom. 

8177. Before taking anything into a new house, carry in a broom and 
stand it in a corner, 

8178. On going into a new house for the first time, take in the broom 
brush part forward for luck. 

8179. To secure good luck when moving, toss a broom through the 
window into the new house. 

8180. Throw a broom over the new house before you enter the front 
door. This will bring you good luck. 

8181. Carry a broom and fire shovel into the new house for luck. 

8182. Let the first things taken into a new house be a dollar and a Bible, 
and the members of your household will be wealthy and religious. 

8183. Just before going into a new house, open a Bible and lay it on 
the front doorstep; then pick up the Bible and enter the house. 
You will be lucky in that house. 

8184. Moving a cat is unlucky. 

8185. You will have three years of bad luck, if you move a cat. 

8186. "If you want to move a cat, when you move to another house, 
just before you go, take the cat out in the yard and throw a 
handful of salt over your left shoulder; and you can then move 
the cat without having any trouble. Whenever I move I always 
(take my cat up in my arms just before I am ready to start, go 
out in the yard and throw a handful of salt over my left shoulder 
to keep from having bad luck in the new house." 

8187. You can have good luck when you move into a new house by 
counting the corners of your room on the first day. 

8188. If you move eggs to a new house, you will be unlucky, 

8189. The first thing you carry into a new house should be something 
to eat, and you will always have food. 

8190. The first friend to make a visit after you have moved is supposed 
to bring you a cake so that life in the new house will always be 
sweet. Jezvish. 

8191. If the first thing you take into a new house is a basket of food, 
you will always be lucky and have plenty to eat, 

8192. On moving always leave something in the old house for luck, 

8193. To move a mop will cause you bad luck, 

8194. Never plant mustard after moving into a new house; it is very 
unlucky. Some say you must wait a year before planting mustard. 

8195. If an old woman who has lived for years in a house is moved to 
another neighborhood, she will not live long. 

8196. The day before moving, go to the new house and read Psalm 
LXII; and you will have good luck in that house. 



408 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

8197. To be lucky in a new house, let a priest bless it before you move 
there. 

8198. Before moving from an old house, scatter salt in the four comers 
of one of its rooms. This will make you lucky in your new home. 

8199. You will not have bad luck or sickness in your new home, if just 
before leaving the old house you sprinkle salt in each of its rooms. 

8200. A woman who moves without taking salt with her will have bad 
luck. 

8201. Take a sack of salt into the house first for luck. 

8202. Hang a bag of salt behind the kitchen stove in your new house 
and you will be lucky. 

8203. Carry salt and bread with you when moving and you will always 
have something to eat in your new home. Jewish. 

8204. You will always have good luck in a new house, if salt, pepper 
and sugar are carried there before you move. 

8205. Never let the first article carried into a new house be a stove ; it 
will cause quarrels in the family. 

8206. On moving into a new house, wear a bag of sulphur for luck. 

8207. To prevent disease and sickness in your new home, burn sulphur 
immediately after moving. 

8208. If you borrow something from a neighbor on the first day you 
move, you will never have any luck in the new house. 

8209. Soon after moving into a new home, have a "house warming" 
(party) for luck. 



COMPANY 

8210. "Never fail to offer refreshments to visitors who come to see you 
the first time, otherwise you may soon be at daggers points with 
them." 

8211. Strike a match and hold its head up straight, and it will bend in 
the direction from which you may expect your guests. 

8212. "One before breakfast. 
Brings three before night." 

8213. Company on Monday means that you can expect company every 
day during the week. 

8214. A visitor on Monday means visitors three days that week. 

8215. Never make a call on Monday morning; you will take bad luck to 
that house. 

8216. Always visit on Monday afternoon for luck. 

8217. If the first person to enter your door on Monday morning is a 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 409 

woman, she will bring you bad luck. As one person said, "She 
is a Joner (Jonah). Don't let her in." 

8218. Letting a woman into your house first thing on Monday morning 
will make you unlucky all week. 

8219. "My mother used to watch on a Monday morning and if she 
would see a woman coming in the yard first, she would go right 
out in the yard and sit down under a shade tree to keep her from 
sitting down in the house. It is all right if they sit in the yard, 
but don't let them in the house, if you want good luck." 

8220. If a "coal black" colored woman goes to a negro's home first thing 
on Monday morning, it is an omen of bad luck. 

8221. If a colored woman who is brown visits a negro home first thing 
on Monday morning, there will be a quarrel. 

8222. A negro man calling at the home of colored people first thing on 
Monday morning brings bad luck for the week. 

8223. If the first person to call at a negro's home on Monday morning 
is a white man, it foretells good luck for the rest of the week. 

8224. It is lucky to have a man as your first caller on Monday morning. 
The fairer the man the better the luck. 

8225. If the first person to visit your house on Monday morning is a 
man who enters and sits on a chair, you will have good luck. 

8226. "If a preacher comes to your house on Sunday just at noon, you 
had better cook sauerkraut; because if you don't, you will have 
trouble in your house the rest of the day." 

8227. "If you live close to a church, and cook chicken every Sunday, it 
will bring you bad luck ; and will soon draw a preacher around to 
your door." 

8228. Feed a stranger on Thanksgiving Day (last Thursday in Novem- 
ber) for luck. 

8229. It is unlucky to have a woman as the first caller on New Year's 
Day. 

8230. To have a woman as your first visitor on New Year's Day means 
bad luck for you all year. 

8231. "Years ago I knew a man that was in business, and a brunette 
woman came in his store the first thing on New Year's morning 
and he almost went broke. The next year he paid a blond man 
to come to his store the first thing on New Year's morning so he 
would have good luck and he done that for years." 

8232. A woman coming to your house first thing on New Year's Day 
means that you will have a visitor every day in the year. 

8233. A man with a dark complexion crossing your threshold soon after 
midnight on New Year's Eve will cause you good luck all year. 

8234. You will be lucky, if a man is the first person to visit you on New 



410 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

Year's Day. "This New Year's Day I went over and told my 

neighbor to send her son over to my house the first thing so I 
would have good luck all this year, and she did." 

8235. A man as the first caller on New Year's Day will bring you luck 
for the whole year. 

8236. If your first caller on New Year's Day is a negro, it is a sign of 
bad luck. 

8237. You take bad luck to any house you visit on New Year's Day. 

8238. Never leave your house to make a call on New Year's Day or you 
will drive away all your luck. 



WALKING FORTH 
STEPPING OVER PERSONS AND STUMBLING 

8239. Never go through a swinging door and let it swing after you, or 
you will have bad luck. 

8240. Walking out of a door backwards is unlucky. 

8241. If you walk through a door backwards, there will be a "bed of 
sickness" in the house. 

8242. Do not pass anyone in a doorway ; it will cause you grief. 

8243. Bumping someone as you pass over a threshold will give you bad 
luck. 

8244. It is unlucky to knock on your own door. 

8245. When entering your house at night, count ten for luck before 
turning on the lights. 

8246. You may expect bad luck, if you enter a house through one door 
and leave by another door. 

8247. Going into a house through one door and departing by another 
door is the sign of good luck, provided you do not sit down in a 
chair while in the house. 

8248. The person who enters a house by one door and goes out through 
a different door brings bad luck to the house. 

8249. A stranger coming in one door and going away by another door 
will take your luck with him. 

8250. "One day a tramp came to our house and wanted something to 
eat. I let him in at the back door and not thinking, I let him out the 
side door, and he left his troubles behind; for my husband lost 
his job an hour after the tramp left." 

8251. If you enter a house by one door and use some other door on 
departing, you will leave your luck behind. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 411 

8252. On your first visit to a house, never go in one door and out 
another, or you will have bad luck. 

8253. It is a sign of bad luck to make your exit from a church through 
a door different from the one by which you entered. 

8254. A person who (on a first visit) goes in one door and departs by 
another will never return to that house. 

8255. Coming in one door and going out another means company. 

8256. Enter through one door and depart by another and you will have 
all your neighbors to the next meal. 

8257. If a man enters by the back door and uses the front door as an 
exit, your next visitor that day will be a man. 

8258. If a woman comes in through the back door and goes out by the 
front door, look for a woman as your next caller that day. 

8259. Always leave a house through the door by which you enter or you 
will eventually lose your mind. 

8260. If you permit guests to come and go by different doors, there will 
be a serious sickness in the house. 

8261. If on leaving home you have locked the door, never unlock the 
door to let someone in, or you will have bad luck. 

8262. To tiptoe in your house is the sign of approaching sickness. 

8263. "If you tell anyone good-by three times before leaving, you will 
get killed before you get back." 

8264. "I never tell anyone good-by when they leave my house. If you 
do, they will never come back to see you." 

8265. "If you watch a person out of sight, 
They will be back before night." 

8266. Never watch an automobile as it disappears when leaving the 
house ; it will bring bad luck to the one who is going away. 

8267. Watch a visitor out of sight and you will make him unlucky. To 
avoid this, and also to give him good luck, whirl around on your 
heel and walk back into the house just as soon as he starts away. 

8268. Do not look back at a house when you depart or you will have 
bad luck. 

8269. It is lucky to walk in the rain. 

8270. It is unlucky to pass in front of anyone without excusing yourself. 

8271. Stepping in the footsteps of someone who is walking ahead of you 
will cause bad luck. 

8272. Never let your toes touch the heels of the person who is walking 

in front of you or you will have bad luck. "Years ago I 

was walking with a man one day and his toes touched someone's 
heels that was walking in front of us, and he spit in the road and 
turned right around and went back home to keep from having 
bad luck." 



412 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

8273. To cross the street anywhere except at a crossing is unlucky. 

8274. It is the sign of bad luck, if you stop in the middle of a block and 
turn back. 

8275. Counting the bricks in the sidewalk as you walk will bring you 
bad luck. 

8276. You will be unlucky if you step on a crack in the sidewalk. 

8277. To step over a hole will give you bad luck. 

8278. It means bad luck, if you walk over a cellar door. 

8279. If you walk across a cellar door, say, "Bread and butter" 

to avert bad luck. 

8280. Walk across seven cellar doors and you will be lucky. 

8281. Walking under the head of a horse will give you bad luck. 

8282. It is a sign of bad luck to pass under a ring of smoke. 

8283. Pinch someone for luck when you see a red automobile. 

8284. Failing to pinch someone, when a red automobile is seen, will 
make you unlucky. 

8285. On seeing a red automobile, pinch someone and both of you will 
have good luck; but if the other person returns your pinch, it 
will cause you bad luck. 

8286. "I knew a man that said if he ever met anyone on the road with 
a birthmark he would always turn and go back, for God had 
marked that person for some bad reason, and he did not want 
bad luck." 

8287. If you walk in front of a crippled man, he will pass in front of 
you inside of an hour. 

8288. "I knew a man that would go back home every time he met a 
cripple, and would start all over so he would not have bad luck." 

8289. "If you see a person with a wooden leg, say, 'Surprise, surprise, 

surprise' then spit and turn away; and you will have a 

surprise sure." 

8290. "If a man passes a girl on the street and she looks at him and 
smiles before she speaks, he had better turn and go back home, 
for it's an old saying someone will rob him if he don't." 

8291. "If you encounter a sailor at night. 
Something will fill you with delight." 

8292. It is a bad omen to see a stake lying across your path. 

8293. If you meet a load of straw, go back home and sit down for five 
minutes or you will have bad luck. 

8294. When riding in the back of a truck, always face the direction in 
which the truck is moving or you will be unlucky. 

8295. To meet triplets anywhere is a good omen. 

8296. A colored person will be lucky if he meets twins, especially if 
they are a white boy and girl. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 413 

8297. If two persons walking down the street bump heads, they will 
be together next year at the same time. 

8298. It is unlucky for you "to cut in" between two persons who are 
walking. 

8299. If two persons are walking down the street and a third person 
passes between them, the first two persons will have bad luck. 

8300. A dog passing between two persons who are walking will cause 
bad luck. 

8301. Passing between two dogs is unlucky, 

8302. It means bad luck for the two persons who while walking let a 
dog run between them. 

8303. To have good luck, walk between two men. 

8304. Walking between two palm plants will give you bad luck. 

8305. If a snake crawls between two persons who are walking, they 
will have bad luck. 

8306. Pass between two women and bad luck will follow. 

8307. Two persons who allow some object to come between them while 
they are walking will soon quarrel. 

8308. To avert a quarrel foretold by letting some object come between 
them, the two persons should say, "Bread and butter." 

8309. If two persons while walking pass on different sides of an object, 
they will have bad luck. 

8310. When two girls while walking let some object separate them, they 
can avert bad luck by saying, "Your mother will break her back." 

8311. To prevent bad luck, two persons who have allowed some object 
to come between them while walking should say, "Bread and 
butter." 

8312. To keep from having bad luck after an object has come between 
you and another person, one of you must go back around the 
object, walking on the same side as your companion. 

8313. To frustrate the bad luck which is indicated, when two persons 
walk on different sides of a post or similar object, they should 
join hands. 

8314. "They say if you cross on the left side of a tree you should say, 
'Bread and butter' or you will be unlucky." 

8315. While walking with a person, never cross over and walk at his 
other side or it will cause bad luck. 

8316. When three persons are walking and one of them wants to move 
over to the other side, he should make a cross on the sidewalk 
with his foot to avert bad luck. 

8317. It is unlucky for four persons to walk abreast on the sidewalk. 

8318. To step over a person's feet will bring him bad luck, 

8319. The bad luck caused by stepping over someone's feet can be 



414 Memoirs of tJic Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

warded off, if you step back over his feet. 

8320. The one who steps over your feet is giving you bad luck. This 
can be cancelled, if he steps back over your feet. It will also make 
him lucky according to some people. 

8321. The person who steps over the feet of another person will be 
unlucky. 

8322. "If you are lying down on the floor and someone steps over your 
feet, they say that both of you will have bad luck." 

8323. Never step over anyone who is lying on the floor or you will 
cause a separation in his family. 

8324. If you step over someone's feet, you will have a "spell" of sickness. 

8325. To stump your toe is a sign of bad luck. 

8326. To counteract bad luck when you stump your toe, walk back over 
the object which caused you to stumble. 

8327. When you stub your toe, go back over the object and return suck- 
ing your thumb while holding the other hand behind your back. 

8328. If you break a toe-nail when you stub your toe, tie the nail with 
two stones in a rag and throw the latter over the house to prevent 
bad luck. 

8329. Stumping the toe of your left foot or stumbling with the left 
foot is unlucky. 

8330. It is a good omen, if you stumble with your right foot. 

8331. If you stub your toe or stumble when going somewhere, it shows 
that you will not be welcome there. 

8332. If you stumble while on an errand you will forget the purpose 
of your journey. 

8333. On stumbling in a street or road, hold your fingers crossed until 
you meet a person who passes without looking at you. Unless 
you do this, someone in your family will have bad luck within a 
few days. 

8334. Tripping over a shoe is a bad sign. 

8335. It is unlucky to stumble over a stone. 

8336. You can avert bad luck when you have stumbled over a stone by 
going back and kicking the stone out of the way. 

8337. Striking your foot on an empty package of "Lucky Strikes" 
(brand of cigarettes) is an omen of good luck. 

8338. To stumble and fall is unlucky. 

8339. If you fall when going on an errand, you must go home and start 
over again to keep from having bad luck. 

8340. It signifies bad luck, to stumble when going upstairs. 

8341. Passing anyone on the stairs will bring you bad luck; whether the 
two of you are going in the same or in opposite directions. 

8342. To count steps while walking up them will bring you bad luck. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 415 

JOURNEYS 

8343. The direction in which you hear the call of the first dove of spring 
is the direction towards which you will soon travel. 

8344. Touch your beauty spot and you will go on a visit. 

8345. Postpone a journey and you will never make it. 

8346. Bless your house when you leave it so that it will not burn down 
while you are gone. 

8347. To avoid danger while on a journey, wear a black agate with 
white veins. 

8348. A traveler may avert danger by writing Psalm XVI on a piece 
of paper and wearing it in the pit of the left arm. 

8349. When traveling alone at night pray Psalm CXXI seven times 
and you will be preserved from all accidents. 

8350. "Always put a mission medal (scapular) in your car and you will 
not have any wrecks." 

8351. If you come to a crossroad while traveling and see a buckeye 
lying on the right side of the road, pick it up; and you will be 
prosperous on your journey. 

8352. If at the beginning of a trip on water you accidentally drop your 
handkerchief into the water, let it fioat away and you will have 
good luck. Trying to retrieve the handkerchief will cause you 
bad luck. 

8353. "Whenever I take a trip I always take a small sack of salt in my 
suitcase so I will have a safe journey." 

8354. To carry wet clothes in your traveling bag or trunk is unlucky. 

8355. While visiting in another town, if you leave some of your clothes 
there, you will never go to that town again. 

8356. Hitting your right leg when traveling is the sign of good luck. 

8357. "A certain man told me, no matter if his mother had an engage- 
ment with someone, she would not go if she hit her left leg on 
the way. She would turn around and go home." 

8358. A trip begun on Monday will bring you bad luck. 

8559. Visit on Monday and you will visit every day that week. 

8360. It is unlucky to start a journey on Friday. 

8361. If you begin a trip on Saturday, you will soon return. 

8362. Start a journey on Friday and you will never return. 

8363. Beginning a trip on Saturday will cause misfortune. 

8364. The thirteenth of the month is unlucky for starting on a journey. 



416 Memoirs of flic Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

FORGETTING 
RETRACING ONE'S STEPS 

8365. Forgetting a person's name is unlucky. 

8366. To forget where you have hidden something will cause bad luck. 

8367. To do something and forget that you have done it means that 
you will cry before the end of the day. 

8368. If you forget what you were about to say, walk over the threshold 
and return, and you will remember it. 

8369. Tie a string around your finger so that you will not forget. 

8370. If you have forgotten anything and return home for it, you will 
have bad luck. 

8371. It is unlucky to retrace your steps, unlock the door, and enter the 
house for a forgotten article. 

8372. To go back to the house for something forgotten will be followed 
by a disappointment. 

8373. You can avert bad luck when retracing your steps by taking 
another road. 

8374. When you forget something and return to the house for it, take 
nine steps backwards and spit over your left shoulder. This will 
prevent bad luck. 

8375. "If I forget something, I always turn right around and walk 
backward ten steps so I will not have bad luck." 

8376. "If I forget something and go back, I always turn around on my 
heel three times for luck." 

8377. "If I forget something and go back, I always take my foot and 
make three marks in the ground." 

8378. "If I forget something, I always make seven marks with my foot, 
then spit in it to keep from having bad luck." 

8379. "If I forget something and want to go back, for good luck I 
always stop and make ten marks in the ground with my left foot, 
then spit on it, and I will not have bad luck." 

8380. To avert bad luck when you retrace your steps, make a cross with 
your left foot, count twelve, and then sit down and make a wish. 

8381. Bad luck can be prevented, when you return to the house for a 
forgotten article, if you make a cross in the road and spit on it. 

8382. "If you forget something and want to go back, stop right in the 
road and make a large cross and say, Tn the Name of the Father, 

Son and Holy Ghost don't let me have bad luck.' And then 

go back and it will be all right." 

8383. Keep spitting over your left shoulder while retracing your steps 
home and you will not be unlucky. 

8384. "If you forget something and go back, spit and rub your foot in 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 417 

it before you go in the house, to keep from having bad luck." 

8385. Spit three times before you enter the house, after retracing your 
steps, and bad luck will be averted. 

8386. Hold your two little fingers crossed while retracing your steps 
and you will not have bad luck. 

8387. To drive away bad luck, when you return home for a forgotten 
article, sit down before starting out again. 

8388. When you retrace your steps to the house, never sit down or you 
will have bad luck. 

8389. As soon as you reach the house, after retracing your steps, sit 
down and cross your two index fingers for luck. 

8390. On forgetting something and returning home, sit down and cross 
your feet to prevent bad luck. 

8391. "If I forget something, I always jump up taking my feet off the 
floor for good luck." 

8392. "If I start out and forget, and go back, I always sit down and 
make a wish so I will not have bad luck." 

8393. After retracing your steps, sit down, then get up and whirl around 
two times to avert bad luck. 

8394. To prevent bad luck when you go back home for something that 
you have forgotten, sit down, then get up and turn around three 
times. 

8395. To forget and return home for something will cause a disappoint- 
ment, unless you sit down, then get up and walk around the chair 
three times. 

8396. If you forget something and go back home, sit down and say a 
prayer for luck. 

83(97. When you have retraced your steps, sit down in a rocking-chair 
and rock without letting your feet touch the floor. This will 
prevent misfortune. 

8398. "If I forget something, I always go back and sit down and say, 
'Lord, don't let me have bad luck today' then go on." 

8399. Sit down and count three when you return to the house for some- 
thing forgotten, and you will not have bad luck. 

8400. Sit down and count six on retracing your steps, or you will be 
unlucky before you return to the house again. 

8401. Misfortune can be averted by counting six after you return to the 
house for a forgotten article. 

8402. When you forget something and go back for it, sit down and count 
seven for luck. 

8403. When something is forgotten and you return to get it, sit down 
and count seven backward to prevent bad luck. 



418 Memoirs of the Ahna Egan Hyatt Foundation 

8404. You may avert bad luck on retracing your steps for something 
forgotten, by counting nine, 

8405. Let the person who forgets something and returns for it sit down 
and count nine, then get up and turn around three times. This 
will avert bad luck. 

8406. "Whenever I forget and have to go back, I always take my hat 
off, lay it down and put it back on to keep from having bad luck." 

8407. The one who forgets something and goes back for it should take 
off his hat and count nine to prevent bad luck. 

8408. Sit down and count ten for luck, if you must return home for 
something forgotten. 

8409. Count ten before returning home for a forgotten article and you 
will not have bad luck. 

8410. If you count ten on your way back to the house to get something 
forgotten, you will not be disappointed. 

8411. Sit down and count ten for luck, if you must return home for 
something forgotten. 

8412. As soon as you enter the house, when you have retraced your 
steps, sit down in a chair and count ten for luck. 

8413. To avoid a disappointment caused by returning for something 
you have forgotten, sit down in a chair and count ten. 

8414. If something is forgotten and you return for it, sit down in a 
rocking-chair and count ten. 

8415. After you reach the house on returning for something forgotten, 
count ten several times to prevent bad luck. 

8416. "When I forget something, I always sit down and count thirteen 
so I will not have bad luck." 

8417. "If I forget something, I sit right down where I am and count 
fifteen ; then I go back and get it, and I don't have bad luck." 

8418. "If I forget something and go back I always count twenty." 

8419. "If I forget something and have to go back, I always sit down 
and count one hundred." 

8420. To return home after beginning a trip will bring you bad luck. 

8421. To retrace your steps after you have started on a journey means 
that you will have bad luck before you reach your destination. 

8422. To go back home after you have begun a journey and before 
reaching your destination that day, is a bad omen. 

8423. Retracing your steps three times when on a journey is a sign of 
misfortune. 

8-124. On leaving the house in the morning, if you go back you will be 
unlucky. To avert bad luck you must return three times. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 419 

8425. It signifies an accident, if you return to the house after beginning 
a journey. 

8426. To prevent an accident, after you have retraced your steps when 
on a journey, make a cross in the ground and spit on it. 



LETTERS AND STAMPS 

8427. If you write the same thing twice, the one to whom you are 
writing the letter is thinking about you. 

8428. Use both sides of the sheet when writing a letter and you will 
have bad luck. 

8429. "I never write a letter only on Thursday, for that is the best day ; 
for I always get what I want, if I write on Thursday." 

8430. Write a letter backwards, and if the person to whom this letter 
is addressed can read it, he will become wealthy. 

8431. If a letter arrives on Monday, you will receive two more that 
week. 

8432. A letter delivered at your house by mistake means that you will 
meet a stranger. 

8433. Getting a letter with the address on the wrong side of the envelope 
indicates that someone in your family will soon be missing. 

8434. It is lucky to receive a letter on which your address is written 
backward. 

8435. If a letter comes for you and you are not the first person to touch 
it, it is the sign that someone hates you. 

8436. To get a letter in which the writing is thin signifies misfortune. 

8437. When the writing in a letter that you have received is medium, 
you will have bad luck. 

8438. If you receive a letter in heavy writing, someone loves you. 

8439. It is the sign of bad news to receive a letter written with a shaky 
or unsteady hand. 

8440. To receive a letter in which the writing is not on the lines of the 
sheets, but crooked, foretells good news. 

8441. If you get a letter in which the writing is well-placed on the lines 
of the sheet, you will soon have money. 

8442. Tear up a letter and bury the pieces for luck. 

8443. "I knew a woman that always would bum her letters. I said to 
her one day, 'Don't you know to burn up letters will bring you 
bad luck?' And the very next day she fell and broke both of 
her legs." 



420 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

8444. Fold a letter into nine folds and put it in a glove. Sleep on the 
glove and you will dream of how to reply to the letter. 

8445. Finding a letter on the street is the sign of good news. 

8446. If a letter that you failed to stamp returns to you, you will soon 
be unfortunate. 

8447. Sticking a stamp upside down on an envelope is unlucky. 

8448. I f you paste the stamp upside down on the envelope, you will not 
receive a reply. 

8449. A stamp placed in its normal and proper position on the right side 
of an envelope means, "Write again." 

8450. A stamp pasted on the left side of an envelope signifies, "Do not 
write again." 

8451. A stamp put lengthwise on an envelope indicates, "Will wait for 
an answer." 

8452. If a girl pastes a stamp lengthwise on an envelope so that it points 
to the right, it expresses, "I want a kiss." 

8453. If a boy afixes a stamp lengthwise on an envelope so that it points 
to the left, it bears the message, "I want a kiss." 

8454. A stamp attached "katty cornered" across an envelope says, "I 
love you." 

8455. A stamp inverted on an envelope is a sign of love. 

8456. If a person receives a letter with the stamp upside down, the 
sender loves him. 

8457. A stamp inverted on a letter is the indication of a kiss. 

8458. The meaning of a stamp upside down on a letter is, "I hate you." 

8459. The significance of an inverted stamp on the letter is, "Do not 
answer," 

8460. If you place twenty-four cancelled postage stamps in an envelope 
and throw them out of a window during the morning, you will 
soon find something. 

8461. Save four hundred dollars worth of cancelled postage stamps 
and you will soon inherit four hundred dollars, 

8462. During the latter part of 1933 a "chain letter" fad appeared. The 
following specimen is self explanatory, and is given exactly as 
written, but the names of two cities and of two persons have 
been omitted to prevent identification : 

We trust in God. He supplies our needs, 

Mrs, F. Streuzel Mich. 

Mrs, A, Ford, Chicago 111. 

Mrs. K. Adkins, Chicago 111. 

Mrs. R. Arlington Ill, 

Mrs , Quincy Ill, 

Mrs , Quincy Ill, 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 421 

Copy the above names, omitting the first. Add your name 
last. Mail it to five persons who you wish prosperity to. 

The chain was started by an American Colonel and must be 
mailed 24 hours after receiving it. This will bring prosperity 
within 9 days after mailing it. 

Mrs. Sanford won $3,000 
Mrs. Andres won $1,000 

Mrs. Howe who broke the chain lost everything she pos- 
sessed. The chain grows a definite power over the expected word, 
DO NOT BREAK THE CHAIN 
See what happens on the 9th day. 
Hoping it brings you luck 
J. E. K. 



FINDING LOST OR STOLEN ARTICLES 

8463. When you lose an article, spit into the palm of one hand and then 
strike the spittle with the index finger of your other hand. The 
direction of the splash will indicate the location of the hidden 
article. 

8464. "I used to move so much when I was young. My brother said he 
never had any trouble of finding me, because when he got to the 
house, if I didn't live there, he would spit in his hand, strike the 
spit with his other hand, and watch the direction it went. Then 
he would start right out and find me." 

8465. If anything is lost, pray to St. Anthony and you will find it. 

8466. Pray to the saint for whom you were named to find a lost article. 

8467. ''This German woman back of us told me, if she mislaid anything 
and could not find it, she asked the Lord to help her; and He 
would put it right down in front of her. This same German 
woman lost a monkey wrench. She said, 'God, you know where 
that monkey wrench is, help me to find it.' The next day two 
little girls were playing out in the road and found a wrench. They 
brought it to the house and it was her wrench." 

8468. When you lose a marble, throw away another marble, watching 
where it goes ; and you can immediately walk to the first marble 
and pick it up. 

8469. Put a marble in a box and then throw the box away without 
looking. Search for the box later and you will find a boxful of 
marbles. A boy said, "The trouble is, you don't know where you 
threw it, and you never find the marbles you were to get." 



422 Memoirs of the Alnia Egan Hyatt Foundation 

8470. "I have tried this a lot of times. When I can't find just where 
the money is, I drop another pdece and it will roll right over to 
the other piece. Sometimes the money will stop on a crack in the 
floor. Then I know the money went down that crack." 

8471. To find a lost ring, carry a peach switch held tightly in your hands, 
and it will turn down when you walk over the hidden ring. 

8472. If someone steals something from you, bum bread, and the thief 
will be compelled to restore the article ; if not to you, then he must 
give it to another person, for he cannot keep it. 

8473. "If you miss anything about the house and you have suspicion of 
a woman that seems strange, take a glass of vinegar and place on 
the table and that party that took the thing will drink this vinegar. 
It will make them sick, and you will find out who took it." 

8474. "Someone took a gold ring from me and I took twelve sage leaves 
and wrote the name of each Apostle on them and put the twelve 
leaves in my shoes, and in several days the person that took my 
ring brought it back." 

8475. "If someone steals from you, the next morning go and burn a 
piece of bread real black and throw it away and whoever took 
anything from you can't keep it. It will come back." 

8476. "To know the thief who robbed you : Take sunflower seeds which 
you must gather in the sign of the Lion in the month of August. 
Wrap them up over a wolf's tooth, then take a bay leaf and wrap 
the tooth, then take the tooth and put it above your head, and 
you will see the thief." 

8477. "Take three pinches of bread, three pinches of salt, and three 
small portions of lard. Make three packages (like a prescription 
of powder) using one of each. Make a strong fire; lay all these 
packages on the fire and say : 

'I lay for the thief, bread, salt and lard 
Upon the flame, for thy sin is hard. 
I lay it upon thy lung, liver and heart, 
That thou may feel a bitter smart. 
It shall come upon thee need and dread, 
As it approaches a dire death. 
All veins shall in thy body burst. 
And cause thee pain and quenchless thirst. 
That thou shalt have no peace or rest. 
Till all the theft thou has returned, 
And place it where thou has taken the plunder, 
Or be caught by lightning and thunder'." 
Written contribution. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 423 

WORK 
FARMING-MINING-ACTING 

8478. "Take a piece of real hard bread and sew it up in a little bag and 
put that over your kitchen door. It will bring work to the house. 
Five years ago I took and put a piece of hard bread in a bag and 
put it over the kitchen door and my husband or I have had work 
all the time." 

8479. Wear red pepper in both your shoes when looking for work and 
you will find it. 

8480. If you are out of work, you can secure it by reading Psalm 
LXXXII. 

8481. To be successful in business, read Psalm LXXXII. 

8482. "If you are about to go on a business trip, read the sixty-fifth 
Psalm and keep in mind this name, Ji-he-ge, and you will get 
good results." 

8483. The best day of the week for starting any business is your 
birthday. 

8484. "A sporting woman always bums something on Monday in her 

house, and says when she does it it is to draw a crowd of 

men for her and trade will be good all the rest of the week." 

8485. Begin a piece of work on Friday and it will cause you bad luck. 

8486. A piece of work begun on Friday will not be successful. 

8487. If you begin a job on Friday and are unable to finish it that day, 
you will have bad luck. 

8488. Things begun on Friday are never finished. 

8489. Look for work on Friday and you will never remain in any posi- 
tion very long. 

8490. It is unlucky to work on Sunday. 

8491. Start work in a new position on Sunday and it will end badly. 

8492. What you gain by working on Sunday will be lost three times that 
week. 

8493. The person who works on Sunday will lose a day or two during 
the week. 

8494. Work on Sunday and you will be sick on Monday. 

8495. Anyone working on Sunday will be put in the moon. 

8496. Moving a bed around the room on Sunday will bring you bad luck. 

8497. If a person burns brush on Sunday, his body will burn when 
he dies. 

8498. Burn brush on Sunday and you will be put in the moon. 

8499. Once upon a time a man carried brush on Sunday and as a pimish- 
ment he was placed in the moon. That is why you can now see 
him in the moon, carrying brush. 



424 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

8500. It is also said that the man in the moon carries brush for hell-fire. 

8501. You will be unfortunate, if you' burn leaves on Sunday. 

8502. To burn paper on Sunday will make you unlucky. 

8503. If one hoes on Sunday, bad luck will follow. 

8504. It is said that years ago a man plowed on Sunday, and his hands 
stuck to the plow until Monday morning. 

8505. Chop wood on Sunday and you will be put in the moon. 

8506. Leave the woods as soon as you hear three strange sounds like 
timbers cracking, for something will surely happen. 

8507. If while chopping wood you accidentally cut a chip in the shape 
of a triangle, it is the sign of good luck. 

8508. If two persons bump heads while working, they will be working 
together in the following year. 

8509. Two persons clicking their hoes together while hoeing in the 
garden will again hoe side by side next year. 

8510. Two farmers striking pitchforks together while working in the 
field will work with each other next summer. 

8511. If rain falls on the day that the fanner begins his plowing, he 
will have a good harvest that year, 

8512. Plowing up a black snake at the beginning of the season indicates 
good luck for the farmer that year. 

8513. A striped snake plowed up early in the spring is the sign that the 
farmer will be unlucky that year. 

8514. When a farmer first starts to plow, if he plows up a soft-backed 
turtle, success for the year is assured. 

8515. A hard-shelled turtle plowed up at the beginning of the plowing 
season is the sign of misfortune for that year. 

8516. It is the sign of an accident, if a woman enters a mine. 

8517. The person who goes into a mine, when it is time for the miners 
to leave work, will never come out alive. 

8518. The light on a miner's cap going out as he enters the mine fore- 
tells his death within fifteen minutes. 

8519. Whistling in a coal mine will cause bad luck. 

8520. Any unusual noise heard in a mine is a bad omen. Get out at 
once or you will be killed. 

8521. It is the sign of a cave-in, if a white rat is seen in a coal mine. 

8522. The miner who strikes a sulphur ball with his pick while in a 
mine will have bad luck. 

8523. To see a light in a mine is the indication of an approaching 
explosion. 

8524. If anyone sings in an actor's dressing room, the play will not be 
successful. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 425 

8525. The show will fail, if there is any whistling in an actor's dressing 
room. 

8526. It means bad luck, if someone whistles in an actor's dressing room. 

8527. If the actor who speaks the last lines rehearses them immediately 
preceding the show, the production will not be a success. 

8528. The show will soon close, if a dog howls outside the theatre 
during the performance. 

8529. A black cat walking across the stage from one wing to the other 
during a performance is the sign that the play will have a long run. 

8530. A cat of any color straying onto the stage^ while there is a per- 
formance, means failure for the show. 

8531. If an actor spills tea on the tablecloth at the evening meal, there 
will be a small house that night. 

8532. "Some actors say if they spill tea on a tablecloth, they will forget 
their part that night. I was working in a place one night and one 
of the actors spilled their tea, and she said, T will have to go to 
my room and go over my part or I will fail tonight'." 



BUYING-SELLING-PAYING 

8533. Carry the head of a crow on your breast and all who deal with 
you will lose in the transactions. 

8534. If the first customer to enter the store in the morning does not 
buy anything, the sales for the day will be poor. 

8535. On taking vegetables to market never let the first customer leave 
without selling him something or you will have bad luck that day. 

8536. Sales will be good all day, if the first person to come into the 
store is a woman. 

8537. If several men, no matter for what reason, enter the store before 
a woman comes in, sales that day will be bad. 

8538. Few buyers in the morning mean a large number of buyers for 
the afternoon. 

8539. A good selling morning is followed by a bad selling afternoon. 

8540. Sell to the first customer on Monday morning and you will have 
excellent sales all week. 

8541. "I knew a woman that was making her daughter a dress and she 
did not have enough goods, but it was Monday and she said, 'I 
will wait until Tuesday to buy it, for if I buy on Monday I will 
be buying all week'." 

8542. It is unlucky to buy anything on Good Friday. 

8543. "If you have a rooming house and some of your rooms are vacant. 



426 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

put salt in your scrub water and you will be sure to rent all of 
your rooms." 

8544. Count your profits and you will lose them. 

8545. Several years ago there was a craze for billikens. They were used 
as mascots and good luck charms. In a woman's clothing store 
at Quincy there is, or was until recently, a billiken about eight 
inches high which stands on one of the counters. Each morning 
before beginning work, some of the "salesgirls" will rub the 
billiken for luck in sales that day. 

8546. "If you pay your insurance ahead of time, something will happen. 
Always pay a week later." The insurance collector who sup- 
plied this item said the practice was fairly common. 

8547. Never pay a bill on Monday or you will pay out money all week. 



MONEY 

8548. To have good luck, spit on a piece of money. 

8549. It is lucky to put money in the foundation of a building. 

8550. To be without money means bad luck. 

8551. Finding money will bring you good luck. 

8552. You will have good luck, if you find a piece of silver. 

8553. It is a good omen to pick up a coin from the track of a mule. 

8554. Keep the piece of money that you have found and you will get 
more money. 

8555. The one who finds a penny will be lucky. 

8556. Do not spend a penny that you find, but save it for luck. 

8557. When you find a penny, wear it in your shoe for luck. 

8558. Never spend money that you have found, but keep it as good luck 
money. 

8559. To find a pocketbook filled with money means bad luck. 

8560. Finding an empty purse will bring success. 

8561. Carrying pennies in your pocket will make you unlucky. 

8562. "I always keep a penny wrapped up in paper in my pocketbook 
so I can say I am not broke." 

8563. Carry a gold coin for luck. 

8564. Wear a coin around your neck and you' will have good luck. 

8565. If you wear a dime in your shoe you will never be unlucky. 

8566. Keep a coin on your watch chain and it will give you good luck. 

8567. To secure good luck, carry a penny or coin that was minted in the 
year of your birth. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 427 

8568. You will never lose money, if you carry a coin, especially an old 
coin. 

8569. The person who carries money in two different pockets will lose it. 

8570. It causes bad luck to carry three dollars. 

8571. If you receive a pierced coin from someone, keep it for luck. 

8572. If someone gives you a new dime, carry it in your pocket for luck. 

8573. The wearer of a new suit should be given a coin to carry for luck. 

8574. On giving a new purse to anyone, be sure to put a coin in it for 

luck. In accordance with this belief, some manufacturers put 

a piece of imitation paper money in the pocketbooks they sell. 

8575. You will have bad luck, if you accept a two dollar bill. 

8576. The one finding the dime in a birthday cake will be rich. 

8577. Sew a dime in a piece of red flannel and dip it into whiskey ; then 
pin it on your stocking and wear it for luck. 

8578. Good fortune in money matters will come to you, if you acciden- 
tally step on dung. 

8579. The person who is able to throw a feather over a house will find 
money on the other side. 

8580. A feather flying by you indicates that someone will steal your 
money. 

8581. Put some of your hair and some of the hair from your beau or 
husband, and two needles, in a small bottle. Fill the latter with 
whiskey. Place this bottle and a dime in a red flannel bag, and 
wear it on your bosom. You will always have money. 

8582. Keep a coin in your hatband and you will never be without money. 

8583. The person whose initials (usually three) spell a word will become 
rich. 

8584. Always pick up the burnt matches that you see and you will find 
money. 

8585. Throw a match to the floor and if it lights you will get money. 

8586. Turn your money over when you see the new moon and it will 
increase with the moon. 

8587. On first seeing the new moon, look at it over your right shoulder 
if there is money in your pocket, and you will always have money; 
or have money until the next new moon. 

8588. "I always watch for the new moon in the new year and always 
go out in the yard with money in my hand, if it is only a penny, 
and I always have good luck and am never broke." 

8589. At the appearance of the first new moon of the new year, hold a 
piece of money in your hand and look at the moon over your 
right shoulder. This will bring you money all year. 

8590. Hold up a piece of money to the new moon and you will receive 
money. 



423 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

8591. Show your pocketbook to the new moon and the money in the 
former w^ill double. 

8592. Shake a full pocketbook at the new moon and your money will 
decrease. 

8593. If you shake an empty pocketbook at the new moon you will be 
without money until the moon is new again. 

8594. Always burn your onion peelings and you will never be empty- 
handed. 

8595. "When you have onion peelings, if you will put them in a pan, 
then sprinkle salt over them and put them on the fire to burn, 
you will never be out of money." 

8596. By burning your onion peelings you will be able to save money. 

8597. Drive a nail into a post to secure money, 

8598. "If you haven't any money and want some, just get a piece of 
green paper and bury it in the ground ; and you will receive some 
money in two weeks from some relative." 

8599. When without money, read Psalm XXXVII and you will get 
some. 

SCOO. Read Psalm LXXII daily and say, "In the Name of the Father, 
Son and Holy Ghost" and you will have money. 

8601. "When I w^as a boy forty years ago, we were watching it rain 
and the man with me said, 'O look, we are going to get a lot of 
money.' I said, 'Why?' He said, 'Just look at all those bubbles; 
sure sign of money'." 

8602. You will never be without money, if you wear a little bag con- 
taining red pepper. 

8603. If you find eggs in a robin's nest, remove one and take it home, 
keeping it overnight. Next morning restore the egg exactly as 
found and you will always have plenty of money. 

8604. Hang a man's socks up by the tops and you will be able to keep 
your money. 

8605. If you hang up a man's socks by the toes, money will slip through 
your fingers. 

8606. To fall up the stairs is the sign of money. 

8607. As soon as you see a shooting star, say, "Money, money, money" 
and you will get money. 

8608. On seeing a star fall, put your hand in your pocket and say, 

"Money, money, money" and your pocket will be filled with 

money. 

8609. If you see a star falling, rejjeat, "Money, money, money" 

and you will fall heir to a fortune within a month. 

8610. The one who sees a star shoot and can say before it disappears, 
"Money, money, money" will be rich. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 429 

8611. Save all the string from packages that you receive and you will 
become wealthy some day. 

8612. To secure money, put a tomato peeling over your door and you 
will receive money within four days. 

8613. You will be lucky, if someone gives you pennies on Monday. 

8614. Receiving a nickel first thing on Monday morning is the sign of 
good luck. 

8615. To get pennies in change on Monday signifies that you will have 
money all week. 

8616. "When I was young my mother would not change money on a 
Monday for anyone. She would make them go to a store to 
change it. She would not even let you change money in the house. 
Said it would bring bad luck on the house and the one that 
changed it." 

8617. If you can keep the money you make on Monday, it will increase 
during the week. 

8618. Have a coin in your pocket on New Year's Day and you will not 
be in want of money all year. 

8619. Do not spend a coin that someone gives you on New Year's Day 
and you will have money the whole year. 

8620. Spend money on New Year's Day and you will always be poor. 

8621. By wearing a dime in each shoe on New Year's Day you will 
have money all year. 

8622. On New Year's Eve lay a loaf of bread, a silver dollar, and some 
salt on the table; and you will have bread, money, and luck 
through the coming year. 

8623. Just before midnight on New Year's Eve set a tub of water out 
in the yard and into it drop a penny. You will be lucky in money 
matters for the next year. 

8624. At midnight on New Year's Eve hold a piece of money in your 
hand and get down on your knees and pray. This will give you 
money all year. 



LAW 

8625. It is against the law to hit a person who wears glasses. 

8626. It is against the law to cut down a castor bean plant. 

8627. The use of a dark lantern is illegal. 

8628. A check dated on Sunday is illegal. 

8629. A check written in red ink is illesral. 



430 Memoirs' of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

8()30. A check for less than one dollar is illegal. 

8631. If a rope breaks while a person is being hanged, he goes free. 

8632. A loaded truck has the legal right of way on the road. 

8633. It is illegal to possess a copy of the Seventh Book of Moses. 



NUMBERS 

8634. One misfortune is always followed by others. 

8635. "Whatever happens twice 
Will happen thrice." 

8636. Two persons smoking the same cigarette will have bad luck. 

8637. When you break something, you will not stop until you have 
broken three things. 

8638. In attempting to accomplish anything, the third effort is always 
successful. Hence, "Three's lucky" or "The third time for luck." 

8639. Number three is unlucky. 

8640. If there is a fire, expect two more. 

8641. One fire on a block will be followed by two more that week. 

8642. A fire on a block means two more fires in that block during the 
month. 

8643. Three persons lighting their cigarettes with the same match will 
be unlucky. 

8644. The third person to light his cigarette with the same match will 
have bad luck. 

8645. If three persons use the same match in lighting their cigarettes 
or cigars, the last person using the match will soon encounter 
some danger. 

8646. The one who holds the match by which three persons light 
cigarettes will go to hell. 

8647. When three persons light pipes with the same match, one of them 
will meet a loss. 

8648. "The railroad men believe, that if three light their pipes on the 
same match, that one of them will have an accident that day." 

8649. Giving away the last cigarette in your package will cause you 
bad luck. 

8650. If you get a flat tire while driving, you will have two more punc- 
tures before you reach home. 

8651. Seven is a lucky number. 

8652. Never sleep in a hotel room numbered thirteen ; it will bring you 
bad luck. 

8653. It is unlucky to sleep in berth number thirteen on a train. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 431 

8654. You will be unlucky during the year you are thirteen years of age. 
"When I was thirteen years old I had very bad luck." 

8655. Having a birthday on the thirteenth of the month is unfortunate. 

8656. "A girl was going to take her life. I told her to say, 'God give 

me courage' thirteen times each night for thirteen nights; 

and she got over it." 

8657. "A house, number 1313, across the street, is very unlucky. First 
a man and wife were separated by a quarrel, and a week ago a 
baby died there." 

8658. It is a bad omen for thirteen people to sit at the same table. 

8659. To stop on problem number thirteen when doing arithmetic will 
give you bad luck. 



GAMES 
WINNING AND LOSING 

8660. "Never try to play a game on the square all the time, for it is not 
a good luck sign." 

8661. To win in any game, try to touch a hunchback for luck. In gam- 
bling the luck will be better, if the hunchback is a negro. 

8662. It is unlucky to stop on number thirteen in a game. 

8663. If before eleven o'clock in the morning you boast about winning 
a game that afternoon, your side will be defeated. 

8664. When listening to a game over the radio and the team you want 
to be the winner is losing, cross your fingers for good luck. 

8665. If you are listening to a game on the radio and the team which 
you favor is losing, put your right hand in your left pocket for 
good luck. 

8666. A boxer always puts on his right shoe first for luck. 

8667. If a prize fighter just before entering the ring greets a friend, he 
will lose the match. 

8668. If while shaking the dice when playing bunco you drop one of 
them on the floor, you will not make any fives. 

8669. To change your luck at bunco, throw the dice with the left hand. 

8670. The quarter back in a football game who can get through the line 
on receiving his first pass will win the game. 

8671. Rub your two horseshoes together for luck when playing horse- 
shoes. 

8672. Never give away anything that you have won or you will be 
unlucky. 

8673. Do not sell anything you win, for it will bring you bad luck. 



432 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

BASEBALL 

8674. If a baseball team on its way to the ball park meets a load of beer 
kegs, it means good luck. 

8675. The baseball player who finds a hairpin while going to the ball 
park will get a two base hit the first time he bats. 

8676. The baseball player who picks up a hairpin as he walks to the 
ball park: If it is small, he will make a short hit; if it is large, 
a long hit, perhaps a home run. 

8677. Each white horse seen by a ball player on his way to the park 
signifies a home run for him in the game. 

8678. Keep a buckeye in your pocket while playing baseball and you will 
have good luck. 

8679. Always wear a red necktie to win in a baseball game. 

8680. It is unlucky for a baseball player to wear a clean or new unifonn 
in a game. 

8681. A baseball player having a luclcy streak in hitting will not change 
his uniform, no matter how soiled it is, until his luck changes. 

8682. If a baseball player* is wearing a certain shirt and his team has a 
winning streak, he will not change the shirt until his team begins 
to lose. 

8683. A baseball player will wear the same shirt all season unless he has 
a batting slump, and then he will change it for luck. 

8684. Some baseball players keep their caps turned backward for luck. 

8685. The baseball player who sees a cross-eyed woman in the grand- 
stand will fail to get a hit. 

8686. The members of some baseball teams always lay their gloves down 
in a row. If a player does not put his glove down in its proper 
place in the row, or if he removes it before going out to the 
diamond, he will have bad luck. 

8687. It is unlucky to let anyone from the visiting team sit on the home 
team's bench. 

8688. A baseball player will step on first base for luck. He thinks it 
will cause him to reach first base the next time he bats. 

8689. To be put out at third base is unlucky. 

8690. On one baseball team the coacher at third base would lay his 
glove down on the line of the coaching box, and if a batter reached 
first base, he would move the glove farther up towards home plate. 
Each time the runner advanced, the coacher would push his glove 
forward. This rite was supposed to advance the runner. 

8691. The last half of the seventh inning is known as the "lucky 
seventh" for the home team. By common consent and with one 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 433 

impulse everyone stands up to stretch while the two sides are 
changing places on the diamond. 

8692. Some baseball players will step on home plate before leaving the 
park in order to have good luck next day. 

8693. An outfielder will touch second base after the game so that he will 
reach that base on the day following. 

8694. It is a sign that he will win, if the pitcher finds a toad in the out- 
field before the game starts. 

8695. Striking out the first man who comes to bat signifies that the 
pitcher will win his game. 

8696. To strike out the first batter indicates that the pitcher will lose 
his game. 

8697. It is unlucky for a pitcher to drop a ball when about to pitch it. 

8698. By spitting on the ball a pitcher can make the batter miss it. 

8699. "If a baseball pitcher spits on the ball before he throws it, you 
can never hit it solid because the ball will slip off your bat. That's 
what they call a hoodoo ball. It keeps the batter from hitting it." 

8700. "When a baseball pitcher puts chewing gum on a ball, he does 
it to keep the batter from hitting the ball out into the field, because 
the ball will stick to the bat and cannot go very far from his bat." 

8701. If the pitcher rubs slippery elm bark on his hands, he will cause 
the batter to miss the ball. 

8702. "Some ball players say, when a pitcher holds the ball between 
both hands he is putting dope on it to hoodoo the batter." 

8703. A pitcher thinks it is unlucky, if the second baseman throws the 
ball to him. 

8704. "If a pitcher walk around another pitcher to start the inning off, 
it gives them (the other pitcher) the jinx and causes them to lose 
the game." 

8705. Changing bats after you have taken one is unlucky. 

8706. Never cross your bat with another batter when on your way to 
the home plate or it will bring you bad luck. 

8707. The batter who passes between home plate and the pitcher's box 
when going to bat will be hit by a pitched ball. 

8708. Drive two nails into the end of your bat and it will not break. 

8709. "When I want to make a hit, I always put dirt on my bat." 

8710. Stick a piece of chewing gum on the lower end of your bat and 
you will make a good hit. 

8711. Spit on the end of your bat for luck. 

8712. A baseball player on going to the batter's box will spit on the 
ground and rub his foot in it for luck in batting. 

8713. Some baseball players will turn around three times in the batter's 
box for luck. 



434 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

8714. "I always take my bat and whirl it around my head three times 
when I go to bat to make me have hits." 

8715. If a batter fouls the first ball pitched to him, it is a sign that he 
will strike out. 

8716. It is unlucky to drop a bat between home plate and the catcher. 

8717. If a batter on returning from home plate throws his bat down 
and it crosses another bat, it will bring him bad luck. 

8718. When an outfielder goes to the outfield, he will kick the same base 
each time he passes it for luck. 

8719. The baseball player who picks up a pin on the diamond and sticks 
it in his uniform will have good luck as long as the pin stays there. 

8720. If a baseball player starts out upon the field, forgets something 
and returns for it, he will be unlucky in that game. 

8721. If a baseball player is called back from the field and he returns, 
he will have bad luck. 

8722. An itching hand while playing baseball means that you will catch 
the next foul ball. 

8723. An outfielder muffing his first fly indicates that his team will win 
the game. 

8724. A third baseman will touch his base both on going out and coming 
in from the field so that he will be lucky in batting. 

8725. A third baseman who makes the third "put-out" will touch his 
base for luck, especially if he is the next "batter up." 

8726. A ball player on coming off the field will always lay his glove in 
the same place for luck in hitting. 



CRAPS 

8727. "If you want to find out if you are lucky, go to a crap game." 

8728. Carry one dice in your pocket for luck. 

8729. "If you shoot like you don't care, you will win two out of three 
times." 

8730. "If you touch the dice on someone, they will have bad luck." 

8731. "If you go to a crap game and see a cross-eyed person, then 
don't gamble; because if you do, you will go broke." 

8732. "If you rub dice in your hair, you will throw seven or eleven 
every time." 

8733. "If a fellow hold his hand over your head when you shoot, you 
will have bad luck." 

8734. "You can wave your hands over the dice when a man roll them 
out and it will give bad luck and he can't win." 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 435 

8735. "A man standing by you in a dice game is always bad luck, unless 
he is in the game." 

8736. "If you want to have good luck in dice, spit on them, then rub 
them in your hands for luck." 

B>7Z7. "Some people think that if they spit on the dice before they throw 
them, they will have better luck." 

8738. "If a gambler spit on the dice, he will beat you at the game, 
because they are wet and sticky and they will fall on seven." 

8739. "Sometimes a gambler put the dice in his mouth, which cause them 
to stick on the table where they hit, and he will win." 

8740. "If you see some old tramp around a crap game, just let him shoot 
your hand and he will break the game." 

8741. "You can rub dice on a woman's breast and it will give you good 
luck and make you win." 

8742. "You can rub the dice on a woman from hip to hip and it will 
give you good luck." 

8743. "Some gamblers let a woman carry a dice under her clothing for 
a week, then take a dollar from her and go to the game ; and he 
will win all the money in that game. The woman gives him 
good luck." 

8744. "Some gamblers put rosin in the eye of a dice to make it stay 
on top." 

8745. "If a fellow palm a dice in his hand while shooting, he will throw 
seven or eleven every time and break you." 

8746. "If a gambler in a crap game spin the dice up in the air and they 
hit the table spinning, they will stop on seven or eleven and he 
wins." 

8747. "Gamblers in a crap game put a string across the table to keep 
the gambler from sliding the dice on the table. If they cross the 
string, it's no roll." 

8748. "If you try to hop the dice over the line, you will throw craps 
and then you will lose." 

8749. "If you try to jump dice over the line, you will lose nine times 
out of ten." 

8750. "If you bounce the dice you will lose your money." 

8751. "If you try to jolt the dice, you will go broke in an hour." 

8752. "Some crap shooters pop their dice for luck." 

8753. "If you try to cheat, you will throw crap every time." 

8754. "When you shoot dice, pick them up and slide them and you will 
win." 

8755. "If you pick up the dice and one fall, best to leave them alone; 
because you will lose, for it's bad luck to drop one of the dice." 



436 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

8756. "If you drop a pair of dice and they turn over, the seven will pass 
you like a dog." 

8757. "If you drop a pair of dice and they slide, there will be a seven 
out quick." 

8758. "Always throw dice just before starting a game, if you want to 
win." 

8759. "If you are in a crap game and you are coming out for your first 
point, if you throw craps, that is the sign you will have no luck 
in the game." 

8760. "If you catch a four for a point, just holler, 'Little Joe, little Joe' 
and they will come four every time." 

8761. "If the dice five, just say, 'Come five, come five' and they 

will five for you." 

8762. "If you want to throw seven, just say, 'Ain't that heaven, ain't 
that heaven' and they will come seven." 

8763. "If you throw seven the first time, you will sure win with an 
eleven." 

8764. "If you catch an eight for a point, next time you roll them, holler, 
'Skate, dice, skate' and they will come eight for you." 

8765. "If you throw the dice and they come nine, just call for time." 

8766. "If the dice come ten, just call, 'Big Ben, big Ben' and 

they will ten for you." 

8767. "If you roll dice out on the table and they stop on the same side 
four times, they are chippy dice." 

8768. "There is a pair of dice called bird-eyed dice; they don't do 
nothing but pass you all day." 

8769. "There are dice called pigeon-toed dice. The gambler use these 
to cheat you with." 

8770. "There are some dice that has a rubber fastener on and you can't 
see them. When they roll the dice out, the rubber draws them 
back up their sleeves." 

8771. "If a white man and a colored man are shooting craps, bet on the 
colored man." 

8772. "To tell when a pair of dice is loaded, drop them two times ; and 
if they fall on the same corner they are crooked." 

8773. "If you drop a pair of dice and they roll, they are all right." 

8774. "If you drop a pair of dice and they stick to the floor, they are 
loaded." 

8775. "If you drop a pair of dice on the floor and they bounce up, they 
are crooked." 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 437 

GAMBLING 

8776. "Some gamblers say that the twelve face cards in a deck is the 
Twelve Disciples of the Lord." 

8777. "Don't be afraid to bet, because the fellow who isn't afraid to 
bet is the man who makes the most money." 

8778. "If a gambler is losing, he will pick up a boy baby and let it wet 
on him. He thinks that will change his luck and make him lucky." 

8779. "If when playing cards, you turn your cap bill to the back of your 
head, you will go broke in two hours." 

8780. "A good gambler never uses the same deck of cards twice." 
878L "If you are going somewhere to gamble at cards and a cat follows 

you, you will win." 

8782. "If you are gambhng and are losing, some gamblers get up and 
walk around their chair once, some two times and some three 
times, to drive off what they call the Spanish curse, which is 
supposed to last for seven year before it will wear out." 

8783. "If you deal the first five times straight, then you will be the last 
to go broke." 

8784. "A gambler will never take a two dollar bill unless you tear oflf 
the corner." 

8785. "Friday is always unlucky to gamble on." 

8786. "If you feel lucky on Friday, gamble, for you will have luck; but 
if you don't feel lucky, don't." 

8787. "Never gamble on Friday the thirteenth, for it is very unlucky." 

8788. "If you see a black cat on Friday the thirteenth, it is a very bad 
sign, don't gamble." 

8789. "When you are sitting in a poker game never let a person put his 
foot on your chair rounds ; if you do, he will give you bad luck 
and you will surely lose your money." 

8790. "Good poker players always sit with one foot over the other." 

8791. "If someone pat you on the head while in a game, it is bad luck." 

8792. Some gamblers have good luck pairs. The good luck pair of a well- 
known gambler in Quincy were the deuce of diamonds and the 
queen of spades. He was never known to lose when he held these 
two cards. 

8793. "It is lucky to have a luck piece of soine kind laying on the table 
when you are playing poker." 

8794. "If you are going to gamble, strike a match and if it burns to the 
end, you will be lucky; if it breaks off, don't gamble that day." 

8795. "If you want to have good luck when gambling, just kiss a 
strange woman and you will win money in that game." 

8796. "If you gamble every night, you will lose your luck." 



438 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

8797. "If you are losing, never moan and groan when you lose a pot, 
and you will come out on top when the game's over." 

8798. "You will be lucky at poker, if you borrow the money you play 
with." 

8799. "If you are gambling and someone come up to bum you for some 
money, you will have bad luck and lose all your money too." 

8800. "Never take any pennies in a game, for they are bad luck." 

8801. "If someone hand you some pennies, throw them back over your 
head, and you won't lose your luck." 

8802. "If you are gambling, never give anybody anything while in the 
game, or you will lose." 

8803. "If you are in a gambling house, they will not let you throw 
peanut shells on the floor, for that brings bad luck to the house, 
and the house will be pulled (raided by the police) if you do." 

8804. "If you win the first pot of money at a poker game in the evening, 
you will have bad luck the rest of the evening." 

8805. "Some gamblers carry a rabbit foot in their right pocket for 
good luck." 

8806. "I was a gambler and I would never play cards on a rainy day. 
If I did, I would always lose. If I started to a town, and when 
I got there it was raining, I would not stop. I would always go 
to the next town to keep from having bad luck." 

8807. "If you want to break the house, sprinkle some salt on the table 
and the gamblers will all have bad luck; then wash your hands 
in whiskey, and you will break them all," 

8808. "Never try to win all the money in the world, for you will get 
broke if you do; because luck only lasts for a few minutes and 
then gone for a long time." 

8809. "There are eyeglasses that you can get, that you can see a card 
and tell what it is." 

8810. "Some gamblers carry a glass in their pocket to look through the 
cards." 

8811. "Some gamblers can tell a card just by feeling it." 

8812. "Some gamblers can tell what a card is by its weight." 

8S13. "A gambler said, you can take a deck of cards, turn them all the 
same color by saying some words and blowing on them." 

8814. "We have a gambler here who can take a deck of cards and stand 
off and look at you three or four times, and say some hoodoo 
words, and make all of the cards come into your pocket." 

8815. "A gambler can take a deck of cards up in his hand and he will 
bet you that he can blow the spots off of them, then he take half 
the deck in each hand and blow and blow on them, and the card 
disappear." 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 439 

8816. "A gambler can take the bottom card off the deck and shuffle them 
and make the last card be on the top of the deck, and tell you 
what card it is. It is called the three way switch." 

8817. "A gambler will give you the ace, king, queen, jack and ten of 
hearts or clubs, in other words to make you bet all your money 
at one time ; then he will lay down a diamond hand and break 
you every time. It is called a hand trick." 

8818. "When a man shuffle and shuffle the deck, and sit it down for you 
to cut, he can make you cut the same card that's on the top of the 
deck back on the top in one square cut." 

8819. "When you see a man take the cards in his hands and keep finger- 
ing them, he is bewitching the hand: and when he comes down 
with the hand on the table he will have a new hand altogether." 

8820. "A gambler can take a card and throw it in the air and make it 
land in someone pocket in the house without you knowing it." 

8821. "Some gamblers can put a trey next to the top and give you the 
other card." 

8822. "Sometimes in playing Georgia Skin, they hold one up their 
sleeve; then when they deal, they throw it to you." 

8823. "If a man is playing the Georgia Skin, they cheat by carrying a 
card on you ; then they put three aces under the deck and one on 
top to win." 

8824. "If you try to cheat the deck, you will cheat yourself." 

8825. "If a person try to switch a card on you, then you switch at the 
same time and they won't see you at all." 

8826. "If a man keep watching you in a game, he is trying to cheat 
you." 

8827. "When you see a man picking up the cards real light one at the 
time, he is stacking them so he will win; and he does every time." 

8828. "If a card player carry his head down ii the game, he has a 
stacked hand up his sleeve." 

8829. "When you hear a gambler say he got an ace in the hole, some- 
one is cheating in that game." 

8830. "A gambler said, if a person try to cheat you, don't say anything 
to them; just cheat when they do, and you will beat them at the 
game." 

8831. "If a gambler is hot and seem bothered and can't be trusted, it 
is the sign he is busted." 

8832. "If a gambler in a game say, 'I believe I am tired' he mean 

someone has lied." 



41-0 Memoirs- of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

d&ZZ. "If a gambler say, 'I am going' he mean he is going to cut 

your throat." 
8834. "If a deck of cards is heavy painted, they are called phony cards 

or called trick cards." 



HORSE RACING 

8835. The owner should keep a goat in the stall with a race horse for 
luck. 

8836. "A race track is never on the square, because the winning horse 
is already out before they start." 

8837. If you go to the race track with the intention of winning, you 
will certainly lose. 

8838. "If you go to a race and see a bull-legged (how-legged) man first 
before you see anyone else, you will be lucky." 

8839. "If you go to a race and see a bull-legged woman first, you will 
be unlucky." 

8840. "If you go to a race track and see a cross-eyed person, don't bet 
on the races, because you will have bad luck; but if you see a 
slick-haired colored person and rub your hand over his head, you 
can bet and you will win." 

8841. Bet on a horse race with two dollar bills for luck. 

8842. Never bet at a race track on even days or you will lose your 
money. Always bet on odd days for luck. 

8843. You can win your bet by closing your eyes and choosing a horse. 

8844. "If your left eye itches while you are at the races, don't bet at 
the races, for if you do, you will lose." 

8845. "If your right eye itches, then bet all your money, for you will 
win." 

8846. "If your foot itches, someone will get hurt in the race." 

8847. "When a booker is giving a seven to one bet on a horse, don't 
take it, because you will go broke if you do." 

8848. "Never bet on a race when your mind say, 'No' because the 

devil is trying to get you broke." 

8849. Place your bet on the weakest horse for luck. 

8850. The one who bets on the darkest horse will win. 

8851. It is lucky to bet on a black horse. 

8852. "If you see a race horse that is black all over, you will lose if 
you bet on it." 

8853. "If the horse is black and white, don't bet on it, for there is a 
crooked deal going on." 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 441 

8854. If the race horse has a white forehead, bet on him and you will 
win. 

8855. Betting on a grey race horse is unlucky. 

8856. A race horse that holds his head high is fast and likely to win. 

8857. A race horse that holds his head half-cocked is stubborn and 
hence an "in and outer." Do not bet on him. 

8858. A race horse with a shaky head is mean and unlikely to win a race. 

8859. The race horse that carries his head down is lazy and will not be 
a winner. 

8860. A race horse with a long pretty tail is a good horse. 

8861. A race horse with a bobbed tail is not a good horse. 

8862. "If you are betting on the right-footed start, you will win." It 
is also said, "If a horse starts off with the right foot, he will have 
good luck." 

8863. "If you are betting on the left-footed start, you will lose your 
bet," It is also said, "If a horse starts off with his left foot first 
in a race, he will have bad luck." 

8864. A race horse that is difficult to saddle will not win a race, because 
he does not want to run. 

8865. A jockey who wears his cap backward will not win his race. 

8866. Put some acid on the tail of the horse just before the race begins, 
and he will win. 



PLAYING CARDS 

8867. It is an old saying that a deck of cards represents every chapter 
in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. 

8868. Lucky at cards, unlucky at love. 

8869. Unlucky at cards, lucky at love. 

8870. You can change your luck next time you are dealer by dealing in 
the reverse direction. 

8871. For a change of luck "milk" the cards, that it, deal alternately 
from the top and bottom of the deck. 

8872. Four cards are dealt at one time in pinochle. To change your 
luck, deal two cards at a time. 

8873. "Never let anyone touch your hand while you are dealing the 
cards, if you do, you will be very unlucky in the game." 

8874. You will have bad luck, if you drop a card off the table while 
shuffling. 

8875. To drop the deck or a part of the deck on the table as you shuffle 
is a sign of bad luck. 



442 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

8876. The card accidentally turned over in dealing will be trump. 

8877. When a dealer accidentally turns up a card, it signifies that the 
game will break up in a quarrel. 

8878. Dealing from the deck which you cut to win the deal is lucky. 

8879. After a deck is cut, it is lucky to deal from the uncut portion. 

8880. Cutting cards is unlucky. 

8881. It means bad luck if you do not cut the cards. 

8882. "If you like to cut cards, you will cut yourself off from winning 
three times out of four." 

8883. Never cut cards when you are winning or your luck will change. 

8884. You can secure luck by cutting the cards backwards, that is, put- 
ting the cut towards the dealer instead of away from him. 

8885. It is said of cutting cards : 

"If you cut them thin, 
You're sure to win." 

8886. "If you cut cards and cut them deep, you are sore to the skin." 

Cutting cards deeply, picking up more than half the deck, 

indicates that you will not win; hence the remark, "You are sore 
to the skin" because you are angry or disgusted with yourself. 

8887. After the cards are cut, the dealer for luck should turn them 
around on the table in the opposite direction from that in which 
they were placed by the cutter. 

8888. You will be unlucky with the hand in which the last card was 
dealt to you. 

8889. Look at the first and last card dealt you before picking up your 
hand, and if they are of the same suit, you will have a good hand. 

8890. Pick up your cards with the left hand for luck. 

8891. Picking up all the cards of your hand at once will bring you good 
luck. 

8892. The player who is the last to pick up his hand will be lucky. 
8S93. "Never be the last man at the table with your hand, for you will 

be in tough luck all day long." 

8894. Dropping cards will cause you to lose your luck. 

8895. To drop a card is a bad omen. 

8896. "If you pick up a deck of cards and drop them all out of your 
hand, then look out and beware some great danger ahead of you." 

8897. Bad luck at the beginning of a game will increase as the game 
progresses. Quit at once. 

8898. For luck in cards, carry the heart of a bat in your pocket. 

8899. "If you want to win at cards, take a heart out of a bat and tie 
a red string around it, then tie that around your right arm." 

8900. "If you want to win at cards, take the heart out of a bat and tie 
it up in a red ribbon, and wear that around your wrist; and you 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 443 

will win at cards. One morning I was downtown and saw a bat. 
I said to a boy, 'Get that bat for me and I will give you something.' 
That night while we were eating supper, here came the boy with 
the bat. I took its heart out and tie it up in a red ribbon, and put 
in on my wrist; and went to a card party and I won the prize." 

8901. A card player should carry in his pocket a bone from a corpse 
for luck. 

8902. "If you will carry the little finger of a person on you, it will give 
you luck in playing cards or anything you play." 

8903. Find the skeleton of a young baby and put your hand on the skull. 
This will make you win at cards. 

8904. Carry a buckeye in your right pocket and you will always be lucky 
with cards. 

8905. You may change your luck at cards by using a diflferent deck. 

8906. "Never let anyone touch the deck you are playing with, if they 
are not in the game, for he will give you bad luck." 

8907. "Never take a deck of cards out of someone else's hands, for you 
will have bad luck." 

8908. Kiss a card before you play it and it will give you good luck. 

8909. To check a losing streak, transfer your cards to the other hand 
for luck. 

8910. A good player will not play a second game of cards with the 
same deck. 

8911. Never lay a deck of cards on the bed; it is unlucky. 

8912. You will not win at cards if you play while sitting in a rocking- 
chair. 

8913. To rest your foot on the chair of another player will cause you 
bad luck at cards. 

8914. A good card player will not allow you to stand behind his chair 
and look at his hand over his shoulder. It causes bad luck. 

8915. Change your luck at cards by sitting in another chair, 

8916. Pick up your chair, shake it and blow on the seat; thus you will 
shake away and blow away bad luck at cards. 

8917. Get up and walk around your chair to be lucky at cards. 

8918. Put your hand on top of your chair and hold it there while you 
walk around the chair. This will give you good luck while play- 
ing cards. 

8919. When losing at cards, get up and walk around your chair; then 
spit on the chair before you sit down. 

8920. To change your luck at cards, place your chair with its back to 
the table; sit astride the chair and face the table while playing. 

8921. Keep a four-leafed clover in your pocket for luck at cards. 

8922. Turn up the hem of your dress to be lucky when playing cards. 



44^ Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

8923. Sit on one of your feet while playing cards and you will have 
good luck. 

8924. Cut some hair from near a woman's ear and put this hair in the 
palm of your hand, holding it there by a rubber band while playing 
cards, and you will be lucky. 

8925. "If I am playing cards and my hands sweat, I never lose in cards. 
If they don't sweat, I always lose." 

8926. "If you wave your hand over a man's head, you will give him 
bad luck in playing cards." 

8927. Change your luck at cards by sitting on your handkerchief. 

8928. Never lay your hat on a bed when you go to a card party or you 
will lose. 

8929. Turn your hat over for luck when playing cards. 

8930. "I know a woman that every time she goes to losing at cards, she 
always scratches her head so she will have good luck." 

8931. It is unlucky to play cards near a place where there has been a 
murder. 

8932. "If you will sprinkle some red pepper on the cards, it will burn 
the bad luck off." 

8933. To have luck at cards, sit on your score card. 

8934. The person who has a high score card should keep it for luck. 

8935. "If you want to win at cards, you must put on the shoes you are 
going to play in before you eat. Never put on the shoes you are 
going to wear to a party after you eat; if you do, you will lose 
in cards every time." 

8936. Spit over your left shoulder three times to change your luck at 

cards. In recent years, because of changing social conditions 

and sanitary considerations, one merely pretends to spit. 

8937. Break a spell of bad luck at cards by walking around the table. 

8938. Walk around the table three times to change your luck at cards. 

8939. Playing cards across the grain of the table is unlucky. 

8940. To be lucky at cards, turn up the cuffs of your trousers. 

8941. "If you go to a card party and want to win, always wear new 
pants. Sure sign of winning." 

8942. Some women believe that wearing a certain pair of bloomers gives 
them luck. Hence one hears such expressions as : "Well, I didn't 
win any prize tonight, because I didn't have my lucky pants on." 

8943. Carrying an umbrella to a card party will make you lose. 

8944. You will win at cards, if you keep a wishbone in your pocket. 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 445 

HUNTING 

8945. "If you want to secure a full bag of game, always let your dog 
get your bag for you. We never went hunting unless we let the 
dog go and get our game bag for good luck." 

8946. Just before you start on a hunting trip let someone hit you with 
an old shoe for luck. The more in the family that hit you, the 
more game you will get. 

8947. On leaving home to hi t, kick off your right shoe and put it on 
again. This will bring you good luck. 

8948. Carry a rabbit foot for luck while hunting. 

8949. The hunter who shoots his gun once before leaving the yard will 
be lucky. 

8950. Never load your gun until you reach the hunting grounds or you 
will not have any luck. 

8951. "If you go hunting and your dog jumps up as high as your head 
and keeps that up while you are getting ready, that is the sign 
you will have bad luck." 

8952. "If your dog lets out a yell like a wolf when you start to hunt, 
you had better be careful; if you don't, you will get hurt." 

8953. "If you are hunting and your dog gets on the track of a rabbit or 
something else and turns around and comes moaning back to you, 
howling; you had better go home for that day, because if you 
don't, you will kill your dog trying to kill something else." 

8954. To turn back after you have entered the woods to hunt is a bad 
omen. 

8955. If the first thing you see when entering the woods is an old 
sunken boat on land, you will catch a lot of opossums. 

8956. Kill a cricket when you first reach camp and your hunting trip 
will be a failure. 

8957. To find a large hairpin while hunting is the sign of good luck. 

8958. "If you go hunting and the first thing you see is a redbird, it is 
murder waiting you, if you go on hunting." 

8959. "If you are out hunting and you are walking along and see your 
shadow, it is a saying that you will not catch any game that day." 

8960. Wrap a black horsehair around your wrist and you will shoot 
straight. 

8961. Game dies at once, if shot in the sign of the "heart." 

8962. Never shoot your gun against the frozen bark of a tree or the 
bullet will be deflected and come back and kill you. 

8963. "My friend and I when we used to go hunting, he would always 
go back home, if he shot three times and didn't hit anything. I 
would say, 'Come on.' And he would say, 'What's the use?' But 



446 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

he would go home and sometime come back and meet me in the 
woods, for that would be starting over." 

8964. When a rabbit escapes you, remember that a rabbit always returns 
to the same place. 

8965. The hunter who skins his first rabbit will scare away the game. 

8966. Kill the first rabbit you see on your first hunt of the year and 
you will have a good hunting season. 

8967. "If you are hunting and see three ducks flying, don't shoot them, 
for they are messengers sent out by the other ducks to see if 
everything is all right. If you shoot them, the other ducks will 
not come out. But when you see ducks flying in pairs, it is all 
right to shoot, for you will know the messengers have gone on." 

8968. "When you go hunting for squirrels, if you find the first squirrel 
on the ground, you will find all of them on the ground; if you 
find the first squirrel in a tree, you will find them all in a tree that 
day. When I go hunting for squirrels I always go down in 
Washington Park to see if the squirrels are on the ground or 
trees, so I will know where to look for them when I get to the 
woods." 



FISHING 

8969. "If you will keep small fish in a tank in your yard, you can always 
tell when fishing is good. If the fish come to the top, fishing is 
good ; if the fish stay on the bottom, don't go fishing, for it is 
poor fishing." 

8970. "If fish in a globe are still and inactive, fishing is no good; if fish 
in a globe are lively, fishing is good." 

8971. "If fish flop out of water, fishing is no good, because they are not 
hungry and will not bite." 

8972. "If you go fishing and see a big fish jump up out of the water, it 
will be bad luck for you that day; but if you go and see a small 
minnow jirnip out of the water, it will be a great and successful 
day for you, and you will have good luck all day and come home 
with lots of fish." 

8973. A good time to go fishing is when you see a chicken oiling its 
feathers. 

8974. When owls hoot during the day is a good time for catching catfish. 

8975. Fishing on Friday is unlucky. 

8976. You will have bad luck, if you fish on Sunday. 

8977. "If a person goes fishing every Sunday and keeps it up and never 
stops on Sunday, you will catch the devil on your hook some 



Folk-Lore from Adams County Illinois 447 

Sunday, and you will be snatched off the bank into the water and 
may drown." Written contribution. 

8978. "There was a man years ago that went fishing every Sunday and 
he would not fish any other day but Sunday. One Sunday morn- 
ing he got up real early and went fishing. He got something on 
his hook that looked like a person. He pull and pull and it holler 
like a woman. And it grabbed him and pulled him in the water. 
And he died for fishing on Sunday." Written contribution. 

8979. Good days to fish are the seventeenth and eighteenth of the month. 

8980. Fish for the first time in the season on Good Friday and you will 
be lucky at fishing all year. 

8981. Fish bite best (in daytime) in the dark of the moon. Fish cannot 
see in the dark of the moon and are hungrier. 

8982. Fish bite best (at night) on the increase of the moon. 

8983. Fish bite best at night during full moon. 

8984. Fish when the sign is in the "feet" for luck. 

8985. The sign of the "fish" is a good time for fishing. 

8986. You will not have any luck, if you fish when the sign is in the 
"head." 

8987. "Wind from the south, hook in the mouth. 
Wind from the east, bite the least. 

Wind from the north, further off. 
Wind from the west, bite the best." 

8988. Fish do not bite when the wind is in the south. 

8989. "If the wind is in the south and it is cloudy, you can pull out fish 
as fast as you put your Hne in the water." 

8990. Fish bite best when there is a good soft wind from the south or 
southeast. 

8991. When the wind is in the east, fish on the east side of the bank. 

8992. Do not fish when the wind is in the west; the fish will not bite. 

8993. Fish on the west side of the bank, if the wind is in the west. 

8994. "When the wind is in the southwest. 
The fish bite the best." 

8995. Always fish against the wind for luck. 

8996. Never fish with a seine on a clear night ; you will not have any 
luck. Always choose a cloudy night. 

8997. A cloudy day is a good time for fishing. 

8998. "If a fisherman goes out to fish, he should always pray, 
P'or perpetual sunshine that will not fade away, 

And he will have good luck all day." 

8999. Fish bite well when it is thundering. 

9000. Fish will not bite if it thunders. 

9001. Catfish bite well when it thunders. "One time it was thunder- 



448 Memoirs of the Alma Egan Hyatt Foundation 

ing real hard, a man caught one hundred pounds of catfish right 
down at the foot of Maine Street." 

9002. If it rains, catfish will bite. "When I was a little younger I 

used to love to go fishing, and I would always pick out a day 
when it was raining to catch catfish. Many and many a day I 
have sit on the river down here with an umbrella over me just 
pouring down rain, but I was catching catfish and didn't care. I 
used to pull out catfish just as soon as I would put the line in 
the river, one right after another; and sometimes the rain would 
be going down my back, but I got the catfish." 

9003. Fish become excited and bite well when it is raining. 

9004. When a rain comes rapidly and falls heavily, fish will stop biting. 

9005. If a rain comes slowly and falls gently, fish will continue to bite. 

9006. You will not catch any fish, if you see fish jumping on a rainy day. 

9007. Go fishing just after a hard rain. 

9008. Fish begin to roll following the first three warm days of spring, 
and they will roll for three days. This is the best time to gig fish. 
The term roll is applied to fish during their breeding season when 
they swim near the surface of the water in a lolling and rolling 
motion, insensate to everything. A generation ago, before the 
bottoms or lowlands along the river were drained, one could see 
thousands of carp and buffalo, a teeming and churning mass rol- 
ling in the shallow water. A fisherman would wade out and easily 
gig the fish, sometimes catch them with his hands. Gigging is 
illegal. 

9009. Carry a fishing pole into the house before you start on a fishing 
trip and you will not get any fish. 

9010. If on your way to fish, you see a pin, hairpin, (large) safety pin, 
pick it up for luck. Failing to pick i