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KENTUCK 






iiiaaa 



. AND LUCY B. THi 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 



BY 

DANIEL LINDSEY THOMAS, Ph.D. 

LATE PROFESSOR OP ENGLISH AT CENTRE COLLEGE, 
AND FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF THE KENTUCKY 
BRANCH OF THE AMERICAN FOLK-LORE SOCIETY. 



AND 

LUCY BLAYNEY THOMAS, M.A. 

TEACHER OF ENGLISH AT WARD-BE LMONT SCHOOL, NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE. 



PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS 

PRINCETON N. J. 

LONDON: HUMPHREY MILFORD 

OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS 

1920 



Copyright, 1920, by 
PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS 

Published, 1920 
Printed in the United States of America 




PREFACE 

To bring together odd beliefs for the possible amuse- 
ment of the curious is not the object of a research in the 
field of folk superstitions such as we have attempted. The 
end sought is not humor or satire; our hope is rather that 
such value as is present will be serious. The study of su- 
perstitious survi\als throws light on what the working of 
the human mind was in the early stages of its evolution. 
Eccentric and illogical beliefs of today were accepted 
principles of life centuries ago. A collection of supersti- 
tions, in so far as it has scholarly value, is a partial record 
of what men have thought and believed. It is, therefore, 
our hope that this collection may be in a real, though per- 
haps small, sense, a contribution both to history and to 
psychology. In Kentucky and elsewhere, the folk super- 
stitions are gradually passing away; many of them are 
already irrecoverably lost. For purposes of permanent 
record, it would seem worth while to preserve m print all 
that can be saved from loss. 

In the collection of the materials for this volume, we 
have received assistance from many people. For example, 
teachers and students of eight or ten colleges and sixty or 
seventy high schools, grade schools, and district schools 
have made contributions, small or great. Many other men 
and women, white and colored, in the mountains and in 
the lowlands of the State, have sent us items. It is im- 
possible to mention all to whom we wish to offer our grate- 
ful acknowledgments. Those who have sent us the largest 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

number of usable folk superstitions are Miss Louise Kelly, 
of Lebanon, Reverend and Mrs. Lucien Waggener and 
Mr. C. M. Fackler, of Danville, Mr. Josiah H. Combs, 
of Hindman, Rev. G. S. Watson, of Booneville, Miss 
Stella Nolan, of Harlan County, Mr. Joseph Hart, of 
Buckhorn, Professors L. L. Dantzler, of the University 
of Kentucky, B. N. Daniel, of Georgetown College, C. C. 
Freeman, of Transylvania College, John F. Smith, of 
Berea College, Thos. A. Hendricks, of Hamilton College 
for Women, Miss Mary Shaw, of Kentucky College for 
Women, Miss Ada G. Croft, of Cumberland College, 
Miss Mattye Reid, of the Western Kentucky Normal 
School, Dean Kirke Smith, of Lincoln Institute (colored) , 
and Professors W. O. Hopper, of the Mt. Sterling High 
School, M. E. Ligon, of the Lexington High School, G. 
W. Colvin, of the Springfield High School, J. T. Norris, 
of the Augusta High School, J. H. Addams, of the 
Franklin High School, J. W. Welch, of the Henderson 
High School, J. H. Risley, of the Owensboro High 
School, and J. S. Cotter, of the Coleridge Taylor School 
(colored), of Louisville. We wish to express our very 
great gratitude to Professor George Lyman Kittredge 
for advice and encouragement in the production of this 
collection. 



vi 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 



CONTENTS 

Introduction. 

1. Birth and Child Life. 

2. Family Relations. 

3. Lost Articles. 

4. Wishes. 

5. Divinations. 

6. Marriage. 

7. Death and Burial. 

8. The Human Body. 

9. Saliva. 

10. Sneezes. 

11. Cures and Preventives. 

12. Fire. 

13. Household and Domestic Life. 

14. Dreams. 

15. Dress. 

16. Shadows, Portraits, and Reflections. 

17. Moon and Signs of the Zodiac. 

18. Weather. 

19. Days and Seasons. 

20. Crops, Vegetables, Fruits, Trees. 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

21. Money. 

22. Walking Forth, Travel. 

23. Letters. 

24. Mines. 

25. Color. 

26. Numbers. 

27. Sports. 

28. Luck at Cards. 

29. Animals, Birds, Insects, and Reptiles. 

30. Witches. 

31. Hoodoos. 

32. Haunted Houses, Ghosts, Evil Spirits. 

33. Miscellaneous. 



via 



INTRODUCTION 

Superstitious beliefs are more persistent and more wide- 
spread than most people would suspect. We have all 
been fully aware that they swayed the minds of people in 
earlier centuries. We know, also, that they are sprinkled 
through our earlier literature ; for example, the folk super- 
stitions of Shakespeare fill a volume of generous size, 1 and 
instances are no less common in the writings of his con- 
temporaries and are perhaps even more common in the 
works of Chaucer. Their potent presence, however, in 
the minds of people of our own time may reasonably cause 
surprise. In 1907, 2 Mr. Fletcher B. Dresslar, of the Uni- 
versity of California, asked almost nine hundred normal- 
school students of the University to write down supersti- 
tions that they knew and to indicate frankly their belief 
or disbelief in them. As a result, 7,176 slips were handed 
in, each containing a superstition. Of these, 3,951 were 
accompanied with expressions of disbelief, 2,132 of partial 
belief, and 1,093 of full belief. Thus 44.9 per cent of the 
superstitions that were noted were shown to command 
complete or partial credence. The ones mentioned by the 
largest number of those engaged in the research were the 
superstitions associated with Friday, the number thirteen, 
the dropping of a knife, a fork, or a spoon, the picking up 
of a pin, the first sight of the new moon, the breaking of a 

iT. F. Thistleton-Dyer: "Folk-lore of Shakespeare." London, 1884. 8vo. 
515 pages. 

2 Quoted by H. Addington Bruce in an article entitled "Our Superstitions," 
in The Outlook, 1911, vol. 98, pp. 999-1006. 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

mirror, the presenting of a knife to a friend, the potency 
of the horseshoe, the burning of the ear, the passing of two 
companions on the opposite sides of a post, the howl of a 
dog, the presence of a bird in the house, the opening of an 
umbrella in the house, and the turning back after one has 
started anywhere. - Mr. Bruce, from whose article the re- 
sults just quoted were taken, gives also the results of a 
canvass of believers in superstition among the professors, 
instructors, and assistants of Harvard University. This 
investigation showed that only 26.6 per cent of the Har- 
vard teachers questioned could say that they believed that 
they were entirely free from superstition. A large num- 
ber of the 73.4 per cent who confessed belief denied at first 
that they were in any degree superstitious, but under close 
questioning, they showed that they were not entirely in- 
nocent. Professor Edwin M. Fogel, whose volume of 
superstitions 3 contains the largest collection hitherto pub- 
lished in America, has listed 2,083 separate superstitions 
that are current among Pennsylvania Germans. The 
authors of the present volume have found almost 4,000 
superstitions in Kentucky. As Pennsylvania Germans 
and Kentuckians are in general probably much more con- 
servative than the average of Americans, inherited beliefs 
doubtless persist with exceptional strength among them; 
yet superstitions, it may safely be said, have disappeared 
entirely from no community in our country. 

The origin of all superstition may probably be traced 
to the desire of mankind to propitiate fate, to avert evil, 
to dispel the mystery of life and of the universe. 
Primitive man, in his fear of evils that he did not Under- 
pin Millf-r !'<}.'(!: "Beliefs an -'turns of the Pennsylvania (JT- 
s" 1915. 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

stand, sought to avoid disaster by any means that he could 
find. In his ignorance of logic, he often accepted a co- 
incidence as a cause. Francis Bacon well says : 4 

"That hath given them [coincidences] grace, and some 
credit, consisteth in three things. First, that men mark 
when they hit, and never when they miss ; as they do, gen- 
erally, also of dreams. The second is, that probable con- 
jectures, or obscure traditions, many times turn themselves 
into prophecies; while the nature of man, which coveteth 
divination, thinks it no peril to foretell that which indeed 
they do but collect. The third and last (which is the great 
one), is, that almost all of them, being infinite in number, 
have been impostures, and, by idle and crafty brains, 
merely contrived and figured, after the event past." 

The reasons for the survival of superstition from a more 
primitive age into our own are that people are slow to 
surrender beliefs that they have inherited, that many of 
them are still ignorant and timorous, and that in spite of 
the explanations of both science and religion they con- 
tinue to find life and the universe largely inexplicable. 

Search for the origins of individual superstitions has 
enlisted the energies of many folk-lore scholars. Their 
researches have led them to trace various folk practices to 
starting-points in the Bible (often misinterpreted and 
modified by tradition), in pagan mythology, in plant and 
animal worship, and in sun or moon worship, and to other 
sources. In as much, however, as the beginnings of folk- 
lore lie in nearly all instances far back in the most primi- 
tive periods of the human race, conjecture is often the 
only means of seeking them. The results of research have 
therefore been marred by uncertainty and guess-work^ 

* Francis Bacon: "Of Prophecies," 1625. 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

and scholars have frequently not arrived at agreement. 
For these reasons, it has seemed best in connection with 
this folk-lore collection, to refrain from an attempt to 
record the genesis of the various separate items. Readers 
who are interested will find in the bibliographical list at 
the close of the introduction the names of several works in 
which the attempt is made to trace superstitious survivals 
to their sources. 

In consideration of the distribution of folk-lore in Ken- 
tucky, it may as well be remembered that there are three 
somewhat different classes of people within the State: the 
mountain whites, originally from Virginia and the Caro- 
linas; the lowland whites, originally from Virginia, the 
Carolinas, Pennsylvania, and Maryland; and the lowland 
negroes. The first and the third of these classes have 
been less influenced either by immigration or by education 
than the second; even the lowland whites have been less 
affected by the coming in of people from outside the State 
than have the inhabitants of most parts of our country. 
Most Kentucky superstitions are common to all three 
classes of the people, because the negroes originally ob- 
tained most of their superstitions from the whites, and be- 
cause the superstitions of Kentucky are in almost all cases 
not recent inventions but old survivals from a time when 
they were generally accepted by all Germanic peoples and 
even by all Indo-Europeans. 

The only class of original contributions made by the 
negroes to our stock of superstitions is that of the voodoo 
or hoodoo signs, which were brought from Africa by the 
ancestors of the present colored people of America. These 
have taken only slight root in the Caucasian mind. On 
the arrival of the negro in America, his child-like mind 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

was readily receptive to the white man's superstitions. 
Reciprocally the black slaves and servants in Kentucky 
and elsewhere in the South have frequently been the agents 
through which the minds of white children have been sown 
with these supernatural beliefs, some of which have re- 
mained permanently with them. Nearly all classes of 
superstitions find acceptance among the negroes. The 
most widely prevalent are beliefs concerning haunted 
houses, weather signs, bad-luck and good-luck signs, 
"charm" cures, and hoodoo signs. In particular, the ne- 
groes' belief that the date of the planting of vegetables 
should be determined by the phases of the moon, is un- 
shakeable, and the fear, especially of the older negroes, is 
ever-present that an enemy will impose a hoodoo upon 
them. With increase of travel, with somewhat broader 
and more active industrial life, and with improved chances 
for education, the Kentucky negroes appear to be slowly, 
though very slowly, losing their superstitious beliefs. 
Even in the very good negro schools of Louisville and 
Lexington, however, most of the students, older ones as 
well as younger, have thus far progressed but little in this 
direction. 

Until the past decade, the life in much of the mountain 
region of Kentucky has been isolated and primitive. Be- 
fore that time, not only were there no railroads in the heart 
of the mountains, but even roads were surprisingly scarce. 
The beds of small streams served, and in many places still 
serve, as ready, if not satisfactory, substitutes. Along 
with feuds, illicit stills, emotional religion, and genuine 
hospitality, which are characteristics of the pinched life 
in the mountain fastnesses, folk superstitions have sur- 
vived with great tenacity. Of late, however, a transfer- 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

mation has begun in this once remote section. Railroads 
have entered from several directions to open up the coal, 
oil, and lumber fields. At present, with a fuller industrial 
life, newcomers have arrived, old families have been scat- 
tered, schools have become better and more numerous, and 
the life of the old communities has entered upon a process 
of change. The superstitious beliefs still retained by the 
old-type mountaineers are in general those that were 
brought to Kentucky by their English and Scotch-Irish 
ancestors. Many are concerned with good and bad luck 
signs, which are more or less similar to those that have sur- 
vived in other places. The chief difference is that these 
survivals are more widely accepted in the conservative 
fastnesses of the mountaineers than elsewhere among the 
white people of Kentucky. Folk remedies and medicines 
are, also, very widely trusted by the highlanders; for ex- 
ample, many folk practices are customary in connection 
with child-birth. Men and women who -are thought to ac- 
complish cures by incantations, or "ceremonies," and phy- 
sicians who reinforce more or less legitimate medical prac- 
tice with charm cures are only gradually becoming less 
numerous and less influential. One of the most remark- 
able classes of folk-lore survivals in the mountains of 
Kentucky is that of witch lore. Perhaps there is at this 
time no other place in the English-speaking parts of the 
world where superstitions concerning witches receive so 
much credence. The supposed activity of these malevolent 
beings is now, however, as one may judge from the data of 
later pages in this volume, confined mainly to the be- 
witching of cows and rarely to the "spelling" of a dog, a 
horse, or a person. The mountain witch stories are slowly 
passing into the same class with fairy tales. At present. 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

the witches are few, and the witch and charm doctors are 
chiefly old men and women, who, when they die, will in 
many cases leave no successors. Yet so instinctive and 
deep-rooted is superstition that education and the interests 
of an increasingly more conventional life in the Kentucky 
mountains combat it with but slow success. 

As the lowland whites of Kentucky are more numer- 
ous, more varied, and geographically more widely spread 
than either the negroes of the Blue Grass and the western 
parts of the State or the white people of the mountains, 
probably as many individual superstitions may be gleaned 
among them as among either the negroes or the moun- 
taineers. Naturally they are more fully current in small 
towns and in country districts than in cities, and more 
fully among children and illiterates than among educated 
adults. In a small Kentucky town, life changes less rapid- 
ly than in many other places. As it is still in some measure 
similar to the life in a typical town of a border- Southern 
State such as Mark Twain reproduces in Tom Sawyer 
and Huckleberry Finn, it is not surprising that every folk 
superstition mentioned in those two books is to be found in 
the following pages. 

A larger percentage of the negroes than of the moun- 
taineers are strongly swayed by folk signs, and a larger 
proportion of the mountaineers than of the lowland Cau- 
casians. Of this collection of almost four thousand sepa- 
rate items, the majority may be found among both low- 
landers and highlanders and among both negroes and 
whites. In the presence of improved and more accessible 
educational advantages and of increasing complexity of 
life, superstitions are very gradually dying out in Ken- 
tucky. 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 



BOOKS TREATING FOLK SUPERSTITIONS 



COLLECTIONS OF SUPERSTITIONS 

V. S. Lean: Lean's Collectanea. 1902-1904. 

Cora Linn Daniels and C. M. Stevans: Encyclopaedia of Super- 
stitions, Folklore and the Occult Sciences of the World. 3 vols. 1903. 

J. G. Frazer: The Golden Bough. 14 vols. 1914. 

S. Baring-Gould: Curious Myths of the Middle Ages. 2nd Edit., 
2 vols. 1868. 

T. F. Thistleton-Dyer : The Folk- Lore of Plants. 1889. 

Fanny D. Bergen: Current Superstitions culled from the oral tra- 
dition of English speaking folk, with introduction by Wm. Wells 
Newell. 1896. 

Fanny D. Bergen: Animal and Plant Lore. Memoirs of the Ameri- 
can Folk-Lore Society. 1899. 

Clifton Johnson: What they say in New England. (This volume 
contains several hundred New-England superstitions.) 

Edwin Miller Fogel: Beliefs and Superstitions of the Pennsyl- 
vania Germans. 1915. (This volume contains 2083 separate super- 
stitions). 

PERIODICAL PUBLICATIONS 

Folk-Lore. A quarterly review. London. 1893- 
The Journal of American Folk-Lore. 1888- 



BOOKS ON SOURCES OF FOLK SUPERSTITIONS 

J. G. Frazer: The Golden Bough. 14 vols. 1914. 
John Fiske: Myths and Mythmakers. 1873. 

John Brand: Observations on Popular Antiquities. A new edition 
with the additions of Sir Henry Ellis. 1900. 

8 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

Charles Hardwick: Traditions, Superstitions, and Folk-lore 
(chiefly Lancashire and North of England) ; their Eastern Origin and 
Mythical Significance. 1872. 

Robert Means Lawrence: The Magic of the Horseshoe, with other 
Fold-lore. 1898. 

William George Black: Folk Medicine. 1883. 

Thomas Sharper Knowlson: The Origins of Popular Superstitions 
and Customs. 1910. 

Frank W. Nicolson: The Saliva Superstition in Classical Liter- 
ature. Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, vol. 8. 1897. 

BIRTH AND CHILD LIFE 

(The notation of a section of Kentucky in connection 
with a superstition shows that it has been reported only 
from that section. The absence of localization indicates 
that the superstition is general. The attribution to defi- 
nite localities is necessarily somewhat loose.) 

1. A woman in travail should hold salt clenched in her 

two outstretched hands Mountains 

2. In a case of child labor, place an axe edge up under 

the bed of the mother Mountains 

3. If an expectant mother places her hand upon her 

body, the child will have a birthmark at the position 
on its body that she presses Mountains 

4. An expectant mother should not have her teeth filled. 

5. In a case of child labor, cross hazel twigs, put them 

across an open Bible, and place them under the 
pillow Mountains 

6. Wine is necessary to women with child. At com- 

munion a pregnant woman, whether a church mem- 
ber or not, may receive the communion wine 

, Mountains 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

7. To drain a woman at child-birth, the physician places 

his shoes on the woman and makes her walk about 
in them until the time of the after-birth; then he 
places his hat on her head Mountains 

8. To hasten child-delivery, give a woman a drink of 

which another woman has partaken .... Blue Grass 

9. To hasten child-delivery, beat a rattlesnake's rattles 

fine and give the powder to the one that is in la- 
bor Blue Grass 

10. The number of balls on the naval string of the first 

child shows the number of children that a woman 
will have Mountains 

11. Children are brought by a stork. 

12. A child born with a caul, that is, with the birth mem- 

branes unruptured, will have second sight. 

13. If a green veil shrouds the face of a new-born child, 

the child is gifted with prophecy Mountains 

14. If an enemy, at the birth of a child, can get posses- 

sion of the baby's after-birth, he can control the 
child's fate for evil ever afterwards. 

15. If you visit a new boy baby and kiss it, you will have 

good luck North-eastern Kentucky 

16. If you make fun of a little baby, you will have the 

thing that you ridicule in it 

Central Kentucky Negroes 

17. If one finds a baby-pacifier, there is going to be an 

addition to the family. 

18. When a baby smiles in its sleep, angels are talking 

to it. 

19. A child that is born on Christmas Day can under- 

stand the speech of animals Mountains 

20. A baby's crying at christening is a good-luck sign. 

10 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

21. If a child's ear runs into the cheek without a crease 

at the lobe, it will have criminal tendencies. 

22. Bald-headed babies are from fine stock. 

23. If a child's hair is long and heavy, the child will not 

grow, as all its strength will go into its hair 

Central Kentucky 

24. If a baby is born with an unusually large amount of 

hair, it will have very little at maturity , 

Central Kentucky 

25. If a baby is born with no hair or but little, it will have 

a great deal at maturity Central Kentucky 

26. If a child has a large mouth, it will be a good singer 

Central Kentucky 

27. If a baby has early teething, there will be a new baby 

in the family soon Mountains 

28. It brings bad luck to put a new-born baby on a table. 

29. If you take a baby down the hill before you take it 

up the hill, it will go down hill in life . . . Mountains 

30. Carry your baby upstairs before you dp downstairs, 

so that it will rise in the world. 

31. If a child sings in bed, it will wet the bed. . Mountains 

32. If you crack the first louse found in a child's head on 

the bottom of a tin cup, the child will make a good 
singer Mountains 

33. When a boy baby is taken for the first time on a call, 

its disposition will be affected by that of the man 
of the house Southern Kentucky 

34. When a girl baby is taken for the first time on a 

call, its disposition will be affected by that of the 
woman of the house Southern Kentucky 

35. If a child is homely when it is small, it will be good- 

looking when it is grown. 

11 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

36. If a child is good-looking when it is small, it will be 

homely when it is grown. 

37. A beautiful girl will not be nervous when she is a 

woman. 

38. If aa infant clutches a coin that is put into its hands, 

it will love money. 

39. If an infant does not clutch a coin that is put into its 

hands, it will be a spendthrift. 

40. If a baby's fist closes over money that is put into its 

hands, it will be prosperous when it is grown. 

41. If a baby's fist does not close over money that is put 

into his hands, it will be poor when it is grown. 

42. Place a child on the floor with a Bible, a dollar, and a 

deck of cards. The one that he chooses first indi- 
cates his future as a preacher, financier, or gambler. 

43. If the hand of a new-born baby is closed tight, it will 

be close or saving. 

44. If the hand of a new-born baby is open, it will be of 

a generous disposition. 

45. If a child cries a great deal when it is an infant, it 

will make a good man or woman. 

46. It brings bad luck to change a baby's name. 

47. If in dressing the baby for the first time you put its 

right arm into its dress first, it will be right-handed. 

48. If on the first time that a baby is dressed the left arm 

is put into the dress before the right arm, the baby 
will be left-handed. 

49. It causes bad luck to put a baby's dress on over its 

head before it is one year old. 

50. Pull the baby's clothes on over its feet instead of 

over its head, or it will never grow. 

12 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

51. Do not cut the baby's nails until it is one month old. 

It will be light-fingered if you do. 

52. If you bite a baby's finger nails, it will steal when it 

grows up. 

53. If you cut off a baby's finger nails, it will die before 

it is six years old. 

54. Anyone except a mother may cut a baby's nails with- 

out damage. 

55. If you place a hat on a baby's head before it is a 

year old, it will not grow any more. 

56. You must not put a hat on a baby's head, for, if you 

do so, you will cause bad teething. 

57. Make a baby cut teeth by putting a hat on its head 

before it is six months old. 

58. It brings bad luck to cut a baby's hair before it is 

a year old. The child will die. 

59. To keep a person from growing, take three hairs 

from the back of his neck and three from each tem- 
ple, make a hole in a Columbia poplar at the per- 
son's height, put the hairs into the hole, and drive 
in a peg Mountains 

60. It is bad luck to let the baby look into a mirror be- 

fore it is one year old. 

61. Do not let the baby look into a mirror before it 

teethes. This act will make teething hard. 

62. If a baby looks into a mirror, it will be small. 

63. If a baby looks into a mirror before it is one year old, 

it will die. 

64. If a baby looks into a mirror before it is a year old, 

it will die before it is two years old.* 

65. If you show a baby itself in a mirror before it is six 

months old, it will die before it is a year old. 

13 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

66. If you measure a child on the day that it is two years 

of age, it will be half as tall as it ever will be 

Louisville Negroes 

67. It causes bad luck for a child to be put under a bed 

on its ninth birthday, for it will never grow any 
more Mountains 

68. It brings bad luck to count a baby's teeth. 

69. If a child puts its tooth under its pillow at night, it 

will become a five-cent piece by morning. 

70. If a baby's first tooth grows into the gum above, it 

will be a thief. 

71. If you tickle a baby, you will cause it to stutter. 

72. If a child is prematurely wise, he will not live long. 

73. The good die young. 

74. If a baby does not fall off the bed, it will never be 

reared. 

75. If a young child marks the furniture, it will soon die, 

"It is marking itself out of the world." 

Western Kentucky 

76. Unless a baby crawls before it walks, it will crawl in 

after life Central Kentucky 

77. A baby's sneezing at the table is a sign of death. 

78. If a baby talks before it walks, its tongue will ruin 

it Central Kentucky 

79. If the teakettle boils in a room where there is a little 

baby, the baby will have colic . . . Central Kentucky 

80. Never carry a baby in a funeral procession before it 

is a year old; if you do, it will die 

Central Kentucky Negroes 

81. If you think too much of a child, he will die. (2nd 

Commandment.) Mountains 

82. The third son has the brains of the family . Mountains 

14 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

83. If any one steps over you, you will not grow any 

more. 

84. When a baby sticks out its tongue, it wants some- 

thing that it has not. 

85. When a baby sweeps a floor, the act is the sign of 

someone coming. 

86. If a child blows all the fluff from the dandelion in 

one blow, his mother wishes him very much ; in two 
blows, not so much; in three blows, not enough to 
cease play Mountains 

87. Blow the seed-ball from a dandelion and then count 

the seeds left; the number you count will indicate 
the number of days until you will get a whipping. 

88. The boy that steps on another boy's foot is his worst 

enemy ; but if a girl does so, she is his best friend . . 
Louisville Negroes 

89. If a child drops his school book and picks it up, he 

will miss his lesson in it. He can avert the disaster 
by kissing his book. 

90. If a child drops his book and does not stamp it be- 

fore picking it up, he will miss his lesson 

Louisville Negroes 

91. If some one picks up for a child a book that he has 

dropped, the former and not the latter will miss 
the lesson. 

92. A girl who drops her school books may avert bad 

luck or a missed lesson by walking around each 
article and putting her foot on it. 

93. To keep from missing his lesson, a child should step 

on his books Blue Grass 

94. If a child sleeps with his text book under his head at 

night, he will know his lesson next day. 

15 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

95. If a child goes for a switch for the punishment of an- 

other child, the former will himself be whipped. 

96. On a child's birthday, he should receive a blow with 

a switch or other instrument of pain for each year 
of his life. Each blow should be accompanied by 
the pronouncing of n line of the following or a simi- 
lar incantation, adapted to fit the age of the child: 

One to live on; 
One to grow on ; 
One to eat on; 
One to be happy on; 
One to get married on. 

FAMILY RELATIONS 

97. A poor man is sure to have many children ("A fool 

for luck and a poor man for children") . 

98. If there is strong family resemblance between par- 

ent and child, the child will outlive the parent. 

99. If a daughter resembles her father, she is born for 

good luck. 

100. If a boy is born like his mother, he is born for good 

luck. 

101. It is unlucky to be named for your mother 

Mountains 

102. Step on a crack, 

Break your mother's back. 

103. If you are walking backwards, you are cursing your 

parents. 

104. If you walk backwards and look over your left shoul- 

der, you curse your mother Central Kentucky 

105. One in each family can locate water or veins of water 

16 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

by taking a peach-tree fork and turning it upside 
down like this V . The fork will turn down 
in the neighborhood of water underground. 



LOST ARTICLES 

106. To find which way the cows have gone, catch a dad- 

dy-long-legs by the hind legs, and he will point 
with one of his front legs. 

107. Count a hundred stars without repetition; then you 

will find something lost. 

108. If you secretly bury a marble and go back in three 

days, all the marbles that you have ever lost will 
be there Blue Grass 

109. Find a marble or other lost article by throwing an- 

other one and watching where it goes. 

110. In order to find anything lost, shut your eyes and 

turn around several tanes. Then throw something 
at random. The way it goes is the way toward the 
lost article Blue Grass 

111. To find a lost article, spit into your hand, strike the 

saliva with your other hand, and watch the direc- 
tion of the splash. 

112. If you have lost a ball, spit into the palm of your 

hand and say, "Spit, spat, where is the ball at?" 
While you are repeating these words, take the 
other hand with two fingers and strike the saliva. 

It will fly in the direction of the ball 

Central Kentucky 

113. If a person loses a needle and someone else asks if 

there was a thread in it, the loser of the needle will 
find it North-eastern Kentucky 

17 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

114. If you lose anything, you will find it seven days later 

at the same time that you lost it, provided you do 
not look before Blue Grass 

115. Shut your eyes and throw a piece of gravel. After 

a week, try to find it. If you succeed, you will have 
good luck. 

116. To find a ring that has been lost, carry a peach switch 

gripped tightly. It will turn down when you reach 
the place where the ring is lost. 

117. To find gold that is lost, place a dime in the end of 

a forked cherry or peach switch and proceed as in 
the last given superstition. 

118. You may recover lost money by kissing a negro. 

119. If you find that you are lost, go in the opposite di- 

rection, and you will come to your destination. 

120. If you are lost, throw a knife over your back. The 

way the blade points is the way to take. 

WISHES 

121. A wish made on the new moon will come to pass. 

122. Make a wish on a new moon; if you do not look at 

the moon until it is new again, your wish will come 
true Blue Grass 

123. When you see the new moon, turn a piece of money 

over and make a wish ; the wish will come true .... 
Mountains 

124. If you see the new moon over the left shoulder, any 

wish you make will come true. .Western Kentucky 

125. If you see the moon over your right shoulder and 

make a wish, it will come true Mountains 

126. Make a wish when you see the first star and do not 

18 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

speak until you see another. The wish will come 
true. 

127. Put a ring on the finger at the sight of the first star 

in the evening. Your wish will come true 

i Mountains 

128. If when you see a meteor you can make a wish before 

it disappears, your wish will come true. 

129. When you see a shooting star, if you say "Money" 

three times you will have a full pocket book 

Mountains 

130. If you see a bluebird and make a wish before it flies 

away, the wish will come to pass. 

131. If you see a crow flying through the air, make a 

wish. If he does not flap his wings before he goes 
out of sight, the wish will come true. If he does 
flap his wings, look away, and if you do not see him 
again your wish will come true. 

132. Your wish will be realized if you make it when the 

first turtle-dove of the spring coos .... Blue Grass 

133. Make a wish when you see a redbird. 

134. If you throw a kiss at a redbird and make a wish, it 

will come true. 

135. Make a wish when you see a redbird. If it flies to the 

right, the wish will come to pass. 

136. After you have made a wish at the sight of a redbird, 

the wish will come to pass if the bird flies upward 
Western Kentucky 

137. Name a redbird. If you make a wish before the bird 

flies, it will come true. 

138. If you see a redbird, make a wish and spit at it three 

times before it gets out of sight. Under these con- 
ditions the wish will come true Mountains 

19 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

139. If you make a wish when you see a lone turkey-buz- 

zard and do not look at it again, it will come true 
Central Kentucky 

140. A wish made on the first whippoorwill in spring and 

kept secret will come to pass Mountains 

141. When you hear the first whippoorwill of the year, 

walk three steps back, pick up whatever is under 
your left heel, spit on it, and make a wish. 

142. If you see a flock of birds, make a wish, and do not 

look at the birds again Mountains 

143. If you see a flock of blackbirds, name them and make 

a wish Mountains 

144. When you see a gray cat, look at its fore feet and 

make a wish. If you see it again, the wish will 
come to pass Mountains 

145. If you see a spotted horse and make a wish, it will 

come true, provided you do not see it again. 

146. Make a wish at the sight of a white horse. 

147. If you spit over your little finger when you see a 

white horse, your wish nvill come true 

Western Kentucky 

148. If you find a horseshoe with the toe towards you, 

throw it over your right shoulder and make a wish 
Mountains 

149. Put a horseshoe above a door. The first one that 

passes under it must make a wish. 

150. Spit on a horseshoe and throw it over your head. If 

the outside remains up, your greatest desire will 
be realized Southern Kentucky 

151. You can avert ill luck from the passing of a double 

horse or mule wagon by running across the road 
and making a wish. The wish will come true. 

20 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

152. When you see a gray mule, make a wish, wet your 

thumb, and stamp your hand Mountains 

153. If you find a nail, hammer it into something, and at 

the same time make a wish. The wish will come 
true Mountains 

154. Two people may each make a wish and then break a 

wishbone between them. The one that gets the 
shorter piece will be married first, and the other 
will obtain his wish. 

155. If you make a wish before you go up a hill and do 

not look back, your wish will come true . Mountains 

156. Make a wish and throw a piece of wish vine over 

your right shoulder into the weeds. If it grows, 
your wish will come true Mountains 

157. Make a wish on a grain of corn that you have found 

and bury the corn. The wish will come to pass .... 
Southern Kentucky 

158. If you find a four-leaved clover, hold it above the 

head and make a wish Mountains 

159. Put a four-leaved clover into your shoe. Make a 

wish. When it is lost out, the wish will come true. 

160. Share a double almond with some one. Let each 

make a wish. When you two next meet, the first 
that says "Philippino" will get his wish. 

161. Make a wish at the sight of a hay wagon. 

162. When you see a wagon of hay, make a wish. Count 

thirteen while you look, then turn away, and do 
not see the wagon of hay again. The wish will come 
true. If the hay is baled, the wish will not come 
true until the bales are broken. 

163. If you pass a loaded wagon, make a wish. If you 

21 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

pass it a second time, the wish will not come true 
and you will have bad luck. 

164. It brings bad luck to pass a hay wagon without mak- 

ing a wish. A serious sickness in the family or 
death will ensue. 

165. Make a wish at the sight of a freight-train. Count 

"yes, no, maybe so," to find whether the wish will 
come to pass Blue Grass 

166. Whenever a yellow railroad car passes, make a wish. 

If you do not look at the car again, the wish will 
come true. 

167. Make a wish when you cross a new bridge 

Southern Kentucky 

168. When you pass over a railroad bridge, you may make 

a wish, and if you do not speak until you have 
passed over the bridge the wish will come true. 

169. If you spit over a bridge-railing into the water and 

then do not speak until you are off the bridge, your 
wish will come to pass. 

170. If you count twelve while you cross a bridge and 

make a wish, the wish will come true . . . Blue Grass 

171. Always go the end of the walk, hang your left foot 

over, and make a wish. The wish will come true. 
If you do not follow this plan precisely, you will 
have bad luck. 

172. If on the first time you go into a new house you make 

a wish, it will come to pass. 

173. Upon entering a strange house go to the kitchen and 

make a wish. It will come true. 

174. A wish made in a bed never before slept in will come 

true. 

175. When an eyelash falls out, make a wish and blow the 

22 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

lash from the back of your hand; if the lash falls 
off, the wish will come true, but if it sticks to the 
back of the hand, the wish will not come true. 

176. If you find a loose eyelash on another person, put it 

on your left hand, make a wish, and blow the eye- 
lash over your right shoulder. Your wish will come 
true. 

177. Make a wish while untangling your hair. 

178. If when you find a pin pointed toward you you make 

a wish, it will surely come to pass. 

179. Find a pin, stick it on your left shoulder with your 

right hand, make a wish, and pass it on. 

180. When you find a pin, make a wish, put the pin on 

your shoulder, and do not glance at it again. Your 
wish will come true. Variant: if you lose it with- 
out knowing when, the wish will come true. 

181. Make a wish when you put a ring on some one's 

finger. 

182. If you turn another person's ring around eighteen 

times and make a wish, it will come true. 

183. If you make a wish and then look over your left 

shoulder (not looking through trees at the new 
moon), your wish will come true Blue Grass 

184. A girl may make a wish if her skirt turns up. 

185. If you must change a garment accidentally put on 

wrong side out, make a wish while doing so. This 
act will avert bad luck, and your wish will come 
true. 

186. If a point of scissors that you drop sticks into the 

floor, make a wish. It will come to pass. 

187. Find a hairpin, make a wish, and hang the hairpin up. 

188. If you bend the ends of a found hairpin while mak- 

23 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

ing a wish, and throw the hairpin away, the wish 
will come true. 

189. If you find a hairpin, bend each prong with someone, 

make a wish, and then throw it over the left shoul- 
der. 

190. If you drop a comb, you may turn the teeth down 

and make a wish. 

191. If you drop a comb, put your foot on it and make a 

wish. 

192. When two persons speak the same word at the same 

time, they should join their little fingers and make 
a wish. 

193. If two people say the same thing at the same time, 

they must lock their little fingers and say alter- 
nately: Red, blue (or other color) ; needles, pins; 
Shakespeare, Longfellow (or other poets). Then 
each may make a wish. 

194. If two people say the same thing at the same time, 

they should make wishes, touch wood, and touch 
blue, and their wishes will come true. 

195. Make a wish and open the Bible. If anywhere on 

the page these words occur, "And it will come to 
pass," the wish will come true. 

196. When you look into a well for the first time, any wish 

you make will come to pass Mountains 

197. If you drop a dish cloth, step over it and make a 

wish Mountains 

198. If you eat the point of a piece of pie last and make 

a wish on it, the wish will come to pass. 

199. If you forget something and come back for it, sit 

down and make a wish before going on. 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 



DIVINATIONS CONCERNING LOVE 

200. If you hold an apple in your armpit until it is warm 

and then eat it, your sweetheart will love you 

Southern Kentucky 

201. If you can break an apple in two, you can get any 

one you choose for your life partner 

North-eastern Kentucky 

202. If you can break an apple in two after some one has 

named it, the one named loves you .... Blue Grass 

203. An apple peeling that has been removed from the 

fruit without a break may be thrown over the left 
shoulder to form the initial of the person that one 
will marry. 

204. Count apple-seeds with the use of this formula: "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; eight, both love; nine, he comes; 
ten, he tarries; eleven, he courts; twelve, they 
marry." 

205. As many fresh apple seeds as stick to the forehead 

when pressed against it, so many days will it be 
until you see your sweetheart Mountains 

206. Shoot an apple seed up ; your sweetheart lives in the 

direction that it goes Mountains 

207. Name apple seeds and shoot them at the ceiling. 

The one that hits the ceiling shows which one loves 
you best. 

208. Put an apple seed on each eye. Name each seed. 

The first that falls shows which one loves you the 
more. 

25 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

209. Put five seeds on your face and name them. The 

first to fall off shows which one you will marry. 

210. Place apple seeds on the grate. Name them. The 

ones that jump show which ones love you. 

211. Count apple seeds to learn the number of children 

you will have Mountains 

212. If you can eat a crab apple without frowning, you 

can get the person you desire Mountains 

213. If a girl's apron comes unpinned, her sweetheart has 

been taken. 

214. If a girl's apron becomes unfastened and drops off, 

her lover is thinking of her. 

215. If your apron slips off, your sweetheart is talking 

about you. 

216. Make a string of beans and throw it down. The 

initial that it forms will be that of your future mate. 

217. Name each corner bed post when you retire. The 

post that you have your hand on in the morning in- 
dicates the one you will marry. 

218. Rub each post of the bed with the peeling of two 

lemons which you have carried all day. The per- 
son who offers you two lemons in your dream is 
your future partner in life. 

219. Name the corners of the bed-room. The one that 

you look at first in the morning will show which 
person loves you best. 

220. If you look under the bed, you will never marry. 

221. Make up a bed with some one and do not speak 

while you are doing it. You will marry the first 
person with whom you shake hands afterward. 

222. If you cannot make a bed well, you will marry a 

worthless man. 

26 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

223. To eat beets is a sign that you are in love . Mountains 

224. If you can touch with your finger a piece of soot (a 

so-called beauty spot) on your face, your sweet- 
heart loves you North-eastern Kentucky 

225. If you sleep with a Bible under your head three suc- 

cessive nights, you will dream whom you shall 
marry Mountains 

226. Before you go to bed at night, get the Bible, select a 

chapter that has as many verses as your sweetheart 
is years old, memorize the last one, repeat it two 
or three times, put the Bible under your pillow, and 
go to sleep. If you dream of the person, you will 
marry him or her, as the case may be ... Blue Grass 

227. If uninvited you take the last portion from a dish, 

you will not be married that year. Leave it for 
fairies. 

228. If you take the last portion on a dish at the invita- 

tion of someone, you will have a handsome hus- 
band or wife. 

229. If you take the last biscuit on the plate, a rich young 

widower or widow is your fate. 

230. If you take the next to the last biscuit on the plate, 

you will never marry. 

231. If you take the next to the last biscuit or the like, 

you will have a handsome husband. 

232. If a bird flies into the house, the one who discovers 

it will be married before the year is out. His 
spouse will be from the region from which the bird 
came ; for example, a robin represents a town per- 
son and a meadow lark a country person. 

233. If you find a bird's nest empty, you will never marry. 

If it has one egg in it, you will marry within one 

27 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

year ; if two eggs, two years ; et cetera . . Mountains 

234. If you stick your finger, put three drops of blood on 

a piece of cloth and leave it by your bedside. Your 
future husband's or wife's initials will be written 
on it in the morning North-eastern Kentucky 

235. If you burn your bread, your sweetheart is angry 

with you. 

236. If a girl allows the bread to burn while baking it, 

she will never be married. 

237. If a girl burns bread while baking it, her married 

life will be unhappy Southern Kentucky 

238. If you kill the "British lady" (the red-winged black- 

bird), you will marry the next man you meet. . . . 
Mountains 

239. If you can jump over a broom placed on the seats 

of two chairs, you will marry within a year 

Mountains 

240. If you step in front of a broom with which some one 

is sweeping, you will not be married that year. . . . 
Mountains 

241. If you cut first into a cake of butter, you will be an 

old maid Western Kentucky 

242. If a butterfly settles on you, you will get a new 

sweetheart Mountains 

243. To learn your future husband's profession count 

your buttons, saying: 

"Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief, 
Doctor, merchant, lawyer, chief." 

244. If you take the piece that is on top of the cake, you 

will never marry Central Kentucky 

245. Light a candle and leave it. Your intended mate 

will blow it out. 

28 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

246. Blow out the candles of a birthday cake. If you ex- 

tinguish all at once, you will be married within a 
year. 

247. The number of birthday candles left unextinguished 

after you have blown once shows how many years 
your wedding is off. 

248. Get a bow of ribbon out of a boy's cap and put it into 

your locket. The first boy that you cross water 
with thereafter will be the one you are to marry. . 
Southern Kentucky 

249. In the telling of fortunes, the cards have the signifi- 

cations shown below: 

Hearts. 

ace house or home, 
two kiss. 

three short space of time : 3 hours, 3 days, etc, 
four pleasant crowd: dining, dance, extreme 

and "mushy" social pleasure, 
five marriage, 
six love, 
seven jealousy. 

eight large number of love affairs, 
nine you get your wish, 
ten extreme love pleasures, 
king somewhat gray elderly man. 
queen rather blond woman, 
jack rather blond young man. 

Clubs. 

ace introduction, 
two new things in your life, 
three space of time longer than in hearts. 

29 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

four crowd: smaller or quieter than in hearts. 

five ring at bell, knock at door, etc. 

six ride in carriage, motor, etc. 

seven journey on water. 

eight business transaction. 

nine sure luck (best in deck). 

ten long journey. 

king elderly rather dark man. 

queen rather dark woman. 

jack rather dark man. 

Diamonds, 
ace a letter, 
two very good luck. 

three three pieces of good fortune together, 
four pleasant crowd, less extremely so than 

in hearts. 

five diamond ring, 
six money, 
seven conversation, 
eight more money than six. 
nine disappointment, 
ten more money than eight, 
king elderly, very white-haired man. 
queen extremely blond woman, 
jack young blond man. 

Spades. 

ace a strange bed. 
two trouble: lie, angry words, etc. 
three long period of time: three ytears or 

more, 
four crowd or sorrow: at accident, fire, etc. 

30 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

five sickness. 

six funeral, death. 

seven tears. 

eight strong drink, d.t.'s. 

nine disaster. Worst card in deck. 

ten loss (not necessarily extreme like other 

tens). 

king elderly, extremely dark man. 
queen extremely dark woman, 
jack extremely dark young man. 

250. Fortunes told with cards should involve the use of 

a new deck. 

251. A woman that loves a cat will be an old maid. 

252. If you give a black cat a piece of pickle and it eats it, 

the first man the cat goes to you will marry. 

253. To meet a black cat with green eyes is a sign that 

your sweetheart is likely to quarrel with you 

Western Kentucky 

254. If you tie a knot in a cedar limb and name it and it 

grows, the person it is named for loves you 

Western Kentucky 

255. If you walk across a cellar door or a cellar grating 

you will never be married. 

256. The falling back of a chair as you leave it means that 

you will not marry within a year. 

257. If when you turn a chair over you let it lie until you 

count thirty, you will marry twice Mountains 

258. If you turn over a chair in rising, begin to say the 

alphabet. The letter you pick it up on is the initial 
of your future life partner. 

259. If you knock a chair over and some one begins to 

count, the number counted before you pick the 

31 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

chair up is the number of years before you will 
marry. 

260. Bathe your hands, feet, and face in some water in 

which you have placed charcoal. You will find a 
lock of your husband's hair in one piece of the 
charcoal Western Kentucky 

261. If your cheeks burn, your sweetheart is talking about 

you. 

262. Name the chestnuts on a grate. The first one to 

jump shows which person loves you most. 

263. If a girl soaks her bread or cake in her coffee, she will 

be an old maid. 

264. If you look into a coffee pot, you will be an old maid. 

265. In the grounds of a coffee cup the small lines that 

form a heart shape means a letter, a snake shape an 
enemy, a coffin a death, and a straight line peace 
and happiness. 

266. If you find a four-leaved clover, put it into the bot- 

tom of your shoe. The first man you meet while 
carrying this clover in your shoe will be your hus- 
band. 

267. "If a maid finds a four-leaf clover, 

On that day she will meet her lover. 

She will know him by her beating heart, 

For love is of each life a part." Mountains 

268. Put a four-leaved clover into your shoe, go to sleep, 

and you will see the one you are to marry 

Southern Kentucky 

269. If you find a four-leaved clover and place it in your 

left shoe, and then shake hands first with a person 
of your sex, you will never marry ; if first with one 

82 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

of the other sex, that person is destined to be your 
mate Blue Grass 

270. If one finds three four- leaved clovers inside of three 

hours, the third person he will see will be his future 
mate Blue Grass 

271. Different colors, such as red, blue, and the like, indi- 

cate the different states of love, for example bad, 
true, and so forth. 

272. If a blue vein shows plainly on your nose when you 

are a baby, you will never see your wedding clothes 
Blue Grass 

273. If you see a blue-eyed dog, your next sweetheart will 

be whiteheaded Mountains 

274. If you wear red, you will never wed .... Blue Grass 

275. If you see a hen flying with a red tail, you will marry 

the next person that sees her Mountains 

276. If you find a red ear of corn, you will be married 

within a year. 

277. Count a hundred red ties; the man who has the one- 

hundredth on will be your husband. 

278. After you have counted a hundred boys with red 

neckties, the first boy you see with a blue tie on, 
you will marry; and the first boy you see with a 
white one on, you will love first. 

279. If a girl meets a team of white horses and then names 

ten different colors of ties, the last color she sees 
will be the one on the man that she is going to 
marry. 

280. Count one hundred white horses. The first man you 

see thereafter with a red necktie you will marry. 

281. Count one hundred gray horses; you will marry on 

the day you count the last one. 

33 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

282. If you count one hundred white horses, you will 

marry before the year is out. 

283. Stamp ten white horses; then the first man you see 

with a red necktie on is the man you will marry. 

284. After you have counted forty gray horses, the next 

man you meet with a red necktie will be your life 
mate. 

285. After you have counted a hundred grey horses, name 

a color ; the first man you meet wearing a tie of the 
same color will be your future husband. 

286. Count one hundred white horses and one white mule. 

The next man you meet will be your life partner. 

287. Count ninety-nine horses and a white mule; the first 

person you shake hands with thereafter you will 
marry. 

288. When you are counting a hundred gray horses, one 
gray mule will be equivalent to ten of that number. 

289. If the first corn silk that you see in any season is red, 

you will soon attend a wedding. ( Cf . the sign that 
if the first corn silk is white you will go to a funer- 
al.) 

290. If the first butterfly of the season is a white one, you 

will go to a wedding before the season is over .... 
Central Kentucky 

291. If you wear a yellow flower, you are jealous. 

292. If you shake hands across the communion table, you 

will marry Mountains 

293. If you find an even number of grains on an ear of 

corn, you will marry once and have a happy mar- 
riage. 

294. If you find an odd number of grains on an ear of 

corn, you will marry twice, both times unhappily. 

34 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

295. Cut seven initials on the ground, put a grain of corn 

into every one, and turn a hen loose. The one she 
picks up first shows whom you will marry. 

296. If your cornbread is rough, your husband's face will 

be rough. 

297. If you cross a street corner diagonally, you will not 

be married this year. 

298. If you have two crowns, you will cross the water and 

marry twice. 

299. A curly-headed individual can get anybody he wants 

Mountains 

300. Pluck the petals from a daisy, repeating as you do 

so: "He loves me, loves me not." The words on 
which the last petal is plucked reveal the fortune. 

301. It is lucky to receive a proposal at a dance and refuse 

it Western Kentucky 

302. Blow a dandelion ball. The number of seeds left in- 

dicates the number of children you will have. 

303. Blow a dandelion ball. If you drive away all of the 

seeds in one exhalation, you will be married. 

304. The number of seeds left on a dandelion ball when 

you have blown it once will ; be the number of years 
before you are married. 

305. If in early spring, a young woman will sit on the 

ground, reach behind her, and pick up a handful 
of dirt, she will find in it a hair the color of her fu- 
ture husband's. 

306. If you drop your dish cloth, your sweetheart is com- 

ing. 

307. If a girl allows dish-water to come to the boiling 

point, she will not marry that year. 

35 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

308. If a dog follows you, encourage him, as he will bring 

you a handsome husband Western Kentucky 

309. If you go in one door and out another, you will catch 

a new sweetheart. . . Central Kentucky 

310. The direction of the first turtle-dove which you hear 

in the spring is the direction of your sweetheart . . . 
Mountains 

311. If when you hear the first turtle-dove of the season 

you turn around three times on your heel and then 
look into the heel of your stocking, you will find a 
hair the color of your future mate's .... Mountains 

312. If you are the first to sleep under a new quilt, the 

hero or heroine of your dream will be your partner 
in matrimony Southern Kentucky 

313. If you dream of a coffin, you will marry rich but die 

soon after. 

314. If you dream that you cry, you will be married with- 

in a year. 

315. To dream of dates is a sign that you will break your 

betrothal. 

316. A dream of death is a sign of a wedding. 

317. If with the dream bone of a hog under your pillow 

you dream of a person of the opposite sex, you 
will marry him. 

318. To dream of a horse is a sign that you are loved by 

one person alone Mountains 

319. If you dream that you kiss somebody, you will be 

disappointed in love. 

320. If you dream that a log (or a plank) falls out of your 

house, you will lose your married partner. If you 
dream that some one puts or helps put it back, you 
will marry that person Mountains 

36 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

321. If a girl dreams in church that she nods towards the 

minister, she will marry a young parson 

Western Kentucky 

322. To dream of money is a sign of marriage. 

323. If a girl dreams that she eats a pickle, an old bachelor 

will kiss her. Western Kentucky 

324. If a young man dreams that he eats a pickle, he will 

be beloved by a woman older than he is and of a 
sour temper Western Kentucky 

325. If you dream of old shoes, someone will take your 

sweetheart away from you Mountains 

326. If you dream of a wedding, you will never marry. 

327. If you get the front of your dress wet while wash- 

ing your clothes, your husband will be a drunkard. 

328. If your dress is turned up on the right side, your 

sweetheart loves you Mountains 

329. If your dress is turned up on the left side, your be- 

loved dislikes you Mountains 

330. If you swallow a wild duck's heart, you will get the 

person that you desire. 

331. If your ears burn, name each one for people of the 

opposite sex; the one which ceases to burn first 

shows the one who loves you the better 

North-eastern Kentucky 

332. If your left ear burns, your lover is thinking of 

you North-eastern Kentucky 

333. If you boil an egg, remove the yolk, fill it with salt, 

and eat it just before going to sleep, the man that 
brings you a cup of water in your dream you will 
marry. If the cup is of gold, you will be wealthy; 
if of tin, very poor. 

334. Place an egg in front of an open fire at night and sit 

37 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

in front of it without speaking. Your future mate 
will come in and turn the egg when it is hot. 

335. If someone tells you his right eye itches and you do 

not pass the statement on, you will never marry . . 
Western Kentucky 

336. A quivering or twitching of the eye is a sign that 

your lover is thinking of you. 

337. Take an eyelash, name your lover, and then blow the 

lash away. If you do not see the eyelash any more, 
your sweetheart loves you. 

338. Pull an eyelash out and hold it between the thumb 

and the first finger. Let one person name the 
thumb and another the finger. Open them. The 
one that the eyelash sticks to has the name of the 
one that loves you. 

339. If you go to the joining place of three farms, you 

will meet the person you are to marry . . Mountains 

340. If you find a crooked feather in your hair, your hus- 

band will be a humpback Mountains 

341. If you crook your little finger while holding a cup, 

you will never be married. 

342. The number of times you can pop your fingers shows 

the number of sweethearts that you will have 

Central Kentucky 

343. Anyone who can make the first and fourth fingers 

touch over the backs of the others may marry any- 
one he chooses. 

344. If you can cross your forefinger and little finger over 

your other fingers, you can get whom you please 
and please whom you get. 

345. Name a lighted fire. If it burns, the person named 

loves you. 

38 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

346. If you can make a good fire, you will make a good 

husband or wife. 

347. The man or woman that can not make a good fire 

will not get a good wife or husband. 

348. If your fire fails to burn, your lover is not busy. 

349. If a fire that a girl makes goes out, her sweetheart is 

thinking of her. 

350. If a girl builds a good fire, her sweetheart loves her. 

351. If the first of a family to marry marries well, the rest 

will marry well, but if the first marriage is a poor 
one the rest will be poor. 

352. While you are fishing, name the worm. If you catch 

a fish, your lover is true. 

353. If a girl spills flour while she is baking, her husband 

will be a drunkard. 

354. In pinning a bouquet on, if you put the flowers ac- 

cidentally upside down, you wish to be married. 

355. If you wear a flower with the stem up, you are en- 

gaged Blue Grass 

356. When a boy wears a flower to school, he is hunting 

a girl. 

357. Certain crosses of stone, found in the Kentucky 

mountains, are thought to have been tears shed by 
the fairies when they learned of Christ's crucifixion. 
The cross brings good luck, especially for lovers . . 
Mountains 

358. If two forks are placed at your plate, you will hear 

of a wedding Mountains 

359. If a woman gets two forks at her plate, she will have 

two husbands. 

360. If you have two forks at your plate, someone will 

take your girl away from you Mountains 

39 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

361. Put the web of a goose's foot into the beverage of a 

girl whom you would have love you .... Mountains 

362. If a child is held down by a hair across his nose, the 

first word he says will be the first word he will say 
after his marriage. 

363. Pull a hair through the fingers. It will curl. In 

whatever direction the hair points, your sweetheart 
lives Western Kentucky 

364. If a man to whom you give a hair from your head 

holds it between his thumb and his first finger, the 
first word he says will be the first word that he ut- 
ters to his wife Mountains 

365. A hair found in the heel of your stocking will have 

the color of that of your future husband. 

366. If you pull a hair out of a girl's head, she will love 

you. 

367. Pull a hair from the head of a boy whom you wish 

to love you. If you bury his hair along with one of 
yours, he will love you forever. 

368. If you sew a lock of your hair in the hem of a bride's 

dress, you will be married before a year has passed. 

369. If you wear a lock of your sweetheart's hair in your 

hat, he will love no other. 

370. If someone takes the combings from the comb after 

you have combed your hair, she will get your sweet- 
heart. 

371. To find a hairpin is a sign that you will find a lover. 

372. When you find a hairpin, hang it up and name it a 

color. The first boy you pass wearing a tie of this 
color will be your husband Blue Grass 

373. Hang up a hairpin which you have found and name 

40 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

it for a friend. If anyone takes it before the 
week-end, she takes the friend Blue Grass 

374. If you wear in your shoe a hairpin which you have 

found in the road, the first man you meet with a 
red tie on will be your future husband. 

375. If a girl finds a hairpin and keeps it six months, she 

will have a proposal at the end of that time. 

376. On Hallowe'en name an apple that hangs by a string. 

If you can bite it, you are beloved by the person 
that you have named. 

377. On Hallowe'en, he who can bite an apple by bobbing 

for it will marry. 

378. If you walk in a grave-yard on Hallowe'en, you will 

see your future husband or wife. 

379. Look into a mirror at midnight on Hallowe'en to 

see your intended. 

380. On Hallowe'en look into a mirror on the cellar steps 

to see the person that you are to marry. 

381. Make a lover's knot of a handkerchief and pull the 

ends. The end that stays in most tightly shows the 
one that loves you the most Blue Grass 

382. The accidental crossing of hands as four people shake 

hands means that one of them will marry soon. 

383. If four people cross hands, the youngest will marry 

first. 

384. If you have the letter M in your hand, you will marry 

rich North-eastern Kentucky 

385. If you hear a hawk calling, your sweetheart is near 

Mountains 

386. If a girl puts on a man's hat at night when she hears 

a mocking-bird, she will marry that year and have 
good luck North-eastern Kentucky 

41 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

387. If you stand on your right heel and turn around 

three times, you may find in the hole a hair like 
that of your future mate Mountains 

388. If anyone steps on the heel of your shoe, the person 

doing this is trying to get your sweetheart. 

389. If anyone steps on your heel, you will not be mar- 

ried for seven years. 

390. If you step upon a person's heel unwittingly, you 

will dance at that person's wedding. 

391. If you can turn a hoecake without breaking it, you 

are ready to marry Mountains 

392. Name two hog bristles on a hot shovel. If they turn 

toward each other, the persons named will marry 
each other. 

393. Name holly leaves that you throw into the fire. The 

one that pops first has the name of the one that 
loves you best Mountains 

394. The number of nails in a horseshoe which you pick 

up will be the number of years before you will be 
married Blue Grass 

395. The number of years before you marry may be reck- 

oned by the number of nails that remain in a horse- 
shoe after you have thrown it over your left shoul- 
der Blue Grass 

396. Go to a deserted house at midnight and light a can- 

dle; then place a pin in the candle. When the pin 

falls out, your future husband will appear 

Mountains 

397. If you accidentally eat an insect, you will marry 

within a year Mountains 

398. If an insect lights on you, your sweetheart is talking 

unkindly about you Mountains 

42 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

399. If you kiss your sweetheart over the back gate, you 

never will kiss him again. 

400. An upsidedown kiss (that is, a kiss in which one leans 

over the chair in which the other is seated) is un- 
lucky. 

401. If you kiss a girl on the nose, you will cause trouble 

Western Kentucky 

402. Never kiss a girl behind the ear; it brings bad luck 

Northern Kentucky 

403. Do not let your beau kiss you in a buggy, for horses 

carry tails (tales). 

404. If you find two knives at your seat, there will be a 

wedding within a week. 

405. If a man gets two knives at his plate, he is going to 

have two wives. 

406. If someone climbs a ladder and cannot go farther 

count the number of steps ahead; that will be the 
number of years until he marries. 

407. Write the names of a boy and a girl. Strike out the 

common letters. Name over the words "love" and 
"marriage," on the remaining letters. 

408. Write the names of a boy and of a girl. Strike out 

the common letters. Name over the words, "love," 
"friendship," "hatred," "marriage," on the remain- 
ing letters. 

409. If you find a lilac blossom with five petals and swal- 

low it, you can marry anyone that you desire. . . . 
Western Kentucky 

410. Put a love vine on a bush and name it. If it grows, 

the person loves you Mountains 

411. If you can tie a love vine, your sweetheart is think- 

ing of you Mountains 

43 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

412. A maid says, "If I'm not going to marry anybody, 

knock, Death, knock." If she hears nothing she 
says, "If I'm going to marry a young man, whistle, 
bird, whistle!" If her appeal remains unanswered, 
she says, "If I'm going to marry an old man, hoot, 
owl, hoot !" Mountains 

413. Burn a match on one end and hold the burnt end 

down, catch it, and let the other end burn. If the 
match does not break, your sweetheart loves you. 

414. Name a lighted match. If it burns to the end with- 

out breaking, the person loves you. If it breaks in 
the middle, you will marry him. 

415. Light a match and put the end of it on a stove or 

something similar. When it burns out, the direc- 
tion in which it falls is the direction of your lover 
Mountains 

416. If you find a four-leaved clover on May first, you 

can get whatever you want .... Western Kentucky 

417. If one goes fishing on the first day of May, the num- 

ber of fish caught will be the number of sweethearts 
one will have Mountains 

418. Hold a mirror over a spring early in the morning of 

the first of May; you will see your future sweet- 
heart's face reflected in the water. 

419. If on the first morning in May you take a mirror 

and look down into a spring whose branch flows 

east, you can see your fated husband or wife 

Mountains 

420. On the first day of May, if you lean over a well and 

hold a mirror so that you can see the bottom of the 
well in it, you will see your future lover's face. 

421. On May first, look into an inverted mirror over a 

44 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

well, to see your future husband or your casket; if 
you see your casket, you will never marry at all. 

422. On the first morning in May, if a girl goes out walk- 

ing and finds a snail within its shell, she will marry 
a man with a house. If she sees a snail crawling, 
she will marry a man without a house. 

423. If you find a snail on the first day of May, put it on 

a plank in the sun; the letter it makes will be the 
initial of your future husband's name. 

424. If you find a snail before sunrise on May first, and 

place it on a plate of flour or meal, it will write your 
lover's name or initials. 

425. If you look into a well on May Day you will see 

either a coffin or the picture of the man you will 
marry. 

426. If on May Day at sunrise, you look into an open 

well, you will see the reflection of your prospective 
wife or husband. 

427. Arise before breakfast without speaking a word on 

the first day of May, get a bridle from the barn, 
go to the spring, and say: "Here is a bridle; where 
is the horse and rider?" Repeat this three times. 
Then there will appear a man riding a horse with- 
out a bridle. This will be your destined husband. 

428. On the first morning of May, place a tumbler of 

water in a window at the rising of the sun; let it 
remain all day. At sunset, look into the water. 
If you are to die an old maid or bachelor, a coffin 
will appear in the water Blue Grass 

429. If you walk around a wheat field on the first day of 

May, you will meet your fate. 

430. If you walk down steps backwards looking into a 

45 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

mirror, you will see your prospective husband or 
wife. 

431. If you look at a mirror over someone else's shoulder, 

you will get a sweetheart. 

432. Sleep with a mirror under your pillow, to see your 

future husband. 

433. If you sleep with a mirror under your head for three 

consecutive nights, on the third night you will 
dream of the one you will marry. 

434. If you count nine stars every night for nine nights 

and put a mirror under your pillow the last night, 
you will see in a dream the one that you are to 
marry Mountains 

435. Name one leaf each of mistletoe for a boy and a girl. 

Place the leaves on a warm stove. If they hop 
towards each other, the two will marry; if they do 
not, there will be no marriage. 

436. Put some mistletoe over a door. The first man that 

walks under it will marry the daughter of the house. 

437. Hang a bunch of mistletoe over a door ; the first per- 

son of the opposite sex who pauses under it will be 
your life partner. 

438. On the first night of a new moon, take nine steps 

backward; then reach behind you and pick up a 
handful of grass or anything that happens to be 
there, and put it under your pillow that night. 
The next morning there will be a hair there the 
color of your lover's hair. 

439. "New moon, true moon, 

Star in the stream, 

Pray tell my fortune in my dream" .... Mountains 

440. "New moon, true moon, a franklin free, 

46 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

If he be a true lover, send him unto me. 
May I know the color of his hair and of his eyes, 
And whether he be witless or whether he be wise" . 
Blue Grass 

441. Look at a new moon over your left shoulder and 

make this wish: 

"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" 

Western Kentucky 

442. Bend a mullein stalk in the direction of your sweet- 

heart's home. If the stalk grows straight again, 
he loves you. 

443. White specks on the finger nails show the number of 

presents you will receive. 

444. If you have a white mark on your little finger nail, 

you have a sweetheart. 

445. You have as many sweethearts as there are white 

spots on your finger nails. 

446. If you cut your nails on Saturday, you will see your 

sweetheart on Sunday. 

447. If you cut your finger nails on Sunday, you will see 

your sweetheart before Monday. 

448. Cut your finger nails for nine straight Sundays. On 

the ninth Sunday you will eat dinner with the one 
you are going to marry. 

449. If you cut your nails for nine Sundays, you will 

marry whom you desire. 

450. The first initial you pick up when eating noodle-soup 

is the initial of your married partner. 

47 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

451. If your nose bleeds, you are in love. 

452. If there is an old maid in the family, there will be 

one in the next generation. 

453. If you eat onions on Saturday, you will not see your 

sweetheart on Sunday. 

454. Fortunes are told by palmistry. 

455. Before retiring, place under your pillow slips con- 

taining the names of three boys. Throw one slip 
out when you get into bed and another the next 
morning. The one left under the pillow will con- 
tain the name of your destined mate. 

456. Before you go to bed at night, put some water in a 

pan, put each letter of the alphabet on a piece of 
paper into it, and place it under the bed. The 
next day the first letter on top shows the one you 
will marry. 

457. Write the names of admirers on slips of paper and 

put them into a basin of water. The one that 
comes to the top of the water first will contain the 
name of the person that you will marry. 

458. Write the names of three boys (or girls) on three 

pieces of paper, wrap them in bread crumbs, and 
drop them into a glass of water. The one that 
rises to the top first you will marry. 

459. Write on separate pieces of paper the names of 

eleven boys, put these names into separate balls 
of mud, and put also one blank piece into a ball. 
Drop the balls into a bucket of water. The first 
one containing a name that comes to the top you 
will know to be the name of the person that you 
are to marry. If the blank piece comes to the top, 
you will not marry. 

48 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

460. Write the names of certain persons on slips of paper, 

roll them up, and drop them into a pan of water. 
The slip that remains rolled up in the morning 
contains the name of the one that you will marry. 

461. If you do not touch the end of the sidewalk in your 

walk, you will never be married Blue Grass 

462. Put the first pea that you find over the door. The 

first one who comes in, provided he is not a relative, 
will be the one that you will marry .... Mountains 

463. In order to learn when one will marry, let the indi- 

vidual take a pea pod with nine peas in it and place 
it over the door. The first person of the opposite 
sex and unmarried who enters, the individual will 
marry within that year Mountains 

464. If the first letter from a boy to a girl happens to be 

written with a pencil, they will not be married to 
each other. 

465. If a person eats pickles, he is in love. 

466. If a girl in love craves pickles, her love is returned . , 

, Louisville Negroes 

467. Your sweetheart will love you if you will sleep with 

his photograph under your pillow. 

468. If you bury the photograph of a person whom you 

wish to love you, along with his hair, he will love 
you. 

469. If you eat the point of a piece of pie first, you will 

be an old maid. 

470. If a piece of pie is placed before you at the table with 

the crust toward you, you will be an old maid 

Western Kentucky 

471. If you take the last piece of pie on a plate, you will 

get a handsome husband or a beautiful wife. 

49 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

472. Push the corners of a sofa-pillow in. Name each 

corner. Strike the center of the pillow sharply 
with your fist. The corners that remain crushed in 
indicate which of the people love you. 

473. If you pick up a pin pointed toward you, you will 

see your sweetheart that day. 

474. If you pick up a pin lying at an angle, you will be 

kissed by your sweetheart Central Kentucky 

475. If you pick up a pin with its side toward you, you 

will see your sweetheart that day. 

476. If a pin that is barely sticking into your dress is 

struck on the saying of the letters of the alphabet, 
the letter on which it falls out is the initial of your 
intended. 

477. If while you are trying on a dress, a pin is caught to 

your petticoat, you will not marry that year 

Blue Grass 

478. Open all the doors and windows; stick nine pins in 

a row in the floor; pour water over them. If a cat 
comes in and licks up the water, and then if a man 
dressed in white or a woman passes the door, you 
will marry before you die. If a white coffin passes 
in front of the door you will die unmarried. 

479. After you have taken a newly made quilt from the 

frame, toss a cat into it to make the quilt puff out. 
The girl that the cat goes towards will be married 
first Mountains 

480. At a party throw a cat into the middle of a quilt. 

The girl toward whom it goes will be an old maid. 

481. If you can walk seven railroad rails without falling 

off, you can marry anyone that you desire. 

50 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

482. If you walk seven railroad rails without speaking, 

you will marry the first man you meet. 

483. After you have walked ten railroad rails, the first 

girl you see with eyes of which the color is opposite 
to your own will be your future wife. 

484. If you walk eleven rails of a railroad track without 

falling off, you will marry the first person of the 
opposite sex whom you meet. 

485. If you walk eighteen rails on a railroad track with- 

out stepping off, you can get any man that you 
wish. 

486. Walk twenty-one rails of a railroad track. Under 

the twenty-first will be a hair of the same color as 
that of your destined husband or wife. 

487. Count the number of drops of rain from a roof or the 

like, to learn the number of years before you will 
marry. 

488. If it is raining, walk backward nine steps; then under 

your heel you will find a hair. It will be the color 

of the hair of the one that you will marry 

Southern Kentucky 

489. If it rains while the sun is shining, turn over a stone, 

to find a hair the color of that of your destined 
mate. 

490. When you find sunshine, rain, and rainbow together, 

look under a stone, to find a hair like that of your 
wife or husband. 

491. If anyone fails to recognize you, you will be married. 

492. Put names of girls (or boys) in the corners and in 

the middle of a rectangle. Let some one write on 
the reverse side these words, "love," "hate," 
"court," "kiss," "marry." 

51 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

493. If you throw a kiss to a redbird, he will take it to 

your sweetheart. 

494. If you see a redbird, you will see your sweetheart 

soon. 

495. To hear a redbird singing is a sure sign that you will 

see your sweetheart before the end of the week .... 
Western Kentucky 

496. After you see a redbird, the next person that you 

see will be your sweetheart. 

497. If you eat nine redbuds in nine days, the ninth boy 

or girl that you meet will be your fate . . Mountains 

498. "Make a rhyme, 

You'll see your fellow before half-past nine." 

499. If you say something that rhymes or hear someone 

else say it, kiss your hand, and you will see your 
sweetheart in twenty-four hours. 

,500. When you accidentally make a rhyme in talking, 
count the words in the two rhyming lines. The re- 
sulting number is the number of the letter of the 
alphabet forming the initial letter of your destined 
mate's last name. 

501. After you have accidentally made a rhyme and ob- 

tained the initial of your mate, count "first, last," 
to learn whether it is the initial of the Christian 
name or of the surname. 

502. To put on any one's engagement ring is a sure sign 

that you will never have one of your own 

Blue Grass 

503. Put a ring on a horsehair and start it knocking. The 

number of clear knocks denotes the year and the 
unclear knocks the months and days before you will 
be married. 

52 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

504. Get a glass half full of water. Hold a gold ring 

over it with a hair. As many times as the ring 
strikes the glass, so many years will it be until you 
marry. 

505. Put a ring on your finger and think of a color. The 

first man you meet with that color of tie on is your 
future husband. 

506. If you sleep in a ring that someone has given you, 

you love that person better than God. 

507. If you turn nine set rings and two signet rings, the 

first man you meet wearing a tie the color of tKe 
stone in the last ring turned will be your future 
husband. 

508. After you have turned ten signet rings and one dia- 

mond ring, the first boy with a red tie on who tips 
his hat or cap to you is your future husband. 

509. Turn sixteen diamond rings and one signet ring. 

The first person you meet and speak to thereafter 
will be your future lover. 

510. After you have turned nineteen signet rings, the first 

boy you meet with a red necktie on you will marry. 

511. Turn twenty rings on people's fingers, and notice 

the color of the last stone. The next boy you see 
with a tie on of that color is the boy that you will 
marry. 

512. After you have turned a hundred set rings, the boy 

that you meet with a tie the color of the last stone 
is your destined mate. 

513. When you see the first robin of spring, sit down on 

a rock, take off your left stocking, and if you find 
a hair in it, your sweetheart will call to see you .... 
Western Kentucky 

53 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

514. If you run around the house three times and touch 

the same rock every time, you will see your future 
husband's hair Mountains 

515. Take a rose petal and name your sweetheart. If you 

can make it pop, he loves you Blue Grass 

516. Wear the image of St. Joseph around your neck. 

As he is the patron saint of marriage, you will 
marry soon. The charm will not work unless the 
image is given you. 

517. One who turns salt over on the table will not marry 

within a year. 

518. Eat a thimbleful of salt and go to bed backwards 

without drinking. You will dream of your sweet- 
heart's handing you a drink. 

519. Mix a teaspoonful of meal and a teaspoonful of 

water, then fry the mixture on the shovel, and eat 
it. Go to bed backwards. The person you dream 
about is your future husband or wife . . . Mountains 

520. To shiver without apparent cause is a sign that one 

is in love. 

521. It causes bad luck for a young man to give his sweet- 

heart a pair of shoes, as she will walk away from 
him Louisville Negroes 

522. If at bed-time you place your shoes in the shape of 

T and do not speak again before falling asleep, 
you will see the one that you are to marry. 

523. Sleep with your right shoe under your head for three 

nights; on the last night you will dream of your 
future husband or wife Mountains 

524. Put your right shoe and stocking under your head 

and say : 

"My right shoe and stocking 

54 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

I put under my head, 
To dream to-night of whom I am to wed, 
The color of his eyes, the color of his hair, 
And his every day clothes I wish him to wear." 
The one that you dream of will be your husband. 
If you are not to marry, you will dream of a bur- 
ial Mountains 

525. If your shoe-string comes untied, your sweetheart is 

thinking of you. 

526. If your shoe-string comes untied, you are thinking 

of your sweetheart Louisville Negro 

527. If your shoe-string comes untied, your sweetheart is 

angry with you Mountains 

528. If your shoe-string comes untied, your girl loves you 

Mountains 

529. If your shoe-string comes untied and you step on it, 

you will see your sweetheart that day. .Mountains 

530. If your skirt turns up, your sweetheart is thinking 

of you. 

531. If the hem turns up when you put on your skirt, you 

will have a new sweetheart soon. 

532. If in walking, a girl's skirt catches on a branch of a 

shrub or a bush, the number of limbs from the bot- 
tom to where it catches is the number of the initial 
letter of the beau's name whom she will "catch." 

533. If a briar catches in your skirt, your beau still loves 

you. 

534. If a bramble catches on a girl's dress, a widower is in 

love with her North-eastern Kentucky 

535. If a briar catches your skirt, your sweetheart is 

thinking of you. 

55 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

536. Take a skirt, fold it, place it under your left arm, 

walk backward to the bed, and repeat: 

"This is Friday (or any other night) I go to bed 

With my skirt under my head. 

I'll dream of the living and the dead 

And of the one I am to wed." 

In silence place the skirt under the pillow, and as 

you dream so shall it be Mountains 

537. Three rings of smoke in one day are a sign of a 

secret marriage Mountains 

538. To see two snakes at once is a sign of a wedding. , , 

Mountains 

539. To sneeze before breakfast is a sign that you will 

see your sweetheart before Saturday night. 

540. "Sneeze before you eat, 

See your sweetheart before you sleep." 

541. To sneeze three times in succession is a sign that you 

will never be married. 

542. A spider on the neck means that you have a secret 

lover Western Kentucky 

543. To spit on yourself is a sign that you will not be 

married Mountains 

544. If you spit on a piece of burning wood that falls 

down and name it for your sweetheart when you 

replace it, he will come before it burns out 

Western Kentucky 

545. If two spoons are accidentally put into a cup, a wed- 

ding will result. 

546. To drop a table-spoon is prophetic of your sweet- 

heart's coming. 

547. If a girl goes to a spring that she has never visited 

before and puts a rock from the spring into the 

56 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

hem of her dress, she \vill marry the first buy that 
she crosses water with Southern Kentucky 

548. Get a rock from a spring where you have never been 

before; the one over whose head you can throw the 

rock directly is the one that you will marry 

Mountains 

549. Kneel at a spring on any night at nine o'clock, with 

your back to it and repeat: 

"If I marry in the spring, let me hear a bird sing" 

pause. 
"If I marry in the fall, let me hear a cow bawl."- 

pause. 
"If I don't marry at all, let me hear my coffin 

knock." 

One of these requests will come true 

Western Kentucky 

550. The star under which a person is born influences his 

life. 

551. If a star falls, one of your family will be married 

soon. 

552. Name three stars in a row; the one you dream about 

shows your fate Western Kentucky 

553. If you see the morning star first over your right 

shoulder for seven mornings in succession, you will 
dream about your future husband or wife. 

554. If you count seven stars for seven nights, the first 

person of the opposite sex that you then shake 
hands with will be your future husband or wife. , 
Mountains 

555. Count seven stars each night for seven nights; on 

the seventh night you will dream of your future 
husband Western Kentucky 

57 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

350. If you count nine stars fur nine nights, the first boy 
you shake hands with will be the one that you will 
marry Southern Kentucky 

557. Count thirteen stars for thirteen nights. On the 

thirteenth night, the person that you dream of is 
your future wife or husband Blue Grass 

558. If you steal something to eat and get caught, you 

will beg after your marriage. 

559. If you fall up steps, you will not marry that year. 

560. If you bump into a stranger, you will marry some- 

one whom you have never met Blue Grass 

561. If you stumble up the steps, you will not be married 

for seven years. 

562. You can tell your fortune by naming the corners of 

a lump of sugar just before putting it slowly into 
your coffee Blue Grass 

563. "Silent supper." Several girls make a fire and pre- 

pare a supper together, not speaking, and always 
walking backwards. They place a pan of water on 
the doorstep and hang a towel near. They sit at 
the table but do not eat anything. If these condi- 
tions are observed, the future husbands of the girls 
will come, wash, sit opposite them, and finally dis- 
appear. 

564. After you prepare your supper as in 563, leave it 

and go ; then look back through a crack. You will 
see your future husband at the table. 

565. If anyone sweeps under you, you will never be mar- 

ried. 

566. If you sweep under anyone, you will never be mar- 

ried. 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

567. Burn nine different kinds of switches. When the last 

one burns, your future husband will come in. 

568. To sit on a table is a sign that you wish to marry. 

569. "Sit on a table, 

Marry when you are able." 

570. If you sit on a kitchen table, you will never be mar- 

ried. 

571. The one that remains at table longest will be married 

first. 

572. If you sit on a table with a person of the opposite 

sex, you will marry that person Blue Grass 

573. If you sit on a table under a joist in the loft, you 

will never be married Mountains 

574. Fortunes may be told by interpreting the meaning 

of the tea-leaves left in a cup. 

575. The presence of tea-leaves in your teacup means that 

you will receive a package in as many days as there 
are tea-leaves Blue Grass 

576. Put the tea leaves from your cup of tea on the back 

of your hand and slap it with the other hand. If 
they fall from the hand with one blow, you will 
marry within the year. If not, the number of blows 
it takes to remove the leaves indicates the number 
of years which will elapse before your marriage . . . 
Blue Grass 

577. If your thread knots while you are sewing, name it 

for your sweetheart. If he loves you, it will come 
untied. 

578. If your thread tangles, your sweetheart is thinking 

of you. 

579. If your thread knots while you are making a gar- 

ment, you will marry before it wears out. 

59 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

580. If you can blow all the seeds from a thistle-ball at 

one blow, you will succeed in your undertakings. 

581. If you can blow all the seeds off a thistle-ball, your 

sweetheart loves you. 

582. If a toad hops across the road in front of you, you 

will see your lover. 

583. Follow this receipt to make love powders : 

Catch a toad, put it under a rock, and let it starve 
to death. After it has dried thoroughly, beat it 
into a powder, and sprinkle this powder on the per- 
son whom you wish to fall in love with you. 

584. If your great toe itches, you have a dear lover 

Mountains 

585. If you stump your toe and kiss your thumb at the 

same time, you will see your lover. 
"Stump your toe, 
Kiss your thumb, 
And see your beau." 

586. A man whose second toe is longer than his great toe 

will be henpecked. (Compare 1004.) 

587. When two persons tie their toes together and the 

string breaks, the one with the shorter string will 
marry first. 

588. If two persons tie their great toes together, they will 

marry the first persons of the opposite sex with 
whom they shake hands. 

589. If you peel a stick toothbrush, you will offend your 

lover Southern Kentucky 

590. If when two people are walking together they pass 

on opposite sides of a tree, post, or other obstacle 
on the way, they will never marry each other. 

591. When you see a turkey-buzzard sailing, say: 

60 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

"Sail, sail, lonesome turkey-buzzard. 
Sail to the east, 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" Blue Grass 

592. Count the number of turkey-buzzards that you see 

flying. The number will be the number of years 
that you will live. 

593. If you find twin peaches, apples, cucumbers, or the 

like, you will be married soon. . Southern Kentucky 

594. If you find a twin berry or fruit, sleep with it under 

your pillow. The one that you dream of will be 
your husband or wife Western Kentucky 

595. If you can tie the tying-vine into a lover's knot, you 

can get any one that you desire as married part- 
ner Mountains 

596. If you raise an umbrella in the house, you will not 

be married. 

597. If a girl wears a wasp nest in her clothing, her lover 

will love her more deeply Blue Grass 

598. Go to a deserted house, drop a ball of yarn, and 

wind it as you walk around the house, saying, "I 
wind, who holds?" Before you have completed the 
circuit, something or someone will catch the yarn 

and in some way disclose your future mate 

Mountains 

599. If you spill water while you are drinking, your sweet- 

heart is thinking of you. .North-eastern Kentucky 

600. Dip a stick into water. It it drops fewer than five 

drops of water, your sweetheart loves you 

Mountains 

61 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

601. If you put your finger into a saucer of clean water, 

you will marry a young man ; into an empty saucer, 
you will be an old maid; into a saucer of soapy 
water, you will marry a widower Mountains 

602. Sleep on wedding cake; the person dreamed of is 

your destined mate. 

603. If you sleep on a piece of wedding cake three nights 

and dream of the same person, you will marry him, 

604. Sleep on a piece of wedding cake. Have six names 

and the word "stranger" on seven slips of paper. 
Take one out each morning. The one left shows 
your fortune. 

605. If you wear a wedding veil in a play, you will never 

be married. 

606. If a bride wears something of yours, you will have 

a proposal within a year. 

607. If a sister of the bride wears the bride's garter, she 

will be the next one to be married in that family, 

608. If you look into a well at midnight, you will see your 

future husband. 

609. Tut your handkerchief on the growing wheat at 

night. In the morning arise and get the handker- 
chief before sunrise. On it you will find the ini- 
tials of the man or woman that you will marry. . . 
Southern Kentucky 

610. If you are caught in a whirlwind, you will receive 

an invitation to a wedding. 

611. When two people break a wish-bone between them, 

the one that gets the shorter piece will marry first, 
and the one that gets the longer one will obtain 
whatever wish he may have made. 

612. When two people pull a breastbone of a chicken, the 

62 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

one getting the shorter piece will marry first, but 
the other will be rich. 

613. When two people break a wish-bone of a chicken, the 

one that gets the shorter piece will marry first, and 
the one that gets the longer piece will have the bet- 
ter dinner Blue Grass 

614. A sprig of yarrow is a good love charm. 

615. If you marry young, you will have trouble in the 

future. 



MAKEIAGE 

616. "Marry when the year is new, 

You will always be loving, kind, and true." 

617. Marriage and the months: 

"January, always poor. 
February, wed once more. 
March, splendid catch. 
April, happy match. 
May, turn to hate. 
June, enviable fate. 
July, poorly mated. 
August, better have waited. 
September, very wealthy. 
October, extremely healthy. 
November, quick undoing. 
December, Cupid's wooing." 

618. Do not marry in March, unless on the twenty- 

seventh. 

619. The months of April, June, and October are for- 

tunate months for a wedding Blue Grass 

63 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

620. May is a bad month for a marriage, especially the 

fourteenth of May. 

621. If you marry in June, your husband will be good to 

you Mountains 

622. June is the month of love and marriage. 

623. "Marry when June roses blow, 

Over land and sea you'll go" Mountains 

624. It brings bad luck to marry on the last day of the 

year. 

625. "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." 

626. Thursday is a fortunate day on which to be married 

Mountains 

627. Saturday is now a favorite day on which to be mar- 

ried. 

628. To postpone a wedding causes bad luck. 

629. "Married in gray, 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." 

630. "If you marry in blue, your love will be true." 

64 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

631. "If you marry in green, 

You'll always be seen." 

632. "If you marry in yellow, 

You'll get another fellow." 

633. It is considered unlucky for the bride to wear red, 

yellow, or green. 

634. Blue and white are considered lucky colors for a 

bride. 

635. If a bride wears a pearl, she will shed tears. 

636. If you marry in red, your husband will die. 

637. A bad dream on the eve of her wedding is unlucky 

for a bride Central Kentucky 

638. A bride must not ride a horse to a wedding nor a 

bride-groom a mare Central Kentucky 

639. A bride should not ride a gray steed by no means 

a gray horse and not even a gray mare 

Central Kentucky 

640. A bride should ride a black mare to the wedding 

rather than any other steed Central Kentucky 

641. To go through a spider web brings good luck to a 

bride. 

642. The bride who finds a spider on her wedding dress 

may consider herself blessed. 

643. The bride who marries on a rainy day will have a 

stormy married life. 

644. Rain on the wedding day means just as many tears 

for the bride. 

645. If it rains on your wedding day, you will have to 

scratch for your living Southern Kentucky 

646. "Happy is the bride the sun shines on, 

Tears for the bride the rain falls on." 

65 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

647. If rain falls on the wedding day, the bride will be a 

bad housekeeper Mountains 

648. An especially bad thunderstorm during a wedding 

means an unhappy married life. 

649. If it rains on your wedding night, you will shed as 

many tears as there are drops of rain 

Louisville Negroes 

650. If it rains the day before your wedding day, the 

bridegroom will weep as many tears as there are 
raindrops. 

651. Rain on the day after marriage means many sorrows 

for the bride Negroes 

652. Snow falling on the wedding day is a prophecy of 

great happiness. 

653. Snow on the wedding day brings money. 

654. The marriage will be unhappy if the bride is seen by 

her fiance an hour before the wedding. 

655. It brings good luck for a bride to weep on her wed- 

ding day. 

656. It is lucky to be married in the full of the moon. . . 

Western Kentucky 

657. A bride must not see the groom on her wedding day 

until the wedding. 

658. If a bride-to-be gets to the altar before the groom, 

the love is mostly on the bride's side. 

659. It brings bad luck to have peacock feathers in a room 

when a wedding takes place. 

660. If a bat flies into a church during a wedding cere- 

mony, very bad luck will follow. 

661. A bride should wear "something old, something new, 

something borrowed, something blue, and a four- 
leaved clover in the heel of her shoe." 

66 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

662. Money in the heel of the bride's left shoe insures 

wealth. 

663. If a bride goes to the altar with salt in her pocket, 

she will always be happy Blue Grass 

664. It brings good luck for a bride to carry another 

bride's handkerchief. 

665. If the bridegroom carries a miniature horseshoe in 

his pocket, he will always have good luck. 

666. Orange blossoms in wedding decoration or worn by 

the bride bring good luck. 

667. It brings bad luck for a bride to make her own 

clothes Western Kentucky 

668. It causes bad luck for the bride's dress to be seen on 

her until the night of the wedding. 

669. A bride should not show her veil to anyone outside 

of her family, and she should especially not try it 
on before anyone. 

670. To get the wedding veil torn accidentally is the best 

of luck to the bride. 

671. A touch of blood on the bride's dress indicates bad 

luck. 

672. If you prick your finger when sewing on a wedding 

dress, so that a drop of blood falls on it, the bride 
will never be married. 

673. If while the trousseau is being made a needle is 

broken, this accident is ominous for the bride. 

674. It causes bad luck for a bride to look into a mirror 

as the last act before marriage. 

675. If a bride breaks a mirror, seven years of bad luck 

are in store for her. 

676. Do not have a mirror in a room in which a wedding 

67 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

takes place, for the first unmarried woman who 

sees her image in it will die soon 

North-eastern Kentucky 

677. The position before a mirror is unlucky for the mar- 

ried pair Blue Grass 

678. It is lucky for a wedding pair to stand on a white 

fur rug Western Kentucky 

679. It is unlucky for a wedding pair to stand so as to face 

across the boards of the floor Blue Grass 

680. If a padlock is locked as a couple are pronounced 

man and wife, they will separate. 

681. If you marry as the hand of the clock goes up, you 

will rise in the world. 

682. If you marry as the hand of the clock goes down, 

you will not succeed in the world. 

683. Marry young, you marry trouble. 

684. To drop the wedding ring in the service is unlucky. 

685. If a physician witnesses a wedding, someone present 

will die within a year. 

686. It causes good luck for the family cat to be present 

at a wedding Mountains 

687. The throwing of an old shoe after the wedded pair 

averts bad luck and malevolent influences. 

688. The throwing of rice after a couple increases the 

probability of their having children. 

689. "A change of name but not of letter 

Is a change for the worse and not for the better." 

690. A bride should remove her wedding ring to put it 

back on before leaving the church and then never 
take it off again. 

691. Do not give a bride gold Central Kentucky 

68 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

692. The bride's bunch of roses is caught by the one who 

will be the next to marry. 

693. The wedding cake contains certain articles which are 

symbolic. These articles are a ring, a needle or 
thimble, bachelor's buttons, a coin, a pen, a wish- 
bone, a four-leaved clover. These articles are cut 
from the cake. 

694. If you lend something to a bride or a groom, you will 

yourself be married the next year. 

695. To find anything belonging to a bride means good 

luck. 

696. Kiss the bride for good luck. 

697. If you kiss a bride after the ceremony has taken place 

and before the newly-made husband has a chance 
to kiss her, you will have good luck throughout 
the year. 

698. If a newly-married couple both think of the same 

person on their wedding day, that person will be 
the first one to visit them Western Kentucky 

699. At an older sister's wedding the younger sister 

should dance without shoes. Otherwise there will 
be bad luck. 

700. If a bridesmaid goes to bed backward with her hand 

over her heart, she will be married before the year 
is out, provided the first man she sees in the morn- 
ing is an old one. 

701. It brings bad luck for the bride and a bridegroom to 

part the day they are married. 

702. The loss of a wedding ring is thought a prediction of 

a calamity. 

"As the wedding ring wears, 

So wear away life's cares." 

69 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

To lose a wedding ring within the first month of 
marriage augurs great misfortune. 

703. It indicates bad luck for a bride to stumble at her 

husband's door. 

704. A bride who steps on the threshold of her new 

home when entering it for the first time will never 
have a happy married life. 

705. If a newly wedded pair take a little meat and a lit- 

tle meal into the house, they will never want 

Mountains 

706. Of a couple newly married, the first one in bed will 

be the first one to die Mountains 

707. There will be no good luck for the bride until the 

wedding clothes are worn out. 

DEATH AND BURIAL 

708. If you play at having funerals, one of you will die 

Mountains 

709. If you wear anyone's mourning gown or wrap, there 

will be a death in your family. 

710. It is bad luck to put on or try on a mourning veil, 

for you will have disaster. 

711. Do not put the clothes of a living person on a corpse. 

It means death Blue Grass 

712. If you give a pin to go on a corpse, you will be the 

next to die Western Kentucky 

713. After a death in the family, you should not sing or 

play any kind of music Mountains 

714. If you see a star fall, expect a death in the family. . 

Blue Grass 

715. If you count the stars, you will die. If lying on 

70 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

your back, you count the stars, you will die 

Southern Kentucky 

716. To see a shooting star is a death sign. . . .Mountains 

717. If you shiver without apparent cause, death has 

touched you North-eastern Kentucky 

718. When you shudder involuntarily, it is a sign that 

someone is walking over your grave (the ground 
where your grave will be) Central Kentucky 

719. A noise as of someone throwing down wood is a sign 

of death Blue Grass 

720. If large drops of rain fall, there is a death somewhere, 

721. A storm precedes or follows the death of a very old 

person Central Kentucky 

722. He who kills a man will die with his boots on, that is, 

die a violent death Blue Grass 

723. If a man kills another and dies a natural death, the 

killing was justified Blue Grass 

724. If a sick person picks and catches at the bed cover- 

ing, he will die. 

725. It is a sign that a death will occur in the family, if 

you grieve over the death of a pet 

Southern Kentucky 

726. The last person whose name a dying man calls will 

be the next one to die Mountains 

727. If a person just before death calls the name of some- 

one in the family, that person will be the next in 
the family to die. 

728. Death leaves the door open, that is, one death in the 

family will be followed by another soon. 

729. If a person dies, his picture will fade 

North-eastern Kentucky 

71 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

730. If a person is killed or dies a hard death, his spirit is 

seen Central Kentucky 

731. If a man dies hard, he will go to hell. . . .Mountains 

732. It brings bad luck to take money off a dead person's 

eye Mountains 

733. If you are ever cut with a razor that has shaved the 

dead, you will die Mountains 

734. It brings good luck to wear a bullet which has gone 

through a dead body Mountains 

735. If you touch a corpse, you will not be afraid of dead 

people Mountains 

736. If you touch a dead person, you will never dream of 

him Blue Grass 

737. If you touch the body of a dead person, you will 

never worry about him. 

738. No person who touches a dead body will be haunted 

by its spirit. 

739. If you touch a corpse, you will be rid of the fear of 

death. 

740. Sailors will not touch a dead body. 

741. Put a lock of hair of a corpse into a hole in a tree to 

localize the spirit. If you remove the hair, the 
spirit will haunt you. 

742. All portraits in a room where there is a corpse should 

be turned to the wall, for otherwise a near relative 
of the deceased will die shortly. 

743. You will be unlucky if you see a corpse in a mirror. 

Cover the mirror at the time of a death. 

744. Stop the clock in the room where a death occurs, to 

avert bad luck. 

745. If a corpse's nose bleeds, it is a sign that the mur- 

derer is in the room. 

72 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS. 

746. If the body of a corpse does not become stiff, expect 

another death in the family Negroes 

747. If a corpse gets stiff and then limber, there will be 

another death in the family Negroes 

748. If a corpse has a limber neck, this circumstance is 

the sign of another death in the family soon. 

749. The will o' the wisp indicates the proximity of a 

corpse. 

750. Never allow the coffin containing a corpse to pass 

through any other room than the one in which it 
has been lying. It may, however, pass through a 
hall. 

751. If a corpse is carried from one house to another, 

death will occur in the second house within a year. 

752. In taking a casket from a house, be sure to take the 

foot of it out first Western Kentucky 

753. It is unlucky to pass in front of a casket. 

754. It brings bad luck to lock the door after a funeral 

procession has passed out. 

755. If a vehicle that is to carry away a corpse stops in 

front of your house, someone in the family will die. 

756. If you see your reflection in the glass of the hearse, 

you will be the next one to be carried in it. 

757. It causes bad luck to point your finger at a funeral 

procession. 

758. It brings bad luck to cross a funeral procession un- 

less you turn your back on it. 

759. It brings bad luck to count the vehicles in a funeral 

procession. 

760. If a horse becomes frightened or unruly in a funeral 

procession, one of the family will die before the 
year is out. 

73 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

761. It causes bad luck for a horse to balk in a funeral 

procession. 

762. If a black cat crosses in front of a funeral proces- 

sion, there will be a death in the family of the corpse 
within three days. 

763. It brings bad luck, if on your way to a funeral you 

meet a lizard. 

764. A thunderstorm during a funeral means that the soul 

will go down. 

765. Very bad luck will follow if a street-car runs into or 

even grazes a hearse. This occurrence is a sure 
sign that someone will be injured before the end 
of the trip. 

766. If you point toward a grave-yard, your finger will 

drop off. 

767. It causes bad luck to visit a grave-yard after dark. 

768. It brings bad luck for one to go through a cemetery 

at midnight. 

769. If you walk over a grave, your grandmother will die. 

770. You will have bad luck if you walk in a funeral 

vault Blue Grass 

771. To meet a red-headed negro in a grave-yard brings 

good luck. 

772. It brings bad luck to leave the grave-yard before the 

body is buried Mountains 

773. It causes bad luck to take anything away from a 

cemetery Mountains 

774. If you step over a grave, you will be the next one 

buried in that cemetery Mountains 

775. If one of a family dies and his grave is started but 

not finished, the number of times it is started but 

74, 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

not completed will mark the number of those who 
will die within that family in one year . . Mountains 

776. If you dig a grave and leave it open, or if rain falls 

into it, there will come bad luck to a member of 
your family. 

777. Dig a grave only on the burial day, because a grave 

left open over night will cause another death 

Blue Grass Negroes 

778. To bury a corpse with the feet toward the sunset is 

a sign that the soul will be lost at the Resurrec- 
tion Mountains 

779. Bury the body so that it will face the east. 

780. If a turtle-dove flies upward after a death, the soul 

of the deceased will go to heaven Mountains 

781. If you are buried on a rainy day, you will go to 

heaven. 

782. Thunder after a funeral shows that the spirit of the 

deceased has gone to heaven Mountains 

THE HUMAN BODY 

783. If you touch the beauty spot on your face, you will 

go abroad. Compare the Divination sign that if 
you can touch the beauty spot with your finger 
your sweetheart loves you. 

784. You will have bad luck if you lie on your face at 

night Western Kentucky 

785. If your face burns, some one is thinking of you 

Mountains 

786. The number of wrinkles in the forehead shows the 

number of children you will have Mountains 

787. If you join your hands behind your head, someone in 

your family will be ill or will die Blue Grass 

75 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

788. When your nose itches, someone is coming. Rub it 

on wood, to make the arrival certain. 

789. If the nose itches, someone is coming to be waited 

on. 

790. If the right side of the nose itches, a man is coming; 

if the left, a woman; if the end of the nose itches, 
someone will come riding. 

791. If your nose itches on the end, expect a negro. 

792. If the right side of your nose itches, your sweetheart 

is coming. 

793. "If your nose itches, 

Somebody is coming with a hole in his breeches" 
Western Kentucky 

794. If your nose itches, you will quarrel with someone. 

795. "If your nose itches, 

Kiss a fool, meet a stranger, 
Fall in love or be in danger." 

796. If your nose itches when you are away from home, 

you may know you are wanted at home 

Western Kentucky 

797. An itching nose is the sign of money Mountains 

798. People with pointed noses interfere with the affairs 

of others. 

799. If your right ear burns or is red, someone is talking 

well about you. 

800. If your left ear burns or is red, someone is speaking 

ill of you. 

801. If the right ear burns, pull it nine times up, saying, 

"Talk up." 

If the left ear burns, pull it nine times down, saying, 

"Talk down." 

76 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

802. If either ear burns, moisten the fingers, touch the 

ear, and repeat these words: 

"Talk good, talk bad. If it's good, may good be- 
tide you. If it's bad, may the devil ride you." 

803. If your right ear burns, a man is talking about you 

Mountains 

804. If your left ear burns, a woman is talking about you 

Mountains 

805. If your ear burns, someone is talking about you. 

Put saliva on it and it will stop burning if the re- 
marks are kind; it will not stop burning if the re- 
marks are unkind Blue Grass 

806. "Itching ear, a secret you'll hear." 

807. As to the ear's burning 

"If left or right, 
Good at night." 

808. A burning ear is the sign of someone's talking about 

you. Spit on it, and you will outwit the talker. , 
Mountains 

809. If your right ear itches, a boy is going to tell you a 

secret Central Kentucky 

810. If your left ear itches, a girl will tell you a secret. . . 

Central Kentucky 

811. A ringing in the ear foretells a death in the family. 

It is called the death bell. 

812. Small ears are marks of stinginess. 

813. Large ears signify generosity. 

814. Small ears set tight to the head indicate a mean, 

roguish disposition. 

815. If the ear is thin and angular, the owner is bad- 

tempered and cruel. 

77 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

816. If the ear is long and hangs down, the possesser will 

have long life. 

817. If you can see the sunshine through a man's ears, he 

is a rascal. 

818. If your right eye itches, you will get a letter. 

819. If the right eye itches, you will see something pleas- 

ant. 

820. If your right eye itches, you will get money. 

821. It indicates bad luck for the right eye to itch 

Mountains 

822. "Itching left eye, 

Sign you'll cry." 

823. It indicates good luck for the left eye to itch 

Mountains 

824. If your eye jerks, you may expect to see someone un- 

expectedly Blue Grass 

825. If your right eye twitches, you will cry. 

826. If your eye bats, you will get a whipping . Blue Grass 

827. Clear eyes are the sign of a clear conscience. 

828. Put jimson-weed juice in your eye, to make light 

eyes turn dark. 

829. When a large part of the white of a negro's eye 

shows, you may know that you have to do with a 
mean negro. 

830. It brings bad luck to you, to see a cross-eyed person. 

831. Avert the bad luck produced by the sight of a cross- 

eyed person by crossing your fingers. 

832. To avert the bad luck that comes at the sight of a 

cross-eyed person, cross your fingers and spit over 
the cross. 

833. You will have bad luck if you see a cross-eyed negro. 

834. If the first woman you meet in the morning is either 

78 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

cross-eyed or has red hair, you will have bad luck 
that day Western Kentucky 

835. Heavy eye-brows that meet signify a deep mind on 

the part of the possessor. 

836. If your eye-brows meet, you will be rich. 

837. A person whose eye-brows meet cannot be trusted. 

838. If your eye-brows grow together across your nose, 

you will become a murderer. 

839. Anyone whose eye-brows grow in a straight line 

across the forehead possesses a fiendish disposition. 

840. If the eye-brows meet, the person has a jealous na- 

ture. 

841. If you cut your eye-lashes, you will be able to see 

the wind Louisville Negroes 

842. The "evil eye" is supposed to have malevolent power. 

843. A coral or jet hand with fingers clenched will keep 

off the disaster threatened by an "evil eye" 

Blue Grass 

844. A dimple in your chin is a sign that Cupid has 

touched you. 

"A dimple in your chin, 

Many lovers you shall win." 

845. Beware of the girl with a dimple in her chin. 

846. Place the hand over the mouth when you are yawn- 

ing, to keep the evil spirits from entering. 

847. A large-mouthed girl has a large womb . . Mountains 

848. A fever blister is a sign that you have been kissed. 

849. If your lip itches, you will kiss an older person. 

850. When the upper lip itches, it will be kissed by a tall 

person North-eastern Kentucky 

851. When the lower lip itches, it will be kissed by a short 

person North-eastern Kentucky 

79 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

852. If your lip itches, some one is coming with a mus- 

tache. 

853. If you bite the apple off to use as bait in a dead fall, 

you will catch a rabbit. 

854. A blister or sore place on your tongue is a sign that 

you have told a lie. 

855. If you bite your tongue in speaking, the next state- 

ment probably would have been a lie 

Southern Kentucky 

856. It causes bad luck to count your teeth. 

857. If you throw away a tooth and an animal finds it, 

your new tooth will be like a tooth of that animal. 

858. If a dog steps on your pulled tooth, you will have a 

dog tooth. 

859. If you do not put your tongue into the place of a 

vacant tooth, a gold tooth will grow there. 

860. If you lose a tooth and put your tongue into the 

cavity, you will not have a tooth to come in. 

861. After a tooth is pulled, if you will swallow a bubble 
from milk, a gold tooth will come. 

862. When the juice stays in one's teeth after he chews 

tobacco, good luck will follow Mountains 

863. If you put a tooth that has been pulled under your 

pillow on the same night, you will have good luck. 

864. It brings good luck to carry a back jaw-tooth from 

the upper right side of the mouth Mountains 

865. If your teeth grow wide apart, you will be a traveler, 

866. Teeth far apart in front are a sign of the owner's 

being separated from home and friends. 

867. You will have good luck, if you carry your wisdom 

tooth with you Blue Grass 

80 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

868. If you cut your wisdom teeth before you are twenty 

years old, you will not live long Mountains 

869. Some people cut three sets of teeth. 

870. If you comb your hair after night-fall, you will get 

a whipping. 

871. To comb hair after dark brings sorrow to the heart. 

872. If you comb your hair at night, you will dream of the 

devil Mountains 

873. To comb your hair after sunset will make you for- 

getful Southern Kentucky 

874. If two people comb each other's hair, the mother of 

the younger will die. 

875. If two people comb anyone's hair at the same time, 

the younger of the two will die. 

876. If you let two persons comb your hair at the same 

time, you will die. 

877. If someone begins to comb your hair and you finish 

the process yourself, bad luck will ensue 

Central Kentucky 

878. If you comb your hair with a comb in which someone 

else has left some hairs, you will die before she 
does Central Kentucky 

879. It causes bad luck to comb your hair in front of a 

looking-glass at night. 

880. If you bury the combings of your hair under running 

water, your hair will grow as rapidly as the stream 
runs Mountains 

881. If a bright flame is produced from the combings of 

your hair thrown into the fire, you will have good 
health. 

882. If the fire smoulders after you throw your hair into 

it, your death is approaching. 

81 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

883. Wrap the palate lock on the crown of the head, to 

keep the palate from falling. 

884. Tangles in your hair show that witches have been 

riding you. 

885. Tangles in your hair show that the rats have slept 
in it Mountains 

886. If your hair is ruffled, mice have been playing in it , . 

Blue Grass 

887. To find a hair in the mouth is a sign that you will 

kiss a fool. 

888. If you hold a lock of your lover's hair, he will always 

be true to you. 

889. If you plant some of your hair in the ground and it 

grows, you will die .... Central Kentucky Negroes 

890. You will have good luck, if you rub your hands 

through the hair of a negro. 

891. If a straight-haired negro's head is touched by a 

kinky-haired one, the hair of one of them will come 
out Louisville Negroes 

892. If you cut a lock of your hair out and put it under 

a rock, it will bring you good luck Mountains 

893. Your hair will grow well if when it is cut you place 

some of it under a rock. 

894. If a grandmother takes a lock of a little girl's hair 

and fastens it in the bark of a tree in her orchard, 
the child's hair will grow to be as long as the height 
at which the hair is fastened .... Central Kentucky 

895. Place a lock of your enemy's hair in running water, 

to make him lose his mind .... Blue Grass Negroes 

896. If you place a lock of your enemy's hair under your 

doorstep, he will be unable to keep away from your 
home Blue Grass Negroes 

82 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

897. To find a feather in your head is a sign that you will 

get a whipping Mountains 

898. If a feather is in your hair, there is a letter in the 

Post Office for you. 

899. If you pull out a white hair, two or three or ten will 

grow in its place (according to various versions of 
this superstition). 

900. If your head itches, you already have company 

Mountains 

901. To test a girl's disposition, stretch a strand of her 

hair. If it curls up, she is high-tempered. The 

tighter the curl, the worse is her temper 

Central Kentucky 

902. A negro with fine, straight hair is sure to be vicious 

Central Kentucky 

903. Men with fine, light hair are intelligent and con- 

ceited. If they do not marry until late in life, they 
are likely to be selfish. 

904. Men with fine brown hair, light or dark, make the 

best husbands. They are quick, thoughtful, and 
less likely to be selfish than extremely light-haired 
or extremely dark-haired men. 

905. Men whose hair turns gray prematurely are nearly 

always good fellows. They are nervous, but are 
brainy, sympathetic, and honorable. 

906. Women with pale blond hair, or the ashy kind, are 

impulsive, loving, fickle. They can not be depend- 
ed on, but they make good companions. 

9Q7. Women with dark brown hair are very loyal. They 
are full of sentiment and easily affected. They en- 
joy keenly and suffer in proportion. 

908. Women with fine black hair are highly strung. 

83 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

Those with coarse black hair are nearly always ill- 
tempered. 

909. All women with dark hair are more tempestuous than 

those with light hair. The dark eyes and complex- 
ions that go with dark hair denote strong feeling. 
Dark-haired women are more faithful than light- 
haired women. 

910. If a woman's hair grows in a widow's peak on the 

forehead, she is a woman of charm 

Central Kentucky 

911. Red hair is a sign of a fiery temper. 

912. A person's hair may turn white from fright. 

918. If you have two crowns, you will live under two 
governments. 

914. If you have a double crown, you will not live long. . . 

Blue Grass 

915. To make yourself think clearly, put something on 

your head; for example, a ring or a bracelet. 

916. A hair on your shoulder is the sign of a letter 

Western Kentucky 

917. A wart on the neck shows that you will be hanged. . 

Mountains 

918. If the left palm itches, you will receive money. 

919. When the palm itches, 

"Scratch it on wood, 
It's sure to come good." 

920. Cold hands mean a warm heart. 

921. Put the hand of a sleeper into water. He will then 

tell his secrets or the name of his sweetheart. 

922. If you put the hands of a sleeping person into muddy 

water, he will answer any question that you ask him, 

923. Hold your hands down awhile; if you have had 

84 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

measles, you can see the marks in your hands 

Mountains 

924. If four people accidentally cross their hands in shak- 

ing hands, they will have good luck. 

925. If the hair on the back of your hands grows long, 

you will be rich. 

926. Back-handed writing shows a sly nature. 

927. It brings bad luck to put a worm on a hook with the 

left hand Mountains 

928. If you wear a thimble on the left hand, you will be 

an old maid North-eastern Kentucky 

929. It causes bad luck to shake hands with your left hand. 

930. A left-handed person owes three days' work to the 

Devil. 

931. A left-handed person owes the Devil a thousand rails 

Mountains 

932. If your right hand itches, you will shake hands with 

a stranger. 

933. An itching of the right hand indicates that you will 

shake hands with an old friend. 

934. If your right hand itches, you will get a letter. 

935. If the palm of your hand itches, a caller is coming. 

936. If you stick your finger with a pin, you will be disap- 

pointed. 

937. When you join your two hands, if you place your 

right thumb over the left, you will rule your mar- 
ried partner. 

938. If the left thumb is placed over the right, when you 

join your two hands, you will be ruled by your 
married partner. 

939. He who clenches his thumb within his fist is a coward. 

940. Long thumbs indicate a stubborn disposition. 

85 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

941. If your thumbs turn back at the end, you will not be 

able to save money. 

942. "Wide thumbs will spin gold," that is, make or earn 

gold. 

943. If you can see between your fingers, you are a spend- 

thrift. 

944. If your finger-prints make impressions of circular 

or approximately circular lines, you will be a 
money-saver. 

945. If your finger-prints make impressions that sweep 

out and do not make circles, you will be a money- 
waster. 

946. A woman with short fingers will be a good manager. 

947. Crooked fingers show that one's ancestors were la- 

borers. 

948. A person with long fingers will not have to scratch 

for a living. 

949. A man with long fingers is grasping. 

950. A person with short fingers will have a good living. 

951. If you can make your first and fourth fingers meet 

back of your hand without holding them you will 
rule your married partner. 

952. If you can make your first and fourth fingers meet 

in front, you will rule your home. 

953. The spreading out of hands and fingers in a gesture 

indicates a broad and generous mind. 

954. If your little finger is crooked, you are a crook. 

955. Hands clenched and not open are indicative of a 

mean and grasping disposition. 

956. If a person wears a ring on the middle finger of each 

hand, he will have bad luck. 

957. If you bite your finger-nails, you will not grow tall. 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

958. If you cut the nails of a sick person, he will die. 

959. If your finger-nails have half-moons at the bottom 

end, you are of good stock. 

A half -moon on each finger-nail shows that you are 

of good blood. 

960. If your finger-nails are ridged, you will have a short 

life. 

961. If your finger-nails are deep down in your fingers, 

you will be rich. 

962. Long finger-nails are a sign of a long life . Blue Grass 

963. People with short finger-nails are tale-bearers. 

964. If your finger-nails do not taper at the end, you will 

have to work for your living. 

965. If there is a white spot on your finger-nail, you are 

to receive a present. 

966. White spots on the nails counting from thumb to 

little finger, indicate, "Friends, foes, presents, 
beaux, journeys to go." 

967. White spots on your finger-nails show that you tell 

lies. 

968. If a sick person in bed cuts his nails, he will not get 

well until his nails grow out. 5 

969. Leather worn on the wrist will make you strong. 

970. If you kiss your elbow, you will change your sex. 

971. A pointed elbow is the sign of a sour disposition. . . . 

Central Kentucky 

972. If you strike your "crazy bone," you may know that 

two ladies are coming. 

973. If you measure yourself, a member of the family will 

die before a year is over. 

5 For significance of the days that you pare your nails, see Days and Seasons. 

87 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

974. If your back aches, you are going (or deserve) to get 

a whipping. 

975. If a woman who is menstruating touches a barrel of 

sour-krout, it will spoil Mountains 

976. If you attend to a call of nature in the road, you will 

have a boil on your posterior part Mountains 

977. To avert the penalty involved in the last superstition, 

spit on the refuse Mountains 

978. To lie on the right side brings good luck. 

979. Every time you sigh, a drop of blood falls from the 

heart. 

980. If a chain of shingles meets in a continuous sore, you 

will die. (Shingles really follow a nerve.) 

981. If your left foot itches, you will soon walk on the 

ground that you later will be buried in . . Mountains 

982. If your left foot iches, you will walk where you are 

not welcome. 

983. If your right foot itches, you will walk on strange 

ground. 

984. If the bottom of the foot itches, you will step on 

strange ground. 

985. It brings bad luck to stump the toe of the left foot. 

986. To avert the bad luck incident to stumping the left 

foot, you must go back and start over. 

987. The bad luck incident to stumping the left foot may 

be averted by turning around. 

988. It is lucky to stump the right foot. 

989. It causes bad luck to stump your toe. 

990. You can avert this bad luck incident to stumping 

your toe if you kiss your thumb. 

991. If you stump your toe, it brings bad luck unless you 

88 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

go back over the same place without stumping 
your toe. 

992. If you go anywhere and stumble, you are not wel- 

come there. 

993. If you stump your toe while on the way to make a 

visit, you are not welcome there. 

994. If you stumble on your way to make a visit, you will 

gain an admirer. 

995. If you stumble on your way home from a call, you 

lose an admirer. 

996. It is bad luck to have anyone step over your feet. 

997. Avert the bad luck which will come if anyone steps 

over your feet by making the person step back- 
wards over them. 

998. If someone should step over you while you are lying 

on the floor, you will die before he does unless he 
steps back. 

999. It brings bad luck to step first on the left foot in the 

morning. 

1000. Dress and undress with the right foot first for good 
luck. 

1001. It is well to step into a court room on your right 

foot when you have business there. 

1002. If a girl steps on another girl's toe, she will take 
her sweetheart from her Mountains 

1003. If you cross your feet while you are dancing, the 

devil will get you. 

1004. If your second toe is longer than the great toe, you 
will rule your mate. (Compare 586.) 

1005. It brings good luck to carry a negro's toe 

Western Kentucky 

1006. Big feet are a sign of intelligence. 

89 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1007. If you bury an amputated limb, the patient will 
have pains until it rots. It should be burned. 

1008. A red mole is a sign of intelligence. 

1009. "A mole on the face, gentleman's taste." 

1010. "A mole on the face, you'll suffer disgrace." 

1011. A mole on your cheek is the sign that your mother's 

washing tub will leak. 

1012. "Mole on the lip, 

You're a little too flip" . Central Kentucky Negroes 

1013. "Mole on the ear, 
Money by the year." 

1014. A mole under the ear is a sign that you will be 
hanged. 

1015. "Mole on neck, money by the peck." 

1016. A mole on the neck is a sign that the person will 
be hanged. 

1017. "Mole on your back, 

Money by the pack." 

1018. "Mole on your arm, you are a gentleman's charm." 

1019. "Mole on your arm, 
You'll live on a farm." 

1020. "Mole on your breast, baby in the nest 

Central Kentucky Negroes 

1021. A mole on the right side means good luck. 

1022. A mole on the left side brings bad luck. 

1023. A mole in the life line on the hand is the sign of a 

terrible disaster. 

1024. "Moly, moly, on the leg, 
Money, money, by the keg." 

1025. A mole on your left leg is the sign that you have 

a very bad temper Mountains 



90 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

SALIVA 6 

1026. If you spit on yourself, the nearest one to you will 
tell a lie on you Mountains 

1027. If you spit on yourself, the one nearest your right 
side will tell a lie on you Mountains 

1028. If you spit on yourself, you will hear of a death be- 

fore the end of the week Mountains 

1029. It causes bad luck to spit on any one else. 

1030. If you spit over your left shoulder, you can break 
a bad charm. 

1031. If you spit into any one's tracks, you will have a 
headache Western Kentucky 

1032. If you make a cross and spit in it, you will have 
good luck all your life. 

1033. Spit on a rock, to make it strike the object that 
you throw at Mountains 

1034. When you plant a bush or plant, spit into the hole 

Mountains 

SNEEZES 

1035. 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 tomor- 
row. 

Sneeze on Sunday, safety seek, 
For the Devil will be with you the rest of the week. 

s Spitting is often the means of averting some kind of disaster. There- 
fore the use of saliva appears in many of the classes of superstitions in this 
volume. To find them the reader may consult the index. 

91 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1036. Sneezes as in 1035, except 

"Sneeze on Sunday, from the Devil you will bor- 



row." 



1037. "Sneeze on Sunday, safety seek; 

Old Nick will chase you all the week. 
Sneeze on Monday, sneeze for danger, 
Sneeze on Tuesday, kiss a stranger," 
And the rest as in 1035. 

1038. Sneezes as in number 1035, except 

"Sneeze on Sunday, get a sweetheart's kiss that 
day." 

1039. "Sneeze on Monday, sneeze for danger. 

Sneeze on Tuesday, kiss a stranger. 
Sneeze on Wednesday, get a letter. 
Sneeze on Thursday, something better." 
And the rest as in 1035. 

1040. If you sneeze three times before breakfast on Sun- 

day morning, there will be three deaths before the 
week is out. 

1041. It brings bad luck to sneeze before arising in the 
morning. 

1042. If you sneeze before seven, you will have company 
before eleven. 

1043. If you sneeze before breakfast, you will cry before 

dinner and weep before supper. 

1044. If you sneeze twice before breakfast, you will have 

a beau that day. 

1045. To sneeze three times before breakfast is a good 
luck sign. 

1046. If you sneeze before you eat, 

You will have visitors before you sleep. 

1047. To sneeze at the breakfast table is a sign of death. 

92 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1048. If the youngest in the family sneezes at the break- 

fast table on Sunday morning, a death will follow. 

1049. A sneeze at the table is a sign of death. 

1050. If you sneeze at the table when your mouth is full 

of food, there will be a death. 

1051. To sneeze at table is the sign that there will be one 
more or one fewer at the next meal. 

1052. If you sneeze once, someone will come into or leave 
the house within an hour. 

1053. If you sneeze twice, you may expect two callers 
within two hours. 

1054. Sneeze three times for a letter. 

1055. If you sneeze three times in succession, you will be 

an old maid. 

1056. If one sneezes in a group of people, what is being 

said will come true. 

1057. A sneeze in a crowd means that the crowd will be 

increased or decreased by one. 

1058. Look at the sun if you feel inclined to sneeze. 

CURES AND PREVENTIVES 

1059. When a finger, a toe, or an arm is amputated, it 

should be buried in a straight position; otherwise 
the patient will suffer pains from cramp. Secrecy 
should be observed in the burial of the amputated 
member. 

1060. If after the amputation of any member of the body 
the absent member itches, scratch the other arm or 
foot, to make the itching cease. 

1061. Asthma in a child may be cured if a lock of its hair 

is placed in a hole in a post or tree above its head. 

93 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

When the child grows to that height the disease 
will be cured. 

1062. You may cure asthma by wearing a string of amber 
beads about the neck. 

1063. For back-ache use pine-resin plasters. 

1064. In setting tobacco, you often have a pain in your 
back. Have someone kneel on your back. The 
pain will cease. 

1065. To cure your back-ache, let a seventh child walk 

seven times up and down your back 

Central Kentucky 

1066. Rub a plantain leaf on a honey-bee sting 

Central Kentucky 

1067. You may remove birth-marks by rubbing them with 
the hand of a corpse. 

1068. To prevent blindness, wear ear-rings. 

1069. A dusty spider web is good for a cut. 

1070. Some people can stop the flow of blood in other 
people or in animals. The power runs in families, 
and a man must teach it to a woman, and a woman 
to a man. 

1071. Hemorrhages can be stopped by the use of pills 
made of cobwebs. 

1072. To stop the flow of blood from a cut, use soot from 
the chimney Southern Kentucky 

1073. Hemorrhages can be stopped by the swallowing of 
tea brewed from the soot of a wood fire. 

1074. If you stick the knife or other instrument with 
which you have cut yourself into the ground, the 
blood will cease to flow Mountains 

1075. If a knife which has caused a cut or wound is de- 

stroyed, the wound will be healed Mountains 

94 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1076. When you cut your hand on a piece of tin, bury the 

tin in the ground, to cure the wound 

North-eastern Kentucky 

1077. A cut may be cured by the victim's drawing a char- 

coal ring around the cut Mountains 

1078. To stop hemorrhages, have a second person repeat 
with the patient: "And when I passed by thee 
and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said 
unto thee, 'Live'." [Ezekiel 16:6.] 

1079. Hemorrhages are checked by laying an axe under 
the bed of the patient Mountains 

1080. To stop the nose from bleeding, drop a key down 
the back of the sufferer. 

1081. To stop bleeding of the nose, pour water on the 
back of the head Western Kentucky 

1082. Keep your nose from bleeding by wearing lead 
which has not been on the ground Mountains 

1083. You can stop your nose from bleeding by wearing 

lead around your neck, and putting it on your 
shoulder when the nose begins to bleed. 

1084. To stop nose-bleeding wear around the neck a bul- 
let that has killed something Mountains 

1085. Hold a piece of silver under the upper lip, to cure 
nose-bleeding Mountains 

1086. You can stop your nose from bleeding by tying a 

red yarn string around your thumb 

Central Kentucky 

1087. You can keep the nose from bleeding by wearing a 

string of red corn around the neck Mountains 

1088. Wear a string of corn around your neck to cure 
nose-bleeding Western Kentucky 

95 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1089. To prevent bleeding of the nose, a yarn string is 

worn around the left little finger 

Western Kentucky 

1090. As a cure for nose-bleeding, wear a certain gristle 

taken from a hog's ear. 

1091. To stop the nose from bleeding, put a piece of silk 
paper under the upper lip. 

1092. To prevent your nose from bleeding, place a piece 
of stiff card board between your front teeth. 

1093. If your nose bleeds, let it bleed a little bit on the 
point of a knife ; then stick the knife into the ground 
before the blood gets cold. This process will stop 
nose-bleeding Blue Grass 

1094. Nose-bleeding is stopped by allowing the blood to 

fall on a sharp axe Mountains 

1095. You can stop your nose from bleeding by putting a 

knife dipped in the blood under a doorstep 

Mountains 

1096. For nose-bleeding, hold a Bible over the sufferer's 

head and read Ezekiel 16: 6, three times 

Mountains 

1097. Eat nutmeg for boils Western Kentucky 

1098. For blood-poisoning, place a piece of bacon on the 
eruption Mountains 

1099. Put a piece of copper on an eruption from blood- 
poisoning Mountains 

1100. To cure a boil, turn up a kettle, get some soot, and 
make a cross on the boil Mountains 

1101. You can cure your boils by swallowing shot. 

1102. Boils are treated with a poultice of a mud-dauber's 

nest Western Kentucky 

1103. To cure a boil, boil a bar of lead (about one third of 

96 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

a pound) in one pint of milk. Boil it down until 
about two teaspoonfuls are left. Drink it, and you 
will never have any more boils Mountains 

1104. Clover boiled in a kettle with a crystalline rock 
makes a salve for boils and other skin eruptions. 
Mountains 

1105. To cure a bone-felon, have a person who, before he 
was seven years old, had held a mole until it died, 

hold the finger for half an hour 

Western Kentucky 

1106. It causes bad luck to burn a rag that has been 
around a bone-felon Mountains 

1107. To cure bots in horses, rub the animal nine times 

from the tip of its nose to the end of its tail, re- 
peating some lingo ; then slap its side 

Western Kentucky 

1108. Burns can be cured by persons who have the mir- 

aculous power of "blowing the fire out" of the 
wound. 

1109. Do not burn a bandage that has been wrapped 

about a burn. If you do, the burn will not heal. 

1110. To throw the dressing from a burnt wound into the 

fire will cause the wound to burn as if it were in 
the fire Mountains 

1111. To cure a burn, one must blow on the burn, repeat- 
ing these words: 

"Three angels from the north; 

Go out fire, come in frost" Mountains 

1112. To blow the fire out of a burn, the curer says : "You 
look east; you look west; you look south; you look 
north. I saw three angels coming. One had fire; 
one had frost. Blow out, Fire. Blow in, Frost. 

97 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

Father, Son and Holy Ghost." Without the tak- 
ing in or the letting out of breath, these words must 
be said in the mind three times, with the patient's 
wound against the curer's mouth Mountains 

1113. To take the fire out of a burn, the curer wets his 
forefinger with saliva and rubs it over the burnt 

place, repeating a charm of some kind 

Western Kentucky 

1114. You may cure cancer by going at daybreak to an 

apple tree on three successive mornings and pro- 
nouncing a certain incantation Mountains 

1115. A cure for cancer. Get a double handful of red- 

oak bark from the north side of the tree, a double 
handful of persimmon-tree bark, the north side, a 
double handful of the bark of the roots of dogwood, 
the north side, a double handful of the bark of 
sassafras roots, the north side, and a handful of 
dewberry briar roots. Put these together, boil 
them slowly for about twelve hours, then drink the 
mixture Blue Grass 

1116. A tobacco leaf is a sure cure for a carbuncle 

Central Kentucky 

1117. If you let a dog lick a cat, the latter will recover 

from its illness. 

1118. If you wash your hands in the first snow, they will 
not chap that winter Mountains 

1119. If your chickens are sick, take the best one that is 
well and cut off its head, to cure the sick ones. 

1120. Chicken-pox is treated with the water in which the 

feathers of a black chicken are boiled 

Western Kentucky 

98 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1121. As a cure for chicken-pox, the victim may sit in 
the henhouse for an hour Western Kentucky 

1122. Bathe a child in greasy dish-water, to avert illness. 

1123. Gunpowder is given to a woman, to facilitate child- 
birth Mountains 

1124. Carry an Irish potato in your pocket, to prevent 
chills Western Kentucky 

1125. Frizzly chickens keep off cholera Mountains 

1126. Mullein tea is a cure for colds, bronchitis, or croup 

Mountains 

1127. To cure colds, rub the chest, the palms, and the soles 
of the feet with goose-grease. 

1128. Tallow rubbed on a baby's foot will cure a cold. . . . 

Mountains 

1129. To keep off cold (or other disease) cut an onion in 
two, hang it by a string, and knock it when you 
pass. 

1130. If you accidentally fall into a creek, your cold will 
be cured Mountains 

1181. To keep off cold, wear a "sow bug" around your 
neck. 

1132. Put a hair or a piece of toe-nail of the patient into 
a hole of a tree or stump, to cure a cold. 

1133. If you drink water out of a stranger's shoe, your 

sore throat will be cured Mountains 

1134. To cure sore throat, mouth or eyes, use yellow root. 

1135. For a sore throat, tie your right sock, when you 
remove it at night and while it is warm, around 
your neck. Let it remain all night. 

1136. As a cure for a sore throat, let a man who has 

smoked for several years blow his breath down the 
throat Central Kentucky 

99 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1137. Salt pork will prevent sore throat. 

1138. If you wish to prevent a baby's having colic, blow 
tobacco smoke on its stomach. 

1139. Eggs laid on Friday will cure colic. 

1140. Red pepper and salt in your shoe will keep off 

conjures. 

1141. Butterfly root is good for consumption. 

1142. To eat the hind leg of a fat dog is a sure cure for 
tuberculosis of the lungs Louisville Negroes 

1143. Tuberculosis in a child may be cured if a lock of the 
child's hair is placed in a hole in a post or tree high- 
er than the child's head. When he grows up to that 
height, he will be cured. 

1144. For tuberculosis, stick a table fork into the head of 

the bed of the sufferer Southern Kentucky 

1145. To eat a snail each morning for nine mornings will 
cure consumption Southern Kentucky 

1146. For consumption, eat three snails in the morning 

and three at night; then three or four days later 
drink a gill of cow's water and four gills of new 
milk mixed Blue Grass 

1147. A cure for tuberculosis is to burn dried cow dung to 

ashes, make a weak lye, and drink it now and then 
Blue Grass 

1148. As a cure for tuberculosis, cut off a rattlesnake's 

head, put the snake into rum, and then drink of 
the concoction two or three times a day. Blue Grass 

1149. Tie a hemp string around the great toe of your left 
foot, to cure a cold Western Kentucky 

1150. A string around the neck will keep off cold. 

1151. If you have small-pox, you will never have tubercu- 

losis. 

100 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1152. You can cure a corn by cutting it with a blade that 
has shaved the dead. 

1153. To cure corns, use soft lye soap ("tub soap"). 

1154. To cure a corn, rub a snail (without a shell) on the 
corn nine times; then stick the snail on a thorn 
bush Mountains 

1155. When a cow's bag is hard and will not break, rub 

the bag three mornings with a flat rock; then put 
the rock back where you got it. The fever will 
then leave the bag Central Kentucky 

1156. If you feed a cow a soiled dish rag, she will recover 
her cud. 

1157. If you place a bowl of water under the bed at night, 

your feet will not cramp. 

1158. Croup is treated with skunk oil, taken internally 
and applied externally. 

1159. Carry sulphur in the pocket, to keep off cramps in 
the arms and legs Mountains 

1160. Tie a string of yarn around the ankle, to cure a 
cramp. 

1161. A leather band worn around the wrist prevents 
cramp Western Kentucky 

1162. Wear a brass ring, to keep off cramp. . .Mountains 

1163. To prevent the feet from cramping, place the shoes 
with the toes pointed under the bed. 

1164. You can cure a crick in the neck by rubbing the 

neck against a tree where a hog has rubbed itself . . 
Blue Grass 

1165. Wear amber beads, to keep away croup. 

1166. Croup may be prevented by placing the baby's bare 

foot in the first snow which falls after its birth. . 
Western Kentucky 

101 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1167. To avert cramp in the legs, place a pair of scissors 

or some other piece of steel in your bed 

Central Kentucky 

1168. Wear a pot hook around the neck, to cure a crick in 
the neck. 

1169. Tea made from elder bark peeled upward will cure 
diarrhoea Mountains 

1170. To cure diphtheria, put a part of a freshly killed 
chicken against the throat Western Kentucky 

1171. The hair of a dog is good for its bite. 

1172. If a dog that bites a person goes mad later, so will 
the person. Therefore kill the dog straightway. 

1173. A madstone, a stone-like substance sometimes found 

in the body of a deer or other animal, will prevent 
the bite of a mad dog from producing hydrophobia. 

1174. The herb angelica boiled in the urine of a healthy 
man-child is good for dropsy Blue Grass 

1175. If you take a bess-bug and cut off its head, one 

drop of blood will flow. It will cure earache 

Western Kentucky 

1176. Three drops of blood from three different kinds of 

insects dropped into the ear will cure earache 

Central Kentucky Negroes 

1177. Cure earache by putting a lock of a negro's hair 
into the ear Central Kentucky 

1178. Roast an onion in the ashes and then put the juice 

of it into your ear, to prevent earache again 

Northern Kentucky 

1179. Blow smoke into the ear, to prevent earache. 

1180. Rub the hand of a corpse over the face of one who 
has eczema. 

102 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1181. Epilepsy is kept off by the victim's wearing a hemp 

string around the throat Central Kentucky 

1182. Epilepsy can be kept off by the sufferer's wearing 

bones of a rattlesnake around the neck . . Mountains 

1183. A black cat's blood and a black chicken's will cure 

erysipelas Mountains 

1184. Erysipelas is cured by "striking fire" over the pa- 
tient's head Western Kentucky 

1185. If you have your ears pierced, you will not have sore 
eyes. 

1186. If you wear ear-rings, you will not have sore eyes. 

1187. March snow is good for sore eyes. 

1188. Bottled snow water is good for sore eyes. 

1189. To wake up your foot when it is asleep, make a 
cross on your leg with a wet finger. 

1190. To wash your feet in dish water will cure sore feet. 

1191. Fill your shoes with corn and put a little water on 

it. Your shoes will thereafter never hurt the feet. 

1192. If you will wear a bag of rhubarb around your 

neck, your children will not have club feet 

Western Kentucky 

1193. A remedy for frozen feet is to wrap the feet in the 

skins of rabbits killed in the dark of the moon 

Mountains 

1194. As a remedy for frozen feet, bury a crooked penny 

at the northeast corner of the cabin outside, where 
water drops from the eaves Mountains 

1195. Frozen feet can be cured by wrapping them in the 

skin of a newly-killed rabbit, the fur on the outside. 

1196. Your feet will not be frost-bitten if you wrap them 

with rabbit hide Mountains 

103 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1197. For frost bite, bathe the feet in the running water 
from a stream that runs west. 

1198. A pine knot placed in drinking water will prevent 

typhoid Mountains 

1199. Place steel under the bed for fever; it draws out 
the electricity from the body. 

1200. As a cure for a "fever" or cold blister, take wax 

from your ear and rub it on the blister 

Southern Kentucky 

1201. If you have cold blisters, kiss a dog's forehead, and 
they will get well Louisville Negroes 

1202. One of the rattles of a rattlesnake will keep a per- 

son from having fits Mountains 

1203. To cure freckles, go to a still branch in the moun- 
tains and bathe your face each day for nine days . . 
Mountains 

1204. To remove freckles, wash your face in buttermilk. 

1205. You may cure freckles by rubbing grass over your 

face before the dew is off. 

1206. The first shower in May is said to cure freckles. 

1207. To remove freckles, wash your face in dew off grass 
the first nine mornings in May. 

1208. If on the first day of May you walk backward from 
your bed outdoors and then wash your face in dew, 
the freckles will leave. 

1209. To remove freckles, wash your face with melon rind, 

1210. To wash in water standing in an oak stump, will 
remove freckles Mountains 

1211. To cure freckles, go to a stone and step over it three 
times backward and then three times forward. 

T<> cure freckles, get up before the sun rises, go 
out to a wheat field, and wash in the dew. 

104 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

Some say that this should be done for seven days. 

1213. Glandular swellings are treated with two-year-old 
marrow taken from the inferior maxillary of a hog 
Western Kentucky 

1214. You can stop a goitre from growing by burying a 

live toad under the drip of the house . . . Mountains 

1215. If you rub a goitre with a toad, it will go away. . . . 

Mountains 

1216. A gold bead necklace prevents a goitre or cures it 

Mountains 

1217. "Job's tears," (a kind of smooth, gray bean) tied 

around the neck, will cure a goitre 

North-eastern Kentucky 

1218. If you have a goitre on your neck, rub a dead per- 

son's hand over it three times. As the body decays 
the goitre will disappear Louisville Negroes 

1219. To cure grip, hang your hat on the bed post and 
drink whiskey until you see two hats. 

1220. Rub the sap from a grape vine on your hair to make 

it grow Mountains 

1221. Put burnt leather on a galled place on a horse to 
prevent the hair from coming out white . Mountains 

1222. When a servant finds that her hair is falling out, she 

should seek a new situation, somewhat removed 
from her present one, in order to stop the trouble. 

1223. For headache, apply brown paper and vinegar. 

1224. One subject to headache may prevent it by carrying 

a buckeye in his pocket. 

1225. For headache, use a poultice of cornmeal . Mountains 

1226. You can cure headache by pressing the hand on the 

forehead so as to press each pulse-beating place. 

105 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

!_'_' 7. Plait the front hair into four plaits, to avert head- 
ache Central Kentucky 

5, To cure a headache, place the hair that comes from 
the head in combing under a hidden rock some- 
where Mountains 

PJiM). Carry one of your teeth around your neck, to keep 
off headache Mountains 

1230. For headache, bruise a horse-radish leaf, wet it, 

and tie it to the head Central Kentucky 

1231. Wear a snake-rattle in the hair day and night, to 

prevent headaches. 

1232. You can cure a headache by swallowing a spider 
weh Western Kentucky 

1233. Wear a match in your hair, to keep from having a 
headache. 

1234. Cure hiccough by holding the breath and counting 
nine. 

1235. To cure hiccough, take nine sips of water, count 
nine backwards, and then turn around nine times. 

1236. If somebody tells somebody else to get you a drink, 

it will stop hiccough North-eastern Kentucky 

1237. You can cure hiccough if you put the ends of both 

thumbs behind the ears and push inward 

Blue Grass 

1238. You can cure hiccough if you frighten the victim 
badly Blue Grass 

PJ.'W. If you have a hiccough, think of your lover. If he 
loves you, you will not have it anymore. 

1240. You can cure a child of hives by "scarifying," that 
is, by making three cuts in the child's back, mixing 
the blood with breast milk, and giving the mixture 
to the child to drink Mountains 

106 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1241. To cure a baby of hives; place a hot, moist cloth just 
under the shoulder blade, remove it, cut the skin 
two or three times with a razor; draw about fif- 
teen or twenty drops of blood, and feed it to the 
baby. 

1242. When you break out with hives, mix Irish potato 

peelings, peanut-butter, and lard; cook them to a 
syrup and rub with it Louisville Negroes 

1243. To cure hollow horn, cut a gash in a cow's tail, put 
in salt, and sew up the wound . . . Central Kentucky 

1244. If a horse hurts his feet, take a nail from the shoe 
and put it into a lard-can Mountains 

1245. May butter will make an ointment that will cure 

any ill; it never grows rancid. .Western Kentucky 

1246. Carry a castor-bean for indigestion. 

1247. For indigestion, boil chicken-gizzards and drink the 

broth. 

1248. A sure cure for stomach trouble is a tea made from 

dog-fennel. 

1249. A sure remedy for all kinds of stomach troubles is 
ginseng. 

1250. A nutmeg carried in the pocket or in the clothes is 

a preventive for stomach troubles. 

1251. Keep a goat with a herd of cattle, to keep off in- 
fectious diseases Blue Grass 

1252. A mole's foot will keep off infectious diseases 

Blue Grass 

1253. Kiss an injured spot to make it well. 

1254. Iron gives strength. It may be given in the form 

of simple filings, rust of iron, or salt of steel 

Blue Grass 

107 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

>. To cure itch in the toe, tie a yarn string around the 
toe which is affected Mountains 

1256. Roll the baby in sulphur and lard for itch 

Mountain 

1257. To cure itch, rub the body with sulphur, wear your 
clothes three weeks without change or bath, and 
bury the clothes. Later dig them up in the dark 
of the moon and launder them Mountains 

1258. For jaundice, catch about a half-dozen "old sows" 

(gray hearth bugs) and boil them in water. Then 
stir into the mixture enough meal to make a cake. 
Place it on the chimney piece. When the cake is 
done, the person will be well. (It is not necessary 
to eat it. ) Central Kentucky 

1259. Wet the index-finger in the mouth, rub it on the 
bottom of a "pot- vessel" of some sort, and make 
a cross-mark on a kernel under the jaw, to make it 
disappear Mountains 

1260. To cure kernels which result from a bruise or sore, 
cross them with soot from the chimney. 

1261. For an affection of the kidneys, pills made of pine- 

pitch are taken. 

1262. For gravel or other kidney disorders, drink tea 
made from nine buds picked from as many differ- 
ent stalks of mullein. 

1263. You can cure a liver complaint in a child by having 

him touch his left foot with his right hand 

Mountains 

1264. For difficult and painful menstruation, take the larg- 

est grown pullet you can get, that never laid an 
egg, pick her without scalding, beat her to pieces 

108 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

and boil her well. Let the patient drink the soup 
about the time of the change Blue Grass 

1265. For measles, use "sheep-nanny" tea, that is, a drink 

made by pouring hot water over the dried manure 
of sheep. 

1266. Flesh moles may be removed by the juice of milk- 
weed. 

1267. Some people have the power of removing flesh 
moles simply by rubbing grass over them. 

1268. To ward off mumps, wear a silk cord around the 
waist. 

1269. If from stumping your toe you break your nail, 

place it with two stones in a rag; then throw the 
rag over the house Mountains 

1270. When a nail is stuck into the foot, drive the nail 

into the ground, to make the swelling go down. 

1271. If a nail is stuck into the foot, do not drive the nail 
high into a door or wall because the swelling in the 
foot will then rise. 

1272. If you stick a rusty nail into your foot, hide the 
nail where no one can find it, to prevent your foot 
from getting sore. 

1273. If you stick a nail into your foot, grease the nail 

and carry it in your pocket. The wound will heal 
quickly. 

1274. If you pull a nail out of a horse's foot and put it into 

your pocket, the horse's foot will not get sore. 

1275. Neuralgia can be cured if the sufferer will for three 

consecutive days take nine swallows of water after 

rising in the morning and before speaking 

Mountains 

109 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

rj:<;. Use a red silk handkerchief for neuralgia 

Central Kentucky 

1-J77. If you are suffering from neuralgia in the left side 
of the head, take a piece of red wrapping string, 
ignite it, and sniff the smoke into the right nostril, 
and vice versa Blue Grass 

1278. Tie a certain bone from a hog's head around the 

neck, to keep off neuralgia 

Central Kentucky Negroes 

1279. Neuralgia is cured by the wearing of a nutmeg 

around the neck Central Kentucky 

1280. If you go to sleep on the flat of the back, you will 
not have a nightmare Mountains 

1281. A cure for nightmare is found by turning the shoes 

upside down with the toes toward the head of the 
bed. 

1282. A pan of water under the bed prevents night sweats. 

1283. In slicing onions, place a pin between the teeth, to 
prevent crying. 

1284. For a fallen palate, the hair on top of a patient's 
head is pulled "till it pops" ; the patient at the same 
time must swallow twice Western Kentucky 

1285. To cure phthisic, you must measure yourself with 
a broom-stick and then put the broom-stick upstairs 
where you will never see it again Mountains 

1286. To cure phthisic, stand the one affected against a 
tree, fasten a lock of his hair in the tree, and then 
cut that lock off. When the place grows over, the 
sick one will be cured. 

1287. Cockle-burr tea is good for phthisic 

Central Kentucky 

1288. Cany a horse chestnut in the pocket, to avert piles. 

.110 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1289. Carry alum, to keep off piles Mountains 

1290. To cure pheumonia, place a part of a freshly killed 
chicken on the chest Western Kentucky 

1291. A dime under your tongue will enable you to eat 

without danger of poison Central Kentucky 

1292. A nutmeg tied around the neck with a silk cord 

prevents quinsy. 

1293. Carry an acorn in the pocket, to prevent rheuma- 
tism. 

1294. A piece of alum carried by a person who is suffer- 

ing from rheumatism will cure the disease. 

1295. Wear amber beads about the neck for rheumatism. 

1296. To cure rheumatism, fill a can with angleworms, 
let it stand in the sun all day, and rub the oil on 
the stiff joints. 

1297. A brass ring worn on the left thumb prevents rheu- 
matism. 

1298. If you wear a brass ring on the middle finger of the 

left hand, you will prevent rheumatism 

North-eastern Kentucky 

1299. To avert rheumatism, carry a horse-chestnut in the 
pocket. 

1300. Put a bumble-bee sting between the fingers, to keep 

off rheumatism. 

1301. Use carbon from an arc-light that has not touched 

the ground, to prevent rheumatism. 

1302. For rheumatism, wear a copper wire around the 

affected parts Northern Kentucky 

1303. Rheumatism may be prevented by the sufferer's 

sleeping with a dog Mountains 

1304. For rheumatism, wear an eel skin around the neck. 

111 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

I :*().>. You can cure your rheumatism by carrying elder 
leaves in your pocket Mountains 

1306. Wear red flannel on the wrist, to cure rheumatism 

Blue Grass 

1307. Carry a round ham bone, to avert rheumatism. 

1308. Bend a horse-shoe nail into the form of a ring, to 

avert rheumatism. 

1309. If you break the ice in winter time and jump into 
the water, the bath will cure rheumatism. 

1310. Wear a lead ring, to keep off rheumatism. 

1311. For rheumatism, wear a nutmeg around the neck. 

1312. Pokeberries are thought to be a cure for rheuma- 
tism. The berry mixed with whiskey is drunk as a 
tea. The dried berry gathered in the fall is also 

made into tea. The raw berry is also eaten 

Mountains 

1313. Rheumatism is treated with skunk grease or red- 
worm oil Western Kentucky 

1314. An Irish potato in the pocket may avert or cure 

rheumatism. If the potato hardens, it will cure the 
ailment. If, however, it rots, it will do no good. 

1315. Carry a round ham-bone in your pocket, to avert 

rheumatism. 

1316. Carry a potato filled with tacks in your pocket, to 
keep off rheumatism Northern Kentucky 

1317. You can cure your rheumatism by crossing your 

shoes at night Northern Kentucky 

1318. If you wish to keep from having rheumatism, place 

your shoes side by side under the bed at night 

North-eastern Kentucky 

1819. Wear a silver ring, to keep off rheumatism. 

112 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1320. As a cure for rheumatism, tie a red string around 

the toe. 

1321. A white silk ribbon worn about the body will pre- 

vent rheumatism Blue Grass 

1322. A belt made of a rattlesnake skin will cure rheu- 

matism Mountains 

1323. To cure rheumatism, kill a rattlesnake which has 
had no chance to strike, skin it, dry the remains, 
place them in a jug of corn whiskey, and drink the 
whiskey Mountains 

1324. Carry sulphur in the pocket for rheumatism 

Mountains 

1325. To cure rheumatism, bind a live toad to the back. 

The pain will pass from the back of the sufferer 
into the toad Blue Grass 

1326. Put a string of yarn around the neck, to keep off 

rheumatism. 

1327. You can cure rheumatism if you will tie a wool 

string around your ankle. 

1328. To cure ringworms, wet the index finger in the 
mouth, continue to move it in a circle on the bot- 
tom of a used pot, chanting this incantation the 
while : 

"Ringworm round, 
Ringworm red, 
Ringworm die, 

To make glad." 

The person afflicted with ring-worm goes through 
with the ceremony using his given name in the 
blank space Mountains 

1329. To cure a ringworm, let some one rub the ringworm 

113 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

with each of his fingers wet with saliva. Do not 
let him see the ringworm Mountains 

1330. To cure a ringworm, rub around it nine times with 
a thimble Mountains 

1331. Scratch a cross with a pin on the finger, to make 
a "run-around" go off Mountains 

1332. For shingles, rub the sores with blood obtained from 
cutting off a black cat's tail. They will then never 
meet Central Kentucky 

1333. For shingles, cut off a black cat's tail and nail the 
tail against a door Mountains 

1334. Kill a black chicken, and put the blood on shingles, 
to cure them. 

1335. To cure a pain in the side, spit on the bottom of a 
stone, put it back in its place, and repeat rapidly 
an indefinite number of times, until the pain leaves 
your side: "Pain, get off my side; pain, get off 
my side" Mountains 

1336. For a pain in the side, stoop over until the nose 
touches the ground. 

1337. For a pain in the side, stoop and take a drink of 
water from a spring. 

1338. Hops in the pillow are soothing and induce sleep. 

1339. You will never have small-pox so long as you carry 

an onion in your pocket Blue Grass 

1340. For a snake-bite, bury the wounded part in the 

earth. 

1341. For a snake-bite, put grease on the wound and let 

a dog lick it Central Kentucky Negroes 

1342. For a snake-bite, tie the half of a freshly killed 

chicken to the bitten place Central Kentucky 

1343. If a snake bites you, kill the snake, split it open, 

114 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

and wrap it around the wounded member 

Mountains 

1344. Bind the liver and the intestines of the snake to its 

bite, as a cure for snake-bite Blue Grass 

1345. A rattlesnake-bite is cured by salt and fresh pork . . 

Mountains 

1346. A piece of red yarn around your little toe will take 

sores off your feet Mountains 

1347. Take jimson-weed and fat meat on a penny and 

apply the mixture to a sore ; it will stop pain 

Louisville Negroes 

1348. A sore may be cured by a dog's licking it 

Louisville Negroes 

1349. After you have extracted a splinter from your flesh, 

there will be no pain if you put the splinter in 
your hair Louisville Negroes 

1350. Sprains are treated with goose grease. 

Western Kentucky 

1351. For insect stings, take three kinds of weeds and 
rub the place that is irritated. . Southern Kentucky 

1352. To cure a stone bruise, bind a live toad on the bruise. 
When the toad dies, the bruise will disappear. 

1353. Rub a black cat's tail over your eye nine times, to 

remove a sty. 

1354. To remove a sty, steal a dish-cloth, rub the sty with 
it, and bury the dish-cloth secretly. 

1355. Rub an incipient sty with a plain gold ring warmed 

by friction with a woolen garment. Pronounce the 
following couplet: 
"Sty, sty, leave my eye; 
Go to the next passer-by." 

115 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1356. A .sty may be cured by one's rubbing it with a wed- 
ding ring that has been blessed. .Central Kentucky 

1357. Take gravel from a running stream, rub it on a sty 

or other place of pain, and then replace it 

Mountains 

1358. If any one has a sty on his eye, tell him he has told 

a lie. This statement will relieve him . . Mountains 

1359. If some one on seeing that you have a sty says that 
it is a sty and you say it is a lie, the sty will go off. 
Mountains 

1360. If you wear a nutmeg around your neck, you will 

cure the sty on your eye. 

1361. At a cross-roads say: "Sty, sty, leave eye; 

Go to the next passer-by." 

1362. Remove a sty by turning three times on the heel at 
a cross-roads. 

1363. If you have a sty, walk backwards to a cross-roads 

and spit on the ground three times over the right 
shoulder. The sty will leave you and infect the 
next passer-by. 

1364. Remove a sty by picking up a rock, spitting on it, 

and returning it to its place. 

1365. To keep off sun-stroke, put a wet cabbage leaf on 
the head. 

1366. If you have a sun pain in your head, clip a small 
bunch of hair from the top of your head and place 
it in a branch running from west to east . Mountains 

1367. If you have a tape-worm, get a handful of the bark 

of the root on the north side of a mulberry tree and 
boil it in a gallon of new milk; take this mixture 
for three days before the full, and three days be- 
fore the change, for three moons Blue Grass 

116 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1368. To cure tetter, wear a brass ring on your thumb. . , 

Southern Kentucky 

1369. Thrush in a child can be cured if a person who has 
never seen his father will blow his breath three 

times into the child's face for three days 

Blue Grass 

1370. You may cure thrush by putting the blood of a 
chicken into the child's mouth Mountains 

1371. To cure thrush, place a lock of the child's hair into 
a hole in a tree Central Kentucky 

1372. Rainwater from a stump will cure thrush. 

1373. Thrush in a child can be cured by washing the 
child's mouth with nine sage buds Mountains 

1374. For thrush, take three bunches of green sage of 
three buds each; rake each bunch through the 
mouth; hang the three bunches before the fire; 
when they dry, the child will be cured. .Mountains 

1375. The seventh son or daughter by blowing into the 

mouth of a child will cure thrush 

Western Kentucky 

1376. To avert thrush, drink water from a man's right 
shoe Mountains 

1377. You can cure thrush in a child by giving him to 

drink water that has been tossed in a stranger's 
right shoe from heel to toe three times . . Mountains 

1378. Cure thrush by having the child drink water out 
of an old shoe Mountains 

1379. As a cure for thrush, place nine sow-bugs (little 

white insects found under stones near dwellings) in 
a small sack and wear it around the neck for nine 
days. 

117 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1380. To cure a child of thrush, let a stallion snort into 
the child's face Mountains 

1381. The wearing of amber beads around the neck will 
help teething Central Kentucky 

1382. Black wooden beads worn about the neck will avert 
the pains of teething Blue Grass 

1383. Black hen's brains make babies' teething easy 

Central Kentucky 

1384. For a baby's teething, let it have nine pieces of 

burdock root on a string around its neck 

Central Kentucky 

1385. Rub an unbroken egg shell on a baby's gums, to 

ease the pains of teething Mountains 

1386. Suspend a borrowed egg in a paper sack from the 
ceiling, to cause the baby to cut its teeth easily .... 
Western Kentucky 

1387. Sore gums in a baby may be cured by the applica- 
tion of a groundhog's brains Mountains 

1388. Put the eye-tooth of a hog about the neck of a child, 

to keep it from having a hard second summer. 
(This tooth is found with a hole through the center) 
Central Kentucky 

1389. For sore gums, let the child wear a necklace of 

"Job's Tears" (a kind of smooth, gray bean) about 
its neck. 

1390. To aid a baby in cutting its teeth, rub a minnow or 
other small fish on the baby's gums .... Mountains 

1391. To make all teething pains in a child cease, fasten 

about its neck in a small cloth "poke" or bag the 
right front paw of a ground mole. 

1392. Make a baby's teething easy by putting a quarter 

of a dollar around its neck. 

118 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1393. For teething, cut off a rabbit's head, roast the head 

with the hair on, take the brains out, and rub them 
on the gums Blue Grass Negroes 

1394. Rub warm and raw rabbits' brains on the baby's 
gums Mountains 

1395. A snail or slug is placed on the gum for tooth-ache 

Western Kentucky 

1396. If you put a string of warm seed roots about a 

baby's neck, its teething will not be painful 

Mountains 

1397. For teething, use a necklace of whole spice soaked in 
whiskey Blue Grass 

1398. For toothache, make the gums bleed, put the blood 

on a long cotton string, and tie the string around a 
dogwood tree at a place where an incision has been 
made in the bark Western Kentucky 

1399. To cure a toothache, steal a dishrag and bury it. . . 
North-eastern Kentucky 

1400. For toothache a faith doctor writes, "Gaffa, gaffa, 
gaff a," on the wall. With a nail he points at each 
letter, at the same time asking the sufferer if the 
tooth feels better. When he reaches a letter where 
the tooth is said to be better, he drives in the nail, 
and the toothache ceases Western Kentucky 

1401. If you keep a hog's jaw tooth, you will not have a 
toothache Mountains 

1402. To cure toothache, cut a wart off a horse's leg and 
rub it on the gums Western Kentucky 

1403. For toothache, carry the skull of a horse as far as 

you can, holding its teeth with your teeth , 

Mountains 

1404. To cure toothache, choke a mole with your hands 

119 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

behind your head and hang one of its feet around 
your neck Mountains 

1405. For toothache, secure a tooth from a live mole and 

rub this on the aching member . Western Kentucky 

1406. Avert or cure toothache by cutting your nails on 

Friday. 

1407. You can cure toothache by promising not to cut 

your nails or do similar things on Sunday 

Mountains 

1408. If you stand a person against a tree and drive a 
nail into the tree just above his head, this process 
will cure toothache Western Kentucky 

1409. To cure toothache, pick your tooth with a poplar 
peg until it bleeds, then wrap a yarn string around 
the peg, and get someone to bury it. Relief will 
come soon Central Kentucky 

1410. To cure toothache, pick up a rock, spit on the under 

side, and put it back into the same place . Mountains 

1411. If after your tooth is pulled you throw it over the 

left shoulder (or put it under a rock), you will 
have no toothache Mountains 

1412. Pick your aching tooth with a splinter from a tree 

that has been struck by lightning 

Western Kentucky 

1413. To prevent toothache, make a wish by the full moon 

Mountains 

1414. To cure toothache, go to a wood, find a small hick- 

ory tree, take your knife, stand by the tree and 
mark the place even with your mouth; then move 
back, turn up the bark, spit into the place, and 
turn the bark down again. If it grows back, your 
tooth will not hurt any more Mountains 

120 



KENTUCKY .SUPERSTITIONS 

1415. If you have swollen tonsils, place a live toad against 

them. The swelling will disappear 

: Southern Kentucky 

1416. To cure abrasion in the toe, tie a yarn string around 
the toe Mountains 

1417. Place hops in a bag or in your clothes as a cure for 
train-sickness or sea-sickness. 

1418. Put Irish potatoes in a traveling bag, to keep off 
train-sickness. 

1419. A newspaper inside the shirt next to the skin will 
keep off train-sickness. 

1420. To prevent train-sickness, wear a piece of writing 
paper on the chest. 

1421. To prevent train-sickness, wear a pair of soles made 
of butchers' brown paper . North-eastern Kentucky 

1422. You must not take turpentine externally unless 
you take it internally. 

1423. For typhoid, cut a chicken in half and put one part 

against the sole of each foot. 

1424. Sprinkle lime around the house, to protect the 
family from typhoid Mountains 

1425. A piece of onion will keep off typhoid. .Mountains 

1426. Tea made from the lining of a chicken's gizzard will 
cure vomiting. 

1427. Tea made from elder bark peeled downward will 
cure vomiting Mountains 

1428. Peach-tree bark taken internally will cure vomiting 

1429. To cause vomiting, put a wet tobacco leaf beneath 
the foot, under the arm, or on the stomach. 

1430. You can make a wart go away by burying an apple 

secretly and saying this charm : 

121 



KENTUCKY , SUPERSTITIONS 

"As this apple decays, so let my wart go away" . . . 
Blue Grass 

1431. Make an incision in the bark of an apple tree. 

When the place grows over, your wart will be gone. 

1432. Rub the wart with bacon rind. Bury it secretly. 
As it decays, the wart will disappear. 

1433. Rub the warts with a piece of bacon. Tie a string 

around the bacon and bury it secretly. The warts 
will leave within nine days. 

1434. Rub the wart with fresh beefsteak, tie a string 

around the steak, and bury it secretly. The wart 
will leave within nine days. 

1435. Buy five cents worth of candy, eat it all, and your 
warts will disappear. 

1436. For a wart cure, bury one bean or three beans se- 
cretly. When the beans sprout, the wart will be 
cured. 

1437. Put wart blood on a bean leaf and bury it secretly 

The wart will leave within nine days. 

1438. As a cure for a wart, put blood from the wart on a 

bean leaf, pour water on the rock, and leave it. The 
wart will disappear. 

1439. Take a bean leaf and squeeze its juice onto a wart. 

The wart will be gone in three days. 

1440. Get nine bean leaves and rub them nine times over 
your wart; then bury them where they will rot. 

1441. Rub the wart with the underside of a round or ring 
bone. Bury the bone secretly. Within three weeks 
the wart will disappear. 

1442. Kill a black cat, take it to a graveyard at midnight, 
and rub the cat on the wart. 

122 



KENTUCKY .SUPERSTITIONS 

1443. To make a wart go away, wash it in the blood of a 
black cat which was killed in the light of the moon. 

1444. Pick the wart with a brass pin. Let one drop of 
blood fall on a stone. Cover the drop with another 
stone and then bury them secretly. 

1445. Put castor oil on a wart. 

1446. Rub a chicken gizzard or chicken intestine on a 
wart, to make it disappear. 

1447. Rub coffee grounds on a wart; then put the coffee 
grounds into a bag and bury them. 

1448. If you have warts, put as many cords under a rock 
as you have warts. When the cords rot, the warts 
will disappear. 

1449. To cure warts, rub seven grains of corn on the 
warts ; then feed the corn to your neighbor's chick- 
ens. 

1450. To cure a wart, cut it, take ten grains of corn, and 
put them on the wart; then put them into a crawfish 
hole. The wart will go off. 

1451. Pick a wart with a red grain of corn until it bleeds; 

then give the grain of corn to a red rooster. 

1452. Pick the wart, put the blood from it on a grain of 
corn, and give it to a gander. 

1453. Rub a wart with a grain of corn, and drop the grain 

into a well; when it rots the wart will disappear. 

1454. Pick the largest or "seed" wart with a needle until 
it bleeds; then take as many grains of corn as you 
have warts and put a drop of blood on each. Feed 
these to a rooster. 

1455. To remove warts, pick the part until it bleeds, put 
the blood on seven grains of corn, and feed them 
to one chicken. 

123 



KENTUCKY .SUPERSTITIONS 

1456. Some people can count warts off. 

1457. Some people can rub a wart and conjure it off. 

1458. If you cut a cross mark on a tree and then pick the 
wart until it bleeds and rub the blood on the cross 
mark, the wart will leave when the mark goes off 
the tree. 

1459. To cure a wart, go to a cross-roads, make a cross, 
and spit into the middle of it. 

1460. Rub a wart with the juice of a dandelion, to make it 

leave. 

1461. If you have warts, wait until some one dies; then 
just at midnight go to the graveyard and call to the 
devil. He will take away the warts. 

1462. Rub the wart with an old dishrag (some say, a 

stolen dishrag) . Bury the rag. When it rots, the 
wart will be gone. The process must be done se- 
cretly. 

1 463. In the use of a stolen dishrag for the cure of a wart, 
throw it over your left shoulder into a pond. 

1464. Tie a dog's hair around a wart very tightly; the 
wart will disappear. 

1465. Steal an egg, rub it over the wart, and then bury 
it. Do not tell any one of your act. The wart 
will disappear. 

1466. Cut your finger-nail to the quick. When it grows 
out, the wart will be gone. 

1467. Catch a fish and rub the wart with it. 

1468. Rub the wart seven times with a gold ring. 

1469. Rub a wart with the end of a goose quill. 

1470. In order to cure a wart, place a fresh piece of grape 

vine over the wart; then bury the vine in a secret 
place. 

124 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1471. If you drop some dirt from a new grave on a wart, 
it will go away. 

1472. Get three pieces of gravel where the rain-water falls 
on them off the house ; apply them to the wart ; then 
tie them in a white rag and bury them . . Mountains 

1473. To remove a wart, rub it with nine pieces of gravel, 
and then place the pieces in the fork of the roads . . 
Mountains 

1474. Select an herb of each of three different kinds. Spit 
on each herb and touch the wart with it. Bury the 
herbs. Tell no one. The wart will disappear. 

1475. Cut the wart off with a horse hair. 

1476. Cut the wart off with a silk thread. 

1477. If you kiss your wart and then kiss some one, your 
wart will come off Mountains 

1478. Warts may be removed by lemon juice. 

1479. As a cure for warts, steal a piece of meat, grease 
the warts, bury the meat under a rail fence or the 
eave of the house. When the meat rots, the warts 
will be gone. 

1480. Rub the juice of milk- weed on the wart. It will be 
cured by the next morning. This remedy is pos- 
sibly medicinal. 

1481. When you see the new moon, pick up any object 

on which your foot rests and rub this article on 
the wart ; then walk backwards ten steps and throw 
the object over your right shoulder. Very soon the 
wart will disappear. 

1482. If you look at the new moon and rub your hand 
over the wart three times, saying each time, "You 

grow and you go," the wart will disappear 

Mountains 

125 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1483. When you see a new moon, rub your finger-tip 

around the wart. It will leave. 

1484. Rub the wart with a stalk of green mustard. 

1485. To remove a wart, one must pick it until it bleeds, 
then put the blood on a rusty nail, and drive the 
nail into the root of an oak tree. 

1486. Give the warts on your hand names that you have 
never heard of and make some good wish about 
them; the warts will go off. 

1487. To cure warts on cattle, name the animal that has 
the warts "Tinny," and call it always by that name 
Southern Kentucky 

1488. Smoke a nettle and stick it in the wart; then throw 
the nettle away. 

1489. Count the warts each night for nine nights. They 
will leave. 

1490. Let a friend of yours cut the wart on your hand and 
then put a drop of the blood on a piece of paper 
and hide it. The wart will leave. 

1491. Cut the wart. Put a drop of blood on a piece of 
the wart on paper. Throw the paper away at a 
cross-roads or over the left shoulder. If any one 
picks up the paper, your wart will pass to him. Se- 
crecy must be observed. 

1492. Rub the warts with peach-tree leaves and bury the 
leaves. When they rot, the warts will leave. 

1493. Go unseen to a young peach-tree and cut with a 
butcher knife as many notches in the tree as you 
have warts. Put the knife back into its place. In 
seven days the warts will go away. 

1494. Cut three notches in a peach-tree limb. When the 
notches are filled up, the wart will be gone. 

126 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1495. To remove a wart, rub a penny over the wart for 
nine mornings. 

1496. Pick the wart until it bleeds. Split the bark of a 
persimmon tree and put the blood within. When 

the split grows up, the wart will leave 

Western Kentucky 

1497. If someone gives you a pin and if you then close 
your eyes and turn around three times, your wart 
will disappear Central Kentucky 

1498. Pick your wart with a pin; blindfold yourself and 

stick the pin into the ground; the wart will dis- 
appear Southern Kentucky 

1499. Thrust a pin entirely through a wart; heat the point 

of the pin; pull the heated point back through the 
wart Western Kentucky 

1500. Pick a wart with a pin that has never been used and 
throw it where it can never be found. Your wart 
will disappear. Mountains 

1501. To remove a wart, rub it with a pin that belongs to 

someone other than a relation of yours. Then hide 
the pin Western Kentucky 

1502. The warts will go away if you give a girl who is not 

related to you a pin or anything like a pin 

Mountains 

1503. Put poke-root on the warts, to remove them. 

1504. If you rub a wart with a fresh piece of potato once 

or twice each day, it will fall out within two weeks. 

1505. Throw a piece of potato over your left shoulder. 
When the potato sprouts, your wart will be cured. 

1506. If you boil potatoes and wash your hands in the 
juice, your warts will leave. 

127 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1507. Rub a person's wart three times; on the third time 

say, "Father, Son and Holy Ghost" . . . Mountains 

1508. Pick a wart until it bleeds; rub salt over it; wrap 
the salt up in a piece of paper; throw the paper into 
the road. The wart will disappear. 

1,509. Cut as many notches in a sassafras root as you have 
warts; plant the root; if it grows, the warts will 
leave Mountains 

1510. Call each wart by the name of a preacher, cut a 
notch for each one in a sassafras stick, and stick it 
into the ground up to the first notch. The warts 
will then disappear Mountains 

1511. Cure a wart by selling it to someone and keeping 
the money. 

1512. Warts may be cured by the touch of the seventh 

son of a seventh son, who must utter the words. 
"Go away, wart." No pay must be offered to the 
healer. 

1513. Tie a black silk thread around the wart. When the 
thread wears out, the wart will disappear. 

1514. Rub the warts with a snail obtained from the woods ; 

place the snail on a stick; when the snail crawls 
away from the stick, the warts will be gone. 

1515. Spit on a wart and rub it seven times upward with 
the finger while someone chants a hocus-pocus 
rhyme Western Kentucky 

15UJ. Rub a steel ring on a rug, and then touch the wart 
It will be gone at the end of three weeks. 

1 "'17. Cut as many notches in a stick as you have warts, 
and place it under the drip of the house. When it 
nuns, the warts will go off Mountains 

151 H. Measure each wart with a stick, and break off the 

128 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

piece. Bury the pieces of stick. When they rot, 
the warts will be gone. 

1519. Get a stone at midnight, spit on it, and put it on a 
rafter in the attic. In eight weeks turn it over. 
Secrecy must be observed. 

1520. Touch each wart with a stone, and speak certain 
secret words of charm. The warts will leave. 

1521. Go out secretly in the morning, rub a stone on the 
wart, and put the stone back exactly as you found 
it. Repeat this action daily until the wart disap- 
pears. 

1522. A good cure for warts is to prick them with a broom 

straw, and then break the straw into as many pieces 
as there are warts. 

1523. Get a piece of straw for every wart; touch each 
wart with a separate straw. Bury the straws in a 
wet place. When they rot, the warts will be gone. 

1524. Pick three straws from a broom. Rub the wart 
three times. Bury the straws where water drops. 
When the straws rot, the cure is effected. This 
process must be done secretly. 

1525. Rub a bundle of straws over a wart, and place it 
in a path where it will be picked up. If some one 
picks the bundle up, the wart will go away within 
a month. 

1526. A witch-doctor takes a flat stick and cuts a notch 

for each of your warts. Then he chants: "Come, 
witches, take these warts away." He then hides the 

stick. When it is moved, the warts will leave 

Mountains 

1527. Take a string out of a dish rag, tie as many knots 
in it as you have warts on your hand, and bury it 

129 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

under a rock. When it rots, the warts will disap- 
pear. 

1528. Let someone tie a string into a knot on the wart, 
and then hide it in a place unknown to the afflicted 
person. When the string rots, the wart disappears. 

1529. To cure a wart, walk backwards in the moonlight 
to an old stump full of water and stick your hand 
into the water. 

1530. In order to remove a wart, you must get up some 
morning without speaking to anyone or allowing 
anyone to speak to you and walk down the steps 
backward and out of the house to a thorn bush, 
Take a thorn from the bush, and stick it into your 
coat; then address the thorn bush: "Mr. Thorn, 
I wish to trade you my warts for a thorn." 

1531. Tie a black thread around the wart, and then put 
the thread where the water drips off the house .... 
Mountains 

1532. Put a thread on the wart; then take the thread, and 
let some one bury it in a place you do not know. 
When the thread rots, the warts will come off. 

1533. Any old woman who is possessed of supernatural 

power will remove your warts for so many pins . . . 
Mountains 

1534. Point the fingers at a wart and say "Tige" three 
times. It will go away. 

1535. In order to cure your warts, put tobacco juice on 
them. 

1536. To remove your warts, rub a broken toothpick on 
them. 

1537. If someone rubs your wart twenty-five times, it 

130 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

will leave your hand and go to his 

Central Kentucky 

1538. Stick a toothpick dipped in vinegar into your wart. 
It will leave. 

1539. Rub the wart with half of a green walnut and then 

bury the pieces of walnut Western Kentucky 

1540. If you tie three knots in a red yarn string and throw 
it into the fire, the warts will leave your hands. 

1541. To cure a wart, hold your hand so deep in water 
that you cannot see the wart Mountains 

1542. To awaken a sleeping part of the body, wet your 
finger, and make a cross on that part of the body. 

1543. No matter how much contaminated water may be, 

it will be purified when it has passed over nine 
pebbles Mountains 

1544. To remove a wen, wish it away with a formula, and 
strike it with a book. 

1545. If you have a wen on your hand, rub it against a 

dead-man's neck, to make it go wway 

Louisville Negroes 

1546. To cure a wen on your neck, place a string around 
the neck of a deceased friend of yours and after- 
ward wear it around your own neck 

Louisville Negroes 

1547. To keep off whooping-cough, wear a black velvet 
band around the neck Blue Grass Negroes 

1548. A tea made from white ants will cure whooping- 
cough \ Louisville Negroes 

1549. You will cure a pain in your leg if you tie a string 

around your leg just above the knee 

Western Kentucky 



131 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 
FIRE 

1.5.50. To play with fire will bring bad luck. 

1.5.51. A child that plays with fire will wet its bed. 
1.5.V2. You will have bad luck if you burn bones. 

1.5.53. If you burn the skin of onions, you will receive 
money Lousiville Negroes 

1.5.54. If you burn an egg-shell, you will get money 

Louisville Negroes 

1.5.5.5. If the fire roars, there will be a quarrel in the family. 
1556. Some negroes can foretell the arrival of strangers 

by the presence of figures in the fire. 
1.5.57. If a piece of burning wood or coal rolls from the 

fire-place, a stranger is coming. 

1558. To avert the coming of a stranger when a piece of 
burning wood or coal rolls from the fire-place, spit 
on the burning pieces. 

1559. Name a piece of burning wood or coal when it falls 

from the fireplace the person you wish to see, and 
then spit on it. 

1560. If a log falls out of the fireplace, put it back in the 

same position as it was before falling. If you do 
not, you will have bad luck .... Louisville Negroes 

1.5(51. You must not turn a log of wood over in the fire, 
for you will have bad luck; and if a piece falls 
down, you must not turn it around when you re- 
place it. 

1.5(52. When fire pops, there will be a quarrel in the fam- 
ily. The one that punches the fire will start the 
quarrel. 

1.5(5.3. To avoid a quarrel in the family, stir the fire when 

it pops. 
. If a spark pops out of the fire, company is coming. 

132 



KENTUCKY .SUPERSTITIONS 

1565. In making a garment, if the fire pops upon it, you 
will die before it is finished. 

1566. To avert the disaster that follows the popping of 
fire upon your dress, throw salt into the fire. 

1567. If a spark from a fire falls behind you, you will have 
trouble that comes from behind you. 

1568. It causes bad luck to move into a house before the 

fire left by the last tenants has died out 

Western Kentucky 

1569. If the soot hangs from the bars of a grate, some one 
is coming Mountains 

1570. If soot on the back of a fire-place catches fire and 

if sparks creep and crawl along it, you will have 
fresh meat. 

1571. If a fire goes out before the fuel is consumed, there 
will be bad luck. 

1572. If a tree is struck by lightning, the fire may be put 

out by milk but not by water. 

1573. If you burn the wood of a tree that has been struck 
by lightning, there will be a death in your family . . 
Mountains 

HOUSEHOLD AND DOMESTIC LIFE 1 

1574. If the stone step of a newly built house cracks, there 
will be an early death in the family 

1575. If a board warps in a porch, you may expect a death 
in the family. 

1576. To build a new house where an old one stood will 
cause a death in the family. 

1577. It brings bad luck to cut a door or a window in a 

i For dates of moving see Days and Seasons. For the connection of witches 
and butter, see Witches. 

133 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

house after it is built. If you cut a new door in an 
old house, there will be a death in your family. 

1578. When dirt is lifted, if it is thrown away from the 
house, there will be good luck for the household. 

1579. It causes bad luck when dirt is lifted, if it is thrown 
toward the house. 

1580. If a chimney is blown from your house during a 
storm, you will have good luck if it falls on the 
right of the house Blue Grass 

1581. If you 'build a new house and move at once into it, 
one of the family will die. 

1582. If you give an entertainment upon moving into a 
new house, you will have good luck. 

1583. If when you move into a new house you take into it 
first a basket of food, you will have good luck and 
a sufficiency of food Blue Grass* 

1584. If you take a cat with you when you move, you will 
have three years of bad luck Mountains 

1585. It brings good luck, when you move into a newly 
built house, to hang a bag of salt in the kitchen be- 
hind the stove Mountains 

1586. When she moves, the woman should not enter the 
new home without salt Mountains 

1587. When you move, do not take salt into the house 
first. 

1588. To carry an old broom to a new house brings bad 
luck. 

1589. In moving into a new house, do not take the broom 

in first. 

1590. It brings good luck, when you move into a new 
home, to take the handle of the broom in first. 

134 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1591. You must never take your broom with you when 
you move. 

1592. In taking up residence at a new place, throw a 
broom before you through the front door. 

1593. Never move from a house without throwing a broom 

over it. 

1594. To sweep a house after the moving is done will bring 
bad luck. 

1595. If you are hit by a broom, you will be arrested. 

1596. If you hit a person with a broom, he will spend the 
greater part of his life in prison. 

1597. If the person struck with a broom spits on the 
broom, he averts the prison omen. 

1598. If you hit a person with a broom, you will make 
him lazy. 

1599. To step over a broom is a sign of slovenliness. 

1600. If you step over a broom when it is on the floor, 
you will have bad luck. 

1601. To step backward over a broom brings bad luck. 

1602. It brings good luck to fall over a broom handle. 

1603. It causes bad luck to hand a person a broom from 
a window. 

1604. It is unwise to carry a broom from the front door 
through the house to the back. 

1605. If a broom falls in front of a door, there will be dis- 

aster to the one who goes through that door. 

1606. You will have bad luck if you place a broom with 

the handle above. 

1607. It causes bad luck to lean a broom against a bed. 

1608. If you drop a great many broom-straws out of a 
broom, you will have good luck. 

1609. If a bunch of straws comes out of the broom when 

135 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

you are sweeping, name it and place it over the 
door. The person named will call. 

1610. If you drop a broom while you are sweeping, you 
will get a new carpet. 

1611. Do not sweep under one's feet, for he will never be 
rich. 

1612. If you sweep under a sick person's bed, he will die, 

1613. If you let any one sweep under your feet with a 
broom, you will have bad luck. 

1614. If you let some one sweep under your feet, you will 
never be married. 

1615. If you sweep your feet with a broom, you will never 
be married. 

1616. It brings bad luck to sweep dirt from a room out 

of the door. 

1617. If you sweep dirt out of your door during the first 

part of the week, you will have bad luck all the 
week. 

1618. It causes bad luck to stir the fire with a broom. 

1619. If the broom falls across the doorway, someone will 

call. 

1620. If two people sweep a floor together, they may ex- 

pect bad luck. 

1621. If you sweep after dark, you will bring sorrow to 
your heart. 

1622. If you sweep djrt out of the house at night, before 

a month is over a member of the family will be 
carried out the door a corpse. 

1623. It brings bad luck to sweep a porch after night. 

1624. If you take up ashes or sweep them out after four 
o'clock in the afternoon, you will have bad luck. 

136 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1625. If you sweep the house after the sun goes down, 
you may expect a man caller. 

1626. If you move the furniture in your sitting room 
every month, you will have good luck. 

1627. Never put your foot on a bed, for you will have bad 
luck. 

1628. If spinning rolls are not laid in the same direction 
in which they come off the cards, they will not spin 
Mountains 

1629. It brings bad luck to sit on a trunk. 

1630. If you turn a chair around, whoever sits down in it 
will have bad luck all of his life. 

1631. You will shorten your days if you turn a chair 

around on one leg. 

1632. To turn a chair around on one leg is a sign that you 
will soon get a whipping. 

1633. To avert the disaster incident to turning a chair 
around, turn it in the reverse direction. 

1634. It causes bad luck for anyone to put a foot on your 

chair. 

1635. If one unconsciously turns a chair, a calf will die. . 

Mountains 

1636. Two chairs with their backs together promise good 
luck. 

1637. Two chairs set back to back accidentally promise 
company. 

1638. It brings bad luck for a chair or a table to creak. 

1639. The rocking of an empty rocking-chair indicates 
the coming of bad luck. 

1640. To rock a chair when no one is in it, is a sign that 
you are rocking someone out of the family. 

137 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1641. To avert the bad luck incident to rocking an unoc- 
cupied chair, one may place a pillow in the chair. 

1642. If you sit on the front edge of your chair, you are 
of a grasping disposition Blue Grass 

1643. It is a sign of death if an old clock strikes that has 
not been running. 

1644. If an old clock that has not been running strikes, 

one of the family will die in the number of years 
indicated by the number of the strokes. 

1645. If a weight in the family clock falls, there will be a 

death in the family. 

1646. If the clock ticks loudly at midnight, there will be 

a death in the family. 

1647. If the family clock stops, there will be a death in 
the family. 

1648. It causes bad luck to have two clocks running in one 
house Mountains 

1649. A watch-tick sound in the wall is the sign of a death 

in the family. A "death-ticking" in some article 
of furniture is a sign of death. 

1650. If you hear the furniture creaking, bad luck will 

follow. 

1651. If you hear the furniture crack in the night, there 
will be a death. 

1652. A creaking wall indicates death. 

1653. To go in at one door and out at another indicates 
that you will have company. 

1654. A person will have bad luck who goes in at one door 

and out at another. 

1655. To stumble when going upstairs is a sign that you 
will receive a letter. 

1656. To hang out clothes after dark brings bad luck. 

138 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1657. To shake out a table-cloth after dark brings ill luck. 

1658. If you take a hoe or a spade into the house, someone 
will dig your grave. 

1659. If a hoe is carried through one door and out at an- 

other, the youngest member of the family will die. 

1660. If you carry a hoe through the house, your calf will 
die Mountains 

1661. It causes bad luck to throw a hoe over the fence. 

1662. It brings bad luck to carry an axe into the house. 

1663. Avert the bad luck of carrying a spade or an axe 

into the house by carrying the implement out the 
same way that it was brought in. 

1664. It causes bad luck to step on an axe Mountains 

1665. It brings bad luck to draw a rake or a hoe across a 
porch. 

1666. If you carry a plant into the house through one 

door, you must take it out through the same door, 
or a person in your family will soon die . Blue Grass 

1667. If you pour some of the first of each milking into 
the creek, the cow will not go dry. 

1668. In milking if you throw milk on the ground, the 
cow will go dry. Throw it into the running water. 

1669. Lightning and thunder will sour milk. 

1670. If you lend a churn, your cow will go blind or suffer 

some other disaster Mountains 

1671. You cannot make butter when elders are in bloom. 

Mountains 

1672. Hold a buttercup under your chin. If it casts a 

reflection upon your chin, you like butter 

Mountains 

1673. If while currying a horse you drop a curry-comb 

139 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

or brush, you will miss your aim that day in hunt- 
ing. 

1674. It causes bad luck to knock a vase off a mantel. . . . 

Blue Grass 

1675. If you iron the hem of your husband's shirt, you iron 
his money away Central Kentucky 

1676. It brings good luck to bury your fish bones 

Mountains 

1677. If a working woman leaves the place of her employ- 

ment after five o'clock in the afternoon without at 
least a morsel of food in her pocket, she will be 
without food the next day Blue Grass 

1678. If a working woman in leaving the place of her em- 
ployment after five o'clock in the afternoon turns 
back for a forgotten morsel of bread, she will have 

bad luck. The bread must be brought to her 

Blue Grass. 

1679. It brings bad luck for the kettle to move on the 
hearth without apparent cause. 

1680. It brings bad luck for the door to push in and out 
without wind. 

1681. If your thread knots, you will die before the article 
that is being made is worn out. 

1682. If while hemming a napkin you prick your finger 

and the blood gets on the napkin, you will die be- 
fore it wears out Blue Grass 

1683. If two people sew on the same piece at the same 

time, the older will outlive the younger. 

1684. If you accidentally drop a needle and it sticks into 
the floor, some one is coming. 

1685. To hang up the calendar before the old year is out 
will bring you bad luck. 

140 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1686. If you walk over a rug and turn up the edge, you 
will have bad luck. 

1687. If you walk back over a rug which you have turned 

up at the edge, you will avert the bad luck. 

1688. To pass any one on the stairs causes bad luck. 

1689. If you stand in a friend's open door, you will bring 
bad luck to that friend. 

1690. You will have bad luck if you walk through a door 
backward Western Kentucky 

1691. It brings bad luck to go through a doorway when 

some one is sitting in it. 

1692. You will have bad luck if you bump against any one 

while you pass through a door. 

1693. Do not knock on your own door. Western Kentucky 

1694. Never hang any thing on a door knob. 

1695. If you break a glass door or a window, you are cer- 
tain to have bad luck. 

1696. It brings bad luck to shake hands across a door-silL 

1697. It causes bad luck to jump out of a window unless 
you jump in again backward. 

1698. Shaking hands over a fence or a gate is unlucky. 

1699. It brings bad luck to close an open gate. 

1700. It is unlucky to touch an open gate. 

1701. A bed should head toward the north. 

1702. Never sleep with your head toward the east. 

1703. You must not place your bed with the head to the 
west, as that position is the one in which the dead 
are buried. 

1704. If you lie with your head out the door, you will die 

before the year is out Blue Grass 

1705. If you lie with your head toward the fire, you will 
be ill. 

141 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1706. "Early to bed and early to rise, 

You'll be healthy, wealthy, witty and wise." 

1707. It brings bad luck to get into bed over the foot- 
board. 

1708. It causes bad luck to climb over any one in bed. 

1709. If you get into bed on the side opposite to the one 
you are used to getting in, you will have bad luck. 

1710. If you go to bed backwards, you will have pleasant 

dreams. 

1711. If you say your prayers after going to bed, you say 
them to the Devil Central Kentucky 

1712. If you go to bed thirsty, your spirit will wander off 

and drink from foul mud-puddles Negroes 

1713. If you go to bed very happy, you will awake ill the 

next morning. 

1714. If you laugh in bed, you will cry before morning. 

1715. If you whistle in bed, you will cry before you retire 

again. 

1716. To sing in bed brings bad luck. 

1717. If a solid crown of feathers is found in a pillow, 
misfortune will fall on the household. 

1718. If a cross of feathers is found in a pillow, misfor- 
tune will fall on the household. 

1719. If you get up in the morning with a feather in your 
hair, you have slept one hour late Mountains 

1720. If a person walking in his sleep is awakened, the 
awakening will kill him. 

1721. It brings bad luck for three people to make up one 

bed. 

1722. Never put a broom on the bed; it brings bad luck. 

1723. To lay an umbrella on the bed causes bad luck. 

1724. It brings bad luck to raise an umbrella over any 

142 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

one's head in the house. He will not grow any 
more. 

1725. If you raise an umbrella in the house, you will have 

bad luck. 

1726. If a man gives a woman an umbrella, bad luck will 
follow Louisville Negroes 

1727. New sheets must not be slept in unlaundered, as the 

occupant will have bad luck. 

1728. It brings bad luck to keep a quilt of hexagonal pat- 
tern. This pattern is sometimes called "Job's 
Trouble" Central Kentucky 

1729. In quilting, if you leave out a line, one in the fam- 
ily will die Mountains 

1730. You will have good luck if you use tablecloths, 

towels, and the like before they are laundered. 

1731. If two people use a towel at the same time, they 
will fight. 

1732. "Wash and wipe together, 
You'll be good friends forever." 

or 

"Wash and wipe together, 
Live and love forever." 

1733. Do not empty the water that someone else has 

washed in, as a quarrel will follow. 

1734. If you wash in the same water that some one else 

has used, the two of you will quarrel. 

1735. When a candle is allowed to burn entirely out, a 

death will follow. 

1736. If a short flame rises from the candle, expect a small 
stranger Central Kentucky 

1737. If a long, straight flame rises from the candle, ex- 
pect a tall stranger Central Kentucky 

143 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1738. If a candle flame, instead of being straight, spreads 

around the tallow, it forms a winding sheet and is 
prophetic of death. 

1739. A spark on the wick of a candle flame is the sign 

that you are to receive a letter . . Central Kentucky 

1740. If a guest blows out a candle, he will come again. 

1741. If there are three candlesticks in a row, you must 
move them to different parts of the room before 
lighting them. 

1742. It causes bad luck to let a lamp go out. You should 

blow it out. 

1743. If a lamp goes out in the room, there will be a death 

in the family. 

1744. It causes bad luck to bring a lighted lamp into a 
room where there is one already lighted. 

1745. You will have bad luck if you put two lamps on a 
table at one time. 

1746. It causes bad luck to have three lighted lamps in a 
room. 

1747. If you light a lamp after you sit down at the table, 

some one will die Southern Kentucky 

1748. You will have bad luck if a lamp chimney breaks in 

your hand. 

1749. As many times as it takes you to blow out the lamp, 

just so many lies have you told Blue Grass 

1750. If your lamp chimney breaks after you have gone 

to bed, there will be a death in the family 

Blue Grass 

1751. It brings good luck to drop a knife if the blade 
sticks into the ground. The direction towards 
which the knife points is the one from which the 

fortune will come. 

i n 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1752. If you drop a table-knife, you will have a disap- 
pointment. 

1753. If you drop a knife at the table, the one who picks 
it up will have good luck Blue Grass 

1754. Do not give a sharp instrument to a friend of yours; 

if you do, trouble will follow. 

1755. Avert the ill luck that comes from giving a sharp 

instrument to a friend by sticking the friend with 
the sharp point. 

1756. Avert the ill luck that arises from giving a sharp 
instrument to a friend by receiving a penny. 

1757. If a person lends you a knife open, return it open, 

1758. If a person hands you a knife shut, return it shut. 

1759. It brings good luck to find a knife open . Mountains 

1760. "A dull knife, a dull wife" Mountains 

1761. It causes bad luck to sit on a pair of scissors. ..... 

Mountains 

1762. To sing at the table causes bad luck. 

1763. If two forks are accidentally put at your plate, in- 

stead of one knife and one fork, you will go to 
New York Western Kentucky 

1764. If by some mistake someone puts two forks by your 

plate at the dinner table, you will go to a funeral 
or a wedding. 1 

1765. An accidental dropping of a knife brings a woman 

caller. 

1766. An accidental dropping of a fork brings a man 

caller. 

1767. If you drop a fork, your best friend is coming. . . . 

Mountains 

i Other superstitions concerning the accidental placement of two forks, two 
knives, or two spoons at one's plate at table are given under Divinations. 

145 



KENTUCKY , SUPERSTITIONS 

1768. If you drop your fork, some one is coming from 
the direction in which the fork points. 

1769. An accidental dropping of a spoon brings a child. 

1770. If you drop a spoon, a baby will be born in the 
family. 

1771. If a spoon is dropped, a negro woman is coming. . . 

Mountains 

1772. If a large spoon is dropped, a large family is com- 
ing. 

1773. If you drop a tablespoon, you may look for a wo- 
man and a baby Northern Kentucky 

1774. The presence of two forks at one place at table 

means that two fools are coming 

Western Kentucky 

1775. If you drop a knife during a meal, you are exactly 
one half through the meal Central Kentucky 

1776. If when you drop a knife and fork they cross, you 
may expect bad luck North-eastern Kentucky 

1777. To drop a spoon brings disappointment. 

1778. It causes bad luck for a woman to break a plate and 

step on the pieces. 

1779. It brings bad luck to break any kind of dish. 

1780. To avert ill luck, throw the pieces of a broken dish 
into a gully. 

1781. If you burn sassafras for stove wood, you will break 
all the dishes Mountains 

1782. The dropping of a dish-rag indicates the coming of 

a caller. If it opens out when it falls, the guest 
will arrive for the next meal. 

1783. If you wish to prevent a visitor's arrival that has 

been forecast by the dropping of a dish-rag, step 
backward over the rag. 

146 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1784. If a dish-rag that drops is spread out, a woman is 
coming. 

1785. If a dish-rag that falls is not spread out, a man is 

coming. 

1786. If when you drop a dish-rag on the floor you shake 
it under the table and name it the person that you 
wish to come, he will come .... Southern Kentucky 

1787. If you drop a dish-cloth, pick it up, and think about 

some one. The first one you think about will ar- 
rive within an hour Mountains 

1788. If after dropping a dish-rag you kiss it, your sweet- 
heart will come Mountains 

1789. If you drop a dish-rag, a slouch is coming. 

If you drop a dish-rag, a worse slouch than you is 
coming. 

1790. If you drop a dish-rag and it spreads out, you will 
have bad luck. 

1791. If you drop a dish-rag and it does not unfold, no 
bad luck will befall you. 

1792. The boiling of a dish-rag in soiled water breaks bad 
luck. 

1793. If you drop a tea towel, someone is coming. 

1794. If you leave your dish water in a pan over night, 
you will dream of the Devil Blue Grass 

1795. If a w T oman forgets to wash a skillet, she may ex- 

pect a guest for the next meal. 

1796. It brings bad luck to pour water out of a pail over 
the end of the handle. 

1797. If two women run together in preparing a meal, 
they will work together next year. 

1798. "A watched pot never boils." 

1799. Lightning and thunder will addle eggs. 

147 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1800. Make jelly on sunny days Mountains 

1801. If you drop a spoon into pickles while you are 

making them you will be a sour old woman 

Blue Grass 

1802. If you cook frog-legs and set them by, they will be- 
come raw again Central Kentucky 

1803. If when you are cooking onions you place a pan 

of water over them, there will be no odor 

Western Kentucky 

1804. If you boil a biscuit with cabbage, there will be no 
odor Western Kentucky 

1805. If anything that may be eaten is burned, you will 
have to pick it out of hell-fire with your hands in 
the after-life. 

1806. If you burn salt on the stove or in the grate, you 
will have to pick each grain out of fire in hell. 

1807. Be sure to throw a pinch of borrowed salt into the 

fire. 

1808. Do not return the salt that you have borrowed. 

1809. It causes bad luck to spill salt. 

1810. If you spill salt on the table, you will get a scolding 
before Friday. 

1811. If you spill salt between yourself and the person 
next you at table, you two will quarrel. 

1812. You can avert a quarrel from spilling salt by throw- 

ing a pinch over your left shoulder. 

1813. If salt is spilt at table, there will be a guest at the 
next meal. 

1814. If salt is passed you at table, it passes you trouble. 

1815. If salt is thrown away, bad luck will follow. 
181<. If you throw salt into a whirlwind, you will see the 

Devil Mountains 

148 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1817. If you throw salt behind someone who has done you 
a bad deed, he will never return . Louisville Negroes 

1818. If someone comes to your house whom you do not 
like, throw salt into his tracks. He will then not 
bring you bad luck Louisville Negroes 

1819. When a stand of pepper is overturned, there will 

be bad luck, unless the person who turns it over 
burns an old dish-rag. 

1820. If the pepper falls toward you from a pepper stand, 
you will have bad luck. 

1821. Do not eat too much meat, for, if you do, your face 

will become roughened. 

1822. If you eat too much meat at supper, you will have 
bad dreams. 

1823. If you eat meat for supper, you will dream of ne- 
groes Southern Kentucky 

1824. If you drop a piece of meat from your mouth at 

the table, there will be a death in the family 

Louisville Negroes 

1825. If you drop anything while you are eating, the act 
indicates that someone else desires it. 

1826. Eat a dozen onions before you go to bed, to become 
beautiful. 

1827. Eat a pickle, to settle your love. 

1828. If you eat the crust of bread, your hair will become 
curly. 

1829. If you eat burnt bread, your hair will become curly. 

1830. If you take the last biscuit on the plate, you will 
have to kiss the cook. 1 

1831. To take the last portion from a dish brings bad luck. 

iFor other signs connected with taking the last biscuit, or the last but 
one, on a plate, see Divinations, numbers 227-231. 

149 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1832. If you drop a biscuit while taking the bread from 
the stove, a hungry person will call. 

1833. If you drop a biscuit, you will marry a poor man. . 

Western Kentucky 

1834. It causes bad luck to break bread in anybody else's 
hand. 

1835. If you break bread in your friend's hand, the act is 

said to bring bad luck. 

1836. If you count the biscuits as you put them into the 
pan, they will not be good Central Kentucky 

1837. If someone gives you a cake of yeast, do not thank 
him. If you do, the bread will not come. 

1838. If you burn bread, you and Satan will have to pick 
that amount out of hell-fire. 

1839. When the cook's bread burns, her husband is angry, 

1840. The burning of bread shows that the cook is angry, 

1841. If you burn the biscuits, your sweetheart is angry 
with you. 

1842. If you burn the bread, your sweetheart is thinking 
of you. 

1843. If you burn your bread, you may expect the arrival 

of a black-headed person Blue Grass 

1844. It brings bad luck to stir bread toward you. 

1845. It causes good luck to stir the bread away from you. 

1846. If bread or cake rises and then suddenly falls, the 
maker's digestion is bad. 

1847. Bread should be set to rise before the sun rises. 

1848. If you bake bread after the sun goes down, your 
bread will also go down. 

1849. If the bread cracks open while you are baking it, 
there will be an increase in the family . . Mountains 

150 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1850. If you put too much soda into the bread, someone is 
coming Blue Grass 

1851. A loaf of bread on its back means that a ship is in 

distress at sea. 

1852. If you serve yourself to butter or bread when you 

already have butter and bread, someone is coming 
hungry. 

1853. When you bake a cake, do not burn the egg shells 

until the cake has risen, but burn them then. 

1854. Place egg shells on the top of the oven, to make the 
cake rise Mountains 

1855. In cake-baking if you burn the egg shells before the 
cake has risen, the cake will burn Mountains 

1856. If you bake a cake in the afternoon, it will sink as 
the sun sinks. 

1857. If you bake a cake in the morning, it will rise as 
the sun ascends. 

1858. Do not make a cake on a rainy day, for it will not 

rise well. 

1859. It is a good sign to have a piece of pie point to- 
ward you. 

1860. If a piece of pie is pointed toward you, you may ex- 

pect a letter that day. 

1861. If a piece of pie points half-way around, you may 
expect a letter the next day. 

1862. If a piece of pie points more than half-way around, 
you may expect a letter later on. 

1863. If you cut the point off a piece of pie and eat it 
last, you will get a letter. 

1864. If the point of another person's piece of pie is di- 
rected toward you and the person begins eating his 
piece at this point, you will get a letter. 

151 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1865. It causes bad luck to begin eating pie at the point. 

1866. If the crust end of a piece of pie is placed next to 
you, you will get a postcard. 

1867. If in drinking you look above the rim of the glass, 
you are a flirt. 

1868. If at the table you do not drink all your milk or 

water, you will be disappointed soon 

Southern Kentucky 

1869. If you have water in your glass and pour more into 

it, there will be trouble. 

1870. If you pour water into a glass that already contains 
water, you will quarrel with your mother-in-law. 

1871. It brings bad luck to burn coffee Mountains 

1872. It causes bad luck to stir the coffee pot with a knife 

or fork. 

1873. "Stir with a knife, 

Stir up strife." 

1874. If you drink all the coffee from your cup, so that 
upon the turning of it over no drop comes out, you 
will cry later Louisville Negroes 

1875. If you can get a bubble off the coffee and drink it, 
you will receive money. 

1876. If you fail to get a bubble off the coffee, you will 
lose money. 

1877. Never drink a cup of coffee at five o'clock, or you 
will die Mountains 

1878. After a meal if the coffee cup is left outside the 

saucer, there will be bad luck Mountains 

1879. To leave coffee in a cup causes disappointment. . 

Blue Grass 

1880. The presence of tea grounds on tea is a sign of 
people coming. 

152 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1881. It causes bad luck to change places at the table. 

1882. Do not cross hands with another at the table. 

1883. It brings bad luck for two people at table to reach 

for the same thing at the same time. 

1884. If two reach for bread at the same time, someone is 
coming hungry. 

1885. If you sing at the table, you will miss your next 
visitor. 

1886. "Sing before breakfast, cry before night." 

1887. If you sing before breakfast, you will get a whip- 
ping before the week is gone. 

1888. If you sneeze at the table, you will hear of a death 
before night. 

DREAMS 

1889. "Dreams go by contraries." 

1890. "A dream out of season, 

Trouble out of reason." 

1891. Morning dreams come true. 

1892. If you tell a dream before breakfast, it will come 
true. 

1893. A dream told before breakfast on Friday morning 

will come true. 

1894. "Friday night's dream on Saturday told 

Is sure to come true be it ever so old." 

1895. "Saturday dreamed and Sunday told 

Is sure to come true before a month old." 

1896. If you sleep with the dream bone, taken from the 
ham of a hog, under your pillow, your dreams will 
come true Mountains 

1897. If some one goes to a strange place and sleeps under 

strange covers, his dreams will come true. 

153 



KENTUCKY, SUPERSTITIONS 

1898. What you dream on the first night that you sleep 
under a new roof will come true. 

1899. If you sleep under a new quilt, your dream will 
come true. 

1900. If you tell your dreams to an old hollow stump, 
they will come true Mountains 

1901. If you dream of the same thing three times, it will 
come true. 

1902. When one has the same dream more than once, the 

dream will come true. 

1903. If you do not wish to dream, put both shoes under 

the foot of your bed at night. 

1904. To dream of an angel is a sign of death . Mountains 

1905. If you dream of a baby, you will hear of a death. 

1906. To dream of a bakery means that you will awake 
with cream puffs in your hand. 

1907. To dream of bees at work means good luck 

Mountains 

1908. It brings bad luck to dream about catching a bird. 

1909. If you dream of blasting, one of your close friends 
will be shot soon Mountains 

1910. It brings bad luck to dream of being blind 

Western Kentucky 

1911. To dream of blood is the sign of coming disgrace. 

1912. To dream of your brother or sister is a sign of 
sudden death in your family . . . Louisville Negroes 

1913. If you dream of cats, you will have bad luck 

Blue Grass 

1914. If you dream of cats, you will find money 

Mountains 

1915. To dream of a black cat is a sign that some of your 
relatives are treacherous Western Kentucky 

154 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1916. A dream of good children is followed by good luck. 

1917. To dream of black clouds is a harbinger of bad luck. 

1918. To dream of a coffin is the sign of a death in the 
family Mountains 

1919. It is a good sign to dream of a filled coffin 

Mountains 

1920. It is a bad sign to dream of an empty coffin 

Mountains 

1921. It is a sign of death to dream of a fine-tooth comb 

Mountains 

1922. To dream that you cry is a sign that you will take 
a journey. 

1923. If you dream of the dead, you will live a long time 

Central Kentucky Negroes 

1924. To dream of the dead is to hear from the living. 

1925. A dream of one dead is a sign that the one dreamed 

of wishes you to pray for him. 

1926. It is a sign of rain to dream of a dead person. . . . 

Mountains 

1927. In dreaming of falling through the air, one ordi- 
narily wakes before striking the ground. If he 
dreams that he strikes, or if in any way he dreams 
that he is killed, he will die. 

1928. A dream of death is a sign of birth. 

A dream of birth is a sign of marriage. 
A dream of marriage is a sign of death. 

1929. A dream of diamonds is a good-luck sign. 

1930. It causes bad luck to dream of freshly dug earth. . 

Mountains 

1931. It causes bad luck to dream of eating. 

1932. If you dream of many eggs, you will receive much 
money Western Kentucky 

155 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1933. If you dream of eggs, you will be angry. 

1934. A dream of eggs is a sign of enemies. 

1935. To dream of unbroken eggs is a sign of trouble to 
come. 

1936. If you dream of broken eggs, your troubles are past. 

1937. It is a good luck sign to dream of eggs if they are 
not broken. 

1938. It brings bad luck to dream of broken eggs. 

1939. To dream of seeing one's eyes other than bright and 
healthy is a sign of bad luck Mountains 

1940. If you dream of falling, bad luck will follow. 

1941. To dream of fire is a sign of enjoyment. Blue Grass 

1942. To dream of fire is a sign of the return of some 
relative Western Kentucky 

1943. If you dream of fire, you are too warm. 

1944. If you dream of fire, you will be angry 

Central Kentucky 

1945. A dream of catching large fish is a harbinger of 

prosperity. 

1946. It means bad luck to dream of flowers, especially 
white roses. 

1947. A dream of flying is a sign that you are climbing 

upward Mountains 

1948. If you dream of flying, pleasant things await you 
next day Western Kentucky 

1949. If you dream of a friend in distress and hear him 
cry out, you will receive news of an accident to him. 

1950. A dream of perfect fruit is a forerunner of pros- 

perity. 

1951. A dream of imperfect fruit is a sign of bad luck. 

1952. "Dream of fruit out of season, 
You'll have trouble out of reason." 

156 



KENTUCKY . SUPERSTITIONS 

1953. To dream of a funeral procession is a sign of death 

Blue Grass 

1954. To dream about the firing of a gun is unlucky. 

1955. It brings good luck to dream of heaven. Blue Grass 

1956. A dream of helping somebody to dress is a sign of 

a sudden death Central Kentucky 

1957. If you dream of finding a hen's nest, you will have 
good luck Mountains 

1958. It is a sign of good luck to dream of being on a 
very high place Blue Grass 

1959. To dream of a hog is a sign of bad luck. . Mountains 

1960. It brings good luck to dream of a bay horse. 

1961. It causes bad luck to dream of a black horse 

Mountains 

1962. It brings good luck to dream of a gray horse 

Mountains 

1963. To dream of sorrel horses is an indication of good 

luck Central Kentucky 

1964. If you dream of a white horse, you will hear of a 

death before the week is out. To dream of white 
horses is a sign of bad luck Southern Kentucky 

1965. If you dream of a gray horse, you will get a letter 

Southern Kentucky 

1966. It brings bad luck to dream of the death of a horse 

Blue Grass 

1967. To dream of the Judgment Day is a sign of death 
inside of a month Mountains 

1968. If you dream of a letter, you will see a stranger. . . 

Mountains 

1969. A dream of lice in your head is a sign of approach- 

ing illness. 

157 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1970. To dream about new lumber is a sign of bad luck 

Mountains 

1971. A dream of marriage means that a death is near. 

1972. If you dream of milk, there will be an increase in 
the family Mountains 

1973. It brings bad luck to dream of money 

Southern Kentucky 

1974. To dream of money is a sign of illness. .Mountains 

1975. To dream of large pieces of money is a good-luck 
sign. 

1976. To dream of small coins means that bad luck is in 

store for you. 

1977. It is lucky to dream of silver money. 

1978. It augurs good luck to dream of paper money .... 

Mountains 

1979. To dream of seeing the moon is a sign of good luck, 

1980. It brings bad luck to see the moon in a dream. 

1981. It is a sign of death to dream of more than one 
moon. 

1982. It brings bad luck to dream about mules . Mountains 

1983. To dream of a necklace is a sign of jealousy 

Mountains 

1984. It causes very bad luck to dream of negroes 

Mountains 

1985. You will quarrel with some one if you dream of a 
negro. 

1986. A dream of a negro man is a sign of the coming of 
a friend Mountains 

1987. A dream of a negro woman is the sign of the com- 

ing of an enemy Mountains 

1988. To dream of riding is a sign of fleeting pleasure. . . 

Western Kentucky 

158 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

1989. It indicates bad luck to dream that you strike the 

bottom of a river in diving 

Central Kentucky Negroes 

1990. To dream of a house with many rooms is a sign of 
bad luck. 

1991. A dream of teeth is a sign of death. 

1992. If you dream that your teeth fall out, there will be 
a death. 

1993. If you dream that you lose a tooth, you will lose a 

friend. 

1994. If you dream that your jaw teeth fall out, an elder- 
ly person will die. 

1995. If you dream that your side teeth fall out, a mid- 
dle-aged person will die. 

1996. If you dream that your front teeth fall out, a child 
will die. 

1997. If you dream that your front teeth fall out, a mem- 
ber of your family will die. 

1998. If you dream that your back teeth fall out, a dis- 
tant relative will die. 

1999. If you dream of a turkey, you will shortly see a fool. 

2000. A dream of vermin augurs serious illness among 
your friends Blue Grass 

2001. To dream of sheep is a sign of bad luck. . Mountains 

2002. If you dream about old shoes, you will hear of a 
death Blue Grass 

2003. It causes bad luck to dream that you lose a shoe . . . 

Southern Kentucky 

2004. It brings bad luck to dream about being shot 

Mountains 

2005. If you dream of smoke, there will be a death. 

2006. A dream of a snake is a sign that you have enemies. 

159 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2007. If you dream that you have killed a snake, the 

dream is a sign that you have killed an enemy. 

2008. You will have bad luck if you dream of being bitten 
by a snake Mountains 

2009. A dream about snow is a sign of disappointment or 

loss Central Kentucky 

2010. It brings good luck to dream of a squirrel 

Mountains 

2011. To dream of a strange place is a sign of good luck. 

2012. If you dream of eating a dish of strawberries, you 
will be in a large, new crowd. 

2013. If you dream of a white swan, you may expect a 

death in the family. 

2014. If you dream of sweeping, you will receive a letter 

Mountains 

2015. It is a sign of bad luck or death to dream of a 
wagon. 

2016. To dream of a wagon moving away from you is a 
sign of death Mountains 

2017. If you dream of water, you are too cold. 

2018. You will have good luck if you dream of clear water. 

2019. If you dream of muddy water, your best friend is 
angry with you. 

2020. A dream of walking through muddy water is a 

death sign. 

2021. If you sleep on wedding-cake, your dream will come 
true. 1 

2022. To dream of anything solid white is a sign of death. 

i Divination in connection with sleeping on wedding cake is treated under 
Divinations, numbers 602, 603, 604, 693. 



160 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 



DRESS 

2023. "If a pin points toward you and you let it lay. 
You'll have bad luck all that day. 

If you see a pin and pick it up, 
All that day you'll have good luck." 

2024. "See a pin and let it lie 

Sorrow will come by and by." 

"Find a pin, and let it lie, 

You'll want a pin before you die." 

2025. If you find a pin with the point toward you and 

place it on the shoulder of your coat with the point 
toward the back, and leave it there for three days, 
good luck will come to you. 

2026. If you see a pin with the point toward you and pick 

it up and stick it into wood, you will have good 
luck. If the point is away from you, pick it up and 
give it to someone else for good luck. . .Blue Grass 

2027. If you find a pin with the head towards you, there 
is mail for you at the Post Office Mountains 

2028. If you pick up a pin lying with its side toward you, 
you will get a letter. 

2029. If you find a pin lying with its side toward you, you 

will go buggy-riding the next day. 

2030. If you pick up a pin lying with its side toward you, 
you will receive a kiss, or you will see your sweet- 
heart that day. 

2031. If you find a pin with the side towards you, you 
will get a new dress Mountains 

2032. If anyone takes a pin from your dress, bad luck will 
follow Louisville Negroes 

161 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2033. If a pin stands on the point in your dress, someone 
is "on his head" to see you. 

2034. If when you are trying on a dress, the dressmaker 

sticks a pin in your other clothes, you will not be 
married that year Blue Grass 

2035. To prick your finger as you pin your waist is un- 
lucky. 

2036. Avert the disaster of the last mentioned supersti- 

tion by burning the pin. 

2037. It brings good luck to find a brass pin, if you stick 
it on your shoulder Western Kentucky 

2038. You will lose a friend if you give a person a pin, 

She must pick it up after you lay it down. 

2039. If you drop a pin and it sticks into the floor, some- 

one is coming. 

2040. You will have good luck if you find a safety pin. 

2041. It is unlucky to find a safety pin in water, for a 

sad visit awaits you Blue Grass 

2042. If a needle falls and sticks into the floor, you will 
have bad luck. 

2043. If you break a needle in a garment while making 
it, the person for whom it is made will not live to 
wear it out. 

2044. If you find a hairpin and hang it up on the first 
thing you see, you will get a letter. 

2045. If you find a hairpin and hang it on the first nail 
you see, you will get a friend. 

2046. If you find a hairpin, hang it on a nail or anything 
iron. It will bring good luck. 

2047. If your hairpin drops out of your hair, someone 

whom you like is thinking of you 

Louisville Negroes 

162 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2048. If a woman drops a hairpin and fails to pick it up, 

she will lose a friend. 

2049. If you pick up a hairpin, you will fall. . . Mountains 

2050. If a hairpin is about to come out of a girl's hair, 

someone is "on his head" about her 

Western Kentucky 

2051. If you accidentally leave your gloves and have to 
go back for them, the next person you call on will 
be out. 

2052. It is unlucky to pick up an old glove in the street. 

2053. If you find a wet handkerchief, you may know that 

all your tears have been shed and that you will live 
happily Blue Grass 

2054. The moonstone is a lucky stone. 

2055. If you wear an opal ring and it is not your birth- 

stone, you will have bad luck. 

2056. If you wear an opal ring and it is not your birth- 

stone, you must give it away to avoid bad luck. 

2057. If you wear pearls, you will shed tears. 

2058. If you count pearls in a ring or a brooch, you will 
lose them. 

2059. When danger is imminent to a person who has 

pearls, they lose their lustre. 

2060. It brings good luck to carry a piece of pearl jewelry 

Mountains 

2061. Do not let anyone take a ring off your finger. 

2062. If you take a ring off your friend's hand, you will 
have bad luck. 

2063. Turn one hundred seal rings for good luck. 

2064. If you find a button and put it into your shoe, you 
will have good luck. 

2065. If you find a button, you will receive a letter soon. 

163 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2066. It causes bad luck to find a button smaller than a 
penny Mountains 

2067. The finding of a pearl button means that there is 

a letter for you in the Post Office 

Central Kentucky 

2068. If you find a button with so many holes in it, you 
will receive a letter with the same number of pages 
Mountains 

2069. When you find a button, count the holes in it. You 

will find that number of pieces of money before 
you come to your stopping place . Central Kentucky 

2070. To carry in your pocket a button that you have 
found brings good luck. 

2071. To sew a button on a garment that you are wearing 
brings bad luck. 

2072. If you drop a comb, somebody is coming. 

2073. If you drop a comb, you will be disappointed. 

2074. If the comb with which you are combing your hair 

falls behind you, you will have trouble 

Western Kentucky 

2075. Avert the bad luck of dropping a comb by putting 
your foot on it Central Kentucky 

2076. If you are combing your hair and let the comb fall, 
you will get money Louisville Negroes 

2077. It brings bad luck to count the teeth of a comb .... 

Mountains 

2078. If you count comb teeth, the youngest one in the 
family will die. 

2079. Do not count the teeth of a comb, for if you do they 

will come out Southern Kentucky 

2080. When your skirt turns up, spit on it and turn it 

down, to obtain good luck. 

164 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2081. If your dress is turned up, spit on it, and turn it 

down, to get a new one. 

2082. If the hem of a dress is turned up, and someone calls 
the wearer's attention to it, the wearer will get a 
new dress Blue Grass 

2083. If the hem of a girl's dress is turned up, the person 

calling her attention to this fact will get a new 
dress Blue Grass 

2084. If a girl's dress turns up and she spits on it, she will 
become wealthy. 

2085. If a part of the hem of your skirt is turned up, and 
you spit on it, you will have a joyful day. 

2086. If your skirt turns up, you will catch a sweetheart. 

2087. If you tear a hole in a new dress before it is washed, 
you will have good luck Western Kentucky 

2088. It is a sign of bad luck to tear your dress behind . . . 

Western Kentucky 

2089. If you drop ink on a new white dress, you may look 

for company. 

2090. If your underskirt hangs, you will have to shovel 
coal Mountains 

2091. If your petticoat hangs lower than your skirt, your 

father loves you better than your mother does. 

2092. If a woman kicks up her dress behind, she is a thief. 

2093. After a number of boys have been in swimming, the 

boy who after dressing puts on his cap or hat first 
will have good luck. 

2094. If a boy or a man comes into the house with his hat 

on, he will have bad luck. 

2095. It causes bad luck to place your hat higher than 
your head. 

2096. It brings bad luck to lay a hat on a bed. 

165 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2097. If you put two hats on your head, you will get a 
whipping Louisville Negroes 

2098. If you put on two hats, you will get a double-whip- 
ping Louisville Negroes 

2099. If a wife loses her apron, she will lose her husband. 

2100. If you lose your apron, you will lose your best 

friend. 

2101. If a woman drops her apron, she will lose one of her 
friends Mountains 

2102. "A stitch in time saves nine" (felt by many as a 
superstition.) 

2103. To sew a garment that you are wearing is a sign of 
bad luck or death. 

2104. If you mend a garment on you, there will be a slan- 
der about you with as many words as you put 
stitches into the garment Mountains 

2105. You can avert the hard luck that follows the mend- 

ing of a garment while you are wearing it by hold- 
ing a straw in your mouth. 

2106. If you talk while sewing something that is on you, 
a lie will be told about you for every stitch taken 
while you were talking. 

2107. It causes bad luck to sew new pieces on an old gar- 
ment Blue Grass Negroes 

2108. If you leave the bastings in a dress, the dress is not 
paid for. 

2109. It brings bad luck to sew polka-dotted goods 

North-eastern Kentucky 

2110. You will have bad luck if you make clothes for peo- 

ple who are ill Blue Grass 

2111. If any kind of garment is made or bought for a sick 
person, that person will never get well. .Mountains 

166 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2112. If you tear a garment, you may break the spell of 

a bad luck sign that is connected with it. 

2113. It brings good luck to put on clothes accidentally 
wrong side out. 

2114. Clothes put on in the morning wrong side out, if 
changed at twenty minutes past one, will bring 
good luck. 

2115. If you put a garment on wrong side out and dis- 
cover the mistake yourself, you may change it with- 
out bad luck. 

2116. A person wearing a garment inside out will have 

good luck if he turns the garment right side out 
at midnight. 

2117. After you have on your clothes wrong side out, it is 

bad luck to change. 

2118. If you put your clothes on wrong side out and some- 

one else than you takes them off, good luck re- 
mains North-eastern Kentucky 

2119. If you burn a hole in a new garment and wear it, 
there will be a death. 

2120. If two women help a third to dress, the youngest 
of the three will die. 

2121. If you put your night gown on inside out by mis- 
take, there will be a fire in town soon . . . Mountains 

2122. It brings bad luck to the passengers if a woman 
dressed in black gets on a passenger train at night. 

2123. It causes bad luck to meet a woman dressed in black, 

after midnight. 

2124. It brings bad luck to put a black pin into a white 

dress North-eastern Kentucky 

2125. It brings bad luck to put a white pin into a black 
dress. North-eastern Kentucky 

167 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2126. It brings bad luck to put on the left stocking first. 

2127. A hole in your stocking indicates that you will get 

a letter. The size of the letter depends on the size 
of the hole Blue Grass 

2128. It is well for an aviator to wear a lady's stocking 
about his neck. 

2129. If you dress one foot entirely before beginning the 
other, you will have bad luck. 

2130. Put on the left garter and the right shoe first for 
luck Central Kentucky 

2131. Remove the left shoe and the right garter first for 
luck Central Kentucky 

2132. If you put your left shoe on before your right, you 
will have a headache Mountains 

2133. To put the left shoe on the right foot is to produce 
misfortune for yourself. 

2134. If you pull off your right shoe first, you will never 
have toothache Blue Grass 

2135. It causes bad luck to walk with one shoe off and 
one shoe on. 

2136. It brings bad luck to walk around in one shoe be- 
cause you will measure your mother's grave 

Louisville Negroes 

2137. If a child walks about with one shoe off and the 

other on, he will receive as many whippings as he 
takes steps Mountains 

2138. As many steps as you take in one shoe, so many 

steps do you take into trouble Mountains 

2139. For every step that you take with one shoe on and 

one off, you will have one year of misfortune 

Mountains 

168 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2140. Never lace one shoe until you have put the other 
one on Mountains 

2141. It causes bad luck to button the top button of your 
shoe first North-eastern Kentucky 

2142. If the soles of your shoes are of black leather, your 
teeth will become loose Blue Grass 

2143. If your shoe-string comes untied, somebody is talk- 
ing about you. 

2144. Your left shoe-string untied shows that someone is 

speaking evil of you. 

2145. Your right shoe-string untied shows that someone 

is speaking well of you. 

2146. "If you wear your shoes out on the side, 
you will be a rich man's bride." 

2147. "If you wear your shoes out on the toe, 
You will spend money as you go." 

2148. If you wear your shoes out in the middle of the sole 
first, you will be rich some day . . Central Kentucky 

2149. Put your shoes with the points away from the bed, 

so that bad dreams may walk away from you. 

2150. If you set your shoes under the bed always turn the 
toes out. To turn them in is a sign of bad luck 
during the night. 

2151. If you put your shoes above your head, on the table 

or on the bed, you will have very bad luck. 

2152. If you put your shoes higher than your head in the 
closet, you will never be married. 

2153. It brings bad luck to place your stockings in your 

shoes when you are going to bed. 

2154. Be sure to place your shoes at night with the inner 

sides against each other. 

169 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2155. If you spit on your shoe accidentally, you will get 

a new pair of shoes Mountains 

2156. If you wear a hairpin in your shoe, you will meet a 
good friend. 

2157. Put sugar into your shoe, to coax your trousers 
down Central Kentucky 

2158. If your shoes squeak, they are not paid for. 

2159. An old shoe is a sign of good luck. 

2160. If you burn an old shoe, you will have rheumatism. 

2161. If you lose one of your rubbers, it is a sign that you 

are going to lose one of your friends. 

SHADOWS, PORTRAITS, AND REFLECTIONS 

2162. If you sit with your shadow thrown on the water, 
you will not catch fish Mountains 

2163. If a portrait hangs on the wall crooked, there will 
be bad luck Louisville Negroes 

2164. If you turn a picture of a friend of yours upside 

down, he will have a headache . . Louisville Negroes 

2165. If you hang your sweetheart's photograph upside 

down, he will die soon Blue Grass Negroes 

2166. If a portrait falls, there will be bad luck. 

2167. It a portrait falls from the wall, someone in the 

family will die Louisville Negroes 

2168. The falling of anyone's picture means death in the 
household. When the death occurs, the clock stops 
until after the funeral. 

2169. If a large family portrait falls, there will be a death 

Blue Grass 

2170. If a portrait falls, you will have a quarrel with the 

original. 

170 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2171. If a portrait falls in a room where someone is dead, 
the original will die. 

2172. If a portrait falls in a room where someone is dead, 
the original will die within three years. 

2173. To have a picture drop out of a frame is a bad 
omen Southern Kentucky 

2174. It is a bad luck sign to hear knocking behind a pic- 
ture Blue Grass 

2175. If the glass on a picture breaks of its own accord, 
a death will occur in your family Mountains 

2176. If your photograph is buried by an enemy, your 
life will fade as the photograph fades. 

2177. If you draw a picture of your enemy and shoot it 
with a silver bullet, he will suffer pain where the 
bullet strikes. 

2178. Bury the picture of your enemy face down in the 

direction that Jesus Christ was buried, that is, with 
head toward the west. As the picture fades, your 
enemy's life will fade Mountains 

2179. If you break your mirror, you will have seven years 

of trouble. 

2180. Avert the penalty attached to breaking a mirror by 
throwing all the pieces into running water. 

2181. If you break a mirror, the number of pieces will 
indicate the number of years of bad luck that you 
will have Louisville Negroes 

2182. It brings bad luck for two people to look into a 
mirror at the same time Blue Grass 

2183. If two people look into a mirror at the same time, 
they will both be disappointed before the day is 
gone Southern Kentucky 

171 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2184. If two persons look into a mirror at the same time, 
one will soon die Negroes 

2185. It brings bad luck to look into a mirror while you 
are putting on your night gown. 

2186. To look into a mirror at night brings bad luck. . . . 

Mountains 

2187. If you look into a mirror after dark, you will see 
the Devil Mountains 

2188. If you see your image double in the mirror, your 

death will follow Central Kentucky 

2189. To see one's shadow while one is looking into a mir- 
ror is a sign of death Mountains 

2190. It brings bad luck to look into a mirror when one is 
ill Blue Grass 

2191. If while lying in bed you see yourself in a mirror, 
you may expect bad luck or death. 

2192. To look into a mirror over anyone else's shoulder 
leads to disappointment Blue Grass 

2193. If you see a dead man's face in a mirror, you will 
be the next one to die. 

2194. If a mirror hangs in a room where a death occurs, 
turn it to the wall or cover it, as the first person that 
sees himself in it will be the next one to die. 

2195. If you look into a mirror while you are drinking, 
you will never be married Blue Grass 

MOON 1 AND SIGNS OF THE ZODIAC 

2196. If a stray dog howls in the moonlight with his nose 

pointed at a person, that person will die 

Western Kentucky 

i For weather signs connected with the moon, see Weather, numbers 2572- 
2594. 

172 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2197. If the moon stays away all night, there has been 

much robbery going on during the night 

Mountains 

2198. Moonlight will dull a razor. . . . Southern Kentucky 

2199. If you sleep in the moonlight, you will have rheu- 
matism. 

2200. If you sleep in the moonlight, you will become in- 

sane. 

2201. It makes one homely to sleep with the moon shining 
on his face North-eastern Kentucky 

2202. If you shoot toward the moon, you will fall dead. . 

Mountains 

2203. If you see the reflection of the moon in a well, you 
will have good luck Southern Kentucky 

2204. A red moon is a sign of war. 

2205. If you can see a woman in the moon, you will obtain 
riches Mountains 

2206. If you can see a man in the moon, you will have bad 
luck Mountains 

2207. It is lucky to look at a dollar while the moon is 
shining upon it over your left shoulder. 

2208. It brings bad luck to see a woman combing her hair 

in the full of the moon. . .North-eastern Kentucky 

2209. People who have moods of meanness are ruled by 
the moon. 

2210. If you plant seeds in the moonlight, the crops will 
be good. 

2211. If you plant your seed in the full moon, you will 
have bad luck. 

2212. To see the new moon over the left shoulder is an 
omen of bad luck. 

173 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2213. To see the new moon over the right shoulder brings 
good luck. 

2214. To see the new moon through brush or clouds por- 
tends more or less trouble until after the moon 
fulls. 

2215. After you have seen the new moon through trees, 
you will have trouble that month if you are not 
good. 

2216. If you look at the moon through the tops of trees, 
your sister or brother will die Mountains 

2217. If you see the moon through brush that makes a 

cross, you will have bad luck. If the brush is 
straight, for example, canebrush, you will come to 
no harm Central Kentucky 

2218. If you see the new moon through brush, you will 

shed as many tears as any vessel will hold that you 
have in your hand Mountains 

2219. It means good luck to you to see the new moon clear 

of clouds and brush, especially if you take hold of a 
piece of money and turn it over in your pocket. 

2220. When you see the new moon clear, kiss the first per- 

son you meet, so that you may get a new dress .... 
Blue Grass 

2221. It causes bad luck to you if you look at the new 
moon through a pane of glass. 

2222. If you look through the window at a new moon, 
there will be illness in the family. 

2223. It is unlucky for a bride and groom to see a new 
moon out of a car window . North-eastern Kentucky 

2224. If you see the moon as you go up hill, you will have 
good luck Blue Grass 

174 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2225. If you see the moon as you go down hill, you will 
have bad luck Blue Grass 

2226. It is a sign of fire to see the new moon through tele- 
phone wires. 

2227. Show the new moon a piece of money. 

2228. If you have some money in your pockets when you 

see a new moon, look over your shoulder, and you 
will never be bankrupt Mountain 

2229. If you show your pocket-book to the new moon, you 
will have twice as much money in it .... Mountains 
If you shake an empty pocket-book at the new 
moon, you will have it full of money before the next 
new moon Mountains 

2230. If you see the new moon with something in your 
hand, you will receive a present. 

2231. The thing that you hold in your hand when you see 

a new moon will trouble you all the month 

Blue Grass 

2232. When you see the new moon, stop, reach down, and 
get some dirt out from under your left heel, tie it 
in a rag, and put it under your pillow. What you 
dream will come true Mountains 

2233. The first appearance of a new moon on Saturday is 
lucky. 

2234. If the new moon appears on Saturday, there will 
be rain for the next forty days Mountains 

2235. Vegetables that mature under ground must be 

planted in the dark of the moon. 

2236. Vegetables that mature above ground must be 

planted in the light of the moon. 

2237. Plant root vegetables in the dark of the moon, vege- 
tables for leaves (as cabbage and lettuce) in the 

175 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

new moon, and vegetables for blossoms and fruit 
(as peas and beans) in the full moon. 

2238. For little vine, plant in the dark of the moon. If 

potatoes are planted in the light of the moon, the 
crop will be near the ground. 

2239. Only Irish potatoes, say some, should be planted in 
the dark of the moon. 

2240. If you plant potatoes when the sign of the zodiac 1 is 

in the heart, the insects will not attack them 

Mountains 

2241. All tuber plants should be planted in the dark of 
the moon, say some. This opinion contradicts the 
superstition that only Irish potatoes should be 
planted in the dark of the moon. For example, 
corn should be planted in the dark of the moon, 
so that the ear will be low and large. 

2242. Plant asters in the light of the moon. . .Blue Grass 

2243. Plant flowers in the light of the moon, that they 
may be large and beautiful. 

2244. Plant flowers (everything in which vine is desired) 
when the sign is in the fingers. 

2245. Plant all vines in the light of the moon. 

2246. Sow grass always in the light of the moon. 

2247. Plant melons, cucumbers, and the like when the sign 

is in the twins. 

2248. Crops will not be successful if planted in the new 
moon. 

2249. If anyone becomes ill in a March that has two new 
moons, he will die. 

iMany people, especially in rural communities in Kentucky, are guided in 
their daily actions by the sign of the zodiac, the position of which at any time 
is shown by almanacs. 

176 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2250. Early in the fall and late in spring, frost in the new 
moon does not bite much. 

2251. If you gather apples in the light of the moon, the 
bruises will dry up. 

2252. If you gather apples in the light of the moon, they 

will not rot. 

2253. Beans should be planted when the sign is in the 
arm Central Kentucky 

2254. Butterbeans should be planted when the sign of the 

zodiac is in the arm. 

2255. Briars should be cut up in August when the sign 

is in the heart. 

2256. Cabbages planted when the sign is in the head will 
be large. 

2257. If you plant your cabbage on Friday when the moon 

is new, it will not be killed by the frost . . Mountains 

2258. Plant corn when the sign is in the arms. 

2259. Corn grows more rapidly in the light than in the 

dark of the moon. 

2260. If you plant your cucumbers or pumpkin seeds 
when the sign is in the heart, the insects will eat 
them up. 

2261. Transplant a blooming flower in the light of the 

moon. 

2262. Fruit is never killed during the light of the moon. . 

Western Kentucky 

2263. Do not plant onion sets when the sign is up, for they 

will jump out of the ground, and you will have to 
replant them after the sign changes. 

2264. Plant trees before the moon is old. As many days 

as you wait, so many years you will wait for fruit 
Blue Grass 

177 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2265. The new of the moon is the time to kill timber. 

2266. Never peel the bark to a tree during a dark moon. 

2267. If you cut the weeds out of your yard in the dark 

of the moon in March, they will not come again. 

2268. If you cut a few inches of bark from the trunk of a 
tree on the twenty-fifth of May in the light of the 
moon, the tree will die Blue Grass 

2269. To kill a tree so that it will not sprout, cut it down 
or mutilate it in the dark of the May moon in June 
Blue Grass* 

2270. Deaden locust trees in the dark of the moon. 

2271. Obviate the presence of locust sprouts by killing the 
tree in the dark of the moon in August. 

2272. Trim trees when the sign is in the heart in August, 
the best time of the whole year for that purpose . . , 
Blue Grass 

2273. If you prune a tree in the light of the moon, it will 
not die. 

2274. If peach trees are in bloom during the light of the 
moon, they will not freeze, however cold it may be, 

2275. If osage-orange bushes are cut down in the dark of 
the moon in August, they will not grow again. 

2276. Peel tan bark in the light of the moon, so that it 
will slip with ease. 

2277. Wean a calf, horse, or mule colt just after the new 

moon. Otherwise they will fret. 

2278. Calves will cry for the mother cow, unless they are 
weaned when the sign of the zodiac is in the legs. 

2279. If you wean a calf in the light of the moon, the cow 
will not "bawl." 

2280. If you wean a colt when the sign is in the heart, it 
will cry itself to death. 

178 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2281. When calves, colts, pigs, and so forth are altered, 

let it be when the sign is in the leg, that is, between 
the knee and the ankle. 

2282. Some say that it is in the altering only of colts that 
you need wait until the sign is in the leg. 

2283. It is best to alter hogs when the sign is below the 
waist. 

2284. Kill hogs in the light of the moon. Otherwise the 
meat will shrink (or go to grease, or taste bad). 

2285. Kill hogs when "the sign has gone out of the body," 
that is, when the sign is in the legs or the head. 
Otherwise the meat will shrink, go to grease, or 
taste bad. 

2286. If you kill hogs in the dark of the moon, they will 

make much lard. 

2287. If you kill hogs in the light of the moon, the meat 

will draw up and be flabby Mountains 

This superstition and the next one, strongly pre- 
valent in one section of the mountains, are contra- 
dictory to the general belief. 

2288. If a hog is killed in the old of the moon, it will have 

a great deal of lard in it Mountains 

2289. If you butcher on Saturday when the moon is full, 
the meat will be tough Mountains 

2290. The best time to fish is the period when the sign of 
the zodiac is in the feet. 

2291. To fish when the sign is in the head causes bad luck. 

2292. Fish bite best in the dark of the moon, because on 
moonlight nights they feed at night. 

2293. If you shoot game when the sign is in the breast, 
it will be easily killed Mountains 

179 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2294. Horse-breeders put faith in the moon as to the sex 

of a coming colt Blue Grass 

2295. If you pick geese when the moon is shining, you 

will get more feathers than at other times 

Blue Grass 

2296. If you wean a baby when the sign is in the heart, 
the baby will die Mountains 

2297. Bathe only in the dark of the moon Mountains 

2298. To trim your nails in the light of the moon brings 
good luck. 

2299. If you trim your finger nails in the dark of the 
moon, you are sure to have bad luck. 

2300. If you have your hair cut in the dark of the moon, 
you will become bald. 

2301. If you have your hair cut in the light of the moon, 
it will grow. 

2302. If you cut your hair when the moon is new, you will 
have twice as much hair during the first new moon 
of the next year Mountains 

2303. Always cut your hair in the change of the moon. 

2304. Cut your hair when the sign is in the feet. 

2305. If you singe your hair at the ends when there is a 
new moon, it will grow. 

2306. Any work begun in the full of the moon will be 

disastrous. 

2307. Move when the moon is new, before it goes into the 

first quarter. 

2308. If you clean beds in the dark of the moon in March, 
there will be no vermin Blue Grass 

2309. If you clean house in the dark of the moon in 
March, there will be no moths Blue Grass 

180 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2310. Dirt will not come out of clothes in the dark of the 
moon Mountains 

2311. That part of the fence laid in the dark of moon will 
rot, or the bottom rail will go into the ground. 

2312. Planks laid on the grass in the dark of the moon 
will kill the grass. 

2313. Planks laid on the grass in the light of the moon 
will not injure the grass. 

2314. If you put a post into the ground in the light of 
the moon, the hole cannot be filled Mountains 

2315. If you make preserves in the light of the moon, the 
fruit will yield more than in the dark of the moon. 

2316. Cut rail timbers when the moon is old. 

2317. It brings bad luck to put on a board roof or lay a 
worm fence in the new moon. 

2318. If you cover a house with shingles in the light of 
the moon, they will crimp. Therefore, shingle a 
house in the dark of the moon. 

2319. In making shirts, cut them when the sign of the 

zodiac is in the legs or at least going down. Other- 
wise they will crawl up the back and "out of the 
breeches." 

2320. Make soap in the light of the moon. 

2321. Lye soap made in the dark of the moon will not 
thicken. 

2322. To make soap, stir it with a sassafras stick in the 
dark of the moon Western Kentucky 

2323. Do not make sauer-kraut or put pickles in brine 

when the sign is in the "fish," or they will become 
shiny and soft. 

2324. The man in the moon is carrying brush as fuel for 
hell-fire Mountains 

181 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2325. The man in the moon is carrying brush as a punish- 
ment for working on Sunday Mountains 

2326. The man in the moon is carrying cane as a punish- 
ment for murdering his brother Mountains 

WEATHER SIGNS 1 

2327. If animals have heavy fur, expect a hard winter. 

2328. If you step on an ant, there will be rain. 

2329. In spring and summer, during the season of thun- 

derstorms, the barometer is unsteady preceding 
rain, a condition that is not observed during colder 
months Lexington 

2330. Before spring and summer rains, the barometer usu- 

ally falls to 29.90 or below, and before autumn and 
winter to 30 Lexington 

2331. After a drought the cry of a rain crow near a set- 

tlement is a sure sign of rain. 

2332. The singing of birds and hens during rain is an in- 

dication of approaching fair weather. 

2333. If birds gather together in multitudes on the 
ground, there will shortly be snow Mountains 

2334. If you see a bluebird today, you may expect a fair 

day tomorrow Mountains 

2335. If a bob-white says "Bob" only once, that is, does 

not repeat the first note, there will be rain 

Western Kentucky 

i The weather signs in this list from Lexington and Louisville are taken 
from "Weather Folk-Lore and Local Weather Signs," by Edward B. Gar- 
riott, U. S. Department of Agriculture, Weather Bureau, page 101 for Lex- 
ington; page 103 for Louisville. 

Many of the weather signs given below are based on logical causes. They 
are included with the weather superstitions because they are all folk signs 
and because no distinction is felt by the superstitions between the logical 
signs and the superstitions. 

182 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2336. If you take the last piece of bread on a plate by ac- 

cident, you may look for rain Blue Grass 

2337. To burn brush will cause rain. 

2338. When the rain makes large bubbles on the ground, 

there will be rain the next day. 

2339. Yellow butterflies in the fall show that within ten 

days there will be enough frost to turn the leaves 
the color of the butterflies. 

2340. If a calf plays, there will be falling weather. 

2341. If the camphor bottle is not clear, you may expect 
rain Blue Grass 

2342. If the camphor bottle is clear, you may expect 
pretty weather Blue Grass 

2343. The rising of camphor in a bottle signifies rain. . - 

Western Kentucky 

2344. If candy will not get hard, there will be rain. The 

condition is really caused by relative humidity 

Blue Grass 

2345. There will be rain soon when the carpet on the floor 
becomes wet. 

2346. If a cat sleeps before the fire with its nose turned up, 

there will be rain soon Central Kentucky 

2347. If a cat turns on its back with its nose up, there will 
be rain Mountains 

2348. If a cat sits with its back toward the fire, cold wea- 

ther may be expected. 

2349. If cats play with their tails, bad weather is immi- 
nent. 

2350. When a cat runs about the house and plays, you 

may expect high winds. 

2351. Expect rain when a cat washes its face around its 

ear. 

183 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2352. Caterpillars in the fall that are brown in the middle 
and yellow at each end prophesy a severe middle 
winter with mild weather at each end. 

2353. You may expect rain when you see a chicken lying 

on its side. 

2354. When a chicken oils its feathers, one may expect 

rain. 

2355. When chickens fly upon something and pick their 

feathers, the rain is over. 

2356. If chickens seek shelter during a rain, the rain will 
be only a shower. 

2357. If chickens do not seek shelter during a rain, it will 
rain all day, or at least for some hours. 

2358. "If the cock goes crowing to bed, 

It will rise with a watery head." 

2359. You may expect a cold winter if the inside of a 
chicken gizzard sticks tight when you take it out. 

2360. When the inside of a chicken gizzard comes out 

easily, you may expect a light winter. 

2361. If cocks crow at about eight o'clock at night, there 
will be rain the next day. 

2362. If a rooster crows after dark and before midnight, 
there will be rain before morning. 

2363. The crowing of chickens at midnight indicates the 

approach of bad weather. 

2364. The coming of the robin is the surest sign of spring. 

2365. If a chicken crows more than ten times, there will 
be bad weather Mountains 

2366. If when it is raining the cock crows before noon, the 

afternoon will be clear Blue Grass 

2367. The crowing of a cock before twelve o'clock noon 
means a change of weather Blue Grass 

184 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2368. If a chimney that is blown from your house during 

a storm falls on the left of the house, you will have 
bad luck Blue Grass 

2369. If the wind comes down the chimney, the weather 
will be very cold North-eastern Kentucky 

2370. Cirrus, cirro-stratus, and alto-stratus clouds are al- 
most invariably forerunners of rain in all seassons 
Lexington 

2371. Cirrus and cirro-stratus clouds indicate rain, but are 
far from being a sure sign. They frequently ap- 
pear for several hours, disappear, and re-appear 
the next day Louisville 

2372. No special cloud formation is known on which it 

would be safe to predict rain more than twenty- 
four hours in advance. Some cloud formations are 
of decided assistance, however, if used in connec- 
tion with a knowledge of the location of approach- 
ing storm areas Louisville 

2373. Pink clouds seen in the west in the evening pro- 
phesy rain Mountains 

2374. There will be fair weather if the clouds have a gold- 
en appearance Mountains 

2375. Buttermilk clouds are seen before rain. 

2376. Three successive cloudy mornings mean that there 
will be rain on the third. 

2377. Cobwebs on the grass are a sign of rain. 

2378. When corn twists up, there will be rain . Mountains 

2379. Red corn is a sign of a hard winter 

Central Kentucky 

2380. If corn blades wither, there will be rain. 

2381. When a large number of tumble-bugs are seen, ij 

indicates a hard winter is coming. 

185 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2382. If your corns itch, expect rain. 

2383. Cows coming home in the middle of the day are a 
sign of a bad storm. 

2384. When the crawfishes do not throw up their usual 

little mounds, expect a wet summer 

Central Kentucky 

2385. A crow's cry indicates fair weather that day 

Northeastern Kentucky 

2386. If a crow drinks out of a stream running by a house 

before breakfast, it will rain before dark. 

2387. The presence of a large flock of crows together is 

followed by a change of weather Blue Grass 

2388. The first three days of the year determine the gen- 
eral character of the weather during the year. 

2389. The weather of the first four days of the year indi- 
cates that of the first four months of the year. . . . 
Western Kentucky 

2390. The first twelve days of January foretell the wea- 
ther of the twelve months respectively. 

2391. The weather from new Christmas to old Christ- 
mas twelve days governs the weather of the fol- 
lowing twelve months respectively .... Mountains 

392. The weather of the first three days in December de- 
termines the weather for December, January, and 
February. 

2393. The first three days of any season determine the 
weather for that season. 

2394. The first thunder in spring means that winter is 
broken. 

2395. The first thunder in the spring awakens the snakes 

Western Kentucky 

2396. If a spring bird calls late in the winter, while the 

186 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

weather is still cold, there will be colder weather or 
more snow Central Kentucky 

2397. A cold winter is followed by a hot summer. 

2398. Frosts in summer indicate that the crops have been 
planted in some cold planet like the moon. 

2399. Frost is likely to damage fruit or other crops from 
March twentieth to April thirtieth, and from Sep- 
tember fifteenth to October fifteenth . . . Louisville 

2400. A rain on the first day of the month is a sign of 
fifteen rains that month Blue Grass 

2401. If it rains on the first day of any month, it will rain 

seventeen days that month Blue Grass 

2402. The date of the month of the first snow indicates the 
number of snows that will fall during the winter. 

2403. Count the number of days from the date of the first 
snow until Christmas, to find the number of snows 
that will fall that winter Southern Kentucky 

2404. When there is thunder in the winter time, very cold 
weather may be expected Central Kentucy 

2405. If the wind blows from the south on the first day 

of January, it will blow from the south every day 
of that month Blue Grass 

2406. Just as many foggy mornings as there are in Janu- 

ary, there will be just so many frosty mornings in 
May and on the same days of the month . Mountains 

2407. The number of times it thunders in January indi- 
cates the number of frosts there will be in April. 

2408. The days that are cold in February will be warm in 

March, and the warm days in February will be the 
cold ones in March. 

2409. If it thunders in February, there will be snow in 

May. 

187 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2410. If it thunders on a certain day in February, there 
will be frost on that day in May. 

2411. The number of times it thunders in February, so 
often will it frost in May. 

2412. If it thunders on the last day of February, there 
will be frost on the last day of May. 

2413. If it thunders in February, goose eggs will not 
hatch Western Kentucky 

2414. If the ground hog sees his shadow on February sec- 
ond, there will be six more weeks of cold weather. 

2415. It is between eleven and one o'clock on February 

second that the ground hog's shadow is significant. 

2416. If it freezes on February twenty-second, there will 
be forty more freezes Blue Grass 

2417. There will be heavy rains on the first Monday in 
March Mountains 

2418. If it snows the first day of March, there will be 
snow for thirty days Central Kentucky 

2419. If March comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb. 

2420. If March comes in like a lamb, it goes out like a lion. 

2421. Fruit is never killed by frost in March 

Western Kentucky 

2422. Mists in March mean frost in May. 

2423. The sun never shines on Good Friday. 

2424. In whatever direction the wind blows on Good Fri- 

day, it will blow for forty days. 

2425. If there is enough rain on Easter Sunday to wet a 

pocket handkerchief, there will be a good crop year. 

2426. If it rains on Easter Sunday, it will rain on seven 

Sundays in succession. 

2427. If the wind blows a certain way on Easter Sunday, 

it will blow that way for six weeks. 

188 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2428. When there is an early Easter, there is an early 

spring. 

2429. When there is a late Easter, there is a late spring. 

2430. If it rains on the first day of April, there will be rain 

for fifteen successive days Western Kentucky 

2431. If you remove your flannels on the first day of May, 
you will not take cold. 

2432. Cool weather in May is called blackberry winter. 

2433. If the weather is cool when the dogwood blooms, 
the term dogwood winter is used for the cool period. 

2434. If it rains June first, there will be fifty-seven rains 
in June, July, and August Central Kentucky 

2435. If it rains the first three days of June, there will 
be no wild grapes Blue Grass 

2436. There will be no blackberries if it rains on June 

second. 

2437. If it rains on the sixth of June, there will be no 
mast Mountains 

2438. A dry June means a good corn crop. 

2439. If it rains on the first of the dog days, it will rain 
thirty days. 

2440. If it rains on July first, it will rain seventeen days 
in the month. 

2441. If it rains on July first, there will be no grapes 
that year Mountains 

2442. If it rains between the first and the fourth of July, 
it will rain for forty days Mountains 

2443. If it rains on the fourth of July, there will be no 
grapes that year Mountains 

2444. It never rains at night in July . . . Central Kentucky 

2445. If it rains on St. Swithin's day, July fifteenth, it 
will rain for forty days. 

189 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2446. There will be as many snows in the following winter 
as there are rains in August. 

2447. As many foggy mornings as there are in August, 

so many snows will there be in the winter. 

2448. There will be as many snows in the winter as there 
are foggy mornings in October. 

2449. If it thunders in December, there will be cold 
weather. 

2450. A green (warm) Christmas makes a fat graveyard. 

2451. A white (snowy) Christmas means a lean grave- 
yard. 

2452. If it sleets between the Christmases (old and new), 
there will be a good mast year Mountains 

2453. The number of fogs in summer indicates the num- 
ber of snows in winter. 

2454. If you stick an axe into a tree during "dogwood 
winter" (see 2433), the tree will die. 

2455. If it rains on Sunday, there will be only one fair 

day in the week. 

2456. If the sun sets behind a cloud on Wednesday eve- 
ning, there will be rain before Sunday. 

2457. If the sun shines on Monday, it will shine every day 
in the week. 

2458. If the leaves on the trees turn up on Monday, it 
will rain before Wednesday. 

2459. If the leaves on the trees turn up on Wednesday, it 
will rain before Sunday. 

2460. If it rains on Monday, it will rain all the week. 

2461. A rain on Monday means rain two more days of 

that week. 

2462. If the weather is cloudy on Monday, there will be 
cloudy weather on three days of the week. 

]90 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2463. If the sun goes down behind a bank of clouds on 
Wednesday, there will be rain before the week is 
gone. 

2464. A cloudy sunset on Thursday means no rain before 

Sunday. 

2465. Friday is either the fairest or the foulest day of 
the week. 

2466. The sun always shines brightly sometime on Friday 
and Saturday. 

2467. A rain on Friday means rain on Sunday. 

2468. If the weather is clear on Friday, it will rain on 

Sunday. 

2469. If the sunset is clear on Friday, there will be rain 
before Monday. 

2470. The weather at Friday noon determines the weather 

for the following Sunday. 

2471. If the sun sets behind a cloud Friday night, it will 

rain before Tuesday. 

2472. When the moon sets clear on Friday, there will be 

rain before Tuesday. 

2473. The sun shines every Saturday but three during the 
year. 

2474. If the clouds open before seven and close again, 

there will be rain before eleven. "Open and shet is 
a sign of wet." 

2475. "Rain before seven, stop before eleven." 

2476. It always clears off at milking time. 

2477. It never rains so hard at three o'clock in the after- 
noon as it does at other times in the day. 

2478. When the wind is high, it will blow hardest about 

five o'clock night or morning. 

191 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2479. "Night red, next morning gray, 

Sure sign of a pretty day." 

2480. "Red in the morning, sailors take warning. 
Red at night, sailors delight." 

2481. "Red sunrise at morning, sailors take warning. 
Red sunset at evening, storms are leaving." 

2482. "If at morn the sky be red, it bids the traveler stay 

in bed; 

If at night the sky be gray, it bids the traveler on 

his way." 

2483. "Evening red, morning gray, speed the traveler on 
his way ; 

Evening gray and morning red, brings down rain 
upon his head." 

2484. "Evening red and morning gray, sets a traveler on 
his way. 

Evening gray and morning red, put on your hat 
and wet your head." 

2485. If the sun sets clear, there will be fair weather for 
the next three days; if cloudy, it will rain within 
three days. 

2486. If the sun throws a reflection on the window when 
it is going down, the next day will be fair. 

2487. If the weather clears off during the hours of dark- 
ness there will be rain again within thirty-six hours. 

2488. Butterflies in the fall are a sign of cold weather im- 

mediately. 

2489. If it thunders at midnight, the frogs will soon look 
through glass windows (that is, there will be ice- 
cold weather). 

2490. "Blessed are the dead the rain falls on." 

2491. If anyone dies, it will rain Mountains 

192 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2492. If there is dew on the grass at night, there will be 
good weather. 

2493. If there is no dew at night, there will be bad weather. 

2494. "If the dew is on the grass, 
Rain will never come to pass." 

2495. If there is not much dew on the ground in the morn- 
ing, one may expect rain. 

2496. When a dog chews grass, there will be rain. 

2497. If a dog howls toward the moon, you may expect 
snow. 

2498. When a turtle-dove calls in the spring, winter is 
broken. 

2499. The cry of a turtle-dove foretells warm weather. 

2500. When turtle-doves coo, there will be rain. 

2501. To dream of the dead is a sign of rain or snow. . . 

Western Kentucky 

2502. If you dream of eating something, there will be bad 

weather. 

2503. If ducks fly high, there will be clear weather. 

2504. If ducks fly low, there will be falling weather. 

2505. If your feet hurt, it will rain. 

2506. Itching of frostbitten feet indicates the nearness of 

snow or rain. 

2507. If firelight is seen reflected on the woodwork in 
the room, cold weather will follow. 

2508. When fire spits, there will be snow. 

2509. The crackling of the fire with a fluffy sound as if 

snow were falling into it indicates the coming of 
snow. 

2510. If a fire sighs, there will be very cold weather. 

2511. When fish jump above the surface of the water, 
you may expect rain Blue Grass 

193 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2512. When flies sting you, expect rain. 

2513. If a flower or a fruit tree which should bloom or 
bear but once a year, blooms or bears twice in a 
season, you may look for a hard winter. 

2514. If the fog lifts early, it will rain Mountains 

2515. If the fog lifts late, the day will be clear. 

2516. If the fog goes up, there will be falling weather. 

2517. If the fog comes down, there will be pretty weather- 

2518. A dense fog line near water, indicates the height to 

which the water will rise by means of the rain 
which will follow the fog Mountains 

2519. In winter, if the fowls seek a more elevated place 
to roost, there is colder weather coming. 

2520. Frogs freeze up three times before spring comes to 

stay Mountains 

2521. If frogs croak in the daytime, it will rain. 

2522. A white frost is a sign of rain. 

2523. After three white (heavy) frosts, expect rain. 

2524. If frost hangs on the timber late in the morning, 
snow may be expected. 

2525. The general conditions that precede heavy frosts 
are: rising barometer, falling temperature, low hu- 
midity, west to northwest winds diminishing in 
force, and clear or clearing weather .... Lexington 

2526. Fruits, vegetables, and other crops are likely to be 

damaged by spring frosts Lexington 

2527. Autumn crops in Kentucky are generally not in- 

jured by frost Lexington 

2528. The continual slamming of a gate means that cold 
weather is approaching . . . North-eastern Kentucky 

2529. When the gnats swarm, rain and warmer weather 

will follow . Central Kentucky 

194 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2530. If the breastbone of a goose is white, expect clear, 
warm weather. 

2531. If the breastbone of a goose is dark, you may ex- 
pect cold weather. 

2532. If the breastbone of the goose is mottled, expect 
varied weather. 

2533. The weather goose must be hatched in June and 
killed on December first. 

2534. You may expect rain when a number of geese flap 
their wings in the water Mountains 

2535. If wild geese fly low when they go south, the winter 
will be mild. 

2536. If wild geese fly high when they go south, the winter 
will be severe. 

2537. A heavy wild-grape crop is followed by a hard 

winter. 

2538. If a grasshopper is seen dancing, there will be rain 
within three days Southern Kentucky 

2539. When guineas cry in the afternoon, there will be 

rain later. 

2540. When your hair curls, you may expect rain. 

2541. If a hog looks toward the north, cold weather may 
be expected. 

2542. There will be cold weather when hogs begin to 
build their beds. 

2543. If a hog's liver points towards its head with the 

little end, the first part of the winter will be warm 
and the second part cold Blue Grass 

2544. If a hog's liver points towards its head with the 
large end, the first part of the winter will be cold 
and the second part warm Blue Grass 

2545. When hogs are killed in the winter, if the large end 

195 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

of the hog's spleen is behind, most of the winter 
is over Blue Grass 

2546. When hogs are killed in the winter, if the large 
end of the hog's spleen is in front, the hardest part 
of the winter is yet to come Blue Grass 

2547. The squealing of pigs foretells cold weather. 

2548. The loud sound of horses' hooves shows that rain is 
near. 

2549. "Horses' tails and fishes' scales 

Make sailors spread their sails." 

2550. If a hornet builds his nest low, there will be a cold 
winter Western Kentucky 

2551. If the hornet's nest is high, the winter will be mild 

Western Kentucky 

2552. Rapidly increasing moisture after a period of low 
humidity is a strong indication of approaching rain, 
but by no means a sure one Louisville 

2553. Except as a sign of more rain during an intermis- 

sion in a rainstorm, high humidity is not usually a 
forerunner of rain, unless the rain is about to begin 
Lexington 

2554. There is generally a decrease of relative humidity 
before rain Lexington 

2555. As a rule, humidity can not be depended upon as an 

indicator of rain Lexington 

2556. If you see an insect carrying material for its bed, 
there will be cold weather Western Kentucky 

2557. Ninety days, or three months, after the first katydid 

is heard, there will be frost. 

2558. If a lamp flickers continually, there will be rain . . . 

Blue Grass 

196 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2559. Lightning in the north means rain within twenty- 

four hours Central Kentucky 

2560. Lightning in the north is a sign of dry weather. 

2561. If you see lightning in the northwest, it will rain 

within forty-eight hours. 

2562. If there is lightning in the east, one may look for 

dry weather. 

2563. Lightning in the south means dry weather. 

2564. When you see a flash of lightning, count as fast as 

you can until it thunders. The number will show 
how many miles away the lightning has struck. 

2565. If locusts are noisy, dry weather will follow. 

2566. If locust blooms are heavy, expect a cool summer. 

2567. If everything is eaten at a meal, the weather will be 
clear the next day Mountains 

2568. There will be rain if mice cry loudly at night. 

2569. When the thick part of milk rises to the top, there 

will be rain. 

2570. If the rain gets thick and heavy, almost like mist. 

the weather will turn cold. 

2571. The presence of a great quantity of mistletoe in 
the fall indicates that a severe winter will follow. 

2572. An abundance of wild fruits in the fall is a sign of 

a cold winter. 

2573. When the new moon stands on end, it is generally 
thought that the weather during the following 
month will be dry. 

2574. When the new moon lies on its back, that is, when 
the horns extend upward, it is generally thought 
that the following month will be dry, for the moon 
will hold water. Some believe, however, that such 
a moon betokens wet weather. 

197 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2575. When a new moon lies sufficiently on its side to al- 
low an Indian's powder horn to be hung on the 
point, the moon will be a dry one. 

2576. A ring around the moon with a star in it brings 

clear weather. 

2577. "Circle around the moon, rain soon; 

Circle around the sun, rain none." 

2578. When the moon has a ring around it, there will be 

as many rainy days that week as there are stars in 
the ring. 

2579. A ring around the moon is a sign of rain or bad 

weather, which will begin in as many days as there 
are stars enclosed in the circle. 

2580. The number of rings around the moon shows how 
many days there will be before the rain. 

2581. A circle around the moon with two stars in it is a 

sign that it will rain in two days. 

2582. If there are seven stars in a circle around the moon, 
there will be rain for seven hours. 

2583. The presence of two rings around the full moon 
brings snow within twenty-four hours. 

2584. If the moon changes in the morning, there will be 
rain North-eastern Kentucky 

2585. If the moon changes in the afternoon or evening, 
there will not be rain .... North-eastern Kentucky 

2586. A ring around the moon is a sign of cold weather. 

2587. No frost will fall when a full moon is shining. 

2588. Any month when the moon is north of due west is 

a cold month. 

2589. Any month when the moon is south of due west is 
. a hot month. 

2590. If there is a ring around the moon, rain may be ex- 

198 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

pected. The nearer it is, the sooner will the rain 
come. 

2591. When the moon hangs low in the south, there will 

be mild weather. 

2592. The number of days old the moon is when it snows 

for the first time is the number of times it will 
snow that year. 

2593. The bad weather of January 1915 was explained by 
the presence of two full moons that month. 

2594. The growing of moss on the south side of trees 
means that a cold winter may be expected. 

2595. If a mule looks toward the north, expect cold 
weather. 

2596. If you drive a nail into the ground, there will be 
rain the next day Western Kentucky 

2597. If you see a negro, it will rain. 

2598. If the nut crop fails, the winter will be mild 

Mountains 

2599. If the nut crop is heavy, the winter will be severe . . 

Mountains 

2600. An owl's hooting indicates the coming of heavy rain 

Mountains 

2601. The hooting of owls indicates a change of weather. . 

Mountains 

2602. When an owl screams on the top of a mountain, dry 
weather may be expected Mountains 

2603. When peacocks cry a great deal in winter, the cold 

weather is over. 

2604. There will be rain when the peacocks run crying 

along the ground. 

2605. The cry of a peacock is followed by rain. 

199 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2606. It brings bad luck to play a piano when a storm is 
going on. 

2607. If you lick your plate at breakfast, there will be 
rain before supper Southern Kentucky 

2608. Preparation for rain scares it away. 

2609. The crying of rabbits is followed by heavy and con- 
tinuous rain Mountains 

2610. "Rainbow at night, shepherds' delight. 
Rainbow in the morning, shepherds' warning." 

2611. "Rainbow in morn, sailors warned. 
Rainbow at night, sailors' delight. 
Rainbow at noon, more rain soon." 

2612. If a rainbow bends over a house, there will be a 
death in that house Western Kentucky 

2613. A rainbow in the west is a sign of wet weather. 

2614. A rainbow in the east is a sign of dry weather. 

2615. If you see a rainbow, there will not be any more 
rain that day. 

2616. If a raincrow calls late in the evening, there will be 
rain next day. 

2617. The redbird's whistle is a sign of rain. 

2618. When a redbird says, "Wet, wet," a heavy rain may 

be expected. 

2619. If a redbird that you are looking at flies to the right, 
the weather will turn cold. 

2620. When redbirds fly low, you may look for bad 

weather. 

2621. An attack of rheumatism means the coming of rain 

soon. 

2622. Every time your rheumatism hurts you, you may 

look for rain. 

2623. Sweating rocks are a sign of rain. 

200 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2624. If you kick up the rug several times, you may look 

for rain. 

2625. If you drop salt on the ground, you may look for 
rain Western Kentucky 

2626. If the sun draws water in the evening, it is a sign of 
approaching rain (cf. 2656). 

2627. If it has not been raining for a day and is cloudy, 
and if a patch of sky large enough to make a sailor 
a pair of trousers is seen before ten o'clock, it will 
not rain that day. 

2628. "Mackerel sky, not twenty-four hours dry." 

2629. "A mackerel sky never leaves the earth three days 
dry." 

2630. A mare's tail in the sky is a sign of rain. 

2631. A blue spot of sky as large as a Dutchman's trous- 

ers means that the weather will be clear. 

2632. If smoke goes straight up, there will be clear 
weather. 

2633. If smoke stays close to the ground, there will be 
high winds and bad weather. 

2634. If the smoke from a train is white and cloudlike, 
there will be fair weather. 

2635. If smoke goes down stream, expect rain. 

2636. If smoke goes down the valley, rain may be ex- 
pected. 

2637. When coal smoke and gas puff out into the room 

with a singing noise, snow may be looked for. 

2638. If a snake crosses your path, there will be rain. 

2639. To kill a snake and turn it over will cause rain. 

2640. If a black snake is killed and hung on a fence, rain 
will come. 



201 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2641. The hanging of a black snake up by the tail will 
bring rain before night. 

2642. When snipes cry, winter is over 

North-eastern Kentucky 

2643. If the snow melts from the trees, the snow will leave 
the ground in a rain. 

2644. If the snow is blown off the trees, there will be an- 

other snow soon before the current snow melts. 

2645. Snow left unmelted in the fence corner brings an- 
other snow. 

2646. When you see snowbirds flying along a rail fence, 

you may expect the weather to be much colder with- 
in the next twenty-four hours. 

2647. If you kill a spider, there will be rain that day .... 

Mountains 

2648. If you kill a spider on a rainy day, it will rain the 
next day Mountains 

2649. You may expect bad weather when a squirrel gath- 

ers nuts. 

2650. When the squirrel hoards are large, there will be a 

cold winter. 

2651. If the stars are thick, there will be rain. 

2652. If an old person stumbles, there will be rain the next 
day Central Kentucky 

2653. If the sun shines while it is raining, there will be 

rain the next day. 

2654. If it rains while the sun is shining, there will be rain 

at the same time the next day. 

2655. "Ring around the sun, rain none; 

Ring around the moon, rain soon" Mountains 

2656. If the sun draws water in the morning, there will 
be rain in the evening. 

202 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2657. If the sun shines while it is snowing, there will be 

snow the next day. 

2658. It always rains for five days in succession after an 
eclipse of the sun. 

2659. When the telephone wires sing, a change of weather 
may be expected. 

2660. To kill a toad will cause rain. 

2661. If rain drops cling to the twigs of trees, there will 
be more rain. 

2662. If tree leaves wither, there will be rain. 

2663. If you see the white on leaves when the wind is 
blowing, there will be rain. 

2664. When maple leaves turn up, there will be rain. 

2665. If you hear whistling among the trees in a moun- 
tain, you may expect rain before dawn . . Mountains 

2666. When the trees have heavy foliage, there will be a 
hard winter. 

2667. If bark grows on the north side of a tree, there will 
be a cold winter. 

2668. If snow sticks to the sides of trees and houses, there 
will be snow again in forty-eight hours. 

2669. If sycamore trees are white and smooth in the 

autumn, a mild winter may be expected. 

2670. If a tree toad croaks, it will rain. 

2671. Turkeys dance (that is, jump up and down) before 

rain. 

2672. The carrying of an umbrella scares the rain away. 

2673. Foam on the water is a sign of rain 

Southern Kentucky 

2674. A sweating water pitcher is a sign of rain. 

2675. A whirlwind going east is a sign of rain. 

2676. If a whirlwind goes down stream, there will be rain 

soon. 

203 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2677. Whirlwinds of dust are a sign of dry weather. 

2678. If it begins raining while the wind is blowing from 
the east, there will be rain every day for seven days. 

2679. Precipitation is generally preceded for eighteen to 
twenty-four hours by southeast to northeast winds 
and falling barometer Lexington 

2680. In all seasons rain is preceded for twelve to thirty- 

six hours by southeast to northeast winds and fall- 
ing barometer, and the barometer generally falls 
to 29.90 or below in spring, summer, and winter 
and to 30 or below in autumn before the rain be- 
gins Louisville 

2681. If the wind is in the south on the first day of the 
year, it will not be out of the south forty-eight 
hours within forty days Western Kentucky 

2682. During periods of abnormally high temperature the 

wind is from the south in spring and winter and 

from the southwest in summer and autumn 

Lexington 

2683. Cold winds of all seasons are from the northwest . . . 

Lexington 

2684. During periods of very high temperature prevail- 

ing winds are from southeast to east in spring, 
southwest to northwest in summer, and south to 
southeast in autumn and winter Louisville 

2685. During very low temperature prevailing winds are 

from the west, northwest, or north Louisville 

2686. Severe winter storms are preceded by east to north- 
east winds Lexington 

2687. Before summer rains the wind is usually from south 

to east Lexington 

204 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2688. Stretch a yarn string over beans and other young 
plants in the early spring, to protect them from 
frost. The frost will collect on the yarn and the 
plants will not be injured. 

2689. Any noise during a thunderstorm is dangerous . . . 

Central Kentucky 

2690. Music during a thunderstorm is very dangerous . . . 

Central Kentucky 

2691. If you sit on a feather bed, the lightning will not 

strike you. 

2692. If the lightning strikes twice in the same place, 
there is mineral in the ground there near the surface 
Central Kentucky 

2693. Many negroes will not burn the wood of a tree that 
has been struck by lightning for fear that their 

houses will burn or be struck by lightning 

Western Kentucky 

2694. When sunshine and rain come together, the Devil 

is beating his wife. If you put a black-headed pin 
into the clay and put your ear to the pin head, you 
may hear them. 

2695. There is a pot of gold at the bottom of the rainbow. 

2696. If an east wind blows for three days in the spring, 
there will be no acorns, beech nuts, and the like 
that year North-eastern Kentucky 

2697. If it thunders heavily while a hen is sitting, it will 
kill the chickens. 

2698. If it thunders while ducks are sitting, the eggs will 
not hatch. 

2699. If the sun looks red like blood at the sunset of a 
rainy day, a sudden death will soon take place. 



205 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

DAYS, SEASONS, 1 ETC. 

2700. 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. 

2701. Wednesday's child is merry and glad. 

Thursday's child is sour and sad. 

2702. Cutting Nails. 
Monday for health; 
Tuesday for wealth; 
Wednesday for news ; 
Thursday for a new pair of shoes; 
Friday for sorrow; 

Saturday, see your beau tomorrow. 

But you had better never been born than have your 

nails on Sunday shorn. 

2703. To cut the finger-nails on Monday means health, 
on Tuesday wealth, Wednesday a letter, on Thurs- 
day something better, on Friday a wife, on Satur- 
day long life, on Sunday means evil, for all of that 
week you will be ruled by the Devil. 

2704. To cut the nails on Monday will bring good luck. 

2705. If you cut your finger nails on Monday morning 
before breakfast, you will receive a present before 
the week is over. 

i For the significance of sneezes on certain days, see Sneezes, numbers 1035- 
1038. For days and months of weddings, see Weddings, numbers 616-627. 
For the connection of days or seasons with crops, see Crops. 

206 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2706. It brings bad luck to cut the nails on Thursday. 

2707. If you cut your toe nails on Friday, you will never 
have toothache Western Kentucky 

2708. If you cut your nails on Sunday, you will have a 

plague. 

2709. It brings good luck to have the nails pared on Mon- 

day, Tuesday, Wednesday. It brings bad luck to 
have the nails pared on other days, especially Sun- 
day. 

2710. If you trim your nails on Sunday, someone will 

catch you with your clothes down before the end 
of the week Mountains 

2711. If you burn brush on Sunday, you will be put in 
the moon. 

2712. If you burn brush on Sunday, when you die your 

body will burn all the time. 

2713. It brings good luck to move on Monday, Tuesday, 

or Wednesday. 

2714. You will have good luck if you are born on Sunday. 

2715. A person born on Sunday can talk to animals at 
midnight of old Christmas Mountains 

2716. It brings good luck to wear a new dress on Sunday 

Western Kentucky 

2717. If it thunders on Sunday, goose eggs will not hatch 

Mountains 

2718. If you work on Sunday, you will be sick on Monday, 

2719. It brings bad luck to fish on Sunday. 

2720. If you turn a spinning wheel around on Sunday, 
you will get a whipping Mountains 

2721. One will have to pick each stitch out with his nose 
that he sews on Sunday. 

2722. If you sew on Sunday, on Judgment Day or in 

207 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

hell you will have to take the stitches out with 
your nose. 

2723. It brings bad luck to use scissors or to sew on Sun- 
day, unless you do not wear a thimble or unless 
you carry your work to a friend's house . Mountains 

2724. If you sew on Sunday, you will die on Monday. 

2725. It brings bad luck to iron on Sunday. 

2726. It is harmful to darn on Sunday, unless you cross 
your feet Blue Grass 

2727. It brings bad luck to comb your hair on Sunday. . 

Mountains 

2728. Sunday is the best day to move. 

2729. It causes bad luck to move on Sunday. .Mountains 

2730. It brings good luck to start on a journey on Sunday. 

2731. If you start on your journey on Sunday, you will 

be gone a long time. 

2732. If you set tobacco on Sunday, the grub worms will 

attack it. 

2733. If you turn a cow dry on Sunday, her calf will be 

born in the day time. 

2734. It brings bad luck to count eggs on Sunday. 

2735. It brings bad luck to turn a feather bed on Sunday. 

2736. If you take up the hoe on Sunday, you will not be 
able to turn it loose. 

2737. To burn paper on Sunday brings bad luck. 

2738. As goes Monday, so goes the week. 

2739. If you have company on Monday, you will have 
company every day in the week. 

2740. If you go visiting on Monday, you will go every 

day in the week. 

2741. Your whole week will be unlucky if you eat in a 

strange house on Monday. 

208 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2742. If you are in a bad humor on Monday, you will be 

in a bad humor all week. 

2743. If you hurt your foot on Monday, it will not get 
well until Sunday Mountains 

2744. If you take out ashes on Monday, you will have bad 
luck. 

2745. It brings good luck to begin a job on Monday. 

2746. A letter on Monday means that you will receive two 

more letters that week. 

2747. It brings good luck to receive a nickel early Mon- 

day morning Louisville Negroes 

2748. If you keep all you take in on Monday, the amount 
will increase during the week. 

2749. If a man comes to your house the first thing on 

Monday morning, there will be good luck all that 
week. 

2750. If on Monday morning a woman comes to your 
house before a man, you will have bad luck all that 
week. 

2751. If the first person that you meet Monday morning 
is a negro woman, you will have bad luck. 

2752. Avert the bad luck that will come to you from meet- 

ing a negro woman on Monday morning by turn- 
ing and going back Southern Kentucky 

2753. Monday and Friday are unlucky days for all wo- 

men who are born in April Mountains 

2754. Monday, Friday, and the thirteenth day of the 

month are unlucky days for a journey. 

2755. Set the first hen on Monday for good luck 

Blue Grass 

2756. You will not have good luck that week if you start 
to work on Tuesday Mountains 

209 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2757. It is unlucky to meet a left-handed person on Tues- 

day Mountains 

2758. Wednesday is a lucky day for collecting money. 

2759. Wednesday is the luckiest day of the week for a 
wedding. 

2760. Thursday is the best day for business transactions. 

2761. Do not comb your hair on Thursday 

Western Kentucky 

2762. One never sees a blue jay on Friday because these 
birds carry sand to the Devil on that day. Another 
version says that every blue jay carries a piece of 
wood to hell on Friday, to heat the lawyers. 

2763. Eggs laid on Friday never decay Negroes 

2764. On Friday, the thirteenth, wear odd shoes for good 
luck Western Kentucky 

2765. It brings good luck to begin anything on Friday. 

2766. It brings bad luck to pay a debt on Friday 

Mountains 

2767. It is unlucky to fish on Friday. 

2768. It causes bad luck to kiss your girl on Friday 

Western Kentucky 

2769. Do not wash your face on Friday 

Western Kentucky 

2770. It causes bad luck to sweep dirt out of the house on 

Friday, for the house will burn later . . . Blue Grass 

2771. Never carry ashes out of the house after four o'clock 

in the afternoon on Friday. Wait until Monday 
morning, or you will lose a dollar that week. 

2772. It brings bad luck to move on Friday or Saturday. 

2773. It brings bad luck to be born on Saturday. You 
will have to work hard for a living Mountains 

210 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2774. If you cut a garment on Saturday, you will never 
live to wear it out. "Quick done or never done." 

2775. It causes bad luck to begin building a house on Sat- 
urday. 

2776. You must not bake a cake on Saturday. 

2777. The sun always shines on Saturday, if only for a 

few minutes. 

2778. If you cut your finger nails on Saturday, you will 
get joy tomorrow. 

2779. If you feel that it is Saturday when it is not, you 
will soon hear of the death of a friend of yours. 
Mountains 

2780. What you do on the first day of the year indicates 
the character of your actions throughout the year. 

2781. If a man enters your house before a woman on New 

Year's Day, you will have a good year. 

2782. If a woman enters the house before a man does on 

New Year's Day, there will be bad luck. 

2783. If a negro is your first visitor on New Year's Day, 
he brings bad luck. 

2784. As the first caller on New Year's Day, a dark man 

brings the best luck. 

2785. As the first caller on New Year's Day, a fair-haired 

man brings the next best luck. 

2786. As the first caller on New Year's Day, a dark- 

haired woman brings the third best luck. 

2787. As the first caller on New Year's Day, a red-haired 

person brings bad luck. 

2788. If a woman comes on the first day of the year, some 

one will come every day in the year. 

2789. If a woman visits you on New Year's Day, you can- 
not raise chickens successfully that year . Mountains 

211 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2790. To break something on the first day of the year 
causes bad luck for the remainder of the year. 

2791. If you dip your head into the ocean on January 
first, you will not be ill during the year. 

2792. If you wash anything on New Year's Day, you will 
wash a member of the family away. . . .Blue Grass 

2793. If you eat cabbage on New Year's Day, you will 
have money all the year Western Kentucky 

2794. If you cook white beans the first day of the year, 

you will have money all the year 

Western Kentucky 

2795. Poultry raisers are interested in the first person who 
comes into their houses on New Year's Day. The 
sex of the caller signifies whether the house will 
raise pullets or roosters that year, and the size of 
the chickens will compare with the size of the visi- 
tors Blue Grass 

2796. You will have good luck if while walking up grade 

you hear the first turtle-dove of the new year. 

2797. You will have bad luck if while walking down grade 
you hear the first turtle dove of the new year. 

2798. The cutting of the hair in March causes a year of 
headache. 

2799. If you cut your hair in March, you will be sick be- 

fore the year is out. 

2800. If you cut your hair in March, you will lose a horse. 

2801. If you have your hair cut in March, you will never 
live to see another March. 

2802. To move in March brings bad luck Mountains 

2803. If a person lives through March, he will live the rest 

of the year. 

2804. If it rains on Good Friday, rains will be without 

212 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

value all summer, that is, they will be too hard, 
will come at the wrong time or for some other rea- 
son will be valueless Southern Kentucky 

2805. Rain on the Friday before Easter Sunday is a good- 

luck sign. 

2806. An early Easter means an early Spring 

North-eastern Kentucky 

2807. Unless you wear something new on Easter Sunday, 
you will be unlucky throughout the year. 

2808. If you have a man for a guest on the morning of 

May first, all the chickens that year will be roosters 
Blue Grass 

2809. If you have a woman for a guest on the morning 

of May first, all your chickens that year will be 
hens. 

2810. "A maid who on the first of May, 

Goes to the fields at break of day, 

And washes in dew from the hawthorn tree, 

Will ever after handsome be." 

2811. If you wash your hair in the first rain of May, it 
will grow Mountains 

2812. It causes bad luck to look into a well on the first 

day of May, for if you see your reflection, there 
will be a death in your family before the next May. 

2813. Do not pluck a four-leaved clover in May 

North-eastern Kentucky 

2814. If you go in swimming on the first morning of May 
before the sun is up, you will not have any con- 
tagious disease during that year Mountains 

2815. If a colt is born in May, he will lie down in the 
water with you Louisville Negroes 

213 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2816. It is dangerous to take off your winter clothing un- 
til the tenth of May. 

2817. To become beautiful, wash your face in dew before 
sunrise on Mayday. 1 

2818. If you set hens in June with eggs laid in June, the 
chickens will die. 

2819. If you go in swimming on the first of June, you will 
not be sick the whole summer Mountains 

2820. If a turtle-dove sits on a tree the first day of June 

and calls, looking at you, you have enemies. 

2821. The time to cut shrubbery so that it will not come 
up again, is Ember Day (the day in the Episcopal 
Church when special prayers are made for those 
going into holy orders ) . 

2822. Trees are easily killed on Ember Day by removing 
the bark. 

2823. If you hack the bark of a tree on Ember Day, it 
will die Mountains 

2824. Dog days begin with the cry or song of the katydid 

Mountains 

2825. If it rains on the first day of dog days, it will rain 

for forty days Mountains 

2826. There will be no chestnuts if it rains on the fourth 
of July. 

2827. If it rains on the fourth of July, there will be no 
grapes Blue Grass 

2828. Martens go south on the fifteenth of August 

Western Kentucky 

2829. If you cut your foot while swimming in the water 

i For other superstitions associated with May first, see Divinations and 
Weddingt. 

214 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

during the first ten days of August, you will have 
blood poisoning Blue Grass 

2830. You will have good luck if you are the first to say 

"Merry Christmas" or "Happy New Year." 

2831. A green Christmas makes a full graveyard. 

2832. If the sun shines on Christmas, and if it snows on 

Easter, there will be a fat graveyard. 

2833. Never take up ashes from the fireplace during the 

Christmas season Blue Grass 

2834. It brings bad luck to kill the Christmas fly 

Central Kentucky 

2835. A white New Christmas and a white Old Christmas 

are the signs of a good fruit year. ( Old Christmas 
is twelve days after New or regular Christmas) . . . 
Mountains 

2836. At Christmas Eve, trees bleed (because of the 

Cross). 

2837. At Christmas Eve, spirits walk. 

2838. At midnight on Christmas Eve all cows kneel (be- 

cause Christ was born in a manger) . 

2839. On Old Christmas Eve, all animals talk to spirits 
and get on their knees and pray Mountains 

2840. At midnight of Old Christmas, the elders bloom . . . 

Mountains 

2841. It brings bad luck to leave up the Christmas greens 
after New Year's Day Central Kentucky 

2842. If you stay up until midnight on December thirty- 
first, you will see an old man go out your door and 
a little child come in Mountains 

2843. If you talk to animals at midnight on New Year's 
Eve, they will understand you and you them. 

215 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2844. Oysters are not good except in those months which 
contain the letter r. 

2845. If you turn water into a cistern during any month 
that has not an r in the spelling, the water will sour 
and not be fit to drink. 

2846. It is unlucky to marry a person born in the same 
month with you. You will not be happy together 
because you are ruled by the same stellar influence. 

2847. The girl born in January will be a prudent house- 
wife, goodnatured, and inclined to be melancholy. 
In February, humane, affectionate as a wife, tender 
as a mother. 

In March, a chatterbox, fickle, stormy, quarrel- 
some. 

In April, pretty, dainty, inconsistent, not studious. 
In May, handsome, contented, happy. 
In June, gay, impetuous, will marry early. 
In July, fair, surly, jealous. 
In August, amiable, practical, will marry rich. 
In September, discreet, generally beloved. 
In October, pretty, coquettish, moody. 
In November, liberal, kind, amiable, thoughtful of 
others. 
In December, fond of novelty, extravagant. 

2848. If a girl is born in October, her marriage will be 
unhappy Negroes 

2849. A girl who is born in November will have a mild 

disposition. 

2850. "A swarm of bees in May, 

Is worth a ton of hay. 

A swarm in June 

Is worth a silver spoon. 

216 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

But a swarm in July 
Is not worth a fly." 

2851. Birth Flowers: 

January snowdrop August poppy 

February primrose September morning 

March violet glory 

April daisy October golden rod 

May hawthorn November chrysan- 

June honeysuckle themum 

July water lily December holly 

2852. Birth Stones: 

January garnet July ruby 

February amethyst August sardonyx 

March bloodstone September sapphire 

April diamond October amber, opal 

May emerald November topaz 

June moonstone December turquoise 

2853. Wear your birthstone for luck. 

2854. If you let your birthday pass without thinking of it, 
you will die before the next birthday. 

2855. It brings you bad luck to be put under the bed on 
your birthday. 

2856. It brings good luck to receive white flowers on your 
birthday. 

2857. It brings good luck to be born on the eighth of the 

month Mountains 

2858. The eighth of the month is a lucky day on which 
to transact business. 

2859. You will be able to get anything that you ask for 

on the fourteenth of any month. 

2860. It is unlucky to be born on either the sixteenth or 
the seventeenth day of the month Mountains 

217 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2861. At the first of the month say "Rabbits," and you 

will have good luck through the month 

Northern Kentucky 

2862. When you see in the morning the ground torn up 
by ants, you will know that summer has begun. . . 
Mountains 

2863. Snow out of season brings bad luck. 

2864. When a general pause comes in the conversation, 

the time is twenty minutes before or after the hour, 

2865. If you blow dandelion balls three times, the number 
of white seeds left tells the time of day. 

CROPS, VEGETABLES, FRUITS, TREES 

2866. Crops planted during the first three days of July 
will be barren. 

2867. Do not plant anything on the first three days of 

May, which are barren days. 

2868. Never thank the giver for seeds if you want them 

to grow. 

2869. Slips from plants should be stolen. Only stolen 
ones grow. 

2870. In sowing grain, if you miss a "land," you will have 

a death in the family. 

2871. Plants must be kept in the bed room at night and in 
the living room in the daytime. 

2872. If a row is missed in planting, there will be a death 

in the family before the year is out. 

2873. In planting, bad luck results if you leave a row un- 

finished. 

2874. It brings bad luck not to plant seed after the soil 
has been prepared for the planting. 

218 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2875. Plant in the morning the seed that matures above 
the ground Western Kentucky 

2876. Plant in the afternoon the seed that matures under- 
ground Western Kentucky 

2877. If while you are working with someone in a garden 
your hoes strike together, you will hoe together at 
the same time next year. 

2878. If two men at work on two rows strike hoes, one 
will die within a year. 

2879. If you plant beans in the morning, they will come 
two weeks sooner than if you plant them in the 
afternoon Western Kentucky 

2880. If beans are planted in the afternoon, they will drop 
the bloom. 

2881. If while you are picking beans a leaf sticks on your 
clothes, you will receive news Mountains 

2882. It brings good luck to plant beans on the one hun- 
dredth day of the year Mountains 

2883. Plant beans on Good Friday. 

2884. When apple trees bloom, plant beans. 

2885. Put a yarn string over beans, to prevent frost from 
having effect on them. 

2886. If butterbeans grow downward and send roots up- 
ward, the planter will die. 

2887. You will have good luck if you carry a horse-chest- 

nut. 

2888. It is poisonous to eat horse-chestnuts (also called 
buck-eyes). 

2889. If one eats a buck-eye, his head will turn around. 

2890. You must eat carrots, in order to become beautiful 

Mountains 

2891. You will have bad luck if you eat celery. 

219 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2892. If you find a one-leaved clover, you will get a letter 

from your sweetheart Mountains 

2893. If you find a two-leaved clover, you will receive a 
kiss from your sweetheart. 

2894. A four-leaved clover brings the finder good luck. 

2895. If you find a four-leaved clover, there is always an- 

other in its place Western Kentucky 

2896. If you swallow a four-leaved clover whole, you will 
get whom you wish to marry. 

2897. A five-leaved clover must be passed on to other peo- 

ple. Whoever receives it will have good luck if 
he does not keep it. 

2898. If you find a five-leaved clover, give it away ; it will 
bring good luck to the giver and the receiver. 

2899. To find a seven-leaved clover brings bad luck 

Western Kentucky 

2900. If locust blooms are heavy, expect a large corn crop. 

2901. Plant corn when the dogwood blooms. 

2902. When white oak leaves are as big as a squirrel's ear, 

plant corn. 

2903. Plant corn after the woodpecker comes. 

2904. Do not plant corn until asparagus tips are high 

enough above ground to assure a good asparagus 
crop. 

2905. Corn should not be planted on May first, second, 
or third, as these are barren days. 

2906. It is rotten corn that produces the crust of bread . . . 

Mountains 

2907. If you burn the cobs of your seed corn, you will 
cause your growing corn to blast Mountains 

2908. If you burn the cobs from seed corn, the fodder will 
fire the corn Mountains 

220 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2909. "If it comes, it no comes; 
If it no comes, it comes. " 
The explanation is 

If the crow comes, the corn will not grow. 

If the crow does not come, the corn will grow. . . . 

Louisville Negroes 

2910. If you miss a row in planting corn, one will die in 
the family before corn-gathering time. 

2911. If when you plant a field of corn you miss a row, 
there will be a death in the family before planting 
time again. 

2912. When white-oak leaves are as large as squirrel ears, 

plant corn General over United States 

2913. If you see grains of corn in the road, company will 

come; if you cover them over, the caller will be a 
stranger. 

2914. In corn-husking, a blue-spotted red ear brings the 
best luck. It is called in the Kentucky mountains 
a "skew ball" Mountains 

2915. If you see a red corn-silk first, you will hear of a 
wedding before you hear of a death. 

2916. If the first corn-silk of the season that you see is 
white, you will go to a funeral soon. 

2917. You will raise one hundred bushels of corn for each 

white stalk which you find in your field . Mountains 

2918. If the first silk that you see on a new ear of corn is 
white, you will have bad health Mountains 

2919. If you eat corn out of a tomato bowl, you will eat 
corn cake out of a musk melon the following year. 

2920. If a farmer has the brim of his hat turned up in 

front, he has corn for sale. 

2921. If a farmer's hat brim is turned up in the back and 

221 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

down in front, the farmer wishes to buy corn 

Western Kentucky 

2922. You should plant cabbages on the ninth of May . . , 

Western Kentucky 

2923. You must sow cotton seed on the ninth of May .... 

Western Kentucky 

2924. If you plant cotton among your cucumber plants, 

insects will not attack your cucumbers 

Western Kentucky 

2925. Plant cucumbers on the fourth of July . . Blue Grass 

2926. "Plant cucumber seed on the sixth of July ; 

You will have cucumbers, wet or dry" 

Western Kentucky 

2927. Place cornbread crumbs about your cucumber 
plants. They will attract ants, which will destroy 
the cucumber insects Western Kentucky 

2928. If you blow all the seeds off a dandelion ball in two 
blows, you will get a new dress. 

2929. Plant flax on Good Friday 

North-eastern Kentucky 

2930. If you swallow the first forget-me-not of the season, 
you will get a new dress of the same color. 

2931. It is bad luck to burn grape vines 

Western Kentucky 

2932. A blade of grass or a leaf a-quiver when all others 

are still shows that a fairy is dancing on it. 

2933. If you pass a wagonload of fresh hay without seiz- 

ing a handful, you will have bad luck . . . Blue Grass 

2934. If you see a hay wagon and say, "Load of hay, load 

of hay, Take my wish and go away," you will have 
good luck. 

2935. To follow a haywagon out of sight with your gaze 

222 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

will bring good luck. The luck will be better if 
nothing comes between. 

2936. "Where hollyhocks grow, 

Beaus never go." Central Kentucky 

2937. If you plant nasturtiums on St. Patrick's Day, they 
will grow fast Blue Grass 

2938. If a nettle points toward you, pick it up, for it 
means good luck Mountains 

2939. A nutmeg worn around the neck will bring good 

luck. 

2940. It causes good luck to carry an onion in your pocket 

Mountains 

2941. If you swallow the seed of an orange, your best 

friend is thinking of you Mountains 

2942. Plant parsley, and you plant sorrow. 

2943. It brings bad luck to transplant parsley. 

2944. If you accidentally drop peanut shells near your 
house, you may know that policemen are coming 
to the house Louisville Negroes 

2945. It brings good luck to plant peas on the fourteenth 

of February Mountains 

2946. Peppers to prosper, must be planted by a red-head- 

ed or a hot-tempered person. 

2947. If you want peppers to grow, you must be angry 
when you are planting them . . . Western Kentucky 

2948. You will be poisoned if you eat "pokeberries." 

2949. St. Patrick's Day is a good time on which to plant 
potatoes. 

2950. If you plant potatoes on the sixth of April, they 
will not be attacked by insects. 

2951. If you plant potatoes on dark nights, the moles will 

eat them Mountains 

223 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2952. An Irish potato is growing until the skin cannot be 

flipped off with the fingers. 

2953. If you see a puff ball (any fungus of the genus 
Lycoperdon), you will have fever. You can avert 
the fever by spitting nine times. 

2954. The redbud is the tree on which Judas hanged him- 
self. 

2955. If you let a rose bloom in the house, a death will 
follow Blue Grass 

2956. To plant sage seed will bring death or severe illness 
to one of the family. 

2957. "Where sunflowers grow, 
No beaus go." 

2958. Plant sweetpeas and garden peas on the fourteenth 
of February Blue Grass 

2959. Plant sweetpeas on the twenty-second of February 

Central Kentucky 

2960. Plant sweetpeas on St. Patrick's Day . . Mountains 

2961. Plant sweetpeas on Good Friday Blue Grass 

2962. It is bad luck for the dropper of tobacco to get 
more than one row ahead of the setter. 

2963. It is bad luck to buy tobacco at or toward twilight ; 
many stop buying by three o'clock in the afternoon. 

2964. It was recently thought unlucky to buy tobacco at 

exactly six cents a pound. Of late the high price 
of tobacco has made this superstition obsolete. 

2965. Some buyers of tobacco will not bid the even 
amounts but will skip, for example, from fourteen 
and three-fourth cents to fifteen and one-fourth 
cents. 

2966. Do not buy tobacco of pawpaw color (motley 

color) ; it is called "fool-catcher." 

224 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2967. It is bad luck to chew your tobacco twice (that is, 

bad to tell a story twice). 

2968. If one plants a tree by a grave, and the tree dies, 
the planter of it will die. 

2969. "Blossoms out of season, 

Trouble out of reason." 

2970. It is good luck to find two of any kind of fruit 
grown together Blue Grass 

2971. If you count the fruit on a tree before it is ripe, it 

will fall off. 

2972. If you have a tree that will not bear fruit, drive a 

peg into it, to make it bear. 

2973. To knock on wood will avert disaster notably dis- 

aster that follows boasting. 

2974. If you can break an apple in half with your hands, 
you will always be your own boss. 

2975. If you plant a cedar tree in your yard and it lives, 
you will have good luck. 

2976. If you bring in a cedar tree and set it near a build- 
ing, you will die. 

2977. Death will come to the man who transplants a cedar 
tree, when the lower limbs grow to be the length of 
his coffin. 

2978. If you let a cedar tree grow in your yard large 

enough to shade a grave, someone in your family 
will die. 

2979. If a cedar tree that you have planted dies in your 
yard, one of your family will die. Some say that 
the death will take place within a year. 

2980. You will have bad luck if you burn cedar. 

2981. It causes bad luck to break a dogwood switch. 

225 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2982. You will have bad luck if you ride with a dogwood 

switch. 

2983. It is very unlucky to boom a log upon a log-wagon 
with a dogwood pole Western Kentucky 

2984. It is unlucky for a horseback rider to use a hard- 
wood switch. 

2985. Locust trees are more often struck by lightning than 

any others Western Kentucky 

2986. Mulberries are poisonous during the time of the 

seventeen-year locust .... North-eastern Kentucky 

2987. Leaves of the peach in a poultice will cure rheuma- 

tism and neuralgia. 

2988. If a peach tree blooms before its time, a death will 

occur in the family soon. 

2989. If you can remove the peeling from a pear without 

breaking it, throw it over your left shoulder for 
good luck Western Kentucky 

2990. If you plant a pine tree, you will die when it is 
large enough to shade your grave Mountains 

2991. As many black pines as you plant in your yard, so 

many will die in your family Mountains 

2992. It causes bad luck to burn or haul sassafras wood. 

2993. If you burn sassafras wood or leaves, a horse or a 
mule of yours will die within a week .... Mountains 

2994. To burn walnut wood brings bad luck . . Mountains 

2995. Walnut trees often grow near a wooden fence. The 

reason for this fact is that squirrels plant or drop 
walnuts for future use and then forget them. 

2996. To plant a weeping willow causes bad luck. 

2997. If you plant a weeping willow tree, you will be 

an old maid North-western Kentucky 

226 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

2998. "Plant turnips on the twenty-fifth of July, and 
you'll have turnips, wet or dry." 

2999. You must sow turnip seeds on the twenty-fifth of 
July, wet or dry, and on the twenty-seventh there 
will be rain Blue Grass 

3000. Turnips should not be planted on the seventh of 
August. 

3001. Turnips should be planted on the tenth of August 

Mountains 

3002. To have good luck with turnips, say as you throw 

out the handful of seed: "One for the fly, one for 
the Devil, and one for I." 

3003. Plant watermelons one week after apple blossom 
time Blue Grass 

3004. Plant watermelons on the first of May before sun- 
rise. 

3005. If you plant your watermelons on the first morning 

of May in your night clothes before the sun is up, 
the insects will never attack them. 

3006. If you plant watermelons on the first day of May 

and carry the seed out in a washing-tub, the melons 
will grow as large as the tub. 

3007. Plant watermelons on the tenth of May. 

3008. Watermelons planted on the nineteenth of May will 

not grow. 

3009. If you point at a watermelon with your first finger, 
the melon will drop off. You must point with all 
four fingers Central Kentucky 

3010. It brings bad luck to have weeds grow about the 
house Western Kentucky 

3011. A great deal of snow in winter is a sign of a good 
wheat crop. 

227 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3012. Thunder storms precede a large wheat yield. 

3013. You will have good luck if you take a handkerchief, 
go backward, and throw it over your left shoulder 
into a wheat field. 



MONEY 

3014. Carry a coin piece (for example, an old coin) for 
good luck and to keep from losing money. 

3015. If you carry money in two different pockets, you 
will lose some of it Mountains 

3016. Falling in love is a sure sign of becoming insolvent 

Blue Grass 

3017. It brings good luck to carry three cents 

Northern Kentucky 

3018. To find money is lucky Mountains 

3019. If you find a piece of money, you must keep it, for 
it will bring money Central Kentucky 

3020. It brings good luck to wear a coin around your 
neck Mountains 

3021. To find a piece of silver will bring you good luck. 

3022. To wear a dime in the heel of your shoe will prevent 
your enemy from putting a "spell" upon you. . . . 
Mountains 

3023. To put money into the foundation of a building 
brings luck. 

3024. A speculator or a traveler will have luck if he bor- 

rows money from a woman Mountains 

3025. If you put the last nickel of your allowance into the 

church offering, you will get a check within the 
next few days. 

3026. If your initials spell a word, you will become rich. 

228 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3027. If you marry a poor man, you will become rich . . . 

Mountains 

3028. You will have good luck if when you drop a nickel 

it sticks up in the floor Blue Grass 

3029. If you hide a nickel in a hole and never come back. 

you will be rich when you are grown 

Louisville Negroes 

3030. If you count your profits, you will lose them. 

3031. To accept a two-dollar bill is unlucky. This super- 

stition is found frequently among railroad men, 
race-track frequenters, saloon-keepers, and waiters 
in restaurants. 

3032. Avert the disaster of accepting a two-dollar bill by 

pinching off a little piece in the middle of a side or 
an end. 

3033. If you take a teaspoonful of turpentine, you will 
be rich Mountains 

WALKING FORTH, TRAVEL 

3034. It brings bad luck to come to a place in the road 
where someone has drawn his foot across the way. 

3035. It causes bad luck to run across a bridge . Mountains 

3036. If you are walking at night and see a will 'o the 
wisp, you must instantly turn your coat wrong 
side out and put it on, or you will die. 

3037. When you are walking, if you pick up all the burnt 
matches you see, you will find money . . Blue Grass 

3038. It brings good luck to meet the same person on the 

way both to and from any place 

Blue Grass Negroes 

3039. It brings good luck to meet the same people two 

229 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

or three times in the same place on the same day 
not by appointment. 

3040. If a man or a woman follows you for five blocks 

and then turns away, you will lose money 

Mountains 

3041. When you are going anywhere, it causes bad luck 

to meet a woman first, but good luck to meet a 
man or boy. 

3042. To walk on the opposite side of a post from a com- 
panion will bring on a quarrel. 

3043. Avert the danger of a quarrel after you have walked 

on the opposite side of a post from your companion 
by spitting on the post. 

3044. To avert the penalty of allowing a post to come be- 
tween you and a companion, say "Bread and but- 
ter." 

3045. To avert the penalty of allowing a post to come be- 
tween you and your companion, join hands. 

3046. If two persons who are walking together permit a 
third to pass between them, they will have a quar- 
rel. 

3047. It causes bad luck to pass between two women. 

3048. It causes good luck to pass between two men. 

3049. If you do not step on the lines of a concrete or stone 

pavement, you will have something good for dinner, 

3050. "If you sing on the street, 

With displeasure you will meet" Mountains 

3051. It causes bad luck to cross a street anywhere except 

at a crossing. 

3052. It causes bad luck to forget something and have to 
go back for it. 

230 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3053. If you start to go anywhere and then go back three 
times, you will have trouble. 

3054. Avert the bad luck incident to turning back by 

counting ten. 

3055. If you must go back after starting anywhere, avert 

the bad luck penalty by sitting down. 

3056. Avert the ill luck which comes from turning back 

after starting by spitting over your left shoulder. 

3057. You can avert bad luck incident to turning back 

after once starting, by making a cross and spitting 
into it. 

3058. If you postpone a trip, you will never take it. 

3059. To see a red-haired girl in the morning of the day 

you are going on a journey brings bad luck 

Blue Grass 

3060. If the day is clear upon which you start on an ocean 
voyage you will not be homesick Blue Grass 

3061. If you start anywhere with wet clothes in your 

trunk, you will have bad luck. 

3062. If you watch a person out of sight, you will never 

see him again. 

3063. If you wave a person off or kiss him good-bye a 

second time, he will never reach his journey 's end. 

3064. To touch a street-car will bring good luck. 

3065. It is an omen of good luck for a red-haired man to 

run in front of a street car. 

3066. It brings good luck for a negro to run and jump on 

a street-car. 

3067. It brings good luck to see an empty street-car. 

3068. It causes bad luck for a fuse in a street-car to blow 

out at the corner of a street. 

3069. Bad fortune is invited by the street-car motorman 

231 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

who scratches his car during his first trip on it; he 
may expect a violent accident. 

3070. It causes bad luck for a street-car to stop in front 
of a church. 

3071. For a wagon to turn from one side to the other be- 

fore leaving a street-car track means bad luck, for 
when this happens the motorman's pay will be 
docked at the end of the week. 

3072. If you meet a friend of yours on the train, you will 
never lose his friendship Blue Grass 

3073. To count the cars of a passenger train is a sign of 
death. 

3074. It brings bad luck to count freight cars. 

3075. Certain rooms in hotels have the name of bad-luck 
rooms. 

3076. To close a hotel register causes bad luck. 

3077. If you have a fight with someone in a strange town, 
you will be defeated Western Kentucky 

LETTERS 

3078. To burn a letter will bring good luck . . . Mountains 

3079. To tear a letter and bury the pieces under a log 
will bring good luck Mountains 

3080. If you fold a letter in nine folds and put it into a 

glove, and then sleep on the glove, you will dream 
how to answer the letter. 

3081. To put a stamp on a letter accidentally bottom side 
upwards means that you will not receive an answer. 

3082. It is a sign of great disappointment to get a letter 
with the stamp turned upside down. 

3083. If a stamp is upside down on a letter that you re- 

232 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

ceive, your best friend will leave you. 

3084. It brings bad luck to put a one-cent stamp on a 
letter by mistake. 

3085. If a stamp is put on an envelope pointing to the 
right, it means, "Go quick." 

3086. If a stamp is put on an envelope pointing to the 
left, it means, "I am angry." 

3087. If a stamp is put on an envelope upside down, it is 

a sign of love. 

3088. If you wrap a hundred canceled postage stamps in 
white paper, tie them with a red twine string, and 
throw them out of the back window, you will find 
money Mountains 

3089. If you write the initials of the person from whom 
you wish a letter on a piece of pie and eat the pie, 
you will get the letter. 

3090. If you find an unopened letter on the street, you 
will soon have good news. 

3091. If you receive a note with one corner folded by mis- 

take, you will have a quarrel with the person who 
sent it Blue Grass 

3092. No news is a sign of good news. 

3093. If you pick up a book and turn it upside down, a 

letter with bad news in it will come to you. 

MINES 

3094. If a woman comes into a coal mine, there will be an 

accident to the miners Mountains 

3095. It causes bad luck for a hole to squib on the right 

side of the room in a coal mine Mountains 

3096. It causes good luck for a hole to squib on the left 

side of the room in a coal mine Mountains 

233 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3097. If a woman enter a mine, there will be a death 
among the miners within six months . . . Mountains 

3098. It causes bad luck to whistle in a coal mine 

Mountains 

3099. On the day of a death in a camp (even the death of 

a baby) miners must not work Mountains 

3100. To see a light in a mine is a sign that the death of 
one or more miners is near Mountains 

3101. If you go into a mine with a time set for coming 

out, you will be killed before you are out 

Mountains 

3102. It will bring bad luck to go down into a mine after 
dark Western Kentucky 

3103. If a dog goes inside a coal mine, some one who 
works in the mine will be killed Mountains 

3104. If mice run out of a mine, the mine will fall in. ... 

Mountains 

3105. A white rat in a coal mine is a sign of a cave in. ... 

Mountains 

3106. To see rats in a mine is a sign that slate will fall. . 

Mountains 

3107. It means good luck for a miner to skin his back on 

an oak board Mountains 

3108. It means good luck for a miner to get coal dust in 
his eyes. 

3109. It means bad luck for a miner to get slate in his 
eye Mountains 

3110. It means bad luck for a miner to strike a sulphur 

ball with his pick and not strike out fire . Mountains 






KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

COLOE 

3111. When milk is being churned, the butter will come 

more quickly if the churn is set on a blue cloth. . 
Blue Grass 

3112. If a blue-gummed negro bites you, the wound will 

poison you. 

3113. If a green snake bites you, you will laugh yourself 
to death. * 

3114. Peacock colors bring bad luck to the wearer. 

3115. To find a red stone is a sign that some one is think- 
ing of you. 

3116. You will have good luck if you see a red-haired girl 

coming up the street. 

3117. You will have bad luck if you see a red-haired wo- 

man as you leave your home in the morning 

Mountains 

3118. To meet a red-haired negro brings bad luck. 

3119. Actors and musicians consider yellow an unlucky 

color. 

3120. If you see a violet cloud, you will live to old age. . . 

Blue Grass 

3121. It brings good luck to see a yellow box-car. 

NUMBERS 

3122. The third time is for luck. "Three's a charm." 

3123. Three is an unlucky number Mountains 

3124. In fire insurance, one large loss means that there 

will be three losses. 

3125. One suicide or one murder means that there will be 
two more. 

3126. It causes bad luck for a passenger who wishes to 

235 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

stop a car to ring the bell three times. 

3127. It brings bad luck for the last of three people to 

use a lighted match in smoking. 

3128. The third who uses a towel will have bad luck. 

3129. The number seven is a good luck number. 

3130. The seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, or the 

seventh son of a seventh son, will be extremely 
lucky Mountains 

3131. The seventh son of a seventh son can be a healer, 
fortune-teller or the like. 

3132. The seventh son will always be a preacher, a doctor 
or a lawyer. 

3133. If you stick a knife into the ground eight times, you 
will have good luck Mountains 

3134. Nine is a lucky number for travelers. 

3135. Eleven is a good number in a crap game (perhaps 
because it rhymes with seven). 

3136. Thirteen is a bad-luck number. 

3137. If one is born on the thirteenth day of the month, 
thirteen is his lucky number. 

3138. Those born on the thirteenth will die before they are 
thirty. 

3139. A clock that strikes thirteen prophesies death. 

3140. If thirteen people are seated at a table, the first to 
get up will die before that time next year. 

3141. Of thirteen people who sit down to a meal, one will 
die within a month. 

3142. If thirteen people sit at a table, the youngest will 

die soon. 

3143. If you find the number thirteen turned towards you, 
you will be an old maid. 

3144. Put twenty-four canceled postage stamps into an 

236 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

envelope, and throw them out of a window in the 
morning. You will find something. 

3145. It is a bad-luck sign to have an uneven number of 
anything. 

3146. If you count ninety-nine stars without bowing your 
head, you will drop dead. 

3147. If you try to count one hundred stars without look- 
ing down, you will fall dead on the ninety-ninth. 

3148. If you count one hundred stars without looking 
down, your mother will die before the year is out. 

3149. If you count one hundred stars, you will drop dead. 

3150. Stamp every negro that you meet until you have 
stamped one hundred; then you will receive a de- 
sirable present. 

3151. If you stamp one hundred negroes, you will find 

something. 

SPORTS 

3152. If you cross bats in playing ball, your luck will 
change. 

3153. In laying baseball bats down, do not cross them. 

3154. If the first batter in a baseball game strikes out, the 

opposing team will win. 

3155. If you break your bat, you may expect a batting 

slump. 

3156. It causes bad luck to change bats after you have 
taken one in your hand. 

3157. To change bats after the second strike is unwise. 

3158. It causes bad luck for a baseball player to stand on 
the plate with the large end of the bat down. 

3159. If one drops a baseball bat between the home base 

and the catcher, bad luck will follow. 

237 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3160. When one is running toward first base, it brings 

bad luck to step over a bat. 

3161. If on the way to the plate you pass between the 
home plate and the pitcher, you will be hit by the 
ball later. 

3162. For good luck, spit on the end of the bat before 

batting. 

3163. It is unlucky for the batter to spit on the home plate. 

3164. If the pitcher strikes out the first batter, the pitcher 
will lose. 

3165. If a pitcher spits on a ball, the batter will miss it. 

3166. If a pitcher finds a toad in the outfield just before 
he begins the game, he will win. 

3167. It brings bad luck for the pitcher to step out of 
the box after he has thrown the first strike. 

3168. It causes bad luck for a pitcher to sleep in the 
room of a losing pitcher. 

3169. A ball team should not have its picture taken be- 

fore a game. 

3170. Some especially bad luck will come to you if you are 
put out on third base. 

3171. To change a baseball locker will bring bad luck. 

3172. It brings good luck to pass a hay wagon on the day 

of a baseball game, if you will tip your hat to it. 

3173. It is well for a ball-player to see a load of empty 
beer barrels while he is on his way to the ball park 

3174. If your hand itches while you are playing baseball, 
you will catch the next foul ball. 

3175. The placing of a black piece of cloth in the dugout 

of the opposing team, will bring victory to your 
team. 

238 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3176. To use the locker of a great baseball player will 
bring good luck. 

3177. The seventh inning in baseball will be lucky for one 

of the two opposing baseball teams. 

3178. It is bad luck for the batter to try to watch the 
catcher's signal. 

3179. The home team should not permit the visiting team 
to sit on the bench. 

3180. If a towel that you hang up in a dressing room be- 

fore a ball game remains and is untouched, you will 
win. 

3181. If a baseball player sees a cross-eyed woman in the 
grandstand, he will not get a hit that day. 

3182. The team that loses first blood in football, will lose 
the game. 

3183. To play a game in a new or a clean uniform is un- 
lucky. 

3184. A common saying among fishermen is: 

"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." 

3185. Fish bite best when dogwood is in bloom. 

3186. Fish will not bite when it is thundering. 

3187. When it thunders, the time is favorable to fish for 

cat fish Mountain 

3188. Spit on your fishing-bait for luck. 

3189. In fishing, you would do well to spit on your bait 
three times. 

3190. Chew sweet enice and spit on your hook for luck 

at fishing. 

3191. It causes good luck when you are fishing to throw 

239 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

out on dry land a leaf that has been caught in the 
water. 

3192. If you stick your hand with a fish's fin, you will 

catch nothing more. 

3193. To carry a fishing pole into the house will prevent 
your catching anything. 

3194. It is unlucky to change poles, while you are fishing. 

3195. If you let the end of a pole touch the water, you 
will catch no fish. 

3196. In fishing, if you step over the fishing pole, you 

will catch no fish. 

3197. If you curse while you are fishing, the fish will not 
bite Mountains 

3198. It causes bad luck to change hooks while you are 

fishing. 

3199. If you let another person get fishing bait from your 
bait can, you will have no luck Mountains 

3200. If you catch a fish in the eye, you will not catch any 
more that day Mountains 

3201. If when you go fishing you turn the first fish caught 

back into the water, you will have bad luck. 

3202. It causes bad luck to cross lines in fishing. 

3203. If some one steps over your fishing line, you will 

have bad luck. 

3204. It brings bad luck to take a dog with you on a fish- 

ing trip, for you will catch no fish. 

3205. If when you go fishing a rabbit crosses your path, 

you will catch no fish. 1 

3206. If in falling weather chickens do not seek shelter 
but walk about, you may go hunting with assur- 

1 For fishing in connection with the signs of the zodiac, see the chapter on 
'The Moon and Signs of the Zodiac," numbers 2290-2292. 

210 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

ance, as birds will also be out. . .Central Kentucky 

3207. When you leave the house on a hunting or fishing 

expedition, kick off your right shoe. This act will 
bring good luck. 

3208. To have good luck in hunting, you should shoot 

your gun once before you leave your yard 

Blue Grass 

3209. A hunter will encounter bad luck if he turns back 

after he has entered a wood. 

3210. If two hunters cross different panels of fence, bad 

luck will follow. 

3211. When you are hunting, you may change your luck 

by turning the back of your hat to the front. 

3212. If you drop a gun, you will have an accident five 
nights afterward Mountains 

3213. If you shoot a gun against a tree when the bark is 

frozen, the shot will come back and kill you. 

3214. Do not let your hunting gun be out of your posses- 

sion over night during the hunting season. 

3215. If a horse refuses to drink before a race, he will win 

Blue Grass 

3216. To keep a goat in the stall of a race-horse will bring 
good luck Blue Grass 

3217. If a jockey turns his cap around backwards, he will 
not win Blue Grass 

3218. Odd days are lucky for bets on horse-races 

Blue Grass 

3219. It is disastrous to bet on horse-races on even days. 

3220. If you will give a needy person money before you 
go to the races, you will win your bets. 

3221. To touch a hunch-back will bring good luck at 
horse-races. 

241 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3222. It brings bad luck to bet on a gray horse in a horse- 
race. 

3223. If anyone "crosses your luck," as in boys' outdoor 
games, you will be unsuccessful. 

3224. If a prize fighter sees a load of empty barrels on 
the day of a fight, he will lose. 

3225. To spit on one's hands before a fight is lucky. 

3226. A girl skipping a rope says: 

"Mother, mother, I am sick. 

Send for the doctor, quick, quick. 

Doctor, doctor, shall I die? 

Yes, my child, but don't you cry. 

How many carriages shall I have? 

One two, three," et cetera until she misses the rope 

North-eastern Kentucky 

3227. If a swing stops before you get out, you will die. 

3228. After someone says, "Let the old cat die," it will 

cause bad luck to quicken the motion of the swing. 

LUCK AT CARDS 

3229. "Unlucky at cards, lucky at love." 

3230. Walk around the table or a chair to change the luck, 

3231. You will have good luck if you walk around the 
table three times during a card game. 

3232. To change your luck at cards, turn the back of the 
chair to the table and sit astride. 

3233. For luck at cards, spit into the bottom of your 

chair upturned. 

3234. Break bad luck at cards by sitting on a handkerchief. 

3235. For luck at cards, reverse the direction of dealing. 

3236. It brings good luck to deal from a deck from which 
you have cut for deal. 

242 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3237. The reverse of the procedure mentioned in 3236 
causes bad luck. 

3238. For luck at cards, turn back the hem of your skirt. 

3239. For luck at cards, turn up the bottom of a trouser 

leg. 

3240. For luck at cards, remove a piece of jewelry. 

3241. Change something in your pocket, to change your 
luck at cards. 

3242. It is well for a card-player to carry the wish-bone 

of a chicken in his pocket. 

3243. It is lucky for a card-player to carry the bone of a 

dead person in his pocket. 

3244. For luck at cards, "milk" the deck, that is, deal a 

card alternately from the top and from the bottom 
of the deck. 

3245. To change luck at cards, change decks. 

3246. Kiss a card good-bye for luck. 

3247. It brings good luck to pick up your cards with the 

left hand. 

3248. Gamblers have favorite good-luck pairs. 

3249. It brings good luck to be the last to take up and 
look at your cards. 

3250. It brings bad luck to have the last card dealt to you. 

3251. It brings bad luck to pick up cards one at a time. 

3252. If you start in with bad luck, stop, for it will grow 
worse. 

3253. It brings bad luck to play cards any place near 

where a murder has been committed. 

3254. It brings bad luck to play cards across the grain of 

a table. 

3255. In a game of cards if you drop a number of the 

cards, you will lose so many games. 

243 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3256. It brings bad luck to fumble the deal. 

3257. Do not cut your opponent's deal when you are 
winning, as your luck will likely change. 

3258. When the ace and the two, three, and four spots 
make a trick, the winner should kiss the dealer for 
good luck. 

3259. When the ace and the two, three, and four spots 
make a trick, all should kiss the dealer for good 
luck. 

3260. If in picking up dice you drop one, you will lose, 

for you have lost your leader. 

3261. Never lend a betting opponent money. Never bet 

against your own money. 

ANIMALS, BIRDS, REPTILES, INSECTS 

3262. Animals can see haunts or spirits. 

3263. Animals can talk on New Year's Eve. 

3264. It is a bad omen for an animal to die in one's hand. 

3265. If you see a dead animal, spit over your little finger, 

so that you may avoid bad luck. 

3266. All men come back as animals. 

3267. To run an animal before you kill it will make the 
meat tender. 

3268. The crossing of a black cat in front of you will bring 
bad luck. 

8269. When a black cat passes in front of you, spit, to 
avert bad luck. 

3270. It brings good luck for a black cat to cross your 
path to the right Blue Grass 

3271. It brings bad luck for a black cat to cross your 

path to the left Blue Grass 

244 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3272. Avert the bad luck incident to the crossing of a cat 

or a rabbit before you by pulling out a thread and 
throwing it from you on the left or the right side, 
according to the animal's position Mountains 

3273. When a black cat runs in front of you, take off your 

cap and spit into it, to avert bad luck . . . Mountains 

3274. If a cat crosses your path, you will have bad luck, 
unless you turn around three times and spit on 
your little finger. 

3275. If a black cat crosses your path, turn around three 
times to avert bad luck. 

3276. It brings good luck to have two cats or two rabbits 

cross your path at night Western Kentucky 

3277. It is a bad-luck sign to have a black cat follow you 
after night. 

3278. A black cat seen on the morning of an accident is 

a sign of warning. 

3279. If a black cat takes up its abode at a house, the 
unmarried daughters will have a good chance to 
marry. 

3280. If a black cat is kept in the family, the girls will 
never marry Southern Kentucky 

3281. If a yellow cat passing in front of your path turns 
over, you may expect bad luck Mountains 

3282. If you spit on the floor or the ground and a cat goes 
near your saliva, you will die ... Central Kentucky 

3283. It causes bad luck for a cat to sleep with you .... 

Mountains 

3284. A cat on the front porch brings bad luck to the 
housekeeper. 

3285. To kill a cat will bring seven years of bad luck. 

3286. If you kill a cat, it will haunt you all your life. 

245 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3287. If you kill a black cat, you will see the Devil before 
you see another black cat. 

3288. It brings bad luck for a man with a family to drown 
cats Southern Kentucky 

3289. A cat you kill in any way except by drowning will 
not hurt you, but if you drown one, the cat's ghost 

will come at night and suck your breath 

Central Kentucky 

3290. It causes good luck to kill a cat in a graveyard either 

at midnight or on a moonlight night. 

3291. It causes bad luck to cut off a black cat's tail. 

3292. If you step on a black cat's tail, you will be an old 
maid Western Kentucky 

3293. You will have bad luck if you step on a cat's tail. 

3294. It causes bad luck to drive off a cat. 

3295. If a cat approaches you kindly, you have a good 

disposition. 

3296. If a cat raises its fur at you, you have a bad dispo- 

sition. 

3297. You will have good luck if a cat or a dog follows 

you home. 

3298. It causes bad luck to move a cat. 

3299. It will bring good luck to take a cat to a new house. 

3300. If a cat gets on a table, you will have bad luck. 

3301. If a street-car runs over a cat, it will also run over 

a person that day. 

3302. If a cat turns over so that its head is away from 
the fire, someone is coming. 

3303. If the cat washes its face in the house, someone is 

coming. 

3304. If a cat washes its face in the door, someone is com- 

ing. 

246 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3305. The first person that a cat looks toward after wash- 
ing its face will be the next to marry. 

3306. To hear a cat whine at twelve o'clock is a sign of 
death. 

3307. It is a sign of a death in the family for a cat to mew 
three times at midnight on two or three consecutive 
nights. 

3308. If a cat scratches you, you may look for a disap- 

pointment. 

3309. If a cat looks into a mirror, there will be a death. 

3310. A cat can cause the death of a sleeping person or 

a sick child by sucking the breath. 

3311. A cat has seven lives. 

3312. A cat has nine lives. 

3313. A cat draws lightning. 

3314. If you put cream on your face and let a cat lick it 

off you will have a heavy beard Mountains 

3315. If two cats fight for a long time, somebody will have 

a fight nearby Central Kentucky 

3316. A cat will feed on the flesh of a dead person. 

3317. It brings good luck to have a white cat come to 
your house. 

3318. It causes good luck to meet or pass a drove of cattle. 

3319. If many of your stock suffer from an epidemic, 

someone in your family will have an accident or 
will die Mountains 

3320. Blood in the cow's milk is a sign of a death in the 

family. 

3321. To shoot a cow brings bad luck. 

3322. If a cow falls down, she will die. 

3323. If a cow falls down, she will die within a week .... 

Southern Kentucky 

247 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3324. If a cow lows in front of your door, you may expect 

a death. 

3325. If a cow lows over your gate, there will be a death. 

3326. A cow's lowing between seven and eight o'clock in 
the morning is the sign of a death in the family . . . 
Northern Kentucky 

3327. If a cow's low is heard after dark, there will be a 

death in the family before the next Wednesday 
night. 

3328. If you move from one city to another and take a 
cow with you, you will have bad luck. 

3329. It is thought that a cow may lose its cud. It does 

not. Indigestion may prevent the stomach from 
supplying the cud. 

3330. The common belief that cows sometimes have an 
ailment called hollow horn is a superstition. That 
is, it is thought that a certain disease will produce 
hollow horn. 

3331. The birth of twin calves is a sign of a death in the 
family North-eastern Kentucky 

3332. If you milk a cow on the ground, it will go dry. 

3333. If a cow steps over a milk bucket, milk- weed will 
grow at that place Mountains 

3334. If you can see the reflection of a calf hoof in a 
glass of milk, it is pure, that is, free from water, 

3335. Butter will come easily all the year if the milk which 

is milked in April is not mixed with that which is 
milked in May Mountains 

3336. When you churn, if the butter does not gather, 

whip the churn. 

3337. If you look into a churn of milk, you will be bald- 

headed Central Kentucky 

248 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3338. If a dog points his nose toward you and howls at 
midnight, you will soon be killed. 

3339. When a dog howls without any apparent reason, 

bad luck may be expected. 

3340. There will be a death in the family if a dog howls 
at night (or some say, at midnight). 

3341. The disaster of death presaged by the howl of a 
dog at night (or according to some, at midnight) 
may be averted by turning an old shoe upside down. 

3342. If a watch dog barks three times when you are pull- 

ing it in, you will die Blue Grass 

3343. If a dog howls twice at night, a woman will die. 

3344. If a dog howls three times at night, a man will die. 

3345. A dog's howling in a doorway or beneath a win- 

dow means death. 

3346. If a dog howls with his head down, there will be a 

death. If he howls with his head raised, there will 
be a fire. 

3347. If a dog howls, turn over a shoe; the howling will 

stop and the danger will be averted. 

3348. It causes bad luck, if on your way to a funeral, you 
meet a dog with hydrophobia Mountains 

3349. If a dog lies on his back and scratches, expect a 

death. 

3350. If a dog stretches himself out on the ground, he is 
measuring a grave. 

3351. If a dog crawls on his belly and moans, he is meas- 

uring his master's grave. 

3352. If a dog turns over to scratch his back with his head 

down hill, there will be a death. 

3353. If a dog lies down with his tail toward the house, 

249 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

and then gets up and shakes, there is a woman 
coming. 

3354. If a dog lies down with his tail toward the house, a 
man is coming. 

3355. If a dog lies down with his head out of a door, some 
one will leave the family soon (by marriage, death 
or otherwise) Southern Kentucky 

3356. When a dog rolls over, gets up, and shakes himself, 

from the direction that he faces a visitor will come. 

3357. Never let a dog see himself in the mirror, for he 
will die Northern Kentucky 

3358. You will have bad luck if a stray dog comes to you. 

3359. To be followed by a strange dog brings good luck. 

3360. If you do not take your clothes from the clothes 
line and wash them again after a dog has run un- 
der them, some one of your family will die 

Central Kentucky 

3361. If as you start anywhere a dog growls in your path, 
you will do better to go back, as you will have bad 
luck on your journey Western Kentucky 

3362. If you come upon a dog that is attending to a call 
of nature, you will have bad luck Mountains 

3363. To prevent a dog from causing you bad luck in ac- 
cordance with the last sign noted, join your two 
little fingers until you have passed him. 

3364. It brings bad luck to sell a dog. 

3365. It brings bad luck to kill a young dog. 

3366. If you kill a dog, its spirit will haunt you. 

3367. To keep a dog at home, cut off the tip of his tail 
and place it under the doorstep. 

3368. If you pull three hairs from a dog's tail and put 

250 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

them under the doorstep, he will not stray from 
home. 

3369. To keep a dog from running away, measure his tail 
with a stick, cut off the hair that sticks out at the 
end, and bury the stick and the hair under the 
doorstep. 

3370. Keep a bird dog from leaving by taking hairs from 
his tail, splitting a stick, placing the hairs in the 
cleft, and burying the stick beneath the doorstep. 

3371. If you put a piece of meat into your shoe, wear it 

for a time, and then give it to a dog, he will follow 
you. 

3372. Feed a dog gun-powder and raw meat, to make 
him savage. 

3373. A bob- tailed dog cannot walk a log without falling 

Mountains 

3374. A dog with a large posterior part will be a good 
hunter Mountains 

3375. If a dog's posterior part is black, he is a good rac- 
coon dog Mountains 

3376. If any one steps over a dog, the animal will not 

grow any more. 

3377. If a dog licks the blood of a dead man, he will go 
mad Mountains 

3378. A dog with dew-claws will not go mad. 

3379. If a dog groans in his sleep, he is dreaming. 

3380. If you cut a lock of dog's hair and put it under 
your pillow, you will dream what the dog has 
dreamed Southern Kentucky 

3381. If you slip a hat under the head of a sleeping dog, 
his dream will come to you the following night .... 
Mountains 

251 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3382. If you sleep on the same pillow which a dog has 

slept on, you will dream the same dream the dog 
has had North-eastern Kentucky 

3383. When a dog smiles in his sleep, he is dreaming of 
heaven. 

3384. If you see a dog chase a cat up a weeping willow, 

your sorrows are up a tree, that is, are over 

Blue Grass 

3385. A big dog barks but will not bite; a little dog will 

bite but does not bark much. Hence the stanza of 
"Sourwood Mountain" 

Big dog bark an' little un bite you, 

Hey-ho diddle-um-di-ay!' 
Big girl court an' little un slight you, 

Hey-ho diddle-um-di-ay ! Mountains 

3386. Bad dogs are afraid of mean people Negroes 

3387. Keep goats on a horse farm. If the goats do well, 
the horses will do well Blue Grass 

3388. Keep a goat among horses or cattle. Its presence 
will avert disease Blue Grass 

3389. If a goat that is kept in a stall with a horse is taken 

out, something unfortunate will happen to the 
horse Blue Grass 

3390. If a ground hog comes to the house, there will be 
a death. 

3391. If a hog is born without a tail, it will require one 

fewer barrel to become fat on. 

3392. It brings bad luck to pass a drove of hogs. 

3393. It causes bad luck to give a hog away or to receive 
one as a gift Mountains 

3394. If hogs are fed on beechnuts, the meat will be all 
fat Western Kentucky 

252 



KENTUCKY SUPEKSTITIONS 

3395. Hogs fed on apples make the sweetest meat 

Western Kentucky 

3396. When a hog that has been killed and hung on a 
tree falls, someone who has taken part in the kill- 
ing will die soon. 

3397. It brings good luck to carry the wisdom tooth of a 
hog. 

3398. Hogs can see the wind. 

3399. If when you kill a hog, you put water from his eye 
into yours, you will be able to see the wind. 

3400. If you drink a sow's milk, you will be able to see 
the wind. 

3401. It brings good luck to meet or pass a drove of 
horses. 

3402. If a horse snorts at night, a stranger is near. 

3403. The death of a horse is ominous. 

3404. If a horse balks at night, he sees a haunt. 

3405. A horse can see ghosts. If you place your head be- 
tween his ears, you may see them also . . Blue Grass 

3406. It causes bad luck to remove a shoe from the hoof 
of a dead horse. 

3407. It causes bad luck to take the shoes off a dead horse 

and put them on another horse. He will not live 
long. 

3408. A horse draws lightning. 

3409. It brings good luck to change a horse's name after 
he has changed hands in a trade . Western Kentucky 

3410. If a horse in wallowing turns over, he is worth one 
hundred dollars. 

3411. The significance of white feet on horses is thus 
given : 

"One white foot, buy him, 

253 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

Two white feet, try him, 
Three white feet, deny him." 

3412. Another version of the significance of white feet on 

horses is this: 

"One white foot, buy him, 

Two white feet, try him, 

Three white feet, look well about him, 

(that is, be suspicious about him) 

Four white feet, do without him." 

3413. Some horses are moon-eyed, that is, affected by the 
moon. They become almost blind in the full moon. 

3414. A filly cannot win the Kentucky Derby. This tra- 

dition was broken in 1915. 

3415. If a double-team horse or mule wagon passes you, 
you will have bad luck. 

8416. If you count one hundred white horses, you will 
find some money. If you stamp one hundred white 
horses, you will find a bag of gold. 

3417. You will have good luck if you stamp one hundred 

white horses. (To "stamp" is to indicate each unit 
in counting by wetting one hand with saliva and 
striking it with the other hand.) 

3418. If you count one hundred white horses, someone in 
the family will die. 

3419. If one counts one hundred and fifty horses, he will 
find something of value. 

3420. If you see a white horse, you will get money the 

same week. 

3421. To see a white or gray horse indicates the coming 
of bad luck. 

3422. Spit between two fingers, then you will not have 
bad luck when you see a white horse. 

254 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3423. If you see a white horse, look for a red-headed man. 

3424. If you see a white horse, you will meet a red-headed 
girl. 

3425. To see a white horse turning a corner and see a red- 
headed girl coming up the street, brings good luck. 

3426. If you see a white horse and look over your left 

shoulder, you will see the Devil. 

3427. When you see a white horse say, 

"Lippity, lippity, white horse; 

When you have good luck bring it to me." 

You will then have good luck. 

3428. A horseshoe hung up inverted, brings good luck. 

3429. It brings good luck to find a horseshoe with the 
points towards you and to hang it up. 

3430. For good luck, spit on a horseshoe and throw it 

away without watching to see where it goes. 

3431. If you find a horseshoe, spit through it and throw it 

over your left shoulder for good luck. 

3432. If you spit on one side of a horseshoe, toss it up, 

and have the side you spit on turn up, you will have 
good luck. 

3433. If you find a horseshoe on a fence, or see one on a 

fence, it will bring you good luck. 

3434. It causes bad luck to pick up a broken horseshoe. 

3435. It causes bad luck to pass a horseshoe without pick- 
ing it up and hanging it up. 

3436. He that takes down a horseshoe that has been hung 

up will be hung up in place of it Blue Grass 

3437. If you count the number of holes in a horseshoe that 

you have found, you will have so many years of 
good luck. 

3438. One horseshoe under the door-step and one in the 

255 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

fire will keep the hawks away from your chickens. 

3439. If you hang a horseshoe on the andiron, the hawks 
will not catch your chickens. 

3440. To keep hawks away from the chickens, have a 
horseshoe in your stove or in your fireplace. 

3441. If you put some shining brass over a horseshoe, you 

can thus keep off the hawks from your chickens. 

3442. Good lock comes from carrying a horseshoe nail in 
the pocket. 

3443. Put horseshoe nails into the cooking stove to keep 
the hawks from catching the chickens. 

3444. Put a horse hair into a bottle of water. After seven 

(or nine) days it will become a snake. 

3445. If you kill a mule, you will have sixteen years of 
bad luck. 

3446. If a mule turns over once, it is worth one hundred 
dollars. 

3447. If a mule turns over twice, it is worth two hundred 

dollars. 

3448. If a mule turns over, it is worth two hundred and 

fifty dollars. 

3449. A mule that cannot turn over is not worth fifty 

dollars. 

3450. To pick up a coin in a mule's track, will bring good 
luck. 

3451. It brings very good luck to stamp all the gray mules 
you see and all the gray horses. 

3452. It causes bad luck to see a gray mule six times. 

3453. If you stamp one hundred gray mules, you will 

have good luck. 

3454. If you see a white mule, you will see a red-haired 

negro. 

256 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3455. Mean negroes return after death as mules. 

3456. All bricklayers will turn to gray mules when they 
die Western Kentucky 

3457. A muleshoe is a sign of bad luck. Do not keep one. 

3458. A white mule will never die. 

Whoever saw a dead gray mule or a poacher's 
grave? 

3459. It brings bad luck for a rabbit to cross your path. 

3460. To avert the bad luck attending the crossing of 
his path by a rabbit, the traveler must go back and 
start over. 

3461. It brings bad luck for a rabbit to cross in front of 
you from right to left. 

3462. If a rabbit crosses your path from right to left, be 
careful not to walk in the dark for three days. 

3463. It causes good luck for a rabbit to cross before you 

from left to right, 

3464. If a rabbit crosses the road from right to left in 
front of you, pull a hair out of your head, to change 
the bad luck to good. 

3465. Avert the bad luck of a rabbit's crossing the road 
to your left by going to where it crossed, making 
a cross and spitting into it. 

3466. It is well to kill the first rabbit you see in the winter 

Mountains 

3467. If you see two white rabbits at night, there will be 

a death in the family Western Kentucky 

3468. You will have good luck if you wear the left hind 
leg of a graveyard rabbit, shot by a red-headed, 
cross-eyed negro in the dark of the moon. 

3469. The good luck rabbit's foot is the left hind foot of 

257 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

a rabbit, killed in a graveyard at midnight, with a 
stick ten feet long. 

3470. If you kill a rabbit in the light of the new moon and 

carry its foot around your neck, you will have good 
luck. 

3471. The left hind foot of a rabbit shot in a graveyard at 
midnight in the dark of the moon with a bullet 
made out of a qunrter found in a horse's track, will 
bring good luck. 

3472. If you will get the left hind foot of a graveyard 

rabbit on a rainy Friday night, you will have good 
luck. 

3473. You will have bad luck if you touch the left hind 

foot of a rabbit which has been killed at midnight 
in a cemetery on Friday, the thirteenth day of the 
month, by a cross-eyed negro. 

3474. If one carries the ear of a jack-rabbit in his pocket, 
good luck will come. 

3475. When you shiver without cause, a rabbit is stepping 

over your grave. 

3476. If a rat cuts your clothes, it brings bad luck to mend 
the garment yourself. 

3477. If a mouse or a rat gnaws your clothes, expect a 
death or a disaster. 

3478. If a mouse eats your clothes, you will never live to 
wear them out. 

3479. When rats increase in great numbers, a war is im- 

minent Central Kentucky 

3480. If a rat runs up inside the clock, your dog will die. 

3481. If you can auctioneer off a rat killed on your place, 

all the rats will go to the buyer. (You must re- 
ceive some compensation.) 

258 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3482. Singe the hairs of a rat and turn it loose; the rest 
of the rats will leave Negroes 

3483. If the inmates of a rat-infested house will write the 
name of some person on a piece of paper, well 
greased with lard, and put it where the rats will 
get it, telling them where they will find a better 
larder, they will forsake this house and go to that 
mentioned in the paper Western Kentucky 

3484. To catch two mice in one trap brings bad luck. 

3485. Rats abandon a doomed boat or a falling house. 

3486. If when you open a drawer a rat runs out, you will 
have good luck. 

3487. It causes bad luck to cross through sheep 

North-eastern Kentucky 

3488. To make an old ewe own her lamb, take the lamb by 
the feet and rub his back against her stomach. 
She will claim it Central Kentucky 

3489. You will have good luck if a squirrel crosses the 

road in front of you Southern Kentucky 

3490. It causes bad luck for a squirrel to cross your path 

Western Kentucky 

3491. If a ground squirrel that you are looking at goes 
to the right, you will know your lesson. 

3492. If a ground squirrel that a schoolboy or girl is look- 

ing at goes to the left, the child will miss his lesson. 

3493. A flying squirrel will always bark when he sees a 

ghost Western Kentucky 

3494. It brings good luck to have a terrapin or mud turtle 
in your garden Mountain 

3495. If you kill a toad, there will be rain. 

3496. To kill a toad will bring bad luck. 

259 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3497. If you kill a toad, some of your family will die be- 
fore the year is out. 

3498. If you kill a toad, your cow will go dry. 

3499. If you kill a toad, your cow will give bloody milk. 

3500. By throwing a toad into a pond, you will cause the 
cows to give bloody milk. 

3501. If you kill a toad, you will stump your toe. 

3502. If you see a toad, you will stump your toe. 

3503. If you do not spit when you see a toad, you will be 

sure to have a wart. 

3504. If you bury a toad alive, you will see spirits 

Mountains 

(Contributed in this form: "If you Beary a frog 
and hit alive youl see hants.") 

3505. At two o'clock on the first Thursday in July, toads 

turn pink in color. At half past two they regain 
their natural color. 

3506. Carry the jawbone of a tree toad for luck for ex- 

ample to keep out of jail Mountains 

3507. Kill a tree toad. Put the head in a snuffbox until 
ants have eaten the flesh away. Break the lower 
jawbone into two parts. Put the right half into 
your clothes and the left half, which has a burr on 
it, into the hem of a woman's garment. She will 
not be able to get away from you Mountains 

3508. If you kill a tortoise, it will sleep on your neck the 
next night Mountains 

3509. You will have bad luck if a bird lights in your path 

Mountains 

3510. If birds make nests of your discarded hair, your 

hair will tangle. 

260 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3511. If birds make nests of your discarded hair, you may 

expect headache. 

3512. If birds make nests of your discarded hair, you will 

die before next spring. 

3513. If birds make nests of your discarded hair, you will 
become insane. 

3514. If a bird flies against your window, you will receive 

a message. 

3515. Birds flying against your window bring bad luck. 

3516. A bird that flies into a house brings bad luck with it. 

3517. If a bird comes into a room in which you happen 
to be and you speak before you get it out, you will 
suffer ill luck Mountains 

3518. The flying of a bird into the house is a sign of death. 

3519. When a bird comes into the house and a picture falls 

down at the same time, a death will occur in the 
family Blue Grass 

3520. If a bird of any kind flies into a sick room and lights 

on the bed post where the sick one is lying, there 

will be a death in the family in a short time 

Western Kentucky 

3521. If a bird in the house injures itself, there will be a 

death North-eastern Kentucky 

3522. If a bird comes into the house and lights on the 

stove, the building will be burned Mountains 

3523. The flying of birds around the house is a sign of 
visitors Western Kentucky 

3524. If you put salt on a bird's tail, you may marry any 

one that you desire. 

3525. You will have bad luck if you break a bird's egg. 

3526. If you throw a piece of feather over a house, you 
will find a sack of gold where it falls . . Mountains 

261 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3527. It brings bad luck to have a blackbird fly across 
your path. You will have bad luck before you ar- 
rive at your destination Mountains 

3528. To eat chicken feet makes one beautiful. 

3529. Go behind the door and eat a chicken foot, to be- 
come beautiful. 

3530. To become beautiful, eat chicken gizzards. 

3531. To become beautiful, swallow a chicken gizzard 
whole. 

3532. To swallow a raw chicken-heart brings good luck. 

3533. It brings good luck to have a ten-toed chicken .... 

Blue Grass 

3534. Hens will not lay in a field where there are potatoes. 

3535. If you set hens in the afternoon, you will have bad 
luck Mountains 

3536. If a hen is set after the sun goes down, all the eggs 
will hatch Central Kentucky 

3537. It is well to set an odd number of eggs. 

3538. If you carry eggs for setting to the nest in a bucket, 
they will all hatch roosters. If you carry the eggs 
to the nest in a basket, they will all hatch pullets 
Western Kentucky 

3539. If you place the eggs under a sitting hen with the 
left hand, they will hatch hens; with the right hand, 
roosters Blue Grass 

3540. If you set a hen on thirteen eggs, she will not hatch 
so well as on another number . . Western Kentucky 

3541. If after the chickens begin to hatch, you put the 

shells up higher than the chickens can jump, the 
hawks will not catch the chickens Mountains 

3542. To keep an old hen from sitting, put her head under 

262 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

her wing and dip her into a tub of water three times. 
She will not sit again Central Kentucky 

3543. If a chicken is hatched in the spring, it will lay only 

every second day. If it is hatched in the fall, it 
will lay every day Mountains 

3544. Chickens hatched in June are said to sleep all the 
time. 

3545. It is unlucky to bring in or take out eggs after dark. 

3546. String eggshells on the twigs of trees to keep the 
hawks away Mountains 

3547. Bake eggshells and feed them to chickens to make 
them lay Southern Kentucky 

3548. It causes bad luck to find a soft-shelled egg. 

3549. You can avert the bad luck that a soft-shelled egg 

brings by throwing it over the house. 

3550. The general cackling of hens is a prophecy of bad 
luck Blue Grass 

3551. A "bullrock," also called a "jackrock" (a small 

round rock), in the ashes keeps hawks away from 
chickens. 

3552. A round rock in the fire will cause a hawk's claws to 

draw up to that shape, so that it cannot catch chick- 
ens. 

3553. Put an Indian arrow into the chimney to keep off 

hawks. 

3554. Any kind of flint rock in the chimney will keep off 

hawks. 

3555. To keep a hawk off your chickens, carry a hawk 
rock in your pocket. 

3556. A bottle half -full of water tied on a pole will keep 

away the hawks 1 Mountains 

i For other signs for keeping hawks away, see numbers 343S-3443. 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3557. If hawks attack chickens, keep a poker in the fire 

until it is red hot; then take it out and make a 
young girl tell you her sweetheart's name. The 
hawks will vanish. 

3558. If a cock crows before the door early in the day, 
a visitor will arrive. 

3559. If a rooster looks in at the door and crows, some- 
one will leave the family Mountains. 

3560. If a rooster looks out of the door, someone is com- 
ing into the family. 

3561. If a rooster crows before breakfast, someone will 

come before supper. 

3562. If a rooster crows before breakfast, you will have 
visitors before you sleep. 

3563. A cock's crowing in the front door brings a guest. 

3564. If a rooster crows while looking in at the door, ex- 

pect a stranger the next day. 

3565. Someone is coming if a rooster crows. He will 
come from the direction in which the rooster's tail 
points. 

3566. If a rooster crows in the kitchen, a tramp is coming. 

3567. If a cock crows before your door, there will be a 

death in the neighborhood. 

3568. If a rooster crows three times in the door, a death 

will follow. 

3569. If a rooster crows on a fence with his head turned 
toward the house, welcome guests will arrive. . . , 
Mountains 

3570. If a rooster crows on a fence with his head turned 

away from the house, unwelcome guests may be 
expected Mountains 

3571. When a rooster crows with his head turned toward 

264 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

the door, there will be an increase in the family . . . 
Mountains 

3572. When a rooster crows with his head from the door, 
there will be a decrease in the family . . . Mountains 

3573. The presence of chickens on the porch indicates the 
arrival of a large amount of company. 

3574. If your neighbor's rooster whips your rooster, your 

chickens will not do well. 

3575. If a rooster crows in the back-yard, a man will come. 

3576. A cock's crowing in the back door brings a servant 

visitor. 

3577. If a rooster jumps upon a fence and crows, some- 

one is coming. 

3578. When a rooster crows at night, expect company the 

next day. 

3579. If two roosters fight, a man is coming. 

3580. If two hens fight, expect two women. If one hen 

is dark and the other light, one woman will wear 
dark and the other light clothes. 

3581. If two hens fight in the door, two women are com- 

ing. 

3582. If two old hens are fighting, two old women are 

coming soon. 

3583. If a rooster crows before ten o'clock at night, bad 

news may be expected. 

3584. When a rooster crows at noon, hasty news in the 

neighborhood may be expected . Louisville Negroes 

3585. If a rooster crows at a certain time in the night, you 
will hear hurried news. 

3586. If a rooster crows about dusk, you will hear unex- 

pected news. 

265 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3587. It is a sign of bad luck when a rooster goes crowing 
to roost. 

3588. If a cock crows on the roost, someone in the family 
will die. 

3589. If the cocks crow on the roost, you will hear bad 
news of some one of your relatives. 

3590. If a rooster begins to crow about nine o'clock at 

night, it will turn cold. 

3591. If a rooster crows before midnight, there will be 

a fire. 

3592. A rooster's crowing at night, except at Christmas 

time, is a sign of bad luck. 

3593. There will be bad luck in the family if a rooster 
crows on the steps on Sunday, unless he is killed at 
once Mountains 

3594. Should you find a feather in your hair in the morn- 
ing, you will get a whipping Blue Grass 

3595. "A whistling woman or a crowing hen, never comes 
to a very good end." 

3596. "A woman that whistles or a hen that crows, has 
her way wherever she goes." 

3597. When a hen crows in the door, someone in the fami- 

ly will die. 

3598. A crowing hen must be put to death; otherwise 

death in the family or other bad luck will follow. 

3599. It is a very bad omen for a chicken to die in one's 
hand. 

3600. It is disastrous to let the chicken head die in your 
hand when a chicken is killed. 

3601. If you pull a bunch of feathers from the back of a 
chicken's head before you wring its neck, it will 
not flop Mountains 

266 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3602. To make a chicken die quietly after you have wrung 

its neck, pluck three feathers from its breast 

Mountains 

3603. After wringing a chicken's neck, pull some feathers 

from its back and put them on its breast, to make 
it die quietly. 

3604. A black chicken's meat is coarser than that of other 

chickens. 

3605. The scratching of a gray chicken under a window 
means bad luck. 

3606. If on your way to a funeral, you meet a white 
chicken, you will have bad luck. 

3607. A turtle-dove's cry on the first day of the year 
means a good crop year Western Kentucky 

3608. The flying of a turtle-dove over a house portends 
death in the family. 

3609. If a turtle-dove comes into the room, there will be 
a death before the week is out Mountains 

3610. If you hear a turtle-dove call as you are going up a 
hill, you will have bad luck the rest of the year. . . . 
Southern Kentucky 

3611. If you kill a turtle-dove, you will have a boil, car- 
buncle, or other skin eruption. 

3612. It is a sign of death to see two turtle-doves in a 
tree Blue Grass 

3613. If you see a white turtle-dove before breakfast, your 
father will die very soon Mountains 

3614. If a duck comes into your kitchen, you will never 
starve Blue Grass 

3615. Wild geese flying south make the initials of each 
state through which they pass Negroes 

3616. It brings good luck to pass a flock of geese. 

267 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3617. If an owl hoots, someone will die. 

3618. If an owl hoots on the top of a house, there will be 
a death in that household. 

3619. It brings bad luck to imitate the hoot of an owl. . . 

Blue Grass 

3620. If an owl hoots at the door for three successive 
nights, the sound foretells a death in the house. 

3621. An owl's hoot about midnight is a sign that a mem- 

ber of the family will meet with an accident. 

3622. Tie a knot in your dress or skirt to stop an owl's 
hoot. 

3623. Avert the disaster of an owl's hooting by turning 

an old shoe upside down. 

3624. To make an owl stop hooting, take off your left 

shoe and turn it over. 

3625. An owl will stop hooting if you pull your shoes off 

and cross them. 

3626. To stop an owl from hooting, turn the toes of your 

shoes to touch the wall. 

3627. To avert the disaster that follows the hoot of an 
owl, heat a poker until it is red hot. 

3628. If you eat the lights of a partridge, you will have 
success in love. 

3629. To hear a peacock cry or to see a peacock means 
bad luck. 

3630. A peacock feather brought into a house will surely 

cause death. 

3631. Do not put your hand into a pigeon's nest, for the 

pigeon will not come back. 

3632. If a pigeon flies against the window, there will be 
a death in the household. 

268 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3633. The cooing of pigeons is a sign of death in the 
family to which they belong Blue Grass 

3634. It causes bad luck to kill a raincrow. 

3635. It brings bad luck to have a redbird fly across the 
road when you are out riding. 

3636. You can avert the ill luck which the flying of a red- 

bird across your path brings by turning the lap- 
apron over Southern Kentucky 

3637. If a redbird flies across the road in front of you, 
you will get a letter. 

3638. If a redbird crosses your path, going to the right, 
good luck will follow. 

3639. If a redbird crosses your path, going to the left, 
bad luck will follow. 

3640. If you see a redbird, you will get a letter. 

3641. If a redbird comes into your house, the house will 
be burned Mountains 

3642. It brings good luck to see a Kentucky Cardinal. 

3643. If a redbird or a Kentucky Cardinal flies in front 

of your door, someone unexpected is coming. 

3644. If you see a redbird in the morning, you will see 

one of your cousins before night Mountains 

3645. If you see a redbird on Saturday, your sweetheart 

is coming. 

3646. The sight of a robin means that someone is coming. 

3647. To kill a robin will bring bad luck. 

3648. When you see a robin, spit on your fingers and 

stamp them with your fist; if you go through this 
operation a hundred times, you will find something 
Blue Grass 

3649. If you put salt on a sparrow's tail, you may catch it. 

269 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3650. If a lone turkey-buzzard flies over the house, some- 
one is coming. 

8651. If a turkey-buzzard flies close to the house, some- 
one wiD die Blue Grass 

3652. If a turkey-buzzard is killed with a gun, the gun 
will soon burst and will never be of any more value 
Western Kentucky 

3653. If a whippoorwill sings in a tree near the house, a 

death will follow. 

3654. You will have bad luck if you kill a whippoorwill . . 

Mountains 

3655. If a woodpecker picks on a tree in the immediate 

neighborhood of your house, expect a caller 

Blue Grass 

3656. If a woodpecker is heard on or near the house, there 
will be a death. 

3657. If a woodpecker pecks on the roof of a house, a 
person will die there soon. 

3658. It brings bad luck to kill a wren. 

3659. A wren building near a house brings good luck. 

3660. If a bat flies into a house at night, there will be 

someone missing the next night. 

3661. If a bat lights on one's head, it will stay there until 
there is thunder. 

3662. You will have bad luck if you kill a bat. 

3663. If a honey-bee flies before you, you will get a letter, 

3664. A yellow honey-bee is a sign of good luck. 

3665. A black honey-bee is a sign of death. 

3666. It brings bad luck to sell a beehive; if you sell one, 
the contents of two hives will die. 

3667. All of your bees will die if you count your bee hives. 

3668. If you ring a bell while bees are swarming, you can 

270 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

drown the orders of the kingbee or the lieutenants. 

3669. When the head of the house dies, someone must go 

out to whisper his death to the bees; unless this 

precaution is taken, they will leave or die 

Negroes 

3670. If a butterfly comes into the house, a lady will call 
wearing a dress of the same color. 

3671. If a butterfly comes into the porch, somebody is 

coming. 

3672. If you bite a butterfly's head off, you will have a 

dress the color of its wings, or, as some believe, 
the color of the butterfly. 

3673. It causes bad luck to pull a butterfly's wing off. . 

Mountains 

3674. If a butterfly lights on you, you will get a new 

suit of clothes. 

3675. It is a sign of good luck to have a butterfly light 
on your shoulder. 

3676. Put some green pennyroyal in your pocket, to keep 

away chiggers Mountains 

3677. When a crab bites one, it will not let go until there 

is thunder. 

3678. If a crawfish catches your toes, it will hold on until 
there is thunder. 

3679. To kill a cricket will cause bad luck. 

3680. If you kill a cricket, the rest of the crickets will eat 
your clothes. 

3681. If a cricket is killed, its mate will come and cut the 

socks or stockings of the killer. 

3682. A cricket brings luck into a house. 

3683. It brings bad luck for a cricket to crawl over a hoe 

Mountains 

271 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3684. It brings good luck to hear a cricket singing after 
you go to bed at night. 

3685. A doodle-bug will obey the following rhymed com- 

mand, spoken at its hole: 

"Doodle-bug, doodle-bug, come out of your hole, 

If you don't I'll beat you as black as a mole." 

3686. If you speak the following words at a doodle-bug's 

hole it will come up: 

"Doodle-bug, doodle-bug, doodle-bug, 

Jim fire's burning up." 

3687. If after catching an eel you draw a circle around it, 

it cannot get out of the circle. 

3688. If you put your initials on a terrapin's shell he will 
never leave your farm. 

3689. If a firefly comes into the house, there will be one 
person more or one fewer the next day, that is, 
someone will go or someone will come. 

3690. In firefly season, toads will eat fire. 

3691. If you cut a fishing worm into pieces, each piece 

becomes a complete worm. 

3692. If you kill a fly, ten flies will come to the funeral. 

3693. If a fly flies around your face continually, a 

stranger wishes to meet you. 

3694. If you kill a daddy-long-legs, the cows will go dry. 

3695. If you kill a daddy-long legs, you will lose all your 
cows Mountains 

3696. A white shell-shaped bone from the head of a fish 

brings good luck. In particular it prevents loss of 
money, if it is carried in the purse. 

3697. If you speak the following couplet to a grasshop- 

per, he will obey you: 

272 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

"Spit tobacco- juice, 

And I'll turn you loose." 

3698. It brings bad luck to kill a lady-bug. 

3699. A lady-bug will obey the following piece of advice, 

if it is whispered into its hole: 
"Lady bug, lady bug, 
Fly away home. 
Your house is on fire; 
Your children will burn." 

3700. If you kill a spring lizard, your spring will go dry 

3701. Locusts come every seventeen years; if they have 

a W on the wing, it means, woe, war and want. . . 
Southern Kentucky 

3702. The first louse found in a child's head, if cracked 

on a tin cup, will make a dancer of the child; on a 
song-book, a singer; on the Bible, a reader; on the 
child's head, a simpleton! Mountains 

3703. To dream of head lice will bring money. 

3704. A white moth flying is the spirit of a grandparent 

hovering near. 

3705. If you knock down a mud-dauber's nest, you will 
break your dishes Western Kentucky 

3706. If you carry a piece of oyster shell in your pocket- 
book, you will have good luck always in the way of 
riches North-eastern Kentucky 

3707. When you kill a snake, it will not die until sundown. 

3708. If you put a coal on a snake's stomach, while it is 

awaiting sundown to die, its legs will come out, and 
it will walk. 

3709. If a snake dies before sundown, there will be bad 

luck. 

273 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3710. If you spit into a snake's trail, the snake will die . . 

Western Kentucky 

3711. If you step on a dead snake, there will be sores on 
your feet Mountains 

3712. If you do not kill the first snake you see every year, 
you will not overcome your enemies. 

3713. If you find the first snake that you see in the spring 

dead, your enemies are all conquered. 

3714. If you kill a snake at mating time, its mate will 
come to the body. 

3715. If you kill a snake and hang it over a fence, you 
will not see any more snakes that day . . Blue Grass 

3716. If you cut a snake into pieces and leave them to- 
gether, the fragments will unite and crawl away. 

3717. Snakes are blind in August. 

3718. Snakes will not come about a garden where gourds 
grow Western Kentucky 

3719. Snakes may be kept off by the carrying of snake- 
root. 

3720. Black snakes suck cows. 

3721. Keep a black snake with you, to drive away bad 
luck Mountains 

3722. If you kill a snake that has sucked a cow, the cow 
will go dry. 

3723. It causes bad luck to touch a rattlesnake skin. 

3724. The rattles of a rattlesnake kept in a violin bring 
good luck to the owner Western Kentucky 

3725. If you receive rattle-snake rattles from someone, 
you will come to no harm while that person is near 
Mountains 

3726. Snake dust (that is, the dust made by pulverizing 

274 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

a dried snake), shaken into one's shoes, will poison 
one Negroes 

3727. A "snake-doctor" (that is, a dragon-fly) warns 

snakes of danger and shows them the whereabouts 
of food. 

3728. It causes bad luck to kill a dragon-fly. 

3729. If a dragon-fly lights on your line while you are 

fishing, the fish will not bite. 

3730. The crawling of a spider on you brings good luck. 

3731. It causes bad luck to kill a spider found crawling 

on you. 

3732. A spider at night brings good luck. Do not kill it. 

3733. If a spider comes down in front of your face, you 

will get a letter. But if you kill the spider, you 
will not get the letter. 

3734. If you catch a spider weaving its web downward, 

catch it in the palm of your hand and kill it. You 
will receive a letter. 

3735. If a spider crawls on your head, a letter will come 

from the direction it is moving. 

3736. If a spider weaves a web over your head, you will 
get a letter. 

3737. If a spider lets a web down on your shoulder, you 
will get a letter. 

3738. If a spider spins its thread in the doorway or in 

front of one's face, a welcome visitor may be ex- 
pected. 

3739. The crawling of a spider on your bed foretells the 

coming of a stranger. 

3740. By killing a spider on your bed, you prevent the 

coming of a stranger. 

3741. When a spider swings down from a web in front of 

275 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

you, you will see a good friend whom you are not 
expecting. 

3742. If a spider crawls up the door, a stranger is coming, 

3743. "Where the spider-webs grow, 

The beaus don't go." 

3744. If a spider gets on your dress, you will have a new 
one. 

3745. It is lucky to find a spider on your clothes. It 
spins your wealth. 

3746. If a spider is hanging over your head, you will re- 

ceive money. 

3747. Carry a dead spider in your shoe for good luck. 

3748. If you catch a spider on you, wrap it up and put it 
into your stocking for luck. 

3749. If a spider spins a web in front of you, take it and 

put it into your pocket-book alive. It is supposed 
to bring you money Mountains 

3750. It brings bad luck to kill a black spider . . Blue Grass 

3751. If there is a black spider on you, you will get a let- 
ter from a black-headed person. 

3752. With every spider that you kill, you kill an enemy, 

3753. A spider on a bride's trousseau brings good luck. 

3754. It causes good luck to go through a spider-web. 

3755. It is unlucky to see a spider spin his web from the 

ceiling at night. 

3756. It brings good luck to see a spider spin his web 

from the ceiling in the morning. 

3757. If you run into a cobweb, you will get a letter 

Blue Grass 

3758. Brightly-colored spiders, lizards, snakes, and the 

like are poisonous Mountains 

3759. All spiders and tarantulas are poisonous. 

276 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3760. It is firmly believed by the people of Leslie County, 
a mountain county, that President McKinley's 
name was written by spiders in their webs as a 
prophecy of his death Mountains 

3761. If you cut a tick's head off and bury its body with its 
back down, there will be rain Mountains 

3762. If you kill a turtle, it will not die until sundown. 

3763. When a turtle bites, it will hold on until there is 
thunder. 

3764. If a wasp flies into the house, it brings good luck 

for the family Mountains 

3765. If you see a fever worm, you must spit on it over 
your left shoulder; otherwise you will have typhoid 
fever. 

3766. When you see a fever worm, you must, to avert a 

fever, spit three times. 

3767. It brings bad luck to kill a fever worm. 

3768. If you sit in the sun and look at a yellow caterpillar, 
you will have a chill Western Kentucky 

3769. If a measuring worm measures your whole length, 
you will die. 

3770. If you find a measuring worm on your dress, suit, 

or hat, you will have a new one. 

3771. If you see a thousand-legged worm, you will die, 
unless you spit or stamp your feet Mountains 

3772. If a thousand-legged worm counts your teeth, you 
will die. Therefore close your mouth in the pres- 
ence of one Mountains 

WITCHES 

3773. To become a witch, go to a mountain top at dawn, 

shoot through a handkerchief at the rising sun, 

277 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

curse Jehovah three times, and own the Devil as 
master. When you shoot through the handker- 
chief, blood will fall from it Mountains 

3774. To become a witch: the candidate goes with the 

Devil to the top of the highest hill at sunrise nine 
successive days and curses God; the Devil then 
places one hand on the candidate's head and one on 
his feet, and receives the promise that all between 
his hands shall be devoted to his service . Mountains 

3775. To become a witch, you shoot at the moon nine 
times with a silver bullet, cursing God each time 
Mountains 

3776. You can become a witch by taking a spinning-wheel 

to the top of a hill, giving yourself up to the Devil, 
and waiting until the wheel begins to turn. The 
witches will then come to instruct you . . Mountains 

3777. One who teaches witchcraft to more than three peo- 
ple will herself lose the power Mountains 

3778. If a witch goes to church, she will sit with her back 
toward the minister Northern Kentucky 

3779. If an old woman has but one tooth in her mouth, 
she is a witch Mountains 

3780. A witch frequently takes the form of a black cat. 

3781. When a witch is at her mischief, she is invisible to 
everybody except the person bewitched . Mountains 

3782. A witch can kill a person or animal with a witch or 

hair ball, which is made by rolling a small bunch 
of hair from a squirrel, horse, or cow into a hard, 
round ball Mountains 

3783. By rubbing a hand over a gun, a witch can put a 

"spell" on it, so that its shot will not hit anything 
Mountains 

278 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3784. A witch can put a "spell" on a dog, and thus make 

him back-track on a deer's trail. She rubs her hand 
over the dog Mountains 

3785. If you find a small egg in a hen's nest, you will 

have trouble, for it is a witch-egg 

Northern Kentucky 

3786. If a horse's mane is matted in the morning, the 
witches have ridden him during the night. 

3787. If you ride your horse on the same day that you 

have found witch stirrups in his mane, he will 
throw you. 

3788. Tie strands of a horse's mane or tail together, to 
keep off witches. 

3789. Plait your horse's mane with corn shucks, to pre- 
vent witches from riding him . . Western Kentucky 

3790. Witches transfer milk from the victim's cow to their 

own cows Mountains 

3791. A witch can obtain butter by merely squeezing the 

handle of an ordinary table fork. 

3792. If you burn the wisp of the bushy part of a cow's 

tail, the animal will cease to be bewitched 

Mountains 

3793. A bewitched cow is cured by the witch-doctor's tak- 
ing some hair from the sick cow's back and boiling 
some of her milk over the fire into which the hair 
had been thrown Mountains 

3794. If your cow is bewitched, shut the door, do not let 
her have anything to eat, and then milk her in 
silence without looking up Mountains 

3795. To free butter from a witch's control, put a horse- 
bridle over the churn Blue Grass Negroes 

3796. If the butter will not come, drop a red hot horse- 

279 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

shoe into the milk to kill the witches; then the but- 
ter will come Mountains 

3797. For bewitched milk, heat the filings from a horse- 

shoe and put them into the milk. The butter will 
then come, and by next day something disastrous 
will happen to the witch that will establish her 
identity Mountains 

3798. To avert a witch charm, put a spindle into the 
churn Mountains 

3799. If butter will not come, put a hot poker into the 

churn. You will thus drive away witches 

Mountains 

3800. If the butter will not gather, put a dime into the 
bottom of the churn Mountains 

3801. Money should be put into the churn to keep away 
witches Mountains 

3802. To keep witches off, let some drops of the cow's 
milk fall on a piece of silver Mountains 

3803. To keep witches off, keep a piece of silver in a 
glass of water and sprinkle the cow's back with the 
water every few days Western Kentucky 

3804. When a cow is bewitched, the charm may be broken 

by cutting her tongue with a silver coin sharpened 
on a grindstone Mountains 

3805. Never go to bed with your shoes higher than your 

head, for if you do, the witches will be after you 
for three months Mountains 

3806. If you are awake at eleven, you will see witches and 
black cats at twelve Mountains 

3807. If a fire that you are attempting to make goes out 
three times, you are bewitched . . Central Kentucky 

280 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3808. If a spider is consumed through falling into a lamp, 
witches are near Blue Grass 

3809. The twitching of the eye is a sign that one is he- 
witched. 

3810. If you step on a crack in a sidewalk, a witch will 
appear and seize you. 

3811. It is unwise to keep egg shells because witches go to 

sea in them. Burn the shells. 

3812. The witch-hazel leaf should not be plucked and car- 
ried about you. Witches conjure with it. 

3813. A person that does not believe in witches cannot be 
bewitched. 

3814. Witches cannot cross running water. 

3815. Take a chew of tobacco to keep off the witches. . . . 

Mountains 

3816. A piece of rattlesnake skin worn in the clothing 

keeps witches away Mountains 

3817. One penny will prevent the witches from riding you 

Western Kentucky 

3818. If you put a silver dollar under your head, the 
witches cannot trouble you Mountains 

3819. A piece of silver in the pocket or a silver ring on the 

finger or on the horse's bridle will keep the witches 
away Mountains 

3820. To keep off witches and evil spirits, you must take 
off your hat and turn it around. 

3821. A negro with a rabbit foot, mounted on a white 

horse in the dark of the moon in a cemetery, will 
break a witch spell Mountains 

3822. If a jack-o'-lantern gets on your back, it will ride 
you until morning. Avert this fate by turning 
your coat wrong side out. 

281 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3823. When you lie on the ground, draw circles around 
you with a willow fork, to keep off the witches. 

3824. If when you see a bunch of hair near the door you 

fail to pick it up, the witches will overtake you be- 
fore midnight Mountains 

3825. A witch cannot step over a broom. 

3826. Witches will not trouble you at night, if you sleep 
with a Bible under your head Mountains 

3827. If you are troubled by witches, it is a good plan to 

sleep with a meal sifter over the face. When the 
witches come to worry you, they are compelled to 
pass back and forth through every mesh. By this 
time you will have had sufficient sleep and can 
get up Western Kentucky 

3828. If you ban ga bread sifter on a door-knob at night, 

you will find witches in it the next morning 

Louisville Negroes 

3829. Draw a picture of a witch that is tormenting you 

and shoot through it with a silver bullet. 

3830. Get rid of a witch by shooting her picture over run- 
ning water Mountains 

3831. You may kill a witch by shooting at her picture 

over running water. If you shoot the picture un- 
der other conditions, you may break the charm but 
may not hurt the witch Mountains 

3832. If you are about to break a witch's charm by shoot- 

ing her picture with a silver bullet, she can break 
the charm, provided she or a member of her family 

borrows anything from you or your family 

Mountains 

3833. You can remove a witch's charm and also kill her by 

driving a nail through her picture near the heart, 

282 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

and then by striking it once each day for nine days 
Mountains 

3834. You can break a witch's hold on you by boiling 

ragweed in a pot, beating it all the time. She can 
break the charm by borrowing from you or having 
any of her family do so Mountains 

3835. You can cure a bewitched person by removing daily 

one twig from a bundle of nine willow twigs which 
you have gathered Mountains 

3836. If you are afflicted with witches, a hoodoo ball made 

of gum and purchased with a piece of silver will 
scare away the witches . . . North-eastern Kentucky 

3837. To break the charm of a witch, spit on the brush end 

of a broom, once for the witch and once for each 
member of her family. Brush it down the rear of 
the fireplace ; then place the broom across the front 
door. Finally send for her. She can do you no 
further harm unless you give or lend her salt or 
something else Mountains 

3838. To drive off a witch, place a dime under the hearth 

Mountains 

3839. To remove a witch's hold on a person, cut the witch 
out of the victim's leg Mountains 

KOODOOS 

3840. Hoodoo a person by putting a shoe with a dead rat 
in it on his door step Western Kentucky 

3841. To hoodoo a person, shake down dust on him 
through a crack in the ceiling. .Blue Grass Negroes 

3842. To hoodoo anyone, put snake dust (that is, the dust 
made by pulverizing a dried snake) into his shoes 
Blue Grass Negroes 

283 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3843. To hoodoo a person, put an old shoe full of red 
pepper under his house . . North-eastern Kentucky 

3844. To do harm to a person, take a lock of his hair, 
burn a part, throw a part to the wind, and bury 
a part. 

3845. A hoodoo bag is a red flannel bag about six by four 

inches in size, containing a pinch of salt, a pod of 
red pepper, a rabbit's foot, a chicken spur, and 
some ashes. It must be "made in dead o' night, 
widout a spec' o' light." Central Kentucky Negroes 

3846. A blue-gummed negro is dangerous. He has the 

hoodoo power. 

3847. To keep a person from hoodooing you, wear red 

pepper in the heel of your shoe 

Blue Grass Negroes 

3848. Put red pepper in your shoe, to keep off a con- 
jurer's work Central Kentucky Negroes 

3849. If you wear a silver dime in your shoe, you cannot 
be hoodooed Louisville Negroes 

3850. Wear a piece of silver about each ankle to keep 

from coming under the power of the hoodoo 

Central Kentucky Negroes 

3851. Negroes keep chickens with the feathers turned 

back the wrong way, to keep away the hoodoos . . . 
Negroes 

3852. Hoodoos can often be warded off by a change of 

the victim's home or room 

Western Kentucky Negroes 

3853. The victim of a hoodoo may break the charm by 

giving up a sweetheart or a lover 

Western Kentucky Negroes 

3854. To overcome a hoodoo, kill a scorpion, dry it by 

284 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

smoking it, beat it to a powder, mix the powder 

with whiskey, and drink the mixture 

Central Kentucky Negroes 

3855. Hoodoo doctors, as they are commonly called, are 
considered able to break hoodoo charms and also to 
cure illness Negroes 

3856. A certain arrangement of sticks in a path that leads 

to a house may cause a hoodoo. A hoodoo doctor 
sometimes has all the sticks in such a path removed 
before he attempts to treat an illness that is due 
to a hoodoo Central Kentucky Negroes 

3857. If anything is placed in a so-called conjuration 
hand, the hand will move in such a way as to indi- 
cate whether good or bad luck will follow 

Louisville Negroes 

3858. Negroes are said to be able to find "hoodoo tracks" 

in ashes of the fire, which show that some kind of 
disaster is coming to the house Negroes 

HAUNTED HOUSES, GHOSTS, EVIL SPIRITS 

3859. Almost every community has a house which the 

credulous believe to be haunted. 

3860. If a picture falls off the wall, the house is haunted 

Central Kentucky Negroes 

3861. If a snake runs across your foot in front of a house 
which you are about to enter, the house is haunted 
North-eastern Kentucky 

3862. If a door closes or moves without any wind or other 

visible cause, the house is haunted 

North-eastern Kentucky 

3863. If you bury anything alive, it will haunt you 

Mountains 

285 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3864. If a murder or suicide is committed in a house and 
a drop of blood falls on the floor, the house will be 
haunted and the blood can never be washed out 
or painted over. 

3865. If you have killed a person and are troubled over 
the fact, go to his grave at midnight, face the north, 
step forward over the grave and then backward 

over it. You will be troubled no more 

Central Kentucky Negroes 

3866. A seventh son is able to see ghosts or spirits 

Louisville colored 

3867. One child in each family is able to raise knocking 
spirits Mountains 

3868. There is a legend in Kentucky that the shades of 
departed Indians return from the Happy Hunting 
Ground annually in the dark of the moon in Octo- 
ber and silently tread again the old trails. 

3869. "Happen," a spirit of the other world, knocks on 

the wall when one in the house is sure to die 

Blue Grass 

3870. A deaf and dumb supper is prepared as follows. 
While preparing this supper the participants must 
neither speak or be spoken to by any one. All the 
work must be done backwards, that is, they walk 
backwards and hold their hands behind them while 
doing the work. When all is ready for eating, 
some supernatural sign appears to them. Some- 
times it is two men carrying a corpse; or a large 
white dog may appear. Whatever it may be, it 
is always very alarming in appearance. 

3871. A much feared animal, called the dog-eater, occa- 

sionally appears in folk superstition. He is 

286 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

thought to devour dogs and even other animals. 
He also terrorizes people. 

3872. Soldiers at the front usually have a "call" or 
"vision" before death Blue Grass 

3873. Ghosts are the spirits of people who died and were 
not satisfied Blue Grass 

3874. A sudden warm breeze means the passing of a 
ghost Negroes 

3875. If one asks a ghost what it desires, it will tell him 

Blue Grass 

3876. Negroes wear matches in their hair to keep evil 

spirits away Negroes 

3877. You can frighten evil spirits away by burning rub- 
ber Mountains 

3878. To keep away ghosts, put a feather duster in the 
doorway Western Kentucky 

3879. If a spirit or a ghost pursues you, stop in the mid- 

dle of a stream and make the sign of the cross with 
your fingers Mountains 

3880. To frighten ghosts away when you meet them in a 
lonely lane on a dark night, cross the left thumb 
over the index finger, draw a long breath and ex- 
claim in a sepulchral voice: "Skip-i-to!" No 
ghost can withstand this process, especially if the 
words are repeated Western Kentucky 

3881. If one shoots at a ghost with a silver bullet, he will 
kill it Blue Grass 

3882. If you think you hear your name called, you will 
probably die if you answer before you are sure ; for 
it may be that the ghosts are calling your spirit. . 

.Blue Grass 



287 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

MISCELLANEOUS 

3883. To change a will is unlucky. 

3884. It brings bad luck for a boat to be christened with 

anything but champagne. 

3885. "Laughing's catching," that is, if you laugh at an- 

other's bad luck, you will have bad luck yourself. 

3886. To leave a book unfinished that you have begun to 
read is unlucky Western Kentucky 

3887. It causes bad luck to break a piece of candy or the 

like in anybody else's hand. 

3888. It is unlucky to throw a gift away. 

3889. Never walk under a ladder, especially if there is 

someone on the top of it, for bad luck will follow. 

3890. If one jumps from a window, someone in the per- 

son's family will pass away. 

3891. To go through a window brings bad luck. 

3892. If you forget anything, you will see a cross. 

3893. It brings good luck to bury a pencil .... Mountains 

3894. If you start to say something and do not finish it, 
you will be disappointed . . North-eastern Kentucky 

3895. If you measure a person while he is lying down, he 

will soon die. 

3896. It brings death to answer a mysterious voice 

Negroes 

3897. If you think that you hear someone call your name 
when no one has done so, something bad will hap- 
pen to the person whom you thought you heard call- 
ing you. 

3898. If you hear your name called, some soul in purga- 
tory is calling for your prayers 

North-eastern Kentucky 

288 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3899. If you slip on a banana peeling, you will have bad 
luck. 

3900. It brings bad luck to boast (unless you knock on 
wood) of immunity from any trouble or illness. 

3901. Billikens bring good luck. 

3902. After making a call, you must leave the room 
through the same door by which you entered it. 

3903. Leave any room by the door through which you en- 
tered; otherwise you will have bad luck. 

3904. If you give something away that is given you, it 
will smell bad Blue Grass 

3905. Misfortunes never come singly. 

3906. If a person's given name is changed, he will die. 

3907. Never whistle in a dressing room of a theatre. This 

superstition is held by actors. 

3908. It brings very bad luck to step over a hole. 

3909. It brings bad luck to ring a bell upside down 

Central Kentucky 

3910. It brings bad luck to give away or spend anything 
you find. 

3911. If you sing secular music, you will come to grief. . 

Mountains 

3912. You will have good luck if you rub coal oil on your 
neck Mountains 

3913. It causes good luck to meet a gypsy fortune-teller. 

3914. It is a sign of good luck if, upon opening the Bible, 
your finger accidentally falls on the words, "Verily, 
verily." Blue Grass 

3915. Upon the first visit to the source of a spring, put a 

pebble from the brook into the hem of your skirt. 
Then lose it without being conscious of the loss. 
You will have good luck Southern Kentucky 

289 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3916. If you smoke a cigarette with a gold band on it, 
you will have good luck. 

3917. A whistling girl and a bleating sheep, will always 

come to the top of the heap .... Western Kentucky 

3918. To pick up gravel under the right foot and sleep on 
it will bring good luck Mountains 

3919. If you have hiccoughs, someone will tell a story on 
you Mountains 

3920. If you have hiccoughs, you have told a lie 

Blue Grass 

3921. If you once get your feet wet in the Cumberland 
river, you will always return to the Kentucky 
mountains Mountains 

3922. Human vitality is always lowest between midnight 

and morning. 

3923. Human vitality is lowest at three o'clock in the 
morning. 

3924. If you cross your fingers when you see a one-legged 

negro, you will remove the ill luck that follows the 
sight of such a person Blue Grass 

3925. Smoke follows beauty. 

3926. Smoke from an out-of-door fire drifts to the most 
beautiful person within range. 

3927. If you go through an unfinished building, you will 

see someone whom you are not expecting to see. 

3928. If you use the same towel with another, you will 

certainly quarrel with that person. 

3929. The negroes think that when they "get religion," 
the Lord speaks to them directly. For instance, 
one said that the Lord told him to crawl on a log 
Negroes 

290 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

3930. Poison oak will not affect a really black negro 

Central Kentucky 

3931. A sandman who sprinkles sand in the eyes is re- 

sponsible for sleepiness. 

3932. If you wish to learn to pick a banjo, take the banjo 
to the forks of the road on a dark night and try it 
Central Kentucky Negroes 

3933. Engineers have a premonition that they should 

avoid a certain run. 

3934. If you curse God and shoot at the sun, you will be 
able to see the wind Mountains 

3935. If you start to tell a thing and forget it, what you 
were planning to tell is not so Mountains 

3936. If the dews are heavy in August, tobacco will weigh 
heavy. 

3937. Jews will not kill a chicken. 

3938. In talking to someone if you call him by someone 

else's name, the one named is thinking of you. 

3939. "Come easy, go easy," that is, something that comes 
without effort will be lost. 

3940. A sudden silence in the midst of a conversation 

means that an angel is passing through the room. 
Human voices are hushed in reverence. 

3941. If two persons collide at work, they will work to- 
gether another year. 

3942. If two people in bending over knock their heads 

together, they will sleep together that night 

Southern Kentucky 

3943. A comet is a sign of war. 

3944. If three persons in conversation say the same word 

simultaneously, a fool is coming. 

3945. "If you speak of an angel, you will hear the rustle 

291 



KENTUCKY SUPERSTITIONS 

of his wings," that is, if you speak of anyone, you 
will find him near. 

3946. "If you speak of the Devil, he will appear." This 

saying has the same meaning as the preceding one, 

3947. Keep a seat for the unexpected guest. You will 
some day entertain an angel in disguise . Blue Grass 

3948. You will have good luck if you find a rusty nail. 
You should not pick it up, but you should reverse 
the ends just where the nail lies Mountains 

3949. You will have bad luck if you follow the light of a 
jack-o'-lantern Blue Grass Negroes 

8950. A stone with a hole through the middle is a good 
talisman Central Kentucky 

3951. You will have bad luck if you find a stone with a 
hole in it, unless it contains a crack from the outer 
edge to the hole Central Kentucky 

3952. To have iron or steel about you during a thunder 

storm will bring good luck. 

3953. A fool for luck. 

3954. Some people have the power of finding under- 
ground water with the use of a forked peach or 
hazel switch. When the water-witch, as such a 
person is called, walks above the water, the fork or 
divining rod turns downward. 1 

iThe divining rod is considered by some folk-lore students to have been 
originally a symbol of forked lightning. See, for example, John Fiske: Myths 
and Mythmakers, pp. '41-44, 64, 66-67. 



292 



INDEX 

Ace, 3258. 

Acorn, 1293, 2696. 

Actors, 3119, 3907. 

After-Birth, 14. 

After Life, 1805. 

Afternoon, 1677, 1678, 1856, 2366, 2477, 2539, 2585, 2771, 2876, 

2879, 2880, 2963, 3535. 
Alphabet, 258, 456, 476, 500. 
Alter, 2281-2283. 
Alum, 1289, 1294. 

Amber, 1062, 1165, 1295, 1381, 2852. 
Amputation, 1007, 1059, 1060. 
Andiron, 3439. 

Angels, 18, 1111, 1112, 1904, 3940, 3945, 3947. 
Animals, 19, 857, 1070, 1107, 1487, 2327, 2715, 2839, 2843, 3262- 

3508, 3782, 3792, 3871. 
Ankle, 1160, 1327, 2281, 3850. 
Ants, 1548 (white), 2328, 2862, 2927, 3507. 
Apple, 200-212, 376, 377, 593, 853, 1114, 1430, 1431, 2251, 2252, 

2884, 2974, 3395. 
Appleblossom, 3003. 
April, 617, 619, 2399, 2407, 2430, 2753, 2847, 2851, 2852, 2950, 

3335. 

Apron, 213-215, 2099-2101. 
Arc-Light, 1301. 
Arm, 47, 48, 536, 1018, 1019, 1059, 1060, 1159, 1429, 2253, 2254, 

2258. 

Armpit, 200. 

Arrested, 1595, 1596, 1597, 3506. 

Ashes, 1147, 1178, 1624, 2744, 2771, 2833, 3551, 3845, 3858. 
Asparagus, 2904. 

293 



INDEX 

Asthma, 1061, 1062. 

August, 617, 2255, 2271, 2272, 2275, 2434, 2446, 2447, 2828, 2829, 

2847, 2851, 2852, 3000, 3001, 3717. 
Autumn, 549, 1312, 2250, 2330, 2352, 2527, 2669, 2680, 2682, 2684 ; 

3543. 

Aviator, 2128. 
Axe, 2, 1079, 1094, 1662-1664. 

B 

Baby, 1-81, 84, 85, 272, 1020, 1128, 1138, 1166, 1241, 1256, 1370, 
1372, 1378, 1383, 1384, 1386, 1387, 1390, 1392, 1394, 1396, 
1770, 1773, 1905, 2296, 3099, (see, also, Child). 

Bachelor, 323, 428, 693. 

Back, 549, 715, 758, 864, 974, 998, 1017, 1064, 1065, 1080, 1081, 
1240, 1280, 1325, 1604, 1636, 1637, 1851, 1998, 2025, 2319, 
2347, 2348, 2573, 3088, 3107, 3211, 3233, 3349, 3352, 3488, 
3574-3576, 3601, 3603, 3761, 3778, 3793, 3803, 3822. 

Back-ache, 1063, 1065. 

Backward, 430, 438, 488, 518, 519, 536, 563, 700, 997, 1208, 1211, 
1235, 1363, 1481, 1529, 1530, 1601, 1690, 1697, 1710, 1783, 
3013, 3217, 3865, 3870. 

Bacon, 1098, 1432, 1433. 

Bad Luck, 28, 29, 46, 49, 58, 60, 68, 101, 163, 164, 171, 185, 400- 
402, 618, 620, 624, 628, 633, 635-639, 643-651, 654, 657-660, 
667-669, 671-677, 679, 680, 682-685, 689, 691, 699, 701-704, 710, 
713, 743, 753, 754, 757-759, 761, 763, 765, 767, 768, 770, 772, 
773, 776, 821, 822, 825, 830-834, 856, 871, 877, 927, 956, 985- 
987, 989-991, 996, 997, 999, 1022, 1023, 1029, 1041, 1550, 1552, 
1560, 1571, 1579, 1584, 1586-1589, 1591, 1594, 1600, 1601, 
1603-1607, 1613, 1616-1618, 1620, 1621, 1623, 1638, 1639, 1641, 
1650, 1656, 1657, 1661-1665, 1674, 1678-1680, 1685-1700, 1707- 
1709, 1716, 1721-1728, 1742, 1744-1746, 1748, 1752, 1754-1756, 
1761, 1762, 1776, 1778-1780, 1790-1792, 1796, 1809, 1815, 1818- 
1820, 1831, 1834, 1835, 1844, 1865, 1871, 1872, 1878, 1881- 
1883, 1908, 1910, 1913, 1917, 1920, 1930, 1931, 1935, 1936, 
1938-1940, 1946, 1951, 1954, 1959, 1961, 1964, 1966, 1970, 1973, 
1976, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1989, 1990, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2015, 

294 



INDEX 

2023, 2032, 2035, 2036, 2041, 2042, 2052, 2055-2057, 2061, 2062, 
2066, 2071, 2075, 2077, 2088, 2094-2096, 2103, 2105, 2107, 2109, 
2110, 2112, 2115, 2117, 2122-2126, 2129, 2133, 2135, 2136, 
2138-2141, 2150, 2151, 2153, 2163, 2166, 2173, 2174, 2179, 
2181, 2182, 2185, 2186, 2190-2192, 2206, 2208, 2211, 2212, 
2214, 2215, 2217, 2218, 2221, 2223, 2225, 2231, 2291, 2299, 
2306, 2317, 2368, 2606, 2706, 2709, 2719, 2723, 2725, 2727, 
2729, 2734, 2735, 2737, 2741, 2744, 2751-2754, 2756, 2757, 
2766-2770, 2772, 2773, 2775, 2776, 2782, 2783, 2787, 2790, 
2797, 2802, 2807, 2812, 2813, 2834, 2841, 2846, 2855, 2860, 
2863, 2873, 2874, 2891, 2899, 2931, 2933, 2942, 2943, 2962- 
2967, 2980-2984, 2992, 2994, 2996, 3010, 3031, 3032, 3034, 
3035, 3041,, 3047, 3050-3057, 3059, 3061, 3068-3071, 3075, 
3076, 3082, 3084, 3095, 3098, 3102, 3109, 3110, 3114, 3117- 
3119, 3123, 3126-3128, 3136, 3145, 3153, 3156-3160, 3163, 3167- 
3171, 3178, 3183, 3194, 3198, 3199, 3201-3204, 3209, 3210, 3219, 
3222, 3223, 3228, 3229, 3234, 3237, 3250-3256, 3261, 3264, 
3265, 3268, 3269, 3271-3275, 3277, 3281, 3283-3285, 3288, 3291, 
3293, 3294, 3298, 3300, 3308, 3321, 3328, 3339, 3348, 3358, 
3361-3365, 3392, 3403, 3406, 3407, 3415, 3421, 3422, 3434, 
3435, 3445, 3452, 3457, 3459-3461, 3464, 3465, 3473, 3476. 
3477, 3484, 3487, 3490, 3496, 3509, 3515-3517, 3525, 3527, 
3535, 3545, 3548-3550, 3587, 3592, 3593, 3598-3600, 3605, 
3606, 3610, 3619, 3629, 3634, 3635, 3639, 3647, 3654, 3658, 
3662, 3666, 3673, 3679, 3683, 3698, 3709, 3721, 3723, 3728, 
3731, 3750, 3755, 3767, 3857, 3883-3889, 3891, 3894, 3899, 
3900, 3902, 3903, 3907-3911, 3924, 3949, 3950. 

Baking, 353, 1848, 1849, 1853-1857, 1906, 2776, 3547. 

Bald, 2300, 3337. 

Barometer, 2329, 2330, 2525, 2679, 2680. 

Baseball, 3152-3181. 

Bat, 660. 

Bay Horse, 1960. 

Beans, 216, 1436, 1437-1440, 2237, 2253, 2254, 2688, 2794, 2879- 
2885, 2936. 

Beard, 3314. 

Beau, 403, 532, 533, 585, 966, 1044, 2957, 3743. 

295 



INDEX 

Beauty, 37, 471, 1826, 2243, 2817, 2890, 3528-3531, 3925, 3926. 

Bed, 31, 67, 74, 174, 219, 220, 221, 222, 226, 455, 456, 518, 
519, 536, 700, 706, 724, 968, 1079, 1144, 1157, 1163, 1167, 
1199, 1208, 1281, 1282, 1318, 1551, 1607, 1612, 1627, 1701, 
1703, 1706-1723, 1750, 1826, 1903, 2096, 2149-2151, 2153, 2191, 
2308, 2358, 2482, 2542 (hog), 2556, 2691, 2855, 2871 (room), 
3684, 3739, 3740, 3805. 

Bed Post, 217, 218, 1219, 3520. 

Beech-nut, 2696, 3394. 

Bees, 1066, 1907, 2850, 3663-3669. 

Bell, 811, 3126, 3668, 3909. 

Bess-bug, 1175. 

Bible, 5, 42, 195, 225, 226, 1078, 1096, 3702, 3826, 3914. 

Billikens, 3901. 

Bird, 142, 232, 233, 412, 549, 1908, 2331-2335, 2396, 2762, 3206, 
3509-3659. 

Bird-Dog, 3370. 

Birthday, 67, 96, 246, 247, 2854-2856. 

Birth Flower, 2851. 

Birth-mark, 1067. 

Birth Stone, 2055, 2056, 2852, 2853. 

Biscuit, 229-231, 1804, 1830, 1832, 1833, 1836, 1841. 

Bite, 853, 855, 957, 1171, 1172, 1340-1345 (snake), 2250 (frost), 
2292, 3112, 3113, 3184 (fish), 3185, 3186, 3197, 3385, 3672, 
3677, 3729, 3763. 

Black, 252, 253, 629, 640, 762, 908, 1120, 1183, 1332, 1333, 1334, 
1353, 1382, 1383, 1442, 1443, 1513, 1531, 1547, 1915, 1917, 
1960, 2122-2125, 2142, 2640, 2641, 2991, 3175, 3268-3275, 3277- 
3280, 3287, 3291, 3292, 3375, 3604, 3665, 3685, 3720, 3721, 
3750, 3751, 3780, 3806, 3930. 

Blackberries, 2436. 

Blackberry Winter, 2432. 

Blackbird, 143, 238, 3527. 

Black Cat, 252, 253, 762, 1183, 1332, 1333, 1353, 1442, 1443, 1915, 
3268-3273, 3275, 3277-3280, 3287, 3291, 3292, 3780, 3806. 

Bleed, 451, 745, 1080-1083, 1086, 1087, 1089, 1091-1093, 1095, 1393, 
1451, 1454, 1455, 1458, 1485, 1496, 1508, 2836. 

296 



INDEX 

Blindness, 1068, 1670, 1910, 3414, 3717. 

Blister, 848, 854, 1200, 1201. 

Blonde, 904, 906. 

Blood, 234, 671, 672, 959, 979, 1070-1096, 1175, 1176, 1183, 1240, 

1332, 1334, 1370, 1398, 1437, 1438, 1443, 1444, 1452, 1454, 

1455, 1458, 1485, 1490, 1491, 1496, 1682, 1911, 2699, 3182, 

3320, 3377, 3499, 3500, 3773, 3864. 
Blood-poisoning, 1098, 1099, 2829. 
Blossom, 409, 666, 2237, 2906, 2969, 3003. 

Blue, 194, 278, 629, 630, 634, 661, 2631, 2914, 3111, 3112, 3846. 
Bluebird, 130, 2334, 2762 (jay). 
Boasting, 2973, 3900. 
Bob-white, 2335, 3628. 
Body, 734, 737, 738, 740, 746, 772, 779, 1060, 1199, 1218, 1257, 

1542, 2285, 2712, 3379, 3714, 3761. 
Boil, 976, 1097, 1100-1104, 3611. 
Bones, 1182, 1278, 1307 (hand), 1315, 1441, 1552, 1676, 1896, 3243, 

3696. 

Bone-felon, 1105, 1106. 
Borrowing, 661, 1036, 1386, 1670, 1757, 1807, 1808, 3024, 3261, 

3832, 3834, 3837. 

Boy, 88, 100, 248, 356, 367, 372, 408, 435, 455, 458, 459, 464, 
492, 497, 508, 510, 511, 512, 547, 556, 809, 2093, 3041, 3227. 
Brains, 82, 905, 1383, 1387, 1393, 1394. 
Brass, 1162, 1297, 1298, 1368, 1444, 2037, 3441. 
Bread, 235-237, 263, 1678, 1828-1852, 1884, 2919, 3044, 3828. 
Bread Crumbs, 458, 2927. 
Breakfast, 427, 539, 1040, 1043, 1044, 1045, 1047, 1048, 1886, 1887. 

1892-1894, 2386, 2607, 2705, 3561, 3562, 3613. 
Breast, 1020, 1240, 3602, 3603. 
Breastbone, 612, 2530-2532. 

Breath, 1112, 1136, 1234, 1369, 3289, 3310, 3880. 
Briar, 533, 535, 1115, 2255. 
Bride, 368, 606-607, 634, 635, 637-644, 646, 647, 651, 654, 655, 657, 

658, 661-664, 666, 667-675, 690-692, 694-697, 701, 703, 704, 

707, 2146, 2223, 3753, 3754. 
Bridegroom, 638, 657, 658, 665, 694, 702, 2223. 

297 



INDEX 

Bridesmaid, 700. 

Bridle, 427, 3795, 3819. 

British Lady, 238. 

Bronchitis, 1126. 

Broom, 239, 240, 565, 566, 1285, 1522, 1524, 1588-1628, 1722, 2014. 
2770, 3825, 3837. 

Brother, 1912, 2216, 2326. 

Brown, 629, 904, 907, 1223, 1421, 2352. 

Buckeye, See Horse-chestnut. 

Buggy-riding, 403, 2029. 

Bullet, 734, 2177, 3471, 3775, 3829, 3832, 3881. 

"Bullrock," 3551. 

Bumble-bee, 1300. 

Burdock Root, 1384. 

Burn, 235, 237, 331, 332, 345, 348, 413, 415, 544, 567, 785, 799-805, 
1007, 1106, 1108-1113, 1147, 1554, 1555, 1572, 1735, 1781, 
1805, 1806, 1819, 1838-1843, 1853, 1855, 1871, 2119, 2160, 
2337, 2693, 2711, 2712, 2737, 2770, 2907, 2908, 2931, 2980, 
2992, 2993, 2994, 3037, 3078, 3522, 3641, 3686, 3699, 3792, 
3811, 3844, 3877. 

Burning, 544, 807, 808, 1221, 1557, 1558, 1559, 1829, 2036. 

Bury, 367, 468, 772, 774, 778, 779, 781, 880, 981, 1007, 1059, 1076, 
1194, 1214, 1251, 1340, 1354, 1399, 1409, 1430, 1433, 1434, 
1437, 1441, 1444, 1447, 1462, 1470, 1472, 1474, 1479, 1492, 
1518, 1523, 1524, 1527, 1532, 1533, 1539, 1676, 1703, 2176, 
2178, 3079, 3369, 3370, 3504, 3761, 3844, 3863, 3893. 

Bush, 410, 532, 1034, 1154, 1530, 2275. 

Business, 1001, 2760, 2858. 

Butter, 241, 1245, 1671, 1672, 1852, 3044, 3111, 3335-3337, 3791, 
3795-3801. 

Butter-beans, 2254, 2886. 

Butterfly, 242, 290, 1141, 2339, 2488, 3670-3675. 

Buttermilk, 1204, 2375, 2987. 

Buttons, 243, 693, 2064-2071, 2141. 

Buzzard (turkey-buzzard), 139, 591, 592, 3650-3652. 



298 



INDEX 



Cabbage, 1365, 1804, 2237, 2256, 2257, 2793, 2922. 

Cake, 241, 244, 246, 263, 693, 1258, 1837, 1846, 1853-1858, 2776. 

Calendar, 1685. 

Calf, 1635, 1660, 2277-2279, 2281, 2340, 2773, 3331, 3334. 

Camphor, 2341-2343. 

Cancer, 1114, 1115. 

Candle, 245-247, 396, 1735-1741. 

Candy, 1435, 2344, 3887. 

Canebrush, 2217, 2326. 

Cap, 248, 508, 2093, 3217, 3273. 

Car, 166, 765, 2223, 3064-3067, 3069-3071, 3073, 3074, 3121, 3126. 

3301. 

Carbon, 1301. 
Carbuncles, 1116, 3611. 

Cards, 42, 249, 250, 1628, 3229-3261 (luck). 
Cat, 144, 251-253, 478, 479, 480, 686, 762, 1117, 1183, 1332, 1333, 

1353, 1442, 1443, 1584, 1913, 1914, 1915, 2346-2351, 3228, 

3268-3317, 3384, 3780, 3806. 
Caterpillar, 2352, 3768. 
Catfish, 3187. 

Cattle, 1251, 1487, 3318, 3319, 3388. 
Caul, 12. 

Cedar, 254, 2975-2980. 
Ceiling, 207, 1386, 3755, 3756, 3841. 
Cellar, 255, 380. 
Cemetery, See Graveyard. 

Chair, 239, 256-259, 400, 1630-1642, 3231, 3233, 3234. 
Champagne, 3884. 

Change of Garments, 185, 1257, 2114-2118. 
Charcoal, 260, 1077. 
Charm, 516, 614, 910, 1018, 1030, 1113, 1430, 1520, 3122, 3798, 3804, 

3831-3833, 3834, 3837, 3853, 3855. 
Cheek, 261, 1001. 
Chest, 1290, 1420. 
Chestnut, 262, 2826. 

299 



INDEX 

Chicken, 275, 295, 612, 613, 1119, 1120, 1124, 1170, 1183, 1264, 
1290, 1334, 1342, 1370, 1423, 1449, 1451, 1454, 1455, 2353- 
2367, 2697, 2755, 2789, 2795, 2808, 2809, 2818, 3206, 3242, 3438- 
3441, 3443, 3528-3606, 3785, 3845, 3851, 3936, 3937. 

Chicken Gizzards, 1247, 1426, 1446, 2359, 2360, 3530, 3531. 

Chickenpox, 1120, 1121. 

Chiggers, 3676. 

Child, 1-104, 211, 302, 362, 688, 786, 894, 1061, 1122, 1143, 1192, 
1240, 1263, 1369, 1371, 1373, 1374, 1375, 1377, 1380, 1388, 
1389, 1391, 1551, 1769, 1916, 1996, 2137, 2700, 2701, 2842, 
3226, 3310, 3699, 3702, 3864. Also see Baby. 

Child-birth, 1-10, 1123. 

Chills, 1124, 3768. 

Chimney, 1072, 1258 (piece), 1260, 1580, 1748 (lamp), 1750, 2368, 
2369, 3553. 

Chin, 844, 845, 1672. 

Cholera, 1125. 

Christ, 357, 2178, 2838. 

Christening, 20, 3884. 

Christmas, 19, 2391, 2403, 2450, 2451, 2452, 2830-2835, 2841, 3592. 

Christmas Eve, 2836-2839. 

Church, 821, 660, 690, 2821, 3025, 3070, 3778. 

Churn, 1670, 3111, 3336, 3337, 3795, 3798-3801. 

Cigarette, 3916. 

Circles, 944, 945, 1328, 2576, 2578, 2581, 2582, 3687, 3823. 

Clock, 681, 682, 744, 1643-1648, 2168, 3139, 8480. 

Clothes, 50, 272, 327, 441, 524, 597, 667, 707, 711, 1250, 1257, 1417, 
1656, 2034, 2110, 2113, 2114, 2117, 2118, 2310, 2710, 2816, 
2881, 3005, 3061, 3360, 3476-3478, 3507, 3580, 3674, 3680, 3745, 
3815. See also Garment. 

Clouds, 1917, 2214, 2219, 2370-2376, 2455, 2456, 2462, 2463, 2471, 
2485, 2627, 2634, 3120. 

Clover, 158, 159, 266-270, 416, 661, 693, 1104, 2813, 2892-2899. 

Club feet, 1192. 

Clubs, 249. 

Coal, 1557, 1558, 1559, 2090, 3094-3110, 3708, 3912. 

Coat, 1530, 2025, 3036, 3822. 

300 



INDEX 

Cobs, 2907, 2908. 

Cobweb, 1071, 2377, 3757. 

Cock, See Rooster. 

Coffee, 263, 264, 265, 313, 549, 562, 1447, 1871-1879. 

Coffin, 265, 421, 425, 428, 478, 750, 752, 753, 1918-1920, 2977. 

Coin, 38, 39, 693, 1976, 3014, 3020, 3804. 

Colds, 1126-1137, 1150, 1200 (blister), 1201, 

Colic, 79, 1138, 1139. 

Color, 271, 279, 285, 305, 365, 372, 438, 440, 441, 483, 486, 488, 

489, 505, 507, 511, 512, 524, 634, 2339, 2930, 2966, 3111-3121, 

3505, 3670, 3672, 3758. 
Colt, 2277, 2280-2282, 2294, 2815. 
Comb, 190, 191, 370, 870-879, 1228, 1921, 2072-2079, 2208, 2727, 

2761. 

Combings, 370, 880, 881. 
Comet, 3943. 
Communion, 292. 
Companion, 906, 3042-3049. 

Conjures, 1140, 1457 (verb), 3812, 3848, 3857. 
Consumption, 1141-1148, 1151. 

Cook, 1242 (verb), 1797, 1802, 1830 (noun), 1839, 1840, 2794, 3443. 
Corn, 157, 276, 293, 294, 295, 1087, 1088, 1149 (on foot), 1152, 

1153, 1154, 1191, 1225 (meal), 1323, 1449-1455, 2241, 2258, 

2259, 2378-2382, 2438, 2900-2921, 3789. 
Cornbread, 296, 391, 2920, 2927. 
Corn-husking, 2914. 
Cornsilk, 2915, 2916, 2918. 
Cotton, 2923, 2924. 
Cow, 106, 549, 1146, 1147, 1155, 1156, 1243, 1667-1672, 2278, 2279, 

2383, 2733, 2838, 3320-3337, 3498-3500, 3694, 3695, 3720, 3722, 

3782, 3790-3804. 
Coward, 135, 939, 3386. 
Cramp, 1059, 1157-1163, 1167. 
Crap Game, 3135. 
Crawfish, 1450, 2384, 3678. 
Crazy Bone, 972. 
Cream, 3314. 

301 



INDEX 

Cream Puffs, 1906. 

Creek, 1130, 1667. 

Crick, 1164 (in neck), 1168. 

Cricket, 3679-3684. 

Crops, 2210, 2248, 2398, 2399, 2425, 2438, 2526, 2537, 2598, 2599, 
2866-3013, 3607. 

Cross, 344, 357, 625, 758, 762, 832, 924, 1003, 1032, 1100, 1189, 
1259, 1260, 1331, 1458, 1459, 1542, 1600, 1718, 1776, 1882, 
2217, 2638, 2736, 2836, 3051, 3057, 3152, 3153, 3202, 3205, 3210, 
3223, 3268, 3270-3272, 3274-3276, 3459-3465, 3489, 3490, 3625, 
3638, 3639, 3814, 3879, 3880, 3892, 3924. 

Cross-eyed, 830-834, 3181, 3468, 3473. 

Cross-roads, 1361, 1362, 1363, 1459, 1491. 

Croup, 1126, 1158, 1165, 1166. 

Crow, 131, 2385, 2387, 2909. 

Crowing, 2358, 2361-2367, 2616, 3558, 3559, 3561-3572, 3574-3578, 
3583-3593, 3595-3598. 

Cry, 314, 822, 825, 1043, 1283, 1714, 1715, 1874, 1886, 1922, 1949, 
2278, 2280, 2385, 2499, 2539, 2568, 2603-2605, 2609, 2642, 
2824, 3226, 3607, 3629. 

Cucumbers, 593, 2247, 2260, 2925-2927. 

Cud, 1156, 3329. 

Cumberland River, 3921. 

Cup, 333, 341, 545, 574, 576, 1672, 1874, 1877-1879. 

Cures, 1059-1550, 3379, 3793, 3835, 3855. 

Curl, 299, 363, 901, 1828, 1829, 2540. 

Cursing, 103, 3197, 3773-3775, 3934. 

Cut, 733, 841, 868, 892, 893, 958, 968, 1069, 1072, 1074, 1076, 1077, 
1119, 1148, 1152, 1175, 1240, 1241, 1243, 1286, 1332, 1333, 
1386 (teeth), 1390, 1393, 1402, 1406, 1407, 1416, 1423, 1450, 
1458, 1466, 1476, 1490, 1491, 1493, 1494, 1510, 1517, 1523, 
1526, 1577, 1863, 2255, 2267-2269, 2275, 2300, 2304, 2316, 2702- 
2710, 2774, 2778, 2798-2801 (hair), 2821, 2829, 3237 (cards), 
3257, 3291, 3367, 3369, 3380, 3476, 3681, 3716, 3761, 3804, 3839. 



302 



INDEX 
D 

Daddy-Long-Legs, 106, 3694, 3695. 

Daisy, 300, 2851. 

Dance, 301, 699, 1003, 2538, 2671, 2932, 3702. 

Dandelion, 86, 87, 302-304, 1460, 2865, 2928. 

Danger, 1037, 2059, 2689, 2690, 2816, 3043, 3347, 3727, 3846. 

Dark-haired, 904, 1843, 3721. 

Daughter, 99, 436, 1375, 3130, 3279. 

Day, 87, 114, 281, 420, 422, 425, 426, 427, 428, 429, 441, 473, 
475, 503, 529, 537, 575, 625-627, 644, 647, 650, 651-653, 655, 
657, 698, 701, 762, 781, 834, 930, 1038, 1044, 1146, 1148, 1203, 
1208, 1212, 1231, 1296, 1369, 1379, 1433, 1434, 1437, 1493, 
1504, 1631, 1677, 1800, 1858, 1860, 1861, 1948, 2023, 2025, 
2029, 2030, 2085, 2183, 2234, 2264, 2334, 2338, 2339, 2357, 
2361, 2371, 2383, 2385, 2388-2390, 2392, 2393, 2400, 2401, 
2403, 2405, 2406, 2408, 2410, 2412, 2418, 2424, 2430, 2431, 
2435, 2439, 2440, 2442, 2445, 2454, 2457, 2461, 2462, 2465, 
2477, 2479, 2485, 2486, 2488, 2515, 2521, 2538, 2557, 2567, 
2577-2581, 2592, 2596, 2615, 2616, 2627, 2629, 2647, 2648, 2652- 
2654, 2657, 2658, 2678, 2681, 2696, 2699, 2700-2865, 2866, 2867, 
2871, 2905, 3006, 3025, 3039, 3060, 3099, 3137, 3172, 3181, 
3200, 3218, 3219, 3222, 3301, 3444, 3462, 3473, 3543, 3558, 
3564, 3578, 3607, 3689, 3715, 3774, 3797, 3803, 3833, 3947. 

Days and Seasons, 2700-2865. 

Dealing (cards), 3236, 3237, 3244, 3250, 3256-3259. 

Death, 77, 80, 164, 265, 289, 305, 313, 316, 365, 412, 421, 425, 
428, 478, 524, 636, 676, 685, 706, 708-782, 811, 874-876, 878, 
882, 889, 958, 973, 980, 998, 1028, 1040, 1047-1050, 1059, 1067. 
1152, 1180, 1218, 1328, 1352, 1461, 1471, 1545, 1565, 1568, 
1572, 1574-1577, 1581, 1612, 1622, 1635, 1640, 1643-1647, 1649, 
1651, 1652, 1658-1660, 1666, 1681, 1682, 1703, 1704, 1729, 1735, 
1738, 1743, 1747, 1750, 1764, 1824, 1877, 1888, 1904, 1905, 
1912, 1918-1921, 1927, 1928, 1953, 1956, 1964, 1966, 1967, 
1971, 1981, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2005, 2013, 2015, 2016, 
2020, 2022, 2024, 2078, 2103, 2119, 2120, 2136, 2165, 2167- 
2169, 2171, 2172, 2175, 2184, 2188, 2189, 2191, 2193, 2194, 

303 



INDEX 

2196, 2216, 2249, 2268, 2273, 2280, 2491, 2612, 2699, 2712, 
2724, 2779, 2812, 2818, 2823, 2854, 2870, 2872, 2878, 2886", 
2910, 2911, 2915, 2916, 2955, 2956, 2968, 2976-2979, 2988, 
2990, 2991, 2993, 3086, 3073, 3097, 3099, 3100, 3113, 3138-3142. 
3148, 3226, 3228, 3229, 3243, 3264, 3282, 3306, 3307, 3309, 
3310, 3316, 3319, 3320, 3322-3327, 3331, 3340, 3342-3352, 3355, 
3357, 3360, 3390, 3396, 3403, 3418, 3455, 3456, 3458, 3467 ; 
3475, 3477, 3480, 3497, 3512, 3518-3521, 3567, 3568, 3588. 
3597-3603, 3606, 3608, 3609, 3612, 3613, 3617, 3618, 3620, 
3630, 3632, 3633, 3651, 3653, 3656, 3657, 3665, 3667, 3669, 
3692, 3707-3710, 3760, 3762, 3769, 3771, 3772, 3865, 3869, 
3870, 3872, 3873, 3882, 3895, 3896, 3906. 

December, 617, 2392, 2449, 2533, 2842, 2847, 2851, 2852. 

Deer, 1173, 3784. 

Derby, 3414. 

Devil, 802, 872, 930, 931, 1003, 1035, 1036, 1037, 1461, 1711, 1794, 
1816, 1838, 2187, 2694, 2703, 2762, 3002, 3287, 3426, 3773, 
3774, 3776, 3946. 

Dew, 1205, 1207, 1208, 1212, 2492, 2493-2495, 2810, 2817. 

Dewberry, 1115. 

Dew-claws, 3378. 

Diamonds, 249, 508, 509, 1229, 2852. 

Diarrhoea, 1169. 

Dice, 3260. 

Dimple, 844, 845. 

Diphtheria, 1170. 

Dish, 227, 228, 1779, 1780, 1781, 1831, 2012, 3705. 

Dish Cloth, 197, 306, 1156, 1354, 1399, 1462, 1463, 1527, 1782- 
1792, 1899. 

Dish Water, 307, 1122, 1190, 1794. 

Divinations concerning Love, 200-615. 

Divining Rod, 3954. 

Doctor, see Physician. 

Dog, 273, 308, 858, 1117, 1142, 1171, 1172, 1173, 1201, 1303, 
1341, 1348, 1464, 2196, 2439 (days), 2496, 2497, 2824, 2825 
(days), 3103, 3177, 3204, 3297, 3338-3386, 3480, 3784, 3870, 
3871. 

304 



INDEX 

Dog-eater, 3871. 

Dogwood, 1115, 1398, 2433, 2454, 2901, 2981-2988, 3185. 

Dogwood Winter, 2433, 2454. 

Domestic Life, 1574-1888. 

Doodle-bug, 3685, 3686. 

Door, 149, 309, 436, 437, 462, 463, 478, 703, 728, 754, 1271, 1333, 
1577, 1592, 1604, 1605, 1609, 1616, 1617, 1622, 1653, 1654, 
1659, 1666, 1680, 1689, 1690, 1692-1696, 1704, 2842, 3804, 
3324, 3355, 3529, 3558-3560, 3563, 3564, 3567, 3568, 3571, 
3572, 3576, 3581, 3597, 3620, 3643, 3742, 8794, 3824, 3828, 
3837, 3862, 3902, 3903. 

Doorstep, 563, 896, 1095, 3367, 3368, 3369, 3370, 3438, 3785. 

Doorway, 1619, 1691, 3345, 3738, 3878. 

Dragon-fly, 3727-3729. 

Dream, 255, 312-326, 433, 434, 439, 518, 519, 523, 524, 536, 552, 
553, 555, 557, 594, 602, 603, 637, 736, 872, 1710, 1794, 1822, 
1823, 1889-2022, 2149, 2232, 2501, 2502, 3080, 3379-3383, 3703. 

Dress, 47, 48, 49, 327-329, 368, 476, 477, 534, 547, 642, 658, 671. 
672, 1566, 1956, 2023-2162, 2220, 2716, 2928, 2930, 3622, 3670, 
3672, 3744, 3770. 

Drinking, 518, 599, 1103, 1133, 1146, 1147, 1148, 1198, 1219, 1236, 
1240, 1247, 1262, 1264, 1265, 1312, 1323, 1337, 1376, 1378, 
1867, 1868, 1874, 1875, 1877, 2198, 2386, 2845, 3215, 3400, 
3854. 

Drunkard, 327, 553. 

Duck, 330, 2503, 2504, 2698, 3614. 

E 
Ear, 21, 331, 332, 402, 799, 800-817, 1013, 1014, 1090, 1175-1179. 

1185, 1200, 1237, 2351, 2694, 2902, 2914, 2918, 3069, 3405, 

3474. 

Earache, 1175-1179. 
Ear-rings, 1068, 1185. 
East, 419, 779, 1115, 1197, 1366, 1702, 2488, 2562, 2614, 2675, 

2678, 2684, 2686, 2687, 2696, 3184. 
Easter, 2425-2429, 2805-2807, 2832. 
Eat, 465, 469, 497, 540, 558, 563, 1046, 1097, 1142, 1258, 1312, 

305 



INDEX 

1435, 1805, 1821, 1822, 1823, 1825, 1826-1829, 1863, 1864, 

1865, 1931, 2012, 2260, 2502, 2567, 2741, 2793, 2888-2891, 2912, 

2920, 2948, 2951, 3089, 3478, 3507, 3528-3530, 3628, 3680, 

3690, 3794, 3870, 3936. 
Eclipse, 2658. 
Eel, 1304 (skin), 3687. 
Egg, 233, 333, 334, 1139, 1264, 1386, 1465, 1799, 1932-1938, 2413, 

2698, 2717, 2734, 2763, 2818, 3525, 3536-3541, 3545, 3785. 
Egg-shell, 1385, 1555, 1853-1855, 3541, 3546-3549, 3811. 
Eight, 1519, 2361, 2857, 2858, 3133, 3326. 
Eighteen, 182, 485, 2679. 
Elbow, 970, 971. 

Elder, 1169, 1305, 1427, 1671, 2840. 
Eleven, 459, 484, 1042, 2415, 2474, 2475, 3135, 3806. 
Ember Day, 2821-2823. 
Enemy, 14, 88, 265, 895, 966, 986, 1934, 1987, 2006, 2007, 2176, 

2177, 2178, 2820, 3022, 3712, 3713, 3752. 
Epilepsy, 1181, 1182. 
Erysipelas, 1183, 1184. 
Evil Eye, 842, 843. 
Eyes, 110, 115, 208, 253, 335, 336, 440, 483, 524, 732, 818-829, 842, 

843, 909, 1134, 1185, 1186-1188, 1355, 1358, 1361, 1497, 1939, 

3108, 3109, 3200, 3399, 3809, 3931. 
Eyebrows, 835-841. 
Eyelash, 175, 176, 337, 338, 841. 
Ezekiel, XVI Chapter, 6th verse 1078, 1096. 



Face, 209, 224, 260, 296, 420, 679, 779, 783-785, 1009, 1010, 1180, 
1203, 1204, 1205, 1207, 1208, 1209, 1369, 1380, 1821, 2178, 
2193, 2201, 2351, 2700, 2769, 2817, 3303-3305, 3314, 3356, 
3693, 3733, 3738, 3827. 

Fairies, 227, 357, 2932. 

Family, 98, 105, 351, 452, 551, 607, 669, 686, 709, 713, 714, 
725, 727, 728, 746-748, 755, 760, 762, 775, 776, 787, 811, 973, 
1048, 1070, 1424, 1555, 1562, 1573-1577, 1581, 1622, 1640, 1644- 

306 



INDEX 

1647, 1649, 1659, 1666, 1729, 1743, 1750, 1770, 1772, 1824, 
1849, 1912, 1918, 1972, 1997, 2013, 2078, 2167, 2169, 2175, 
2222, 2792, 2812, 2870, 2872, 2910, 2911, 2956, 2978, 2979, 
2988, 2991, 3280, 3288, 3307, 3319, 3320, 3326, 3331, 3340, 
3355, 3360, 3418, 3467, 3497, 3519, 3520, 3559, 3560, 3571, 
3572, 3588, 3593, 3597, 3608, 3621, 3633, 3764, 3832, 3837, 
3867, 3890. 

Father, 99, 1112, 1369, 1507, 2091, 3613. 

Feather, 340, 659, 897, 898, 1120, 1717-1719, 2295, 2354, 2355, 3526, 
3594, 3601-3603, 3630, 3851. 

Feather Bed, 2691, 2735. 

February, 2392, 2408-2416, 2847, 2851, 2852, 2945, 2958, 2959. 

Feet, 50, 778, 996, 997, 1003, 1006, 1127, 1157, 1163, 1190, 1191, 
1193-1197, 1346, 1404, 1611, 1613-1615, 2290, 2304, 2505, 2506, 
2726, 3411, 3412, 3488, 3528, 3711, 3771, 3774, 3921. 

Fever, 848, 1155, 1198, 1199, 1200 (blister), 1201, 1423-1425, 2953, 
3765-3767 (worm). 

Fifteen, 1241, 2399, 2400, 2430, 2445, 2828, 2965. 

Fifty, 3419, 3448. 

Filipino, 160. 

Filly, 3414. 

Finger, 147, 181, 192, 193, 224, 234, 338, 342, 343, 344, 363, 364, 
802, 831, 832, 843, 936-954, 956, 961, 966, 1059, 1089, 1105, 
1189, 1259, 1298, 1300, 1328, 1329, 1331, 1483, 1515, 1534, 
1542, 1682, 2035, 2061, 2244, 2299, 2952, 3009, 3265, 3274, 
3363, 3422, 3648, 3819, 3879, 3880, 3914, 3924. 

Finger-nails, 51-54, 443-449, 957-968, 1406, 1407, 1466, 2298, 2299, 
2702-2710, 2778. 

Finger Prints, 944, 945. 

Fire, 334, 345-350, 393, 563, 881, 882, 1073, 1108, 1110, 1111-1113, 
1184, 1374, 1540, 1550-1573, 1618, 1705, 1805, 1806, 1807, 
1838, 1941-1944, 2121, 2226, 2324, 2346-2348, 2507-2510, 2908, 
3110, 3134, 3302, 3346, 3438, 3552, 3556, 3557, 3591, 3686, 
3690, 3699, 3793, 3807, 3858, 3926. 

Fire-fly, 3688-3690. 

Fire-place, 1557, 1558, 1559, 1560, 1570, 2833, 3440, 3837. 

Fish, 352, 417, 1390, 1467, 1676, 1945, 2162, 2290-2292, 2323, 2511, 

307 



INDEX 

2549, 2719, 2767, 3696, 3729. 
Fishing, 352, 4-17, 3184-3205, 3691, 3729. 
Fishing-bait, 853, 1296, 3188, 3189, 3199, 3691. 
Five, 209, 409, 600, 1435, 1677, 1678, 1877, 2478, 2658, 2897, 2898, 

3040, 3212. 
Flint, 3553. 
Flirt, 1867. 

Flower, 291, 354, 355, 356, 1946, 2243, 2244, 2261, 2513, 2851, 2856, 
Fly (noun), 2512, 2834, 2850, 3002, 3692, 3693. 
Flying, 1947, 1948, 2355, 2503, 2504, 2535, 2536, 2619, 2620, 2646, 

3493, 3514, 3515, 3516, 3517, 3518, 3520, 3523, 3527, 3608. 

3615, 3632, 3635-3637, 3643, 3650, 3651, 3660, 3663, 3693, 

3699, 3704, 3764. 

Fog, 2406, 2447, 2448, 2453, 2514-2518. 
Fool, 795, 887, 1774, 1999, 3944, 3953. 
Foot, 92, 171, 191, 260, 361, 752, 981-988, 999-1001, 1060, 1128, 

1149, 1166, 1189, 1244, 1252, 1263, 1270-1274, 1423, 1429. 

1481, 1627, 1634, 1903, 2075, 2129, 2133, 2743, 2829, 3034, 

3411, 3412, 3469-3473 (rabbits), 3529, 3821, 3845, 3861, 3918. 
Football, 3182. 

Forehead, 205, 786, 839, 910, 1201, 1226. 

Fork, 358-360, 1764, 1766, 1767, 1768, 1774, 1776, 1872, 3791. 
Fortunes, see Divination concerning Love. 
Forty, 284, 2234, 2416, 2424, 2439, 2442, 2445, 2681, 2825. 
Forty-eight, 2668, 2681. 
Four, 382, 383, 924, 951, 952, 1146, 1227, 1624, 2389, 2442, 2443 ; 

2771, 2826, 2827, 2925, 3009, 3258, 3259, 3311, 3412, 3845. 
Four-leaved Clover, 661, 693, 2813, 2894-2896. 
Fourteenth of February, 2859, 2945, 2958. 
Freckles, 1203-1212. 
Freight-train, 165, 3074. 
Friday, 536, 625, 1035, 1139, 1406, 1810, 1893, 1894, 2257, 2465- 

2472, 2700, 2702, 2703, 2707, 2753, 2754, 2762-2772, 2805, 

3472, 3473. 

Frog, 1802, 2489, 2520, 2521. 
Frost, 1111, 1112, 2250, 2257, 2339, 2398, 2399, 2406, 2407, 2410- 

2412, 2421, 2422, 2522-2527, 2557, 2587, 2688, 2885. 

308 



INDEX 

Frostbite, 1193-1197, 2506, 3213. 

Fruit, 594, 1950, 1951, 1952, 2237, 2262, 2264, 2315, 2325, 2399, 

2421, 2513, 2526, 2572, 2835, 2970-2972. 
Funeral, 80, 289, 524, 708, 754, 757-764, 777, 782, 1059, 1764, 1953, 

2168, 2916, 3348, 3606, 3692. 
Fur, 678, 1195, 2327, 3296. 
Furniture, 75, 1626-1651. 

G 

Garment, 185, 579, 1355, 1565, 2043, 2071, 2103-2105, 2107, 2111, 
2112, 2115, 2116, 2119, 2774, 3476, 3507. See also Clothes. 

Garter, 607, 2130, 2131. 

Ghost, 3289, 3405, 3493, 3859-3882. 

Gift, 3888, 3904. 

Ginseng, 1249. 

Glass, 458, 504, 756, 1695, 1867, 1869, 1870, 2175, 2221, 2489, 3334, 
3803. 

Goat, 1251, 3216, 3387-3389. 

God, 506, 3773-3775, 3929, 3934. 

Goitre, 1214-1218. 

Gold, 117, 333, 504, 691, 859, 861, 942, 1216, 1355, 1468, 2695, 
3416, 3526, 3916. 

Good Luck, 20, 30, 97, 99, 100, 115, 357, 386, 619, 621, 626, 630, 
634, 641, 646, 652, 653, 655, 656, 661-666, 670, 678, 681, 686- 
688, 695-697, 771, 823, 863, 864, 867, 892, 988, 1000, 1001, 
1021, 1032, 1045, 1578, 1580, 1582, 1583, 1585, 1590, 1592, 
1602, 1608, 1636, 1676, 1730, 1751, 1753, 1845, 1907, 1916, 
1929, 1937, 1945, 1947, 1948, 1950, 1951, 1955, 1957, 1960, 
1962, 1963, 1975, 1977-1979, 2010, 2011, 2018, 2025, 2026, 
2037, 2040, 2054, 2060, 2063, 2064, 2070, 2074, 2075, 2080, 
2087, 2093, 2113, 2114, 2116, 2118, 2128, 2130, 2131, 2159, 
2203, 2207, 2213, 2219, 2224, 2233, 2298, 2704, 2709, 2713, 
2714, 2716, 2730, 2745, 2749, 2755, 2758-2760, 2764, 2765, 
2784-2786, 2796, 2805, 2830, 2853, 2856, 2857, 2858, 2861. 
2882, 2887, 2894, 2897, 2898, 2934, 2935, 2938-2940, 2945, 2970, 
2975, 3002, 3013, 3014, 3017-3021, 3023, 3024, 3028, 3038, 
3039, 3041, 3048, 3064-3067, 3078, 3079, 3096, 3107, 3108, 

309 



INDEX 

3116, 3121, 3122, 3129, 3130, 3133-3135, 3137, 3162, 3172, 
3173, 3176, 3177, 3188, 3207, 3208, 3216, 3218, 3221, 3225, 
3229, 3231, 3233, 3235, 3236, 3238-3240, 3242-3244, 3246- 
3249, 3258, 3259, 3270, 3276, 3290, 3297, 3299, 3317, 3318, 
3359, 3397, 3401, 3409, 3417, 3427-3433, 3437, 3442, 3450, 
3451, 3453, 3463, 3466, 3468-3472, 3474, 3486, 3489, 3494, 
3506, 3532, 3616, 3642, 3659, 3664, 3675, 3682, 3684, 3695, 
3706, 3724, 3730, 3732, 3745, 3747, 3748, 3753, 3754, 3756, 
3764, 3857, 3893, 3901, 3912-3916, 3918, 3948, 3950, 3952, 
3953. 

Good Friday, 2423, 2424, 2804, 2883, 2929, 2961. 

Goose, 361, 1469, 2295, 2413 (egg), 2530-2536, 2717, 3615, 3616. 

Goose-grease, 1127, 1350. 

Grandparent, 769, 894, 3704. 

Grapes, 1220, 1470, 2441, 2443, 2827, 2931. 

Grasshopper, 2538, 3697. 

Grave, 718, 769, 744-777, 1471, 1658, 2136, 2968, 2977, 2978, 2990, 
3350, 3351, 3457, 3475, 3865. 

Gravel, 115, 1262 (kidneys), 1357, 1472, 1473, 3918. 

Graveyard, 378, 766, 767, 768, 771, 772, 773, 774, 1442, 1461, 2450. 
2451, 2831, 3290, 3468, 3469, 3471, 3472, 3473, 3821. 

Graveyard Rabbit, 3468-3473. 

Gray, 629, 639, 905, 1962, 1965, 2479, 2482-2484, 3223, 3421, 3451- 
3453, 3456, 3458, 3605. 

Grease, 1122, 1273, 1313, 1341, 1479, 2284, 2285, 3483. 

Green, 13, 629, 631, 633, 1374, 1484, 1539, 2450, 2831, 2841, 3113, 
3676. 

Ground-hog, 1387, 2414, 2415, 3390. 

Ground-squirrel, 3491, 3492. 

Gun, 1954, 3208, 3212-3214, 3652, 3782. 

Gunpowder, 1123, 3372. 

Gypsy, 3912. 

H 

Hair, 23, 24, 25, 58, 59, 177, 260, 305, 811, 362-370, 387, 
438, 440, 468, 486, 488, 489, 490, 504, 513, 514, 524, 741, 
834, 870-914, 916, 925, 1061, 1132, 1143, 1171, 1177, 1220, 

310 



INDEX 

1222, 1227, 1228, 1231, 1233, 1284, 1286, 1349, 1366, 1371.. 
1393 (rabbit), 1464 (dog), 1719, 1828, 1829, 2047, 2050, 2074, 
2076, 2208, 2300-2305, 2540, 2727, 2761, 2798-2801, 2811, 3368- 
3370, 3380, 3464, 3482, 3510-3513, 3594, 3782, 3793, 3824, 
3844, 3876. 

Hairpin, 187-189, 371-375, 2044-2050, 2156. 

Hallowe'en, 376-380. 

Hand, 38, 39, 43, 44, 47, 48, 111, 112, 152, 175, 176, 179, 
217, 221, 260, 269, 287, 292, 382, 383, 384, 499, 554, 556, 576, 
588, 681, 682, 700, 787, 842, 846, 890, 920-935, 937, 938, 955, 
956, 1023, 1067, 1076, 1180, 1218, 1226, 1263, 1298, 1404, 1482, 
1486, 1506, 1529, 1537, 1540, 1541, 1545, 1696, 1698, 1748, 
1805, 1834, 1882, 1906, 2062, 2218, 2230, 2231, 2974, 3045, 
3156, 3174, 3192, 3247, 3264, 3409, 3417, 3539, 3599, 3600, 
3631, 3774, 3783, 3784, 3857, 3870, 3887. 

Handkerchief, 381, 429, 609, 664, 1276, 2053, 2425, 3013, 3235, 
3773. 

Happy Hunting Ground, 3868. 

Hat, 55, 56, 57, 369, 386, 508, 1219, 2093-2098, 2484, 2921, 2922, 
3172, 3211, 3381, 3770, 3820. 

Hate, 408, 492, 617. 

Haunted, 738, 741, 3262, 3286, 3366, 3404, 3504, 3859-3882 (houses). 

Hawk, 385, 3438-3441, 3443, 3541, 3546, 3551-3557. 

Hawthorn, 2810, 2851. 

Hay, 161, 162, 2850. 

Hay-wagon, 2933, 2935, 3172. 

Hazel Twigs, 5. 

Head, 49, 50, 55, 56, 57, 150, 158, 340, 364, 366, 367, 387, 4 
523, 524, 536, 548, 787, 814, 891, 897, 900, 915, 1061, 1081 ? 
1096, 1119, 1143, 1144, 1148, 1175, 1184, 1228, 1230, 1277, 
1281, 1284, 1365, 1393, 1366, 1404, 1408, 1701-1705, 1724, 
1969, 2027, 2033, 2050, 2095, 2097, 2151, 2152, 2178, 2 
2285, 2291, 2358, 2483, 2484, 2543, 2544, 2889, 3146, 3 02, 
3346, 3352, 3355, 3381, 3405, 3464, 3507, 3569, 3571, S 
3600, 3601, 3661, 3669, 3672, 3696, 3702, 3703, 3735, 3736, 
3746, 3761, 3805, 3818, 3826, 3936, 3942. 

Headache, 1031, 1223-1233, 2132, 2164, 2798, 3511. 

311 



INDEX 

Hearth, 1679, 3838. 

Hearts, 249, 265, 267, 700, 871, 920, 979, 1621, 2240, 2255, 2260, 

2272, 2280, 2293, 2296, 3532, 3833. 
Heaven, 780, 781, 782, 1955, 3383. 
Heel, 141, 311, 365, 387-390, 488, 661, 662, 1362, 1377, 2232, 3022, 

3847. 

Hell, 731, 1805, 1806, 1838, 2324, 2722, 2762. 
Hemorrhages, 1070-1086. 
Hemp, 1149, 1181. 
Hen, see Chickens. 
Herb Angelica, 1174. 
Hiccough, 1234-1239, 3919, 3920. 
Hives, 1240-1242. 

Hoe, 1658-1661, 1663, 1665, 2735, 2877, 2878, 3683. 
Hog, 317, 392, 1090, 1164, 1213, 1278, 1388, 1401, 1896, 1959, 

2281-2288, 2541-2547, 2912, 3391-3400. 
Hollow Horn, 1243, 3330. 
Holly, 393, 2851. 
Hollyhocks, 2936. 
Holy Ghost, 1112, 1507. 
Honey-Bee, 1066, 3663-3665. 
Honeysuckle, 2851. 
Hoodoo 3836, 3840-3850. 
Hops, 1338, 1417. 
Hornet, 2550, 2551. 
Horse, 145-147, 151, 279-288, 318, 403, 427, 638-640, 760, 761, 

1107, 1221, 1244, 1274, 1402, 1403, 1673, 1960-1966, 2277, 

2294, 2548, 2549, 2800, 2984, 2993, 3223, 3387-3389, 3401- 

3427, 3450, 3471, 3782, 3786-3789, 3795, 3819. 
Horse-chestnut, 1224, 1288, 1299, 2887, 2888, 2889. 
Horsehair, 503, 1475, 3444. 
Horse-racing, 321 5-3224. 
Horseshoe, 148-150, 394, 395, 665, 1308, 3406, 3407, 3428-3443, 

3556, 3796, 3797. 
Hotel, 3075, 3076. 

Household Superstitions, 1574-1888, 2168, 3618, 3632. 
Human Vitality, 3922, 3923. 

312 



INDEX 

Humidity, 2525, 2552-2555. 

Humpback, 340, 3221. 

Human Body, 783-1025. 

Hundred, 277, 278, 280-282, 285, 286, 288, 512, 2063, 2882, 2917, 
3088, 3147-3151, 3410, 3416-3419, 3446-3448, 3452, 3648. 

Hunting, 1673, 3206-3215, 3374. 

Husband, 228, 231, 234, 243, 245, 258, 260, 266, 277, 285, 286, 296, 
305, 308, 312, 327, 840, 346, 347, 353, 359, 365, 372, 374, 378, 
379, 396, 419, 421, 423, 427, 429, 430, 432, 437, 441, 471, 476, 
486, 490, 505, 507, 508, 514, 519, 523, 524, 553, 554, 555, 
557, 563, 564, 567, 594, 608, 621, 636, 697, 703, 904, 1675, 
1839, 2099. See also Marriage. 

Hydrophobia, 1172, 1173, 3348, 3378. 

I 

Illness, 1117, 1122, 2000, 3855, 3856, 3900. 

Image, 516, 676, 2162-2195. 

Incantation, 96, 1114, 1328. 

Increase in the Family, 1770, 1849, 1972, 3571. 

Indian, 2575, 3553, 3868. 

Indigestion, 1246-1250, 1846, 3329. 

Initial, 216, 234, 258, 295, 423, 424, 450, 476, 500, 501, 532, 609, 

3026, 3089, 3615. 
Insect, 397, 898, 1351, 1379, 2240, 2260, 2556, 2924, 2927, 2950, 

3005, 3660-3772. 
Intestines, 1344, 1446. 

Irish Potato, 1124, 1242, 1314, 1418, 2239, 2241, 2952. 
Iron, 1254, 1675, 2046, 2725, 3556, 3958. 
Itch, 335, 584, 788, 789-797, 806, 809, 810, 818-823, 849-852, 900, 918, 

919, 932-935, 981-984, 1060, 1255-1257, 2382, 2506, 2626, 8174. 

J 

Jack-o'-Lantern, 3822, 8949. 

January, 617, 2390, 2392, 2405-2407, 2593, 2791, 2847, 2851, 285S. 

Jaundice, 1258. 

Jaw, 1259, 3506 (bone), 3507. 

Jaw-tooth^ 8.64, 1401, 1994. 

813 



INDEX 

Jealousy, 291, 629, 840, 1983, 2847. 

Jews, 3936, 3937. 

Jewelry, 2060, 3240. 

Jimson Weed, 828, 1347. 

"Job's Tears/' 1217, 1389. 

"Job's Trouble," 1728. 

Journey, 966, 1922, 2730, 2731, 2754, 3034-3077, 3361, 3458. See 

also Traveler. 
Judas Iscariot, 2954. 
Judgment Day, 1967, 2722. 
July, 617, 2434, 2440-2445, 2826, 2847, 2850, 2851, 2852, 2866, 

2925, 2926, 2998, 2999, 3505. 
June, 617, 619, 621-623, 2269, 2434-3438, 2533, 2818-2820, 2847; 

2850, 2851, 2852, 3544. 

K 

Katydid, 2557, 2824. 

Kentucky Cardinal, 3642, 3643. 

Kentucky Derby, 3414. 

Kill, 722, 723, 730, 1084, 1170, 1172, 1193, 1195, 1323, 1334, 1342, 
1343, 1442, 1443, 1720, 1927, 2007, 2257, 2262, 2265, 2269, 
2271, 2284-2288 (hogs), 2293, 2312, 2421, 2533, 2545, 2546, 
2639, 2640 (snake), 2647, 2648 (spider), 2660, 2697, 2822, 
2834 (fly), 3101, 3103, 3213, 3267, 3285-3287, 3289, 3290, 
3338, 3365, 3366, 3396 (hogs), 3399, 3445, 3466, 3469, 3473, 
3481, 3495-3499, 3501, 3508, 3593, 3600, 3611, 3634, 3547, 
3652, 3654, 3658, 3662, 3679-3681, 3692, 3694, 3695, 3698, 
3700, 3707, 3712, 3715, 3622, 3728, 3731-3734, 3740, 3750, 
3752, 3762, 3767, 3782, 3796, 3831, 3833, 3854, 3865, 3881, 3937. 

Kiss, 15, 134, 319, 323, 399-403, 474, 492, 493, 499, 585, 696, 697, 
795, 848, 849, 850, 851, 887, 970, 990, 1037, 1038, 1039, 1201, 
1253, 1477, 1788, 1830, 2030, 2220, 2768, 2893, 3063, 3246, 
3258, 3259. 

Kitchen, 173, 570, 1585, 3566, 3614. 

Knee, 1549, 2281, 2839. 

Knife, 120, 358, 404, 405, 1074, 1075, 1093, 1095, 1414, 1493, 1751, 
1757-1760, 1763, 1765, 1775, 1776, 1872, 1873, 3133. 

314 



INDEX 

Knock, 503, 548, 1129, 1674, 1693, 2174, 2973, 3705, 3867 (spirits), 

3869, 3900 (on wood), 3942. 
Knot, 254, 381, 577, 579, 595, 1198 (pine), 527, 1528, 1540, 1681 

(thread), 3622, 3954. 

L 

Ladder, 406. 

Lady Bug, 3698, 3699. 

Lamb, 2419, 2420, 3488. 

Lamp, 1742-1750, 2558, 3808. 

Lard, 1242, 1244, 1256, 2286, 2288, 3483. 

Lawyer, 3132. 

Lead, 1082, 1083, 1103, 1310. 

Leather, 969, 1161, 1221, 2142. 

Left, 329, 332, 395, 441, 513, 536, 662, 790, 800, 801, 804, 807, 
822, 823, 918, 927, 928, 929, 937, 938, 981, 982, 985, 986, 
987, 999, 1022, 1025, 1030, 1089, 1142, 1149, 1263, 1277, 1297, 
1411, 1463, 1491, 1505, 1812, 2126, 2130-2133, 2144, 2207, 
2212, 2232, 2368, 2989, 3013, 3056, 3086, 3096, 3247, 3271, 
3272, 3426, 3431, 3461-3463, 3465, 3468, 3469, 3471-3473, 3492, 
3507, 3539, 3624, 3765, 3880. 

Left-hand, 927-931, 2757. 

Leg, 1024, 1025, 1142, 1159, 1167, 1189, 1402, 1549, 1631, 1632, 
2278, 2281, 2282, 2285, 2319, 3239, 3468, 3708, 3839. 

Lemons, 218, 1478. 

Lend, see Borrowing. 

Lesson, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 3491-3492. 

Letter, 258, 265, 384, 408, 423, 456, 476, 500, 532, 689, 818, 898, 
916, 934, 1035, 1039, 1054, 1400, 1655, 1739, 1860-1864, 1866, 
1965, 1968, 2014, 2027, 2028, 2044, 2065, 2067, 2068, 2127, 
2703, 2746, 2892, 3078-3093, 3637, 3640, 3663, 3733-3737, 3751, 
3757. 

Lie (noun), 854, 855, 967, 1026, 1027, 1358, 1359, 1749, 2106, 3919, 
3920. 

Lightning, 1412, 1572-1573, 1669, 1799, 2559-2564, 2691-2693, 2985, 
3313, 3408. 

Lilac, 409. 

315 



INDEX 

Lip, 849-852, 1012, 1085, 1091. 

Liver, 1263, 1344, 2543, 2544. 

Lizard, 763, 3700, 3758. 

Locker, 3171, 3176. 

Locust, 2270, 2565, 2566, 2900, 2906, 2985, 2986, 3701. 

Log, 320, 1560, 1561, 2983, 3079, 3378, 3929. 

Lost Articles, 105-120. 

Louse, 82, 1969, 3702, 3703. 

Lover, 214, 267, 832, 336, 337, 348, 352, 371, 381, 415, 420, 424, 
438, 440, 442, 457, 509, 542, 582, 584, 585, 589, 595, 597, 
888, 994, 995, 1239, 3853, 3958. See also Sweetheart and Hus- 
band. 

Luck, see Bad Luck and Good Luck. 

Lye, 1147, 1158, 1258, 2321. 

M 

Mackerel Sky, 2628, 2729. 

Mad Dog, 1178, 3348, 3377, 8878, 3379. 

Mad-stone, 1173. 

March, 617, 618, 1187, 2249, 2267, 2808, 2309, 2399, 2408, 2417- 
2422, 2798-2803, 2847, 2851, 2852. 

Mare, 638, 639, 640, 2630. 

Marriage, 616-707, 903, 904, 927, 938, 951, 1004, 1856, 1614, 1615, 
1675, 1760, 1764, 1838, 1839, 2084, 2099, 2152, 2195, 2694, 
2703, 2759, 2846, 2847, 2896, 2915, 3027, 8279, 8280, 3305, 
3524. Prospective Marriage 200-615. See also, Husband and 
Wife. 

Mascot, 3177. 

Mast, 2487, 2452. 

Match, 418-415, 617, 1288, 3037, 8127, 3876. 

May, 416-420, 422-429, 617, 620, 1206, 1207, 1208, 1245, 2268, 
2269, 2406, 2409-2412, 2422, 2431, 2432, 2808-2817, 2847, 
2850, 2851, 2852, 2867, 2905, 2923, 8004-8008, 3835. 

Meadow-lark, 282. 

Measles, 923, 1265. 

Meat, 705, 1347, 1479, 1570, 1821-1824, 2287, 2289, 3267, 8371, 
3872, 3394, 8395, 3604. 

316 



INDEX 

Melon, 1209, 2247, 2920 (musk), 3003-3009 (water melon). 
Menstruating, 975, 1264. 
Meteor, 128, 129. 

Mice, 886, 2568, 3104, 3477, 3478, 3484. 

Midnight, 379, 396, 608, 768, 1442, 1461, 1519, 1646, 2116, 2123, 
2362, 2363, 2489, 2715, 2838, 2840, 2842, 2843, 3290, 3307^ 
3338, 3340, 3341, 3469, 3471, 3473, 3591, 3621, 3865, 3922. 
Milkweed, 1266, 1480, 3333. 
Mines, 3094-3110. 

Minister, 42, 321, 1510, 3132, 3778. 
Mirror, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 379, 380, 418, 419, 420, 421, 

430, 431-434, 674-677, 743, 879, 2179-2195, 3309, 3357. 
Miscellaneous Superstitions, 3883-3954. 
Misfortune, 702, 1717, 1718, 2133, 2139, 3905. 
Mistletoe, 435-437, 2571. 
Mocking Bird, 386. 

Mole (an animal), 1105, 1252, 1391, 1404, 1405, 2951, 3685. 
Mole (flesh mark), 1008-1025, 1266, 1267. 

Monday, 447, 625, 1035, 1036, 1037, 2417, 2457, 2458, 2460-2462, 
2469, 2700, 2702-2705, 2709, 2713, 2718, 2724, 2738-2755, 2771. 
Money, 38-44, 69, 118, 123, 129, 322, 653, 662, 732, 797, 820, 918, 
941, 944, 945, 1013, 1015, 1017, 1024, 1392, 1511, 1555, 1675, 
1875, 1876, 1914, 1932, 1973-1978, 2069, 2076, 2147, 2207, 
2219, 2227, 2228, 2229, 2758, 2771, 2793, 2794, 3014-3033, 3037, 
3040, 3088, 3220, 3261, 3410, 3416, 3420, 3446-3449, 3696, 
3703, 3746, 3749, 3801, 3818. See, also, Wealth. 
Moon, 121-125, 183, 438, 439-441, 656, 1193, 1367, 1413, 1443, 
1481-1483, 1979-1981, 2196-2326, 2398, 2472, 2497, 2573-2594, 
2655, 2711, 3413, 3468, 3470, 3471, 3775, 3821, 3868. 
Moonlight, 1529, 2196, 2198-2200, 2210, 2292, 3290, 3470. 
Moonstone, 2054, 2852. 
Moth, 2309, 3704. 
Mother, 54, 86, 100, 101, 102, 104, 874, 1011, 2091, 2136, 2278. 

2847, 3148, 3226. 
Mother-in-law, 1870. 
Motorman, 3069, 8071. 
Mouth, 26, 846, 864, 887, 1050, 1112, 1134, 1259, 1328, 1370, 1372, 

317 



INDEX 

1373, 1374, 1375, 1414, 1824, 2105, 3184, 3772, 3779. 
Move, 1581-1594, 2307, 2713, 2728, 2729, 2772, 2802, 3328. 
Mulberry, 1367, 2986, 2987. 
Mule, 151, 152, 286, 287, 288, 1982, 2277, 2595, 2993, 3415, 3445- 

3458. 

Mulleia, 422, 1126, 1262. 
Murder, 745, 838, 2326, 3125, 3253, 3864. 
Music, 713, 2690, 3911. 

N 

Nails (of the finger or toe), 51-54, 443-449, 957-968, 1269, 1406, 
1407, 1466, 2298, 2299, 2702-2710, 2778. 

Nails (metal), 153, 394, 395, 1244, 1270-1274, 1308, 1408, 1485, 
2045, 2046, 2596, 3442, 3443, 3833, 3948. 

Neck, 59, 516, 542, 748, 917, 1015, 1016. 1062, 1083, 1084, 1087, 
1088, 1131, 1135, 1150, 1164, 1168, 1182, 1192, 1217, 1229, 
1278, 1279, 1292, 1295, 1304, 1311, 1326, 1360, 1379, 1381, 
1382, 1384, 1388, 1389, 1391, 1392, 1404, 1545, 1546, 1547. 
2128, 2939, 3020, 3470, 3508, 3601-3603, 3912. 

Necklace, 1216, 1389, 1397, 1983. 

Neckties, 277-280, 283-285, 372, 505, 507, 508, 510, 511, 512. 

Needle, 113, 673, 693, 1454, 1684, 2042, 2043. 

Negro, 118, 771, 791, 829, 833, 890, 891, 902, 1005, 1177, 1556, 
1771, 1823, 1984-1987, 2597, 2693, 2751, 2752, 2783, 3066, 
3112, 3118, 3150, 3151, 3454, 3455, 3468, 3473, 3821, 3846, 
3851, 3858, 3876, 3924, 3929, 3930. 

Nettle, 1488, 2938. 

Neuralgia, 1275-1279. 

New Year's Day, 2781-2795, 2830, 2841. 

New Year's Eve, 2843, 3263. 

New York, 1763. 

Nightmare, 1280, 1281. 

Nine, 434, 448, 449, 463, 478, 488, 497, 498, 549, 556, 557, 801, 
1107, 1145, 1154, 1203, 1207, 1234, 1235, 1262, 1275, 1330, 
1353, 1373, 1379, 1884, 1433, 1434, 1437, 1440, 1473, 1489, 
1495, 1543, 2102, 2923, 2953, 3080, 8134, 3312, 3444, 3590, 
3774, 3775, 3833, 3835. 

818 



INDEX 

Nineteen, 510, 3008. 

Ninety-nine, 287, 3146, 3147. 

Noon, 2366, 2367, 2470, 2611, 3584. 

North, 1111, 1112, 1115, 1701, 2541, 2559, 2560, 2588, 2595, 2667, 

2685, 3184. 
Nose, 272, 363, 401, 451, 745, 788, 789, 790-798, 838, 1080-1083, 

1086, 1087, 1089, 1091-1093, 1095, 1107, 1277, 1336, 2196, 2346, 

2347, 2721, 2722, 3338. 

Nose-bleed, 1084, 1085, 1088, 1090, 1094, 1096. 
November, 617, 2847, 2849, 2851, 2852. 
Number, 259, 288, 293, 302, 304, 342, 394, 395, 406, 417, 487, 500, 

503, 532, 576, 592, 775, 786, 1644, 2068, 2069, 2181, 2403, 

2407, 2411, 2453, 2534, 2564, 2579, 2865, 3122-3151, 3255, 

3437, 3479, 3537, 3540. 
Nut, 2598, 2599, 2649, 2696, 2826. 
Nutmeg, 1097, 1250, 1279, 1292, 1311, 1360, 2939. 

O 

Oak, 1210, 1485, 2902, 3107. 
Ocean Voyage, 3060. 

October, 617, 619, 2399, 2448, 2847, 2848, 2851, 2852, 3868. 
Odd Numbers, 294, 2764, 3218, 3222, 3537. 
Old Christmas, 2391, 2452, 2715, 2835, 2839, 2840. 
Old Maid, 241, 251, 263, 264, 428, 452, 470, 480, 601, 928, 1055.. 

2997, 3143, 3292. 
Onions, 453, 1129, 1178, 1283, 1339, 1425, 1553, 1803, 1826, 2263, 

2940. 

Opal, 2055, 2056, 2852. 
Orange, 666, 2941. 
Owl, 412, 2600-2602, 3617-3628. 
Oyster, 2844, 3706. 

P 

Pain, 1007, 1059, 1064, 1325, 1335, 1336, 1337, 1347, 1349, 1357, 

1382, 1885, 1391, 1549, 2177. 
Pain in the Side, 1335-1337. 
Palate, 883, 1284. 

319 



INDEX 

Palm, 918 (of Hand), 919, 935, 1127, 3734. 

Palmistry, 454. 

Paper, 451-460, 604, 1091, 1223, 1386, 1419, 1420, 1421, 1490, 1491, 

1508, 1978 (money), 2737, 3088, 3483. 
Parsley, 2942, 2943. 
Partridge, 2335, 3628. 
Passenger Train, 2122, 3073. 
Peas, 462, 463, 2237, 2945, 2958. 
Peach, 2987. 

Peach-tree, 593, 1428, 1492-1494, 2274, 2988. 
Peacock, 659, 2603-2605, 3114, 3629, 3630. 
Pearl, 629, 635, 2057-2060, 2065. 
Penny, 1194, 1347, 1495, 1756, 2066, 3317. 

Pepper, 1140, 1819, 1820, 2946, 2947, 3843, 3845, 3847, 3848. 
Persimmon-tree, 1115, 1496. 
Petals, 300, 409, 515. 
Petticoat, 477, 2091. 
Phthisic, 1285-1287. 

Physician, 7, 685, 3132, 3226, 3855 (hoodoo), 3856. 
Piano, 2606. 

Pickle, 252, 323, 324, 465, 466, 1801, 1827, 2323. 
Picture, 425, 467, 468, 729, 742, 2163-2178, 3169, 3519, 3829-3833, 

3860. 

Pie, 198, 469-471, 1859-1866, 3089. 
Pig, see Hog. 
Pigeon, 3631-3633. 
Piles, 1288, 1289. 
Pillow, 69, 226, 317, 432, 434, 438, 455, 467, 536, 594, 863, 1338, 

1641, 1717, 1718, 1896, 2232, 3380, 3382. 
Pin, 178-180, 396, 473-478, 712, 936, 1283, 1331, 1444, 1497-1502, 

1533, 2023-2041, 2124, 2125, 2694. 
Pine, 1063, 1198, 1261, 2990, 2991. 
Pink, 629, 2373, 3505. 

Pitcher, 2674, 3161 (baseball), 3164-3168. 
Plant, 889, 1034, 1509, 1666, 2210, 2235-2245, 2248, 2253, 2254, 

2256-2258, 2260, 2263, 2264, 2398, 2688, 2866, 2867, 2869-2876, 

2879, 2880, 2882-2884, 2901-2905, 2910, 2911, 2923-2927, 2929, 

320 



INDEX 

2937, 2942, 2945-2947, 2949-2951, 2956, 2958-2961, 2908, 2979, 

2990, 2991, 2995-3008. 
Pneumonia, 1290. 
Pocket-book, 2229, 3706, 3749. 
Pokeberries, 1312, 2948. 

Poison, 1291, 2888, 2948, 2986, 3112, 3726, 3758, 3759. 
Poison Oak, 3930. 
Poplar, 59, 1409. 
Poppy, 2851. 

Porch, 1575, 1623, 1665, 3284, 3573, 3574, 3671. 
Pork, 1137, 1345. 

Post, 590, 1061, 1143, 2314, 3042-3045. 
Posterior Part, 976, 3375. 
Post Office, 898, 2027, 2067. 

Potato, 1316, 1504-1506, 2238, 2239-2241, 2949-2952, 3534. 
Poultice, 1102, 1225, 1347. 
Powder, 583, 2575, 3854. 
Prayers, 1711, 1925, 2821, 2839, 3898. 
Preacher, see Minister. 
President McKinley, 3760. 
Preventives, 1059-1550. 
Prison, 1595, 1596, 1597, 3506. 
Proposal, 301, 375, 506. 
Pullet, 1264, 2795, 3538. 
Purgatory, 3898. 

Q 

Quarrel, 794, 1555, 1562, 1563, 1731, 1733, 1734, 1811, 1812, 1870, 

1873, 1985, 2170, 2847, 3042, 3043, 3046, 3091, 3928. 
Quilt, 312, 479, 480, 1728, 1729, 1899. 

R 

Rabbit, 853, 1193, 1195, 1196, 1393, 1394, 2609, 2860, 3205, 3272, 

3276, 3459-3475, 3821, 3845. 
Railroad, 481-486, 2122, 2634, 3031, 3072, 3073. 
Rain, 487, 489, 644, 645, 646, 647, 649, 650, 720, 776, 1517, 1926, 

321 



INDEX 

2234, 2328-2332, 2335-2338, 2340, 2341, 2343-2347, 2351, 2353- 
2357, 2361, 2362, 2366, 2370-2373, 2375-2378, 2382, 2386, 2400, 
2401, 2417, 2425, 2426, 2430, 2434-2437, 2439-2446, 2454-2456, 
2458-2461, 2464, 2467-2469, 2471, 2472, 2474, 2475, 2477, 2483, 
2485, 2487, 2488, 2490, 2491, 2494-2496, 2500, 2501, 2505, 
2506, 2511, 2512, 2514, 2518, 2521-2523, 2529, 2534, 2538-2540, 
2548, 2552-2555, 2558, 2559, 2561, 2567-2570, 2576, 2579-2582, 
2584, 2585, 2590, 2596, 2597, 2600, 2604, 2605, 2607, 2608, 
2609, 2611, 2615, 2616, 2621-2627, 2630, 2635, 2636, 2638-2641, 
2643, 2647, 2648, 2651-2656, 2658, 2660-2665, 2670-2676, 2678, 
2680, 2687, 2694, 2804, 2805, 2811, 2826, 2827, 2999, 3495, 
3761. 

Rainbow, 490, 2610-2615, 2695. 

Raincrow, 2331, 2616, 3634. 

Rain Water, 1372, 1472. 

Rats, 885, 3105, 3106, 3477-3486, 3840. 

Rattlesnake, 9, 1148, 1182, 1202, 1322, 1323, 1345, 3723-3725, 3816. 

Razor, 733, 1241, 2198. 

Red, 274-278, 280, 283, 284, 289, 374, 510, 629, 633, 636, 799, 800, 
834, 911, 1008, 1086, 1087, 1140, 1276, 1277, 1306, 1320, 1328, 
1346, 1451, 1540, 2204, 2379, 2479-2484, 2699, 2914, 2915, 
3088, 3115, 3557, 3843, 3845, 3847, 3848. 

Redbird, 133-138, 493-496, 2617-2620, 3635-3645. 

Redbuds, 497, 2954. 

Red-headed, 771, 2787, 2946, 3065, 3116-3118, 3423-3425, 3454, 3468. 

Red-hot, 3557, 3627, 3796. 

Reflection, 426, 756, 1672, 2203, 2486, 2507, 2812, 3334. 

Relative, 462, 742, 1501, 1915, 1942, 1998, 3589, 3644. 

Rheumatism, 1293-1327, 2160, 2199, 2621, 2622. 

Rhyme, 498-501, 1515, 3135, 3685. 

Ribbon, 248, 1321. 

Rice, 688. 

Rich, see Wealth. 

Right Hand, 932-934. 

Ring, 116, 127, 181, 182, 502-512, 684, 690, 69S, 702, 811, 915, 956, 
1077, 1162, 1297, 1298, 1308, 1S10, 1319, 1355, 1356, 1368, 
1441 (bone), 1468, 1516, 2055, 2056, 2061, 2062, 2063, 2576- 

322 



INDEX 

2583 (around moon), 2586, 2590, 2655, 3126 (bell), 3668, 3819, 

3909. 

Ring-worm, 1328, 1329, 1330. 
Robin, 232, 513, 2364, 3646-3648. 
Rock, see Stone. 
Rocking-chair, 1639-1641. 
Roof, 487, 1898, 3657. 
Rooster, 1451, 1454, 2358, 2361-2367, 2795, 2808, 3538, 3539, 3558- 

3572, 3574-3579, 3583-3593. See also Chicken. 
Rose, 515, 623, 692, 1946, 2955. 
Rubber, 2161, 3877. 
Rug, 678, 1516, 1686, 1687, 2624. 

S 

Sage, 1373 (buds), 1374, 2956. 
Sailor, 740, 2480, 2481, 2549, 2611, 2627. 
Saliva, see Spit. 
Salt, 1, 333, 517-519, 663, 1137, 1140, 1243, 1254 (of steel), 1345, 

1508, 1566, 1585-1587, 1806-1818, 5323, 5625, 3524, 3649, 

3837, 3845. 

Sand, 2330, 2762, 3931. 

Sassafras, 1115, 1509, 1510, 1781, 2322, 2992, 2993. 
Saturday, 446, 453, 539, 591, 625, 626, 1035, 1894, 1895, 2233, 2234, 

2289, 2466, 2473, 2700, 2702, 2703, 2772-2779, 3645. 
"Scarify," 1240. 
School Book, 89-94. 
Scissors, 186, 1167, 1761, 2723. 
Season, 289, 290, 311, 1890, 1952, 2329, 2370, 2393, 2513, 2680, 

2683, 2700-2865, 2916, 2930, 2969, 3214, 3690. 
Second Sight, 12. 
Seeds, 87, 302-304, 580, 581, 1396, 1454 (wart), 2210, 2211, 2260, 

2865, 2868, 2874, 2875, 2876, 2907, 2908 (corn), 2923, 2926, 

2928, 2941, 2956, 2999, 3002, 3006. 
September, 617, 2399, 2847, 2851, 2852. 
Seven, 114, 295, 389, 481, 482, 553, 554, 555, 561, 604, 675, 1042, 

1065, 1105, 1212, 1375, 1449, 1455, 1468, 1493, 1512, 1515, 

2179, 2426, 2474, 2475, 2582, 2678, 2899, 3000, 3129, 3135, 

323 



INDEX 

3178, 3285, 3310, 3326, 3444, 3866. 
Seventeen, 2401, 2440, 2860, 2986, 3701. 
Seventh, 1375, 1512, 3000, 3130, 3131, 3132, 3178, 3866. 
Sew, 368, 1243, 1683, 2071, 2103, 2106, 2107, 2109, 2721-2724. 
Sex, 269, 317, 331, 437, 463, 484, 554, 572, 588, 970, 2294, 2795. 
Shadow, 2162, 2189, 2414, 2415. 
Sharp Instrument, 1754-1756. 
Sheep, 1265, 2201, 3487, 3488, 3917. 
"Sheep-nanny," 1265. 

Shingles, 980, 1332-1334, 2318 (of house). 
Shirt, 1419, 1675, 2319, 3622. 
Shoe, 159, 266, 268, 269, 374, 388, 425, 521-529, 661, 687, 699, 1163, 

1281, 1317, 2002, 2003, 2129-2142, 2146-2160, 3341, 3347, 3623- 

3626, 3805, 3840-3843. 
Shoe-string, 2143-2145. 
Shooting, 716, 2177, 2202, 2293, 3208, 3213, 3321, 3773, 3775, 3829- 

3832, 3881, 3934. 

Shot, 1101, 1909, 2004, 3213, 3468, 3471, 3783. 
Shoulder, 104, 124, 125, 148, 156, 176, 179, 180, 183, 189, 203, 395, 

431, 441, 553, 916, 1030, 1083, 1241, 1363, 1411, 1463, 1481, 

1491, 1505, 1812, 2025, 2037, 2192, 2207, 2212, 2213, 2228, 

2989, 3013, 3056, 3426, 3431, 3675, 3737, 3765. 
Shovel, 392, 519, 2090. 
Sidewalk, 461, 3810. 
Sifter, 3827, 3828. 
Sigh, 979, 2510. 

Signet Ring, 507, 508, 509, 510. 
Silence, 563, 3794, 3868, 3940. 
"Silent Supper," 563, 564, 3870. 
Silk, 289, 1091, 1268, 1276, 1292, 1321, 1476, 1513. 
Silver, 1085, 1319, 1977, 2177, 2850, 3021, 3775, 3802-3804, 3818, 

3819, 3829, 3832, 3836, 3849, 3850, 3881. 
Sing, 549, 713, 1716, 1762, 1885-1887, 2332, 2637, 2659, 3050, 3653, 

3684, 3702, 3911. 
Sister, 607, 699, 1912, 2216. 
Six, 375, 604, 1096, 1258, 2414, 2427, 2437, 2926, 2950, 2964, 3097, 

3451, 3845. 

324 



INDEX 

Sixteen, 509, 1096, 3445. 

"Skew-ball," 2914. 

Skin, 1104, 1193, 1195, 1241, 1304 (eel), 1322, 1823 (snake), 1419, 

2952, 3107, 3611, 3723, 3816. 

Skirt, 184, 530-533, 535, 2080, 2085, 2086, 2091, 3238, 3915. 
Skunk, 1158, 1313. 
Sky, 2482, 2627-2631. 
Sleep, 226, 312, 333, 432, 433, 467, 506, 523, 540, 588, 594, 602, 604, 

922, 1046, 1280, 1303, 1338, 1542, 1702, 1719, 1727, 1896-1899, 

2021, 2199, 2200, 2201, 2346, 3080, 3168, 3283, 3310, 3880-3388, 

3508, 3544, 3562, 3826, 3827, 3918, 3931, 3942. 
Small-pox, 1151, 1339. 
Smoke, 537, 1136, 1138, 1179, 1277, 1488, 2005, 2632-2637, 3127, 

3854, 3916, 3925, 3926. 

Snail, 422-424, 1145, 1146, 1154, 1895, 1514. 
Snake, 265, 538, 1148, 1343, 2006-2008, 2395, 2638-2641, 2987, 8118, 

3444, 3707-3726, 3758, 3842, 3861. 
Snake-bite, 1340-1345. 
"Snake-doctor," 3727. 
Snake-rattle, 1231, 3724, 3725. 
Sneeze, 77, 539, 541, 1035-1058, 1888. 
Snow, 652, 653, 1118, 1166, 1187, 1188, 2009, 2333, 2396, 2402, 

2403, 2409, 2418, 2446-2448, 2453, 2497, 2501, 2506, 2508, 

2509, 2524, 2583, 2592, 2637, 2643-2645, 2657, 2668, 2832, 

2863, 3011. 

Soles, 1127, 1421, 1423, 2142, 2148. 
Soot, 224, 1072, 1073, 1100, 1260, 1569, 1570. 
Sore, 854, 980, 1132, 1185-1188, 1190, 1260, 1272, 1274, 1332, 1346, 

1347, 1348, 1387, 1389, 3711. 
Sorrel, 1963. 

Soul, 764, 778, 780, 3898. 
South, 2405, 2535, 2536, 2563, 2589, 2591, 2594, 2681, 2682, 2684, 

2687, 2828, 3184, 3615. 
Sow, see Plant. 
"Sow-bug," 1130, 1258, 1379. 
Spades, 249, 1658, 1663. 
Spell, 2112, 3022, 3026, 8783, 3784, 3881. 



INDEX 

Spendthrift, 39, 943. 

Spider, 542, 641, 642, 1069, 1232, 2647, 2648, 3730-3760, 3808. 

Spin, 942, 1628, 2770, 3738, 3745, 3749, 3755, 3776, 3798. 

Spirit, 730, 738, 741, 782, 846, 1712, 2837, 2839, 3262, 3504, 3704, 
3820, 3859-3882. 

Spit, 111, 112, 138, 141, 147, 543, 544, 805, 808, 832, 977, 1026- 
1034, 1112, 1329, 1335, 1363, 1364, 1410, 1414, 1459, 1474, 1515, 
1519, 1533, 1558, 1559, 1597, 2080, 2081, 2084, 2085, 2155, 
2508 (spit fire), 2953, 3043, 3056, 3057, 3162, 3163, 3165, 3188- 
3190, 3234, 3265, 3269, 3273, 3274, 3282, 3417, 3422, 3430-3432, 
3465, 3503, 3648, 3697, 3710, 3765, 3766, 3771, 3837. 

Spleen, 2545 (hogs). 

Spoons, 358, 545, 1769-1773, 1777, 1801, 2850. 

Sports, 3152-3229. 

Spot, 783, 965, 966, 967, 1252, 3672. 

Spring, 305, 310, 418, 419, 513, 547-549, 1337, 2250, 2329, 2330, 
2394, 2395, 2396, 2428, 2429, 2498, 2520, 2526, 2680, 2682, 
2684, 2688, 2696, 2806, 3512, 3543, 3700, 3713, 3915. 

Squirrel, 2010, 2649, 2650, 2902, 2995, 3489-3493, 3782. 

Stairs, see Steps. 

Stallion, 1380. 

Stamp, 90, 3081-3088, 3144, 3150, 3151, 3416, 3417, 3450, 3648, 
3771. 

Stars, 107, 126-129, 434, 439, 550-557, 714-716, 2576, 2578, 2579, 
2581, 2582, 2651, 3146-3149. 

Steal, 52, 558, 1354, 1399, 1462, 1463, 1465, 1479, 2869. 

Steel, 1167, 1199, 1254, 1516, 3952. 

Steps, 30, 141, 406, 430, 438, 488, 559, 561, 704, 774, 984, 996, 997, 
998, 999, 1001, 1002, 1285, 1481, 1530, 1574, 1599, 1601, 1655, 
1688, 2137-2139, 3593. 

Stick, 600, 936, 1510, 1514, 1517, 1518, 1526, 2322, 3369, 3370, 3469, 
3856. 

Sting, 1066, 1300, 1351, 2512. 

St. Joseph, 516. 

Stocking, 311, 365, 513, 524, 2126, 2127, 2128, 2153, 3681, 3748. 

Stomach, 1138, 1246-1250, 1429, 3329, 3488, 3708. 

Stone, 489, 490, 507, 511-514, 547, 548, 583, 892, 893, 1033, 1104, 

326 



INDEX 

1155, 1211, 1269, 1335, 1379, 1410, 1411, 1438, 1444, 1519 
1520, 1521, 1527, 1574, 2054, 3115, 3379, 3950-3953. 

St. Patrick's Day, 2937, 2949, 2960. 

Stork, 11. 

Storm, 643, 721, 1580, 2363, 2372, 2383, 2481, 2606, 2686, 2847, 

3012, 3952. 

Stove, 435, 1585, 1781, 1806, 1832, 3440, 3443, 3522. 
Stranger, 560, 604, 795, 932, 1037, 1039, 1133, 1377, 1556-1558, 

1736, 1737, 1968, 2913, 3402, 3564, 3688, 3693, 3739, 3740, 

3742. See, also, Visitor. 
Straw, 1522-1525, 1609, 2105. 

Stream, 439, 880, 1197, 1357, 2386, 2635, 2676, 3879. 
Street-car, 3064-3071, 3301. 
St. Swithin's Day, 2445. 

Stumble, 561, 703, 992, 994, 995, 1655, 2652. 
Stump, 585, 985, 986, 987, 988, 989, 990, 991, 993, 1132 (of tree), 

1210 (oak), 1269 (toe), 1372, 1529, 1900, 3501, 3502 (toe). 
Sty, 1353-1364. 
Suicide, 3125, 3864. 

Sulphur, 1159, 1256, 1257, 1324, 3110. 
Summer, 1388, 2329, 2330, 2384, 2397, 2398, 2453, 2566, 2680, 2682, 

2684, 2687, 2804, 2819, 2862. 
Sun, 423, 428, 489, 646, 1058, 1296, 1366, 1625, 1848, 1856, 1857, 

2423, 2455-2457, 2463, 2466, 2471, 2473, 2486, 2577, 2653-2658, 

2699, 2777, 2814, 2832, 3005, 3536, 3768, 3773, 3934. 
Sunday, 446, 447, 448, 449, 453, 1035, 1036, 1037, 1038, 1040, 1048, 

1407, 1895, 2325, 2426, 2427, 2455, 2456, 2459, 2464, 2467, 

2468, 2470, 2700, 2702, 2703, 2708-2712, 2714-2737, 2743, 2805, 

3593. 

Sunrise, 424, 609, 1212, 1847, 2481, 2817, 3004, 3774. 
Sunset, 428, 778, 873, 2464, 2469, 2481, 2485, 2699, 3707-3709, 3762. 
Sunshine, 490, 817, 2456, 2653, 2654, 2657, 2694, 2777, 2832. 
Supper, 563-564, 1043, 1822, 1823, 2607, 3561, 3870. 
Swallow, 330, 861, 1073, 1101, 1232, 1275, 1284, 2896, 2930, 2941, 

3531, 3532. 
Sweep, see Broom. 
Sweetheart, 200, 205, 206, 213, 215, 224, 226, 235, 242, 253, 261, 

327 



INDEX 

273, 306, 309, 310, 328, 329, 337, 342, 349, 350, 363, 369, 370, 
376, 385, 388, 398, 399, 411, 413, 417, 418, 431, 442, 444, 445, 
446, 447, 453, 467, 473, 474, 475, 493, 494, 495,, 496, 499, 513, 
515, 518, 521, 525, 526, 527, 529, 530, 531, 535, 539, 540, 
544, 546, 577, 578, 581, 591, 599, 600, 792, 844, 921, 1002, 
1035, 1038, 1788, 1841, 1842, 2030, 2086, 2165, 2892, 2893, 
3557, 3645, 3853. See, also, Lover and Husband. 

Sweet-peas, 2958-2961. 

Swing, 3228, 3229, 3741. 

Switch, 95, 96, 116 (peach), 117 (peach), 117 (cherry), 567, 157S 
(peach, hazel), 2981, 2982, 2984. 

T 
Table, 28, 470, 517, 563, 564, 568-573, 1047-1051, 1144, 1638, 1744, 

1747, 1753, 1762, 1764, 1774, 1786, 1810, 1811, 1813, 1814, 

1824, 1868, 1881, 1882, 1883, 1885, 1888, 2151, 3140, 3142, 

3231-3233, 3254, 3300. 
Table-cloth, 1657, 1730. 
Tangles, 578, 884, 885, 3510. 
Tarantula, 3759. 
Tea, 79, 575, 576, 1073, 1126, 1169, 1248, 1265, 1312, 1426, 1427, 

1548, 1880. 

Tea-leaves, 574-576, 1880. 

Tears, 357, 635, 644, 646, 649, 650, 2053, 2057, 2218. 
Teeth, 4, 27, 56, 57, 61, 68, 69, 70, 190, 856-869, 1092, 1229, 1283, 

1381-1414, 1991-1998, 2077-2079 (of comb), 2142, 3772, 8779. 
Teething, 27, 56, 61, 1381-1414. 
Telephone, 2226, 2659. 
Temperature, 2525, 2682, 2684, 2685. 
Ten, 279, 283, 288, 483, 508, 899, 1450, 1481, 2839, 2365, 2627, 

2829, 3001, 3007, 3054, 8469, 3533, 8583, 3692. 
Terrapin, 3688. 
Thief, 70, 2092, 2197. 
Thimble, 693, 928, 1330, 2723. 

Thirteen, 162, 557, 2754, 2764, 3136-3143, 3478, 8540. 
Thirty, 257, 2399, 2418, 2439, 8188. 
Thistle-ball, 580, 581. 

328 



INDEX 

Thorn, 1154, 1530. 

Thousand-legged Worm, 8771, 3772. 

Thread, 113, 577-579, 1476, 1513, 1531, 1532, 1681, 3272. 

Three, 225, 270, 311, 339, 427, 433, 455, 458, 514, 523, 539, 541, 
552, 603, 762, 869, 899, 930, 1040, 1045, 1054, 1055, 1111, 1112, 
1114, 1146, 1148, 1155, 1176, 1211, 1218, 1240, 1241, 
1275, 1351, 1362, 1363, 1367, 1369, 1374, 1377, 1436, 1441, 
1472, 1474, 1482, 1494, 1497, 1507, 1516, 1524, 1534, 1540, 
1584, 1721, 1741, 1746, 1901, 2025, 2172, 2376, 2388, 2392, 
2393, 2435, 2462, 2473, 2477, 2485, 2488, 2520, 2523, 2538, 
2557, 2629, 2696, 2865, 2866, 2905, 2963, 2965, 3017, 3039, 
3046, 3053, 3122-3128, 3189, 3226, 3232, 3258, 8259, 3274, 
3275, 3307, 3342, 3344, 3368, 3411, 3412, 3462, 8542, 3568, 
3620, 3766, 3773, 3777, 3805, 3807, 3923, 3944. 

Throat, 1132-1137, 1170, 1181. 

Thrush, 1369-1380. 

Thumb, 152, 338, 384, 585, 937-942, 966, 990, 108, 1237, 1297, 
1368, 3880. 

Thunder, 782, 1669, 1799, 2394, 2395, 2404, 2407-2413, 2449, 2489, 
2564, 2697, 2698, 2717, 3186, 3187, 8661, 8677, 3678, 3763. 

Thunder-storm, 648, 764, 2329, 2689, 2690, 3012, 8952. 

Thursday, 625, 626, 1035, 1039, 2464, 2700-2708, 2706, 2760, 
2761, 3505. 

Tickle, 71. 

Toad, 582, 583, 1214, 1215, 1325, 1352, 1415, 2660, 3166, 3495- 
3507, 3690. 

Tobacco, 862, 1064, 1116, 1138, 1429, 1535, 2626, 2732, 2962-2967, 
3697, 3815. 

Toe, 584-588, 985, 989, 990, 991, 993, 1002, 1004, 1005, 1059, 1149, 
1163, 1255, 1281, 1320, 1346, 1377, 1416, 2147, 2150, 3501, 
3502, 3533, 3626, 3678. 

Toe-nail, 1132, 2707. 

Tongue, 78, 84, 854, 855, 859, 860, 1291, 8804. 

Tooth, see Teeth. 

Tooth-ache, 1395, 1398-1414, 2134, 2707. 

Toothpick, 1536, 1538. 

Towel, 568, 1730, 1731, 1793 (tea), 3128, 3180, 3928. 

829 



INDEX 

Train Sickness, 1417-1421. 

Transplant, 2261, 2943, 2977. 

Travel, see Journey. 

Traveler, 865, 2482-2484, 3024, 3134, 3458, 3460. 

Tree, 183, 590, 741, 894, 1061, 1114, 1115, 1132, 1143, 1164, 1286, 
1367, 1371, 1398, 1408, 1412, 1414, 1431, 1458, 1485, 1493, 
1571, 1572, 2215, 2216, 2264, 2268-2274, 2458, 2594, 2643, 
2644, 2661, 2662, 2665-2669, 2693, 2810, 2820, 2822, 2823, 
2884, 2836, 2954, 2968, 2971, 2972, 2975-2979, 2895, 2990, 
2995, 2997, 3213, 3384, 3396, 3546, 3612, 3653, 3655. 

Tree-toad, 2670, 3506, 3507. 

Trousers, 793, 2157, 2319, 2627, 2631, 3239. 

Trousseau, 673, 3753. 

Tuberculosis, 1141-1148, 1151. 

Tuber Plants, 2241. 

Tuesday, 625, 1035, 1036, 1037, 2471, 2472, 2700, 2702, 2703, 2709, 
2713, 2756, 2757. 

Tumble-bug, 2381. 

Turkey, 1999, 2671. 

Turkey Buzzard, 139, 591, 592, 3650-3652. 

Turning Around, 987, 1235, 1362, 1497, 1631, 1632, 1633, 1635, 
2720, 3275, 3820. 

Turning Back, 3052-3057. 

Turnips, 2998-3002. 

Turtle, 3494, 3762, 3763. 

Turtle-dove, 310, 311, 780, 2498-2500, 2796, 2797, 2820, 3608-3612. 

Twelve, 170, 1115, 2367, 2390, 2391, 2680, 2835, 3306, 3806. 

Twenty, 511, 868, 1241, 2114, 2399, 2864. 

Twenty-five, 1537, 2268, 2998, 2999. 

Twenty-four, 499, 2372, 2559, 2583, 2628, 2646, 2679, 3144. 

Twin, 593, 594, 2247 (of zodiac), 3331. 

Two, 359, 360, 404, 405, 500, 538, 545, 587, 588, 590, 611, 612, 613, 
874-876, 899, 913, 934, 937, 938, 1053, 1103, 1112, 1129, 1148, 
1219, 1241, 1269, 1343, 1504, 1620, 1636, 1637, 1648, 1683, 
1731, 1734, 1745, 1763, 1774, 1797, 1811, 1883, 1884, 2097, 
2098, 2120, 2182-2184, 2249, 2461, 2581, 2583, 2593, 2928, 
2970, 3015, 3039, 3046-3048, 3125, 3178, 3210, 3226, 3258, 

330 



INDEX 

3259, 3276, 3315, 3411, 3412, 3422, 3447, 8448, 3467, 3484, 
3505, 3507, 3579-3582, 3612, 3666, 3870, 3941, 3942. 

Two-dollar Bill, 3031, 3032. 

Typhoid, 1198, 1423-1425, 3765. 

U 
UmbreDa. 596, 1723-1726, 2672. 



Vegetables, 2235-2237, 2526, 2866-3013. 

Veil, 13, 669, 670, 710. 

Vermin, 2000, 2308. 

Vine, 156, 410, 411, 1220, 1470, 2238, 2244, 2245, 2931. 

Vinegar, 1223, 1538. 

Violet, 2851, 3120. 

Visitors, 33, 34, 560, 604, 698, 767, 795, 900, 932, 935, 993, 994, 
995, 1037, 1039, 1042, 1046, 1052, 1053, 1133, 1377, 1556- 
1559, 1564, 1609, 1619, 1625, 1637, 1653, 1684, 1736, 1737, 
1740, 1765-1774, 1782-1789, 1793, 1795, 1813, 1832, 1848, 
1852, 1880, 1884, 1968, 1986, 1987, 2039, 2041, 2051, 2072, 
2089, 2739, 2740, 2783-2789, 2795, 2808, 2809, 2918, 3207, 
3302-3304, 3353, 3354, 3356, 3402, 3523, 3558-3566, 3569- 
3582, 3643, 3645, 3646, 3650, 36P71, 3688-3690, 3693, 3738- 
3743, 3905, 3947. 

Vomiting, 1426-1429. 

W 

Wagon, 151, 161-164, 2015, 2016, 2933-2935 (hay), 3071, 3415. 
Waist, 1268, 2035, 2283. 

Wall, 742, 1271, 1649, 1652, 2163, 2167, 2194, 3626, 3860, 3869. 
Walnut, 1539, 2994, 2995. 
War, 2204, 3479, 3701, 3943. 
Wart, 917, 1402, 1430-1542, 3503. 
Wasp, 597, 3764. 

Water, 105, 117, 169, 248, 298, 333, 418, 428, 456-460, 478, 504, 
519, 547, 563, 599-601, 880, 895, 921, 922, 1081, 1120, 1133, 

331 



INDEX 

1146, 1157, 1188, 1191, 1194, 1197, 1198, 1210, 1235, 1258, 
1265, 1275, 1282, 1309, 1337, 1376, 1377, 1378, 1438, 1524, 
1529, 1531, 1541, 1543, 1571, 1573, 1668, 1733, 1734, 1792, 
1796, 1803, 1868, 1869, 1870, 2017-2020, 2041, 2162, 2180, 
2511, 2518, 2534, 2573, 2574, 2815, 2829, 2845, 2656, 3191, 
3195, 3201, 3334, 3399, 3444, 3542, 3555, 3803, 3814, 3830, 
3831. 

Water Lily, 2851. 

Watermelon, 3003-3009. 

Water-witch, 3954. 

Wealth, 313, 333, 384, 612, 617, 662, 836, 925, 961, 1035, 1036, 
1611, 1706, 2084, 2146-2148, 2205, 2702, 2703, 2847, 3014- 
3033, 3705, 3745. See, also, Money. 

Wean, 2277-2280, 2296. 

Weather, 2327-2699, 3206. 

Web, 361, 641, 1069, 1232, 3734, 3736, 3737, 3738, 3741, 3743, 
3749, 3754, 3755, 3760. 

Wedding, see Marriage. 

Wedding-cake, 602-604, 693, 2021. 

Wedding-veil, 605. 

Wednesday, 625, 1035, 1039, 2456, 2458, 2459, 2463, 2700-2703, 
2709, 2713, 2758, 2759, 3327. 

Week, 115, 404, 495, 1028, 1035, 1037, 1040, 1257, 1441, 1504, 
1516, 1617, 1887, 1964, 2414, 2427, 2454, 2457, 2460-2463, 
2465, 2577, 2703, 2705, 2710, 2738-2742, 2746, 2748, 2750, 
2757, 2759, 2771, 2879, 2993, 3003, 3071, 3323, 3420, 3609. 

Welcome, 982, 992, 993, 3569, 3570, 3738. 

Well, 196, 420, 421, 425, 426, 608, 1453, 2812. 

Wen, 1544-1546. 

West, 1703, 2178, 2373, 2525, 2588, 2589, 2613, 2685, 3184. 

Wheat, 429, 609, 1212, 3011-3013. 

Whipping, 87, 826, 870, 897, 974, 1632, 1887, 2097, 2098, 2137, 
2720, 3336, 3594. 

Whippoorwill, 140, 141, 3653, 3654. 

Whirlwind, 610, 1816, 2675-2677. 

Whisper, 3669, 3699. 

Whistle, 1715, 2617, 2665, 3098, 3595, 3596, 3907, 3917. 

332 



INDEX 

White, 278-290, 443-445, 478, 629, 634, 678, 829, 899, 912, 965-967, 
1221, 1321, 1472, 1548, 1946, 1964, 2013, 2022, 2089, 2124, 
2125, 2451, 2522, 2523, 2530, 2634, 2663, 2669, 2794, 28S5, 
2865, 2902, 2916, 2917, 2918, 3088, 3105, 3317, 3411, 3412, 
3416-3427, 3454, 3458, 3467, 3606, 3613, 3704, 3870. 

White Spots on the Finger-nails, 443, 444, 445, 965, 966, 967. 

Whooping-cough, 1547, 1548. 

Widow, 229, 478, 910, 1577. 

Widower, 229, 534, 601. 

Wife, 228, 234, 346, 347, 364, 378, 405, 419, 426, 429, 430, 471, 
483, 486, 490, 519, 523, 553, 554, 557, 594, 680, 1760, 2099, 
2694, 2703, 2847. 

Wild Grapes, 2435, 2537. 

Will o' the Wisp, 749, 3036. 

Willow, 2996, 2997, 3384, 3823, 3835. 

Wind, 841, 1680, 2350, 2369, 2405, 2424, 2427, 2478, 2525, 2633, 
2663, 2678-2687, 2696, 3184, 3398-3400, 3844, 3862, 3923. 

Window, 428, 1577, 1603, 1695, 1697, 2222, 2223, 2486, 2489, 3088, 
3144, 3345, 3514, 3515, 3605, 3632, 3890, 3891. 

Wings, 591, 2534, 3542, 3672, 3673, 3701, 3945. 

Winter, 1118, 1309, 2327, 2330, 2352, 2359, 2360, 2379, 2381, 2394. 
2396, 2397, 2402, 2403, 2404, 2432, 2433, 2446-2448, 2453, 2498, 
2513, 2519, 2535-2537, 2543-2546, 2550, 2551, 2572, 2594, 2598, 
2599, 2603, 2642, 2650, 2666, 2667, 2669, 2680, 2682, 2684, 
2686, 3011, 3466. 

Wire, 1302, 2226, 2659. 

Wisdom Tooth, 867, 868, 3397. 

Wishbone, 154, 611-613, 693, 3242. 

Wishes, 121-199, 441, 611, 1413, 1486, 1543, 2896, 2934. 

Witch-doctor, 1526, 3793. 

Witches, 884, 1526, 1533, 3773-3839. 

Woman, 34, 37, 251, 305, 324, 347, 359, 387, 478, 609, 676, 804, 834, 
906-909, 975, 1070, 1123, 1533, 1586, 1677, 1726, 1765, 1771, 
1773, 1778, 1784, 1795, 1797, 1801, 2092, 2101, 2120, 2122, 
2205, 2208, 2750-2753, 2781, 2782, 2786, 2788, 2789, 2809. 
3024, 3040, 3041, 3047, 3094, 3097, 3117, 3181, 3343, 3353, 
3507, 3574, 3580-3582, 3595, 3596, 3779, 3954. 

333 



INDEX 

Womb, 847. 

Wood, 194, 544, 719, 788, 919, 1078, 1382, 1414, 1557-1559, 1561, 

1572, 1781, 2026, 2698, 2762, 2973, 2992-2995, 8209, 3900. 
Woodpecker, 2903, 3655-3657. 
Worm, 927, 2317, 2732, 3691, 3765-3772. 
Wound, 1075, 1076, 1108, 1110, 1112, 1173, 1273, 1340, 1341, 1843, 

3112. 

Wren, 3658, 3659. 
Wring, 3601-3603 (chicken's neck). 
Wrist, 969, 1161, 1306. 

Y 

Yarn, 598, 1086, 1089, 1160, 1255, 1326, 1346, 1409, 1416, 1540, 
2688, 2885. 

Yawning, 846. 

Year, 60, 63, 64, 65, 66, 80, 96, 227, 232, 233, 246, 247, 256, 
259, 276, 282, 297, 304, 307, 314, 368, 386, 389, 394, 395, 406, 
463, 477, 487, 503, 504, 517, 559, 561, 576, 592, 606, 616, 624, 
675, 685, 694, 697, 700, 751, 760, 775, 868, 973, 1013, 1136, 
1584, 1644, 1685, 1704, 1797, 2034, 2139, 2172, 2179, 2181, 
2264, 2272, 2802, 2388, 2389, 2425, 2441, 2452, 2473, 2513, 
2592, 2681, 2696, 2780, 2781, 2788-2795, 2796-2799 (new), 2803, 
2807-2809, 2814, 2830, 2835, 2872, 2877, 2878, 2920, 2986, 
3140, 3148, 3285, 3335, 3437, 3445, 3497, 3607, 3610, 3701, 
3712, 3941. 

Yellow, 166, 291, 629, 632, 633, 2339, 2352, 3119, 3121, 3281, 3664, 
3768. 

Z 

Zodiac (signs of), 2240, 2244, 2247, 2258-2256, 2258, 2260, 2263, 
2272, 2278, 2280-2283, 2285, 2290, 2291, 2293, 2296, 2304, 
2319, 2328. 



334 





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