Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Mountain Superstitions

A recent Andy Griffith show episode (hilarious, by the way) got my attention concerning mountain superstitions. I remember hearing some of these from my grandparents back in West Virginia.
1. If you tell a bad dream before breakfast it will come true.
2. If your nose starts itching, company is coming.
3. If you whistle before breakfast, you will cry before dusk.
4. If you drop a biscuit while taking them from the oven, you will have unwelcome company.
5. Petting a calico cat will bring you good luck. You will have better luck if it is a stray and you give it a home.
6. If a bird flies into a house it is a sign there will be a death in the family in the near future.
7. Cats and dogs will not go into a room where there are spirits and ghosts present.
8. A way to tell if the husband or wife is the boss of the family is to look at their toes. Look at the toe next to the big one. If that toe is longer than the big toe on one, that one will be the boss.
9. The number of winter snows can be told by counting the number of morning fogs you see in August.
10. Don't go barefoot before May 10.
11. A woman should not "can" food during her monthly. Anything she cans will spoil.
12. Never look directly at anyone with a stye because you will get it.
13. If a woman wears high heels while she is pregnant the baby will be born crosseyed.
14. A pregnant woman should never look at a snake, it will "mark" the baby.
15. It's bad luck to pick up a coin if it's tails side up. Good luck comes if it's heads up.
16. It's good luck to find a four-leaf clover.
17. A cricket in the house brings good luck.
18. An acorn should be carried to bring luck and ensure a long life.
19. It's bad luck to put a hat on a bed.
20. You must get out of bed on the same side that you get in or you will have bad luck.
21. If someone is sweeping the floor and sweeps over your feet, you'll never get married.
22. Keep cats away from babies because they "suck the breath" of the child.
23. If you get a chill up your back or goosebumps, it means that someone is walking over your grave.
24. It's bad luck to leave a house through a different door than the one used to come into it.
25. If you dream of death it's a sign of a birth, if you dream of birth, it's a sign of death.
26. If your right ear itches, someone is speaking well of you.
27. If your left ear itches, someone is speaking ill of you.
28. To cure a sty, stand at a crossroads and recite:
"Sty, sty, leave my eye
Take the next one coming by."
29. If the bottom of your right foot itches, you are going to take a trip.
30. It is bad luck to cut your fingernails on Friday or Sunday.
31. It brings bad luck for a flag to touch the ground.
32. To drop a fork means a man is coming to visit.
33. If the palm of your right hand itches it means you will soon be getting money. If the
palm of your left hand itches it means you will soon be paying out money.
34. A horseshoe, hung above the doorway, will bring good luck to a home.
35. A horseshoe hung in the bedroom will keep nightmares away.
36. A knife placed under the bed during childbirth will ease the pain of labor.
37. It is bad luck to close a pocket knife unless you were the one who opened it.
38. It is bad luck to walk under a ladder.
39. It is bad luck to kill a ladybug.
40. To break a mirror means 7 years bad luck.
41. Bad luck will follow the spilling of salt unless a pinch is thrown over the left shoulder into the face of the devil waiting there.
42. The devil can enter your body when you sneeze. Having someone say, "God bless you," drives the devil away.
43. All wishes on shooting stars come true.
"Star light, star bright
First star I see tonight,
I wish I may, I wish I might
Have the wish I wish tonight."
44. It's bad luck to open an umbrella inside the house, especially if you put it over your head.
45. A watermelon will grow in your stomach if you swallow a watermelon seed.
46. The Weather:
Red sky at night,
Sailor's delight.
Red sky at morning
Sailors take warning
47. Knock three times on wood after mentioning good fortune so evil spirits won't ruin it.
48. Two people pull apart the dried breastbone of a chicken or turkey until it cracks and breaks, each one making a wish while doing so. The person who gets the long half of the wishbone will have his or her wish come true.
49. Mirrors in a house with a corpse should be covered or the person who sees himself will die next.
50. You can not swim in the river during the "Dog Days" of Summer.
51. It is bad luck to walk on a grave in a cemetery.
52. To make it rain, kill a snake and turn it belly up. Submitted by: Jim E.
53. Eating honey on the day of a funeral of someone you know will keep their spirit tied to the earth.
54. If you don't put a candle or lamp in the front window after the death in the family their spirit will return to their home.
55. Don't place the foot of your bed facing the door, it means death.
56. If you are having nightmares, put a bible under your pillow when you sleep, and your nightmares will go away.
57. To get rid of warts, steal someone's dishcloth and bury it, the warts will disappear.
58. To stop bleeding, say a specific verse in the bible . Some people still swear by this method. "The Bible verse to stop bleeding is Ezekiel 16:6 Paraphrase --- Though I see you awash (drowning) in your own blood, I say to you live."
59. If you first see the new moon in clouds, someone in your family will get sick.
60. It is bad luck to burn sassafras or apple logs in a fireplace.
61. When you comb your hair, you must not let a bird steal a strand for its nest or you will have headaches all summer.
62. If you set the table and accidentally set out an extra fork at a place setting someone is coming hungry.
63. Covering mirrors in the house of the deceased usually with black cloth so that the next person to see himself in the mirror would not be the next to die.
64. It was bad luck for pregnant women to attend funerals.


Mike West said...

A rider dressed in black riding a white horse east to west means the wedding can not take place.
Is that the episode you saw?
I think we're related to the Darlin family.

Brodad Unkabuddy said...

Yep, that's the one. Watching Barney trying to get the horse headed in the right direction cracked me up.