Author Archive
Folk Beliefs
Magic
Tales /märchen

Family of Clairvoyants

The interview will be depicted by initials. The Interviewer is QB and the interview is RT.

QB: What was this interesting thing about your family?

RT: Ok…so every first born of every third generation in my family is born with psychic abilities. And they vary depending upon random factors, so we have ones that are clairvoyant and ones that can sense past events at random places. So my grandmother was the last one in the family lineage because it’ll be my older brothers first born who is the next one, but she was in the house that my mother spent part of her high school time growing up in and she got up to go use the bathroom in the middle of the night and saw this old woman in a rocking chair in their spare room. And she got up and my grandmother followed her down the hall to the top of the stairs, and this old woman pushed her down the stairs. And then ,after that, things got more and more intense. Not in just that house, but her visions in general.

Analysis: Apart from the interesting ghost story told by the student’s grandmother, it is also interesting to note that the student seems to believe the continuation of this gift within the family lineage. Even with the dark tales that the student’s grandmother went through, the student still expects their older brothers child to have this psychic ability. It is also interesting that the family has these powers on a scale. Perhaps it is a better way for them to group the random happenings into one understandable statement.

Folk Beliefs
Legends

La Llorona

The interview will be depicted by initials. The Interviewer is QB and the interview is AM.

QB: So do you have any folklore stories that you learned while you were younger?

AM: Yeah. So I’m from Mexico and we have this story called La Llorona, which means “The Crier, and basically the tales goes…there’s this lady who had some children and she was like crazy. And so she got them…she put them all in her car and she drove into the lake and they all died so she regretted it. And now legend says she…like…walks around with this crazy wet hair and cries out for her children because she wants to find them and say sorry.

Analysis: Compared to the many “La Llorona” stories studied within the ANTH 333 class, this one differs due to the fact that it is more focused on La Llorona herself. The student never mentioned the fact that children would be taken in the night, but was only told the story at face value and only believes that their is a lady looking for her children. It is interesting to note that the story is still told for children to fear, but not for being taken.

Homeopathic
Magic

Hat on a Bed

The interview will be depicted by initials. The Interviewer is QB and the interview is BL.

QB: Were there any other superstitions that your dad or family followed?

BL: Yeah there was one more, and basically it was that it was very unlucky to put your hat on top of the bed. I honestly have no idea why that was considered bad luck, but my dad just made it a point to teach everyone not to do it. So yeah…I never put my hat on my bed.

Analysis: Once again I think it is interesting just how much superstition can effect a person. Even though the student had no understanding of why placing a hat on the bed was unlucky, they still made a point to follow the rule. Following the family rules are also very prevalent here.

Folk Beliefs
Homeopathic
Magic
Protection

Horseshoe in the Garage

The interview will be depicted by initials. The Interviewer is QB and the interview is BL.

QB: What was this story you were telling everyone?

 

BL: So my dad had a horseshoe in the garage for many many years and he was told by multiple people that because his horseshoe was facing downwards that his luck was spilling out of the horseshoe, and so he needed to turn it upwards so his luck would be filled within the horseshoe.

Analysis: Even though this was not the students direct lucky charm, it still had a profound effect on the student themselves. The horseshoe effected the entire family’s luck and now the horseshoe is filled completely up with the family’s luck. I think it shows how just owning the lucky charm can effect how a person feels about their luck.

Folk Beliefs

Rule of Threes

The interview will be depicted by initials. The Interviewer is QB and the interview is JT.

QB: Alright so what is this superstition you were telling me about?

 

JT: Well in my family, especially my mom, we all believe that bad things or bad news come in threes. So if someone has something bad happen to them theres sort of an expectation that its going to happen to at least two other people or two other things are going to happen, and that everyone kind of relaxes once that third bad thing comes. And we’ll…like…go pretty far in figuring out what those three are. So if someone gets bad news, like their car is damaged, then it could be that someone else forgot something and then someone else has to chime in with a third bad thing that happened so we have sort of the three and no one has to worry anymore.

Analysis: Like others the rule of three with the students family takes place with bad things. However, this differs as the rule can be applied to ANY negative thing that strikes. It is also interesting how far in depth they will go to make the three negative attributes complete the cycle.

Folk Beliefs
Signs

The Rule of 3

The interview will be depicted by initials. The Interviewer is QB and the interview is AS.

QB: Is there anything in particular that your family followed as a rule?

 

AS: I would say that the major one was that death comes in threes. Whenever someone in the family dies, we always make sure to prepare ourselves in whatever way we can. Sometimes it has been the dog or rabbit, and we will count that, but we mainly focus on humans.

Analysis: I have seen that a lot of people look to follow this rule, however, the student and their family follow it only with death. They will even go so far as to take the death of an animal to finish the rule faster. The student said that it helps them prepare for hard times and is actual a welcome to get through hard times faster.

Folk Beliefs
Rituals, festivals, holidays
Stereotypes/Blason Populaire

Bloody Mary

The interview will be depicted by initials. The Interviewer is QB and the interview is AS.

QB: And what stories did you have as a child?
AS: When I was a kid I played Bloody Mary. The way it worked was you went into the bathroom with the lights off. You would say her name and spin around three times, and she was supposed to appear. The other way that you would check to make sure she was there was to turn on the sink and see if blood ran out of the spout.

Analysis: This follows the steps that many Bloody Mary rituals take place. However, it seems to be darker as the student and their friends looked to see if “blood” would run out of the spout. The student of course laughed about the ritual, but said that they attempted it many times just to see if they would ever be “lucky” enough to see Bloody Mary.

Humor
Myths
Tales /märchen

Drop Bears

The interview will be depicted by initials. The Interviewer is QB and the interview is AS.

QB: So you spent some time in Australia?

AS: Yeah, I studied there for 6 months.

QB: Were there any stories that you learned while there?

AS: Actually yes! The first thing that the locals will tell any tourists or newcomers is that they need to watch out for drop bears. Drop bears are essentially vicious, aggressive, koala hybrids that drop down from trees if you’re not paying attention. They’ve been known to bite and attack people who were unaware to watch out for them.

Analysis: The tricks on tourists seem to be alive and well as the student said that this was one of the first things that they and their friends learned. While it was quickly dismissed, it seems to be a good trick for tourists to pay more attention to the landscape around them and appreciate more of nature. They were very pleased with the joke and said if they ever returned they would quickly make sure to continue the tradition of these “vicious animals”.

Folk speech
Humor
Riddle
Tales /märchen

One Bright Day

The interview will be depicted by initials. The Interviewer is QB and the interview is AS.

QB: So what are these things your dad used to tell you?

AS: Well there was one story that he told me, that he had learned from his father so its been passed down along the family.

QB: Alright go ahead.

AS: One bright day in the middle of the night two dead boys got up to fight. Back to back they faced each other. Drew their swords and shot each other! A deaf policeman heard the noise, got up and shot the two dead boys. If you don’t believe my story is true ask the blind man he saw it too.

Analysis: Its nice to see that this story has been passed around generation to generation. Also the stories ironies are more intended for that of a younger age as the student, and their father, both learned these stories while they were very young. The saying follows many songs that children would sing, but this story is more about death and is spoken.

 

Folk Beliefs
Tales /märchen

Virginia Witch Windows

The interview will be depicted by initials. The Interviewer is QB and the interview is JT.

 

QB: Wait…wait…can you explain that last tale one more time?

 

JT: Yeah…so…basically I have a cousin who lives in Virginia, and they have diagonal windows on their houses that they call “witch windows” because it was believed that witches weren’t able to fly their broomsticks into the home that way. And I think they have like 2 or 3, so its kind of crazy how big that following is.

 

Analysis: Here we see the succession of folklore spreading throughout the US. Even though the student is from California, they have become an active bearer of this folklore as they tell people about a situation that never took place in the state. However, it is also interesting to note that the student’s cousins house still has the diagonal windows. So many years later and it is still common knowledge around Virginia.

[geolocation]