Author Archives: Hayden Duncan

Sorority Initiations

Informant: My sister spent a semester as a transfer student at Howard University and the campus was heavily into greek life. Most of the student population was apart of the Divine 9.

Original script: Greek organizations have well known stories of their hazing. For the divine 9 sororities, the women are known for intense hazing at Howard. The sorority of delta sigma theta is known for having their pledges swim across the lake across the street from the university. At 7am, the pledges are blindfolded and taken to the lake wearing only under garments and told to race across the lake and the last 3 will not be admitted into the sorority.

Background: My sister asked what delta sigma theta initiations were like when deciding to join a sorority.

Thoughts: I don’t agree with the hazing if it crosses an inappropriate boundary, but having traditions and rituals in a organization bring members closer together because they are bonded by the memories and hardships they went through to be accepted.


A conjestion remedy

Informant: My mother was told by her grandmother

Original Script: Take a sock and put clothes of garlic in it, then put it around you neck to clear the sinuses

Background: This was used before Vick’s vapor rub to cure congestion in the chest

Thoughts: My mom said it never worked it just made you smell bad.

Blonde in the Bathroom

Informant: My friend who is from Brazil

Original Script: ” A girl with platinum blonde hair was murdered in the bathroom. She looks super pale with bloody cotton ball in her nose, she looks like a corpse. You go in the bathroom and switch on the lights and flush the toilet three times and she appears.”

Background: The Brazilian version of the children’s game Bloody Mary


Latin evil witch

Informant: My sister’s boyfriend was told by his father who is of latin descent

Original Script: “In latin traditions the believe in spirits, in your home when you have negative spirits,  their is a evil witch that comes while your sleeping and she suffocates you while you scream you cant move and she is their because you have allot of evil in your life. The way to get rid of her is through the jesus candles to purify the room”

Background: The story is to explain sleep paralysis

Thoughts: This is an example of the explanation of natural causes and sicknesses in the body that can’t be explaining by non-advanced medical knowledge. Folk  beliefs were used to explain these diseases.

American Proveb

Informant: My friend, her mom would tell her this who is from the midwest

Original Script:  ‘A watched pot never boils’

Background: The meaning behind this is if you stay on top of your life, you won’t loose control.

Thoughts: I have never heard this proverb but it encourages self-reliance and accountability and in American we highly regard these traits, so it makes sense that it is well known in America.