Evil Eye

My informant is an 18-year-old College student who is from San Francisco. His ethnicity is Dutch, Irish, and English, and Italian.

I asked my informant if he knew of any stories about any of the countries of his origins. It was hard for him to think of any, but he tried to think of the country that his family most closely relates to, Italy. He told me there is some significance in a necklace he wears and the reason for it is due to a story that his grandpa told him about “The Evil Eye”.

Informant: “So, the evil eye is just what it sounds like. It’s just an evil looking eye or a bad way that someone looks at you. I think it’s a really old story. I also think it is told in many parts of the world, but my grandpa would just talk about how some people have the evil eye and you never want to be looked at by the evil eye. He would also squint one of his eyes and look at us to try to scare us. So, I have this necklace, it’s a horn, I can’t remember the exact name of the horn but it is supposed to ward off the evil eye if anyone looks at you with it you are protected. I know this story has been told for years, but I honestly don’t know if I will tell my kids, just because it used to scare the shit out of me”.

Analysis: I have heard of some variations of an evil eye or the eye of illuminati. It seems like this idea of some evil glare is very prominent in many cultures. One thing that I found really interesting about this story that he told me was that although he says he will not tell his kids this story, he still continues to wear the necklace. It is perhaps nothing more than a fashion statement, but he says he has been wearing it for years. Things like this necklace and the story, although we are old enough to know that they are ridiculous, the fact that we grow up with these things takes a toll on us. Regardless of whether he believes in it or not, he still keeps the necklace around his neck and still contains some superstition about the story.