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Folk beliefs


So earlier I made a post talking about my Papaw and storms which got me thinking about superstitions and folk beliefs I’ve picked up from my family’s Appalachian roots. Here’s a few that I thought of that I’m pretty sure are Appalachian in origin, but then again who knows.

  • light a candle/lantern in the window in bad weather to act as a guide
    (I don’t know if this is a widespread one or just my Papaw)

  • open the window when someone dies so their soul can leave the house
  • cover mirrors and pictures of the deceased so they don’t see themself and then stay in the house
  • stop the clocks or else the spirit will stay
  • ask a daddy long legs where something/someone is and it’ll point the way with one of its legs
  • windchimes raise the dead
  • bells ward off spirits and harm
    • when momma was little, Papaw would always have her wear bells if she wanted to go play in the woods to make sure the spirits wouldn’t steal her away
    • he did the same thing for me and my siblings
    • it also serves a practical purpose of scaring off animals and making kids easier to find
  • don’t talk in a graveyard after dark or you’ll get haunted
  • it’s fine to sit in the graveyard after dark, the lights you see are the spirits (unless they’re fireflies in which case they’re fireflies)
    • groups of these lights are the children dancing!
    • just make sure you don’t speak 
  • go in the river to wash away sickness
  • or use dirty dishwater to get rid of sickness
    (that one’s fun because in one method you get to curse at it a lot)
    • method one: rub a rag that’s been dipped in dirty dishwater and wrung out onto the sickness, then take it outside and beat it against a large rock to beat away the sickness. repeat a couple times.
    • method two: start the same as method one, but instead of hitting a rock with it, tie it to a tree. as the rag dries and loses the dirty water smell (usually around a week), the sickness will fade too.
  • mamaw always insisted ghost water lets you talk to the dead
    • ghost water is water gathered inside a graveyard
  • it’s bad luck to kill a cricket!
  • stump water gets rid of freckles and warts
    • stump water is rainwater that collected in a hollow stump, as you can probably deduce from the name
  • never take something from the river without leaving something in exchange

Source: Tales of Necromancy

by cnkguy
Folk beliefs

Posted in Tales of Necromancy and tagged by with no comments yet.

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