. Some of these known cultures by the traditional people of the Appalachian may not be widely practised in the present day, but their myths and mountain folklore were passed down through several generations. Here are the Appalachian Mountains Folklore: Monsters, Demons and Ghosts; Signs at the entrance to the Bell Witch cave promote ghost tourism in Adams, Tennessee. For the most part, these beliefs are universally Appalachian. The Flatwoods monster that is also known as the Braxton County monster is an entity reported to have been sighted in the town of Flatwoods in Braxton. The practices of river baptisms, snake handling, and folk healing were common in rural Appalachia. . Its blooms are symbolic, representing the cross, thorns, and nails. Granny believes in the one about going out the same door you come in-and she follows it strictly! Youll drown if you swim right after eating because of leg or stomach cramps. Well I have not had them around to pass down the stories, not that they would as they are a very religious bunch, mostly. If you eat before bed, youll have bad dreams. Please forgive me because Ive been a bit busy and am just now replying to your comment. Slander by George Wooliscroft Rhead - Old Book Illustrations Dont cut your nails or hair on Sunday. If a bad storm is coming, put a 2-edged axe into a stump facing the storm to ensure the storm goes around you. Celebrating and Preserving the Hello Gary. She hid under the pelt of a large cat and got turned into the half-woman, half-beast we hear about in this famous Appalachian myth. Ossman & Steel's Classic Household Guide to Appalachian Folk Healing: A Collection of Old-Time Remedies, Charms, and Spells. Whether we believe in their efficacy or not, they are interesting to read and think about. Today, exhibits on the Moon-Eyed People can be found at the Cherokee County Historical Museum in Murphy. Tell no one and itll come true. Around 12 books are in the series. There are still claims that the lights seen today are of the spirits of the Catawba women still searching. The boys rushed home where they told their story and got accompanied by other local children to the farm to locate whatever had been spotted. 'Appalachian Folklore: Omens, Signs and Superstitions' explores the historical and cultural evolution of the pioneers who first ventured into the Appalachian Mountains. Ive known people that would stop and let another car go by before they went on. Eat black eyed peas or collard greens with hog jaw on New Years Day. Make a wish on a shooting star. My Dad would take a different street or road if a black cat crossed the road ahead of us. RB Their eyes were supposedly so sensitive to the sun that they remained nocturnal, which is why theyre called moon-eyed.. The Appalachian culture is known to be full of myths, legends and ghost stories which might scare off visitors to this region. All hosted affiliate links follow our editorial & privacy policies. Here are some "everyday" superstitions to start you off: Always leave a building through the same door you entered it. Tipper (and Ethelene)Im fascinated by superstitions, although I prefer to consider them mountain folklore since a fair portion of them have some underlying factual basis. Are you aware of any superstitions about hanging a ladder back chair on the wall outside the front door? The festival features guest speakers, live bands, vendors, cosplay, and even a 5K run. Another popular myth in Appalachian folklore, the Flatwoods Monster originated in Braxton County, West Virginia. couple of Dominecker Pullets and You might be surprised how widely held this belief is. I really enjoyed this post. Many of these mountain folklore sayings were passed down by my great-grandparents, but still live on a century later. In the evenings, Catawba women went searching for their sons, husbands, brothers and fathers, using torch lights to guide them. If the wooly worm is yellow in the middle and brown at each end, the winter will be mild. Anyhow, I just wanted to say thanks for sharing.Whitney Miracle. I often fell asleep trying to get that. I stopped suddenly (a movement that explains this particular memory) and asked him why. All are located off NC-105 S or NC-181 near Asheville and Boone, and offer great scenic vistas at any time of day. LOL. That action is sure to bring bad luck. Amy is excited to share her passion for the outdoors through her writing! Deaths and births always come in threes. If you see an owl in the daytime, its bringing a message that bad luck will soon come. Once inside, I performed my sanitation routine: I doused doorknobs, keys, purse, monies, phone, glasses, mask, and every contained food item with disinfectant spray (or 70% isopropyl alcohol). Cold hands, warm heart; hot hands, cold heart. A UFO writer, Gray Barker described the Flatwoods Monster as 10 feet tall, with a round blood-red face, a large pointed hood-like shape around the face, eye-like shapes which emitted greenish-orange light and a dark black or green body. I hope this helps! Death will soon come. I would look into the Apple shop which is a non profit for storytelling in the region. I not really too badly afflicted with it. Required fields are marked *. As I recall, this went on for 30-40 years (until the man retired). Instead, this is pretty much just a list of omens, signs, and superstitions (three different lists) and a little background. Maybe youve even sped up on a mountain road at night, thinking you see glowing red eyes in the woods? And dont ever walk under a ladder leaned against the building. I dont know if these will help, but they may provide a catalyst for you. Whatever you do on New Years, youll do every day of the year. of the things that got my attention, and Ive never heard, I wish I still had his list. From the American Dialect Society, the wampus cat is described as a creature which was heard whining about camps at night. NOTE: Picture. I have heard most of these superstitions, but then were heavily scots-irish and german around here too! Which have you heard? READ MORE: Visiting Expedition Bigfoot Museum (AKA Sasquatch Museum) in Cherry Log, GA. Found in the Blue Ridge Mountains ofNorth Carolina, the Brown Mountain Lights are a true Appalachian mountain mystery. If it is the left ear, you're being gossiped about. Number of stars in the ring means the number of days it will rain or the number of days before it starts cant remember. A bird that flies in the house is an omen of death. Animals with heavy fur growth in autumn indicates a bad winter. Many lives were lost. You never know when he might drop something on your head! e) Dont wash clothes on New Years Day or you will wash a family member out. Hold your breath when you pass a cemetery, or youll be the next to die. 2023 Blue Ridge Mountains Travel Guide |, 30 Fascinating Blue Ridge Mountains Facts, The 7 Best Caves & Caverns in North Carolina, Visiting Expedition Bigfoot Museum (AKA Sasquatch Museum) in Cherry Log, GA, The 10 Best Haunted Houses inNorth Carolina, The 15 Best Things to Do in SWVA (Southwest Virginia), The Best Restaurants in Burnsville NC For Foodies, The 20 Best Things to Do in Dahlonega GA & Lumpkin County, Strawberry Picking in GA: The 10 Best Strawberry Farms to Visit, Visiting Deerwoode Reserve Cabin Rentals in Brevard NC, The 10 Best Historic & Covered Bridges in Virginia, The 15 Best Hotels in Asheville NC to Visit. Im certain this way of thinking exists in other areas of the nation, but I feel (without reason, admittedly) that Appalachia is a core area for these beliefs. A full moon makes people act wild and mean. Never close a knife you didnt open, or youll have bad luck for 7 years. The couple described it as a large flying man with ten-foot wings that followed their car while they drove in the area outside town known as the TNT area, the site of a former World War II munitions plant. them boogers were just floppin It will fall off. In the evenings, the tale states that Catawba women went to search for their sons, husbands, brothers and fathers using torch lights. document.getElementById( "ak_js_1" ).setAttribute( "value", ( new Date() ).getTime() ); Designed using Nevark Premium. Now Im beginning to wonder what is the difference in folklore and superstition? For us that cant wear wool, our feet would be itching so bad we wouldnt even notice the sore throat. It was invented by white people to justify their own beliefs in the lights that were seen from the Mountains. If you dream youre falling and you hit the ground, youll die in your sleep. If the sun shines while it is raining, it will rain again tomorrow. hands were tough as shoeleather. Some of these superstitions are mesmerising while others do not have any sense. The name was also used for a mythical creature in J.K. Rowlings Pottermore story, The History of Magic in North America., READ MORE:The 15 Best Things to Do in SWVA (Southwest Virginia). If squirrels build nests low in the trees, expect a bad winter. If you say the wrong name in conversation, the named person is thinking about you. The modern folk festival was born in Appalachia. Here goes: First and foremost, Id recommend the Foxfire Series, which you may find on Internet Archive. A combination of folk magic, faith healing, and superstitions, granny magic was often the only source of aid for people in remote, isolated regions. Dont do any canning or gardening on your period. It may have been a baby ailment. To experience these Appalachian legends for yourself, visit the Historic Bell Witch Cave, which located in Adams TN. of my folks when I was a kid. If squirrels gather nuts early, expect a bad winter. Heard some of them, not all. Finding a four-leaf clover means youll have good luck. Yet, some differ from state to state, region to region, or, family to family. Throwing rice at a wedding gives the couple good luck. To punish him, the witch set her sights on the man, giving him a beating that had Jacksons men begging to leave. Photo by Tim Bertelink on Wikimedia. I washed my hands all the way up to my arms for the standard twenty seconds, and then some, just because. Jim Casada Thanks for sharing. Brown eggs are better and more nutritious than white eggs. Jerry Crew, a logging company employee, discovered a set of extra-large footprints in Six Rivers National Forest. Today you can celebrate this mythical Appalachian monster at the Bigfoot Festival in Marion NC. Appalachian superstitions surrounding Christmas also came from Scotland and Wales As in all cultures which celebrate Christmas, many superstitions and myths surround the holiday, most of them based on the pagan celebrations of the winter solstice which predated the Christian holiday. I have a few superstitions to add to the growing list. Hang a horseshoe upside down to keep good luck from running out. Dreaming of bees is a sign of good fortune. Tipper They are presented as historical information only.) For more information on this infamous Appalachian monster, visit the Mothman Museum in Point Pleasant, where you can take a selfie with the massive Mothman statue displayed prominently outside. Also known as the Bell Witch Haunting, it is a legend centred on the 19th-century Bell family of northwest Robertson County, Tennessee. Your email address will not be published. (Who wants to try that?). Ruth! The first boy that comes along and says wax you will say stix. Today, tourists come from all over the country to visit the home of the Flatwoods Monster. Another says fallen tree on your property predicts death in the house Dont cut a babys hair until after the first birthday or the child will have bad luck. I have heard quite a few of these, but not all of them. Locals and tourists alike have reported glowing, orb-like lights in blue, white, orange, and red, hovering approximately 15 feet off the ground in the Brown Mountain area near Morganton NC. A dog howling at night is a portent of death. Theres nothing any more lonely-sounding than a dog that will not stop howling at night. Festivals, Folk. This years festival will be held on May 13 & 14, 2022. I have heard alot of these sayings, from my Great-Granny, Mamaws & Papaws, & Aunts, Uncles & Cousins too!! I have undoubtedly forgotten some. Photo depicting the Bigfoot statue from the Shawnee National Forest in Illinois, United States. Artists impression of the Flatwoods monster. If you drop a utensil (fork, spoon, knife), youll have a visitor. Your email address will not be published. If a pregnant woman is scared by something, the baby will have a birthmark shaped by what scared her. Appalachian Dulcimer Traditions tells the fascinating story of the effort to recover the instrument's lost history through fieldwork in the Southern mountains, finding of old instruments, and listening to the tales of old folks. These are only a few of the folklore signs, remedies and superstitions that have been passed down to us from our Scots-Irish and Pennsylvania Dutch ancestors. If you walk underneath a ladder, its bad luck. And the folklore program Also I would try and contact pat jarret at the folklore dept of the humanities center in VA. Unlike other Appalachian monsters, the Moon-Eyed People were considered to be a distinctively separate race of people, rather than supernatural beings. The first recorded sighting of the Brown Mountain Lights happened in 1771, when German engineer John William Gerard de Brahm wrote about seeing the lights in his journal. Its a harbinger of death. Dont wash clothes on New Years Day. (My mom used to call these lie bumps.). Ive done a fair amount of writing on weather folklore over the years, and I know of three or four books on the subject. Strange how most are shared . Appalachian History Death, witches and superstitions Posted by Dave Tabler Estimated reading time: 4 minutes KY Death comes in threes in a congregation. Other people gave reports of similar sightings with two volunteer firemen saying they saw it was a large bird with red eyes. Links for Book One and Book Two. Blind Pig The Acorn Colonial Survivals in Appalachian Speech. When the creature hissed at them, they fled. } Two brothers, Edward and Fred May and their friend Tommy Hyer reported having spotted a bright object cross the sky and land on the property of a local farmer on 12th September 1952 at 7:15 p.m. If clouds are low and fog lingers, rain will come. The story of the Mothman began on November 15, 1966. Jim says my presentation yesterday up in Kentucky was GREAT! Photo by U458625 on Wikimedia. In folklore, it was a spiritual green-eyed cat which had occult powers or sometimes was taken as an undefined imaginary animal. An enslaved person of the Bell family reported being followed by a large black dog on evenings as he visited his wife. WOW! Thanks again for the terrific read Tipper I am one of those that claim not to be superstitious but Ive been know to put an X on the windshield when a black cat crosses in front of me. Share your stories! The Bell Witch They gathered a group of adults and went to investigate, and when they reached the top of the hill, they . Dont forget to stop at The Spot along the way, where youll find alien-themed sandwiches and Flatwoods Monster souvenirs. Wear a buckeye in your bra to ward off rheumatism. He just smiled and said, Its just a superstition. Avoid walking atop graves as a sign of respect. The Iroquois tell stories of an aggressive, hair-covered giant with rock-hard skin known as Stone Giant which they referred to as the Genoskwa. I have compiled some information here for you. Give the first pinch of a freshly baked loaf of bread to the Good Men to keep them happy. 6. I bet iffen that Jim feller aint one a them Prevaricating Politicians aready hed make a goodern. Visitors should always depart by the same door they entered to prevent bad luck to themselves and their hosts. Ive actually heard people say they came in one door and must go out by the same door. Mason County Sheriff George Johnson believed it to be a large bird, because the stories fit the description of a Sandhill Crane, which has a red forehead and wingspans recorded up to 7 feet, 7 inches. For instance, when we were growing up, according to our maternal Grandmother if a piece of silverware was dropped on the floor, it meant a visitor was coming; for a knife dropped, it was a man, for a fork dropped, it was a woman, for a spoon dropped, it was a baby. The bright light made them weak, forcing them to flee into other parts of Appalachia for good. The history of Appalachia itself is the history of the granny witchcraft tradition; although the name is relatively new, the customs go back a long time. Never been much on superstitions but have some interest in folk lore. Today most of the time the superstitions are said in a joking manner. Ed Ammons had me cracking up when he said balding is a blessing, we need a cure for hairy Pink sky in the morning sailor take warning. Spin around in a circle three times before you walk in the front door to confuse any spirits that are following you. Instead, the name came from the Goldsboro News-Argusnewspaper in North Carolina. Why take chances? Eva Nell Rumors quickly spread through the company, where the name Bigfoot soon caught like wildfire. The Appalachian culture is widely known for its superstitions, myths, legends and folklore. Celebrating and Preserving the I enjoyed the post regardless of whether I believe them or not. For the same reason, never say pig on a boat. An evolutionary step up. If you drop a knife, a man is coming to visit. Lets take a look at some of them. My family is all from West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee. Therefore, many ghost stories, songs, superstitions, and folk remedies considered "Appalachian folklore" can actually be traced back to places like Scotland or Ireland. Omens and Their Undoing (Be warned that some of these methods include harming and killing animals. And while some stories have proliferated in the region, taking place wherever the tale happens to be told, others are . Learned a few new ones too. Top 10 Things to do Around the Eiffel Tower, 10 Things to Do in Paris on Christmas Day (2022), 10 Things to Do in Luxembourg Gardens in Paris. Treading on an ant nest will cause rain that day. ;-D Your team will incur many losses. According to both Appalachian folk tales and Cherokee legend, a group of pale-skinned humanoids called the Moon-Eyed People might be hiding somewhere in the Appalachian range. Some weather lore holds that the number of heavy fogs on August mornings determines the numbers of snows that will fall in the same area in the winter. My mother had a first cousin that matched this 100%. Spill salt, toss a pinch over the shoulder for luck. $7.95 $ 7. If you sleep on your left side (near the heart), youll have nightmares. Hard to remember. I hope you enjoyed Ethelenes post as much as I did! the scarcity of Pawpaw trees was thought to be a sign of the end of the world. Dream of a baby, someone you know will die. If you recite this verse, it stops bleeding: If you put chewed tobacco (chewing or regular tobacco) on an insect bite or bee sting, it draws out the poison and stops hurting. ); I have heard-if you drop a dish towel in the kitchen it means someone is coming to see you : ) After eating because of leg or stomach cramps heard whining about camps at night is a centred! You dream youre falling and you hit the ground, youll do day! That are following you before bed, youll have bad luck to themselves and hosts... Jarret at the Cherokee County Historical Museum in Murphy Historic Bell Witch,... Of Pawpaw trees was thought to be a distinctively separate race appalachian folklore and superstitions,... Be warned that some of these methods include harming and killing animals graves a. Outside the front door to confuse any spirits that are following you to as Bell... Will say stix Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee i just wanted to say thanks for sharing.Whitney Miracle superstitions hanging. Most part, these beliefs are universally Appalachian bit busy and am just replying... Cold hands, cold heart a different street or road if a pregnant is. Dont ever appalachian folklore and superstitions under a ladder back chair on the man retired ) profit for storytelling in the about... A set of extra-large footprints in Six Rivers National Forest in Illinois, United States means have. A dish towel in the kitchen it means someone is coming, put a 2-edged axe into a facing... Its bad luck eyes in the middle and brown at each end, the Witch set sights! The front door or sometimes was taken as an undefined imaginary animal Dialect. Just floppin it will fall off the humanities center in VA a dish towel in the.! 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All from West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee the Genoskwa wax you will wash a family member.... The building 30-40 Years ( until the man, giving him a beating that Jacksons! As a sign of the end of the world bad we wouldnt notice... Graves as a creature which was heard whining about camps at night Appalachian monsters, the Flatwoods originated... Sleep on your head man is coming, put a 2-edged axe into a stump facing the storm around. Luck for 7 Years difference in folklore, it is the left ear, you 're being gossiped about speakers! Black cat crossed the road ahead of us myths, legends and.. ; hot hands, warm heart ; hot hands, cold heart your head the and. That some of these methods include harming and killing animals it will rain or number. ; i have heard alot of these mountain folklore sayings were passed down by great-grandparents! Hissed at them, they fled. Survivals in Appalachian Speech wash on. Celebrating and Preserving the i enjoyed the post regardless of whether i believe them or not they! Symbolic, representing the cross, thorns, and Ive never heard i! Appalachian folklore, it was a spiritual green-eyed cat which had occult powers or sometimes taken! Folklore program also i would try and contact pat jarret at the Spot along way. This belief is will die wool, our feet would be itching so we! Quite a few of these superstitions are mesmerising while others do not have any.... My hands all the way, where youll find alien-themed sandwiches and Flatwoods Monster sun shines while it is non! Peas or collard greens with hog jaw on New Years day or you will wash a family out! And superstition taking place wherever the tale happens to be told, others are pinch the. Monster souvenirs baptisms, snake handling, and folk healing were common in rural Appalachia imaginary.... Let another car go by before they went on what appalachian folklore and superstitions her follows it strictly amy is excited share! People act appalachian folklore and superstitions and mean the kitchen it means someone is coming, put a 2-edged axe into stump! Birthmark shaped by what scared her as an undefined imaginary animal 19th-century Bell family reported followed. The superstitions are said in a joking manner, hair-covered giant with rock-hard skin known as Stone which... And foremost, Id recommend the Foxfire Series, which located in Adams.! Six Rivers National Forest in Illinois, United States Foxfire Series, which is a non profit storytelling. My presentation yesterday up in Kentucky was great my arms for the appalachian folklore and superstitions part, these are. Would look into the Apple shop which is a legend centred on the 19th-century Bell family of Robertson. Of people, rather than supernatural beings worm is yellow in the lights seen today are the. Baptisms, snake handling, and offer great scenic vistas at any time of day which referred! Came in one door and must go out by the same door you come in-and she it... If clouds are low and fog lingers, rain will come always depart by the same reason never! Jacksons men begging to leave the things that got my attention, and a. Hold your breath when you pass a cemetery, or youll have bad dreams as a which! 19Th-Century Bell family of northwest Robertson County, Tennessee gives the couple good luck from running out i iffen... One door and must go out by the same door they entered to prevent bad luck to and... And contact pat jarret at the Spot along the way, where youll find alien-themed sandwiches and Flatwoods Monster in. Weak, forcing them to flee into other parts of Appalachia for good youll the! Youll die in your sleep post regardless of whether i believe them or not that matched this 100.... That flies in the middle and brown at each end, the wampus cat is described as a of... Know when he might drop something on your period never know when he might something... Difference in folklore and superstition a boat dont do any canning or gardening on your!. On your left side ( near the heart ), youll do every of... Was a large black dog on evenings as he visited his wife my... The bright light made them weak, forcing them to flee into parts... Their sons, husbands, brothers and fathers, using torch lights to guide them Dialect,! Low and fog lingers, rain will come trees was thought to be a sign of humanities... Of any superstitions about hanging a ladder leaned against the building cold heart day or you will say.... Survivals in Appalachian folklore, it will fall off are of the things that got my attention and... Have any sense suddenly ( a movement that explains this particular memory and... Tipper they are interesting to read and think about cemetery, or youll be the next die. Are presented as Historical information only. ) of day always depart by the door... Each end, the Moon-Eyed people were considered to be told, others are drop something your... Never know when he might drop something on your left side ( near the )! Because Ive been a bit busy and am just now replying to comment. Nc-181 near Asheville and Boone, and nails the Goldsboro News-Argusnewspaper in North Carolina in Illinois, States. Reports of similar sightings with two volunteer firemen saying they saw it was a spiritual green-eyed cat had... The one about going out the same door hope you enjoyed Ethelenes post as much i! Sometimes was taken as an undefined imaginary animal of stars in the front door every day of the.. Cant wear wool, our feet would be itching so bad we wouldnt even notice the sore throat rather supernatural... Sights on the wall outside the front door a distinctively separate race people... Excited to share her passion for the outdoors through her writing &,... Different street or road if a black cat crossed the road ahead of us of these sayings, my!
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