“So They Say” was a regular section in the “Bittersweet” magazine, being compiled by many different authors and amateur folklorists. Here’s a taste of some of the folk beliefs compiled by Lisa Mestan for the Summer 1983 Volume 10, No. 4 issue of the publication. For those interested in the “Bittersweet” series, it’s mostly available online, there’s also a couple compilations, “Bittersweet Country” and “Bittersweet Earth”.
“So They Say”
Many people hold true to certain beliefs and sayings that they have heard over generations or found to be true from their own experiences. Some people may think that these beliefs are poppycock, but many others believe wholeheartedly in some saying, action or trinket, such as a rabbit’s foot or a lucky coin.
A maiden should pluck the petals from a daisy on the first day of May, if she wants to foresee her future. If the petals come out even, she will be married that year, but if they come out odd, she will stay single for a while.
If you sweep under a young girl’s feet, she will never be married.
When a boy moves into a new house, he should walk into the four corners of his room and give a girl’s name to each one. When he wakes the next morning, the girl he will marry will have the same name as the corner he faces.
Watch for the weather because if it rains on your honeymoon, you’ll have a short marriage.
No one likes to have bad luck, so to avoid getting yourself into a heap of trouble, avoid doing these things as stated in these beliefs.
Entering a house by stepping on your left foot first is bad luck.
Do not sweep the floor after sundown.
Sleeping in the same room with a pumpkin will bring bad luck.
Bringing a hoe into the house will bring bad luck.
It is bad luck if anyone other than you steps on your shadow.
Bad luck will occur if more than one working clock is placed in a room.
It is bad luck to return to the house for something you have forgotten. You can ward off the hex by turning around three times and sitting on the porch or steps of the house for a few minutes.
Spinning a chair on one leg will bring bad luck.
To avoid bad luck when visiting, always exit through the same door you entered.
When wearing clothing, do not wear a combination of pink and green on Thursday or bad luck will follow.
Do not look at a new moon for the first time through a closed window or tree branches or bad luck will come your way.
Never look back in a mirror after sundown or bad luck will follow.
Everyone likes to have a little good leek and these beliefs supposedly will bring it about or cause it to happen.
If a spider is dangling on its web, grab it in your wallet so that it will spin money.
Dropping the dishrag will bring someone who is dirtier than you.
If your right ear rings, someone is thinking good of you. If your left ear rings, someone is thinking bad of you. If both ears ring, someone has died.
A person with hairy arms will have good luck with hogs.
Throw some spit on your hand and rub it on your opposite knee, and whatever you wish will come true.
Finding a cricket in your house will bring you good luck.
Consider yourself lucky if you receive a bent coin.
A mole on the neck, money by the peck.