Horse or mule jawbone to cure toothache – “Another way to cure toothache is to find the skeleton of a horse or mule. Be sure that nobody is watching you. Pick up the jawbone with your teeth and walk backward nine steps, being careful not to touch the thing with your hands, and then let it fall to the ground. This done, walk away without looking back, and do not mention the matter to anybody. If the pain doesn’t stop within thirty minutes or so, it means that somebody did see you with the mule’s jaw in your mouth. In that case, the only thing you can do is to hunt up another skeleton and go through the whole business again.” ~Randolph OMF 143

“One way to cure a toothache is to touch a skeleton of a mule.” ~Parler FBA III 3461

Horsehair sieve as protection from witchcraft – Some of the old-timers used to make a net of horsehair a horsehair sieve, they called it and fasten it over a hole in the door or window. In order to reach the people in the house, it was said, a witch must go in and out at each of the holes in the sieve, which would slow up her activity to a very considerable extent. I have seen what was left of one of these sieves, but the woman who showed it to me explained that it had been used nearly a hundred years ago, and that she kept it only as a relic.” ~Randolph OMF 284

White horse tail used to “sweep” away measles – “There was once an old colored man who had a remedy for measles. He said that measles were the result of being in touch with an evil demon and there was only one way to rid yourself of them. If you would take a white horse’s tail and sweep out the bed in which you caught the measles that you would also sweep out the demon and then your measles would be gone.” ~Parler FBA III 2700 

White horse tail used to “sweep” away measles – “There was once an old colored man who had a remedy for measles. He said that measles were the result of being in touch with an evil demon and there was only one way to rid yourself of them. If you would take a white horse’s tail and sweep out the bed in which you caught the measles that you would also sweep out the demon and then your measles would be gone.” ~Parler FBA III 2700 

Horsehair for worms – “To cure tapeworms cut hairs from a horses tail into pieces about one-half inch long and mix them with butter and feed to the one who has tapeworm. The hairs stick in the worm and kill it.” ~Parler FBA III 3388

Horse breath for whooping cough – “Find a horse and make it run very fast and long. Then the horse will be very hot and sweaty. Smell the hot breath of the horse and the whooping cough will go away.” ~Parler FBA III 3881


Parler, Mary Celestia Folk Beliefs from Arkansas (FBA)

Randolph, Vance Ozark Magic and Folklore (OMF)