Held in mouth while cutting onions – “A girl from Cape Fair, Missouri, once told me that a woman can peel or cut up raw onions without making her eyes smart, simply by holding a needle in her mouth while she does the job.” ~Randolph OMF 138-139

Held in mouth for sore eyes – “…in other backwoods towns I have heard that a needle in the mouth is generally believed to be good for sore or watery eyes, no matter what the cause of the irritation.” ~Randolph OMF 139

Needle used in making a love charm – “A girl can take a needle which has been stuck into a dead body, cover it with dirt in which a corpse has been laid, and wrap the whole thing in a cloth cut from a winding sheet; this is supposed to be a very powerful love charm, and a woman who owns such a thing can make any man fall in love with her.” ~Randolph OMF 169

Needle used to make a man stay – “A needle which has been used to make a shroud is useful, too. If a girl thrusts such a needle into her lover’s footprint in her own dooryard, he is forced to remain with her whether he wants to or not. If he leaves the neighborhood he will get sick, and if he stays away long enough he will die.” ~Randolph OMF 169

Marriage sign – “When they used to have quilting parties, the first girl who broke a needle was the next to be married.” ~Parler FBA VII 7158


Parler, Mary Celestia Folk Beliefs from Arkansas (FBA)

Randolph, Vance Ozark Magic and Folklore (OMF)