Beth is becoming as fine a writer of mysteries and superstitions of Tennessee and surrounding states as she is a writer in her other areas of expertise.
You can also find many of Beth's other stories on the hubpages link below. Notice: The anyahoward site has some mature themes.
So, without further ado, I present to you Beth's latest and most welcome contribution.
bethperry @ HubPages
Practically every region of the world has its native superstitions (or auguries as they’re otherwise called). East Tennessee is no exception; in fact, thanks to the heavy influence of wedded Celtic/Gaelic/Native American cultures, the region is perhaps a little more rich in auguries than most parts of the United States And while some may dismiss all superstitions as silly, if we look with an open mind, we realize there is often a grain or more of common sense behind them.
The following superstitions are collected from this region; some old, others a little more modern. They are divided into Area Specific and Generally Shared, although I am sure the beliefs cross borders and localities. You will also find a short inclusion of old sayings, which not necessarily based on superstitions, give an interesting glimpse into the wit and wisdom of the area. I do not ask anyone to accept anything here at face value, but do hope you will enjoy them at least for the historical and cultural interest.
Generally shared superstitions
Eat only chestnuts from the side of the tree the squirrels dine from.
To upturn a nine of Clubs while plowing brings nine years of prosperity.
It is bad luck to wake a sleeping cat or baby.
A pregnant woman should never walk over a grave that is older than she is.
It is considered bad luck to purposely kill a black snake living in your barn. However, to accidentally drive over a black snake on the road presages a long life ahead.
When visiting for social occasions, one should never leave by the same door they entered the residence.
A first-born son named after his father will strive to be like his father. A second-born son named after the father will strive to make his mother proud.
When building a home, teeth of a mule buried under the foundation will insure a strong structure.
Sweet Williams grown near the front door of a home brings the guardianship of angels.
Those who cultivate non-native fruit will quarrel often with neighbors.
A baby’s first blanket should have a piece of hog leather sewn in it to insure the child will not be too thin.
A man should not hunt and fish on the same day, or impotent he shall become.
If you have ants in your house, sprinkle some sugar outside to draw them out.
Eating the string of the first bean you pick brings an enjoyable summer.
If an apple falls from a limb onto the head of an unmarried person, it means love is on the way to them. If a married person is similarly stuck by an apple it means an old friend is thinking of them.
Whispering the name of a dead friend or relative into the entrance of a cave will take your prayers for/to them to the spirit world.
Carry a small piece of coal in your right pocket or shoe to fight a curse. When the coal has turned to crumbs the curse has been canceled.
Drinking green punch at your high school prom will make you a parent within the year.
It is said if you utter a lie while walking the streets of Blountville you will soon lose a dollar bill.
Stepping on a toad brings seven days of good luck. Stepping on an frog brings seven weeks of woe.To insure your plane will arrive safely to its destination, one should never board a plane aat the Tri-Cities Airport without either first spitting on the ground or moving their fingertips through the grass.
If you pass by a black goat in Bluff City, you will soon hear news of an impending birth.
Likewise, to pass by an injured bird without offering aid is said to bring bad luck.
It is said that by naming your first-born child after a NASCAR driver, the number of grandchildren you will have will be the same as the number on the driver's car.
Those who stumble while inside the Bristol caverns will soon stumble upon love.
Carry sour milk cornbread in your pocket for protection against being robbed at night.
Offering tobacco to passing fiddlers and flute players will help your crops grow.
To prevent impotence it is recommended that on the first day of spring a man should give a potato or ear of corn to the first fruitful mother they meet.
A widower that speaks ill of his dead wife on her birthday or their anniversary will marry a woman with murder on her mind.
Singing "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" will anger the spirits of the dead, sicken horses and deer and make cows' milk curdle in the teat.
To intentionally kill honeybees-wild or domesticated - is said to be a bad omen.
Avoid anyone that has been struck by lightning while riding a horse.
Car salesmen that wear plaid should not be trusted around your money, your daughter or your wife.
Carter, Johnson,Sullivan and Unicoi Counties
To wade barefoot in the waters of the Doe River in Elizabethton augurs that no matter how far you travel in life, you will return to Elizabethton at least once more before you die.
It is said that to utter the name, "Bonnie Kate" will protect women from men with violence on their mind. (Catherine "Bonnie Kate" Sherril was the wife of Carter County's famous forefather John Sevier. Catherine
barely escaped death in 1776 when a band of Cherokee warirors attached For Caswell.)
It is said lawyers seeking to practice in Elizabethton must first make a pact with the devil. Likewise, the infernal lord is said to slake his thirst in the baptismal fonts of bickering churches.
Mugwort should be praised for appearing in one's garden or lawn, for it denotes a happy household. Also, expectant fathers should carry this herb in their pocket or wallet to insure an easy delivery for the mother.
Prosperity is said to come to those that keep a spinning wheel on their front porch or lawn. Likewise, wealth shadowed by tragedy is said to come to those that mock the Irish or refuse lodgings to passing gypsies.
Fort Patrick Henry Dam
It is said whenever a visiting the dam one should throw a coin into the waters in memory of dead native peoples, or your own ancestors will haunt your home.
It is said whenever a visitor helps out an unfortunate family in Gatlinburg prosperity will greet them on their return home.
To feed a stray dog will bring prosperity, unless you are only doing it for the gain.
To feed a stray cat, for whatever reason, will boost your vitality.
If you come across a silver coin, put it in your left pocket for good luck. Putting it into your right pocket is said to open your home to chaos.
To steal tobacco in Hampton brings thieves to your own home.
Newlyweds that spend their honeymoon in a barn will inherit a large, fine home.
To steal a neighbor's moonshine or report his still to authorities will bring a plague of vermin to your residence.
Johnson City Mall
It is said if you extend an act of charity while at the JC Mall it will come back to you 10-fold.
Johnson City (general)
To come across a dead man lying across a train track will extend your natural life by seven years.
If you take a toy away from a quiet and inoffensive child you will be visited by two loud, unruly ones.
Old timers say that anyone seeing a black dog resting on a loved one's grave will soon join them in paradise.
The head of a household should eat buckwheat pancakes on New Year's Day morning to insure the good health of his family during the coming year.
To say anything disparaging about artists, writers or musicians while walking through downtown Jonesborough is said to draw vandals to your property.
The last slice of pumpkin pie should be reserved for the youngest member of a family, or else the mother of the family tempts having another baby in her old age (asa a winter season's child).
To avoid catching the flu or pneumonia one should always carry a penny in their left pocket while walking by a train track in Kingsport.
To keep your home peaceful during the coning year, it is advised to pin a corsage of violets to your lapel or bodice before attending Easter church service.
A truck driver that gives a ride to a prostitute without harming her will never run out of gasoline.
Hotel/motel/inn patrons that make their beds before checking out will soon receive a generous gift.
Bathing in a hot tub with your clothes on will bring on illness.
Making disparaging remarks about Tennessee will make you garden vegetables wither on the vine.
A physician that mocks their patient will soon be mocked by friends.
To drink coffee without offering some to your guests will make the milk in your refrigerator spoil.
To argue with neighbors on a Sunday in Lynn Garden is said to bring a year of troubles from friends.
Milligan area (Carter County)
It is said the gods of old dwell in the trees here, and that they grant fortuhe upon those that share tobacco or drink with strangers.
To disparage the ghosts on this campus is said to make new shoes age and fall apart.
To make a rude gesture toward an old soldier will bring you a reversal of fortune.
Montain City inhabitants that marry for wealth and not love are doomed to be the victim of their own greed.
To eat the first snow of winter in Mountain City is reputed to bring a good batch of moonshine come spring.
To utter the words, "mountain dew" or "Grandpa Jones" while making love on the bare ground in Pigeon Forge is said to produce musically-girted children. ( Grandpa Jones was a real-life banjo player named Louis Marshall Jones. Jones was also a song writer and an inductee of the Country Music Hall of Fame. He is probably
best remembered as a regular cast member of the TV show, "Hee-Haw" and for his popular recording of the old-time favorite, "Mountain Dew".
When fishing, one is advised to thank the fish or their cupboard will go bare within the year.
Ruining a Rhododendron blossom in anger will be punished by a headache. On the other hand, visitors to Roan Mountain should take a stalk of a Rhododendron plant and cultivate it next to their home. This is said to spread the tranquility of the mountains to whatever part of the world they live.
Landlords that cause hardship for their tenants ' children will one day see their own kin working for those children.
Mail carriers that steal mail will be cursed with children that steal from them.
One should always name their well or the water will dry up when the need is greatest.
It is believed that any argument that goes on while one is snapping or canning beans will be taken up again once the beans are served.
A bachelor that fails to tip his hat to a woman riding a horse will get a shrew for a wife.
Passing by the injured on a road without help will bring similar injuries to your loved ones.
Louisiana practitioners of left-handed magic are said to have no power over good (aka white) witches of Unicoi Co.
It is said that couples that marry in May in Watauga will be blessed by brave sons and loyal daughters.
Your first catch of the year (fish) should be given to a widow for the overall community good.
Snow out of season, tears without reason.
The most beautiful flower grows on the tardiest vine.
Red at night, shepherd's delight. Red in the morning, shepherd's warning.
Water does flow under where the fairy ring grow.
Yankees that pray with you, friends just fine. Yankees that preach to you, filthier than swine.
You can build a home over an outhouse, but you'll still have the stink.
God invented moonshine and moderation , man invented teetotalers.
Gossip among two friends leaves both friendless.
Small-minded people hide behind mean-spirited dogs.
Granny has forgotten more about life than you'll ever learn from a book.
He who boasts no vice talks over Christ's advice.
Dirty dishes and warm laughter make a better home than spotless dishes and a cold bed.