Current Superstitions by Fanny Dickerson Bergen is useful book that makes
one familiar with superstitions prevalent in 19th century America. It is a
comprehensive survey of superstitions and beliefs of people classified into
categories like childhood, love and marriage, dreams, weather, warts, cures
and money etc. These superstions are still believed in by many either as such
or in a modified form. The writer also analyses the mind and attitude of the
masses who believe in them. Many of these superstions have astrological or
occult values as they are still practised.
The writer says, "The record contained in the present volume forms the first
considerable printed collection made in America of superstitions belonging to
English-speaking folk."
Some of the beliefs presented in the book are:


126.  Beware of that man,
        Be he friend or brother,
      Whose hair is one color
        And moustache another.
          _Portland, Me._
127. The color of the hair growing on the neck indicates the color of the
hair of one's future husband.
128. A single white hair means genius; it must not be pulled out.
129. If you pull out a white hair, two will come in its place.
          _Somewhat general in the United States._
130. Hair growing upon the upper lip of a woman means riches.
          _Boston, Mass._
148. A mole on the eyebrow denotes that one will be hanged. On the ear it
denotes that he will be drowned.
          _Chestertown, Md._
149.  Mole above breath
      Means wealth.
150.  Moles on the neck,
      Money by the peck.
          _Prince Edward Island and Northern Ohio._
151. A mole on the neck indicates that its owner will be hanged.
          _Boston, Mass._
152. A mole on the side of the neck means a death by hanging.
          _Central Maine._
194. If a girl puts a two-leaved clover in her shoe, the first man who
comes on the side where the clover is will be her future husband.
195. Put a four-leaved clover in your shoe, and you will marry a man
having the first name of the man whom you meet first after doing it.
          _Province of Quebec._
196. With a four-leaved clover in your shoe, you will meet your lover.
197. If the finder of a four-leaved clover put it in her own shoe, she
will marry the first person with whom she crosses a bridge.
Usefulness of the book can be understood from having a look at its contents:
CHAP.                                                             PAGE
       INTRODUCTION                                                  1
    I. BABYHOOD                                                     21
        Baptism.--Physiognomy.--Introduction to the World.--First
   II. CHILDHOOD                                                    26
  III. PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS                                     32
        Beauty.--Dimple.--Ears.--Eyes and Eyebrows.--
   IV. PROJECTS                                                     38
        Buttons.--Four-leaved Clover.--Counting.--Daisy Petals.--
        Doorway.--Eggs.--Fingers.--Garments.--Letters of the
        Walking Abroad.--Water.--Various.
    V. HALLOWEEN AND OTHER FESTIVALS                                55
   VI. LOVE AND MARRIAGE                                            59
        Engagement.--Attire of the Bride.--Lucky Days.--The
        Marriage Ceremony.--Courting and Wedding Signs.
  VII. WISHES                                                       67
VIII. DREAMS                                                       70
        Animals.--Colors.--Dead Persons.--Earth.--Eggs.--Fire
        and Smoke.--Human Beings.--Meteorological Phenomena.--Money
        and Metals.--Teeth.--Water.--Weddings and Funerals.--
   IX. LUCK                                                         79
        Sweeping.--Turning Back.--Miscellaneous.
    X. MONEY                                                        87
   XI. VISITORS                                                     89
  XII. CURES                                                        94
XIII. WARTS                                                       101
  XIV. WEATHER                                                     106
        Cold.--Days and Times.--Fair or Foul.--Moon.--Rain.--Wind
        and Storm.
   XV. MOON                                                        117
        Divination.--Fortune.--Moonlight.--Wax and Wane.
  XVI. SUN                                                         123
        Domestic and Mechanical Operations.--Cures.
XVII. DEATH OMENS                                                 125
XVIII. MORTUARY CUSTOMS                                            131
  XIX. MISCELLANEOUS                                               134
        Actions.--Bodily Affections.--Apparel.--Customs.--Days.--
        Domestic Life.--Various.
       NOTES                                                       151

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