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Sunday, October 1, 2017

Witch Watch: 'First footer' brings good luck

Redford Observer, January 1, 1976 (enlarge)
I was sitting laptop lid to laptop lid with my 10-year-old daughter when I found this column and interrupted her Five Nights at Freddy's marathon by saying, "Do you want to hear something interesting about that witch I told you about?"

"Suuuure." she said and I proceeded to read the entire thing to her. It actually held her interest and totally captivated me. I'm not sure what sort of book collection Marion had or what her information sources were but each column comes off as well-research and academic.

This column covered New Year's superstitions about the first person step foot in a residence and the ramifications of such. A woman was the worst kind of luck. Likewise were blonde and ginger males. Unibrows, gravediggers and undertakers are a given but were likely added for reasons of levity and amusement. It worked.

The cure? Scatter salt in all corners of the house. Chant about salt's blessings. Circle the house with water, fire (in the form of hot coals) and air (incense), thus the protection of the four elements. Finally, one must bury a fertile egg near the front door to ensure prosperity, productivity and fertility.

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