Death in the Ozarks (Part 2 )

In case you didn’t catch the first part of these ghoulish Ozark superstitions, preserved for us by the late folklorist Vance Randolph, the old-time Ozarkers seemingly had a bit of a fascination with death. 

Here are some more beliefs from the old days:

If you hear unusual, unexplained noises, such as ticks or knocks, it means death is coming soon for someone close to you. 

If you experience a sudden ringing in your ears, someone you know has either just died or is about to die. Those are “death bells” you hear. 

If a woman breaks a needle while making a quilt, it is a sign she may die before the quilt is finished. 

If you forget to lock your door at night, when you usually do, it is a sign that a loved one is going to die soon. 

If a woman sneezes with food in her mouth, it means a friend is about to die.

If you step over someone lying on the ground, it is a sign the person will die. If you do so intentionally it is very offensive, and can be taken to mean you’re trying to kill them. 

If you step over a spade, it means that spade will soon be used to dig your grave. 

If you accidentally kick a rifle on the ground, it means you will die of a gunshot wound. 

If you see a falling star, it means someone has just died. 

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