Superstition References in Silverweed: a supernatural fairy tale
Silverweed: a supernatural fairy tale by Dorlana Vann
The superstition references in Silverweed are a combination of my grandfather’s stories and an informative superstitions dictionary.
I’d never really been that superstitious, except for doing things like tossing salt over both my shoulders—yes, both because I didn’t know which one was correct. However, my interest sparked in 2006 when my mom told me about my grandfather’s childhood stories. Apparently, his mother (pictured on the right – my great-grandmother – I think I kind of look like her) died when my grandpa was five-years-old; it happened the day after she’d told him to stop shooing the birds away that had landed on their front porch, because it meant death.
My grandfather had also told my mom that one day he had watched the devil walking out in his Alabama woods, pitchfork and all. (You might recognize this from the first chapter of Silverweed.)
Around the same time my mom was reminiscing, I was writing the rough draft of the the Little Red Riding Hood inspired short story, and all of these memories set the entire mood for “Silverweed Muffins” which eventually became Silverweed the novel.
As I was writing the story, I researched superstitions. It took me awhile but I finally found a reference book I really liked, Dictionary of Superstitions by David Pickering. Even if you don’t need the book for reference, it’s interesting to see how our lives today are influenced by these superstitions from the past. BTW – the correct shoulder to throw salt over is the left one.
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