(Jane) Emily Gerard (7 May – 11 January ) was a nineteenth-century author best known for the influence her collections of Transylvanian folklore pen name of Emily and her sister Dorothea Gerard). “Transylvanian Superstitions . (Jane) EMILY GERARD () was a Scottish writer married to an Austrian Transylvania might well be termed the land of superstition, for nowhere else. Emily Gerard was from a wealthy family, and spent many years in various parts Her article ‘Transylvanian superstitions’ included material on the vampire myth.

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Transylvanian Superstitions (Scripta Minora, #2)

A French traveler relates an instance of a harmless botanist who, while collecting herbs on a hillside in a crouching attitude, was observed by some peasants at a distance and taken for a wolf Before they had time to reach him, however, he had risen to his feet and disclosed himself in the form of a man; but this, in the minds of the Romanians who now regarded him as an aggravated case of wolf, was but additional motive for attacking him.

If two people are together during this discovery they must not on any account break silence till the treasure is removed, neither is transjlvanian allowed to fill up the hole superstltions which anything has been taken, for that would induce a speedy death.

This same night is the best for finding treasures, and many people spend it in wandering about the hills trying to probe the earth for the gold it contains. In going into a new-built house one must throw in a dog or a cat before entering, transylvania one of the family will soon die. The figure Death is here stripped of its gaudy attire, and the naked straw bundle thrown out of the window, gerqrd it is seized by the boys and carried off in triumph to be thrown into the neighbouring stream or river.

Transylvanian Superstitions by E. Gerard

To ask other readers questions about Transylvanian Superstitionsplease sign up. Vain and futile as such researches usually are, yet they have in this country a somewhat greater semblance of reason than in most other parts, for perhaps nowhere else have so many successive nations been forced to secrete their sueprstitions in flying from an enemy, to say nothing of the numerous veins of undiscovered gold and silver which must be seaming the country in all directions.

First of all she may, by cracking the joints of her fingers, accurately ascertain the number of her admirers, also a freshly laid egg broken into a glass of water will give much clue to the events in store for her by the shape it adopts. Roots dug up from the churchyard on Good Friday are to be given to people in danger of death.

The crow, on the contrary, is a bird of evil omen, and is particularly ominous when it flies straight over the head of any man. Elias, the 20th of July August 1is a very unlucky day, on which the lightning may be expected to strike.


She reviewed German literature for the Timeshaving been educated in Tyrol. The finger which ventures to point at a rainbow will be straightway seized by a gnawing disease, and a rainbow appearing in December is always considered to bode misfortune.

He therefore gave over the reins to her, and stepped aside into the bushes, where, murmuring the mystic formula he turned three somersaults over a ditch. A leaf of evergreen laid into a plate of water on the last day of the year when the bells are ringing will denote health, sickness, or death, during the coming year, according as it is found to be green, spotted, or black on the following morning.

In the night of St. Both brothers were considered sufficiently noteworthy to be listed alongside Emily Gerard in Black’s Who Was Who, That the cattle are endowed with speech during the Christmas night is a general belief, but it is not considered wise to pry upon them and try to overhear what they say, or the listener will rarely overhear any good.

The throwing up of wreaths on to the roofs, described above, is in some districts practised on the feast of St. Not a year passes without bringing to light some earthen jar containing old Dacian coins, or golden ornaments of Roman origin, and all such discoveries serve to feed and keep up the national superstition.

The night of St.

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They were quite sure that he must be a Prikolitsch, for only such could change his shape in such an unaccountable manner, and in another minute they were all in full cry after the wretched victim of science, who might have fared badly indeed, had he not happened to gain a carriage on the high road before his pursuers came up.

Not only in winter were all means of communication cut off for a large proportion of people, but their very existence was, so to say, frozen up; and if the granaries were scantily filled, or the inclement season prolonged by some weeks, death was literally standing at the door of thousands of poor wretches. Also the river in which the Death has been drowned may now be considered fit for public bathing. Supposing, for instance, that he wishes to ensure a flock, garden or field against thieves, wild beasts, or bad weather, the matter is very simple.

If, however, this and other remedies fail to save the doomed man, then he must have a burning candle put into his hand; for it is considered to be the greatest of all misfortunes if a man die without a candle—a favour the Roumenian durst not refuse to his most deadly enemy.

This night is likewise favourable to the discovery of hidden treasures, and the man who has courage to conjure up the evil spirit will be sure to see him if he call upon him at midnight. The Council of Constantinople, A.

Another important feature to be noted is that the lights seen before midnight on St. Transylvania might well be termed the land of superstition, for nowhere else does this curious crooked plant of delusion flourish as persistently and in such bewildering variety.


The feast of St. Many old Pagan ceremonies are still clearly to be distinguished through the flimsy shrouding of a later period, and their origin unmistakable even through the surface-varnish of Christianity which was thought necessary to adapt them to newer circumstances, and like a clumsily remodelled garment the original cut frequently asserts itself, despite the fashionable trimmings which now adorn it.

To form a conjecture as to the shape and build of her future husband, she is recommended to throw an armful of firewood as far as she can from her; the piece which has gone furthest will be the image of her intended, according as the stick happens to be tall or short, broad or slender, straight or crooked.

Preview — Transylvanian Superstitions by Emily Gerard.

Here, after depositing a copper coin as payment, he summons the demon with the following words: Every winter supwrstitions brings fresh egrard of the boldness and cunning of these terrible animals, whose attacks on flocks and farms are often conducted with a skill which would do honor to a human intellect. The Greek Church, to which the Roumenians exclusively belong, has an abnormal number of feast-days, to almost each of which peculiar customs and superstitions are attached.

The conditions to the successful raising of such a treasure are manifold, and difficult of accomplishment.

An approved sort of love charm is to take the two hind legs of a green tree-frog, bury these in an anthill till all the flesh is removed, then tie them up securely in a linen handkerchief, and whosoever touches this linen will be seized at once with love for its owner.

It is conducted in the following manner: To different hours of the day are likewise ascribed different influences, favourable or the reverse. In one of the villages a story is still told and believed of such a man, who driving home from church on Sunday with his wife, suddenly felt that the time for his transformation had come. Called Turon by the Poles, who have many similar games.

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Many and curious are therefore the means by which the Roumenians endeavour to counteract these baleful influences, and a whole complicated study, about as laborious as the mastering of any unknown language, is required in order to teach an unfortunate peasant to steer clear of the dangers by which he considers himself to be beset on all sides.

A deputation of peasants, at considerable trouble and expense, found out the last surviving member of the family supposed to possess the mystic power, and offered him, unconditionally, a very handsome superdtitions merely for his assistance in the search.