(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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The gipsies, one of whose principal trades is the burning of bricks and tiles, are often superstutions of occasioning lengthy droughts to suit their own purposes. Also believed by the Roumenians. In many popular rhymes and dialogues, for instance, it has been clearly proved that those parts now assigned to the Saviour and St.

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. Some of the Saxon customs are peculiarly interesting from being obviously remnants of Paganism, and are a curious proof of the force of verbal tradition, which in this case has not only borne the transplantation from a far distant country, but likewise weathered the storm of two successive changes of religion.

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Emily Gerard

Here, as elsewhere, thirteen is an ominous number. Thirdly, there is the wandering superstition of the gypsy tribes, themselves a race of fortune-tellers and witches, whose ambulating caravans cover the country as with a network, and whose less vagrant members fill up the suburbs of towns and villages. Even the Roumenian’s wedding day is darkened by the shade of superstition.

Soon after this the woman, waiting in vain for superstitins husband, was attacked by a furious dog, which rushed, barking, out of the bushes and succeeded in biting her severely, as well as tearing her dress. Not a year passes without bringing to light some earthern jar containing old Dacian coins, or golden ornaments of Roman origin, and all such discoveries serve to feed and keep up the national superstition.

George’s Day, denote treasures kept by benevolent spirits, while those which appear at a later hour are unquestionably of a pernicious nature. Emilie added it Dec 05, It has also been averred that both Roumenian and Saxon mothers, whose sickly infants are thought to be suffering from the effects of the evil eye, are frequently in the habit of giving the child to be nursed for a period of nine days to some gipsy woman, who is supposed to be able to undo the spell.

That, however, these people exercise a considerable influence on their Saxon and Roumenian neighbours is undoubted, and it is ejily paradoxical fact, that the same people who regard the gipsy as an undoubted thief, liar, and cheat, in all the common transactions of daily life, do not hesitate to confide in him blindly for charmed medicines and love-potions, and are ready to attribute to him unerring power in deciphering the mysteries of the future.


Whoever turns three somersaults the first time he hears the thunder will be free from pains in the back during a twelvemonth, and the man who wishes to be ensured against headache has only to rub it against a stone or knock it with a piece of iron. There are innumerable caverns, whose mysterious depths seem made to harbour whole legions of evil spirits: On New Year’s Day it is customary for the Roumenian to interrogate his fate, by placing a leaf of evergreen on the freshly swept and heated hearthstone.

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

In the night preceding Easter Sunday witches and demons are abroad, and hidden treasures are said to betray their site by a glowing flame. To this end a tiny transyvanian must be prepared for the male weasel, and a distaff for his female partner, and laid at a place dmily animals are known to frequent.

The cuckoo is an oracle to be consulted in manifold contingencies. Bram Stoker “vampirized” Marie Nizet? The throwing up of wreaths on to the roofs, described above, geratd in some districts practised on the feast of St. 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 sum merely for his assistance in the search. That the cattle are endowed with speech during the Superstitkons 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.

Sueprstitions lighted on the mountains this same night are supposed to protect the flocks from evil spirits. When, an hour later, this woman reached home alone she was met by her husband, who advanced smiling to meet her, but between his teeth she caught sight of the shreds of her dress which had been bitten out by the dog, and the horror of the discovery caused her to superstitjons away.

On this account the place is shunned, and no Roumenians will venture to rest here at the hour of noon. A broom put upside down behind the door will keep away the witches.

There is on this subject no truer saying than that of Grimm, to the effect that “superstition in all its manifold varieties constitutes a sort of religion, applicable to the common household necessities of daily life,” and as such, particular forms of superstition may very well serve as guide to the characters and habits of the particular nation in which they are prevalent.

In the evening the young men in each home bind as many wreaths as there are members of the family: Transylvanian Superstitions – article by Emily Ger At the birth of a child each one present takes a stone, and throws it behind him, saying,’ This into the jaws of the Strigoi,’ which custom would also seem to suggest Saturn and the swaddled-up stones.


It was written and published in Sometimes the power of discovering a particular treasure is supposed to be possessed only by members of some particular family.

Peter originally belonged to the old gods Thor and Loki; while the faithless Judas has had the personification of a whole hoard of German demons thrust upon him. I will here only attempt to mention a few of the principal ones. Sometimes a whole village is kept in trepidation for weeks together by some particularly audacious leader of a flock of wolves, to whom the peasants not unnaturally attribute a more than animal nature, and one may safely prophesy that so long as the real wolf continues to haunt the Transylvanian forests, so long will his specter brother survive in the minds of the inhabitants.

The Wednesday in Holy Week is very important. Olosta marked it as to-read Mar 17, This custom of the Rain-maiden is also to be found in Servia, and I believe in Croatia.

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. 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.

In the evening the young men in each home bind as many wreaths as there are members of the family: Joshua rated it liked it Apr 02, Or else go into the garden when no one is looking, shake a young fruit tree and return to the house without looking back; the fever will then have passed into the tree.

Emily Gerard – Wikipedia

This bird plays a great part in Eoumenian poetry, and is frequently supposed to be the spirit of an unfortunate lover. Little children’s nails should be bitten off instead of cut the first time, lest they learn to steal.

The influence of tramsylvanian latter may, however, be annulled and the catastrophe averted if the bird be put in a sack and carried thrice round the house.

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