Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Snakes are not one of my favorite subjects, but there seems to be a lot of beliefs about them.

It is said that in the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains, that all snakes go blind and change their skin during the dog days of summer. I'm not sure the point of this belief, but apparently it is fairly common. It is also said that snakes are more likely to attack people during this period.

If you find a scorpion, there is a snake only a few feet away.

It seems there were some clans (families) back in the mountains that would never kill a snake. These were the snake doctors that you went to see when you had been bitten. They had their own secret 'cure' for snakebite. Since the cures were secret, not much is known about them, except that the snake that did the biting must not be injured at all and should be taken with you to the 'snake doctors', who would release them back into the woods.

An Appalachian belief concerning snakebites was that you must kill the snake, cut it up, and press the pieces to the bite, thus drawing out the poison and healing the bite.

The last one I will mention involves a good omen. That's right~something to make you feel good about snakes. Just remember this~if you find two snakes in your house at the same time, it is good luck for you! (I'd like to know how many of you believe this one, LOL!)

Do you know any wives tales about snakes?


  1. The two that I know are:

    If you see a snake in a tree, then that means it will rain soon.
    (I've actually seen one in a tree outside my window once!)

    The green hedge apple is a deterrent to both snakes and spiders.
    (we have a tree in the nearby park and if any of them fall to the ground I'm going to collect a few...they are too high up for us to reach at this point!)

    Love your Wives Tales Wednesdays, gal!☺

  2. OH my goodness Rosemary...2 SNAKES IN THE HOUSE AT ONE TIME, I'd be moving out!!!! Thanks for sharing all this wonderful snake lore with us:)

  3. I haven't heard any snake old wives tales, but if 2 get in my house they are in trouble!!!!

    I do have some snake stories, too long to share here. Yuck!

    Just one: Over 30 years ago, while sitting at a picnic table under a tree, I felt something wet on my back.... you guessed it! A snake was doing his business from in the tree. How do they get up there anyway?

  4. I can't think of any wives tales at the moment, but I remember as a child that my mom always told me that if I were in the woods or picking berries or such, that if I smelled cucumbers that it meant a snake was nearby.

  5. I remember my dad throwing dead snakes (after he killed them) into a tree.... that was supposed to make it rain, I think. I've heard if you dream about snakes, it means you have an enemy somewhere. And.... yes, I've had a snake in my house. We used to live in an old farmhouse and my husband saw a little one crawl into my magazine basket!!! Thankfully, he killed it before I got home from work. But didn't tell me about until months later, because he knew I would want to move immmediately!

  6. That is interesting about the snakes in the trees--dead or alive to make it rain. I'd never heard about the cucumber smell, either.

    I think they call those green hedge apples horse apples here. I may collect up a few and put around the place.

    I did read that a lot of people grown gourds because they are supposed to repel snakes.

    Penpen, I'm glad you didn't know about that snake! I'd have wanted to move, too. And Deb J~yuck about that snake in the tree above you. At least he didn't fall down on top of you!

  7. One time my friend moved into an older house-that had been empty a long time. The first time they fired up the fireplace-snakes (little ones) began coming out of the surrounding brick. She did not think it was lucky : )

    When I think of snakes-I think of the crazy tales of hoop snakes that would roll after you or the racers that would chase you. And of course-I think of the snake handling churches.

  8. well we have had snakes in my flower bed and front yard this year bad...little copperheads my wives tales are about gettting rid of snakes...

    supposedly moth balls deter snakes,
    as does rock salt, it cuts their bellies, and so do granules (flea and tick)

    when we lived in MS one morning I woke up and our friend we lived with was stomping and yelling, I jumped up and he was killing a snake, it had gotten into the china cabinet and got in one of his caps (yeah he was a single guy who kept his caps in the built in china cabinet) freaked us all out major!!

  9. I've got my own snake tales from the old house, thankfully haven't seen any snakes here! I don't like them, so creepy!