Being a small community isolated from the rest of the world it’s no surprise that Guernsey used to possess a rich set of folklore tales, ancient cures and remedies for ailments and many superstitious tales. Many will have been lost or forgotten over time but we’ve managed to gather together here some of the more intriguing and somewhat amusing wisdom of the old Guernésiais folk.
In Guernsey folklore the following rhyme connects the number of crows to certain occasions :
One for sorrow,
Two for mirth,
Three for a wedding,
Four for a birth,
Five for heaven,
Six for hell
And seven for the devil his own sel’
Signs of an approaching storm :
1. An old cat plays with its tail.
2. Swallows and swifts fly low.
3. Crows make a terrible noise.
4. Cattle seek shelter.
5. Bright light in the south-west seen from Rocquaine and L’Eree accompanied by a roaring sound coming from La Pendue (a reef of rocks).
If a girl were to knock over a chair just before her marriage, then she would delay the wedding for a year.
To rid yourself of corns, place a concoction of bruised leaves onto them, having first scraped off their tops. Do this daily for fifteen days and the corns will drop off.
To avoid moth damage cover a piece of cardboard in liquid tar. When it is dry hang it in the wardrobe to preserve clothes from moth.
Numerous berries on hawthorn bushes are signs of a hard winter.
A robin tapping on the window foretells death. A black cat fortells the coming of a stranger.