Folk superstitions about screech owls remained very much alive in Miles' day--particularly among rural whites and African-Americans. Miles reports: "Negroes often heat a poker in the fire, and people with recollections of witchcraft sometimes tie knots in a sheet, to conjure the little Owl and stop his crying [in order to prevent a death in the household]" (Our Southern Birds 44). A Treasury of American Superstitions lists other practices of counteracting the owl's cry: "turning a pocket wrong side out, wearing an apron backwards or wearing any garment wrong side out" (de Lys 66).