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There were many superstitions--believed by both children and adults in To Kill a Mockingbird--associated with Boo Radley and the Radley House. Negroes would not walk past the house at night; instead, they would cut across the street to the other sidewalk "and whistle as he walked." Nuts from the Radley pecan tree that fell into the schoolyard were left untouched: "Radley pecans would kill you." Birds would not sing while sitting in a Radley tree. Children who had to pass the house always ran past it; others, like Cecil Jacobs, walked a mile out of the way to school to avoid it.
And then there was Boo, the "malevolent phantom" who lived inside. Boo was said to peep in windows at night. He could kill azaleas by breathing on them. He mutilated neighborhood pets and other animals, and he would "gouge your eyes out" if he caught you.
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