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The belief in North American folklore may originate in the system of African American folk magic known as “hoodoo“. A number of strictures attached to the charm that are now observed mostly in the breach:
- First, not any foot from a rabbit will do: it is the left hind foot of a rabbit that is useful as a charm.
- Second, not any left hind foot of a rabbit will do; the rabbit must have been shot or otherwise captured in a cemetery.
- Third, at least according to some sources, not any left hind foot of a rabbit shot in a cemetery will do: the phase of the moon is also important. Some authorities say that the rabbit must be taken in the full moon, while others hold instead that the rabbit must be taken in the new moon. Some sources say instead that the rabbit must be taken on a Friday, or a rainy Friday, or Friday the 13th. Some sources say that the rabbit should be shot with a silver bullet, while others say that the foot must be cut off while the rabbit is still alive