Happy Friday the 13th! Feeling superstitious? We’re going to touch on 13 of the most common superstitions. Let us know if we missed any by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and telling us what superstitions make your skin crawl!
- Friday the 13th
Friday the 13th is a superstition that has people acting a little more careful for 24 hours. If this day gives you the heebie jeebies, you may have paraskavedekatriaphobia. Don’t worry! We can’t pronounce it, either. An estimated 21 million people in the US are affected by a fear of Friday the 13th, making it the most feared date in history.
- Black Cats
The black cat superstition trails back to witches and their mysterious feline friends. If you’re scared of a black cat crossing your path just think about this: More than 81 MILLION cats are kept as pets. They can’t be that bad, right?
Breaking a mirror is said to give you seven years of bad luck. This folklore arose from the idea that mirrors don’t just show your reflection, but that they hold a bit of your soul; therefore, if you break the mirror, your soul had been broken, too. Yikes! Better be safe with that compact.
No one wants to walk under a ladder and possibly cause someone to fall, right? That makes sense, but the superstition about walking under ladders has nothing to do with that! The superstition about walking under a ladder comes from Christian belief of “breaking” the holy trinity. If you break the triangle that the ladder forms, you’ll be haunted with bad luck. Around you go!
- Knocking On Wood
Knocking on wood is said to call on spirits for protection. You may hear someone knock on wood when they are trying to prevent something from happening.
Example: “I’ve never been in an accident…” *knocks on wood.*
According to superstition, if you open an umbrella indoors, bad luck will “rain” on you. If you want good luck to follow, remember that umbrellas are an outdoor tool.
- Spilled Salt
This European superstition claims that spilling salt is an evil omen. The belief is that spilling salt is unlucky, but you can reverse it by throwing a pinch over your left shoulder. Hmmm… Who knew seasonings were so powerful?
- Holding Your Breath While Passing a Cemetery
Legend has it, holding your breath while passing by a cemetery will prevent breathing in a soul from those who have passed. No one wants to accidentally inhale evil. Better safe than sorry.
Find a penny, pick it up and all day, you’ll have good luck! Some people believe that it’s only good luck to pick up a penny on heads, but others just think that a penny signifies good luck all the time. Talk about a superstition sandwich.
- Step On a Crack…
…Break your mother’s back. Hearing this as a kid is terrifying! No one wants to hurt their mom, so avoiding cracks is a number one priority!
- Full Moon
There are numerous superstitions when it comes to a full moon. You may hear someone say “the crazies are out” or to “watch out for werewolves.” Some people also believe that a full moon can trigger childbirth. While all of these things float around during a full moon, scientifically, it just means that the earth is located directly between the sun and the moon.
- Black Crows
Black crows aren’t the prettiest of birds, and the Alfred Hitchcock classic The Birds didn’t help that argument. The superstition about crows depends on how many you’re seeing. Seeing one single crow is said to be unlucky, but seeing two is good luck. If you see one, just look around a bit and maybe you’ll be able to turn your luck around. Seeing three crows means health, while four means wealth. Five crows mean sickness and six… well, six means death.
- Don’t Split the Pole
If two people are walking together, they absolutely should not split up and walk around an obstacle like a pole or another person. “Splitting the pole” is thought to give you bad luck, but wait; there’s a remedy! If you do split the pole, just say “bread and butter” to reverse the bad luck curse. Yum!