Five Facts: Superstitions and Their Peculiar Origins

By September 10, 2018 Infographics No Comments
Five Popular Superstitions and Their Origins
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It’s that time of year when things start getting a little spooky again. The sun is setting earlier and earlier. There’s a definite chill in the air. Plants are withering and as a black cat scurries by your mind begins to wander. Before you know it, you find yourself wondering about all of the events large and small that occur every day that can be considered superstitious.  Beyond the black cat crossing your path, there are so many of them in the world that sometimes, we can’t even keep up! The origins of many superstitions are shrouded in mystery and seem rather outrageous. Allow us to school you on our five favorite superstitions that we’ve heard over the years.  It will be up to you to believe them or not!

Five Popular Superstitions and Their Origins

  • Walking Under a Ladder: This one is pretty practical, and obviously, anyone with common sense wouldn’t want to walk under one, to begin with.  What if your wailing hands accidentally hit it and you knock the entire thing down? Well, this superstition is a popular one all over the world.  It arose from the Christian belief of Holy Trinity.  The ladder perched against the wall of a building forms a triangle, and breaking that triangle was considered a sin.  Another fear of walking under a ladder is simply just the saying of “safety first.” It’s just not the safest thing to do.
  • Rabbit Feet Will Bring Lots of Luck: Rabbit feet are one of those items that you will see multiple people have either as a key chain or maybe even hanging somewhere in their cars.  It’s considered a good way to fend off evil.  It’s originally derived from the Celtic tribes in Britain, who believed these items will bring them luck, especially during trying times.
  • Bad Things Comes in Threes: Tripping over a curb, spilling your coffee all over you, and missing your train all in one day may seem like the universe is out to get you.  However, those who believe in superstitions will blame exactly that on their misfortunes.  Maybe Mercury is in Retrograde or maybe you just need to wake up a little earlier, be a little more careful, and watch where you are going next time.  This superstition may seem a little silly to those who don’t believe in it, but for those who do, you can’t tell them any different.
  • Breaking a Mirror = 7 Years of Bad Luck:  when it comes to some folklore, if you shatter a mirror, you also shatter your good luck for the next 7 years.  You are officially doomed until that time period is over, at least that is what this superstition entails.  Some people believe in this so much, that they began creating countermeasures to make in case this happened to them.  For example, holding a piece of the broken mirror onto a tombstone, or grinding a piece of the broken mirror shard into a powder.  This superstition arises from the belief that mirrors also hold a bit of your soul when you look into one.  This creepy belief made the American South, in the olden days, cover the mirrors in their house whenever someone passed away, trapping their soul inside of the mirror.
  • Knocking on Wood:  You might have heard someone say something that they truly do not want to happen, and they finish off their sentence by saying “knock on wood.”  An example of this would be saying “I’m going to the store and I hope I don’t get hit by a bus, knock on wood.” Some folks actually do the action while they say it, to lock down the unfortunate event from now happening to them.  Sounds funny, but some do believe in this. This obsession with knocking on wood to make sure nothing bad happens comes from myths about good spirits in trees in the Christian belief.  Knocking on the wood would have the spirits with them at all times, making sure nothing bad happens to them, no matter how many times they’ve said it out loud.

Don’t let these superstitions keep you locked up in the house. Halloween is almost here!! Put on your Halloween costume, grab your rabbit foot and get out there! There’s a holiday to celebrate! Have a superstition of your own? Share it with us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram. Connect with us on Pinterest too!

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