13 Days to Halloween – Superstitions

Do you throw salt over your shoulder to ward off evil spirits?  Do you avoid cracks in the sidewalk when walking for fear of stepping on one and getting bad luck?  Or what about knocking on wood three times to make sure nothing bad happens to you? I think we all carry a superstition or two in our back pocket…and I’d love to hear what they are! I, for one, can’t do a show without my gummy bears! Everything would otherwise completely fall apart.

Here are the top 5 superstitions according to me:

1) The NUMBER 13 – This is an old reference that has to do with groups of 13 people. At the Last Supper, there were 13 people seated at dinner and Christ was betrayed. In Norse mythology, 12 gods were gathered when the evil god Loki attacked them; Loki was the 13th guest and the god Balder was killed. The fear of the number 13 is so deep in our culture that airlines usually don’t have a 13th row and most (tall) buildings don’t have a 13th floor. Coincidentally, in the Italian culture, the number 13 is thought to bring good luck.

2) BLACK CATS – Do you get scared when one crosses your path? It was once believed that witches transformed into the shape of a cat. Europeans during the Middle Ages were terrified of black cats for this reason. In addition, some believed that after seven years of service to a witch, a black cat would turn into a witch.  

3) HATS ON BEDS – I had never heard of this superstition before and it intrigued me. Apparently, people believed that evil spirits could live in hair; therefore, if you laid your hat down where you sleep, the evil spirits would spill out from your hat and take over your bed…and maybe you. Somewhat silly, no? But I might not throw my hats on to my bed anymore.  You know, just in case.

4) BROKEN MIRRORS – Some believed that souls hung out inside of mirrors and if a mirror broke, it would harm the soul and, thus, harm the person. With time, it seems, the “rules” of the superstition were altered so that one would have bad luck for only seven years should a mirror break.

5) GRAVES AND GRAVEYARDS – I know many people, including me, get creeped out by graveyards. Have you seen Poltergeist? It’s considered to be bad luck to dig up land meant to bury bodies because everything inside a graveyard is considered to be sacred. If you interfere with anything within a graveyard, you will have bad luck. Despite my fear of graveyards, I think I will try and find some that are considered to be haunted…if I can bring myself to doing that, that is.

For more fun trivia on superstitions, please visit Today.

‘Till next time!