Modern superstitions are the popular beliefs that one thing causes the incidence of another one, without any actual correlation between both activities. The source of superstitions can be tracked many hundreds of years ago, when the fearful people tried to describe the strange incidents occurring in front of their eyes given the restricted information that was available to them. Here is a brief list of the most absurd 20 superstitions selected depending on how illogical, known and humorous they are.
1. If your ears are buzzing, someone is referring to you
The source of this superstition goes back to more than two millennia ago. Even if modern technology has offered a description to the possible causes of buzzing ears (Tinnitus), this type of superstitions still makes fear in many people because it makes individuals to think about who might be chatting about them.
According to this superstition, if your left ear is buzzing, someone who you know is saying something nice about you. If your right ear is buzzing, that person is saying bad things about you.
Ringing in the ear is a health problem named tinnitus. The disturbance can be sporadic or ongoing, and can differ in volume. Tinnitus influences an approximated 50 million people is the US alone. Tinnitus is usually due to extended contact with noisy audio devices.
2. Sunlight and rainfall at the same time: a woman is giving birth
All sun showers, which are an unusual meteorological event, have a variety of legendary experiences around it across various cultures. For instance, in a sun shower happening suddenly that a woman is having a baby right at that moment, while in some parts of Norway they see it as a sign of wedding between a beautiful woman and her groom.
Sun showers are uncommon climate situations in which rainfall drops, while the sun is glowing. Because only hardly ever does it rainfall when the bright sky is not filled with clouds which completely blocks the sun, these apparently contrary brief events are the topic of a few odd ideas. The most frequent product of tradition connected to sun showers is the belief that a sun showers guarantees a real rainstorm the following day.
3. If you crack a mirror, you have seven years of bad luck in front of you
Splitting a mirror can even send shivers down on a skeptic’s spine for a brief moment! This superstition is an ancient one and has kept its strength over the centuries. Actually, many superstitions are linked to mirrors, but the particular values focusing around damaged mirrors are more typical nowadays.
If you are thinking why you never won at lotto, you might want to examine your lifestyle and remember is you cracked a mirror in the recent years. People considered that their mirrors not only included a representation of a person’s appearance, but also her spirit. Hence, a damaged mirror (both its body and soul) symbolizes activities that will bring misfortunes upon you. Remarkably, the solution to prevent a sequence of bad lucks comprising seven years of bad luck is to hide the broken mirror right at seven hours after it was damaged.
4. Fish dreams indicate that you or another person near you is having a kid very soon
This is an extremely exciting superstition. Grandmas talk to their granddaughters anytime they have this kind of dream asking them if they are expecting a child and women (in some situations even men get nervous about it) become pregnant after having their fish dreams. You may see this belief as simple mysticism, but take a look around you and you will discover quite a few individuals that have had their babies after dreaming about fish.
A typical idea is that newly pregnant mothers will dream about fish at the same time the uterus starts to collect amniotic fluid. These dreams might also appear prior to the child’s conception. Fish dreams are not unique to maternity, as they are a typical theme in both ladies and men. To dream about fish eggs generally represents an unconscious idea coming to reality. Dreaming of consuming fish means health and energy.
5. It is bad luck to go over black cats’ path
This is another wrong perception that is considered to be true in many cultures. In the ancient times, dark cats were first linked to witches and black magic in European countries. Other cultures believed that witches could transform themselves into black cats during the night, when they could become more efficient in their endeavors.
Superstitions focusing around the black cats are some of the most popular and crazy superstitions nowadays. It is exciting, though, because all the bad or good luck they bring is reliant on where you reside on the globe. In England and Asia, having a dark cat going in your direction, is regarded as best of fortune, whereas if you are in the USA or several European regions, it is a sign of bad luck. You do not get something to be happy about after a meeting with a witch, right?
6. Never buy your male partner footwear as a present, since he will walk out your life
This belief is quite a controversial one. Many females will claim they have had a long long-term connection despite the several pairs of shoes that they have purchased for their soul mates, while others might say that things got bad between them and he remaining her as soon as she got him his dream shoes.
An unusual superstition is that bad times will come to a person who puts his or her footwear on a table, this meaning that one of the family members will die or jeopardizing the peace in their family. It is considered that the superstition comes from new footwear initially having the bottoms fitted by hobnails, and these would make scrapes on a new desk if they were not already worn for a while.
7. Boys are carried low and girls are carried high during pregnancy
This belief is used to guess the sex of a child during pregnancy. Physicians have confirmed that this superstition is incorrect, stating muscular mass and the place of the kid in the womb as the aspects accountable for the place of the fetus. We just think that it is fun to estimate the gender of unborn babies, by using some apparently genuine information.
On its surface, the declaration does not seem all that illogical – or least not as absurd as the old move of a wedding band over a lady’s pregnant belly idea. After all, it seems possible that the place or form of the womb could indicate something about the child developing within it.
8. Friday the 13th gets a lot of bad luck
The superstition descends from the tale in the Holy Bible where Judas, the man who was considered Jesus’ betrayer, was exactly the thirteenth guest sitting at the Last Supper. The idea around Friday 13th is in reality a mixture of two individual worries – the fear of number 13, known as triskaidekaphobia, and fear of Friday.
The unfortunate number 13 is usually left out when people are numbering homes, apartments and resort rooms. Fridays have been regarded extremely unlucky days since the middle ages. It is generally believed to bring bad luck to do anything during the Fridays – a new trip, job, wedding, business venture, having a baby, moving from one house to another.
Muslims think that Friday is the day when Allah created Adam, while Eve and Adam ate the forbidden apple also on a Friday and then died on a Friday.
9. Walk on a crack and you break your mom’s back
It is considered that this perception came from the kids rhyme “Step on crack and your mom will become black” that eventually was modified into that popular superstition that we know nowadays.
Ill-fortune is considered to be the outcome from getting on a crack in the sidewalk. The community usually affiliates the superstition to the rhyme, but it actually goes back to over a century ago – at the beginning of the 20th century, to be more precisely – and the social discrimination that was frequent in this interval. It was also typical to think that going over the cracks in sidewalk would mean that the woman would get married to a man below her level and social status.
10. It is ill fortune to open umbrellas indoors
This superstition is in accordance with the fact that opening your umbrella within enclosed spaces stops the sun god from providing light to us. Many time ago, ago when the objective of the umbrella was to be used as a sunshade, opening the umbrella in a building was seen as an immediate offence to the sun, which was recognized as the ultimate provider of life in many cultures.
Another theory is that opening an outdoor umbrella inside enclosed space defends you against the stormy periods in your life and opening one within the house insults the protector angels of your home, making them to leave the inhabitants unprotected against the evil forces around the building. According to the legends surrounding it, the spirits will punish all the people who are inside that building.
11. Walking under open ladders is a sign of bad luck
There are several folklores around the perception, but the most well known one is that a ladder is a like a triangular (having three sides) that symbolizes the trinity when is leaning against the walls. With the number 3 being so holy in those days, Christian followers saw this as an act of irreverence towards God.
Anything associated with the gallows was regarded as bringing ill fortune, so going carelessly under one – or just under ladders that seemed like one- was not recommended. And what can you do if you see that you have just stepped under ladders and want to prevent the bad luck that might come? Either you spit three times through the ladder in cause, or you spit on the shoes. Just make sure that you do not look at the shoe until you spit has dried, however.
12. Good luck horseshoes
Some of us believe that, in order to carry best of fortune and to keep problems away, you have to put a horseshoe in the bedroom or at an entrance with its sides looking up-wards. This myth arises from the idea that a horseshoe has exactly seven gaps, which is regarded as a fortunate number, and is made of metal, so it can apparently prevent bad spirits that may bother you in your life.
Horseshoes were also seen as a lucky symbol because they were created by blacksmiths, they also being seen as a very fortunate business. Because they were dealing with powerful flames and wonderful metals, they were believed to have unique abilities. It was considered that a blacksmith could cure the sicknesses and if a couple was wedded by a blacksmith, their life would be a satisfied one.
13. Spiders protecting the house
Apparently, the superstitions around spiders go back to ancient times when they were associated with wealth. Talismans were designed in the form of various spiders, just like the Egyptian scarab, and worn by people all over the days and nights. It was their wish that, by doing it, wealth and good luck would appear in their life in the long run.
In the Middle Age times, spiders were also regarded as fortunate creatures. Individuals would snare them inside tiny seashells and then create a pendant with soft silk from them. The idea of this was to prevent sickness. Another basic medical treat associated with them was to catch one in boxes or bags and wait until the spider died. When it died, the animal was believed to also take the disease or sickness with it.
It is believed to be very bad to kill spiders. Seeing how many have destroyed entire hoards of spiders, it surely does not seem to be a fortunate future for them, according to popular folklore! Regardless of how terrifying and unpleasant they are, however, keeping one in the house was seen as best of luck as the creature would protect the home and family from its problems. To have them living in the house was a sign that your life would be happy as long as that spider stayed there. Spiders clinging from the roof meant that wealth was coming to you and the small and red spiders, regardless of what they are doing and where you seen them, also are a sign of financial compensation. Seeing them outside is also regarded as good fortune.
14. Knocking on wood
This term is almost like a spoken talisman, designed to prevent bad fortune after a negative fate: “Cracking a mirror did not bring any problems because I have knocked on wood”. The obsession with wood might come from old misconceptions about good spirits in plants or from a link to the Christian crosses made of the same material. Similar words are plentiful in several languages and cultures, indicating that the desire not to disappoint a spiteful god is very common.
In old British tradition, “knocking on wood” also was known when people talked about their secrets – they were hiding into the thick forests to discuss important things and “knocked” on pieces of wood to stop evil spirits from hearing their conversations. Another idea was that the act of hitting the wood was to improve the mood of the spirits and make them work in the requester’s benefit.
15. Wishing on wishbones
Once the merry thought is dried out, it is offered to two guests (usually children), who take it apart until they break and smash it, each one thinking about a secret wish when doing the respective action. The custom of poultry bone duels goes back a very long way. History has it that Romans at the beginning of the first century used to battle over dry wishbones — a thing they considered were best of fortune — and would unintentionally break them, inducing them the belief that whoever wins the biggest piece of bone has their wish becomes reality in the near future.
Bird bone fragments have also been used with religious purposes throughout all history and in many cultures, with one skilled soothsayer tossing the bones and studying their arrangement to estimate the upcoming events.
16. Rabbit feet bringing good luck
Bunnies and hares were regarded as very lucky creatures as these were associated with springtime and the comeback of blossoms and other vegetation. Spring was an ideal time of fertility and this is why rabbits were considered to bring luck to those who saw them running around their house. To see a bunny jumping through your garden was sign that it would be an excellent period to have children or that the crops would be especially rich on that season.
The way in which these animals deliver their offspring brought the superstition about rabbit’s foot being a talisman of good luck. Obviously, their uncommon pace makes the rear legs touch the floor before the front ones and so the rear feet were considered lucky.
For fortune to come, however, the unique proprietor must give the rabbit feet away to another person who receives the good luck. If the owner keeps the talisman for himself, he will attract bad luck in the future. If the receiver of the rabbit foot loses the talisman, he will also be visited by bad fortune.
17. Talismans in the form of four leaf clover
The superstition regarding the four-leaf clovers is believed to have developed during Druids times. Surely, they considered the shamrock assisted them in the observation of bad spirits, thereby enabling them a chance to get away or discover secure hideouts. The four-leaf clovers were also used to prevent wicked energies as it offered a powerful resilience that would scare away bad fortune. The wearer of the clover was also capable to see fairies and this turned into a very well known game with kids in the ancient times. Younger outdoorsmen would go out every day to discover four-leaf clovers and after they discovered them, would then continue to search for fairies among the blossoms and areas.
The three-leaf clovers are also associated with best of fortune as it is considered to be a sign of the Holy Trinity. By having three- or four-leaf clovers, good luck is taken to the wearer.
18. Superstitions about pennies
Many superstitions are revolving around cash. Almost all types of currencies have at least a few superstitions associated with them. The more common superstitions observed nowadays, based on the cents, are the verses: “Find a penny, take it up, and you will have best of fortune”. This might have originated in the saying: “Money on the floor, plenty more at your door”.
Money superstitions include:
- Bring a cent for fortune.
- Throwing a cent over the top while on the sea will make your journey a safe one.
- Having a jar of cents in your kitchen brings good luck.
- If your offer a present like a handbag or an item with pockets to someone, put a cent in it for best of fortune. (With rising prices, this superstition has now expanded to dollar bills!)
- Keep money in a child’s stroller or bed and the child will become an adult who is beautiful, healthy, rich and intelligent.
- Discovering a cent means more cash is arriving at your door.
- Placing the first cent you get each day into your wallet will entice more all over the day.
- Money with gaps in them is especially fortunate.
- Throwing a cent when you have an issue will allow your fate to take care of that problem for you.
- Throwing a cent over your shoulder, into a well or river, while making your wish, will make that wish become real.
19. Sailors’ beliefs and myths
Sailors have linked superstitions to almost all parts of their life and lifestyle on the sea. One of the typical characteristics of irrational perceptions is that the topic of the superstitions usually includes some doubt and because of our wish to experience protection, we make superstitions to have safety for all the possible results, thereby reducing our weaknesses and lack of control over our life (or just to feel as if we have decreased the threat). This idea can be seen more clearly in the sailors’ careers and is mostly due to the unmanageable climate that the mariners’ capabilities are incapable to fight with.
The job, more so in previous centuries than in our present days and in the times of cutthroat buccaneers, was a very risky one and the smallest error could cause a catastrophe for all people on the ship. To prevent any kind of dangerous activity, superstitions could act as a caution and therefore reduce upcoming disasters. It also introduced some kind of rules to travelers and crews.
For mariners, it was a lucky thing:
- to smash bottles against the vessel just before going on the sea
- for mariners to get tattoos
- to toss an old footwear over the top just after launch
- to bring a dark cat on the ship
- for children to be born on board
- for mariners to put on silver ring earrings
- to touch the sailors’ collars
- to go on board using their right foot first
20. Superstitions linked to hats
Enough superstitions are linked to hats, and some of them now are being customized into guidelines for etiquette.
A hat thrown on a bed represents bad luck. You should anticipate a fight in the family before that day is over.
Putting a hat on the table is bad fortune too.
Having a hat in the house will make your wheels spin.
Wearing a hat backwards will attract bad fortune, unless you go immediately and get another hat to reverse the situation.
A groom who does not wear a hat at his wedding will become an untrustworthy spouse.
A woman wearing a man’s hat wants to be kissed.
Ladies wearing hats in churches will attract ill-fortune.
Wearing hats that are too tight will cause thinning hair.
21. Salt in folklore myths
It was seen as a very valuable commodity; as essential as money has proved to become over the centuries. Because it was extremely valued in many historical cultures and was very costly to buy and very challenging to draw out, it had many meanings and superstitions connected to it over the long history. Sodium was used as an additive and started to indicate life wherever it appeared and the prevention of decay. It was a sign of kindness, believe and relationship because of a great cost. Military troops were often compensated in salt and, in that sense, it was some sort of currency. The latter utilization of salt is the origin of the sayingthat an individual was “not worthy of his salt”.
Spilling salt then represented an incredible waste and a superstition that stated bad fortune would come to anyone who dropped salt was created particularly to prevent this action.
- If salt was dropped in a particular individual’s way, ill fortune was coming to that individual.
- Spilt salt must not be washed, but it has instead to be thrown over the shoulder, to scare the bad spirits.
- Many tears have to be cried to melt the dropped salt and to be able to reverse the ill fortune coming that way.
- Having a little bag with salt at you necks protects you from the evil energies.
- A touch of salt was put in a child’s bed until he was christened.
- Salt is an unfortunate term for mariners and must never be said at sea.
- Sodium was tossed on the side of a new home for best of fortune.