Superstitions are a fascinating part of many cultures around the world. With unique beliefs and practices, these superstitions can range from the mundane to the downright bizarre. Here we take a look at 10 of the weirdest superstitions that exist in different parts of the world.
10- Spilling Salt
Superstitions are strange and fascinating, and spilling salt is no exception. Have you ever heard that spilling salt brings bad luck? We’re here to explain why. It dates back to ancient times when salt was a valuable commodity. Spilling it was seen as a sign of disrespect to the gods, inviting bad luck. Some believed that the devil himself lurked around the spilled salt. To ward off bad luck, people would throw a pinch of salt over their left shoulder. This was to blind the devil and keep him away. Others believed that if you spilled salt and quickly threw some over your left shoulder, the bad luck would be transferred to the devil. All these superstitions about spilling salt have been around for centuries, and many still believe them today.
9- Opening an Umbrella Indoors
Photo Credits: How Stuff Works
One of the strangest superstitions is to never open an umbrella indoors. It is believed that opening an umbrella indoors will bring bad luck or even death. This superstition is thought to have originated in the Victorian era. It is believed that superstition was born out of the fear of a sharp, pointed object being opened in close proximity to people. Opening an umbrella in the house is seen as a breach of etiquette and a sign of bad luck. So, it’s best to be cautious and avoid opening an umbrella indoors, unless you want to risk the wrath of the superstition gods.
8- Black Cats
Black cats have long been a source of weird superstitions and fear for many, with their associations with witches and the occult. But why? Well, for centuries, black cats have been regarded as an omen of bad luck, with many believing them to be a witch’s familiar. In some cultures, it is believed that black cats can bring bad luck if they cross your path, while in others, they are associated with good fortune.
In Europe, some believed that a black cat crossing one’s path was a sign of death, while in North America, some believed that a black cat meant good luck. Whereas, In some cultures, it is believed that a black cat entering your home is a sign of good luck, while others believe that it is a sign of bad luck. Whatever your beliefs, it is clear that black cats have a long and mysterious history steeped in superstition and folklore.
7- Walking Under Ladders
Photo Credit: Sunset Ladder
Are you superstitious? Many of us are, whether we want to admit it or not. One of the oldest and most widespread superstitions is that of walking under ladders. It’s believed that doing so is bad luck. But why? This superstition originated in ancient Egypt. It’s believed that ladders reaching up to the sky symbolize a connection with the divine and walking under them is seen as a form of disrespect. Furthermore, it’s thought that the three sides of a ladder represent the Holy Trinity, and by walking beneath it, one is showing disregard for the trinity. So, the next time you come across a ladder, make sure to give it a wide berth!
6- Breaking a Mirror
Photo Credit: Two Way Mirrors
Breaking a mirror is one of the oldest and most widely recognized superstitions. It dates back to the ancient Romans, who believed that a person’s soul was reflected in a mirror. Therefore, breaking a mirror was thought to bring bad luck, as it would break the soul and bring seven years of misfortune. This superstition is still alive today, with many people believing that breaking a mirror will bring bad luck for seven years. It is even used in some cultures as an omen of death. For example, in some parts of China, if a mirror is broken, it is believed that the spirit of the deceased will haunt the house. Despite these beliefs, many people still break mirrors and don’t suffer any ill luck. So, while it is a superstition, it may not be one that you need to worry about too much.
5- Four-Leaf Clover
Photo Credit: Parade
Finding a Four-Leaf Clover has been a sign of good luck for centuries. In folklore, it’s believed to bring fortune, wealth, and happiness to the one who finds it. The origins of this superstition date back to ancient Celts, who believed four-leaf clovers could ward off evil spirits and bad luck. It soon spread to other cultures, with the Irish being the most famous for the belief. According to legend, St. Patrick used the four-leaf clover to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity to the Celts. Today, people around the world still search for these rare clovers, hoping to find a little luck. As the saying goes, “If you find a four-leaf clover, your luck will change overnight.”
4- Don’t Whistle Indoors
Superstitions have been around for centuries and some of them are quite weird. Don’t whistle indoors is one of them. It’s believed that whistling indoors will attract bad luck and misfortune. It’s thought to have originated in the late 19th century in Europe when whistling was thought to bring bad luck and wealth. In some parts of the world, it’s believed that whistling will attract evil spirits. In some cultures, whistling is associated with death and funerals and should be avoided. Some other cultures believe that whistling indoors brings bad luck to the house and its inhabitants. Some say that whistling indoors will bring bad luck to the family, while others say it will bring financial misfortune. Whatever the origin, it’s still widely believed that whistling indoors is a bad omen. So, the next time you feel like whistling indoors, think twice!
3- Knocking on Wood
Photo Credit: Sporcle
Knocking on wood is a superstition that is believed to bring luck and ward off bad things. The origin of this superstition is believed to stem from pagan times when people knocked on a tree to invoke the spirit of the tree for protection. In medieval times, it was believed that spirits lived in trees, so knocking on a tree would wake these spirits and ask for their protection. In modern times, the superstition is still alive, and many people knock on wood to protect themselves from bad luck.
Another explanation is that the wood has protective properties, and knocking on it will transfer those properties to the person doing the knocking. Whatever the explanation, this superstition is still alive and well today. It’s believed that knocking on wood can bring luck and protect you from bad things. So, if you want to stay safe, perhaps it’s best to knock on wood.
2- Crossed Fingers
Crossed Fingers, a worldwide superstition, is believed to bring good luck and ward off evil. It is believed to have originated in ancient times when people believed crossing their fingers would ward off evil spirits. During the Middle Ages, it was used to ward off witches. In the 16th century, people would cross their fingers to ward off the plague. Today, people cross their fingers for luck, good fortune, and protection. It is also commonly used to express congratulations or to make a wish. The gesture is believed to be a sign of faith and hope in God. It is also used in a wide range of contexts, from wishing someone good luck to symbolizing a wish or prayer. Crossing one’s fingers is believed to bring good luck, and it is a powerful symbol of hope, faith, and protection in many cultures around the world.
1- Friday the 13th
Photo Credit: Fox News
Friday the 13th has been a superstition since the Middle Ages. It is thought to be an unlucky day. The fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskevidekatriaphobia. It likely originates from the Bible, as Jesus was crucified on a Friday, the 13th. The number 13 is also associated with bad luck as there were 13 people at the Last Supper. The Knights Templar were arrested on Friday the 13th in 1307. Sailors believed it was bad luck to set off on a voyage on a Friday. Ancient Romans thought it was bad luck to start a journey or begin a new project on a Friday.
Many high-rise buildings do not have a 13th floor. Triskaidekaphobia, the fear of the number 13, is a related superstition. Friday the 13th is a day of caution and cautionary tales. Some people will not leave the house on this day. Others may take extra precautions, like carrying a lucky charm. Some may even stay in bed all day. Friday the 13th is a superstition that is still alive in many cultures.