Although we are living in the age of science and the internet, people from all around the world still fear the superstitions that have taken deep roots in their culture. Some superstitions stem from the “fear of the unknown,” in ancient times, people usually developed a story, legend, or even fabricated a mythical creature to explain the event that they could not understand clearly. For example, Romans believed that their god of fire, Vulcan (He was a Roman version of Ancient Greek God Hephaestus), lived in Etna, the volcano that was pretty much active at that time. They couldn’t explain precisely why the mountain was “spitting fire,” so they assumed that one of their Gods lived there. That is the case with most superstitions. In this article, we are going to take a look at 10 superstitions that people believe in even today. Well, at least some people believe in them.
#1 Friday The 13th
While in Greece and Spain (and Spanish speaking countries) it’s Tuesday the 13th that brings bad luck, the rest of Europe (along with the USA, Australia, and some other countries) considers Friday the 13th as the unlucky day. The number 13th was not regarded as unlucky just in Europe, Ancient Sumerians also disliked that number. In modern history (at least when compared to Sumerian times), Friday the 13th was the day when the French King arrested Knights Templar (1307), Buckingham Palace was bombed by German aircraft (1940), and Tupac Shakur was killed (1996). It seems that this day will forever and ever be considered unlucky, and every misfortune that happens at that date will only confirm the claims that Friday the 13th is a cursed date.
#2 Knocking On The Wood
This superstitions dates back to from medieval times, where European churchgoers would touch wood the churches claimed was from the cross. Supposedly, that would bring them good luck and protection from evil. In modern times, people knock on the wood to avoid jinxing. This superstition is usually found in Christian countries, although there are parts of the world that have accepted this custom as well.
#3 Broken Mirrors Bring Bad Luck
Some people believe that, by breaking a mirror, you will bring 7 years of bad luck upon yourself. It is not clear from where exactly this superstition comes from, but it is widespread all around the world. In some cultures, a person’s reflection in a mirror was thought to house or be connected to a piece of the person’s soul. By breaking it, you will get disconnected from your soul and great misfortune will fall upon you. Similar superstition was created when people started taking photos in 19th century, but unlike the “broken mirror’s curse”, that belief quickly vanished.
#4 Black Cats
Although considered deities in Ancient Egypt, black cats lost their reputation over the years and even became reviled creatures in Medieval Times. During the Dark Ages, people regarded black cats as companions to the witches. According to the average 13th century European, these animals could cast spells and even invoke curses. Although most people keep these beautiful creatures as pets in modern times, there are still some who consider black cats as creatures harbingers of bad luck.
#5 Walking Under A Ladder
Although walking under a ladder is not a practical thing to do (you never know what will fall on your head), this superstition has deeper roots than you may have thought. One theory is that this superstition comes from a Christian belief in the Holy Trinity and that, by walking under a ladder (when leaned against the wall, it looks like a triangle), you will break it and commit the act of blasphemy. Other theory says that it resembled a medieval gallows, and people were getting “bad vibes” when walking past it.
#6 Make A Wish On A Wish Bone
In some cultures, it’s turkey bones, while in other cultures, it may be a chicken or some other animal whose bones were used in this superstition. Whatever the case may be, this custom goes back to ancient times, when priests have used bones for divination to read the omens. Also, Ancient Romans used to fight over dried wishbones, which they believed were good luck. By breaking them during the “fight,” Romans ushered in the idea that whoever has the largest bit of bone gets their wish.
#7 Fingers Crossed
How many times did you cross your fingers to wish someone luck? It is one of the most common superstitions, and it dates back to the early days of Christianity. It was associated with the shape of the cross and was thought to be good luck. The story goes that two Christians used to cross the index fingers when making a wish to help a friend, and it came true. Today, by just saying “fingers crossed” when you want to support someone, you are keeping this old custom alive.