Superstitions, myths, omens, and irrational beliefs certainly play a role
in cultures throughout the world and here we propose to offer a few for your
entertainment and enjoyment. For ease, the topic of superstitions can
be divided into three main categories: those that bring bad luck; those
bringing good luck and the third type which can be called myths or folklore.
A Black Cat which crosses your path will bring bad luck.
Traditionally linked with witches and Halloween they are thought, by some,
to be the embodiment of evil.
Never kill a sparrow because in ancient times it was
believed that they carried the souls of the dead and ending its life will
bring bad luck.
The number 13.
See more bad luck on Friday 13
Mirror: An ancient myth which our ancestors believed was
that the image in a mirror is our actual soul. A broken mirror represented
the soul being astray from your body. To break the spell of misfortune, you
must wait seven hours [one for each year of bad luck] before picking up the
broken pieces, and burying them outside in the moonlight.
Don't walk under a ladder. In the days before the
gallows, criminals were hanged from the top rung of a ladder and their
spirits were believed to linger underneath. Common folklore has it to be
bad luck if you walk beneath an open ladder, and pass through the triangle of evil
ghosts and spirits.
Salt has been a valuable commodity throughout history.
It would bring misfortune if salt were to be spilled. To ward off bad luck
throw a pinch over your left shoulder and all will be well. Make sure Mum is
Umbrellas, don't open them indoors
New shoes, putting them on a table will bring bad luck.
Also, whether your wearing new shoes or old, it's bad luck to pass someone
on the stairs.
Magpies Unlucky to see one *magpie, but lucky to see
* Counting Your Magpies
One for sorrow, two for mirth,
Three for a wedding, four for a birth,
Five for silver, six for gold,
Seven for a secret not to be told.
Eight for heaven, nine for hell,
And ten for the devil's own sel'.
Or more commonly:
One for sorrow, two for joy;
Three for a girl, four for a boy;
for silver, six for gold;
Seven for a secret, never to be told;
for a wish, nine for a kiss;
Ten for a bird that's best to miss.
Good Luck Superstitions
Poultry wishbones can be pulled apart by two people
using only their little fingers. The winner, and the person whose wish will
come true, ends up with the larger piece of bone.
Four Leaf Clover is believed to be able to protect us
from evil spells The Irish, in particular, think they bring good fortune.
A Rabbit's foot will ward off bad luck and is thought to
bring good. Worn as an amulet, the older the foot the better.
Horseshoes, preferable lost by the horse and found by
you bring luck. However, the horseshoe, if hung up, must have the open end
upwards to prevent the luck falling out. In the Middle Ages in England, a
horseshoe on the door might prevent witches from entering.
Catch falling leaves in the Fall [Autumn] and you will
have good luck. Every leaf caught means a lucky month in the year ahead.
Touch wood before you do something, and your wish will come true!!
[OCD = obsessive-compulsive disorder]
Examples of Good
Luck and Bad Luck Folklore
If the flame of a candle flickers and then turns blue, there's a
spirit in the room.
If a bird flies through your house, it indicates important news.
If it can't get out, the news will be death.
If you feel a chill up your spine, someone is walking on your future
A person born on Halloween will have the gift of communicating with
A bat in the house is a sign of death.
If a bird flies towards you, bad fortune is imminent.
If your palm itches, you will soon receive money. If you scratch it,
your money will never come. Will's wife always says about hands itching:
'Right to receive; left to pay out.'
Many Romans wore lucky charms and amulets to avert the "evil eye."
If a person experiences great horror, their hair turns white.
A hat on a bed will bring bad luck.
Eat an apple on Christmas Eve for good health the next year.
The superstition of knocking on wood for good luck originates from
pagan beliefs in regard to trees.
Crows are viewed as a bad omen, often foretelling death. If they
caw, death is very near.
A large number of dead crows were found along a highway in Canada and it
was feared that an out break of Avian flu had been their demise. An Avian
Pathologist examine the crows, and concluded that it was NOT Avian Flu but
impact with a motor vehicle that caused the problem. He further opined that
98% of the crows had been killed by impact with trucks, and only 2% were
killed by cars.
An Ornithological Behaviorist was consulted and the problem was
discovered; When crows eat road kill, they always post a "look-out Crow" in
a nearby location, to warn the birds in the roadway. His conclusion was that
the lookout crow could not say "Truck" only "Cah."
[Kindly sent in by Pastor Fred]
Some Hilarious and Funny Old Wives' Tales
Laugh Along With Will And Guy At What Our Ancestors' Believed
Whooping Cough:a)Take a caterpillar,
wrap it in a small bag of muslin, and hang bag around the neck of the
affected child. The caterpillar will die and the child will be cured.b) Take the child on a train, open the window and get the child
to hang its head out and the coughing will cease.c) Pour a bowl
of milk; invite a ferret to lap from the bowl. Get the child to drink
the rest of the milk and all will be well.
To give birth to a boy: eat loads of bananas.
[May be true - high potassium content is associated with having boys.]
Cramp: if troubled at night - put a cork under
Rheumatism: to get rid of it - carry a walking
stick made from elder which has exactly 5 or 7 knots.
Carrots: eating carrots improves your vision at
Toads: if you touch a toad then you will get warts.
Warts: to get rid of warts rub the infected spot
with a cut potato and then bury the potato in the garden.
Dandelions: if you pick a dandelion then you will
wet the bed.
You'll catch a cold if you go out with wet hair: Untrue
since the cold is a virus.
Tongue: If you bite your tongue while you are
eating then you have recently told a lie.
Bad Luck - Trouble?
It's surprising how often if you do the wrong thing, you not only get
into trouble, but also suffer a double whammy with a dose of bad luck.
Chinese Bad Luck
There is an ancient Chinese story of a farmer who used an old horse to till his fields. One day, the horse escaped into the hills and when the farmer's neighbours sympathised with the old man over his bad luck,
the farmer replied, 'Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?'
A week later, the horse returned with a herd of horses from the hills and this time the neighbours congratulated the farmer on his good luck. His reply
was, 'Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?'
Then, when the farmer's son was attempting to tame one of the wild horses, he fell off its back and broke his leg. Everyone thought this very bad luck. Not the farmer,
whose only reaction was, 'Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?'
Some weeks later, an army marched into the village and conscripted every able-bodied youth they found there. When they saw the farmer's son with his
broken leg, they let him off. Now was that good luck or bad luck?
A plumber sent to prison on a driving charge had pleaded with Walton-on-Thames magistrates not to jail him as he was due to marry the next week.
Bad luck struck, the local
newspaper reported the case thus alerting his wife that he was about to commit bigamy.
Parachute Troops Drop in to Jail
Reports Metro online July 2007
troops parachuted into a Colorado prison, but they were not staging a daring rescue they had simply landed off target. Military officials said the 25 Special Operations Command forces were on a training
mission. Their target was Fremont County Airport but they ended up in a field in the grounds of Fremont Correctional Facility instead.
Thankfully, armed prison guards were able to identify the incomers as
soldiers and held their fire, but the defence department refused to say exactly who they were. 'We don't know who they were and I'm not sure we'll ever know who they were,' said the Colorado Department of
Corrections. 'Everyone acted appropriately.'
From the parachutists' point of view it could have been worse!
Police in America have arrested a man who robbed a bank 'disguised' as a tree. CCTV footage shows the man entering the bank with branches and leaves taped to
After patiently waiting in the queue with fellow customers, the man made his move, ordering the bank cashier to fill a bag full of cash, Sky News reports. Unfortunately for the suspect, a dye
pack inside the bag exploded. Also in a second stroke of bad luck, the man's face could be clearly seen by the CCTV camera through his foliage. He was later arrested at his home in Manchester, New Hampshire,
USA. See more bad luck stories
An accountant in Salem, Pennsylvania, has been charged with 'defiant trespass', which carries a two-year prison sentence. His
alleged crime? He spoke at a public meeting, objecting to a new sewage disposal plan, for 11 minutes instead of the allotted five.
Yet More Bad Luck
Bad Luck - Blame the Messenger?
A woman's husband had been slipping in and out of a coma for several months, yet she had stayed by his bedside every day.
One day, when he came to, he motioned her to come nearer. He whispered, eyes full
of tears, 'You know what? You have been with me all through the bad times. When I got fired, you were there. When my business failed, you were there. When I got shot, you were by my side. When our house burnt
down, you were there. When my health started failing, you were by my side. You know what?'
'What dear?' she gently asked.
'I think you are bad luck,' he said.
Ten Funny and Strange Ideas
He that is afraid of bad luck will never know good. - Russian
I busted a mirror and got seven years bad luck, but my lawyer
thinks he can get me five. - Stephen Wright
It is bad luck to fall out of a thirteenth story window on
Friday. - American Proverb
I've had bad luck with both my wives. The first one left me
and the second one didn't. - Patrick Murray
Do you believe that getting married on a Friday brings bad
luck ? Of course, why would Friday be an exception? - Anon
If a funeral car passes you should hide your thumb. - Japanese
A black cat crossing the street in front of you causes bad
A rabbit's foot, a four-clover leaf, or a horseshoe, may ward
off bad luck to the owner.
Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and
effect. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Luck never made a man wise. - Seneca
Finally a Success Story
A farmer in Iowa has bred cows which are less than three feet tall. He is selling them as pets at
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