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Superstitions, myths and legends

Halloween is traditionally the time when common superstitions, folklore, myths and omens carry more weight to those who believe. Superstition origins go back thousands of years. Beliefs include good luck charms, amulets, bad luck, fortunes, cures, portents, omens and predictions, fortunes and spells.

According to Webster’s dictionary, superstition is any belief that is inconsistent with the known laws of science or with what is considered true and rational.

Whether or not you’re feeling superstitious during this Halloween season, sometimes it’s interesting to see what lengths people go to in order to protect themselves from unsavory bad luck. Here’s a look a few of them.

Superstitions and Bad Luck Omens

Black Cats

Black cats have long been believed to be a supernatural omen since the witch hunts of the middle ages when cats were thought to be connected to evil. Since then, it is considered bad luck if a black cat crosses your path.

Broken Mirrors

An ancient myth 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 bury them outside in the moonlight.

Ladders

In the days before the gallows, criminals were hung from the top rung of a ladder and their spirits were believed to linger underneath. Common folklore has it to be bad luck to walk beneath an open ladder and pass through the triangle of evil ghosts and spirits.

Owls

If an owl looks in your window or if you see one in the daylight bad luck and death will be bestowed upon you.

Salt

At one time salt was a rare commodity and thought to have magical powers. It was unfortunate to spill salt and said to foretell family disarray and death. To ward off bad luck, throw a pinch over your shoulder and all will be well.

Sparrows

Sparrows are thought to carry the souls of the dead and it is believed to bring bad luck if you kill one.

Unlucky Number 13

The fear of the number 13 is still common today, and avoided in many different ways. Some buildings still do not have an official 13th floor and many people avoid driving or going anywhere on Friday the 13th.

Common Myths and 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 grave.

A person born on Halloween will have the gift of communicating with the dead.

A bat in the house is a sign of death.

If a bird flies towards you, bad fortune is imminent.

Crows are viewed as a bad omen, often foretelling death. If they caw, death is very near.

If a person experiences great horror, their hair turns white.

A hat on a bed will bring bad luck.

The superstition of knocking on wood for good luck originates from pagan beliefs in regards to trees.

Information taken from Halloweenweb.com.