Happy Friday the 13th!

Careful not to walk under a ladder, pet any black cats or break any mirrors!

Superstitions are cultural quirks that may seem irrational, but many of them have some basis in fact. Rather than being a mass-hallucination, some superstitions may serve as an evolutionary advantage.

Here are 13 common superstitions around the world.


What is a Superstition?

A superstition is an irrational behavior you feel naturally ingrained to do. Many times, superstitious behaviors are habits, not necessarily strong beliefs. Likely, superstitions you believe in are based on your culture, your past and if your parents believed in them. Children see their parents knocking on wood or throwing salt over their left shoulder and naturally replicate the behavior.

13 Common Superstitions

1. Knocking on Wood: Think or say a bad thought and “knock on wood” to cancel it out. Knocking on plastic, paper, aluminum, cardboard or your car door also counts.

2. Lucky Pennies: “Find a penny, pick it up. All day long you’ll have good luck.” Some people even think only heads-up pennies are good luck, and turning over a heads-down penny for a lucky future passerby can bring the same amount of good fortune.

3. Black Cats: I guess black cats remind people of witches. Nonetheless, people are pretty sketched out when they see one cross their path.

4. Walking Under a Ladder: Even if walking under a ladder wasn’t bad luck, I still wouldn’t do it. Seems dangerous and not really that fun. In the cartoons there is always an open bucket of paint on the top rung.

5. Breaking a Mirror: Breaking a mirror can cause 7 years of bad luck. If you break more than one mirror…yikes.

6. The Rule of Threes: I’m sure you’ve heard, All Bad Things Come in Threes. I don’t know though, I’ve heard this about good things too.

7. The Good Luck Horseshoe: Many people believe in hanging a horseshoe (sometimes painted gold) over their doorway to bring good luck.

8. The Number 13: A popular topic for horror movies. Some hotels don’t have a 13th floor since many guests won’t stay on it.

9. Bird Poop: In Italy, getting pooped on by a bird is said to be good luck. I can vouch for this personally, I’ve been pooped on by birds too many times to count. Usually at romantic picnics and/or trips to London.


10. 666: Many people are afraid of all versions of the number 6, especially 3 sixes (because all bad things come in threes.) 666 represents the devil. Again, see a myriad of horror movies.

11. Wedding Requirements: Something old, something new, something old, something new. Having each of these gifts at her wedding is supposed to bring luck to a new bride.

12. Opals are Bad Luck: People think opals are a sign of bad luck. Even if the wearer’s birthstone is opal, they are still said to be cursed.


13. Friday the 13th: This day alone is a superstition in itself. Many people refrain from some activities on this day for fear of danger.

Are you superstitious? What are some superstitions you just can’t kick?


Photos: gratisography


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