Origins of Spooky Superstitions

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Search: Friday the 13th

Many believe the roots of this horror film-inspiring superstition lie in Christianity (what's the relationship?), but others give the credit to a tale from Norse mythology.

Black cats crossing your path

There’s the popular reason folks have feared black cats (you know that one, right?), and it’s gripped psyches for centuries. See which direction's the ominous one.
Stepping on a crack

The common children’s rhyme about cracks in the pavement often is linked to a particular community
Broken mirrors

Folks used to worry about a lot worse than seven years’ bad luck when a mirror got broken; there was a more sinister belief. Why were mirrors thought to be so precious?
Placing a hat on your bed

Bygone lore is to blame for this bad luck-bringer; here’s the old wives’ tale that fueled it

Opening umbrellas indoors

Ancient Egyptians — who used umbrellas as sun shields — may be at the heart of this superstition. Why did they equate the act with bad luck?
Walking under ladders

This one seems more like common sense and less like superstition, but for those who like to keep things mystical, there’s a supposed religious origin attached.
Rocking an empty rocking chair

Leaving an empty rocking chair rocking is said to bring about frightful results. Which country gets the credit for this superstition?
Spilling salt

In ancient times, salt was valuable, so spilling it was a faux pas. But another bad-luck link comes courtesy of Christianity; what’s that link?
Splitting the pole

We’re stumped on the reason why people started to think bad luck would befall you or your walking partner should you let a pole separate you. But we know which phrase will “break the curse” for you.
Purse on the floor

Leaving a purse on the floor doesn’t portend bad luck, per se; find out the rhyme that explains your fate. Which country is the belief tied to?

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Origins of Spooky Superstitions

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