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Bizarre superstitions from around the world

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Unread post Sat May 27, 2017 2:22 am

A collection of superstitions from around the globe...

It's bad luck to let your wallet or purse hit the floor, as it means you will lose money.

The number 4 and all iterations thereof (14, 24, etc.) are incredibly unlucky, as the Chinese pronunciation of the number is nearly identical to that of the Chinese pronunciation of the word "death." Coupled with the Western beliefs about 13 and 23, it makes navigating high-rises in China a uniquely confusing experience.


Broken dishes are collected and saved year-round, to be thrown at the houses of friends and family on New Year's Eve. The bigger the pile of porcelain, the more good fortune the recipients will have in the New Year.


It's viewed as frightfully bad luck to open and close scissors without cutting anything, and even worse to leave them open. However, the Egyptians also believe that scissors under a pillow can cure a person of their nightmares.

They have their own version of "jinx." When two people say the same thing at the same time, they must instead utter "Piase Kokkino" (touch red) and touch the color red to avoid the otherwise inevitable fight. Bonus: If you happen to find yourself in a piase kokkino situation on Easter, you're in luck--since you'll find an abundance of red eggs throughout the country (that are used for a traditional Easter game).


Life's treacherous for a mom. For example, if you walk with only one shoe on, sweep the floor at night, move around on your knees, or eat the tops of watermelons and/or grapefruits... then you may have already brought about the untimely death of your mother.

They have very specific rules about grooming. You must not trim your nails on Tuesday and Saturday (or at night), nor can you cut or wash your hair on Thursday and Saturday. There's some controversy over the origin of this practice, but it is generally believed that trimming nails at night leads to sweeping, which could then lead to the loss of small valuables. Thursday may have historically been a day off for barbers, and Saturday is the day of Saturn (Planet Shani), a revered celestial body to the ancient Hindus.

Especially in South Korea, it is believed that running a fan in a closed room while sleeping will kill you. "Fan Death" is such a prevalent belief that many electric fans in Korea come with auto-shutoff timers.

Whistling indoors is forbidden, since it is believed that doing so will summon little devils that will terrorize you.


You might see pedestrians swerving and taking unusual, circuitous routes while walking to work or around town. That’s because the manhole covers around the country are marked with a “K” (for the Swedish word for fresh water, and coincidentally, love) or and “A” (for the Swedish word for sewage, and broken love). Some locals believe that their romantic fortune and fate can be determined by the amount of K and A covers they pass over, and plan their paths accordingly. If the wrong kind of manhole cover is passed over, the bad luck can be countered by three unsolicited pats on the back.

United States
Particularly around the state of Vermont, many 19th century farmhouses were built with slanted "witch windows," due to the commonly-held belief that witches could not fly their brooms into a tilted opening.

Many foods are avoided by students hoping to do well in school or on exams. Bananas, for example, are avoided by students because they are slippery, and the Vietnamese word for "slip" sounds exactly the same as the Vietnamese word for "fail."


Making a hat out of hazel sticks and leaves and wearing it can grant you one wish.

A pregnant woman can determine the gender of her unborn baby by throwing a dead snake up in the air. If the snake lands on its back, the baby will be a girl. If it lands upright, the baby will be a boy.

Belief in black magic runs rampant. For example, a husband might have a spell cast on his wife to prevent her from adultery. Should extramarital hanky panky take place, the couple will be bound and incapable of separation. This is known colloquially as “durawalling” (after a brand-name concrete wall product), and is believed so prevalently that it actually acts as a strong deterrent against such affairs.

Alex Scola ... 1197796927
"Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - A. A. Milne

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Unread post Sun May 28, 2017 12:49 am

how about the "evil eye", not sure where it originated, but it spread all over europe. a person's "malevolent glare" (from wikipedia) could transmit bad luck.

i have a book that's like a whole compendium of stupid superstitions, but i don't have access to it right now. when i do, i'll update my post in this thread.

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Unread post Sun May 28, 2017 9:10 am

Interesting concept.

My brother came up with an old wives tale lately that was if you opened an umbrella up inside it would give you bad luck.

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