Superstition Roundup: Happy Friday the 13th

Superstition Roundup: Happy Friday the 13th

Laure Joliet
Jun 13, 2008

We're not particularly superstitious (maybe because we had a black cat that only ever brought us good luck) but we admit that we pay attention to certain feng shui guidelines to keep the energy in the house feeling good. So in honor of Friday the 13th, we've rounded up our 21 favorite superstitions/wives tales/urban legends, so if you need to keep a witch out of your house, we've got you covered:

1) Stuff fennel in your keyhole or hang it over your door to protect against witches.

2) Never carry a hoe into the house. If you do so by mistake, carry it out again, walking backward to avoid bad luck

3) The Classic: Never walk under a ladder, which is Satan's territory. If you must do it, cross your fingers or make the sign of the fig (closed fist, with thumb between index and middle fingers).

4) Never give a knife as a housewarming present, or your new neighbor will become an enemy.

5) Nail an evergreen branch to new rafters to bring good luck. An empty hornets' nest, hung high, also will bring good luck to any age house.

6) When you move to a new house, always enter first with a loaf of bread and a new broom. Never bring an old broom into the house.

7) In the early 16th century, a visitor to an English home would always kiss the family cat.

8) It is customary to sprinkle salt in a new home before you occupy it, as the salt will drive any evil out and away from you and your family.

9) Poke the fire for luck.

10) The first time you leave your new home, make sure you exit by the same door that you entered, otherwise you will never settle.

11) Most people know it's unlucky to open an umbrella in the house - but did you know it is also unlucky to shoulder a spade, or carry a hoe. You can dodge the bad luck attracted by these items by walking backwards out of the house while still holding onto them.

12) If swallows nest under the eaves, you will be protected and prosperous, so long as they return every spring.

13) Lingering trash can also block you from new energy and opportunities. Sounds like a good reason to empty the trash cans around the house on a daily bases, especially the one under your desk.

14) A broken mirror is a common superstition - if you happen to break a mirror, then according to legend you must wait seven hours (one for each year of bad luck) before picking up the broken pieces.

15) In the kitchen, ensure that your whisk and plenty of spoons are handy as to stir anything with a fork will stir up misfortune. If you drop a fork this is a sign that you will have a female friend dropping by for a visit soon.

16) It's bad luck to put a hat on a bed.

17) Never face your bed with the foot facing the door, and never put the headboard against a wall that is shared with a bathroom.

18) Placing a bed facing north and south brings misfortune.

19) You must get out of bed on the same side that you get in or you will have bad luck.

20) When making the bed, don't interrupt your work, or you will spend a restless night in it.

21) Never turn your mattress on a Sunday, or change a bed on Friday or you'll have bad dreams.

Have any to add?

[1-8 are from old superstitions, 9-12 are from Socyberty, 13-15 are from mikasa, 16-21 are from urban legend, image from Mauro Flickr]

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