Very superstitious: Warding off spirits
My parents grew up in the mountains of Webster County, West Virginia in an area remote enough that many families claim the same settlers as kinfolk. Being far removed from the big cities meant that folklore and local legends could survive for hundreds of years since spinning yarns and telling tales is a great way to pass the time in the country, especially during the harsh winter months when travel was difficult. Superstitions played an important role in how we were raised. Some or most of these superstitions have been handed down for generations with origins in Scotland, Ireland, Switzerland and Germany. I remember us kids listened intently as we were told this and that, and how we’d better do these things or else some sort of misfortune would befall us. My Grandma Lillie was adamant in her belief in some of these old superstitions as was her mother before her.
I have included a list of superstitions that are familiar to me. Perhaps you have heard of a few and maybe you even take heed of several!? Some common superstitions typically have a colorful history that dates back centuries. While some superstitions may be just for fun, others might affect you enough to influence the choices you make.
Knock three times! The origin of this well-known superstition dates back to a time when some cultures believed that gods lived in trees. To ask the gods for a favor, people would lightly tap the bark of the tree. Then, to say thank you when the favor was granted, a person would knock lightly again on the same tree.
Never carry an axe or hoe into a house, it means death.
A fear of the number 13 is one of the most common superstitions around; it’s so widespread that many tall apartment buildings and hotels simply omit labeling their 13th floor. Have you noticed that some airlines don’t have a 13th row?
Ghosts hate new things. If you have a persistent ghost, hang something new over your door.
A baby born at midnight will have the power to see and talk to ghosts.
Some believe that if the right palm itches you will meet someone new, while an itchy left palm means that money is coming.
If a rooster crows after dark, it is a sure sign that death is in the neighborhood.
Death always travels in three’s-if a person dies in your community, there will soon be two more to follow.
A ghost will beat on the wall of a house if someone therein is about to die.
Many superstitious people say breaking a mirror sets you up for 7 years of bad luck. That may be because 7 years is the time it takes to replace all the cells in your physical body.
Ghosts enjoy hearing people sing and will gather from afar to listen.
Christmas Eve is a favorite time for ghosts to walk the Earth.
Wind chimes will call up the dead.
Horses and Pigs can see death and ghosts.
If a bird comes inside your house, it is a sign that death will soon befall the household.
If someone sees a ghost, look over their left shoulder and you will be able to see that ghost too.
Never let a swing stop on its own. Stop it yourself or someone you care about will die.
If a dog howls while looking at the ground, he senses death is very near.
If three people look in the same mirror at the same time, the youngest of the three will soon die.
Don’t walk on someone’s grave or else you will be haunted by their ghost.
Don’t pick up a broom that is laid over a doorway. If you do, it is a sign that you are a witch or that you have been witched.
Bury your hair after you cut it, if you don’t and the birds pick it up, you will have headaches for months afterward. You can also be witched if your hair falls into the wrong hands.
A Star Quilt on your bed will protect you from evil spirits.
Clocks in a house will stop at the exact moment of death of someone in that household. If clocks do not stop, you must stop them or else the spirit will remain in that house.
Common superstitions still have a place today in society. After all, you never know when a simple action to counteract bad luck will make you and those around you a little bit luckier. I’m not sure if I believe many of the superstitions on that lisbut you can bet I won’t tempt fate by walking under that ladder by the shed at my house. Why tempt the fates???
Sherri Brake is a paranormal researcher, author and Haunted Heartland Tour owner. You may email her at SherriBrake@gmail.com or visit her website at www.HauntedHistory.net