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Dark Omens and Superstitions

Updated on June 12, 2013

Dark Omens, Signs and Superstitions of Misfortune

An Omen...

is thought by many to be a portent that precedes a significant future event. Most omens are historically based upon ancient superstitions and cultural folklore.

Some omens are indicative of good fortune, while others are symbolic of impending hardship and doom. Here are a few common omens, their origins, the resulting curses and cures, (if known), that warn of bad luck and dark days ahead....

Lucky Charms and Pendants

Sterling Silver 4 leaf Clover Pendant, 7/8 inch Tall
Sterling Silver 4 leaf Clover Pendant, 7/8 inch Tall

One legend claims that when Eve had to leave paradise she took a four-leafed Clover along for Good Luck.


Spinning Wheel of Bad Luck

Buy From

1. Breaking a Mirror


This superstition began because our ancestors thought that a mirror image could collect and harbor our very soul. Thus, a broken mirror represented your soul pulled from your body and trapped in the shattered pieces.

- The reason the bad luck lasted for seven years was because the Romans believed that after seven years the body was physically renewed and the soul could once again return whole.


To break the spell of misfortune from a broken mirror, you must wait seven hours, (one for each year of bad luck), before picking up the broken pieces and burying them outside, in the moonlight.

2. The Number Thirteen


There are many theories about the origin of 13 being considered an unlucky number.

- At Valhalla, the Norse home of the gods, if you had twelve guests at a feast and a thirteenth turned up uninvited; he was thought to be "the god of deceit".

- Many Christians believe that the superstition began when a dark witches' coven consisted of 12 members, the devil being the 13th. Although, pagans now consider 13 a sacred number that represents the 13 full moons of the year.

- For Christians, 13 was also the number of attendees at the Christ's Last Supper, Judas, who betrayed Jesus was the thirteenth.

TRISKAIDEKAPHOBIA is the fear of the number 13.

Friday the 13th

- One legend claims that Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden on a Friday, Noah's flood was thought to have started on a Friday and Christ was crucified on a Friday, so it is likely these days and numbers combined were given the signal of bad luck.

- There is the belief that stems from the order given by King Philip IV, on Friday, October 13, 1307, to round up the Knights Templar and kill or torture them. (VERY bad luck for the Knights indeed!)

PARASKEVIDEKATRIAPHOBIA is the fear of Friday 13th.

3. Walking Under a Ladder


- If you walk under a ladder you are breaking a spiritual triangle of the Holy Trinity, that leaves you vulnerable to the devil.

- Before gallows, criminals were hung from the top rung of a ladder, their spirits were thought to linger underneath. Thus, when you walked beneath an open ladder you passed through a triangle of evil ghosts and spirits.


If you should unwittingly wander under a ladder, you can save yourself by crossing your fingers and spitting three times through the ladder's rungs.

4. "Step on a Crack; Break your Mother's Back"


Cracks and fear of stepping on them, comes from an ancient fear of letting the soul out of the Square. The four corners are an ancient symbol of balance and perfection.

5. Spilling Salt

At one time salt was a rare commodity and thought to have magical powers. It has long been useful as a preservative, in medicine, and is also used in magical rituals to purify, give blessings and drive away evil.


Spilled salt was said to predict future family troubles and death.


To ward off any bad luck, throw a pinch over your shoulder and all will be well.

6. Black Cats


Black cats have long been believed to be a supernatural omen, since the witch hunts of the middle ages, when cats were thought to be connected to evil. Since then, it is considered bad luck if a black cat crosses your path.

Ironically, a black cat walking towards you is considered lucky, while one walking away is said to be stealing your luck.

Sources:, Katharine Kurtz, Tales of the Knights Templar, Warner Books, 1995.

Black Cat Talisman

Sterling Silver Black Diamond Accent Cat Slide Pendant
Sterling Silver Black Diamond Accent Cat Slide Pendant

This is a beautiful piece especially if you have the Cat as your animal guide, the use is limited only by your imagination. It is also excellent for a gift for someone special.


Common Myths & Folklore

Learn About Urban Legends

~ If an Owl looks in your window or if you see one in the daylight bad luck and death awaits you.

~ If a bird flies through your house, it indicates important news. If it can't get out, the news will be death.

~ If a bird flies towards you, bad fortune is imminent.

~ Crows are viewed as a bad omen, often foretelling death. If they "caw", death is very near.

~ If the flame of a candle flickers and then turns blue, there's a spirit in the room.

~ If you feel a chill up your spine, someone is walking on your future grave.

~ You must hold your breath when you go past a cemetery or else you will breath in the soul of someone who has recently died.

~ You must knock on wood 3 times after mentioning good fortune or the evil spirits will ruin things for you.

~ The superstition of knocking on wood for good luck originates from pagan beliefs in regards to trees.

~ A bat in the house is a sign of death.

~ If your left palm itches, it means you will soon receive money; if your right palm itches, it means that you will lose or have to pay money.

~ If you can remove one white hair off an all black cat, without getting scratched, you have a very powerful good luck talisman.

~ Cats can physically see spirits, so they make excellent guardians against evil spirits. They also love to play with friendly or beneficial spirits.

~ A hat on a bed will bring bad luck.

~ Open an umbrella indoors and bad luck will "rain" on you.

~ Eat an apple on Christmas Eve for good health the next year.


Do you believe? - Superstitions

Inquiring Minds Want to Know...

Are You Superstitious?

See results

Learn More About Signs and Omens

Messages From Spirit: The Extraordinary Power of Oracles, Omens, and Signs
Messages From Spirit: The Extraordinary Power of Oracles, Omens, and Signs

By exploring ancient methods in a modern context of connecting to the Divine, renowned intuitive counselor and best-selling author Colette Baron-Reid shows you magical, fun, and practical methods that will enable you to delve into your own dialogue with Spirit.

She’ll take you on a mysterious and enlightening journey that will shake up your perspective, stir your curiosity, and prepare you for a Divine conversation that will forever change your understanding of the world around you.


Your Thoughts and Fears?

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    • profile image

      Kenneth doss 2 years ago

      I seen 3 black crows in an empty parking lot and they were in the form of an triangle. On the way home I looked at my stomach and there was 3 scratches on my stomach beside each other what does this mean. I'm a very religious man and a saint at hesrt. My soul bleeds for Jesus and I'll die for him if I have too.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Get Lens, thanks for sharing

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Get Lens, thanks for sharing

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I don't believe in those things but I must admit that some of them are quite scary!

      Good lens! Congrats!

    • profile image

      tinareka 5 years ago

      @sibian: good explantaion i think we never really learnt when we were children so we just assume that it is bad luck because everyone says so.

    • profile image

      tinareka 5 years ago

      @anonymous: i dont think the building is unlucky only the day firday the 13th is unlucky. just because the the floor is the 13th floor it doesn't mean it is unlucky.

    • profile image

      tinareka 5 years ago

      @CleanerLife: looks like you will be giving money :) i am fascinated too join the club :)

    • profile image

      tinareka 5 years ago

      @dexter yarbroug1: what does great lens mean? well i never get unlucky on friday the 13th so i don't need to worry. even though its late its friday the 13th

    • profile image

      tinareka 5 years ago

      @LynetteBell: i agree with you on that one! i am very superstitous about good luck and bad luck. i always watch my back ( and remember that bad's luck or yes that good luck). techniqually i remember if its good luck or bad luck

    • profile image

      tinareka 5 years ago

      @longbitbeard: remember the superstitions could be true

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      tracy-shakespeare 5 years ago

      at the start of 2013, after saying happy new year, my husband sat on my friends black cat, it he then jumped up with shock, and the cat jumped and bit me his wife on the back, will this bring bad luck for the rest of the year,

    • profile image

      longbitbeard 5 years ago

      These are great to know to scare superstitious friends with! Thanks so much for this.

    • profile image

      Donnette Davis 5 years ago from South Africa

      Not sure if I am superstitious or not but I don't take chances lol. Blessed x

    • profile image

      OptimalExercise 5 years ago

      I have always loved the supersition "Walking Under a Ladder


      - If you walk under a ladder you supposedly break a spiritual triangle (the Holy Trinity) that will leave you vulnerable to the devil."

      I was once walking down a street, saw a ladder and thought I'm not walking under that! Stepped out into the road and got hit by a car. Ladders are unlucky, I am proof.

    • LynetteBell profile image

      LynetteBell 5 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      Great lens...always try to avoid certain things and it's nice to understand where the superstition came from!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Friday the 13th doesn't bother me as much as a building that has a 13th floor - THAT is bad luck.

    • dexter yarbroug1 profile image

      dexter yarbroug1 5 years ago

      It's Friday the 13th! Great lens!

    • sibian profile image

      sibian 5 years ago

      I believe that our upbringing made us superstitious, we weren't explained properly or enough certain phenomenons around us as children, so we interpreted them in our own mystical way. Once we live with them for a while, they tend to "cling" to us.

      We are doing our utmost to avoid the same happening to my boy.

      We teach him that the only "mystical" intervention in his life worth exploring is The Holy Trinity.

    • PennyHowe profile image

      PennyHowe 5 years ago

      Happy Friday the 13th! I think this is a perfect lens to check out on this superstitious day. Thanks for sharing some of cures for those of us who are superstitious.

    • gatornic15 profile image

      gatornic15 5 years ago

      I'm not really superstitious, but I do believe in being jinxed. Whenever I am watching sports and an announcer says something about they never miss or this never happens, whatever it is always seems to happen right after they say it. Happy Friday the 13th! Great lens...Blessings

    • profile image

      TamarWrites 5 years ago

      When my daughter was born on the 13th, I stopped fearing that number. After all, she was a good thing!

    • profile image

      GentlemenGogoVEVO 5 years ago

      have a nice day my dear friend..funny page you have and your cat animation make me smile

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 5 years ago

      i just want to share what happened before tsunami in japan. i sold japanese train tickets to a lady and i explained about the logo of the brochure. it was a print of a big wave in kanagawa, japan. then, tsunami occurred and i was really down. the lady came back to me and asked for refund because she did not use the tickets. she remembered what i said and i had goose bumps all over.we returned all the money back not only to her. blessings.

    • Churchmouse LM profile image

      Churchmouse LM 5 years ago

      I would say I'm not superstitious - but then, why do I not risk walking under a ladder??, and I cross my fingers, say touch wood..... :-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Happy Friday the 13th...great lens

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 5 years ago from UK

      I guess I am not superstitious at all, so my fears are quite physical.

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 5 years ago

      Happy Friday the 13th! Fun lens.

    • KathyBatesel profile image

      KathyBatesel 5 years ago

      I think a person's willingness to believe or not affects what they perceive, which reinforces the "validity" of their beliefs. So if they're not superstitious, they won't see any reason to become wary, but if they were, they'll find coincidences that support their reasons to be.

    • gregoryolney lm profile image

      gregoryolney lm 5 years ago

      Isn't it strange how we all seem to have been brought up to be superstitious ? I thinks it's all nonsense, and I deliberately walk under ladders when the chance arises. Does this make me just as superstitious as everyone else ?

    • Rev999 profile image

      Rev999 5 years ago

      will fri the 13th coming up, maybe we should all stay at home.:-)

    • profile image

      paul-simat 5 years ago

      I work with Kenya event planners and i found your site very interesting. i don't believe in superstition, however i enjoyed reading and learning them.thanks a lot and keep up the good work.

    • profile image

      paul-simat 5 years ago

      I work with Kenya event planners and i found your site very interesting. i don't believe in superstition, however i enjoyed reading and learning them.thanks a lot and keep up the good work.

    • profile image

      Edutopia 5 years ago

      Omens are psychosomatic but that said they are still fun to learn and know about. Good job on the lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      This is the third lens I read of yours today. Love them. Great work. Learning more and more. LOL! Superstitions are in our everyday life, rather you know or like it or not. Yes I have to admit it I am superstitious.

    • Vallygems1 profile image

      Vallygems1 6 years ago

      I believe we make our own luck and create our own misfortune. Karma in short

    • sidther lm profile image

      sidther lm 6 years ago

      I don't have a specific thought or fear- I sometimes get that really bad feeling while doing a mundane task like washing dishes and it usually ends up being accurate. I do know for sure that before starting a home improvement project if ANYONE we talk to says "it's pretty easy" or "how hard can it be?" we will wind up finding something horribly wrong (patching a small hole will end up revealing black mold, replacing the faucet we will crack the water pipe etc) and the project will be extremely complicated.

      This was really cool- thank you so much for sharing these omens!

    • profile image

      aquarian_insight 6 years ago

      Interesting lens - I like the trivia about why the superstition got started. Good job. Have to say though, I'm not superstitious. Whether you think they're true or whether you think they're not, either way, you're correct!

    • profile image

      jasmine11911 6 years ago

      you have to be selective,some are true but some are ridiculous. ;p

    • Candlemakingsup profile image

      Candlemakingsup 6 years ago

      Very interesting!

    • WhiteOak50 profile image

      WhiteOak50 6 years ago

      After finally catching up with the Angel School Bus, I am fluttering around Legends & Folklore-ville to drop off some Blessings. Just wanted you to know I am here because your page caught my attention. Leaving you with a *Blessing* for doing such a great job on this page.

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

      June Parker 6 years ago from New York

      Some stuperstitions, I mean superstitions, are fun, but have no real bearing other than the "old wives tales" that they are. On the other hand, there are some very old beliefs from very old places across the globe that modern day people dare not break for fear of a spiritual retaliation. I suppose the real question is "Do you Believe?"

    • profile image

      prashu8915 6 years ago

      These superstitions are interesting to read, though i am not much superstitious. I think all these superstitions are made to make people afraid by not letting doing things. Breaking a mirror is easy and mirrors are cheap. But It might harm others standing over the broken pieces. So, our ancestors instead of repeatedly telling do not break the mirrors, they made superstitions which actually causes a fear in us before doing it. So, sometimes they are good to follow too. Great lens !!!!

    • profile image

      tealmermaid 6 years ago

      This was interesting to read.

    • WildFacesGallery profile image

      Mona 7 years ago from Iowa

      I'm not all that superstitious by nature but I really enjoy learning about myths and so of course I very much enjoy your lenses.

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      Thank you for the informative dark entertainment.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Interesting lens, but I really have always hated the black cat superstitious mumbo jumbo! Good job on your lens though.

    • ImmatureEntrepr profile image

      ImmatureEntrepr 7 years ago

      Fun lens. Things like this are so fascinating to me. Human behavior never fails to disappoint. :)

    • profile image

      scar4 7 years ago

      very informative. It's nice to learn something from your lens. Dark Omens, I will watch them from now on:)

    • profile image

      ShamanicShift 7 years ago

      Great lens! I have featured it on my new evil-spirits lens (about one shamanic view and many views of evil and evil spirits)

    • profile image

      Winona 7 years ago

      Does it mean anything if you see a red-tailed hawk that just took down a white-headed woodpecker? I know, dumb question...was just wondering. I mean, you got your crows, and if they caw, it's worse; birds flying in the house signifying important news; owls seen in the daytime, or looking in your window, bad; soooo, I've heard there's signs all around us more often than we know--it's just a matter of being able to get a feel for interpreting what to pay attention to and what not to mind. Just curious.

    • admiralglass lm profile image

      admiralglass lm 8 years ago

      Great lens loved it 5xxxxx

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      wtfbroilylol 8 years ago

      omg dude u saved my life!

      i threw salt over my shoulder when i broke my mirror

      but i was still scared as ever! so i'm burying it tonight ^-^

      and you are so right about the bird...ok cause when i was like 4

      a bird flew in our house and got stuck in and couldn't get out and later in that year

      may great grandmother died....coincidence!? i think not!

    • GhostWalker LM profile image

      GhostWalker LM 8 years ago

      Great info...Rated it a 5

    • profile image

      CleanerLife 8 years ago

      I'm fascinated with superstitions, but I'm not superstitious -- really I'm not!

      Then again, my right palm sure itches a lot...

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 8 years ago

      Well, isn't this a scary lens... not sure whether it's spiritually sound to bless it, but I just did :)

    • unique freak77 profile image

      unique freak77 8 years ago

      Great lens! Lots of information, love it! :) 5*

    • julcal profile image

      julcal 8 years ago

      opps 5*

    • julcal profile image

      julcal 8 years ago

      Thanks for this fun informative lens. Joseph Campbell taught us myth is truer than "truth" right? :)

    • awakeningwellness profile image

      awakeningwellness 8 years ago

      This was fun learning where these superstitions (many of which I used to have) came from!


    • NanLT profile image

      Nan 8 years ago from London, UK

      I found this to be very interesting.

      I also find it amusing that I am a witch and I believe in many things, but don't consider myself to be superstitious. LOL

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Informative and interesting. Thank you.

    • andreaberrios lm profile image

      andreaberrios lm 9 years ago

      Cool lens, Welcome to the Paranormal Group. 5*

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      Solitudeone 9 years ago

      Very enjoyable and informative!

    • AlisonMeacham profile image

      AlisonMeacham 9 years ago

      More Angel Blessings for your Omens.........

    • chefkeem profile image

      Achim Thiemermann 9 years ago from Austin, Texas

      You've got me all spooked! I better bless you and myself real quickly! May 5*s be the cure for all curses. :)

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 9 years ago from USA

      greetings from gothic temptations

    • profile image

      WebSpinstress 9 years ago

      Great lens - very informative and nicely put together - 5*'s! :-)

    • ctavias0ffering1 profile image

      ctavias0ffering1 9 years ago

      Nice work ... lensrolling this lens as well 5*

    • giacombs-ramirez profile image

      gia combs-ramirez 9 years ago from Montana

      Loved this are a great lensmaster and obviously know your html or CSS. (How did you get a black cat crossing in front of us?)

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      RinchenChodron 9 years ago

      Very enjoyable. Way to go again.