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14 Bad Luck Superstitions That Make You Think Deep

Updated on December 5, 2018
Ansel Pereira profile image

I have been an online writer for over two years. I am passionate about books, philosophy, music, and the music industry.

In various cultures superstition associated with bad luck has been prevalent since ancient times. While we may want to believe superstition is less prevalent in this modern age, belief and ideology in regard with bad luck is yet rampant as it used to be in the past. While people may deny they are superstitious, majority of people from around the globe associate luck with attributes that revolve around their life. Perception of the mind plays an important role in faith and belief. What is considered a sign of good luck in some cultures, maybe considered bad luck in certain other cultures. Perspectives on lucky symbols and unlucky symbols vary with various cultures around the world. Gods and goddesses are associated with luck in certain cultures. Three aspects of luck often debated are:

  • Is Luck Good or Bad
  • Is Luck The Result of Chance
  • Does Luck Apply to Sentient

We need to think deep to analyze different perspectives about luck and arrive at a conclusion.

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The Roots of Superstition

While there is no conclusive evidence about when superstition came into being, the roots of superstition emerge in ancient times when man associated disease and natural calamities that occurred as a sign of wrath of Gods and deities. Furthermore, stories that have been passed on since ancient times have become firm beliefs among certain sections in society. Ancient beliefs and rituals in regard with superstition are considered sacred; however, the modern age looks at scientific understanding, scientific reason and cultural belief before associating superstition with culture and religion.

Belief and Superstition associated with Bad Luck

While interpretations of superstition vary in accordance with cultural beliefs, in general superstition is considered an irrational belief that may stem from a conflux of events that take place in a person’s life. Superstition is often associated with dark forces or mysterious forces that result outcome. Belief associated with evil spirits bringing bad luck varies in culture. Theories about unlucky numbers and lucky numbers are numerous; however, the fact is belief takes shape differently in accordance with individual perspective. Individuals may start believing in ‘bad luck’ after a series events that occur in their lives. When individuals are faced with situations that impact negatively the mind manifests itself or is streamlined to believe in non-existent matter taking control of occurrence in life.

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Signs and Superstitions associated with Luck- Good or Bad

  • Itching sensation on palm
  • Sneezing just before leaving the house
  • Crows, Ravens and Owls
  • Left Eye Twitch
  • Bird droppings Falling on your Head
  • Cutting Nails At Night
  • Entering and Leaving Home through Different Doors
  • Sleeping on a Table
  • Crossing Your Fingers
  • Seeing the Bride Before The Wedding Ceremony
  • Wishing a Person ‘Happy Birthday’ in advance
  • Keys on a Table
  • After waking getting Up On The Wrong Side of the Bed
  • Carrying a Rabbits Foot
  • Knocking on Wood
  • Drinking Water That Reflects the Moonlight
  • Changing Your Bed on Friday
  • Breaking a Wishbone
  • Walking Over three Drains
  • Picking up a Penny
  • Walking over a Crack on the Road
  • Doppelganger

Good Omen and Bad Omen

The type of superstition in different cultures may be considered a good omen or bad omen. There are signs that are believed to bring good luck and bad luck. What is auspicious to one culture, maybe considered inauspicious in another culture. Mind manifestation plays an important role in belief and superstition. When the mind manifests to a form of irrational belief that grows stronger…the seeds of superstition are planted. The degree of superstition varies in accordance with each individual’s perspective through belief and culture in regard with a collective series of events that trigger change.

Mentioned below is a list of superstitions, signs and beliefs associated with bad luck. If you have a point of view, feel free to speak your mind in the comments section.

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14 Bad Luck Superstitions that Make You Think Deep

1. Walking under a Ladder

It is believed bad luck will befall those who walk under ladders. In ancient Christian beliefs a ladder forming a triangle when leant against a wall was symbolic of the Holy Trinity, and walking through under the ladder is considered desecration of the trinity thereby bringing ill-fate and bad luck.

2. Numbers associated with Bad Luck

The world of numbers may be confusing for many. Certain numbers are considered unlucky and are avoided by people. The number 13 has a plethora of theories that paint a pretty picture of the number being unlucky. ‘Friday the 13th’ theories are numerous and garner a lot of debates. In some East Asian Nations, there is a lot of superstition associated with the number 4. Similarly in Chinese the number 4 is considered unlucky because of the homophonous association to the word ‘death’. In Italy the number 17 is rooted in diverse beliefs associated with ill-fate and bad luck.

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3. Spilling Salt

Salt, which is an important ingredient in cooking has various theories angled in superstition when spilled or thrown. One among the many theories about evil befalling if salt is spilt comes forth from belief about Judas Iscariot accidentally spilling salt at the Last Supper. While the school of thought on the ‘Judas’ aspect differs, superstition associated with spilt salt peaked. Also, salt was an expensive ingredient back in ancient times and was used to in treatment and cures. Hence, it is considered taboo to spill salt which was a precious ingredient in ancient culture. When salt is spilt it has become a ritual to throw a pinch of salt over the left shoulder. By doing so it is believed the devil is blinded and stop evil spirits from following you.

4. Placing Shoes on the Table

Superstitious beliefs associated with bad luck when shoes are placed on the table are varied. One theory stems from the fact that criminals used to be hanged with their footwear. The footwear of hanged individuals used to be removed by the hangman and placed on the table. A belief common in New England stems from the death of a miner in the coal industry. To show respect the miner’s shoes were placed on a table. However, in the course of time this was seen as an attempt at tempting fate and a sign of bad luck.

5. Breaking a Mirror

There are different theories about superstitions associated with breaking a mirror. In Ancient Roman culture, reflection represented the soul, and hence breaking a mirror translated to the soul being shattered and tormented. Breaking of a mirror was associated and is still considered in some cultures a symbol of bad luck.

6. Black Cat Crossing Your Path

A black cat crossing your path is considered an evil sign in certain cultures. The black cat has always been in the news for wrong reasons. There is a lot of folklore and myth surrounding black cats. In the middle ages black cats were considered an evil form associated with helping witches. Majority of ancient beliefs are associated with black cats being evil omens.

7. Three On A Match

This is a purported superstition associated with soldiers lighting a cigarette with the same match. The belief is never light three cigarettes with the same match… the reason being a sniper bullet could find any one of the three lighting a cigarette with the same match. It is believed it’s the third person lighting the same match that gets hit by the sniper bullet. Lighting three cigarettes with the same match is believed to bring bad luck.

8. Opening an Umbrella Indoors

Opening an umbrella indoors is considered bad luck in certain cultures. In Ancient Egypt, umbrellas made of peacock feathers and papyrus was used to protect Egyptian nobility from the harsh sun. It is believed opening an umbrella in a enclosed environment is a mark of disrespect towards the sun gods and bad luck will plague the person opening the umbrella in the form of tears and sorrow representing wrath of rain gods.

9. Keeping your Hat or Cap on the Bed

In ancient Rome and ancient Greece it was believed that keeping your headgear on the bed would bring bad luck and invoke spirits to haunt and torment the individual sleeping on the bed. This belief stemmed from the fact that people believed demons and evil spirits dwelled in a person’s head. Taking off your headgear and placing it on the bed was associated with mind torment and haunting.

10. Breaking a Chain Letter

This superstition prevalent in modern culture is rooted in faith and belief. It is believed a person breaking a chain letter does not prosper in life either in their personal life or professional life. The belief is when you refuse to accept what is thought to be a work of miracle in your life; it opens doors for the evil one to take control of you.

11. Hanging a Horseshoe with Ends pointing Down

Although a horseshoe is considered a lucky charm, a horseshoe hanging with the ends pointing downwards is considered a sign of bad luck. This superstition is embroiled in the Christian belief associated with Saint Dunstan in the 10th century. The legend goes… Dunstan who worked as a blacksmith was visited by the Devil who asked him to shoe his horse. Dunstan recognized the devil and agreed to shoe his horse, but instead nailed the shoe to the devil’s foot causing the devil extreme pain. Dunstan agreed to remove the shoe from the devil’s foot only after extracting a promise from the devil the he would never enter a house with a horseshoe nailed to the door. It is believed Dunstan hung the horseshoe with the ends pointing up toward heaven, which is interpreted as a good luck talisman. A horseshoe hung with ends pointing downwards is believed to be an invitation to the devil and evil spirits from the depths of hell.

12. Gifting Knives

In various ancient cultures it is believed a knife given as a gift severs friendship between the person receiving and giving. Legend has it... gifting a knife or set of knives to a bride and groom can ruin your friendship with them and bring bad luck in the bargain.

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13. Sweeping dust out of your front with a Broom after dark

When folklore about witches flying around in night skies on a household broom became rampant, the belief about sweeping dust out of the front door reached manic heights. It is believed sweeping dust out of the front door after dark will bring bad luck in the form of a stranger that visits your home.

14. A Hanging Picture Falling off the wall repeatedly

While there are findings why some pictures hung on walls fall often…the superstition associated is rather grim. It is believed death will occur and the surviving member/s or loved ones of the person that passes away will be left with nothing but bad luck. Ancient belief associates falling of hanging pictures and glass objects with death by hanging.

How Superstitious are You?

Which Superstition makes you Believe and Think Deep?

See results

© 2018 Ansel Pereira

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    • Ansel Pereira profile imageAUTHOR

      Ansel Pereira 

      5 days ago

      Thank you Ellison. I'm glad you enjoyed reading.

    • Ellison Hartley profile image

      Ellison Hartley 

      5 days ago from Maryland, USA

      This is an interesting and fun read!

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