Questions tagged [superstition]

a belief that is not based on reason or scientific thinking and that explains the causes for events in ways that are connected to magic

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407 views

What's the secret behind the infamous 'Backrooms' creepypasta?

DISCLAIMER: I did not create this creepypasta, nor do I claim it to be true. I'm not quite sure if this is the right place to ask about creepypastas, but there isn't a specific site on the SE network ...
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Crooked/uncrooked arm as sign of truth-telling. Has anyone come across this in any folklore? My example is from a Cornish folktale

I came across this in a Cornish folktale. Girl appears to be telling wild stories (about fairies). Wise woman tests to see if it is true: she has to crook her arm and repeat the story. If it is untrue ...
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2answers
126 views

Was a sneeze seen as an omen in ancient Greece?

This is a loading screen hint from the game Assasin's Creed Odyssey: Gods bless you. A sneeze at a key moment was seen as an omen in ancient Greece. Since it was involuntary, the action was viewed as ...
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84 views

Refraining from whistling while out at sea

A friend who served in the IDF Navy told me that some soldiers there believed it was bad luck to whistle while at sea, because it might infuriate Neptune. Supposedly it was like whistling at his wife ...
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Why do Native Americans think photographs steals their souls?

Native Americans, including some from here, Brazil, are afraid of photos. They don't like it when you take pictures of them because they think that you are stealing their souls. Why do they think ...
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108 views

Identifying a mythical creature

I had a dream one day where i was being stalked through a house by a creature made of twigs. Initially the creature was normal height about 6ft with a face like the chester cat but with normal pupils. ...
5
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1answer
703 views

If the ox tiger is an unlucky direction, why build an entrance to it?

On the Oni Wikipedia, scrolled down to Demon Gate, it says that in Chinese Taoism and traditional Japanese esoteric cosmology (Onmyōdō), the direction northeast (though the wiki uses northeasterly) is ...
14
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1answer
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Was the killing of an albatross being bad luck fabricated or real nautical mythology?

While reading The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere I got interested in the part of the albatross. ‘God save thee, ancient Mariner! From the fiends, that plague thee thus!-- Why look’st thou so?’-...
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268 views

Why is it lucky to touch or knock on wood?

According to Project Britain's British Life and Culture it is lucky to touch wood: Lucky to touch wood. We touch; knock on wood, to make something come true. Where does this superstition come ...
8
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1answer
125 views

Traditional beliefs regarding guardians of burial grounds

Many years ago (the mid-1980s) someone described to me a belief that a Christian burial ground was guarded by the spirit of the most recently interred body. For this reason, when a burial ground was ...
8
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1answer
977 views

Why is it unlucky to walk under a ladder?

If we ignore the practical safety issues, why is it considered unlucky to walk under a ladder?
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374 views

Why you should never buy a broom or wash blankets in May?

According to Project Britain's folklore calendar buying a broom or washing blankets in May should be avoided: Never buy a broom in May or wash blankets. Wash a blanket in May. Wash a dear one away. ...
8
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1answer
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Where does the idea of counting crows come from?

According to Learn Religions and many astrology websites, the number of crows you see predicts the future: "Seeing just a single crow is considered an omen of bad luck. Finding two crows, however,...
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1answer
203 views

Crystal taped to radiator?

I bought a house and found a crystal taped to the radiator. Anyone know why someone would want to tape a crystal to the radiator? It looks like a mountain crystal but as I'm not knowledgeable about ...
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4k views

Why is it so bad to be born in the Year of the Fire Horse?

Japan's birth rate dropped precipitiously in 1966, only to recover completely in 1967. This is apparently because 1966 was the "Year of the Fire Horse" - that is, in the 60-year zodiacal cycle you ...
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283 views

Are there any stories that present solar eclipses as a good sign?

I have been reading about solar eclipses and it appears most cultures view them as a bad sign. For example, according to the article Solar Eclipses in History and Mythology it appears that all ...
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How old is the belief that spilling salt is unlucky and should be followed by throwing a pinch of salt over the shoulder?

In much of Europe it is believed to be unlucky to spill salt, and it is thought advisable that someone who spills it should throw a pinch of it over their left shoulder. How old is this belief?
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431 views

Twice a bridesmaid, never a bride?

I was reading Lafcadio Hearn's New Orleans Superstitions, when I came upon this proverb: There are many superstitions about marriage, which seem to have a European origin, but are not less ...