List o’ 10 Lesser Known Superstitions


Superstitions – I am tempted to do a list on lesser known superstitions, but I’m a bit scared that something bad might happen….ah, what the hell. There are the biggies that we know, like the broken mirror and the black cat, but digging deeper into the research revealed some bizarre fears and beliefs. This list covers a few from this lesser known superstitions that still guide the lifestyles of quite a few people.

10. If you say good-bye to a friend on a bridge, you will never see each other again.


The old adage about not burning your bridges is a great metaphor for making sure that relationships are kept or at least ended in a way that leaves some room for future communication. But if you say good bye to a friend while literally standing on a bridge, superstition dictates that you will indeed break that bridge forever. So, if you have occasion to actually have a farewell, make sure that you have crossed that bridge first and made it to the other side.

9. Do not lean a broom against a bed.

Why do witches ride brooms? In some lore, the Devil dispensed brooms and flying ointment to weak witches who needed help. In other tales, all newly initiated witches were presented with the broom and ointment. This superstition likely comes from the times when it was believed that the evil spirits in the broom will cast a spell on the bed, which will then creep into your soul while you sleep.

8. Your Lover’s Note Tells All

A love note

To find out of your lover is true, select one of the letters which you have received from your sweetheart, especially one which contains a particularly passionate and important declaration; lay it wide open upon a table and then fold it eight times. Pin the folds together, place the letter in your left-hand glove, and slip it under your pillow. If on that night you dream of silver, gems, glass, castles or clear water, your lover is true and his declarations are genuine; if you dream of linen, storms, fire, wood, flowers, or he is saluting you, then he is false and has been deceiving you.

7. Do Not Drop a Comb While Combing Your Hair

hair brush

If you drop your comb or brush while doing the “do”, legend has it that this is a sign of a coming disappointment. Could be that you are in for real trouble or it may be as mild as an unavoidable bad hair day, but either way, if you are a superstitious person, it is probably best to keep a tight grip on the handle while you get that “hair-do” just right.

6. Halloween Fire-pit

fire pit

The old Celtic custom was to light great bonfires on Halloween and after these had burned out to make a circle of the ashes of each fire. Within this circle, and near the circumference, each member of the various families that had helped to make a fire would place a pebble. If, on the next day, any stone was out of its place, or had been damaged, it was held to be an indication that the one to whom the stone belonged would die within twelve months.

5. It’s In the Potatoes

mashed potatoes

Mashed potatoes offer a method of divining who will be the first to wed. Into the heap of mashed potatoes a ring, a three penny-bit, a button, a heart-shaped charm, a shell and a key are inserted. Then all the lights in the room are turned out and each guest, armed with a spoon or fork, search for the hidden charms. The one who finds the ring win marry first; the three penny-bit signifies wealth; the button, bachelorhood or spinsterhood; the heart, passionate love; the shell, long journeys; the key, great success and power.

4. Eggs for Vision

broken egg with the man of the future

Girls who carry a broken egg in a glass to a spring of water (during the day) can not only see their future husband by mixing some of the spring water into the glass, but she can also see a glimpse of her future children. I am not sure what happens if a girl decides to do this at night, but the superstition clearly stipulates that it be done during the day, but there is a companion superstitious belief that girls who carry a lamp to a spring of water at night can see their future husband in the reflection. So for the girls, I guess the basic rule is to not mix your eggs with your lanterns or you could end up marrying the wrong man.

3. Bees Have Feelings Too

There is believed to be a very strong link between bees and their keepers; bees cannot prosper in an atmosphere of anger or hatred, and will either pine away and die, or fly away. There is still a common belief that bees should be told about deaths that occur in the beekeeper’s family; in past times this was extended to include every birth, marriage or other notable event in the life of the family. It was especially important to inform the bees of the death of their owner; traditionally this was done by the eldest son or widow of the owner, who would strike each hive three times with the door key and say ‘The master is dead!’. If the procedure was not followed, the bees would die or fly away. In many districts the hives were put into mourning by having black crepe draped around them, and at the funeral feast sugar or small amounts of the food eaten by the mourners were brought out for the bees.

2. Black Cats Are Good if You Are A Sailor

black-cat- at the ocean

Black cats are considered good luck and will bring a sailor home from the sea. While black is the color of death, and black bags or clothing are harbingers of doom, black cats are considered lucky on the sea. Mostly this is believed to be the result of the opposite effect of land based superstition, where a black cat is unlucky. In fact, when women had husbands who were at sea would keep a black cat in their home to bring good luck to their husbands while they were on the ship, and these cats were so valuable that they would often be stolen.

1. The Tag Line Will Tell All

Professional actors consider it a bad sign if a rehearsal is perfect. The play will have a very short run after a perfect rehearsal, or will go very badly. Similarly, it is extremely unlucky to speak the tag line, or the last line of the play, during rehearsals. The line which completes the play must not be spoken until the opening night of the show, when the success or otherwise of the production is ascertained by the extent of the applause which follows the last line.

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15 Responses to "List o’ 10 Lesser Known Superstitions":

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  15. Cannibal December 29, 2009 at 23:22

    Another great list! You seem to keep writing great lists, dontcha listmaster! I havn’t even HEARD of ANY of these superstitions! I guess that I’ll have to stop dropping my comb when I’m brushing my hair! :-)
    (man I love that smiley face!) (!) ……………….
    Wait! I just got a great idea! Listmaster, you could do a post on top *insert # here* emoticons post! Again, bye for now, {again again} :-)