50 Bizarre Superstitions From Around the World

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1Ravens of the Tower of London

Because of an old superstition, several ravens are kept at the Tower of London at all times. These ravens are enlisted soldiers of the Kingdom and have occasionally been dismissed for bad conduct. While wild ravens live for 10-15 years, Tower ravens can live past 40 years.


2. “Witch windows”, or diagonal windows, exist almost exclusively in Vermont. The name comes from the superstition that witches cannot fly their broomsticks through slanted windows.


3. According to a Cambodian superstition, opposite-sex twins were lovers in a past life whose relationship was ill-fated, causing them to be born as twins and preventing them from marrying in this life.


4. When babies are born in Thailand, it is common for people to say the baby is ugly. They are superstitious that attractive babies will be taken by evil spirits and find it impolite to say positive things about the baby.


5. An old sailing superstition was that women onboard ships were considered bad luck. However, if the women were naked, then they had the effect of “calming the seas” and were considered good luck.


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6Cooking sushi

Women have historically been barred from cooking sushi due to a superstition that their hands are too warm.


7. There is a Royal Navy superstition that whistling on a ship can summon strong winds. Traditionally, the only person allowed to whistle is the ship's cook, as it means he's not eating the food.


8. Fan Death is a popular superstition in South Korea. People there believe that sleeping in a closed room with an electric fan can cause death. Despite no evidence of death, it is believed the South Korean government created this myth to lessen energy consumption during the 1970 energy crisis.


9. The superstition about whistling in a theatre originates back when theatre sceneries were massive backdrops raised and lowered by stagehands who would whistle to indicate scene changes. Because absentminded whistling by an actor could cause an accident, whistling is frowned upon even today.


10. In 1966, due to a superstition, number of births plummeted in Japan by nearly 25% compared to the previous year. The superstition states women born in the Year of the Fire and Horse are destined upon reaching adulthood to marry and then kill their husbands.


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11Butterfly Folklore

According to a Japanese superstition, if a butterfly enters your guest room and perches behind the bamboo screen, the person whom you most love is coming to see you.


12. The Oscar love curse is a superstition that the woman who wins the Academy Award for Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress will have her boyfriend or husband cheat on her or divorce her soon after.


13. There is a Voodoo superstition that involves a woman putting her own menstrual blood in a man's food so that he will fall in love with her.


14. The superstition of the 13th floor in tall buildings is still alive and well. 85% of buildings installed with Otis elevators don't have a 13th floor.


15. A common superstition in Japan is that blood type is an indicator of a person's personality; similar to the Western belief in the signs of the zodiac.


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16Sweater Curse

The "Sweater Curse" is a superstition that hand-knitting a sweater for your significant other will lead to them breaking up with you.


17. "Rabbit rabbit rabbit" is a superstition found in Britain and North America wherein a person says or repeats the words "rabbit", "rabbits" and/or "white rabbits" aloud upon waking on the first day of a month, to ensure good luck for the rest of it.


18. There was a long-held superstition that Medieval Irish bards were close to magicians, able to raise blisters on the faces of their victims by the power of their satire, and even 'rhyme rats to death.'


19. There is a superstition known as "The Superman Curse" which states that anyone associated with the franchise is jinxed. George Reeve's suicide, Christopher Reeve's paralysis, and the creators of Superman not gaining any of the profits have all been attributed to the curse.


20. The superstition of opening up an umbrella indoors stemmed as a health and safety hazard, as the first modern umbrellas were notoriously dangerous to open, with spring triggers and metal spokes. This could cause harm to people and damage to objects in the house, like jars or TVs.


21Mandrakes

Mandrakes plants are real. According to one superstition, people who pull up the root will be condemned to hell. The mandrake root would scream as it was pulled from the ground, killing anyone who heard it. In the past, people tied the roots to animals and then used the animals to pull the roots from the soil.


22. Lighting three matches is a purported superstition among soldiers. According to it, when the first soldier lights his cigarette, the enemy will see the light. When the second soldier lights his cigarette, the enemy would take aim and when the third soldier lights his cigarette, the enemy would fire and that soldier would be shot.


23. Korean superstition prevents students from eating seaweed soup before a test so that information doesn’t ‘slip’ from the mind.


24. Russian superstition considers it taboo to give a knife as a gift; however, the taboo can be broken if the recipient gives a coin in return, lest the relationship be severed.


25. The Number 4 is omitted from some Chinese buildings due to superstition of it meaning "Death."

2 COMMENTS

  1. 46: It’s not an urban legend, it was spread during the slavery period (1550-1888) by the landlords so that the slaves would eat mangoes or drink milk, never both.

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