Although in post modern society superstitions don’t have much of a place, at least not in the typical sense (think OCD). For most of history, superstitions around the world have played a huge role in shaping cultures and societies. Whether superstition examples include old wives tales, urban legends, or just scary stories, every group has their share of them. These are the 25 strangest superstitions from around the world.
Knock on wood
Knocking on wood, or simply saying “knock on wood” after making a hopeful statement, finds it’s roots in the idea that you’re tempting fate by acknowledging your good fortune. It’s believed that the expression comes from an ancient belief that good spirits lived in trees, so by knocking on something wooden, a person was calling on the spirits for protection. Another reason why we should all be tree hugers.
Breaking a mirror
We’ve already mentioned how mirrors are believed to be soul sucking mystical items (which is bad enough) but what happens when you break these devices of misfortune? Why, seven years of bad luck of course! Some superstitious sources state that the trapped souls adversely influence your luck. And here you thought you were doing them a favor! Nope, make sure those suckers stay inside that mirror.
“God bless you”
For many; saying “God Bless You” after someone sneezes is a gesture of politeness. However, the origin of this interesting superstition finds its roots in Pope Gregory the Great who would say it to people who sneezed during the bubonic plague; and from the erroneous belief that the soul escapes the body during a sneeze and the heart momentarily stops. Therefore, saying “God bless you” was a way of welcoming the person back to life.
Though the origin of the superstition: wishing over a four-leaf clover is lost to antiquity it has long been a symbol of good luck and fortune. It has also been used in some traditions for finding a husband or a wife. The way this works (for you single people) is by first finding a four leaf clover (good luck with that one), if you happen to find one, you must then eat it (or put it inside your shoe…but eating is more fun). After this, the luck powers will activate and the first person you come contact after the activation will be your future mate…(Word of warning, stay clear of anyone you don’t want as a future mate).
There seems to be a lot of variations on this superstition, but the idea of having an itchy palm generally refers to someone who is greedy or has an insatiable desire for money. Some people believe that if the right palm itches, you will lose money, while an itchy left palm means that money is coming your way. If both palm itches…you may want to go to a doctor for that.