From Friday 13th to walking under ladders these are 25 common superstitions and their origins.
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It's bad luck to open an umbrella indoors
Although some people suggest it started with the superstitions of the pharaohs in ancient Egypt, most historians trace the belief back to Victorian times when the clumsy opening mechanism of metal spoked umbrellas would be a legitimate indoor hazard.
Walking under a ladder is bad luck
This one really did start in ancient Egypt. A ladder resting against a wall formed a triangle and Egyptians regarded triangles as sacred (the pyramids?) so walking through one was not cool.
Broken mirrors lead to seven years of bad luck
In ancient Greece catoptromancy was the act of looking into a mirror to predict the future by analyzing someone’s reflection and a distorted reflection was not good. When the Romans introduced the idea that people have 7 year alternating cycles of health and sickness the modern superstition was born.
When you spill salt, toss some over your left shoulder to avoid bad luck
Around 3,500 BC the Sumerians were the first to do this. Although the exact reason is unknown it spread to the Egyptians, Assyrians, and later the Greeks.
Knock on wood to prevent dissapointment
In spite of being one of the most popular superstitions of modern times, historians are uncertain of its origins. One possibility is that it originated in the habit of touching a crucifix while taking an oath.