Broken mirrors, black cats…ceiling fans? You’d be surprised at the absolutely weird and wonderful superstitions that famed cultures have drummed up. Here are 13 of the strangest superstitions ever to span the globe, but don’t laugh – you might be next!
1. Night of the Living Gum
According to legend, superstitious Turks believe that if one chews gum after dark, the chaw will turn into dead flesh. (And as we all know…death lasts an Extra, Extra, Extra long time.)
2. Wait! Don’t Turn On That Fan!
Superstitious snoozers in various areas of Asia believe that falling asleep with a fan blowing in the room will result in death. Not cool, guys. Not cool.
3. That’s a Hairy Cute Baby
Romanians – famous for vampires, werewolves and all creatures that go slurp in the night – believe if you beat animals, your next child will be very, very hairy. We suspect a wandering wife with an eye for chest fuzz made this one up.
4. An Unlucky Dozen
If you give an even number of flowers to a Russian paramour, you’re likely to be unlucky twice: first, even numbers portend fatality – and second, wishing death on your beloved is just NOT a panty-dropper.
5. Shear Fear
Japanese believe that if you trim your nails at night, you’ll die prematurely. (Sure, Grandma COULD have lived to 97…but she just had to take care of bidness during Jimmy Kimmel.)
6. Tuesday, Bloody Tuesday
Apparently, rather than Friday the Thirteenth, Spaniards have Tuesday the Thirteenth. Let’s skip Taco Tuesday that day. We feel behind the eight ball as it is.
7. The Lonely Corner
According to an adorable Hungarian tradition, if you sit at a corner of the table, you’ll be an old maid, never to marry. (Oh noes!) We’re left to wonder just what host sits a person on a corner anyway…but yeah. Don’t do that.
8. Sparkling, Clean, Delicious Disaster
An old German spell calls for toasting someone with water rather than champagne. Upon your first sip, the intended will drop dead. (Like nobody was going to notice that? It’s a wedding, dude. There are a lot of people watching.)
9. Shut It
Celts believed a bird flying through an open window portended death. We feel it’s a fair bet that somebody’s going to die at some point in a pretty big village, but we’re installing locks anyway.
10. The Acorn of Power
Similar to the Ring of Power in Lord of the Rings, an old Celtic tradition from the British Isles holds that if you carry an acorn in your (nasty little) pocket(ses), you’ll never grow old. Great, plant one on us!
11. No Glove, Get Love
Medieval Europeans believed that giving gloves as a gift meant ill luck. It hearkened to small tokens at a joust or other potentially lethal event. Tip: Want to win a lady’s heart? Don’t give her a death sentence. You’re welcome.
12. I WOULD Have Gotten the Job…if Not for that Darned Goat
Another quaint Medieval tradition held that if you passed by a wandering goat on your way to seeking employment, you’d never get the job. Manhattanites, beware!
13. Lift Your Skirt Up if You Want THIS
No, really. According to a 1914 edition of The Oxford Dictionary of Superstitions, turning the hem of your skirt up will mean you magically receive a brand-new dress. Or…well, that’s what that dude told ya, anyway.
Happy Friday the 13th!