Sunday, July 11, 2010

Superstitions

This post will hopefully be a little less spooky. So for those of you totally disliking my paranormal series will have to hold on about three more days.

Paranormal Series III - Superstitions

Okay, we have ALL grown up with some sort of superstition. To begin with, let's define what a superstition is:  a credulous belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge.

Easy enough! Now that we know what it means, what are some examples?

I have to set this up with, if you are from the south you are surrounded by some of the most superstitious people! I don't know if it is the heat, or the overly clogged arteries from all of the fried food, or what - but we are one SUPERSTITIOUS group of people. Just visit with someone's grandmother here, and I can assure you within one hour you will be told 5 different ways to do something or not to do something (all steeped in an old wive's tale.)

Let's take a look at some well known superstitions that are prevalent in the south:

-If you hear two screech owls calling out to each other in the night, lay a broom lengthwise across the threshold or bad luck (or death) will follow.



-If a rooster crows during the daytime, someone will soon die.


-If a mockingbird tries to fly through your window, beware of bad fortune.

-If you see a redbird (cardinal), company is on its way.



-A broom cannot be moved from a house.


-If you sleep under a newly-made quilt, you will dream of your future spouse.


-Shine a mirror’s reflection into the mouth of a well and you will see the face of your wife or husband-to-be.

Here are a list of "Omens of Death" known in the south:
-A bird flying into the home.


-A black hound following you.



-If you dream of a birth or marriage.



-If the oldest person at the supper table sneezes on Sunday.



-A picture falls face-down and breaks.



-A hen crows.



-Hounds baying in the night.



-Three hoots from an owl or seeing an owl in the day time.



-A Death Watch Beetle (Xestobium rufovillosum) starts making noise.



-Cows mooing after midnight.



-A white mist appearing in the home.



-The presence of blackbirds soon after a death is a portent of another death in the family.



-A broken clock suddenly begins to work again.



-A bird flies into the windshield of your car.

Now this is where it gets interesting, and I can assure you - my mom, and her mom, and then her mom do these things. It's crazy, I know - but it happens. Also, just take a trip to someplace like New Orleans, where they do not mind letting outsiders in on the little "superstitions" the rest of us are aware of.

Want to really see the culture come out? Attend a funeral... and now for the:

Death Superstitions



-The next person to look into a mirror after someone's death will die. Mirrors should be covered or turned around to prevent this.



-All clocks must be stopped.



-Unlock all locks in the house or the deceased won't be able to move on.



-All windows must be opened at the time of death so that the soul can leave.



-It is believed that at a person's death a great wind will come to escort their soul away.



-Sweeping under a sick person's bed will cause them death.



-Leaving a rocking chair rocking will bring death.



-If you see an ambulance or hearse, you must touch a button or you will be next to die, unless they are empty.



-If the deceased eyes are left open, they will find someone to take with them.



-If you drop an umbrella in a house it means there was a murder there.



-A corpse must be carried feet first or the soul will return to haunt the family.



-Touching the deceased will prevent the soul of that person from haunting you.


-To be in the dead's good graces, light a candle in the room where the person died on November 1.



-If you don't hold your breath as you go by a cemetery, the spirit of a person buried there will enter your body.



-If a woman is buried in black, she will haunt the family.



-No grass will grow on the grave of someone who was inherently evil.



-If there are three people together in a photograph, the middle one will die first.



-To leave a funeral before it is over will bring you bad luck.



-If you spill salt, quickly throw a pinch over your left shoulder to avert bad luck and death.



-Leaving the house through a door you did not come in through will cause bad luck and death.



-Leaving shoes on a table or hats on a bed will bring death.



-Water in an open grave means the person who is buried there will be restless.



-Nothing new should be worn to a funeral, especially shoes.



-A spirit cannot cross running water.



-A pregnant woman would never attend a funeral.



-If a beekeeper dies, the wife should tell the bees and ask them to stay, or they will quickly leave.


-A soul cannot rest if the corpse is laid across the direction of the floorboards.



-You can find a murderer by having his touch the fatal wound on the body of the person he is accused of murdering. If the wound bleeds, the murder has been found.



-A body must be sat with for 24 hours, or the spirit of the deceased will come back to haunt the living.



-It’s bad luck to leave a grave open overnight.



-Bodies were once buried facing the east, where it was believed on Judgment Day the angels would sound their trumpets. Someone who was unanimously believed to not be righteous was buried the opposite direction. Suicides, on the other hand, were often feared because it was believed that they would return to haunt the living. Being unable to bury the body on sacred land, the corpse had to be buried at a crossroads (a symbol of the cross).



-To keep a body from sitting upright in its coffin after rigor mortis had set in, old folk believed in “saining:” A candle would be lit and passed over the body three times, then three handfuls of salt would be placed in a wooden bowl and placed on the corpses chest.

These are just a few of the superstitions around the more "spookier" items. There are a million more around pregnancy, birth, marriage and your home.

Share with me in the comment some of your biggest superstitions and if any of these you are familiar with!










7 comments:

Megan (Best of Fates) said...

I had no idea there were so many superstitions that also required action! (Like the owls and seeing a hearse)

Turns out I'm far too lazy to be superstitious!

Leanne said...

Wow . . . there are some good ones here! My mom always says, "If you sing at the table, you'll marry a drunk!" .... hmmmmm, turns out she always says that to my husband! ;)

I don't have many superstitions - although I do remember the ol' "Step on a crack, break your mothers back." from childhood.

Very interesting stuff here, Nicole.

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suzzy said...

Hello, I wanted to share something strange that happened to me. My mom died Nov 14 2013. A week before her passing I was talking to her on the phone, (my mom use to live in South America) I was telling her to please eat and that i would be there in February to see her. I was outside when I was talking to her on the phone when I looked up in the sky as tears filled up my face I noticed a black Vulture, flying in circles on top of my house, I cried more because this birds are around when they can smell death. I live in IOWA, US. I felt the presence of death and my mother died a week after.

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