Things That Are Considered Bad Luck

So, All Hallows' Eve, aka Halloween is at the end of October, and I am mostly doing this for the fun of it, as I find the origins of superstitions interesting. I should have titled this one as "Things That are Considered Bad Luck and Why they Got Known as Bad Luck," or something, but I'll make do with this title. Anyway, feel free to submit various things that mean bad luck (and if you can, maybe spell out why they are considered bad luck,) but this is just some October fun.
The Top Ten
1 Black cats

We've all heard that it's a bad omen if a black cat crosses your path, so I figured I'd start there. In the 17th century, black cats were associated with witchcraft, and people thought they were basically witches themselves, just disguised as cats.

Although I think we're smarter than 17th-century people, this association is still the main reason that black cats don't get adopted as much as other cats.

This is false. My cousin owns a black cat. Sometimes the cat stays with my dad's parents, and I was having a sleepover there when the cat was staying there too. It didn't cause me bad luck there, and my cousin has had the cat for a while now.

2 Broken mirrors

Supposedly, looking at yourself in a broken mirror breaks your soul into pieces. Because the soul is in pieces, it is not completely able to ward off evil spirits and bad luck.

This is nonsense, considering the fact that the soul is unbreakable. Maybe you disagree with that verdict, but just roll with it, okay? Let's treat that statement as objective fact for a second: If the soul is unbreakable, you can look at yourself through a distorted mirror all you want, and you will not have to ward off evil.

3 The number 13

In many nations, 13 is considered unlucky. Italy, China, and France actually consider 13 a lucky number, but let's focus on the rest of the world. Wikipedia has many examples of why 13 is considered unlucky by most.

The best example is the Last Supper, which had 13 people (Christ included) seated and was the last meal Jesus had before being crucified. Other scenarios emphasize why 13 is unlucky, like the Knights Templar, which happened on (surprise) Friday the 13th when King Phillip IV ordered the arrest of the Knights Templar, and most knights were tortured or killed.

4 Green paint

Throughout the 18th century, synthetic green dyes were made with a newly discovered compound called cupric hydrogen arsenic. Though the widespread publication of arsenic in 1822 finally alerted the public to its dangers, some superstitious homeowners view green walls as a bad omen even today. The ironic thing is green is also considered good luck.

Is that true? Because when I see the color green, I think of Christmas.

5 Stopped clocks

Remember that Save the Clock Tower flyer Marty McFly got in the first Back to the Future? According to Feng Shui superstition, broken clocks are more powerful than you think. Feng Shui implies that a broken clock can stop time itself and leave you in the Twilight Zone for eternity. If a broken clock chimes, it foreshadows your death.

I can testify that neither of those is the case. I have a dysfunctional wristwatch floating around my house somewhere, and I am not living in limbo. I also have a semi-functional watch under my bed that goes off every day. I am not even close to dead.

6 Opening an umbrella inside

This one goes back to ancient Egypt. In ancient Egypt, if you brought anything that protects you from the weather inside, it was considered disrespectful to the spirits that protected you. The implication was that the guardian spirit's protection is not good enough, and the fear of the wrath of these spirits has kept people from opening umbrellas inside, even if the origin is forgotten.

I, being my ever-so-non-superstitious self, have run this risk. So far, there have been no further contingencies in my life.

7 Fireflies

That sounds kind of unlikely anyway. I live surrounded by forest, and I have never seen such an insect in my house.

According to Victorian superstitions, if you bring a firefly or lightning bug into your house, it means someone is going to die soon.

8 Hanging a horseshoe upside down

Although I forgot which group of superstitious people this one came from (and will modify this comment when I research it), I remember the logic behind it. Supposedly, if you hang a horseshoe upside down, the luck will fall out of it.

This is one I believe in. No point in asking why because I don't know. It's an irrational belief I can't seem to undo.

9 Bringing an ax inside your home

Okay, before I get into details, unless you are a professional lumberjack or have some experience with using axes, this is just stupid in the first place. As for the bad luck behind bringing an ax into your house, it can bring death. I wonder how this became logic.

10 Friday the 13th

This is more or less a more specific version of "The Number 13," but okay. As I said with the number 13, there are many potential origins for this one. The whole Knights Templar thing is the one I find most likely, for obvious reasons, but there is also the Last Supper having 13 people at the table (on what is now known as Good Friday), and one of them (Jesus) was put to death shortly after. (But he conquered the grave.)

Wikipedia also has Norse mythology as the potential origin, although there is nothing about Fridays.

The Contenders
11 A bird in your house

You've gotta wonder what TopTenners (or people in general) who have pet birds think about this one. Supposedly, if a bird flies into your house (especially through a window), it foreshadows - you guessed it - death.

I can tell you firsthand that this one isn't true. When I was maybe six, my family somehow managed to let a crow into our house. Don't ask me how we let it in, but everyone who lived in my house at the time is still fine.

Man, I've seen a lot of birds fly into my classrooms.

12 Saying good luck
13 Blood moon

More "superstitions" that many see as more than that. It's not as much "unlucky" as it is one of the many harbingers of Jesus. I actually missed a Blood Moon last year because I was watching the Super Bowl.

I feel like anything that has to do with blood is bad. Also, I love your lists, HaiThere. They are always so much fun.

14 Celebrating your birthday before your actual birthday

I used to have to do this because my family didn't want to come to a party on a weekday, so I had to have my birthday on a Sunday every year. (None of the women in my family had jobs anyway, so they could have come on a weekday.) I could never have a birthday on my real birthday unless it fell on a Sunday. Anyway, I am still alive.

This originated in Germany, and some Germans don't give children their gifts until the day after their birthday.

I have done this several times. Don't know if it caused me bad luck though.

15 Spilled salt
16 The number 666

I would not even say these numbers if they are all in a row. I'll say 667 or 665, but never, you know.

The Mark of the Beast. I was actually trembling a little when I typed that number.

I don't think so, but that's just me. Good list, by the way. Good job, HaiThere.

17 Black crows

I have a lot of crows around my house. Is that why I'm so unlucky?

I have a lot of them, but I'm not scared.

18 Hat on the bed

A superstitious belief that leaving a hat on the bed will bring death within the household.

19 New shoes on a table

I think this means that you'll have relationship issues.

20 A rocking chair

I have seen a lot of horror movies where rocking chairs have moved on their own, so I don't have any inside or outside of my home.

An empty rocking chair is an invitation for ghosts to enter your home. I did a project on that once.

I feel the same way. That's why I don't have any.

21 An unmade bed

Some people think this superstition was made by parents. If you don't make your bed, or are even interrupted while making it, that could doom you to a bad night's sleep. And let's face it, an unmade bed just looks bad anyway.

22 Walking under a ladder

I have also done this one. (Surprised?) I think this one has a bunch of theoretical origins, from Christians believing that if you walk through a triangle, you are somehow breaking the Godhead to Ancient Egyptians believing that this is disrespectful to the gods. (Man, Ancient Egyptians must have lived their lives very paranoid. You couldn't do anything without upsetting spirits or the gods.)

It's also, generally speaking, not a bright idea, especially if the ladder is rickety and needs to lean against your house to climb it.

23 Number 4

It's the Chinese number for death.

24 Saying pig on a boat

I thought the same thing about Moana. Thank you, I am not the only one to think that.

Never heard of this one. I don't think this would come up much anyway though.

So that's why Moana left the pig on the island after leaving?

25 The groom seeing the bride before the wedding

Because arranged marriages were customary, there was fear that the groom would back out if he didn't find the bride attractive.

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