The number 666 has to be the face of superstitions! From being the number of the beast to being a symbol of the Antichrist or, alternatively, the devil, telling what’s true from what isn’t continues to be an evasive subject. By the way, did you know the phobia of the number 666 is called hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia? If its not that, then it has to be the superstition of the black cat crossing the road/path. That aside, here are light-hearted superstition facts from around the world.

1. The Kingdom and the Tower of London Will Fall if the Resident Ravens Leave

There is a popular superstition that the Tower of London will fall if the six ravens, Jubilee, Poppy, Harris, Branwen, Edgar, and Georgie, ever leave the fortress. Historians say Charles II was the first to insist that the tower’s ravens be protected. He warned that the building would crumble (and Britain with it) if the birds left.

2. There Is a Macbeth Superstition

Especially in theater performances, there is a superstition that if someone says the name “Macbeth,” whether in rehearsals or stage acting, the whole production will be cursed. Sometimes called the Scottish curse, anyone who wants to refer to William Shakespeare’s play can use the phrases “The Scottish Play” or “The Bard’s Play.”

3. Every Performance Theater Has A Ghost

One of the most famous theatrical superstitions is that every performance theater harbors a ghost (or more). As a result, The Palace Theater in London, for instance, has two seats set permanently on its balcony for the facility’s ghosts to sit on.

4. Hiccups Have Varying Superstitions Worldwide

Although hiccups are natural, they attract varying superstitions worldwide. For instance, when someone has hiccups in Albania, it is believed that someone else is talking about them. To stop them (hiccups), the affected person has to randomly say the names of people they think could be talking about them. The hiccups stop when the correct name is mentioned. In Africa, hiccups are a sign that someone is growing tall.

5. Louis-Michel Le Peletier Described the Criminalization of Homosexuality as a Superstition

Notably, France was among the first European countries to decriminalize homosexuality; Louis-Michel le Peletier, a Freemason and martyr of the French Revolution, was at the center of it. He described its criminalization as a superstition and urged the state to punish only “true crimes.”

6. Making a Wish When Sitting Between Two People With the Same Name May Come True

Commonly in Russia, there is a superstition that a wish may come true if someone makes it when sitting between two people with the same name. The success rate is higher if they don’t tell anyone about the wish they made.

7. Some People Design Their Homes With Slanted Windows to Deter Witches

Almost exclusive to the United States Vermont state, there is a superstition that witches cannot fly their broomsticks through slanted windows. As such, it is expected to find “witch windows” or diagonal windows in the region. In the same breath, most houses in Hawaii are built so no interior doors align with each other. This makes it difficult for ghosts to move freely.

8. Gustav Mahler Was Superstitious

Gustav Mahler was an Austrian Jewish composer and conductor famous for his 10 symphonies and a variety of songs with orchestra; he was pivotal in bringing together diverse strands of Romanticism. Interestingly, Mahler was also very superstitious; he especially believed in the Curse of the Ninth.

According to the superstition, composers could only compose nine symphonies before they died. Mahler called his 9th symphonic work “song cycle” to work around this belief and then created the 10th. He died after that.

9. Women Were Barred from Cooking Sushi for the Longest Time

It was unheard of for a woman to cook sushi in the past. They were banned because it was believed their hands were too warm for the craft.

10. There Is a Superstition Surrounding Blood Types in Japan and South Korea

In some parts of Japan and South Korea, natives believe there is a strong correlation between blood types and people’s traits. According to the superstition, an individual’s blood type affects their behavior towards others. This has often resulted in “bura-hara” (blood-type harassment). Victims are susceptible to bullying, stand a lesser chance of landing a job, and their romantic relationships are often troubled.

11. In Cambodia, It Is Believed Opposite Sex Twins Were Lovers In Their Past Life

In Cambodia, there is a superstition that opposite-sex twins were lovers in their past lives. It is believed that their union was ill-fated, so they were born twins to prevent them from marrying in their current life.

12. Mongols Executed Royals Without Spilling Their Blood Because of a Superstition

Blood is among the biggest deals in Mongolian history; they didn’t spill it. Especially when dealing with an oppressing royal, the Mongols believed that spilling their blood would prevent the victim from transitioning into the afterlife.

This, according to them, would supersede natural disasters. To beat this superstition, the Mongols devised other ways of executing the royals – they used methods such as sewing up their orifices and drowning them in molten metal.

13. Saying “White Rabbits” Three Times Prevents Smoke from Blowing in Your Direction

two white rabbits sitting next to each other on a table

Saying “White Rabbits” three times prevents smoke from blowing in your direction, say during camping. This is a common superstition, especially in Ontario, Canada, and some parts of the USA and UK. Others believe that uttering “Rabbit” thrice upon waking on the first day of the month guarantees them good luck.

14. It Is impolite to Give Compliments to a New Born in Thailand

In some parts of Thailand, it is believed that evil spirits are constantly roaming, searching for attractive babies. As such, giving compliments to a newborn is considered impolite! Instead, people always say how ugly the baby is, among other negative attributes.

15. Knitting a Sweater for Your Significant Other Causes A Breakup

Popularly known as the “Sweater Curse,” hand-knitting a sweater for your significant other highly contributed to a breakup with them. Another similar superstition common around the world is that if someone gives their shoes to someone they love, the receiver will use the pair to walk away from them.

16. South Korean Government Created the “Fan Death” Superstition to Lessen Energy Consumption

“Fan Death” is a popular urban legend and superstition in South Korea believed to have been coined by the government to lessen energy consumption during the 1970s energy crisis. For the longest time, it was believed that sleeping in a closed room with an electric fan running could cause death.


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Last Update: February 15, 2024