A survey conducted by Mecca Bingo found that we’re (unsurprisingly) a superstitious bunch, with one fifth of Brits following common superstitions which they hope will help ward off bad luck, and with Halloween around the corner, we’ve counted down our top five favourite superstitions and rituals…
1 Breaking a mirror
The survey revealed that 40% of Brits believed bad luck would fall upon them for seven years if they broke or smashed a mirror. This stems from the belief that when humans first saw their reflection in a pool of water, the image was in fact a glimpse at their soul and to endanger it was to endanger yourself or your soul. It is believed that in order to reverse the curse, one should bury all of the broken mirror pieces during moonlight.
2 Walking under a ladder
We all know not to walk under a ladder leant up against a wall, but why? This stems back to Ancient Egypt, where it was a common custom for Egyptian priests to place ladders inside tombs for the dead, in case they wished to ascend upwards. They thought the space between the ladder was filled with good and bad spirits, so it was best to be avoided altogether.
3 Opening up an umbrella indoors
It’s thought that putting up an umbrella inside will bring you bad luck, due to umbrellas protecting you from ‘the storms of life’ – so to open one up indoors was insulting the guardian spirits of your home, leaving you unprotected.
4 Putting shoes on the table
We’re always told off for putting a new pair of shoes on the table after purchasing them, but this is because doing so is seen as tempting fate, as shoes placed on a table were traditionally a mark of respect after someone passed away.
5 Spilling salt
Spilling salt is thought to be a curse upon your land, stemming back from ancient times, as salt makes land barren and is a form of cursing the land.
Have your own superstition that isn’t on our list? Send us an email at email@example.com, drop us a message on Facebook or tweet us to let us know your superstitions! We may even print your superstition in a future issue!
About the author
Danielle Lett is a Soul & Spirit staff writer