Do you freeze when a black cat crosses your path? Do you avoid stepping on a crack so you won’t “break your mother’s back?”
In honor of Halloween this week, we offer up superstitions that those here at A Place for Mom have grown up with.
From carving pumpkins to dressing up and trick-or-treating; Halloween conjures up nostalgic memories for many of us.
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The tradition of sharing Halloween stories and superstitions passes on from generation to generation. A Place for Mom honors this tradition by sharing superstitions our grandparents passed down to us:
“My Korean grandmother told me as a child never to kill a white spider in the morning hours. If you do, you’d have back luck all day long. To this day, even though I am completely arachnophobic, I won’t kill a white spider in the a.m. Instead, I will make the effort to capture it and release it outdoors.”
“I grew up hearing many superstitions from my abuelos.” Including:
“My grandmother would warn my mother that celebrities always die in threes.”
“My grandparents had their share of superstitions.” Including:
“I grew up on a cattle ranch in California and my grandfather was the quintessential cowboy — he didn’t own any other type of shoes besides cowboy boots. He would always say that lots of tarantulas (yes, the big spiders!) on the ground meant that it would be a rainy winter. Unfortunately, we had drought conditions many years growing up, so every time we saw a tarantula, we obviously got very excited!”
“My grandmother was Swedish and she always said that if a bird visits your window in the morning, it means death is at your door and you have to be extra careful that day. Now that is CREEPY!”
“My grandmother told me that if I washed my sheets between Christmas and New Year’s, whoever slept in those sheets would die.”
“My Sicilian grandmother used to say ‘someone put the horns on you,’ which essentially was a curse. The only way to break the curse was to wear a pair of scissors around your neck or hang garlic somewhere in the house. Most Italians opted for the garlic as you could never find a small enough pair of scissors to wear.”
“My grandparents and I are all from California and the one thing they said was to never hang a picture over your bed in case of an earthquake. The picture or painting will fall on your head and you will get hurt. At 52 years old, I still do not hang a picture or painting over my head by the bed.”
“I can recall a few that my grandparents shared with me.” Including:
“My grandmother thought if you bought knives as a gift for someone in your family it would cut your love. My mother still firmly believes it also. Everyone in my family abides by this so we are a knife-free gift giving family!”
“My family and extended family shared a few with me.” Including:
“All four of my very Irish grandparents believed firmly that a sick bed must be placed with the head facing north and the feet facing south — no exceptions!”
“My grandparent said killing a spider will make it rain. If that is true then I may be responsible for much of Seattle’s rainy weather.”
“My [senior] mother-in-law from Wales said it was bad luck to have any pictures of birds in the house, for example, on fabric (curtains, bedspreads, etc.), you couldn’t have bird ornaments on the [Christmas] tree, no bird figurines and definitely no actual pictures containing birds hanging on the wall.”
“My grandma, ‘Wee Katie,’ from Glasgow, Scotland told me that the chill you feel down your spine is a goose walking across your future gravesite. Not sure if she meant ‘ghost’ and not ‘goose’ because Wee Katie did enjoy a dram now and then for medicinal purposes.”
“My grandparents had a handful.” Including:
“My grandparents used to have us hold our breath when we drove by a cemetery so the spirits wouldn’t enter our bodies and take over.”
“My grandmother said if you are feeling sick in any way (flu, stomachache, headache, etc.) that it helps to prick the tip of your middle finger and squeeze the bad blood out.”
“Every time someone moved into a new house, my grandmother would bring them a loaf of bread so they never went hungry, a pound of salt to sprinkle around and ward off unwanted spirits, and a new broom to sweep the spirits away (a used broom had other’s unwanted spirits attached).
“My mother’s Irish and Scottish grandmothers shared a few.” Including:
“I was told by my grandparents that you must exit and enter through the same door when visiting someone.”
Do any of these sound familiar to you? What superstitions did your grandparents tell you? We’d like to hear your stories in the comments below.