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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Halloween Superstitions

Here are some Halloween superstitions said to be derived from English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh folklore.

If you ring a bell on Halloween, you will scare evil spirits away

If a candle flame suddenly turns blue, a ghost is near

If you are out and about on Halloween night and hear footsteps behind you, do not turn around. But if you do, beware! If you meet the gaze of your follower, you will soon be joining the spirits!

If you see a spider on Halloween, it could be the spirit of a loved one who is watching you

All spirits in Purgatory are released and freed for forty-eight hours to roam the earth on Hallows Eve

Walk around your house on Halloween three times backward to ward off evil spirits

Some say if you capture a snail on Halloween and lock it in a flat dish, the following morning you will see the first letter of your sweetheart’s name in the slime

Some believe if a hoot owl swoops down on you on Hallows Eve, it’s coming to eat your soul. According to Celtic legend, if you turn your pockets inside out, the myth will be broken

In Britain, people believe the devil was a nut gatherer. At Halloween, nuts were used as magic charms.

If a girl puts the sprig of a rosemary herb and a silver sixpence beneath her pillow on Halloween night, she will see her future husband in a dream

In North America, it’s bad luck if a black cat crosses your path and good luck if a white cat crosses your path. In Britain, Ireland and Japan, it’s just the opposite!

To prevent evil spirits from entering your house on Halloween, bury animal bones or the picture of an animal near the doorway

A person born on Halloween can see and chat to spirits

A rural American superstition states children born on Halloween will be protected from spirits for life and given the gift of second sight

If you go to a crossroads on Halloween night and listen to the wind, you will learn all the things that will happen to you in the next twelve months

Peel an apple from top to bottom. The person with the longest peel will be assured the longest life

If you toss the peel of an apple over your right shoulder, the initial it forms when landing will be the initial of your soulmate

If a bat flies around your home three times, it is a death omen

In England, you are warned to not go hunting on Halloween night as you will injure a wandering spirit

An English tale warns to not look at your shadow on the eve of Halloween or you will be the next to haunt the graveyard

If bats come out before dark and fly around playfully, it is a sign of good weather to come

If a bat flies into your house, it is a sign perhaps a ghost let the bat in!

Have a Halloween superstition? I would love to hear it! Leave a comment


Mary Ricksen said...

One that I just can't forget because it has happened.
If a bird fly's into your house, someone you know will die.
The day one of my dogs died, a bird flew into the house, landed on the TV and looked at the dog. Now King would have ordinarily have had to go look up close. But they just sat there staring at each other and then the bird flew away.Just one example of many.

Sharon Donovan said...

Mary, my Irish aunt was a good one for this superstition. She said it had to be a black bird, either crow or raven. And when one flew into her home, within a week her husband died. On a good note, she said the opposite was true for the bluebird of happiness. If one got in or perched outside your window, it represented news of a birth.

Hywela Lyn said...

Very eerie that one about the bird, Sharon and Mary. Great superstitions, Sharon, it's intesting how many of the Celtic ones are common to the US and UL. I guess the Pilgrim Fathers took them across the pond with them.

Sharon Donovan said...

How true this is Lyn! You know how much I adore superstitions, legend and lore and the Celtics are great story tellers! The bird is one I could do without, however. The omen of death, that is! And I know you'll love what is coming up for Monday and Tuesday...the history of Halloween and witches and druids! Tis the season.

Margaret Tanner said...

Wow Sharon,
How interesting.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Margaret. Thanks for dropping in. I'd be interested in hearing an Australian superstition for Halloween. I'll bet you have one or two to share?

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Sharon,
As far as I know we don't have any Halloween superstitions, Halloween is not really celebrated very much in Australia.
My mum used to always say it was bad luck to walk under ladders, thast's about the best I can do I'm afraid.

Sharon Donovan said...

You know that's an old one, Margaret, but so true! And I am here to testify. One such Friday the 13th, just to proove the rumor myth, I spotted one such ladder and bravely proceeded to walk beneath it. Just as I was about to puff my chest out and declair it a superstition, a bucket of paint spilled down all over me. As you might guess, nevermore did I strut under a ladder!