Superstitions, or beliefs in the power of mysterious forces to shape our lives, have been a part of human culture for centuries. While science and reason have advanced considerably, some irrational beliefs continue to hold sway over people’s thoughts and actions.

1. Walking Under Ladders

12 Irrational Superstitions People Have
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Walking under ladders is a superstition that has been around for centuries. It is believed to bring bad luck because ladders were once associated with the gallows and the triangular shape they create is thought to symbolize the Holy Trinity. While there is no logical reason to avoid walking under ladders, many people still go to great lengths to steer clear of them.

2. Breaking Mirrors

12 Irrational Superstitions People Have
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Breaking a mirror is said to bring seven years of bad luck, a superstition rooted in ancient times when mirrors were considered magical and reflective of the soul. The idea of a shattered reflection being an omen of misfortune has stuck around, causing panic for those who accidentally break one.

3. Black Cats

12 Irrational Superstitions People Have
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Black cats have long been associated with superstitions, particularly bad luck. This belief dates back to medieval Europe when black cats were thought to be witches’ familiars. Even today, some people hesitate to cross paths with a black cat, fearing impending doom.

4. Friday the 13th

12 Irrational Superstitions People Have
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Friday the 13th is a notorious day that sends shivers down the spines of superstitious individuals. This date is thought to bring bad luck due to its combination of two superstitions: Friday has been considered an unlucky day since biblical times, and 13 is often seen as an unlucky number. The combination is believed to be doubly unlucky, leading to fear and anxiety among some.

5. Knocking on Wood

12 Irrational Superstitions People Have
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The act of knocking on wood is a superstition meant to ward off bad luck or prevent jinxing oneself. The origin of this custom is unclear, but it likely stems from pagan rituals where trees were believed to house protective spirits. Today, people often knock on wood as a reflex when they mention something they want to protect from misfortune.

6. Horseshoes

12 Irrational Superstitions People Have
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Horseshoes have been regarded as lucky charms for centuries, believed to ward off evil spirits and bring good fortune. Hanging a horseshoe over a door or above a fireplace is a common practice, even though the belief lacks any scientific basis.

7. Crossing Fingers

12 Irrational Superstitions People Have
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Crossing one’s fingers is a widely recognized gesture used to express hope or to wish for good luck. This superstition is thought to have originated in pre-Christian times when crossed fingers were believed to symbolize the Christian cross. To this day, people often cross their fingers when they need a bit of luck or when they’re anxiously awaiting news.

8. Opening an Umbrella Indoors

12 Irrational Superstitions People Have
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Opening an umbrella indoors is considered bad luck in many cultures. This superstition is thought to have originated from ancient Egypt when umbrellas were used for shade against the scorching sun. Opening one indoors was believed to insult the sun god and invite misfortune.

9. Tossing Salt Over One’s Left Shoulder

12 Irrational Superstitions People Have
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Spilling salt is thought to bring bad luck, but there’s a superstition for countering it. If salt is accidentally spilled, some people believe that tossing a pinch of it over their left shoulder will avert misfortune. The left side is associated with evil spirits, making this action an attempt to blindside them.

10. Lucky Charms and Amulets

12 Irrational Superstitions People Have
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Throughout history, various objects have been considered lucky charms or amulets, believed to protect their owners from harm. These can include four-leaf clovers, rabbit’s feet, and even small statues or trinkets. People continue to carry these items or display them in their homes in the hope of attracting good luck.

11. Lucky Number Seven

12 Irrational Superstitions People Have
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Many people believe in the power of the number seven, considering it to bring good luck. This superstition likely has its roots in various ancient cultures where seven was seen as a mystical and sacred number. From seven being a lucky roll in dice games to seven years being the time it takes for cells in the human body to renew, this numerical fascination persists.

12. Knocking on Wood

12 Irrational Superstitions People Have
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Knocking on wood to ward off bad luck is a common superstition, but some take it a step further by believing that the wood must come from a specific type of tree, like oak. The act of knocking is thought to summon protective spirits residing within the wood to shield one from misfortune. This superstition has transcended generations despite its lack of scientific basis.

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