Bad Luck, general
- Walking under a ladder is bad luck.
- Spilling salt is bad luck, to avert this throw a pinch of it over your left shoulder.
- Putting your clothing on inside out or backward is only unlucky if you remove the piece of clothing and turning it "right." Bells
- the sound of bells is said to frighten away evil spirits, which is why they are rug at weddings, funerals, and on New Years Day.
- "Gremlin" bells are commonly hung on motorcycles to keep "bad" spirits from catching a ride. Birds,
tell fortunes per the following poem:
One is for bad news,
Two is for mirth.
Three is a wedding,
Four is a birth.
Five is for riches,
Six is a thief.
Seven is a journey,
Eight is for grief.
- It is bad luck to have a crow fly across your path. To avert this, recite the alphabet as fast as you can, before the crow completes its flight.
- Blue birds
are a favourite tattoo of sailors, ensuing a safe return home.
- Any bird
flying into your house through an open window and out again is said to predict a death in the household. Cats, black
- It is bad luck to have a black cat cross your path. This is a regional thing as black cats are considered lucky in some areas of the world.
- If a black cat walks toward you it will bring good luck to you.
- If a black cat walks away from you, it will take your luck with it. ColoursRed
- Do not wear red in an electrical storm, the colour is said to attract lightening Green
- Green was once said to be the colour of a witch; actors believe green will bring bad weather or "natural disaster". Yellow
- Believed to be the colour or cowardice. Black
- Believed to be the colour of death and funerals. Death
- When a person dies and their eyes are still open, they are said to be awaiting the arrival of more souls of family members.
- It is considered inauspicious to speak ill of the dead.
- The inexplicable howling of dogs is said to foretell the death in the household.
- A last meal is often laid for the departed spirit, to assure them a good passage to the next world.
- A candle is often lit to "light their way."
- When a person dies at home, all the windows in the house should be opened to allow the soul to depart easily.
- Mirrors are covered so the dead will not be startled by their reflection. Fridays (including the 13th)
- Never start a journey, a business proposition or a marriage on a Friday.
- Black Friday, also known as Friday the thirteenth (see separate answer in related questions) Good luck charms etc.
- It is lucky to meet a chimney sweep.
- Carrying a rabbits foot is lucky (for everyone but the rabbit).
- Find a penny pick it up, all day long you'll have good luck.
- Hang a horseshoe (ends up) over a doorway, or in a room to bring good luck. If the horse shoe is from the rear hoot of a grey horse, all the better.
- Seeing a grey horse is good luck, riding in a cart pulled by one is even better.
- Finding a four-leafed clover is fortunate.
- Seeing a butterfly on the first day of the year will bring the viewer a prosperous year.
- Catch a falling leaf on the first day of autumn and you will not catch cold that winter. Hygiene
- Sweeping at night will reduce your "blessings."
- Never sweep dirt out of your door, you will sweep your good luck out with it.
- Bathing at night is the equal of a cup of blood lost.
- Do not allow the birds to use your hair as part of their nest, as it will cause you to become confused. Jewellery
- Allowing anyone else to wear your wedding band is an invitation for your spouse to be unfaithful.
- Buying opals for yourself is unlucky unless they are your birthstone.
- Certain specific gems (frequently diamonds) for example the Hope Diamond, are "cursed".
- A bride will shed tears for every pearl she wears to her wedding. Mirrors
- Breaking a mirror brings seven years bad luck.
- Mirrors should be covered in a household in mourning.
- Covering a mirror during a thunderstorm will keep the thunder from shattering it.
- It is unlucky for a baby to see its reflection in a mirror before its first birthday. Doing so, could cause the child to have crossed eyes or to stutter.
- Looking into a mirror over someone's shoulder will result in a quarrel between the two people.
- If a mirror falls from the wall (unaided) and breaks, it foretells of a death in the household. Miscellaneous
- Always enter a room/building on your right foot.
- Always enter and leave a building by the same door.
- Always enter and leave a bed on the same side.
- Cover your mouth when you sneeze, your soul is said to take leave of your body in this manner. This is also why people say "Bless you" to someone who sneezes.
- Giving a wallet without money in it will mean the wallet is empty in future.
- Never give a knife as a gift (the recipient should always pay, even a penny) or it will turn on its owner.
- Peacock feathers are unlucky if kept indoors, doubly so if you purchased them for yourself.
- Step on a crack, break you mother's back.
- Sleeping late, will cause a decline in blood (cause illness).
- Sleeping with wet hair, will bring snakes to sleep with you.
- Three people on a match (lighting three cigarettes on one match) is very unlucky.
- Do not turn a loaf of bread upside down after you have sliced it. Umbrellas
- Opening an umbrella inside the house brings bad luck to the person, and the entire household.
- Opening one under a roof, you will drown the next time you swim.
- Placing an umbrella on a bed or table brings misfortune.
- If you drop an umbrella, you should not pick it up yourself. A woman who picks up her own fallen umbrella will never marry.
- An umbrella (particularly a black one) is unlucky on a ship. Weather
- Rain on your wedding day is considered good luck.
- Red sky at night, sailors delight. Red sky in the morning, sailor take warning.
- Seeing a rainbow, particularly one that is a complete arch, is good luck.
- Keep an acorn on the window sill will keep the household safe from lightening. Weddings
- It is unlucky for a groom to see his bride, on the day of the wedding, before the ceremony starts.
- It is unlucky for the groom to see the bride in her wedding dress
before the ceremony starts.
- It is unlucky for the bride to wear her wedding dress (other than for fittings) before the day of the wedding. If she does the marriage is said to be at risk of cancellation.
- Purchasing the engagement ring and the wedding band at the same time is considered bad luck.
- Wearing your wedding band before the ceremony is bad luck.
- Dropping the wedding band during the ceremony will doom the marriage to failure.
- A bride should never wear the colour green on her wedding day.
- A bride should throw away all of the pins from her dress and veil to avert bad luck.
- It is good luck to find a spider in your wedding dress
- It will bring prosperity to the marriage for the bride to have a coin in her left shoe.
- Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. A bride should have all these to ensure a happy marriage.
- Before she leaves the house, a bride should feed the family cat (if there is one) and look at herself, just once in a full length mirror.
- It is good luck for a bride to encounter a lamb or a dove on her trip to the church.
- On the way to the wedding, it is unlucky to pass an open grave, cross running water, or encounter a blind or cross-eyed person.
- It is important that both the bride and the groom step into the church on their right foot.
- A groom should give alms to a poor person on the way to the church and the bride give alms to a poor person on the way from the church.
- The bride usually throws her bouquet over her shoulder as she departs the reception. The young woman who catches it is said to be the next to marry.
- Brides are often carried over the threshold of their new homes as it is unlucky to enter on the left foot, and unluckier still to trip when entering.
- Do not wear green to a wedding, it will bring misfortune to the couple.
- It is bad luck to wear black to a wedding, black being the colour of death & funerals.
- Marrying a man who's surname starts with the same letter as yours is said to be unlucky.
- The spouse that falls asleep first, is believed to be the one who will die first, Wishes
- Wishes made on the first star seen of an evening are said to come true.
- If you make a wish and blow all of the candles on your birthday cake out in one breath, the wish is said to come true.
- Falling stars are favourite things to make wishes on.