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Superstitions What They Mean



Do you know why we have some of the superstitions we have?  Do you know why we don’t walk under a ladder, put shoes on a table or marry on Friday the 13th? We read on and we will tell you.


Walking under ladders:

In the 1800’s when prisoners condemned to death would climb a ladder to the hangman’s noose.  It was thought that their soul would remain at the foot of the ladder after execution, as they were not worthy of going to heaven.  Walking under the ladder and mixing with their soul invited the worst misfortune.


Shoes on a table:

After criminals were executed by hanging it was thought that as he noose was loosened, the corpse’s boots would tap on the surface below.  Placing boots on a table at home was said to bring all the bad luck associated with the death of criminals.  To clear the curse the shoes must be removed by the person who puts them there.


Friday 13th:

First mentioned in print in the 1900’s this is a relatively modern mix of two older ideas, both from Christianity.  The notion that Fridays are unlucky is down to the belief that Jesus was crucified on that day, while the number 13 is to do with Jesus being betrayed by Judas, the 13th disciple at the Last Supper.


Norse legend has another explanation – the god Loki was the 13th guest at a party where he caused the end of the world.


Black Cats:

Black cats vary from country to country, some believe they bring good luck if the cross in front of you from left to right and in some country’s they are said to bring bad luck.  In Britain and Ireland they are said to bring good luck.  In the middle ages black cats were said to be the assistants of witches.

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