I’m Just Curious: Who is more superstitious?

by Debbie Walker

Remember those books I told you I bought in the south, one was titled Southern Superstitions. I decided I would give you some of the New England and some of the Southern Superstitions. Save this column because next week will be the southern version of the subject! Then you can compare. It’s up to you to figure who is more superstitious.

I believe the following New England information comes from the New England Historical Society and I took the license to edit the information for this column. The Town Line is not responsible for my choice.

New England Puritans were a superstitious lot who believed luck ruled their lives. They took measures to ward off bad luck, attract good luck and change their luck from bad to good. One of their odder customs was to place old shoes in the walls of a house wards off evil. (Wish I had read that one before we closed up the walls in this house, we could have used a little more good luck!)

  • Dropping bread and butter with the butter side downs brings bad luck. (Who wants to eat dirty bread?)
  • Rock an empty chair and you will have bad luck. (Never heard the bad luck but I knew we weren’t supposed to rock that chair empty!)
  • Tripping on something is a sign of bad luck. The remedy is to walk over it again. If you’ve tripped on a stone, go back and touch it. (Since I have lost most of my balance control there is a lot to that tripping business!)
  • If you put on an apron inside out, wear it that way or your luck will change. (Maybe that is why so many homes don’t have any aprons anymore!)
  • If you have bad luck playing cards, get up and move around your chair. Or blow on your cards to change your luck. (You could just give up and say goodnight!)
  • See a pin and let it lie, come to sorrow by and by.
  • Finding a penny is surer to bring you good luck than anything else.
  • It is good luck to fall up a hill.
  • If a spider spins down from the ceiling toward you, it will bring good luck.
  • If you move to a new home, don’t bring the cat with you. It will bring bad luck.
  • If you see a cat sitting with her tail to the fire, expect bad luck.
  • If a strange dog or cat comes to live with you, it will bring good luck. A black cat will bring its owner good luck.

I’m just curious if you remember if you’d missed an issue of The Town Line and you have a computer you can look up the week you missed. So…hold your decisions until you read the southern version. Keep in mind the New England Superstitions has a sailor/fisherman version of their own! Maybe we will look at those one day. In the meantime send any questions or comments to dwdaffy@yahoo.com.


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