Which Superstitions Do You Act On?

During our recent trip to Shawnee National Forest, as we drove past a cemetery, Megan said, “Hold your breath!”

I didn’t hold my breath.

It resulted in an interesting discussion about superstitions (as it turns out, Megan also doesn’t actually hold her breath when driving by a cemetery, over a bridge, or through a tunnel). Neither of us considers ourselves superstitious, but I prodded at the idea that maybe we act on certain superstitions “just in case.”

It took me a while to find one that I act on, going through the list of those that I consider fairly common in American culture:

  • avoiding the number 13
  • having a lucky piece of clothing or number (for sports)
  • not walking under ladders (though it seems courteous not to do so)
  • not saying a birthday wish out loud
  • not shaving or cutting hair during a competitive sport (“playoff beard”)
  • getting years of bad luck for breaking a mirror

I don’t do any of those. Instead, my lizard-brain kicks in if I go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, I try not to look in the mirror and say (or think) “Bloody Mary.” For some reason that one has stuck with me since I heard the horror story as a kid, and even though it makes no sense, I don’t want to do anything that will make it difficult to fall back asleep.

Are you superstitious about anything? And even better, if you don’t consider yourself superstitious, are there any superstitious habits that you find yourself doing anyway?

4 thoughts on “Which Superstitions Do You Act On?”

  1. I don’t know that it’s a superstition, but I cannot handle watching most possession/supernatural movies even though I’m essentially an atheist. That stuff just creeps me out, and I would never mess with a Ouija board or curses or whatnot “just in case”

    • I’m with you there, Sara. I wouldn’t say I believe in ghosts, but I also think it’s quite possible that some form of ghost-like energy exists, and I’d prefer not to mess with it.

  2. Wow – I can’t believe you mentioned the “bloody mary” superstition. That one still creeps me out too! I also can’t help but think of “bloody mary” when going to the bathroom at night sometimes…immediately followed by “You fool! What are you thinking! Change your train of thought right now!”


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