13 Spooky Home Superstitions to Avoid
You’ve closed on your new home and there is no better feeling than when they hand you your new keys. As you begin the move-in process take care not to fall victim to the folklores that have haunted generations of homeowners. Here are some of the most popular and widespread superstitions that all seem to have one single purpose - to ensure an untroubled move and prosperous new life in your new home.
- Brooms: A broom is drearily sweeping up the broken pieces of yesterday’s life…or so the saying goes. Most cultures agree that cleaning a new home with an old broom is bad luck. It invites negativity from your past, so it is best to buy a new broom when you move into your new house.
- Rocking Chairs: Wrap-around porches beware. Irish families have long believed that rocking an empty chair invites dark spirits to come along and have a seat. If the chair moves on its own, WATCH OUT, the malicious spirit has already settled in and is said to bring death to the family.
- Porches: In Southern culture, people believed that ghosts were incapable of crossing water, and therefore began painting their porches blue to ward off ghosts. It apparently worked so well that homeowners continued to paint their front entryways blue as well to avoid a phantom menace.
- Itchy Palms: An old superstition stemming from the Middle Ages, having itchy palms is said to mean you are about to gain or lose money. Careful not to scratch that itch though, or you’ll risk blocking that money from finding you. If your right palm is itching, congratulations! This means you are about to come into some money. But, careful of the left palm, it signals you’re on the verge of losing money. The only sure-fire way to indulge a scratch without risking financial ruin is to rub your left palm on a piece of wood.
- Ladders: We’ve all heard that it is bad luck to walk under a ladder…probably not too safe either. Christianity may be behind this antiquated piece of advice. The idea is that a ladder leaning against a wall creates a triangle or the Holy Trinity. It would be sacrilegious to “break” the triangle by walking or standing in it.
- Broken Clocks: In Chinese culture, to give a clock as a gift has the same pronunciation as attending the recipient’s funeral, so it is customary to never gift a clock to people you love. Similarly, in the 19th century, it became common knowledge to never leave a clock broken. A busted clock signals pending doom! Even worse, if a broken clock suddenly chimes, folklore says this predicts a coming death in the family. Time to fix that clock!
- Move-In Day: A common superstition when moving into a new home is to avoid moving on a Friday, Saturday, or a rainy day. On the contrary, Indian superstition claims Thursday is the most fortunate day to move in your new home. It has even been recommended throughout the ages to make your move when the moon is waxing to ensure success.
- Don't Whistle in Your Home: Uh oh, here we go with losing money again. A common Russian superstition claims if you whistle while under a roof, you will whistle all your money away! Some believe this folklore stems from the humble, Russian mindset that one should not have optimistic thoughts about future wealth or wealth will not find you.
- Burying a St. Joseph Statue: When it comes to selling your old home, some Christians believe that by burying a statue of Jesus’ father will help you to sell your home faster. Many realtors in the 1990s believed in it but we’ve yet to produce any scientific proof that this method is successful. Please don’t leave poor Joseph underground though. Once the house is sold, it is important to dig up the statue to keep it from changing owners.
- Not painting the "wealth corner" certain colors: According to Feng Shui, the southeast corner of a room is the ‘wealth corner’. When painting this room, be sure to use colors that enhance your wealth; greens, browns and maybe some blue accents. The north corner is considered the ‘career corner’ and is responsible for securing your job. Paint the north corner with blue/water hues or dark, deep hues.
- Witch Windows: Originating in colonial New England, the witch window is a small window installed diagonally at the gable. Their folklore illustrates how witches will surely be warded off by witch windows because witches cannot fly into them, due to their slanted angle. Other names for this window includes coffin windows, Vermont windows, sideways windows, and even lazy windows. No matter which name you prefer, these designs have been trusted for centuries to keep witches out of the home.
- Dishcloths: In the early 1900s, Americans believed all dishcloths should be burned before moving into a new home. In fact, ANY cloth used for cleaning in the previous home should be destroyed by fire. By doing so, you will surely erase all of the bad luck that has been ‘wiped up’ in the old home.
- Horseshoes: Have you ever seen an upside-down horseshoe on or above a door? That home is believed to be welcoming in prosperity and good luck while warding off evil. Legend tells of a blacksmith named Dunstan who met a man who asked him to shoe his horse. Dunstan quickly realized the man was actually the devil and instead nailed the horseshoe on to the devil’s feet causing excruciating pain. Dunstan only released him after the devil promised to never enter a place with a horseshoe hanging over the door. Dunstan later became the Archbishop of Canterbury.
They say that moving, although highly exciting, can be stressful. It’s no wonder then, that the act of moving into a new house has been shrouded in centuries-old superstitions and folklore. We hope you enjoyed some of the more nonsensical tales and can laugh the next time you hear someone whistle, notice a broken clock, or find yourself at the closing table on a Friday.
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