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5 Superstitions With Oddly Rational Origins

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The Legend of the Mysterious Night Marchers of Hawaii

The Legend of the Mysterious Night Marchers of Hawaii

HowStuffWorks finds out about the Hawaiian legend of the night marchers, ghostly warriors striding through the jungles.


Author's Note: 5 Superstitions With Oddly Rational Origins

It's been almost a millennium since the Pope declared black cats as devils in disguise, but the animals are still suffering because of it. In a 2013 study, researchers at Colorado State University found that it takes four to six days longer for a black cat to be adopted from a shelter than a cat with another coat color. While it's unlikely that many people still make a direct connection between black cats and evil, it's possible that lingering superstitions about these animals have hurt public perception, leaving the cats stuck in shelters simply because of the color of their fur.

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Sources

  • Bradshaw, John. "Cat Sense: How the New Feline Science Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet." Basic Books. 2014.
  • Hanauer, Eric. "Seafaring Superstitions." Dive Training. (Jan. 5, 2015) http://www.dtmag.com/Stories/Weird%20Stuff/08-06-feature.htm
  • Middleton, H. "Folk-Lore from Adams County, Illinois." 1890. (Jan. 5, 2015) https://books.google.com/books?id=o-8JAwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
  • Mikkelson, Barbara. "Banana Ban." Snopes. July 20, 2013. (Jan. 5, 2015) http://www.snopes.com/luck/superstition/bananas.asp
  • Odyssey Marine Exploration. "Strange at Sea: Maritime Myths and Superstitions." 2015. (Jan. 5, 2015) http://www.shipwreck.net/oid/Nov12-maritimesuperstitions.php
  • Tanna, Ruchika. "Don't Put Your Shoes on the Table!" USC Digital Folklore Archives. May 16, 2012. (Jan. 5, 2015) http://folklore.usc.edu/?p=14058
  • Van Scoyoc, Andrea Dean. "Old Worlde Magic — Superstitions and Lore ..." Lulu. July 8, 2008.
  • Webster, Richard. "The Encyclopedia of Superstitions." Llewellyn Publications. 2008.

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