Folklore and Superstition covers the topics of good luck, bad luck and uncommon wisdom. Discover more about topics like conspiracy theories, urban legends or voodoo.
Perhaps you've heard it's unlucky to light three cigarettes with one match. It might not seem unlucky — in fact, it seems downright practical. So why is it considered a bad omen?
Many people believe that a handshake from a chimney sweep brings good luck, even though the history of the chimney sweep is actually quite dark (or sooty, if you will). How did the chimney sweep become a good luck charm?
Have you ever watched a baseball no-hitter in progress and wondered why nobody would talk about it? Blame superstition, and this is a big one — it holds that talking about a no-hitter is bad luck.
If you spill some salt while you're cooking, you might fear a wave of oncoming bad luck. Why is toppling over some salt an omen of misfortune?
Much like wishing upon a star, tugging on a wishbone or other wish-related rituals, a loose eyelash could be a direct route to your deepest desire -- if you believe, that is.
Sláinte! Prost! Bottoms up! These are just a few of the toasts given worldwide with a glass of alcohol in hand. What brilliant mind came up with the tradition in the first place? And why?
In Beijing, it's not possible to get a vehicle license plate that has the number 4 on it. Some cultures take their numbers phobia very seriously. What's the deal with 4?
In many cultures, it's considered vital that your feet face away from the bedroom door as you sleep. And it's not because they're sweaty or stinky, or because you need to be prepared for a quick exit.
A baby shower means an infant is soon to arrive -- and, usually, that the parents-to-be are ready to welcome gifts from friends and family. In Jewish culture, prepping for baby's arrival is done a little differently.
"Les quatorziens"sounds like an elite crime-fighting club, but the title simply means "the fourteen." What did this group have to do with preventing bad luck at dinner parties?
Legend has it that mermaids bring bad luck to sailors, luring boats off course with their feminine wiles. So why is it considered good luck to have a mermaid figurehead on the prow of a ship?
Women used to be banned from working on boats and ships because they caused bad luck. What's the reason behind this superstition — and why were topless women considered OK?
When you wish for continued good luck, you might find yourself rapping your knuckles on the nearest table or piece of wood. Why does knocking on wood have anything to do with luck?
Most Americans probably couldn't name their state tree off the top of their heads. But if you're from Ohio, we bet you could. Why is it considered good luck to have a buckeye nut in your pocket?
You close your eyes over your birthday cake, make a wish and take a deep breath. Everything is riding on this solitary exhale. Why do we think it's bad luck not to blow out all the birthday candles in one breath?
Generations of pedestrians have avoided stepping on cracks to prevent their poor mothers' backs from being broken. Is there a reason for this practice, or is it just another baseless superstition?
Everyone knows you're not supposed to open an umbrella indoors. Besides the fact that it doesn't rain inside, what's the reason behind this long-held belief?
That uncomfortable, frightened, jittery feeling known as "the willies" is probably a familiar one. How did "the willies" get its name?
About one out of every 10,000 clovers in a patch has four leaves. How do you increase your odds of finding a lucky one in a sea of three-leaf clovers?
You've probably tossed dozens of coins into various fountains over the years. What happens to all that money?
A knife is a timeless and useful gift. Before you give one, however, there's something you need to know: Gifting knives has long been considered bad luck.
Disney didn't create Ariel out of thin air. Stories about -- and sightings of -- mermaids have cropped up around the world for centuries.
The price of oil, the weather, the United Nations and pop music are all controlled by one malevolent force – the Illuminati. Or so some people believe. How did an imaginary group get so big?
Friday the 13th, a black cat crossing your path and a four-leafed clover are all common superstitions. But have you heard about double-yolked eggs? What do they mean to the world of the superstitious?
Just like workers in any field, Mafia members are changing with the times and running some old schemes in new ways. What businesses does the Mob have its hooks in, and how does it maintain control?