Folklore & Superstition

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.

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How the Philadelphia Experiment Worked

During World War II, a U.S. ship mysteriously disappeared in Virginia and reappeared suddenly in Philadelphia, with some crewmen embedded in the ship's hull. Was this the work of government experiments with time travel or of a wild imagination?

How Oak Island Works

For centuries, treasure hunters have explored Oak Island in the hopes of discovering pirate gold — or Marie Antoinette's jewels, Shakespeare's manuscripts or even the Ark of the Covenant. What's the scoop with this so-called "Money Pit"?

10 Fairy Tales That Were Way Darker Than You Realized as a Kid

Cinderella was the only girl who could fit the glass slipper, right? But did you know her two stepsisters cut off parts of their feet to try to fit it? That's just one gory detail Disney left off.

Do people really scatter loved ones' ashes in amusement parks?

Who wouldn't want to rest in peace in one of the happiest places on Earth? OK, spending the afterlife in an amusement park may not be for everyone, but are there people who try to send the deceased on a forever roller coaster ride?

How Folklore Works

Folklore is stories, art and dance. It's rituals and special birthday meals; how you treat a cold; even the chain emails you sometimes get. Why do these things get passed down, and how do we keep them alive?

10 Pregnancy Superstitions That Are Old Wives' Tales

It seems like every town has that one restaurant whose eggplant parmesan can kick-start contractions. But is a labor-inducing recipe an old wives' tale?

Why are four-leaf clovers lucky?

For centuries, people have considered four-leaf clovers to be magical — whether as an aid to spot fairies or a charm to bring the bearer good luck. So what exactly makes these tiny plants so special?

How Shrunken Heads Work

Visitors to remote jungles face several potential dangers. Disease, ferocious animals, deadly plant life, the risk of having your head shrunken … wait, what?

Why are fishermen superstitious of bananas?

Before you board the crab boat for your first fishing gig, the captain tells you to ditch the suitcase and the banana. This is deadly work. Are you really going to argue with superstition?

How the Mayan Calendar Works

The Mayans created a sophisticated set of calendars to help them plant crops, plan religious ceremonies and keep their history. How did they do it?

How Murphy's Law Works

The idiom says whatever can go wrong will go wrong. Is it the mysterious power of Murphy's Law, or is it simply people who give the law relevance?

9 Legends of American Folklore

From Johnny Appleseed to Paul Bunyan, figures of American folklore continue to inspire and engage. Before the invention on radio and television, people created these characters to help people cope with hard times. Learn more about these legendary figures.

10 Famous Curses

Everybody has bad days, but fortune seems to have it in for some people. You decide: Are these 10 infamous cases of bad luck coincidences or curses?

Is 7/7/07 a lucky day?

July 7, 2007 is considered by many people to be one of the luckiest days of the century. Find out what the excitement surrounding 7/7/07 is all about.

How Conspiracy Theories Work

Conspiracy theories are often ridiculous explanations for a disputed case or matter. There are conspiracy theories about everything from aliens to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America. Find out how these theories get started in this article.

How Friday the 13th Works

Like many human beliefs, the fear of Friday the 13th (known as paraskevidekatriaphobia) isn't exactly grounded in scientific logic. But that doesn't stop us from feeling that it's unlucky.

How Urban Legends Work

OK, so a good friend of mine was driving down the highway and he picked up this hitchhiker… Urban legends are the basis for some truly spooky ghost stories. See how the tales get started and how they make their way to you.

Why is it considered unlucky when the thirteenth day in a month falls on a Friday?

We have all heard that anytime the thirteenth day of the month falls on a Friday that it is considered an unlucky day. Where did this notion come from? Find out the answer to that question in this article.

Is there a 50/50 chance that two in 20 people will have the same birthday?

Someone told me that if there are 20 people in a room, there's a 50/50 chance that two of them will have the same birthday. How can such a small group have two people with the same birthday in it?