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Common Newfoundland Superstitions


Explanations of Common known Superstitions

Beware of Friday the Thirteenth - Those who know about these things, inform us that Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden on a Friday, Noah's flood started on a Friday, and Christ was crucified on a Friday. Christians also noted that twelve witches plus one devil are present at Satanic ceremonies so Friday and 13 make a deadly combination.

It's bad luck to walk under a ladder - This came from the early Christian belief that a leaning ladder formed a triangle with the wall and ground. You must never violate the Holy Trinity by walking through a triangle, lest you be considered in league with the devil. (And you all know what good Christians did to people they suspected of being in league with the devil.)

Breaking Mirrors give 7 years of bad luck - Some time ago (ancient Romans, if I remember right), people believed that reflections were actually glimpses of the viewers soul. People had gazing pools in their gardens in which they could look at themselves. A really mean thing to do was wait until a person was gazing at their reflection and throw a stone in the water because the distruption of the reflection affected their soul and brought about bad luck. We don't have gazing pools anymore, but the mirror breaking superstition still lives on

The reason we are encouraged to hold our hand over our mouth when we yawn so as not to let the Devil into our mouth.

Black cats are evil. In ancient Egypt, the Goddess Bast, was a black female cat. Christian priests wanted to wipe out all traces of other religions so convinced their ignorant followers to destroy the evil demons that were black cats. While they were at it, they destroyed the kindly little old ladies who cared for the cats believing them to be witches.




Seeing the new moon first over the left shoulder.
Picking up a horseshoe on the road.
Picking a four leaf clover.
Seeing two black crows flying overhead.
Putting on a garment inside out by mistake. Picking up a coin.
Picking up a pin or a white button.
A rooster crowing on the doorstep.
To see a baby smiling in its sleep.
To dream of one's father.
A bee coming into the room.


Breaking a mirror.
Having thirteen persons at the table.
Coiling a rope against the sun.
Purchasing a broom in May.
Meeting a red haired woman.
Looking over another's shoulder into the mirror.
Coming in by one door and going out by another.
Meeting a cross-eyed person.
To spill salt.
To cross knives on a table.
To leave a knife turned blade upwards.
To have a lone black crow fly over your head.
To be called back just as you have begun a journey.
To whistle on the water.
To drop the ring at a marriage ceremony


A dog moaning near a house.
A dog burying some object near one's home.
A bird coming into a room.
A clock which had been stopped for years suddenly striking the hours.
A window blind falling without any apparent cause.
A wall picture suddenly falling.
When "rigor mortis" does not appear in a corpse it means that another member of the family will soon die.
To dream of a wedding is a sign of a funeral.
The banshee crying at night, is said to precede the death of certain persons of Irish descent in Newfoundland.
The first member of the assembled company at which the cat glared would be the first to die.


Ringing in the ears betokened news, the right ear for good and the left ear for ill.
To say things backwards betokened the sight of a long absent friend.
It is considered taboo to step over a child, as it will stop the growth of the youngster.Starcattn_.jpg 4.1K
If a person had a cold spasm, it is said that someone was walking over the grave of the individual.
It was considered very unlucky to incur the wrath of a widow, as her curse was sure to bring evil.
To bring ill fortune to an enemy, throw the dust of one's hoes over the left shoulder in that person's direction.
If things went badly on Monday, it was a sure sign of a bad week.

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