13 People Share The Weird Superstitions People In Their Culture Actually Follow

If you grew up in a culture, there’s a good chance that you don’t find the superstitions and myths all that weird – it’s just how things are, right? That said, once you start to talk to others who grew up in different cultures, you might begin to realize that what’s normal to you can seem totally bizarre to others.

If you’re wondering whether or not anything you do or believe is truly odd, check your beliefs against these 13 traditions that real people definitely still follow.

13. My sons would be in trouble with number 3.

I have a couple of good ones where I live. The number 13 is a common one and alot of buildings and hotels here do not have a floor number 13, like they just skip it.

Here’s some examples of ones I’ve heard about.

1.) Can’t cut your nails at night because spirits will steal them and be able to take your form, or another reason is it shortens your life.

2.) Can’t hang your wet laundry out at night as it will attract spirits as they somehow like the smell of fresh laundry (who doesn’t)

3.) Can’t pee outdoors in nature (on trees etc) as you might be peeing on spirit “homes”. Or if you have no other choice you then have to apologise out loud.

12. You sure would have to plan ahead.

Can’t wash your hair on an immediate family member’s birthday or the whole family will have bad luck that year.

Man, I’ve had some crazy arguments with my parents about that one when I was a kid.

11. So many rules.

Lots about gifts.

You don’t give knives as a gift, especially not a wedding gift, because it will “cut” the relationship.

You don’t give a wallet or purse as a gift without some money in it, because that would make the person poor.

You never give calla lilies as a gift, especially not white ones. For most people it’s just kinda weird to do so, because they’re so associated with funerals, but some people believe it will cause the recipient to die. You also don’t use them at weddings, for the same reason.

When someone gives you food in a container you need to return (like a pie pan or something) you don’t return it empty. I was told growing up that it was just manners, but have also heard from older people that its just generally bad luck, or will lead to somebody (either you or the person you’re returning the pan to, it’s kind of unclear) go hungry.

Now, I only know people over about sixty who actually follow any of them, and all of them seem to acknowledge that they’re just superstitions, but sometimes they get real offended that younger people don’t care much.

10. This is all fascinating.

Western cultures would consider this stupid but ghosts and supernatural stuff are way stronger in certain cultures. You should not look back at night or the protective flames on your shoulders will be extinguished.

Do not rest your chopsticks straight up (empty seat) or ghosts will think the food is for them. Etc etc

East Asia believe everyone have three protective flames, one on the top of your head, and two on your shoulders. You should not look back over your shoulder when someone call you from behind at night.

It is how the ghost tricks you to extinguish your flame on your shoulder. You need the whole body to turn around slowly, not just your head or just ignore it.

And don’t tap people shoulders from behind, especially in the ghost month (lunar calendar July).

9. There are totally witches, though.

The strong and general belief that owls are witches, people will kill and burn owls that are probably just lost or chillin’ on a tree branch. They also believe that owl announce the death of someone.


8.  Sounds terrifying.

Growing up in a Latino immigrant family, I vividly remember many conversations at family dinner gatherings where conversations about ghosts, demons, the occult and the supernatural were discussed by the grown ups in the room. They’d go on about how a demon possession was real, the end of the world, etc .

I’d sit there jaw dropped, hearing things that scared the stuff out of me coming from your parents and relatives who as a kid you assume don’t believe in things that are not real therefore they must be legit.

7. Maybe they just like to be safe.

In the UK you’ll see a lot of people just avoid walking under ladders.

If they were leaning against the wall, yeah they might fall. But even stepladders are avoided instead of walked under. Also some areas in London I’ve seen people cross whole streets mid-traffic instead of walk under scaffolding.

6. The left is always bad.

Don’t put your flip flops upside down.

Don’t whistle at night.

Do not cross a road after a cat passes by it.

cutting nails on a Saturday brings bad luck.

don’t shake your legs when you’re sitting

do not sweep your floor at night.

if your left eye twitches it means something bad is about to happen, and if your right one does then something good is on your way.

putting a spot of mascara on your newborn baby’s forehead keeps it safe from evil eyes.

5. His whole name.

My name is Kevin. I spend a lot of time in the Middle East and have many good friends there. There is no V in Arabic and so if you translate my name literally, it comes out as Kafin (incidentally modern Arabic speakers modify the Fā’ in Arabic by adding two additional dots to represent a V, but this isn’t standard).

But I’m told that I shouldn’t pronounce my name in an “Arabic way” because evidently a Kafin is a type of cloth used in burials and so it’s generally associated as a negative thing or something to bring bad luck or otherwise fall into superstition. Certainly not something you’d want to be associated with.

So I’ve been told just to pronounce my name as it sounds in English emphasizing the short E sound and the hard V rather than a short A followed by an F (as is available in standard Arabic) to avoid it being associated with this item of death.

4. Maybe my star sign is wrong…

– breaking the white pumpkin after rotating it 3 times left and right in front of your face and asking you to spit and then breaking it on the street, to ward off evil eyes. I’m not sure why pumpkin was chosen for this, could have been any other vegetable.

– don’t go to the doctor on Wednesday (or was it Tuesday) in case he gives you bad news.

– don’t do anything auspicious (like signing document for a new house/vehicle etc) on a Tuesday?

– if a coconut that is broken for a prayer ends up being spoilt, bad things will happen to you

– if a diya/oil lamp gets snuffed out by the wind or you’re unable to light it up with one matchstick, bad things will happen

– delivering a baby on the wrong star sign means the baby will have trouble all its life.

– double hair swirls on your head means you are lucky

– if you have a 6th finger or toe, it is good luck

3. You have to charge them.

Healing crystals.

I had a girlfriend who swore they worked better during a full moon.

2. Beware the road gremlins.

Road gremlins, discovered this when I got my first motorcycle. It’s dumb but I guess it’s alright. The premise is you put a bell at the bottom of your bike to ward off the road gremlins.

The gremlin’s usually feck things up on your bike, engine trouble, electrical glitches, so you put the bell under to annoy the road gremlins into choosing a different host. It’s really dumb but apparently apart of the motorcycle communities superstition.

Mostly common in the cruiser community.

1. It’s an art, really.

I lived in Los Angeles for three months and holy hell there are waaaay too many people who believe in horoscopes for real.

I could honestly read about things like this all day, and I love when people give you the background on why these beliefs originated in the first place.

Drop your own weird cultural beliefs in the comments!