15 People Share Odd Cultural Superstitions People Really Follow

Every culture, and every country, has its unique beliefs and superstitions. That said, many of those have grown to be part of our history and culture, but not necessarily something people still believe in and practice on a daily basis.

These 15 people are sharing the weird superstitions in their world that people do actually buy into, and I’ve gotta say, there’s so many interesting things below!

15. I’m going to start saluting birds.

Waving at or saluting solitary magpies to stave off the bad luck.

I’m a saluter but I know tons of wavers. It’s more prevalent in rural areas.


Also one crow means bad news but two is for mirth, so we actually say, OUT LOUD, “Hello Mr Crow, and how is your lovely wife?” This figuratively turns one crow into two and staves off the bad luck.

14. All new to me.

Other Russian superstitions I brought with me: sit in silence for a moment before a journey (“for the road”, so the journey is safe. Kinda cool to take a moment to concentrate on it, though).

Not to spill the salt (it will bring bad luck. If you did, gather it, through over the left shoulder, spit three times over the said shoulder and knock three time on the wood), not to whistle in the house (you’ll “whistle away” all the money), don’t pass anything over the door step (you’ll fight with the person you are passing smth over), don’t bring the trash out in evening (you’ll meet death or a dead person), don’t put empty bottles on the table (you’ll have an “empty” house then – no children, no money, no friends, the interpretation is quite broad).

13. Knock on wood.

I’m a big knock on wood guy. I can’t explain why. But if I say it aloud and don’t knock, I get super uneasy. I’ve actually stopped myself from uttering it upon noticing there’s no wood around.

Even worse is if someone says it and then just knocks on something around them that isn’t wood. I just shake my head at them.

12. Don’t want to risk that.

Looking other people in the eyes when toasting, because if you don’t you’ll have 7 years of bad s^x.

My friend who is American with German ancestry taught the rest of our friend group this. Now, whenever anyone toasts, we do it while staring intensely into each others’ eyes.

11. That’s random.

In Italy, to ward off bad things, some men will touch their genitals, and women their breast. This is so weird when you see it happen for the first time (I saw it when a hearse passed by). I am not sure how prevalent this actually is, but I witnessed it a couple of times.

It’s usually the left ball or the left boob, but we don’t care about hearses bringing bad luck, we just cross ourselves to pay our respects in from of them

10. My heart.

I was walking into work with some coworkers and a girl said “don’t split the pole” as we were walking towards a sign in a parking lot. I had no idea what she even meant and she guided me to her side of the pole we were passing so we wouldn’t have bad luck.

That stuff is really weird to me.

If two people walking, and they let a pole “come between them”, one of them has to stop and walk around it to keep the “tether” in tact. If you break the “tether” to the person you’re walking with, it’s bad luck.

My parents had the specific abuser variant of, “It means you don’t love them anymore”, so I was always scrambling to walk around the same sides of poles as them.

9. No exceptions.

In Russia it’s common to sit down for a little bit right before going on a big or important trip ( another city or especially if you have packed bags ).

I don’t mind it, but the fact that parents force you to do it even though you are 20 minutes late to the airport already, it just grinds my gears.

8. Go with the “shave and a haircut,” then.

Odd number of knocks = safe to open the door.

Even number of knocks = the devil knocking.

I guess there’s a reason why the landowner always knocks even number.

7. A definite jinx.

Well… In EMS culture, it’s a big no no to say “quiet” lol.

Saying “man it’s quiet today” will get a lot of medics mad at you.

6. Hotels do this everywhere.

The number 13.

It’s so ridiculous to avoid labelling the 13th floor of a building. We even had a project at work once skip versioning from 12 to 14.

I love this one because it’s not like the 13th floor isn’t still there! Like, do people who work on the 14th floor not just give each other the side eye all day?? The only buildings that follow through on the superstition are the ones that label the 13th floor and then just leave the whole thing empty (which in itself is a hilarious waste of space)

5. Some places they’re good luck.

I don’t know if this is a thing everywhere in the world, but black cats being bad luck.

It would seem like an innocuous superstition that doesn’t mean anything, except that bc of it, the SPCA is filled with unwanted black cats, and ppl actually adopt them just for the month of October (Halloween) and then bring them back or allow them to escape into the streets again. It really sucks.

4. Never go back.

Not sure if this has been mentioned but my Russian parents are very adamant about their not going back rule.

If you forget something at home under no circumstances were we allowed to go back because they believed you would get in a car crash or die in some other way on the return journey.

I once called my parents to let them know I was coming back to pick up a charger I forgot and my dad told me to stay where I was and made my sister drive him to bring it to me because he had been drinking lol.

3. Don’t mess up the cards!

Try playing Blackjack in any casino and make a single non-standard move like hitting on 17.

For the rest of the night the whole table will blame you for “messing up the cards” and causing them to lose money.

Gambling superstitions could be their own whole thread! It’s called gambling people!

2. Be careful with sharp objects.

Something kids at my school believed(they still do): if you hand someone scissors you’re gonna have a fight with them. So you gotta place it somewhere and they gotta pick it from there.

Someone in my family never gifts knives because its bad luck, she always demands one euro as payment so she didn’t gift the knive.

1. Sounds painful.

Some people here believe that if someone bumps their head with another person’s head they need to bump their head again or both of them would grow horns. Wtf.


I think these are just so interesting, don’t you?

Tell us about a superstition like this from your own culture in the comments!