Which superstitions really get to you? Here are five common ones and their origins.
- Walking under a ladder. Thought to be bad luck and might mean you won’t get married this year. If you can’t avoid going under a ladder then spit as soon as you do. Otherwise cross your fingers or make a wish and that’ll put off any bad luck. One woman said she dodged ladders all her life – the only time she went under one she got appendicitis straight after! Coincidence? Maybe.
- Black Cats. Loads of superstitions here and it depends which part of the country you’re from. Good luck if you see one early in the morning and you’re a fisherman – unless you’re in Aberdeen, Scotland. Bad luck if it crosses your path and if it does then spit. But if it wants to come into your house then that’s good luck. OK if you like cats.
- Pins. Some say ‘see a pin pick it up, all the day you’ll have good luck’ and other say ‘pick up pins, pick up sorrow’. Surely more sorrow for the person who treads on a pin that wasn’t picked?
- Warts. You can sell them for a penny or throw them away. If that doesn’t work then touch each one with a dried pea, then wrap the peas up, carry the parcel to a crossroads and toss it over your head. Or you can rub them with a snail – 9 times one way then 9 times the other and stick the snail on black thorn. Cheaper than going to the chemist.
- Itchy Nose. ‘When a man’s nose itches it is a sign that he will drink wine or kiss a fool.’ In the Scottish Highlands you’ll get a letter or a stranger will come round. While in Yorkshire, England you’ll be kissed, cursed or blessed. Make your mind up!