TR Robertson — Here is a list of Halloween superstitions that are guaranteed to make you think a little harder about what you are doing or what you need to do to protect yourself on October 31st, Halloween Day. Nothing can be completely guaranteed, but many people will follow some of these beliefs to help keep things safe and secure on this festive, but scary day. This year’s Halloween may be a little different, but these superstitions from the U.S. and other countries have been around a while and they cause many to do what they can to ensure they are protected on this spooky day.
- Ring a bell on Halloween night to drive evil spirits away
- Walk three times backwards around your home before the sun sets on Halloween to keep evil spirits away
- Traveling on Halloween night is discouraged
- If you hear footsteps behind you do not look back, it may be the soul of a deceased person.
- A piece of bread crossed with salt protects you against evil spirits if you take it with you
- If a candle flame turns blue or goes out it means a spirit is in your home.
- Burn a new orange colored candle at midnight on Halloween and let it burn until sunrise, he or she will be the recipient of good luck.
- A spider seen on All Hallows Eve is said to be the soul of a deceased family member
- If you hear an owl on Halloween night, turn your pockets inside out to protect yourself.
- Never go hunting on All Hallows Eve, it angers spirits
- A bat flying three times around a home signals a death may be immanent or a ghost or spirit is close by.
- Place an apple under your pillow on Halloween night to dream about your future husband. You can also try a silver sixpence and a sprig of rosemary.
- If you put your clothes on backwards at midnight and walk backwards you will see a witch
- Having apples, nuts, or candles with you on Halloween are symbols of magic charms.
- A carved pumpkin in a window will protect you from demons and evil spirits.
- Holding your breath while you drive by a cemetery will keep evil spirits from entering your body.
- If you are by a crossroad on Halloween night and listen to the wind, it will tell you what will befall you for the coming year.
- If you see a ghost on Halloween, walk around it 9 nines and it will disappear.
- Children born on Halloween night are said to have the gift of second sight and able to ward off evil spirits.
- Burning a candle inside a Jack O Lantern wards off evil spirits.
There are even more superstitions if you live in countries outside of the United States. These are some superstitions, myths and folklore from other regions that make Halloween an even spookier event.
Wales – a disembodied spirit sits on every crossroad and stile on All Hallow’s Eve – a stile is a small structure that allows humans to cross over fences.
British Isles – it is said to be evil to eat blackberries after Halloween because on Halloween the spirit called puca (Irish for ghost) comes out.
Scotland – you can secure good luck on Halloween by waving around the red-hot end of a fiery stick in certain “mystic figures”.
The Western Isles of Great Britain – it is considered bad luck to leave your house on Halloween.
Orkney Islands – On All Hallows Eve fisherman make the sign of a cross on their boats for good luck.
Celtic Cultures – it was believed if you ate a large apple under an apple tree at midnight on Halloween wearing only a bed sheet, you would never get a cold.
Celtic Cultures – it was thought children born on Halloween had the powers to see spirits and converse with fairies.
Celtic Cultures – communities use to light large bonfires on Halloween. After these burned out, people made circles on the ground from the ashes. Members of families who built the fire would place stones in the middle of the circles. The next day, if their stone were misplaced, damaged or missing it was thought that person would die within the next 12 months.
British Isles – farmers used to walk around their farms with lighted torches, singing or chanting a specific doggerel verse to protect their farms on Halloween.
Belief that black cats represent evil on Halloween dates back thousands of years to early Pagan cultures. Certain cultures consider cats good luck not bad luck. The Bechoning cat from Japan and the Russian Blue are thought to be good luck. Black cats are said to bring luck during harvest season in Latvia. Egyptian cultures considered cats kingly.
Halloween seems to have more superstitions and unusual beliefs that any other holiday celebrated in the U.S. Most of these have been incorporated from a variety of cultures, brought over as this nation was established. Believe what you want but remember life is full of many unusual beliefs. Whatever you do – Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!