Our old maid’s tales and where they come from…
Why is breaking a mirror bad luck? And who’s idea was it anyway? Brighton Broadcaster investigates…
Friday the 13th
This belief originates back to medieval times, thought to ooze as much bad luck as the Friday of the last supper after Jesus was betrayed by the thirteenth dinner guest… Judas. Some historians also belief that in original bible scripture, it was described as the day that Eve bit the apple from the forbidden tree.
Thirteen in general is viewed as an unlucky number; with twelve months of the year, hours of a clock, gods of Olympus, Disciples of Christ- anything that obstructs this seemingly holy pattern is bad juju.
Often associated with black magic, women accused of witchcraft would feed stray cats on the streets of Salem, MA. It was strongly believed within the town that these “witches” transformed into felines to evade capture. This belief is wildly differing from Ancient Egyptian beliefs- in fact, it was considered a capital crime to harm or kill a cat.
Opening an umbrella indoors
The Victorian era saw with it the production of lady’s umbrellas- at the time these were poorly manufactured, with the springs regularly malfunctioning- often causing immediate danger to all within its vicinity!
Walking under a ladder
Triangles are believed to represent deities, as seen in the symbolistic structure of the Great Pyramids at Giza. When a ladder is rested against a wall it forms a triangular space, representing the holy trinity. When this space is obstructed it breaks the trinity, hence believed to cause “bad luck”.
This action can be traced to as far back as 6 AD and was of course, ordered by the Pope. During this time, Italy was ridden with plague- sneezing being an early symptom of the death sentence. Gregory the Great instructed that any person who exhibited these behaviours must be prayed for with “bless you”, in a spiritual attempt to wish the individual good health or at the very least, to save their soul from Hell.