Southern Superstitions

Some people call beliefs in luck and the measures one should take to prevent bad luck and encourage good luck nothing more that superstition. Others say that these beliefs are based upon experience of our ancestors and are, in fact, much more than just superstition. They say that these sayings and beliefs are actually the wisdom of the ages, and that the warnings should be heeded.

Which school of thought is right? I don’t know, and the fact is that nobody else knows either. How can it be positively stated that going out a different door than the one you entered by did NOT cause the bad luck that followed or that using the same door to enter and leave did not PREVENT bad luck from happening? How can the “experts” claim to know that these beliefs are nothing more than ignorant superstitions if they can’t PROVE that they are? They’re experts; maybe proof isn’t required when you are an “expert,” but I don’t think so.

Many southern superstitions state ways in which to prevent bad luck, while others act as foretellers or warnings of future events. For example, the belief that you should never count the cars in a funeral, or it will be that many days until you die is a method of preventing or avoiding bad luck. But the belief that if a bird gets in the house or flutters in an open doorway or window, someone in the house will soon die warns of an impending future event.

All luck isn’t bad luck, and all southern beliefs in signs that foretell the future (superstitions) don’t predict disaster. If your left hand itches, you will soon come into money, if your right hand itches, you will soon shake a stranger’s hand, and if your nose itches, company is coming.


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