13 Superstitions to Ditch on Friday the 13th


Since today is Friday the 13th, the second one we’ve seen this year, I thought I’d offer a few suggestions of superstitions you might want to shake once and for all.

Nearly everyone is superstitious about something

Whether we have our own little quirky fears or avoidances or whether we’ve been influenced by those of family, friends or co-workers, there are certain traditions we follow or actions we try never to take, hoping that good luck will follow.

(Or, at the very least, that bad luck will stay away.)

As I mentioned in my post back in September, that month’s Friday the 13th was “Defy Superstitions Day”. On that day, we’re encouraged to go against the grain of those old wives’  tales that tell us we should or shouldn’t do certain things to insure our continued good luck. 

If you didn’t defy any of them back in September, December gives us another Friday the 13th to work with.

(But defy them at your own risk!)

1. Fear of the number 13

Order 13 of something. It’s called a “Baker’s Dozen.” 

2. ‘Blessing’ someone after a sneeze.

I almost always say, “Bless you” if someone sneezes in my presence. But what happens when the person goes on a sneezing jag? Must you really bless them eight times in a row? Can’t a “bless you” cover more than one? These are things I ask myself as I ponder new blog posts.

3. ‘Knock on wood.’

What are you supposed to do if no wood is handy? Knock on steel, granite or aluminum and hope for the best, which is exactly what you’d do if wood were obvious.

4. Don’t break that mirror!

I’ve never broken a mirror, but the only thing I’d really sweat about breaking one would be the danger of getting cut by broken glass.

5. Never open an umbrella indoors.

I have an old umbrella with a tricky catch that sometimes fails. The umbrella has accidentally opened inside before. Somehow, I managed to survive the ordeal.

6. The lucky four-leaf clover.

Since three-leaf clovers are the ones almost everyone sees, grab one of those and walk around for the day. You may just have good luck anyway.

7. The lucky rabbit’s foot.

I”m not sure what makes a rabbit foot so lucky. I’m sure the rabbit who lost it would love to have a word with you about that philosophy. But this one I saw a great deal growing up. I wouldn’t carry one, anyway, but if you do, you could always leave it at home for the day.

8. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.

The real challenge with defying this one is that someone would have to be getting married on Friday the 13th. Would you do that?

9. The good luck horseshoe.

If you have a horseshoe mounted with the ends pointing upward, spin it downward for the day.

10. The unlucky black cat crossing your path.

Embrace the cat. The only bad luck I’ve ever had with a cat is when it likes you enough that it attempts to turn you into a member of its “staff.”

11. Walking under a ladder.

The reason I don’t walk under ladders is out of a fear that a whoever is above me might accidentally drop something on my head. It has nothing to do with inspiring any bad luck other than that.

12. Tossing salt over your shoulder.

Here’s one I always defy. All tossing salt over your shoulder means is that I have to vacuum more often.

13. Finding a penny…but only if it’s “heads up”.

There’s a story that’s made the rounds online about a millionaire being asked why someone with his wealth would stop to pick up a penny. The response has something to do with the fact that every coin says, “In God we trust,” and that therefore each penny represents a potential blessing, no matter which side is facing upwards.

Good luck if you decide to tempt fate by throwing caution to the wind with any of these long-held superstitions. If you do have bad luck, just don’t blame me.

Patrick is a Christian with more than 29 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.