1. Opening Umbrellas Inside
One of the oldest superstitions out there states that you should never open an umbrella inside. This superstition has been traced all the way back to ancient Egypt, where supposedly the pharaohs used umbrellas to shade their heads from the sun rather than the rain.
As the legend goes, opening an umbrella indoors was viewed as a sign of disrespect to the Sun god. And so, if you opened an umbrella inside a house, the Sun god would punish you and everybody inside the house—with death.
Also, keep your umbrellas closed because it’s just polite. Do you like knocking things over?
2. Crossing your Cutlery
In the realm of good luck and bad luck, fewer symbols are more controversial than the knives. Because knives can be used for both good and evil, there are certain superstitions you should avoid this Friday the 13th. The most important: don’t cross your knives.
Crossed knives are believed to cause arguments, as well as attract the devil. Avoid crossing them at all cost.
Note: Should your knives ever become crossed, you can ward off evil spirits by banging the handle against a hard surface three times.
Most people are familiar with some aspect of the mirror superstitions. Most people know that breaking a mirror causes seven years of bad luck. But did you know that that is just the beginning?
Mirrors contain a wide range of superstitions. Did you know that it’s bad luck to look into a mirror while sitting by candlelight? Or that if a mirror falls and breaks by itself somebody in that house is going to die? My personal favorite: if you catch your reflection in a room where somebody recently died, you will also die.
Just to be safe—avoid mirrors altogether. Mirrors are bad, mmkay?
4. Two-dollar bills
Did you know that the U.S. two-dollar bill is unlucky? Did you even know that we have a two-dollar bill?
Well, we do. And it bears the bust of Thomas Jefferson! And, it is a cause of bad luck. According to the famous superstition, bad luck befalls whoever carries a two-dollar bill.
The origin of the superstition behind this is hazy. But there are instances of clerks refusing to accept $2 bills—and not because of the widely believed myth that the currency has been discontinued. (It hasn’t.)
Should you find yourself with a two-dollar bill this Friday the 13th, it is recommended that you tear off one of the corners. This is said to negate the bad luck.
5. Upside Down Horseshoes
Most people are familiar with the horseshoe as a symbol of good luck. Often you will see a horseshoe hung on a wall inside a home to attract good fortune. But did you know that the orientation of the horseshoe matters? Because it matters a lot.
A horseshoe is believed to be a vessel for good luck. If hung with the points facing up, the vessel is able to be filled with good luck. But should a horseshoe be hung with the points facing down, all the good luck contained inside will spill out.
With so much bad luck floating around on Friday the 13th, you’ll need all the luck you can get. Make sure to keep those horseshoes facing up!
6. Three on a match
Any history majors out there might enjoy this one.
Back in the days of the Crimean War and World War I—back when people still used matches—soldiers believed it to be a sign of bad luck to light three cigarettes with a single match.
As the superstition goes, if three men light their cigarettes using a single match, one of them will be shot and killed—and in some variations, it is often the third man.
The belief behind this superstition was: once the match is struck and the first cigarette is lit, the enemy shooter can see the light. When the second cigarette is lit, the enemy shooter can see if the soldier is friend or foe and take aim. And when the third cigarette is lit, the enemy shooter can fire.
Over time this superstition evolved. Now—war or not—it isn’t just soldiers who are at risk. If you’re a smoker and you want to avoid bad luck—use your own match. Or, better yet, use a lighter. But never three to a match.
7. Black Cats
The quintessential bad luck symbol in America.
Since the days of the Pilgrims and the Salem Witch Trials, black cats have been associated with black magic and witchery. It was once believed that witches could turn into black cats.
These days, the most prevalent superstitions associated with black cats have to do with seeing black cats. It is said that if a cat turns its back on you, or runs onto your property—you are in for some bad luck. But, that doesn’t mean that your black cat isn’t secretly a witch in an adorable furry skin.
Beware. If you can, avoid black cats this Friday the 13th.
Good luck, y’all! You’re going to need it this upcoming Friday.