Halloween is a time when common superstitions, folklore, myths and omens seem to carry more weight, due to a thinning of the wall between the physical and supernatural worlds. A superstition is a belief or way of behaving that is based on fear of the unknown and faith in magic or luck. Below are some common Halloween superstitions.
Bats: If you see bats flying around your house on Halloween – inside or out- it is a sign of ghosts and spirits nearby.
Black cats: Black cats have often been identified as witches’ familiars. Crossing paths with a black cat on Halloween could be a sign of a witch nearby. If you hurt a black cat on Halloween and you’ll have seven years of bad luck. If a black cat meows on your porch or near a window, a death will soon occur in the family.
Candle snuffing: If a candle lighted as part of a ceremony blows out, it is a sign that evil spirits are nearby.
Cemeteries: If you hold your breath while you drive by a cemetery, evil spirits can’t enter your body. When passing a graveyard or a house where someone has died, turn your pockets inside out to make sure you don’t bring home ghost in your pocket. There is an old superstition that says the body which is put in the first grave dug in a new graveyard is always claimed by the devil.
Coffins: It is said that anyone who lies in a coffin, even for fun, is inviting death, and that no item of clothing belonging to a living person should ever be placed on a corpse when it is placed in a coffin, for as it rots in the grave so will the rightful owner decline towards death.
Crossroads: If you go to a crossroads at Halloween and listen to the wind, you will learn all the most important things that will befall you during the next twelve months.
Footsteps: If you hear foot steps behind you on this night, don’t look back. It may be the dead following you. Turning back could mean that you will soon join the dead.
Ghosts: If you see a ghost, walk around it nine times, and it will disappear.
Halloween birthdays: Children born on Halloween are said to have the gift of second sight, which includes the power to ward off evil spirits.
Jack O Lanterns: A burning candle inside a jack-o-lantern on Halloween keeps evil spirits and demons at bay.
Owls: Many people used to believe that owls swooped down to eat the souls of the dying. If they heard an owl hooting, they would become frightened. A common remedy was thought to be turning your pockets inside out and you would be safe.
Spiders: If you see a spider on Halloween night, it means that the spirit of a dead loved one is watching over you.
Tolling bells: It is said that if you ring bells on Halloween, it will chase away evil spirits.
Warding off Spirits: You should walk around your home three times backwards and counterclockwise before sunset on Halloween to ward off evil spirits.
Wind: On Halloween Night, it is believed that those people who are destined to die within a year will hear a sigh that is carried by the wind which blows over the feet of the dead.
Witches: Put your clothes on inside out and walk backwards on Halloween night to meet a witch.
More on Halloween:
The Spooky Series: If you have ever felt a chill as you walked past a graveyard, or felt an unseen hand brush against you on a mountaintop, you will love the Spooky Series by .
Halloween Jokes and Games: Withered corpses, a skeleton thief, witches stew and more games for your next Halloween party.
Halloween Stories: Ghosts and ghoulies and the devil come out to play in this collection of the scariest stories published on American Folklore.