Old Wive's Tales and Superstitions
Suspend a wedding band held by a piece of thread over the palm of the
pregnant girl. If the suspended ring swings in an oval or circular motion
the baby will be a girl. If the ring swings in a straight line the baby will
be a boy.
Dew on the grass in the morning means no rain for the day.
Dropping an umbrella on the floor means that there will be a murder in the
If rain falls on a funeral procession someone related to the deceased will
die in the near future.
Cigarette smoke blown into a sore ear will help ease the pain (the smoke
needs to be sealed into the ear canal with a cotton ball.)
If you see a falling star on August 10 you will dream of your future
spouse.(St. Lawrence's Day)
If a spider makes a web in a doorway, you can expect a visitor. If you see
one climbing up a thread you will have good news or good luck. It is also
lucky to see a spider spinning a web in the morning.
You must wish on the increase of the moon to secure money.
Your husband or lover will not leave if you wear three stands of his hair
and three strands of yours between gold and silver.
When you see a five-leafed clover, you must pick it and throw it away to
avoid bad luck.
Wrap paper around the tops of your plants and the grub worms will not cut
off the stalks at the ground.
Water dripping from the eaves of a house on New Year's Day is the sign of an
excellent crop year.A lump of sulfur carried in your pocket will give you
Whoever removes a ring from another person's finger will have misfortune.
Your bed will not have bedbugs, if you wash it with water in which cedar
tree leaves were boiled.
You can get rid of nervous trouble by eating walnuts.
Your flowers will bloom all the time, if planted during the increase of the
You will be disappointed, if you dream of inheriting money.
Always pick up, for luck, a broom that is lying on the floor or ground.
If you adopt a child and mistreat it, you will have a very raw deal from
your closest friend.
If you allow someone to cut the first piece out of your birthday cake,you
may expect bad luck.
If you are crooked you will have bad luck.
If you are in the country and see a light in the woods and you can't get to
it, it is a Jack O' Lantern.
If you are in a bad humor on Monday, you will be cross all week.
If you don't have your house in apple pie order (good order) on New Year's
Day, the fairies will bring you bad luck.
If you every carry a lodestone in your pocket an lose it, you will have all
kinds of bad luck.
If you gaze into deep water and can see to the bottom of it, you will have
If you go to a dance with a girl and a fellow comes and brushes against you
before you get into the dance hall, there will be a bloody fight before the
dance is over about the girl with you.
If you have the Seventh Book of Moses, you cannot give it away as it will
always come back to you.
If you have an elephant ornament in your house, always place it so that the
tail will be toward the north and you will have good luck.
If you have something in each hand when you first see a new moon, you will
If you have a puncture and have no patching, just take some sand and water
and push it into the hole; it will hold for four hours.
If you mock a preacher you will be cut down like a tree.
If you open the Bible and your finger rests on the words, "Verify, verily;"
it is a sign of good luck.
If you plan what you are going to do next year without the aid of God, you
will have a bad start.
If you see a new moon for the first time on Monday, you will have good luck.
If you see a new moon over your right shoulder for the first time, you had
If you see something shining in the dark, do not touch it or you will have
If you see a star fall, you will have good luck.
If you take a magnifying glass at night and hold it up to the moon, you will
see a woman and a dog burning brush.
If you talk back to your mother and try to fight her, you will have bad luck
the rest of your life unless she forgives you.
If you talk about murder every day for six months, you will soon be hanged
If you think about stealing all the time, you will turn out to be a crook
in six years to come.
If your child is taking music lessons, make him practice in the morning
before nine o'clock and he will learn twice as quickly.
It is a bad omen, if you upset a bottle of ink.
It is a sin to mutilate the Bible in any way.
It is bad luck to get mad at the preacher in church.
It is bad luck to try to count the stars in the heavens.
It is lucky to see a new moon while you are climbing a hill.
It is the sign of a long life for a person to see a violet-colored cloud.
It is unlucky to see a shooting star.
It is unlucky for two persons to be in the water-closet together.
It is very unlucky to make a will.
It is the sign of visitors to have a firefly enter the house.
It is unlucky to step on a mound of ants.
It is very lucky to have wasps build a nest in a window or on the porch or
under the eaves or your house.
It is very unlucky to kill a Christmas fly.
Keep a piece of hoodoo paper in the house and you will not be troubled with
Kill a cricket and its mate will come and cut holes in your socks or
Kill a daddy longlegs and your cow will go dry.
Kill one fly and ten flies will come to its funeral.
Killing a lady-bug will bring bad luck to you.
Maggots are produced spontaneously in rotten meat.
Mosquitoes will not bite you, if you wear alum on your person.
Moths flying near cream or milk will turn it sour.
Never kill a katydid, or you will have bad luck.
Place a bottle of ammonia on the floor in the center of the house and you
will not be worried by bedbugs any more.
Place cedar leaves under the carpet and you will not have any moths.
Prevent moths from entering by hanging up pennyroyal in the house.
Pulling off a butterfly's wings will bring you bad luck.
Repeat the following rhyme to a grasshopper and he will comply with your
command: Spit tobacco juice/ And I'll turn you loose.
Scatter cucumber peelings on the floor to drive away ants.
Sometimes it rains worms.
Spit three times when you see a fever worm and you will not have bad luck.
Stoop down over a doodle bug's hole so that it can feel your breath and say:
Doodle up, Johnnie Brown, doodle up/ Johnnie Brown, doodle up, Johnnie
Stranger is coming, if a bee flys into the house.
There will be sickness, if a cricket suddenly stops calling and leaves the
To have a bee enter the house is a sign of good luck, provided you let it
remain for a few minutes and do not kill it.
To hear crickets sing is always a lucky sign.
To keep mosquitoes from biting you, rub coal oil behind your ears.
To kill a wasp will cause you bad luck.
Get a pair of old shoes and put pepper inside, then send them to a person
and it will give them the rheumatism.
Grave dust is what a witch uses to hoodoo you, and you will conquer her if
you get some and wear it.
Hang black coats over all the outside doors at night, to keep witches out of
the house at night.
If you don't want your man to talk to another woman, take a nail and drive
it at the end of his heel prints, and he will run from her the next time he
If you take a strand of hair out of a person's head and wear it in your
pocket for two days, it will give that person the headache.
If your husband is running around, take some of his hair and a piece of his
necktie and put them in a bottle, then throw that in the river; and when
that necktie rots, that will change him.
If a hoodoo person wants to show you something, let them put their own hand
on it, for if you touch it they can poison you.
If you must borrow a broom, take it without the owner's knowledge, and you
will not have bad luck.
If you sweep after dark/ You will bring sorrow to your heart.
Never burn up a broom; it will bring you bad luck.
If a man is walking through a field and sees a four-leafed piece of grass,
he will soon find something.
Let the finder of a four-leafed clover put it in a Bible and good luck will
come to him.
Picking a five-leafed clover will bring you bad luck.
Picking a five-leafed clover will cause you good luck, provided you pass on
the clover to another person.
Place a board on the grass in the dark of the moon and the grass will die
within a week.
Place a plank on the grass in the light of the moon and the grass will
continue to grow, because the plank will warp and turn up.
Never sweep dirt out the front door; it will bring you bad luck.
Never sweep the kitchen after supper, whether daylight or dark, or you will
sweep out all your money.
Never sweep your kitchen early in the morning before sunrise, or you will be
Stand a broom on its handle and you will always be poor.
Step over a broom and you will break your mother's back.
Stepping over a broom is a sign of slovenliness.
Stepping over a broom will bring sorrow to your heart.
Stumbling over a brook handle will bring you good luck.
Sweep after dark and you will never be rich.
Sweep dirt out of the house on Friday and it will cause you bad luck.
Sweep on the third day after Easter and you will have bugs in the
house.Sweep the top of a bed and you will have bad luck.
Sweep under a person's feet while he is sitting in a chair and he will not
grow any more.
Sweeping after dark means you will lose a friend.
Sweeping dirt over a doorstep after six o'clock in the evening will bring
If you drop scissors, it means your lover is being unfaithful to you.
Three seagulls flying together, directly overhead, are a warning of death
soon to come.
Do not place shoes upon a table, for this will bring bad luck for the day,
cause trouble with your mate and you might even lose your job as a result.
It's bad luck to leave shoes upside down.
You sleep best with your head to the north and your feet to the south.
Place a hand in front of your mouth when sneezing. Your soul may escape
The devil can enter your body when you sneeze. Having someone say, "God
bless you," drives the devil away.
If you sneeze on a Monday, you sneeze for danger;
Sneeze on a Tuesday, kiss a stranger;
Sneeze on a Wednesday, sneeze for a letter;
Sneeze on a Thursday, something better;
Sneeze on a Friday, sneeze for sorrow;
Sneeze on a Saturday, see your sweetheart tomorrow.
Sneeze on a Sunday, and the devil will have domination over you all week.
Sparrows carry the souls of the dead, it's unlucky to kill one.