Wednesday 14 November 2012

#OBTreat Orangeberry Trick or Treat - Top 10 Superstitions by Ashley Torbeck

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Genre – YA (PG)
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My Top 10 – Superstitions
Everybody has heard superstitions. Most everyone knows the common ones, like if you break a mirror you get 7 years of bad luck, or it’s bad luck to walk under a ladder, find a penny heads up and it’ll bring you good luck, you know, the usuals. Superstitions are often passed down in families or learned in closely knit groups of individuals, and will vary not only from family to family and group to group, but from person to person. For example, I don’t believe the number 13 is unlucky, I love black cats, and I step on cracks fearlessly. However, there are some superstitions I strongly believe in. Here’s a few!
  • If your ears are burning, someone is talking about you. This is actually pretty common, even though I thought it was just my crazy grandmother making stuff up! It did prove to be right about half the time, though. The superstition was originally meant to be a way to tell if people were talking smack about you. I don’t know what good it does to know if people are talking about you, but hey, people have done a lot worse for no apparent reason!
  • Itchy hands means money is going to change hands.  I still believe this one, because it’s true pretty often. The story goes that if your right palm itches you’re going to come into money. If your left palm itches you’re going to lose money. Now, the amount of money is undefined, it can be a penny or a huge transaction, but one way or another, money is going to change hands. Pay attention next time your hand itches. See if your right hand itches close to payday.
  • If a bird flies into your house, someone close to you will die soon. This one has happened to me twice, so I don’t mess around with birds. A few months back, I had a bird fly into the window, but it was closed, so it didn’t get in. Still, a few days later, my little lizard buddy that lived in my yard died. I came home one day and found him on his back with all four legs in the air on my walkway. When I was a little girl, a bird flew in the house and right back out, but one of my aunts died within a couple of days. No, thanks, I don’t want anything to do with birds!
  • Itchy feet means your feet will take you to a new place. When I was a little girl, my grandmother told me this one, and sometimes I would be so annoyed with the itch that I would try putting my feet on the walls or stepping somewhere I never had before, just to calm the itch. Of course, that never worked, I hadn’t gone where my feet were predicting yet. I don’t know the validity of this one, because I can’t keep up with where I go verses when my feet itch, but now you’re going to wonder it every time you scratch your foot.
  • Don’t be alone in the crooked hallway. This one is very unique to me and others who went to my middle school. It might even be more of a scary story to get students to class on time, but I thought it was worthy of mention here. In my middle school, there was a hallway that was, well, crooked. And maybe not everyone was told the same story, but I recall being told that it was haunted and if we were caught in the hallway alone after class had started, they’d “get us” or we’d have bad luck, or that we’d fail a test or start getting bad grades. Either way, bad things happened if you were in the crooked hallway alone.
  • The Rule of 3. There a couple of rules of 3, one pertaining to the movie American Pie (not true), one pertaining to witchcraft, and one pertaining to things happening in groups. I believe in the latter two. It seems that if someone gets sick, two more get sick immediately after, and the same goes for pregnancy, misfortune, good fortune, and everything in between. There’s also the idea that whatever you send out into the universe comes back to you threefold. Meaning, if you hex someone or wish them ill, you’ll get it 3 times more intensely. If you cast a spell for good or send good wishes to someone, you’ll get 3 times the good in return. It’s meant to make sure you don’t wish anyone ill or do bad things, or you’ll get something much worse.
  • Crickets in the home bring good luck; killing them brings bad luck. Surely everyone knows that if you have a cricket in your home, it’s a sign that good luck is on its way. On the flip side, if you have a cricket in your home, and anyone in the home kills it either on purpose or by accident, it will surely bring bad luck. I will attest to this till my dying day.  I have a cat, and I noticed that my cat was “paying rent” with dead crickets. I didn’t think anything of it. Then my car broke down, I fell and had to have surgery, we fixed my car and it broke down again, I bought a new car that I couldn’t afford, I got incredibly sick for weeks, then my husband’s truck broke down and I lost my job. As soon as she stopped killing crickets for a while, the bad luck stopped. Every time she kills a cricket something happens. I’m not a fan of crickets right now!
  • Knock on the door or go back through backward to avoid bad luck. In my high school, there was a set of three doors going from one parking lot into the school, and you absolutely had to knock on the wooden door when you passed through. If you didn’t, you had to stop and walk through it backward or else you’d have bad luck. It was only the one door, but any of my classmates can attest to this one. It was so important, nobody questioned why they saw someone walking backward through the door, regardless of how ridiculous it looked!
  • Touch metal when crossing train tracks or you jinx yourself/your group. Maybe this one only pertains to band or school groups, or maybe even all performing groups. I just remember band trips when we were all packed onto the buses, every single time we went over tracks, we had to touch something metal and put our feet up off the floor of the bus, otherwise we jinxed our group to a poor performance. Kids and their weird traditions and superstitions…
  • Never do laundry on Thanksgiving Day or you “wash” someone out of your family. This is another hardcore belief. You never ever ever ever want to do your laundry on Thanksgiving Day, no matter what. From midnight to midnight, no laundry. If you do, someone in your family dies. It’s inevitable. And it’s the most strongly believed superstition in my family.
There are a ton of strange superstitions, some are widely-known, others are only known within a family, but they’re everywhere. My family and friends may have some strange superstitions, but my mom will preach for hours on why what our family does is right! Despite the varying superstitions, what’s most important is having that something to  believe in. Some people have lucky underwear that they won’t ever wash because they believe it brings them luck. Some folks believe that dancing naked will bring rain in a drought. Some people believe superstitions are a bunch of baloney and make fun of people that believe in them. But they all have that one thing in common-they believe in something. Even if that something is that there is nothing to believe in, they still believe it. Having that faith gives purpose to life, and makes the world go round.

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