We've all heard about how a bird pooping on your head will bring you good luck and the importance of throwing salt over your shoulder if you spill it, but as bizarre as they sound, they're not the strangest superstitions out there.
While there are several beliefs across the globe that raise the eyebrows of North Americans due to their odd nature.
So, forget about black cats and walking under ladders, here are 15 spooky superstitions from around the world.
1. Avoid having an itchy left hand - Turkey
While it seems normal to have an itch, if you feel the sensation in your hands, the Turkish believe it could mean one of two things. If your right hand is itchy, it means you will shortly be coming into money, but if it's your left it means you'll lose some of your hard earned dough.
2. Don't eat goat meat - Rwanda
While eating goat meat might not be as popular in the United States as it is in other parts of the world, women in Rwanda try to stay away from consuming this animal as it's thought to cause an increase in facial hair.
3. Don't say the same word at the exact same time as your friend - Italy
If you're ever in Italy, you should make it imperative to avoid talking over a friend at all costs. If you end up saying the same word in unison, it means you'll never get married. Luckily this bad luck can be reversed by simply touching your nose right after.
4. Stop aging by carrying an acorn - England
Since people living in Ancient England couldn't rely on plastic surgery or anti-aging creams to keep their youthful complexion, they believed if they carried around an acorn it would keep them looking like they were still in the prime of their lives. The residents came to this conclusion due to the fact that oak trees provide longevity and fend off illnesses due to their own long lifespan.
5. Don't go straight home after a funeral - Philippines
Although funerals are typically filled with sorrow, you shouldn't immediately retreat back to your home after you attend one. People from the Philippines believe if you do so an evil spirit will follow you to your residence and stay there.
Instead, they participate in a Filipino tradition called "pagpag," where they look for leftover food in supermarket and restaurant dumpsters.
6. Don't chew gum after dark - Turkey
While most people like to carry a package of gum with them in case they get a sudden case of bad breath, it would be wise to find other alternatives when it is after dark in Turkey. The Turkish believe if you chew gum in the nighttime, you're no longer munching on gum, but the human flesh of the dead.
7. Don't play with a Yo-Yo - Damascus (Syria)
Even though the Syrian city of Damascus is known for having well-watered land, in 1933, officials were afraid a the water would dry up, so they created a ban against Yo-Yos. The toy was recently introduced to the country and was instantly blamed for the drought in neighboring territories.
8. Eat grapes on New Years - Spain
Forget about getting a kiss at midnight and instead have yourself a handful of grapes. Those in Spain believe if you eat 12 grapes when the clock strikes 12, you'll be blessed with a year of good luck. So after you have all your greats, remember to make a New Years resolution, because it'll certainly be kept.
9. Don't sleep with a fan on - South Korea
Even if it's severely hot and humid outside, if you're a resident of South Korea you should never sleep with a fan on. They believe if you do, you'll die from either hypothermia or asphyxiation, so now all fans bought in the country have a timer setting to be used at night.
Even doctors won't recommend the practice, especially since it was the cause of death of one man in Thailand.
10. Don't eat lettuce if you're trying for a baby - England
In 19th century England, people believed if they ate lettuce it would worsen their fertility. So, if a couple wanted to start a family, men would cut lettuce out of their diet, as the vegetable was considered a "sterile" plant, thus impacting their ability to father children.
11. Always buy flowers in odd numbers - Russia
While everyone loves receiving a bouquet of flowers, people in Russia will only accept them if they come in an odd number. Even though we think being gifted a dozen is the optimal number, Russians believe that it's a sign of death.
Bonus fact: If you're in that country, also avoid giving out yellow flowers, as it means you're cursing them with infidelity.
12. Don't whistle indoors - Lithuania
Although only some people have the ability to whistle a tune, if they do so inside Lithuania, you'll be doing a lot more than just being entertaining - you'd also be summoning a demon.
This superstition is also common in Russia and Norway, as citizens believe you'll soon have financial problems and be the cause rain, respectively.
13. Don't cut your nails at night - Japan
Even though it's always great to have a manicure, people in Japan would highly be against it at night. They believe doing so would cause premature death, which makes sense since (rarely sanitized) knives and other sharp tools were used in lieu of nail clippers.
14. Don't have a seventh son - Argentina
If you have superstitious beliefs and live in Argentina, it would be best to stop at six children - if they're all boys. It's believed if a woman gives birth to her seventh son, they will be cursed with becoming a werewolf - unless they're later adopted by the President.
The superstition was brought to Argentina by two Russian immigrants, where it was custom for the Tsar to become the godfather to all seventh sons.
15. Don't kiss a baby on the lips - Nigeria
Not only does kissing your child on the lips come with serious health risks, but it could also lead to a truly unappealing trait. In Nigeria, it's believed if you smooch a baby on their mouth, they will be condemned to a lifetime of drooling.
Interested in learning more about superstitions? Check out these these interesting reads:
- 13 Facts About The Number 13 - Including Why It's So Unlucky
- 13 Superstitions We Still Follow And Where They Came From
- The Crazy Superstitions Of Hollywood Stars Will Make You Rethink Everything