Friday, 13 February 2015


by Will Hall

I have always found superstition a very strange and bewildering topic. I personally find it quite amusing when people react to superstitious occurrences in a serious manner, but I guess that’s just my opinion. 

One of the weirdest superstitions has to be Friday 13th. It is also an appropriate place to start considering that today is Friday 13th. Why this particular combination of week day and date would prove to have any consequence I don’t know, but many people seem to be alarmed by such a coincidence. Believe it or not a fear of Friday 13th actually has a name, although, good luck ever remembering how to say it: paraskevidekatriaphobia. This comes from two Greek words meaning Friday and thirteen, and is listed as a genuine phobia…

Another strange superstition is that being pooped on by a bird brings good luck (see below). Now, I’m pretty certain someone made this up to keep their kid happy when a pigeon did its business, but even so some people genuinely believe this far-fetched idea. I myself have experienced such an atrocity several times, and the first time it occurred, it certainly did not bring good luck, because that very day my dog had to be put down. So, this superstition can be written down as a load of rubbish.

The whole good luck and bad luck idea makes me wonder just as much as the individual superstitions do, and personally I don’t believe in any kind of luck or superstition. But that’s just me. I guess some people like to think that luck is a genuine force, and that’s fair enough. 

There are various other common superstitions, such as walking over three manhole covers, walking under a ladder, and saluting a magpie. Now, avoiding a manhole that’s covered just because there are three of them in a row seems a bit strange, seeing as they are actually covered, but people just go along with this one because it’s sort of second nature. ‘Oh three manholes’ and people just walk around them. The only superstition I partly understand is walking under a ladder. I’m pretty certain that the chance of a ladder falling on you is incredibly tiny, like lottery winning tiny, but I guess it’s sort of a fair superstition seeing as your actually in harms way if something was to go wrong.

One of the most ludicrous superstitions out there has to be saluting a magpie. I mean come on it’s a bird, it doesn’t know what you’re doing, yet apparently it’s bad luck if you don’t do it. But seriously, who even came up with that? 

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