Home Superstitions

For Friday the 13th

As many apartment dwellers know, most buildings skip the 13th (and sometimes fourth and 44th!) floor. In fact, a whopping 80% of high rises omit the unlucky ordinal just on tradition alone. But for those of us who live closer to the ground, there’s plenty of bad omens lingering around at home.

Most superstitions are hundreds of years old, stemming from the human instinct to attribute reasoning to the inexplicable. But even if it seems silly, these unfounded fears have positive side effects. Research has found that people who truly believe in superstitions can often perform better at certain tasks and experience less stress.

So for the believers (and non-believers) out there, this is what you need to avoid for good karma.

We think this bedroom in 829 Brooks Avenue has a cool idea — lean mirrors behind nightstands to add depth and a bit of glamour. This home has a lot of soul! – Property Details

1. Mirrors can steal your soul. 

Most people have heard that a broken mirror brings seven years of bad luck, but intact reflectors are also ominous — just think of ill-fated characters like Snow White, Narcissus, and Dracula.

The legend goes that the glass can steal your soul. In fact, Victorians traditionally covered mirrors when someone died, in case the deceased’s spirit gets trapped inside.

2. Evil ghosts sit in your rocking chair.

New mothers and porch sitters take note: the Irish have long believed that rocking an empty chair invites dark forces to come sit in it. If the chair moves of its own accord, that’s even worse — the malicious spirit has already settled in it, and may bring death to the family.

 The front door of 938 Palms is so unique, we wouldn’t want to go through any other doors anyway!- Property Details

3. Pick a door and stick with it — or else.  

According to folklore from the Pacific Northwest, it’s bad luck for you and your family to leave the house through a different door than the one used to enter it.

In this master suite of 2269 Westridge, there’s no question which side of the bed we’d rather wake up on with a view like that! – Property Details

4. You can wake up on the wrong side of the bed.

The saying goes that you should get out on the same side you got in or it’ll be a bad day. As for the following night, make the bed if you want to sleep well, according to an American proverb.

5. Open umbrellas insult your home’s guardian spirits.

Opening a parasol indoors might bring metaphorical rain. Eighteenth century lore states that an umbrella protects against the storms of life, so opening one inside insults a home’s metaphysical protectors. Of course, the practical side of this precaution is not poking anybody’s eye out.

6. Don’t sweep away good luck.

There’s enough broom traditions to fill the entire closet, but most concur that cleaning a new home with an old broom is bad news. Either buy a new one or sweep something into the new residence first to avoid brushing away good luck.

7. Ladders have a hidden religious significance.

Christianity could be behind the hesitation to walk under ladders. The idea is that a ladder leaning against a wall creates a triangle, similar to Holy Trinity. Breaking the triangle would be blasphemous – or dangerous, as anyone who’s stood on a high perch can attest.

8. Shoes on the table could lead to death.

Old mining traditions are likely behind this superstition. You see, when a miner died in a colliery accident, his shoes were placed on the table as a sign of respect. Therefore, doing so when you aren’t dead was seen as tempting fate.

9. Fix any broken clocks — before they signal doom.

The grimmest prediction of all is that if a broken clock suddenly chimes, there will be a death in the family. In fact, a 19th century American preacher recorded multiple instances of these predictive rings.

This bedroom at 1233 Appleton Way is in sunny Venice, not Spain, so you can keep the windows open and the breezes flowing in all year – Property Details

10. Keep your bedroom windows shut on Nov. 1.

In Spain, people always keep their bedroom windows shut on November 1, because it is believed that the souls of the dead roam free that day, and can enter your home through windows.

11. Bells scare away hardships.

Both wedding bells and jingle bells bring smiles to peoples’ faces, but an echoing gong can also prevent misfortune. Celtic culture believes that ringing a bell frightens evil spirits away.

12. Blue porches ward off ghosts.

Since Southern culture used to believe ghosts couldn’t cross water, plantation homes thought if they painted their porch blue, it would confuse these spirits so they wouldn’t enter their home.

13Acorns will protect your home from lightning.

Norse superstition claims all you have to do is put one of these nuts on your windowsill to prevent your home from being struck by lightning. In fact, that’s where window blind pulls with acorns first originated.

14. Hang fennel over your door to avoid witches.

It is believe that if you hang fennel over your front door, or stuff it in your keyhole, you’ll keep witches away from your home.

Knock, chop, eat on this beautiful wood table built-in to the island in the custom kitchen of 4411 Roma Court – Property Details

15. And of course, knock on wood.

For those bold enough to check out their lipstick in the mirror or leave through the side door (namely, all of us), it’s easy to ward off any bad karma – just knock on wood. Cultures from across the world (from Ireland to India!) have long idolized trees, and people often lay hands on them to ask for favors or show gratitude.