You might consider yourself a very rational person, but then something as simple as a calendar date or a number makes you feel differently about things. You might think twice about boarding a plane on Friday the 13th or taking flight number 13. Some buildings don’t even have a 13th floor. There’s a fancy word for fear of the number 13 — triskaidekaphobia — but that’s just another way of describing a superstition.
24/7 Tempo has compiled a list of superstitions that still prevail in each state or region. We drew on material from academic journals, books on folklore, digital libraries, and media sources to develop our list.
Superstition has been defined as “a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation.” That sounds like a harsh description for something many of us innocently engage in from time to time. Superstitions typically take form as omens of good and bad luck. Superstitions are thought to influence coming events, despite any demonstrable correlation. While we may know we have no control over airline safety, winning the lottery, or whether our favorite team wins, it doesn’t prevent us from performing some ritual to affect an outcome. There are even superstitions that we hope will bring us good fortune. These are the weirdest superstitions people believe will bring wealth.
Even in 21st century America superstitions that may be thousands of years old persist. You’re probably familiar with many of them, from black cats to broken mirrors, but there are many more out there that you may have never heard of. Some superstitions are associated with an unfortunate event that befell a home or a particular place. Here are the creepiest haunted houses in every state.