I recently purchased this book from Amazon and I finally got around to reading it today. In the second chapter it talks about a few supsertitions that people have surrounding death. Superstitions are always fun to learn about so I thought I’d record some of them here.
There are many different supstitions from different cultures so they vary across the world. But here are a few common ones.
1.Don’t look a corpse in the eye. This is a reason why most cultures close the deceased ones eyes right after they die or put things like coins to keep them shut (though coins are usually used as “fare” for the River Styx). If a dead person’s eyes are left open, he’ll find someone to take with him. If the left eye twitches there will soon be a death in the family.
2.A bird in the house is a sign of death. Birds are seen as animals that can manuever through the earth and sky and humans have viewed them as link between the physical and spiritual worlds. A bird flying into the home is considered an amen of death and things such as birds landing on windowsills or tapping on a window with their beaks are considered ominous signs.
3..You have to hold your breaths whenever you cross paths with a cemetery or you will breathe in the spirit of someone who has recently died. If this was true that I should have about a hundred different spirits inside me. I love going to cemeteries and spending time looking a tombstones. It doesn’t say anything about actually spending time in cemeteries so you never know. Maybe we have to take into account what’s the way of travel while you’re passing the cemetery-walking, driving, biking, skateboarding- wha makes you breath in the spirit, hmm?
4.Directions and which way you were facing when you were buried. Superstition says that the dead should be carried feet first, which is still practiced today as pallbearers carry caskets this way. When it comes to the actual burial Christianity dictates that it is best to bury the body with it’s feeth towards the east and head towards the west. Christian tradition holds that the Last Judgment will commence from the east, and many cemeteries traditionally bury the dead so that they “look” eastward in anticipation.. Hisorically the best/most important people were buried towards the SOuthern end of the cemetery while the non important people (and most likely people with less money were buried towards the north)
5. Pregnant women shouldn’t go to funerals. There is a fear that the spirit of the dead person will enter the body of the unborn fetus or that it will cause a miscarriage. I mean I wouldn’t want to go to a funeral if I was pregnant, we don’t need another Damien on our hands, am I right?
6. CLothes. You’re not supposed to wear anything new to a funeral, especially new shoes. You’re also not supposed to give a corpse hand me downs to wear when they’re beign buried or you will get sick as the clothes rot in the ground. In the Victorian Era it was said the pallbearers had to wear gloves while carrying the casket so that the spirit of the deceased wouldn’t enter their body through direct contact. If a woman is buried in black than she will return to haunt the family.
7. Mirrors. Mirrors in houses where there were corpses(as in older times when funerals would occur in house or if someone died inside a house) should be covered or the next person who looks into the mirror will die. The covering of the mirror comes from 16th century superstition that the reflection was actually an embodiment of the soul. It was thought that at death the soul escaped the body and so was vulnerable to be trapped in the mirror glass and taken away by the devil. If a mirror in the house falls and breaks by itself, someone in the house will die soon.
8. Clocks. Clocks were stopped upon the death of a person in a home to show the departed that “time was over” for them. If a broken clock suddenly chimes there will be a death in the family. If you don’t stop the clock in the room where someone has died then you will have bad luck.
9. Graves. Graves should never be left open overnightot else It will lead to another death. It is ideal to dig and close a grave all on the day of the burial. It is bad luck to step over a grave or to point at a grave. If the person buried lived a good life, flowers will grow on the grave. If the person was evil, weeds will grow. If it rains in an open grave then someone in the family will die within the year.
10. Funeral and Procession. Touching the corpse will ensure that the ghost of the dead will not haunt you. Taking a corpse to the cemetery in your own vehicle is extremely bad luck which would explain hearses. The corpse should not pass over any part of the same road twice. If the funeral procession stops on its way to the cemetery, another death will soon follow. Counting the cars in a funeral procession is ill advised, as it is said you are simply counting the days until your own death. Take care that you do not see your reflection in a hearse, or you will be the next to be carried in it.