It's bad luck to . . .

Make your own birthday cake. Or so I learned from my friend a few years ago, when I was her houseguest and came down on the morning of my birthday to find her stirring up cake batter in the kitchen.

When I offered to help, she was astonished. “It’s bad luck to make your own birthday cake!” I had never heard that one before, but I certainly didn’t want any bad luck, so I sat down and kept her company while she worked.

I don’t like people screwing around in my kitchen either, so I couldn’t blame her if she’d made it up, but she said she had heard that warning all her life. She’s from central Pennsylvania.

What other unusual and obscure “bad luck” warnings do you know about?

It’s bad luck to:

Tell your dream(s) before having breaksfast.

Put a hat on a bed.

Have a child comb your hair.

Walk through a ghost.

Stand a broom on the handle end.

Hear an owl hoot 3 times.

Change a horse’s name.

I’m country, can you tell? I could go on and on and on . . .

I’m from Pennsylvania, and I’ve never heard the birthday cake one.

The only superstition I observe is: it’s bad luck to use the last match.

I worked at a Chinese restaurant when I was going to school, the only one I can think of right now is that it’s bad luck for a woman to touch the lions that guard the storefront, particularly the male lion.

On a side note, (being dopers, you all probably already know this, but…), if you look closely at the lions, you’ll see that one has a ball under his foot, and the other generally has a cub under her foot, that’s how you know which is the male lion and which is the female.

I fly with many other countries’ armed forces members on their aircraft, and usually, at some point during the several-day-long affair, there’s a group photo taken of everyone in front of the aircraft. But frequently not before our mission. Many of them (especially Russians) consider it bad luck to take a picture before the flight (not sure if it’s only if the aircraft is in the background or what). Afterwards, fine.

On the off chance that there are people who haven’t heard these, which I grew up with and so always assume everyone knows: It’s bad luck to …[ul][]open an umbrella indoors[]walk under a ladder[]have a black cat cross your path[]break a mirror (seven years, to be specific)[/ul]

It’s bad luck to:

Talk about a job before at least the second interview.

Talk about a great deal on a car before you have the keys in your hand.

Mention a no-hit baseball game while it’s in progress.

I really only know theatre ones.

It’s bad luck to:

to say “good luck”
to whistle on stage
to have peacock feathers on stage
to say the name of the Scottish Play on stage

And don’t get me started on theatre ghosts.

It’s bad luck to say “gee, the phones are quiet today, eh?” at the office, I know that much.

The way I heard it was “a coat on a bed or a hat on a chair”. Do you know why, though? :wink:

It’s also bad luck to:

point the foot of your bed at the doorway (dead people are carried out of a house feet first)

Carry a baby downstairs before carrying it upstairs

Let the groom see the bride on wedding day (before the trip to the altar)

I remember hearing somewhere that it was considered bad luck to rename a ship, and then later discovered that ships are renamed routinely whenever they change hands (For example, the Argentinian cruiser ARA General Belgrano was in a previous life the American cruiser USS Phoenix, and various American ships throughout history have changed names numerous times as newer ships were commissioned with their names.

My mother was very superstitious, and this was one of them we grew up with, that I have taken into my adulthood. I go nutso whenever Thomas tosses a hat on the bed.

Also, no shoes on the table!

You must go out the same door you came in.

If a wild bird flies into your house, there will be a death in your family.

My favorite, especially when it gets so silly that people won’t say Macbeth the rest of the time, too.

No offense. :wink:

It’s bad luck to be superstitious – that’s why I’m not.

S^G :smiley:

I’ve heard the baseball and theatre ones before. I hadn’t remembered the peacock feathers one before, but it came back to me when I heard it. There seem to be only a rare few that tell you the actual “bad luck” consequences of the act: bird flies in = death in family. The broken mirror at least tells you *how long * your bad luck is going to last: 7 years. The rest are just unspecified “bad luck.” I guess it’s implicit that if you point your bed at the door, you will die in bed, but the others? Who knows.

Does anybody have examples of specific things that will happen to you if you do something? Like step on a crack, break your [mother’s] back?

I was thinking about this one earlier today. Does this mean that the Groom and Bride have to sleep in separate homes the night before the wedding, and then can’t see each other at all until the ceremony starts? So if they want a star-lit wedding, they have to stay away from each other all day?

They also say it’s unlucky to work on the 13th floor, so much that many buildings in NYC go from 12 to 14. It’s okay to be on the 13th floor of a building as long as it isn’t CALLED the 13th floor. Not to mention sitting in row 13 on a plane, because statistics show that the 13th row is the row most likely to crash.

I used to hear that it was bad luck for the tab on a soda can to fall off, and if it happens, you should not finish the drink. I’ve also heard that it was bad luck to lead soap suds in a shower, and you should towel them down in order to save your soul.

I personally do not believe in luck, and do not follow ANY of the things mentioned in this thread so far…although maybe I better start following that second job interview one!

However, back when I was in high school, we were having a Christmas concert (which aside from a singing and acting out production number, was strictly MUSIC, not stage acting) and one of the techie students who worked the spotlight died in a car accident. Some of the students were seriously going around and asking who said “Macbeth” back stage, thinking that person caused his death.

Or a perfect game in bowling.

This one’s been around since long before people lived together or even had GASP premarital sex, so basically they’d be staying at different houses the night before the wedding anyway. The way I always heard it was that it was bad luck for the groom to see the bride in her dress before the ceremony, so even if the bride and groom already live together, as long as he doesn’t see her in the dress, they’re fine.

If you lead them will they follow?

:smiley: Sorry, I was unable to resist!

This one is disturbingly elaborate:

It is a bad, bad thing to allow a trusted member of the opposite sex you are not married to to leave a male peacock feather under your pillow for when you sleep.

Yes, they have to be very trusted (trusted enough you wouldn’t have objections to them being in your room at night at least I suppose). Apparently it has something to do with witchcraft and mind controlling you into unwanted sexual acts or something… I’m still not sure if these people were leading me on or not. I suspect yes but man were they serious (and I’ve heard it completely separately from two people who don’t know each other).

This one is semi-logical, because if the tab fell in the drink (like the old sharp pull tabs, which some people would dump inside) you could choke or cut up your mouth/throat something fierce if you accidentally drank it.

Missed the edit window so.

On the off chance that there are people who haven’t heard these, which I grew up with and so always assume everyone knows: It’s bad luck to …[ul][li]open an umbrella indoors[]walk under a ladder[]have a black cat cross your pathbreak a mirror (seven years, to be specific)[/ul][/li][/QUOTE]

The famous ones (except the weird salt one) are also semi-logical.
If you open an umbrella indoors it can increase your chance of knocking down ma’s priceless ming vase because you underestimated how big it would get.

If you walk under a ladder and you touch the ladder the person on top may stumble and fall, drop something on you, or any other combination of unpleasent thing if the ladder hits your forehead or trips you as it falls.

If a black cat crosses your path at night, well, when I was a kid I think the expression was “have a nice trip, see you next fall.” (followed by an endearing yet stupid smile).

Breaking a mirror gives you and/or your parents a pretty debt to the nice mirror maker. I’m still not sure exactly WHY they haven’t added windows to this yet.