Need examples of old well-known beliefs/superstitions for a song

Not sure if this is the right forum but because it’s for a song I’m working on I figure it’s appropriate.

Anyway, I’m working on a homeopathy song and I need some examples of some really old beliefs that people (at the mainstream society level) have held about life and the world, that are generally accepted as false today. E.g that the world is flat, that the earth is the center of the universe, that you can make it rain by doing a dance, etc.

I’m not looking for anything that is controversial to any significant degree. E.g though the scientifically literate among us know the truth of the vaccine-autism scare, the mainstream lay public is still confused.

When you sneeze, demons can get inside you. I was taught this is the reason we still say “God Bless You” when somebody sneezes.

Bleeding will help you get well when you’re sick.

Illness is a result of imbalanced humours.

Red cars get ticketed at a higher rate than any other. Comic books cause juvenile delinquency. Blind people can hear better than sighted people. Photographs can steal your soul. Cats steal the breath from infants.

You can’t swim for an hour after eating, because you will get cramps and drown.

Getting cold/wet will cause a cold.

Boys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses.

Conception happens when a man deposits a teeny tiny humaninto a woman. Speaking of, women are responsible for the gender of their children (still believed in some cultures).

Out-and-out superstitions that mean somebody will die soon:
-A hat left in the center of a bed
-A bird trying to get into a house
-Letting a lilac bush grow tall enough to shade a grave

Still believed by millions and millions and millions of people here and now: cold weather causes people to catch colds and flus.

Put bacon on a wart to dissolve it.
Butter a burn.
Sleeping in a pyramid will make you healthy.
Razor blades will sharpen when left in a pyramid.
Groundhogs can affect the coming of spring.
The bands on Woolly Bear caterpillars predict the cold of the coming winter.

Garbage and dead animals rotted a lot slower under a pyramid.

That takes me back a bit. Dopers under 40 may not remember the “pyramid power” craze of the '70s, roughly contemporaneous with pet rocks and mood rings and von Däniken’s heyday There were department stores that sold cardboard pyramids to assemble and sleep under and acrylic ones for your razor blades and the like. I was a kid and of course I believed everything they said about them and wanted a sleeping pyramid.

I can’t swim for an hour any time.

I was living in So Cal then, and remember standing in line at the bank (this was before ATMs, that’s how long ago this is) behind a guy wearing a pyramid-shaped open copper framework on his head. Ooooooooooookay.

If you spill salt, you have to throw a pinch of it over your shoulder to avoid bad luck.

The usual ones: knock on wood to avoid a jinx, don’t break a mirror or walk under a ladder or let a black cat cross your path. Crossing your fingers for luck, nailing a horseshoe above your door (like a U so it catches good luck) and finding a four-leaf clover.

Throwing salt over your shoulder comes from the age-old belief that witches, demons, etc. don’t like salt and it can harm them. The superstition goes: if you spill salt, you’re vulnerable to a witch, devil, demon, etc. Therefore, you throw a pinch of it over your left shoulder using your right hand. I do this mainly because my mother and grandmother did it, and I’m in the habit.

One not mentioned so far: 13 is an unlucky number. Some hotels still do not number a 13th floor (floors 1 - 11, then 12…) Many consider Friday the 13th unlucky.

I don’t remember the why of it, but I was always told not to rock an empty rocking chair.

If you drop a knife company is coming from whatever direction it’s pointing. I think I remember that applying to a broom as well?

Never yell “come in” if a door opens on it’s own. You are inviting in spirits.

Cover your mouth when you yawn or the evil spirits will get in. I do this to my cats and dogs all the time and they are not amused. Who wants a pet with an evil spirit inside of it?!

You’ll die if you sneeze three times in a row, or stick your finger in your bellybutton.

Waking up a sleepwalker will kill them.

If a pregnant woman sees a snake she mustn’t touch herself until it’s gone or the baby will have a birthmark.

What’s funny (and sad) is that I can’t use many of these suggestions because of how many people still believe them. (e.g. 13th floor bad luck, cold weather causes colds…).

And many others are too obscure. (never even heard of the hat on a bed or bacon on a wound.).

I like yours TruCelt. Bloodletting is getting into the ballpark here. It’s something that you can make a passing reference to as a universally accepted incorrect belief of the past that almost anyone would get.

I wish someone would have told me this earlier. ::sigh:: OK, so, say you have a cat with evil spirits inside… er… how do you get’em out?

This is going to be a short some then.

Cats will steal a baby’s breath.

Bathing is dangerous to your health.

Turpentine is medicine.

Women’s insides need the support of a corset.

Babies/children should never be touched or cuddled.

Vaccination causes Autism.

Tomatoes are poisonous.

Whatever the basic belief was behind dousing rods.