Static electricity history

Are there any historical superstitions regarding static electricity? I imagine it would have been quite an ominous thing to people before the common knowledge of static discharge. Being shocked by a persons touch could possibly be construed as quite a scary thing. And yet, I’ve never heard of any reference to the phenomenon in the historical books or texts.

Well, there’s lightning, of course; I’m pretty sure that shows up a lot in folklore and myths. And St. Elmo’s fire. But I don’t recall ever seeing references to small-scale, everyday static before the 17th century.

The ancient Greeks were aware of the phenomenon; our word “electric” comes from a root word meaning “amber”, that being one of the better natural materials for building up a charge.

I’d guess static affected people a lot less in the days before plastics and synthetic fibres. I can’t imagine you’d build up much of a charge scooting round stone floors in leather moccasins.