Totally irrational superstitions that you hold

I will not visualize bad things. For example, the idea might cross my mind that Dominic could trip, fall down the stairs, break his neck, and die. But I won’t picture it in my head, because some part of me believes that would make it more likely to happen.

Uh, that one’s got me, too.

Apart from that, the ritual of voting, and placing faith in meteorologists, I think I’m pretty rational.

Except when I swallow the moon.

If I don’t play my 2 lottery numbers one week, one of them will hit. It will prove that God hates me and I will have to kill myself.

So I keep playing those 2 numbers EVERY time…

It’s more of an undefined phobia than a superstition;

My house has three floors, late at night, I have to go downstairs and check the door is locked, but it’s not possible to turn the downstairs light off from upstairs, so I have to walk from darkness to light, whenever I do, I get the scariest feeling that something is following me.

Rationally, I know it’s stupid, but that doesn’t stop me from running fast up the stairs every time. Oddly I’m not actually afraid of the dark - I’m quite happy to walk along an unlit lane late at night, or ascend the second set of stairs in total darkness, it’s only when ascending stairs and the darkness is behind me with the light in front that I feel odd.

I got one:

I was living in a rather seedy apartment. In the parking lot out back was a stairwell that led down, against the wall, to the basement laundry room (I hope I’m describing this well). I went out to do my laundry one day, and the handyman, Miguel, had been out there replacing an exterior light, and had left a ladder leaning against the building over the stairs (though he was nowhere to be seen). In short, you couldn’t go down the stairs to the laundry room without walking under the ladder.

I looked at the ladder, and I said to myself, “I am an intelligent, educated, rational human being. I teach at a regionally respected (somewhat) university. I have two college degrees, and I can do differential (not integral) calculus in my head. And you know what? There is no freaking way I’m walking under that ladder.”

I ended up hopping over the railing, laundry basket in tow, and landing pretty smoothly on the steps below.

My mother used to fill me up with such superstitions. For example, if you find an inchworm crawling on you, it means you’re going to get a new suit of clothes. If you get a sudden, apparently causeless shiver, someone is walking on your gravesite. If you sing at the dinner table, the table will fall through the floor. And don’t get me started on opening umbrellas in the house…

There was also a time when being superstitious, and therefore extra cautious about black cats, almost certainly saved my life, but I don’t feel like typing it out here. Just trust me.

Checked your scalp for numbers recently? :wink:

I’m with Opal and Larry on the whole “if I can’t imagine it happening, it ain’t gonna happen” thing. Of course my mind, being the monkey that it is, constantly starts visualising this stuff, forcing me to conjure up some completely unrelated image to avoid death and destruction. What kinda morose, modern day neurosis is this, anyway?

For some reason I don’t pretend to understand, I’ve got a phobia about my footware. Specifically, I always put on my right shoe/sock before the left one. I only really became aware of it when I caught myself consistently doing the same thing when dressing our daughter (I always put her right shoe on first.)

I tried, but I don’t have any reflection at all; is that a bad sign?

I got it a bit the other way around, if I visualize something I’m sure it won’t happen. For example when I’ve lost something and visualize finding it somewhere I’m sure I wont.

But then again - I think I have some kinda malfunction about finding stuff - I’m positively bad at it. I can look in the fridge for something and my brain apparently choose to ignore what it’s seeing.

If a traffic light light turns yellow right before I pass through the intersection, I reach up and tap the ceiling of the car twice with my hand for good luck. I have no idea when I started doing this, but nobody else in my family does it (and my brother shouts that I’m casting vile hoodoo on him if I do it while he drives).

I won’t go for a drive in my car while wearing a white T-shirt anymore, since all three times my car broke down on me in traffic that’s what I was wearing. I refuse to drive anywhere wearing one until I get a new car.

Completely stupid, I know, but I need all the help I can get to keep that car running.

I’m a rational human being who walks under ladders, thinks that a black cat is a black cat, and knows that the only effect knocking on wood creates is sore knuckles.

But I can’t see a lone magpie without saluting.

What does the lone magpie refer to, Frannie? The soul of a soldier or something?

I’m not familiar with this one.

It is bad luck to leave one square of chocolate from a row of squares sitting in the wrapper. One should eat chocolate in multiples of two squares.

A lone magpie is bad luck. It comes from the rhyme (that is supposed to be what the number of magpies mean):

One for sorrow
Two for joy
Three for a girl
Four for a boy
Five for silver
Six for gold
Seven for a secret never to be told.

Not quite sure what happens what you see more than seven magpies. Heh. I was once told that if you see a lone magpie, saluting to it is meant to ward off the “sorrow”. I’m not sure why.

If course, this creates the terrible dilemma of what happens when, after seeing a lone magpie and saluting to it, another one suddenly comes out from behind a bush or something. “Oh no! Have I cancelled out my joy? Or does the joy stay because I didn’t see the other magpie when I saluted? Surely I’ve managed to cancel out sorrow and retain the joy? Right? Right?”

It’s tough believing in nonsense.

That’s the bit I’ve never understood, does it mean that when I see four magpies, I’m going to return home and find a boy in the mailbox, or when I see three I’ll turn into a girl or what?

The line between animate and inanimate is blurry to me - I feel that inanimate objects have feelings, and have always felt that way. Thus, I am loathe to strike inanimate objects. If I get frustrated and hit my computer, I often feel bad about it and sometimes apologize to it.

I also am pretty unwilling to visualize bad things happening, but I extend this to violent thoughts in general. The line between thought and action is just as blurry as the one between animate and inanimate. I feel that if I think bad thoughts about a person, it’s the same as insulting them directly.

I always thought it was one of those intentionally vague predictions you get in superstitions. It could mean you’re going to come home and find a fresh new boy sitting in your living room, or it could mean you’re going to meet a tall, dark stranger. Or perhaps that you’re gay. Who knows?

Fran - there’s the other rhyme which goes like this:

One for joy
Two for sorrow
Three to lend
Four to borrow

Invoke whichever rhyme benefits you most.
My SO’s mother always says “Morning Mr Magpie” no matter how many there are.

What the heck would I do with five magpies? :wink:

Can I split the number up? Can I have joy and precious metals, instead of some juicy gossip that I can’t share anyway?