Victorian Superstitions



I had stated it before but the Victorian era was really all about death.  They dealt with it, they lived with it, and they mourned it.  They were professional mourners and purveyors of all things to do with the dying experience.  With this means that most of their superstitions revolved around death and they were a superstitious lot.  My father is rather superstitious and my mother as well.  You know, no opening an umbrella in the house, don’t walk under a ladder, and don’t you dare break a mirror.  Yes, I come from a superstitious family and yet I don’t believe in a single one of them.  Here are some from the Victorian era, do you still practice some of these?

–          If the deceased has lived a good life, flowers would bloom on his grave; but if he has been evil, only weeds would grow.
–          If several deaths occur in the same family, tie a black ribbon to everything left alive that enters the house, even dogs & chickens. This will protect them against deaths spreading further.
–          Never wear anything new to a funeral, especially shoes.
–          You should always cover your mouth while yawning so your spirit doesn’t leave you and the devil never enters your body.
–          It is bad luck to meet a funeral procession head on. If you see one approaching, turn around. It this is unavoidable, hold on to a button until the funeral cortege passes.
–          Large drops of rain warn that there has been a death.
–          Stop the clock in a death room or you will have bad luck.
–          To lock the door of your home after a funeral procession has left the house is bad luck.
–          If you hear a clap of thunder following a burial it indicates that the soul of the departed has reached heaven.
–          If you hear 3 knocks and no one is there, it usually means someone close to you has died. (The superstitious call this the 3 knocks of death.)
–          If you leave something that belongs to you to the deceased, that means to the person will come back to get you.
–          If a firefly/lightening bug get into your house someone will die soon.
–          If you smell roses when none are around someone is going to die.
–          If you don’t hold your breath while going by a graveyard you will not be buried.
–          If you see yourself in a dream, your death will follow.
–          If you see an owl in the daytime, there will be death.
–          If you dream about a birth, someone you know will die.
–          If it rains in an open grave then someone in the family will die within the year.
–          If a bird pecks on your window or crashes into one, there has been a death.
–          If a sparrow lands on a piano, someone in the home will die.
–          If a picture falls off a wall, there will be a death of someone you know.
–          Never speak ill of the dead because they will come back to haunt you or you will suffer misfortune.
–          Two deaths in the family mean that a third is to follow.
–          The cry of a curlew or the hoot of an owl foretells death.
–          A single snowdrop growing in the garden foretells a death.
–          Having only red & white flowers together in a vase (especially in a hospital) means a death will soon follow.
–          Dropping an umbrella on the floor or opening one in the house means that there will be a murder in the house.
–          A diamond-shaped fold in clean linen portends death.
–          A dog howling at night when someone in the house is sick is a bad omen. It can be reversed by reaching under the bed & turning over a shoe.

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