15 Beliefs And Superstitions Whose Origins We Never Knew (Until Now)

15 Beliefs And Superstitions Whose Origins We Never Knew (Until Now)

Have you ever wondered why certain beliefs or superstitions have been around for centuries? From why Jewish people and Muslims don't eat pork to why some people think electric fans can cause death, there are many fascinating explanations for why some of these beliefs and superstitions exist.

The superstition that a rabbit's foot brings luck has been around for thousands of years, and horseshoes are believed to bring good luck and protection thanks to the powerful symbolism of a cross and the belief that iron has magical powers. Don't forget to knock on wood for luck and throw salt over your shoulder to reverse bad luck, and don't mention Macbeth in a theater if you don't want to invoke the play's infamous curse.

And if you're unlucky enough to encounter a Friday the 13th, you may want to stay inside with an umbrella and avoid a black cat, as these are both believed to bring bad luck! Read on to learn more about the origins of these superstitions and beliefs.

Murder, guilt, and a mysterious curse: welcome to the world of 'Macbeth'.

CRACKED WHY IS МАСВЕТН CONSIDERED CURSED? Macbeth is one of William Shakespeare's most enduring plays, with a dark side of murder and guilt, and a reputation for being cursed since its first performance in 1606. Reports of injuries and mysterious deaths to cast members have been linked to the play, leading to the superstition that its name must not be uttered in a theater.

How Stuff Works / GQ 

Knock on wood - Superstitious beliefs or ancient children's game?

CRACKED WHY DO YOU KNOCK ON WOOD FOR GOOD LUCK? Knocking on wood is a superstition found in many cultures, with explanations ranging from ancient pagan beliefs to a 19th century children's game.


Paganism meets Christianity: the luck-filled finger-crossing story.

CRACKED WHY DOES CROSSING YOUR FINGERS BRING YOU GOOD LUCK? Finger-crossing for luck has a long history, with two main theories of its origin: a pre-Christianity Pagan belief in the powerful symbolism of a cross, or a Christian recognition gesture involving forming the ichthys, or fish symbol.

MentalFloss / Adobe 

Don't believe the myths: swimming after eating is safe.

CRACKED WHY ARE YOU NOT SUPPOSED TO SWIM AFTER YOU EAT? The long-held belief that swimming after eating can lead to cramps and drowning is unfounded, as there have been no reported cases of this happening. Exercise physiologist Arthur Steinhaus even labeled the idea of stomach cramps as questionable in 1961.

Snopes / Eat This 

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