Posts Tagged ‘superstition



This morning on the way to work, I saw a shoe by the side of the road. All summer I’ve wanted to write about the ‘shoes on the highway’ phenomenon!

I’ve spent a lot of time on the road this summer and I am amazed at how often I’ve seen shoes on the highway! Where do they come from? How do you lose 1 shoe, especially going 55 miles an hour down the road? Yes, they are mostly single shoes, not pairs and not usually included in a pile of other things as if a whole bag blew off the top of the car… just a single shoe.

Yesterday I had a bit of insight; a friend of mine with a 2 year old boy got home from doing errands to find that he only had one shoe on. He happily reported that he threw the other shoe out of the car window as they were driving home!

Ok, well, that still doesn’t explain the large numbers of adult shoes that I see along the highway. Once, when my children were young, we were taking a trip and spotted a pair of shoes on the road. A little further on were some pants, then a shirt. We had such fun trying to imagine why they were there and what (or who) we’d find next!

It’s interesting to note the part shoes have played in our culture – other than to protect our feet.

The most common shoe legends have to do with brides or weddings. It has always been considered good luck to throw a shoe or shoes after someone going on a journey for good luck. This obviously translates to wanting to wish the bride and groom good luck by throwing shoes after them or tying them to the back of their carriage or car.

The completion of a business deal by giving a shoe dates back to Biblical times, and as daughters were considered property at one time, the passing of property from father to groom was marked by throwing of shoes.

During the late 18th century, in England, the custom of giving miniature shoes, as a sign of friendship, became very popular. Often shoe charms are given as good luck.

It is supposed to be very bad luck to place shoes on a table. Likewise, don’t wear your shoes into the house – you might be bringing the devil in!

I also read that if you leave your shoes in the doorway, with one facing in and one facing out, you’ll confuse the devil, or any evil spirit, so he won’t know which way to go.

On one of my Red Cloak Haunted History Tours we have a house that found many pairs of children’s shoes in the walls! During research we discovered that this was quite common in New England during Puritan times. They were placed there to “kick the devil out”! There are many reports of shoes also being found under eaves, near chimneys and windows – anywhere there might be a crack for evil spirits to enter.

Leather shoes were a deterrent because supposedly they took on some of the wearer’s soul.

Thanks for letting me share some shoe superstitions!


It’s a beautiful evening for a stroll through “The City of Ships”

 Join us as we learn some of Bath’s early shipbuilding history and about some mystery ships! A few extra tales will be thrown in tonight for a young man who has a great interest in sailing ships. Of course, we’ll have all the regular mysteries and ghosts and superstitions as well! Call up until 7:15, 207-380-8306.


Rainy Day Superstitions

We have had WAY too much rain for this Maine spring/summer! I know “April Showers bring May Flowers” but it’s now June! Now some people are probably happier than I – if a light rain falls during a religious ceremony, God is pleased and it means good luck! Also, some believe that rain water has curative or protective powers. It is sometimes said that rain will wash away all your sorrows.

But, I’m ready for some sunshine “Rain, rain go away, come again another day!” These are some of the superstitious things going on out there that need to stop so the rain will go away. Please stop dreaming of eating grapes! I know they’re yummy, but… also if you keep stepping on ants or killing spiders we’ll keep having rain. “If a spider you should slay, rain will follow the next day.”

Those of you with cats have your work cut out for you – supposedly if a cat yawns, washes behind its ears, sneezes or licks its tail it will rain! Now dog owners only need to keep them from eating grass or scratching wildly and we’ll be rain free! At least it’s not raining cats and dogs…

When we do see sunshine again, these are signs meaning the rain may be on its way back:  your nose won’t stop itching, “When chairs squeak, of rain they speak”, no dew on the grass means rain the next day, if there is a ring around the moon – expect bad weather, “A cow tries to scratch its ear, a storm is near”, flowers are said to be more fragrant before rain, achy bones, “If salt is sticky and gains in weight, it will rain before too late.”

So, let’s all work toward a nice sunny summer, whether you’re superstitious or not. Thank you!


Another Superstition Cont.

Rabbit, Rabbit… several folklore tales claim that if you say this first thing in the morning, before another word, on the first day of the month, you will have good luck, or recieve a gift! Some say that this goes back to the 1800’s but there are so many variations on it that it’s very hard to pinpoint. Rabbits tend to be considered good luck, in any case, ie. carrying a rabbit’s foot. One of many more superstitions…


Another superstition…

Rabbit…  Info to come later in the day.



Today, May 23, is National Lucky Penny Day… who knew? There are a ‘million’ superstitions out there, some are more common than others, such as lucky pennies. Here are a couple of rhymes, which you’ve probably heard, associated with finding pennies:

“See a penny, pick it up, all the day you’ll have good luck!” or “Find a penny, put it in your shoe, you’ll have good luck, the whole day through!”

Other beliefs are that you should only pick a penny up if it’s heads up; if you should pick one up that is tails up, throw it over your shoulder, make a wish and don’t look back, or give it to someone else, which will bring you both good luck!

Many years ago people believed that metal was a gift from the gods, something that would protect against evil. Therefore… metal is good luck! Any metal, in any form, was considered good luck; horseshoes over doorways, charm bracelets, good luck coins, etc.

Have you heard this one? “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and a silver sixpence in your shoe.” This was related to the bride and her good luck charms for the new life she was about to begin. The silver sixpence eventually turned into a lucky penny! That insured that the new couple would always have wealth. Tying metal cans to the back of the newlyweds’ car is also related to the superstition of metal bringing luck and wealth to the couple.

Some people believe that if a ghost is trying to let you know they are around, they will leave pennies for you to find. Others believe the same about angels… What do you think?

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