The 50 Strangest Superstitions from Around the World

Whatever you do, don't get a haircut on Tuesday.

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Superstition follows us everywhere. We unapologetically cross our fingers (and toes and…well…whatever else we can) when we're in need of a little extra luck—we can't help it.

You may not even have known some of the following even existed—performed either to thwart away bad luck or attract good. While others, perhaps ones you do religiously, may not seem so strange after all.

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Whistling Indoors Invites Evil

Whistling while you work may be an issue in Lithuania where it's forbidden to whistle indoors because the noise is believed to summon demons.

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Don't Cheers with Water

A German superstition declares that if you cheers with water you're actually wishing death upon the people you're drinking with. The idea stems from Greek mythology.

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Avoid Sleeping with Your Head to the North

According to Japanese superstition, sleeping with your head in this direction is bad luck because that's how the deceased are laid to rest.

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And Avoid Sleeping with Your Head to the West

Conversely, the same superstition exists in Africa if you sleep with your head to the west.

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Keep Your New Shoes Off the Table

In Britain, it's considered bad luck because it is supposed to symbolize the death of a loved one. Back in the day, placing someone's shoes on a table was a way to let their family know that they passed away. Nowadays, it's also just bad etiquette.

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Itchy Hands Have Financial Repercussions

In Turkey, an itchy right hand means you'll come into some money but an itch on your left means you'll lose money.

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Don't Play With Scissors Unless You're Actually Using Them

Crafters beware! Idly playing with scissors will bring bad luck according to Egyptian lure. Plus, it's just plain dangerous.

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Stepping in Dog Poop Isn't Necessarily Bad

This one seems unlucky all around but just go with it. Stepping in dog poop is actually considered good luck in France if you do it with your left foot. It's only bad luck if you step with your right foot.

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Bird Poop Brings Good Fortune

According to a Russian superstition, bird poop that lands on you or something that belongs to you, will bring you wealth — something to keep in mind the next time you're reading under a tree.

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Owls Are Bad Omens

There's an Egyptian superstition that if you see or hear an owl, terrible news is coming. Yet another reason to not hang out in the woods at night.

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And an Owl in Your House Brings Death

Also, an Italian superstition says that if an owl ends up in your house, someone in your family will die. But hoo?

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Knitting Outside Can Prolong Winter

If you're in Iceland, keep the knitting inside the house. There's a local superstition that doing your needlework on on your doorstep will keep those temps frigid.

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Don't Play with Yo-Yos

Syria banned Yo-Yos in 1933 over fear that they would cause a drought. The jury is still out on fidget spinners.

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Don't Get a Haircut on Tuesdays

Reconsider your #TransformationTuesday plans. Getting a haircut on a Tuesday in India will cause bad luck, based on legend.

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Giving Yellow Flowers Is Not a Nice Gesture

Gifting yellow flowers in Russia means that you're cursing your friend with infidelity.

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Spilling Water Behind Someone Is a Nice Gesture

In Serbia, it's believed to bring good luck if you drip water behind a person. Dumping it on them is flat-out rude no matter where you are, however.

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Wedding Bells Ward Off Evil

Irish brides have been known to wear bells on their dresses to ward off evil spirits who might try to ruin their marriage — as opposed to relatives who have too many spirits and end up ruining the wedding.

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Eating Goat Meet Could Get Hairy

Superstitious women in Rwanda don't eat goat meat over fear that it will cause them to grow facial hair.

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Pregnant Women Should Give Into Their Cravings

There's a Canadian superstition that expectant mothers who are craving fish but don't eat it will end up having a baby with a fish-head.

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Pregnant Women Should Not, However Eat Asymmetrical Foods

There's a Korean superstition that nibbling unshapely food while pregnant means you will end up with an ugly baby.

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TOPSHOT - Two women carrying a child walk along a railway in Beijing on January 12, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / WANG ZHAO        (Photo credit should read WANG ZHAO/AFP/Getty Images)
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Don't Walk Backwards

In Portugal, it's considered bad luck to walk backwards. The common belief is that if you do, you're showing the devil which way you're going.

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13th August 1948:  This woman proves she is not superstitious by walking under a ladder in Fleet Street, London, on the unlucky day of Friday 13th.  (Photo by E. Brookes/Keystone/Getty Images)
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Don't Walk Under a Ladder

We're all fairly familiar with this one, but some may not know that the superstition dates back to medieval times. The ladder, back then, symbolized the gallows where people were hanged.

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South Africa, Africa (Photo by Hoberman Collection/UIG via Getty Images)
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Be Wary of Full Moons

Full moons are commonly associated with chaos (even if you're not convinced werewolves are, or ever were, real). According to Bustle, it's a popular superstition in hospitals.

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Man on wheelchair, India. (Photo by: IndiaPictures/UIG via Getty Images)
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Go to the Hospital on Wednesdays

An old wives' tale states that the best day to go to the hospital is, in fact, Hump Day.

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(Original Caption) Boston Mayor Peters (left) who accused Governor Coolidge of Massachusetts of political move in trying to place blame for riots following police strike on him. Mayor Peters is shown with police commissioner Curtis (right). Boston swept with indignation over failure of authorities to maintain order. (Photo by George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty Images)
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Don't Say the Same Word at the Same Time as Your Friend

According to The Local, in Italy, if you say the same word as someone in unison, you'll never get married (yikes!). To undo this bad juju, you must immediately touch your nose.

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13th January 1945:  The damage caused to a mirror by the controlled explosion of a 500-lb bomb at a bomb experimental station in England. A camera captured the explosion from the mirror image, to protect the cameraman from shrapnel, and the resulting film can now be studied by ballistics experts. Original Publication: Picture Post - 1872 - Experiment In Ballistics - pub. 1945  (Photo by Haywood Magee/Picture Post/Getty Images)
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Avoid Broken Mirrors

Matthew Hutson, science writer and author of 7 Laws of Magical Thinking, explained to GoodHousekeeping.com that we pay attention when material is dangerous or deadly, claiming, "it's better to recognize a stick as a snake than a snake as a stick." So, it makes sense that you'd remember the cautionary legend: avoid broken mirrors. You wouldn't want seven years of bad luck!

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UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 2000:  Roman civilization, 2nd century A.D. Mosaic representing the evil eye. From Antioch, Turkey.  (Photo By DEA / G. DAGLI ORTI/De Agostini/Getty Images)
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Protect Yourself Against the Evil Eye

The evil eye is a well-known symbol of bad fortune, a human look believed to cause supernatural harm such as disease, injury or even death, states Live Science. It can be cast on people or even objects like your car or home. There are a number of talismans in many cultures created to ward off this curse (like the popular Hamsa).

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DAYS OF OUR LIVES -- "Tom & Alice Horton 50th Wedding Anniversary" -- Pictured: (l-r) Macdonald Carey as Tom Horton, Natasha Ryan as Hope Williams, John Lupton as Tom Horton Jr., Lanna Saunders as Marie Horton, Rosemary Forsyth as Dr. Laura Horton (in purple), Frances Reid as Alice Horton (seated), Patty Weaver as Trish Banning, Edward Mallory as William "Bill" Horton (far back), Richard Guthrie as David Banning, Wesley Eure as Mike Horton, Bill Hayes as Doug Williams (far back), Suzanne Zenor as Margo Horton, Susan Seaforth Hayes as Julie Williams, John Clarke as Mickey Horton, Suzanne Rogers as Maggie Horton -- (Photo by: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
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Don't Sing at the Dinner Table

This is something else you shouldn't do during your evening supper. Apparently, in the Netherlands, singing your favorite tune means you're singing to the devil for your food.

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1955:  A new member sits alone in a corner of the Club des Timides in Paris, an organisation designed to bring shy people out of their shells through contact with others.  (Photo by Vagn Hansen/BIPs/Getty Images)
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Don't Sit at the Corner of the Table

Another act causing you to be barren in the marriage department? Sitting at the corner of the dinner table, according to Hungarian and Russian superstitions.

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London, UK. Sunday 23rd August 2015. Heavy summer rain showers in the West End. People brave the wet weather armed with umbrellas and waterproof clothing. Leicester Square. (Photo by In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images)
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Don't Wear Red During a Storm

In the Philippines, it's believed that the color red attracts lightning. And it's a shame — red surely is the boldest shade.

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