Bizarre superstitions across the world

Bizarre superstitions from across the world four-leaf clover

Superstitions come in all shapes and sizes and vary wildly across the world.

In some countries, breaking a mirror brings seven years' bad luck whereas in others wearing yellow pants on New Year's Eve is thought to guarantee a prosperous year ahead.

With the help of Lottoland, we've come up with a list of the world's most peculiar superstitions, as detailed below.

See also: Silly laws around the world

Bizarre superstitions from across the world shoes on the table

Don't put shoes on the table in the UK
Old English tradition had families putting miner's shoes on the table if they had died in an accident underground. This is where the superstition originates so don't tempt fate - leave your shoes by the door!

Don't mention Carlos Menem in Argentina
The former president is thought to have created such a disaster in Argentina that even speaking his name is said to bring a curse upon yourself in the South American country.



Bizarre superstitions from across the world upside down bread

Keep your bread the right way up in France
French bakers are said to have refused to bake bread for the king's hangmen and when threatened with execution they relented by serving the hangmen their loaves upside down. Ever since then it has been considered to bring bad luck.

Add sugar first in Brazil
When you should add milk to tea is a longstanding debate in the UK but in South America it's slightly different. It may not be logical, but adding sugar to your coffee cup first is believed to bring prosperity in Brazil.

girl playing with chewing gum



Don't chew gum at night in Turkey
It might help you out with bad breath, but avoid chewing gum at night in Turkey because they believe you might as well be chewing the flesh of the dead.

Be aware of chopstick etiquette in Asia
Standing chopsticks up in bowl of rice is common at funerals in Asia so make sure you don't do it at the dinner table. Passing food between chopsticks is another no-no thanks to the bone fragments of the dead being passed from one chopstick to another at funerals.

Bizarre superstitions across the world red ink Korea

Don't write in red ink in Korea
In Korea, it's unlucky to write a living person's name in red as it's thought to bring death or misfortune. Having said that, recording someone's death in red ink is believed to ward off evil spirits.

Beware of Martes Trece in Spain
Friday 13th is considered unlucky in many places, but the Spanish have a fear of a different day of the week. In Spain, Tuesday 13th (Martes Trece) is thought to be unlucky because the word for Tuesday - Martes - comes from Mars, the god of war.

Bizarre superstitions across the world Macbeth

Don't mention the Scottish play
Many legends surround why actors and patrons shouldn't mention the name of Shakespeare's Scottish play (Macbeth.. shh!) and one even suggests that witches cursed the play for eternity for revealing their secrets. Hubble, bubble, toil and trouble...

Carry a clover in Ireland
Carrying a shamrock in Ireland is believed to ward off evil spirits while a four-leaf clover is thought to offer even more magical protection. The different leaves of the clover symbolise love, luck, faith and hope.

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Bizarre superstitions across the world
These forts, built in the Thames Estuary during the Second World War to defend the North Sea, now sit abandoned. The forts are now an eerie and very real reminder of a time gone by.

This beautiful, yet bizarre, palatial mansion consists of a confusing maze of corridors, rooms and staircases that lead to nowhere. Sarah Winchester was obsessive with the building plans that carried on until the day she died. It's thought the fearful widow was trying to ward of evil spirits with the perplexing layout of this stunning Victorian house. 

In accordance with Jewish tradition, graves cannot be destroyed. So, when graveyards became full they would renew the soil on the ground and place the old tombstones on the new layers of soil. This means that at this graveyard in Prague there are currently 12 layers of graves, 12,000 visible tombstones and there have been as many as 100,000 burials in the graveyard in total. 
This 'enchanted forest' can be found near Gatesville, North Carolina and covers 3,250 acres of land which includes a 700 acre millpond and spooky Lassiter swamp. 
The sprawling Aokigahara Forest at the base of Mount Fuji is a popular destination for suicides. Bones and old camping equipment apparently litter the area. In attempt to dissuade people from taking their own lives, signs in the forest read: "Your life is a precious gift from your parents. Once again, try to remember your parents, brothers and sisters and think about your children."
The Body Farm is a human-made place of terror at the University of Tennessee's Forensic Anthropology Center. Dead bodies are taken here for experts to recreate murder scenes to try and gain an insight into how the crimes took place. Many people also willingly donate their bodies for the research that takes place on site. 
Also known as the 'Fire Mummies of the Philippines', the Ibaloi Mummies can be found along the mountains in Kabayan. They are thought to be as old as 2000BC and the site has been listed as one of the 100 most endangered sites in the world. 

Centralia is a ghost town in Columbia County, Pennsylvania, United States. Its population has dwindled from over 1,000 residents in 1981 to 12 in 2005, 9 in 2007, and 10 in 2010. There has been a coal seam fire burning under the area since 1962. Residents left the town in fear of carbon monoxide poisoning and many of the abandoned homes in the area have been destroyed.

For almost 30 years the attractions and amusements at Pripyat have been left without visitors thanks to the catastrophic nuclear disaster at nearby Chernobyl. The park due to be opened on May 1, just five days after the terrifying disaster and the park now contains some of the highest levels of radiation in the whole of Pripyat.

In 1911, Robert Scott and his team were trying to reach the South Pole. They set out from this hut, but were beaten to the pole by another team. Sadly Scott and his crew met their end trying to get back. The cold has perfectly preserved his hut and everything in it.

One of the world's creepiest and most terrifying tourist attractions, the origins of this place lie in tragedy. The story goes that 50 years ago, the island's only inhabitant found the body of a dead child in the canal here. To ward off evil spirits and to appease her tortured soul, he hung the doll in a tree. However, he remained troubled and soon began hanging more dolls until eventually the whole island was covered in them.

Hashima island lies 15km off the coast of Nagasaki in the south of Japan. The area was formerly known for its undersea coal mines which opened in 1887 and were then closed in 1974. The population of the island left soon after this and the abandoned buildings have since fallen into disrepair

The Sedlec Ossuary is also know as the 'Bone Church' and is a small Roman Catholic Church that can be found under the Cemetery Church of All Saints. The church contains the bones of  between 40,000 and 70,000 people - some of which have been arranged artistically to create unsettling decorations for the chapel. 
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