4) Salt Over Your Shoulder

Spilling salt is bad luck because it is a precious commodity and as such should not be used carelessly. The tossing of salt over your left shoulder is thought to keep the devil from whispering your left ear. The importance of salt can be traced back for many centuries, and it where were get the word “salary” since Roman soldiers were paid partially in salt.

Via/ Flickr

3) Dead Man’s Hand

Wild Bill Hickock was shot during a game of poker in 1876 and the hand he was holding is now considered the Dead Man’s Hand, unlucky. The modern supposition is that 8s and Aces of clubs and spades and an unknown fifth card make up the hand. But, there have also been other hands speculated as the unlucky combination over the years.

Via/ Wiki Commons

2) Don’t Walk Under a Ladder

Some folklore holds that to walk under a ladder breaks the triangle that symbolizes the Holy Trinity. Other traditions hold that, since a ladder resembles the gallows, walking under one brings bad luck on yourself. Spitting on your shoe, walking backwards out from under it while saying a wish, or crossing your fingers are supposedly ways to “undo” walking under a ladder.

Via/ Flickr

1) 7 Years Bad Luck

We all know the old saying that if you break a mirror then you’ll have 7 years bad luck. Ancient Greek divination used mirrors in water to determine if someone would have enduring health or befall an illness. If the reflection was murky or broken, then it was a bad sign. Believing in cycles of 7 years, it makes sense that they though that 7 years bad luck or ill health was the natural consequence.

Via/ Library of Congress

They’ve been around for hundreds, sometimes thousands of years so far and whether you believe them or not, there’s no sign that these popular superstitions will be going away anytime soon. To learn more about where our sayings come from click here.