Tuesday, 10 May 2011

How superstitious are you?

Probably NOT witch marks, more like a builder's "aide memoire" a couple of hundred years back.

Above: possible "Witch marks" on one of the beams in a spare bedroom. We have them on other beams too . . . and in this case they are almost certainly witch marks - the cross-hatching is especially associated with ritual marks.

This was meant to be the post about my visit to Thomas Hardy's cottage, but I have an attack of Drowsyitis and just want to zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

So instead, I shall ask you - just HOW superstitious are you? I am dreadful and I never:

1. Tread on cracks in the pavement.
2. Cross knives.
3. Open an umberella indoors - let alone put it over my head!
4. Bring May blossom indoors.
5. I go ballistic if someone puts their new shoes on the table.
6. If anyone spills salt, I throw a pinch (for the devil) over my left shoulder.
7. If I see a Magpie, I cross my fingers until I see a 4 legged animal (this is sometimes not carried out if I am driving though . . .)
8. I try not to look at a new moon through glass.
9. I am worried as we have broken two mirrors this year, and my eldest daughter, one . . .
10. I'm none too happy if a bird flies into the house (harbinger of death . . . having said that, normally the bird's around here, because the cats always notice it.)
11. If my left hand itches, then I'll be paying out money . . .
12. I always try to avoid walking under a ladder.
13. We'll avoid this number shall we?
14. I always touch wood and whistle to avoid alerting the fates!
15. I often cross my fingers and hope!

In the past, people living in our house were very superstitious, and placed these objects over doorways (to keep witches out and keep themselves safe from harm). The skull is that of a cat, the rat is mummified and the child's boot looks like the rat had a meal from it before it died!

I would love to know what YOU are superstitious about and to hear from people who read this and are amongst those who NEVER COMMENT!!! You know who you are (perhaps I will have to cast a spell to find out . . .)


  1. I don't step on cracks, I throw salt over my right shoulder if I spill it (this one always worries me and I don't know why), if your left hand itches you're going to get money, if your nose itches you're going to kiss a fool, I never open an umbrella in the house, I must cook black eyed peas on New Year's Day.

  2. How interesting I find this! I never heard of witch's marks! I must say, I'm not very superstitious, but I do knock on wood from time to time!

  3. There is a wealth of character in your home, mine is nothing like as old, but some interesting things written on the walls under the wall paper.
    I am only superstitious about one thing. My husband travels away from home a lot with business and sends me texts to let me know how he is. I never delete a single one until he is safely back home again.
    I have no idea why I do this or how it started!

  4. How incredible it must be to live in a home such as yours, with its fascinating historical tales just waiting to be discovered. :-)

  5. I think I can lay my superstitions clearly at the feet of my mum, who taught them all to me!

    Mac n'Janet - your left-handed superstitions are right-handed ones over here!!

    Vickie - I did a post a while back on such things. I will have to look for it and give it another airing.

    Kath - ah, but you are living where you WANT to be, now, and what a view you have!

    DD - it IS a lovely old house and it still has a few secrets yet I reckon.

  6. I'm slightly superstitious - salt, umbrellas, shoes on the table and seeing the new moon through glass are the ones I always do (or don't do!) the necessary action for. I don't like picking up my own glove if I drop it either. Mine all came from my mum too:)

  7. I do most of the things in your list BB and they are from either my Mum or from one or other of the Grannies.

    Another one, definitely from Mum, is that visitors should leave the house through the door they came in. My sons think I am bonkers when I insist on that one!

  8. Oh my goodness! Being superstitious like that is
    just too much effort. I'm not at all superstitious and that relieves a lot of stress.

  9. I wasn't brought up in an atmosphere that passed along superstitions. The one practice that I've acquired is that of not seeing a departing loved one "out of sight"---I turn away while their vehicle is still visible.
    Who knows why I do that?

  10. Where are these beam marks please?

  11. I have pictures of some of these marks on the beams of a very old pub (the three stags heads, Wardlow Mires, Derbyshire), and also pictures of 'gifts' (cigarettes and a childs shoe) which were left under the stairs to ward off evil spirits. If you want to see the pictures, email me; lessingleton@hotmail.com