Good Luck Superstitions and Old Wives' Tales

January 21, 2020
Household Folklore

There are many superstitions for “good luck” around the home. Many of these would be called “Old Wives’ tales.” Let’s have fun exploring these age-old sayings.

Even though the majority of us say that we are not superstitious, we avoid walking under ladders and practicing other superstituous behavior! Is it just tradition, or is there something to some of these old wives’ tales?

Below are 11 sayings for good luck in your home come from The Old Farmer’s Almanac folklore archives

  1. Scatter Solomon’s seal on the floor to banish serpents and venomous creatures from the room.
  2. To protect your house from lightning, gather hazel tree branches on Palm Sunday and keep them in water.
  3. Add caraway seeds to chicken feed to keep poultry from wandering. Feed the seeds to homing pigeons to help them find their way back.
  4. Stuff fennel in your keyhole or hang it over your door to protect against evil spirits. (Of course, we now know fennel has many natural remedy benefits to help keep us healthy!)
  5. Never carry a hoe into the house. If you do so by mistake, carry it out again, walking backward to avoid bad luck.
  6. Never walk under a ladder, which is Satan’s territory. If you must do it, cross your fingers or make the sign of the fig (closed fist, with thumb between index and middle fingers).
  7. If you give a steel blade to a friend, make the recipient pay you a penny to avoid cutting the friendship.
  8. Never give a knife as a housewarming present, or your new neighbor will become an enemy.
  9. Never pound a nail after sundown, or you will wake the tree gods.
  10. Nail an evergreen branch to new rafters to bring good luck. An empty hornets’ nest, hung high, also will bring good luck to a house of any age.
  11. When you move to a new house, always enter first with a loaf of bread and a new broom. Never bring an old broom into the house.

Enjoy folklore? Read all about herbs and folklore—and their many uses around the home!

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Knife Superstitions

My family always gives a penny along with any and all knives because It "protects" the recipient from hurting themselves with them. I can't tell you all the different superstitions that I heard as a kid, but they were considered more like "rules". I live in Alabama (born and raised), ALL of grandparents and great-grandparents we superstitious, but my Grandpa "Papa" (on my momma's side) was by far the most superstitious. It seemed like he had one for every situation. I remember that he wouldn't allow playing cards in the house because they were the "devil's toy". I wish I could remember all of them, but I'm pretty sure that would be impossible. Here are a couple that really stuck with me and bring back wonderful memories!

The one that my family (generations before and after mine) will, under NO circumstances, step on a grave!! It's considered EXTREMELY disrespectful and I try very hard to abide by it (I realize that it's not always avoidable especially in very old cemeteries)..

* Dreaming of a white horse is a sign/warning of death (don't remember who).

* NEVER make (or let) an empty rocking chair rock.

*If you receive a plant (flowers, shrubs, bushes, etc.) as a gift - DON'T say "Thank you", if you do the plant will die. You can say "I appreciate it" or "I'm so grateful" or whatever - just don't say "Thank you".

I could go on for days...... If you took the time to read this, Thanks! Y'all have a blessed day and stay safe!


I have always heard that you

I have always heard that you should sweep new money in the largest denomination that you can get into a new home with a new broom to guarantee prosperity.

You should always sweep inward and never outward over the threshold. You end up sweeping the luck out.

Brooms should always be stored with the bristles up to keep the luck from running out.

A fork jabbed into the broom's bristles crosswise and placed in a prominent place would get rid of an unwelcome guest.

need a good day for kitchen

We are planning to put a separate kitchen in the same old house. Before we are with joint family. Due to some issues we creating this. So pls help us on this. Shall I put this may month but kathiri is in. What can I do.....

Do not sweep the floor by

Do not sweep the floor by night because good luck will go away from your house.

What is the best date to

What is the best date to construct a house for this month of may 2015?

See our best days timetable

The Editors's picture

See our best days timetable for best days to set posts or pour concrete:

what about taking new box of

what about taking new box of salt to your new home Superstitions has anyone heard of this ?

Yes a new broom To sweep out

Yes a new broom To sweep out the old, sugar for a sweet home, a box of salt for the tears, a bread so there will always be food, a candle so there will always be light.

im moving on our new

im moving on our new apartment on aug 15, 2014 is this a good day.

we are planning to transfer

we are planning to transfer to our new house on October, what is the best date to move house for this month?

The best days for moving

The Editors's picture

The best days for moving house are: September 1, 6, 7, 12, 13, 19, 20, 21, 27, and 28.

When is the best date to move

When is the best date to move in to a new house this june or july? Should we move-in with the moon rising or can we still move-in when the moon is already waning?

Does any one know the rhymes

Does any one know the rhymes for the days of the week when moving house, I used to get told that a Friday flit meant a short sit but I can not remember the other days of the week? Please can you help? Thank you

There is a thing about the

There is a thing about the days of the week in the Little House Books when it gets to where Laura and Almonzo with their daughter Rose are living in the Ozarks--the guy that works for them, his wife tells Rose--it has stuff like sneeze on Monday, and it tells what happens. Is that what you are looking for? Seems like somewhere in the Little House books where Laura is growing up, they have one that says what chores are for what days of the week, like wash on Monday, iron on Tuesday, etc. Email me, and let me know. I have those books and will try to look that up.

What's the old story about

What's the old story about why the mother used a certain size pan, so the son used the same size not knowing why. Help

The story I know is of a

The story I know is of a daughter who was roasting a turkey and her mother used to slice a big bit off before roasting. When asked, mother said it was tradition and HER mother used to always do it. Thankfully, the grandmother was still alive. Her reason: she never had a pan big enough!

love this article, keep up

love this article, keep up the great content! :)

we are planning to build a

we are planning to build a house.when is the best time to start the construction?

See our best days timetable

The Editors's picture

See our best days timetable for best days to set posts or pour concrete:

I rescued a small cast iron

I rescued a small cast iron frypan from a thrift store. The only problem is the handle is made of wood. Any idea how to season it properly without burning off the handle?

This pan is not meant to be

The Editors's picture

This pan is not meant to be in the oven. Stove top only. You can try to season it with some oil on a hot burner. Do it several times. Cool and wipe off the extra oil in between. And start using the pan to cook bacon and frying with butter. It will get seasoned as you start using it.

Wash it very good at first

Wash it very good at first and then put a thin layer of vegetable oil in the pan with a paper towel, wipe exess off with a clean paper towel.

the handle can be removed.

the handle can be removed. The ring at the end of the handle is actually the eye of a long bolt. turn it counter clock wise and remove it. The wood handle comes off easily. Clean and season your pan as you see fit and replace the handle and rod. good luck and happy cooking! :)

about cast iron pan's,,,,how

about cast iron pan's,,,,how can i clean off the build up from bottom of pan's i love my cast irons use them for everything , i just cant find a way to get the build up off...plz help :(

The way you "season" a new

The way you "season" a new cast iron pan, can also be used to get build-up off. Take a linen towel, add a few tablespoons of salt, and twist it into a ball. Lightly moisten the ball, and rub the built-up area. You can adjust how much salt to use, and how moist the ball should be. I hope this helps you... :)

Some people recommend using a

Some people recommend using a mild white vinegar-water solution (one part vinegar, five parts water) and to soak the piece for several hours.

"The problem will be a change in the patina of the piece, and only cooking over time will restore the dark, rich color," Nance said. "Cast iron is hard to restore after you use vinegar."

Another method is to spray the grease with household ammonia and place the pan in a zipper-style bag for several days. This might loosen the buildup enough for you to wash it off. A self-cleaning oven might do the trick, but you'll have a house full of smoke. Dealers use electrolysis to break down the buildup with a mild electric charge.

Once the buildup is removed, the next step is cleaning and restoring. Wash the stripped cast iron in hot sudsy water with a scrubber or steel-wool soap pads. Continue to wash until the soap runs clear, with no discoloration from carbon or rust. Dry thoroughly and place in a 180-degree oven for a few minutes to remove all moisture.

Buff the implement using a drill and a very fine wire brush to remove any residue that's left; then rewash the item in hot sudsy water and dry immediately.

"Do not ever let cast iron dry in a drain rack," Nance cautions. Place in the oven at 180 to 200 degrees, and when the cast iron is at 180 degrees, spray it with oil or wipe with cooking oil. Return to the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Wipe off the excess oil while it is still warm.

Then make some corn bread.

Read more:

Also check out:

and this:

Vinegar is used at times to clean and scrub cast iron. But remember that vinegar will make the pan/pot turn copper/orange colored and it will take numerous uses and cleanings before it returns to its original color.

Bonnie N.

The best and quickest way is

The best and quickest way is to place it on a hot BBQ grill or open camp fire and burn it off. It will come out as clean as a pin. Then re-season and start cooking. I put mine in the brush pile when burning limbs etc. You can't get it to hot but let it cool slowly. I put a piece of wire on mine to pull it out of the fire. Good luck.

I use borax (20 mule team

I use borax (20 mule team borax) I love the stuff and it works amazingly. Just lightly sprinkle the bottom of the pan with it and wet it slightly. Let it sit a few minutes and the wipe clean. You may have to do it twice depending on how bad the pan is. You can also cover it with salt and heat it up and try that, but I find the borax works better. Remember to season your pan afterwards!

Check out,it will

Check out,it will walk you through a process of cleaning your cast iron pan and if your handle is wood does it have a way to remove it ? Or I wood never it with tin foil.I hope this helps.

Here are some things my

Here are some things my mother used to tell us kids.Give someone a penny for every wart they have and they will go away.
Bury your baby's navel cord in the garden and you will always have plenty to eat.
Make a necklace out of a dime and some yarn and let your baby wear it and your baby will not have teething problems.
My Mother in law said when a baby is born to get a fresh egg and write the baby's name and birthday on it and put it up somewhere and the baby will not have teething problems.
There are a lot more,I forgot most of them.