superstitions old wives tales house home | The Old Farmer's Almanac

Good Luck Superstitions and Old Wives' Tales

Primary Image
No content available.
The Editors
Print Friendly and PDF

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!

2023 Almanac Club