People of one nation mock another nation for their superstitions and some people boast that they do not believe in any superstitions. However, despite their tall claims, people follow one or the other superstition and let us find out the world’s most shocking and scary superstitions. For some superstitions may be rational for others they may be irrational but superstitions are practiced across the world. Whether people believe in superstitions or not, knowing about them will scare everyone to the core.

Here are some most shocking and scary superstitions from across the world

1. The Number 13

Number 13 is considered unlucky by many people across the world. More than 10% of the people in the US consider number 13 the most unlucky one. If it happens to be Friday the 13th, then many in the US experience shivers. Some people believe that the superstition came into existence from the time when people started using the 12 months in a year and also in most of the measurements like 1 Foot having 12 inches. There is another saying that the superstition arose from the Lord’s Last Supper, where Judas Iscariot arrived as the 13th guest bringing the satan and evil with him.

In Spain, Tuesday The 13 scares people. Spaniards believe that Martes ie. Tuesday, actually comes from Mars (The God of war) bringing death, violence, and bloodshed with it. Incidentally Constantinople fell on a Tuesday and Ottoman Turks also took over during the Fourth Crusade on a Tuesday.

2. Breaking of a Mirror

Photo credits: Pexels

People believe that breaking of a mirror brings bad luck. Even though, practically it doesn’t turn true in most of the cases, yet people believe in this superstition. It is a common belief that when a mirror falls from a wall and breaks it brings in misfortune. Romans believe in it strongly as they have a superstition that mirrors shows the soul of a person. If the mirror breaks, it breaks the soul for seven years. Romans believe that souls renew every seven years and once a mirror breaks, the soul is sentenced to bad luck for seven years.

3. Corner Table

A person sitting at the corner table will not get married according to the people of Hungary and Russia. They also believe that it brings bad luck for the next seven years.

4. Placing the wallet/purse on the ground

Russian Beief: Woman sitting on cold ground turns them infertile (Photo by Ali Karimiboroujeni)

People in Philippines and also in Central and South America believe that placing a purse on the ground will bring bad luck financially. Russians too on something similar, believe that women sitting on cold ground will turn them infertile.

5. Toast with Water

Germans believe that to curse people with death, one can give them a toast with water. This superstition originates from Greek mythology where spirits of the dead drink from the river Lethe.

6. Whistles

Russians believe that whistling indoors will bring financial problems. Norwegians believe whistling looking at the sun will bring rain.

7.  Trimming/Cutting Nails

Japanese believe trimming nails especially at night will bring death. People of India, Korea, and Turkey believe cutting nails is an ill omen.

8. Blackbirds/cats

Scary Black Cat (Photo by David Bartus)

South Koreans see crows as messengers of death. Similarly people in Great Britain also believe that Ravens foretell death. There is a popular superstition in British that if six ravens are not present at the London Tower, then it will bring death to the crown. According to the people of Ireland and Scotland, a single magpie brings bad luck. A black cat passing the way brings bad luck. They are considered as incarnations of satan.

9. Evil Eyes

People believe that one should be careful about evil eyes. People across the world especially India, Turkey,  Greece, Egypt, Iran, Morocco, and Afghanistan believe in the evil eye and take care practicing various methods.

10. Werewolves from Argentina

Argentines believe that the seventh son turns werewolves. Two Russians who came as immigrants brought this superstition to Argentina.

11. Birds entering into the house

People believe that birds flying into a house will bring death. If a bird sits on a chair where a person usually sits, then that person will die. Mexican and Carribean people believe that black moths bring death.

12. Knocking of the wood

Clifton Campville Church Bells (Source:

Europeans believe that knocking the church bells made of wood will bring in good fortune. They believe that the wood used in constructing churches is made from the same genre as the holy cross. Turkish people are also seen knocking the wood twice while Latin Americans touch the wood with no legs. Similarly people of Poland and Russia touch wood that is unpainted.

13. Thumb turning in Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia located in Turkey that recently has been restored to a mosque was a popular museum. It originally used to be a mosque and a church. People strongly believe that the pain and headache of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I got actually cured after he touched the tomb and so they practice the same ritual. People place their thumbs in a column with holes to get good luck.

14. Throwing Salt

People believe that throwing salt over the shoulder will ward off the devil. This belief came from the Last Supper. Some believe that the salt should be thrown over the left shoulder.

15. Ladder

Walking under a ladder is considered an ill omen. According to Christianity, father, son, and spirit form, the sacred number 3 and this is in form of a ladder. Walking under the ladder will destroy the trinity’s sanctity. People of Egypt believe that climbing up and down the ladder may result in them seeing God accidentally and so they avoided using it.

16. Stepping on a crack

Africans and Europeans believe that stepping on a crack will signal a bad omen to family members. They also believe that walking on the crack sends an open invitation to the evil spirits to descend.

17. Chewing Gum

In a shocker, people of Turkey believe that chewing gum especially during the night will turn them into the flesh of the dead.

18. Number 4

Number 4 may be ordinary and means no harm to people across the world. However, for the Chinese, it signifies death. The pronunciation of the number 4 is a strict NO for the people of Chinese.

19. Presenting Yellow Flowers

Photo by Jos van Ouwerkerk from Pexels

Yellow flowers may look beautiful for all people. But for the people of Russia, they bring bad luck. Presenting yellow flowers according to Russians is symbolic of sadness, deceit that brings in separation, infidelity, break-up and even death. So never present yellow flowers to your date in Russia.

20 Itchy hand

People of Turkey believe itchy hand signifies various things. Itchy right hand brings money whereas itchy left-hand results in loss of money.

21. Owls

An Owl glides towards it’s prey (Photo credits: Pixabay)

People of Egypt believe that Owls bring in bad luck. It’s not only the Egyptians, but people from across the world believe that owls are a bad omen that eventually bring in bad luck.

22. Red Ink

Red ink may signify nothing for many. However, people of Japan believe writing a person’s name in red ink will shorten their life span.

23. Breathing and Cemetry

One may be surprised but will be shocked to know that people believe that while passing through a cemetery one should hold their breath. This is because if a person breathes while passing through a cemetery it will invite the evil spirits.

24. Singing while dining

People may believe that singing or humming is quite common while dining at a dining table. But before one thinks of enjoying such practice, they should know that people of Dutch believe that singing at the dining table will invite evil spirits. 

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