Friday, August 20, 2010

Cemetery Superstitions

If the deceased has lived a good life, flowers would bloom on his grave; but if he has been evil, only weeds will grow.

Never wear anything new to a funeral, especially shoes.

Large drops of rain warn that there has just been a death.

It is bad luck to meet a funeral procession head-on.  If you see one approaching, turn around.  If this is unavoidbale, hold onto a button until the funeral cortege passes.

If you see an owl in the daytime, there will be a death.

If it rains in an open grave then someone in the family will die within the year.

Having only red and white flowers together in a vase (especially in the hospital) means a death will follow soon.

A dog howling at night when someone in the house is sick is a bad omen.  It can be reversed by reaching under a bed and turning over a shoe.

It is bad luck for a pregnant women to visit a cemetery. 

A bird in the house is a sign of a death.

You must hold your breath while going past a cemetery or you will breathe in the spirit of someone who has recently died.

If a women is buried in black, she will return to haunt the family.

If a dead person's eyes are left open, he'll find someone to take with him.

If you dream of death it's a sign of birth, if you dream of birth, it's a sign of death.

If you touched a loved one who has died, you won't have dreams about them.

A person who dies at midnight on Christmas Eve will go straight to heaven because the gates of heaven are open at that time.

Funerals on Friday protend another death in the family during the year.

It's bad luck to count the cars in a funeral procession.

If three people are photographed together, the one in the middle will die first.

The hand of a deceased person could be the cure-all for all kinds of diseases.  Many times sick people were brought to a house where a corpse was laid out, so that the hand of the dead might be laid upon them. (An  Irish superstition)

If anyone stumbles inside a graveyard it is considered a bad omen.  If you fall and touch the ground you will most likely die by the end of the year. (An Irish superstitution)

Seeing a white chicken on your way to a funeral brings bad luck.

If you take three steps backward when leaving a loved one's grave, you will die within three months.

Standing water in a grave means the deceased will be a restless spirit.

Pall bearers should wear gloves when handling a casket to prevent the spirit of the deceased from entering their bodies through their bare hands.

Although the firing of guns at military funerals is seen as a sign of respect, this tradition may have its roots in the superstition that ringing bells and shooting guns work to scare away ghosts and spirits in the cemetery.

 - Facts from the Center For History, South Bend, Indiana. 


  1. Lisa, what a great post! Thanks! I'd laugh and then I'd find something that had been passed down through my family --- and sort of sheepishly laugh. Thanks again.

  2. These are quite interesting and funny! Good thing I don't believe too much in superstitions like this. Although it might be easy to just put a couple of shoes under the bed, look out for white chickens, always walk forward at the cemetery ... see, it's getting complicated already! Thanks!