superstition

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Friday the 13th, Full Moon Unite

First honey moon in almost 100 years spotted this morning

(Newser) - If the fact that it's Friday the 13th has you shaking in your boots, we hope you didn't look out your window early this morning. For the first time in nearly 100 years, what's known as a "honey moon" or "strawberry moon" coincided with the... More »

Police: Man Holds Breath, Causes 3-Car Crash

Daniel Calhon allegedly passed out in tunnel near Portland

(Newser) - A 19-year-old man caused a three-car crash when he fainted while holding his breath as he drove through a tunnel northwest of Portland, Oregon State police said. Daniel Calhon, of Snohomish, Washington, told investigators he fainted yesterday afternoon while holding his breath in the Highway 26 tunnel near the community... More »

It's Friday the 13th: Would You Take Flight 666 to HEL?

The Finnair flight is actually almost full

(Newser) - Would you board flight 666 to HEL on Friday the 13th? For superstitious travelers, that might be tempting fate. But Finnair passengers on AY666 to Helsinki—which has the 3-letter designation HEL—don't seem too bothered. Today's flight is almost full. "It has been quite a joke... More »

Canada Town Bans 'Unlucky' 4 From Addresses

Number sounds like 'death' in Cantonese, Mandarin

(Newser) - A Toronto suburb that has long catered to the superstitious by skipping 13 when giving out new addresses has decided to do away with the number four as well. Four is considered unlucky by speakers of Cantonese and Mandarin because it sounds like the word "death," and while... More »

Superstitious? Here Comes Whole Year Ending in 13

Fear of the number may date back to Jesus Christ

(Newser) - Now that the Mayan apocalypse didn't happen, has anyone noticed another harbinger of bad news—an entire year ending in the number "13"? The Wall Street Journal finds little evidence of Americans fretting, and takes a lighthearted stroll through the history of the superstition. Some say that... More »

Should We Really Fear Friday the 13th?

Some studies say so

(Newser) - Good news for those with paraskevidekatriaphobia: It's the last Friday the 13th of the year, and if you learn to say that word—meaning fear of Friday the 13th—you'll get rid of your fear, according to a superstition relayed by NPR . But is there any truth behind... More »

S. Korea Busts Smuggled Pills—Made of Baby Flesh

Some believe substance to be cure-all

(Newser) - South Korean customs authorities have made a highly disturbing find: Thousands of capsules made of powdered baby flesh, believed by some to have healing powers. Smugglers have attempted to get nearly 17,500 such capsules into the country since August, officials say. Made in northeastern China, the pills contain diced... More »

Did Texas Baseball Players Kill Chickens to Win Game?

An alleged tale of superstitions gone wrong

(Newser) - The Western Hills High baseball team wasn’t doing so well—so, allegedly, two of its players sacrificed chickens on the field in an effort to improve the team’s performance. The bizarre ritual was referenced in Major League, although in that movie, the struggling player sacrificed a bucket of... More »

Lucky Charms Really Work

Study shows they can affect performance

(Newser) - Wearing your "lucky underwear" to every big meeting may mean you're a little weird—but not crazy. A new study shows that believing in good luck can actually have an impact on performance. Researchers told a group of putters that they were playing with a "lucky ball"—... More »

In Pennsylvania Lottery, 7s Are Really Wild

3,107 winning tickets force lottery to pay $7.2M above drawing revenue

(Newser) - Lucky sevens abounded in Pennsylvania Wednesday night as 3,107 tickets won a total of $7.77 million in the state lottery’s Big 4 drawing when the winning numbers came up 7-7-7-7. Quadruple-number hits are rare, as evidenced by the fact the lottery will lose about $7.2 million... More »

Japanese Fear Oarfish Sightings Are Quake Omen

Superstitious worry as deep-sea dweller begins surfacing

(Newser) - Dozens of sightings of a very rarely seen fish have raised Japanese fears that their country may be the next one rocked by a major quake. The appearance of oarfish—which can grow to up to 16 feet long and frequent depths of up to 3,300 feet—is considered... More »

If Yanks Win, Thank Kate, Blame Macy's

Omens abound in countdown to Game 5

(Newser) - With the Yankees sitting on a 3-1 lead heading into tonight's World Series Game 5, there's already plenty of credit and blame to go around. Should New York defeat the Phillies, give a cheer for actress and Alex Rodriguez galpal Kate Hudson, David Wells writes for the New York Post.... More »

In Picking Tennis Balls, Junk Science Meets OCD

(Newser) - The meticulous attention a pro tennis player gives to choosing balls ahead of a serve is a little bit of science with a healthy dose of superstition—or even stalling. Players say balls that have seen more play are fluffier and therefore have more drag, though the consensus is that... More »

India Cowers Ahead of Total Solar Eclipse

(Newser) - Wednesday’s total solar eclipse is eliciting fear and speculation across the Indian subcontinent, AFP reports. A New Delhi gynecologist says caesarian sections scheduled for the day of the eclipse have been canceled. “This is a belief deeply rooted in Indian society,” he said. “Couples are willing... More »

Saudi Family Charges Genie With Harassment

(Newser) - A Saudi Arabian family has taken a genie to court and charged it with harassment and theft, the BBC reports. Family members say they were forced to abandon their home near Medina after the spirit made strange noises, threatened them, and stole their cell phones. A local court is looking... More »

'Vampire' Unearthed in Venice

Gravediggers took steps to stop corpse feasting on other plague victims

(Newser) - Italian archeologists have discovered evidence of an ancient vampire-slaying ritual in a 16th-century plague pit near Venice, the AP reports. A female skeleton was unearthed with a brick wedged between her jaws, in what experts believe was an attempt by superstitious gravediggers to stop the corpse from eating through its... More »

World's Oddest New Year Rituals

Grapes, bonfires, effigies are some nations' traditions for a lucky 2009

(Newser) - While much of the world indulges in the traditional New Year's Eve fare of glittery balls and fireworks, other countries have more unusual ways of shepherding in the next year, reports Travel and Leisure. For example: 
  • Spain: Gobbling a grape for each clock stroke is considered a fruity down
... More »

Lack of Control Breeds Superstition

(Newser) - Superstitions and conspiracy theories all boil down to control issues, a new study says. When subjects in a University of Texas test were made to feel out of control, they saw more patterns that did not exist—whether images in a fuzzy picture or links between unconnected actions. Which is... More »

Brit Brides Cheer Chimney Sweep Boom

English cleaning out their fireplaces as heating costs rise

(Newser) - High energy costs in the UK are proving to be a boon for chimney sweeps, Reuters reports. A national group says they’re getting a bigger than usual rush of fall business as homeowners look to their fireplaces as an inexpensive way to keep warm. That means more chimney sweeps... More »

Pre-Olympics Eclipse May Give Chinese Jitters

A solar eclipse shortly before the Olympics won't bring doom, 'experts' say

(Newser) - Eager to shake its reputation for being superstitious, China will be downplaying a total solar eclipse—once seen as a portent of disaster—Aug. 1, a week before the Beijing Olympics, AFP reports. Feng shui and astrology experts are predicting that the eclipse, visible in China but not Beijing, will... More »

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