Next month, the 13th falls on a Friday! Often thought to be unlucky, we thought we’d have a look at some of the other most pervasive superstitions… and a couple you might not have heard of before!
Opening an umbrella indoors
Although we all get out our umbrellas when it’s raining, they can also protect us from the sun too, and in fact the name is derived from the Latin word umbra which means shade!
You might think that umbrellas are a modern invention, but actually they’re an ancient concept, and this superstition has been around for nearly as long. Dating back to ancient Egypt, opening an umbrella away from the sun’s rays was believed to be an insult to the sun god who might then punish the household where it was opened.
Although this superstition has changed in meaning over time, many people today still don’t like to open umbrellas indoors. This is likely due to the metaphorical association of bad luck raining down.
So, unless you want being awkwardly asked to put your umbrella down to be on your forecast, we suggest avoiding this one.
Walking under ladders
Get your pencils out. This superstition involves some mathematics believe it or not!
No more than simple geometry really, this long told avoidance stems from its triangular shape. The ground and wall function as the sides and the ladder becomes the connecting hypotenuse.
The origins of avoiding walking under a ladder began when the three sides to this shape were associated with the Holy Trinity. Walking under the ladder would break the triangle, therefore creating an imbalance in the sacred Trinity…
…and of course it’s just sage advice not to walk under something which might fall on you!
Eating blackberries after October 11th
Blackberries are out of season now so they may seem less desirable, but blackberries are known to be packed with brain-boosting antioxidants. They’d probably make a great pre-game snack!
According to a country tradition, the devil spits on blackberries on the night of October 11th and contaminates them. If you’re booking one of our escape games on Friday, the 13th next month, maybe just leave the berries out of the mix that day.
Counting your luck with ladybugs
Yes, you read that right. Ladybugs have a history of superstitions surrounding them, although in this case positive ones. Supposedly counting the dots on their backs will reveal the number of following months in which your luck will be fruitful! The feeling of delight in seeing a ladybug land on your hand might be attributed to the good luck which is associated with them.
Another reason for liking ladybugs is the work they do to protect farmers’ crops by eating aphids. So, save yourself the trouble, and save a few crops in the meantime, don’t kill ladybugs!
Using the number after 12
Possibly the most avoided superstition of all is what comes before 14. Countless architects, event planners and businesses actually avoid it altogether, so we won’t be taking any chances either by mentioning it here.
Some believe the concern stems from the number of guests at the Last Supper. Others say it was historically the number of steps leading to the gallows. Either way, it’s considered one of the most unlucky numbers in the world, and due to this (or maybe because of this), many people do claim to experience bad luck on Friday the 13th.
On the plus side though, the number after 12 represents the extra bread you get with a baker’s dozen, and you can take that to the bank!…. Or bakery.
We hope this list will serve you well on next month’s Friday, the 13th. Our escape room games are a great way to test your luck. If you’re up to the challenge, be sure to get your tickets for October’s Friday the 13th in Toronto as this day is sure to fill up fast!
Image credits: Miracle Garden, Dubai (2014), Visit for yourself if you’re ever in the area