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Victorian Death Superstitions
- If the deceased has lived a good life, flowers would bloom on his grave; but if he has been evil, only weeds would grow.
- If several deaths occur in the same family, tie a black ribbon to everything left alive that enters the house, even dogs and chickens. This will protect against deaths spreading further.
- Never wear anything new to a funeral, especially shoes.
- You should always cover your mouth while yawning so your spirit doesn’t leave you and the devil never enters your body.
- It is bad luck to meet a funeral procession head on. If you see one approaching, turn around. If this is unavoidable, hold on to a button until the funeral cortege passes.
- Large drops of rain warn that there has just been a death.
- Stop the clock in a death room or you will have bad luck.
- To lock the door of your home after a funeral procession has left the house is bad luck.
- If rain falls on a funeral procession, the deceased will go to heaven.
- If you hear a clap of thunder following a burial it indicates that the soul of the departed has reached heaven.
- If you hear 3 knocks and no one is there, it usually means someone close to you has died. The superstitious call this the 3 knocks of death.
- If you leave something that belongs to you to the deceased, that means the person will come back to get you.
- If a firefly/lightning bug gets into your house someone will soon die.
- If you smell roses when none are around someone is going to die.
- If you don’t hold your breath while going by a graveyard you will not be buried.
- If you see yourself in a dream, your death will follow.
- If you see an owl in the daytime, there will be a death.
- If you dream about a birth, someone you know will die.
- If it rains in an open grave then someone in the family will die within the year.
- If a bird pecks on your window or crashes into one that there has been a death.
- If a sparrow lands on a piano, someone in the home will die.
- If a picture falls off the wall, there will be a death of someone you know.
- If you spill salt, throw a pinch of the split salt over your shoulder to prevent death.
- Never speak ill of the dead because they will come back to haunt you or you will suffer misfortune.
- Two deaths in the family means that a third is sure to follow.
- The cry of a curlew or the hoot of an owl foretells a death.
- A single snowdrop growing in the garden foretells a death.
- Having only red and white flowers together in a vase (especially in hospital) means a death will soon follow.
- Dropping an umbrella on the floor or opening one in the house means that there will be a murder in the house.
- A diamond-shaped fold in clean linen portends death.
- A dog howling at night when someone in the house is sick is a bad omen. It can be reversed by reaching under the bed and turning over a shoe.
Death and Mirrors
This is part of a very old superstition. I recently heard about this after watching a paranormal show called Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files. Where they mentioned about this because people has claimed to see the reflection of two children in the mirror because they failed to do this. Also was told by my grandma many years ago that mirrors should never be placed where they face the bed because when your soul awakens while you see and it sees itself in the mirror and jumps back inside of you causing you to wake up suddenly.
The Victorians had a lot superstitions associated with death. When there was a death and a corpse in the house you had to cover all the mirrors in black fabric, it was believed that mirrors reflected your soul and at death the soul of the loved one was near so many ominous things could happen:
• To see your reflection in a mirror is to see your own soul, (which is why a vampire, who is without a soul, have no reflection.)
• If a couple first catch sight of each other in a mirror, they will have a happy marriage.
• Any mirrors in a room where someone has recently died, must be covered in black fabric so that the dead person’s soul does not get trapped behind the glass.
• Superstition has it that the Devil invented mirrors for this very purpose.
• It is bad luck to see your face in a mirror when sitting by candlelight.
• Before mirrors, in ancient societies, if you caught sight of your reflection or dreamed of it, you would soon die.
• Someone seeing their reflection in a room where someone has recently died, will soon die themselves.
So watch out the next time you are being so vain, you never know what might be trapped on the other side of that mirror.