The curious history behind common superstitions

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At some point in your life, a friend or close family member has told you not to step on the cracks for fear of breaking your mother’s back. You’ve probably thought twice before stepping under a ladder or putting your shoes on the table.

Whether you’re superstitious or think they’re a hoax, we’re willing to bet you’ll be fascinated to learn how some of these superstitions began and the history behind them.

As you read this list, you’ll start to notice patterns. A lot of them date back to ancient roman beliefs or fears rooted in Christianity. Regardless of their origin, we’re willing to bet you might smile the next time you see a penny or tip the saltshaker over.

A broken mirror

In Ancient Rome, it was believed that mirrors contained pieces of a person’s soul. A mirror breaking meant someone’s health, safety and well-being were in danger.

Interestingly, the Romans also believed that an individual’s soul was regenerated every seven years. This explains why any harm, ill, or misfortune brought by the broken mirror expires after seven trips around the sun.

Today, mirrors are often associated with spirits and negative energy. For those who believe, breaking a mirror could potentially release an evil entity into the human world.