Welcome to the first edition of Superstition Sunday at Soulless! There are a ton of superstitions from every culture around the world - and every other Sunday, we're going to share some of the fascinating ones, the weird ones, the deadly ones, and the more bizarre superstitions we can find! Each edition of our new feature will hold anywhere from three to five superstitions - some weeks they might share a theme, and some week they might just be a random assortment! But for today's edition, Superstition Sunday #1, it seems only fitting that all of our superstitions today revolve around good ol' Death! Let's jump right into it!
HOLD YOUR BREATH!
Probably one of the more popular superstitions regarding death is the idea that as you drive past a cemetery, you have to hold your breath! The rumor behind this one is that if you breathe as you pass the cemetery, you are welcoming a restless spirit back into the physical world. The spirit can possess your soul or even bring death upon you!
BEWARE THE FUNERAL PROCESSION!
It is incredibly bad luck to break or pass a funeral procession, as you're disrupting the delivery of the spirit to their final resting place (also, it's illegal in some states!). It is believed that in doing so, you are bringing death upon yourself. It is also very bad luck to see yourself in the reflection of the hearse, as you are now marking yourself as the next to die. Also, avoid bringing your baby around the funeral procession! Oh, and don't count the cars in the funeral procession either... by doing so you are counting down the days to your own demise!
COINS ON THE EYES!
There is an old ritual that became common where coins were placed over the eyes of the recently deceased. The coins were used to keep the eyes from opening up. If the eyes of the body were kept open, the soul of the deceased would see the next one that will be welcomed by death's embrace. The source of this practice apparently arose with the ancient Greeks, who believed that the dead would travel down to Hades and needed to pay the boat fare to get across the Styx river in order to get to the afterlife. The coins that the family placed on the eyes of the deceased would help the soul pay the fare to the boat driver, Charon.
DEATH IS TOTALLY THE BEES KNEES!
One of my favorite superstitions regarding death actually has to do with bees! When the head of the household passes on, you are supposed to go outside, find a beehive, and whisper to the bees about the death! It was believed that bees were the messengers of the gods, so after telling the bees about the death, the bees would go and inform the gods of the grim news.
And finally - you are always supposed to remove a body from the house it died in feet first. The practice came to fruition with the Victorian age - they believed that if you brought the dead body out of the house head first, the soul could look back at the people behind it and mark them as the next ones to die, or "follow" them.