Author Archives: Madeleine D’Este

Sky Goddesses, Spring Mechanisms, or Sprites: Why Is it Bad Luck to Open an Umbrella Inside?

Madeline D'Este explores the possible origins behind the common belief that the act of opening an umbrella indoors invites bad luck.

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Origins of Breaking the Wishbone: Horseshoes, Groins and Chicken Ouija Boards

‘Breaking the wishbone’ is a tradition around the world in the days after a Sunday roast, Thanksgiving or Christmas.

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Seven Years Bad Luck? – Reflections, Romans, and Reckless Servants

Bad luck from breaking a mirror has a long history, and the ominous associations are pervasive around the world.

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The Origins of ‘Touch Wood’: Tree Spirits, The True Cross, or Tag?

The superstition of 'touch wood', or 'knock on wood' is still common today, but what was its original source? Madeleine D'Este explores some possibilities.

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Bad Luck comes in Threes: Matches, Murderers or Mathematics

One installment in a series of common superstitions in the English speaking world: ‘Bad luck comes in threes.’

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The Bunyip: Australia’s Mysterious Man-eating Swamp Beast

Folklore is filled with tales of man-eating beasties and Australia is no exception, home to the dreaded Bunyip.

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