Almost Halloween: Superstitions About Death and Dying

If a dead person’s eyes are left open, he’ll find someone to take with him.

If you touch a loved one who has died, you won’t have dreams about them.

If you see a spider on Halloween, it could be the spirit of a dead loved one watching you.

An ancient myth our ancestors believed was that the image in a mirror is our actual soul. A broken mirror represented the soul being astray from your body. To break the spell of misfortune, you must wait seven hours (one for each year of bad luck) before picking up the broken pieces, and bury them outside in the moonlight.

The use of tombstones may go back to the belief that ghosts could be weighed down.

Mazes found at the entrance to many ancient tombs are thought to have been constructed to keep the deceased from returning to the world as a spirit, since it was believed that ghosts could only travel in a straight line.

Some people believed that the soul remained with the body 24 hours after death. Members of the family, or friends of the deceased, often chose to “sit up” with the body. This kept the soul company and prevented it from being whisked away by the devil.

Hearing a hen crow means death, unless you kill the hen. (Guess it means death either way!)

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