12 Local Superstitions From Countries People Have Visited Around the World

Superstitions present a peculiar phenomenon within the human psyche. What appears irrational to one individual is deeply rooted within the culture of another. People shared their encounters with bizarre superstitions in different countries, and here are the twelve most fascinating ones.

1. Germany

Berlin, Germany
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One person stated, “Locals believe that if someone dies, his spirit remains around for about 30 days, and on the thirtieth day, you can almost feel the spirit’s presence and sometimes talk to him. After that, he leaves, never to return.” Several Germans commented on this, saying they’d never heard of this superstition, so perhaps this was a personal belief of the person telling the story.

2. Cambodia

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There was a long list of superstitions associated with this Asian country, so here are just a few: “During Covid, scarecrows appeared all over the countryside called Ting Mung to scare off the spirit of Covid.

They were often armed with fake guns, face masks, hand-wash, or even bottles of Corona beer.” Another person said, “The stairs in the school I worked at had inconsistent heights. I mentioned it to a local coworker, who told me it was to confuse ghosts so that they couldn’t make it up the stairs.”

3. Thailand

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According to a local: “In Thailand, there are generally two’ spirit homes’ outside houses. One is for your ancestors, so your (great)grandparents can live there with your family. The other is for the nature spirits who lived on the land before your built your house.

You’ve cut down their trees and cleared the land for your place, so you need to make them a beautiful little home so they aren’t upset. Both need to be fed by regularly offering them fruit and water to keep them happy. If they aren’t, they’ll bring bad luck and sickness to your home.”

4. Taiwan

New Remove BG Save Share Sample Aerial panorama of Downtown Taipei, capital city of Taiwan
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One traveler said that Taiwan had a similar superstition to Thailand, where they brought food gifts to appease the spirits of deceased relatives. While this is done often, it’s not as regular as the Thailand equivalent.

5. Brazil

Octavio Frias de Oliveira Bridge in Sao Paulo Brazil South America
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Someone suggested that most of this South American country’s superstitions derived from health-related concerns. “If the high or low from one day to the next differs by more than 5 or 6 degrees, people think it will cause illness.

Parts of the country have a dry season; if the humidity gets less than 30%, people say it will cause illness. If you walk around the house barefoot, you’ll get sick. If you shower and go outside after that you should wear a jacket or you’ll get sick. “

6. Mexico

Playa Beach, Mexico
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People said that Mexico had similar superstitions to Brazil. “Walking on the floor with bare feet will make you sick,” said one person. Have you heard that one before?

7. Sri Lanka

Sigiriya Lion's Rock of Fortress in the middle of the forest in Sri Lanka island
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Are you a believer in astronomy and the stars? “You’re not marrying unless your partner’s horoscope matches yours in like 20 categories.”

8. Philippines

Palawan, Philippines
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A few superstitions from a local included: “Whenever you visit someone’s house, you knock on their gate or door and shout ‘tao po!’ Until someone comes out. We do that to make sure that there are humans inside the house,” also, “During a wake for a dead person, there should always be someone guarding the coffin in case an “aswang” comes by to eat their flesh and essence.”

9. China

Forbidden city in Beijing from above
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The number four is considered unlucky and has the name — Tetraphobia. You will often see elevators missing the fourth floor, and “Some parking spaces will go 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8.”

10. India

Wide panoramic sweep and bird's eyeview of Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus and surrounding heritage precinct in South Mumbai with statue of Dadabhai Naoroji in the foreground
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This is another country with a long list of superstitions. One person included, “Seeing a broomstick in the morning yields bad fortune” and “Three people shouldn’t go out together at the same time for something important.”

11. USA

Downtown Greenville, South Carolina, USA.
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While most people will tell you they don’t believe in superstitions, many are aware of them and will avoid things like walking under ladders and breaking mirrors because of the concept that you might get seven years of bad luck. These Western superstitions are common in most English-speaking countries. “I tell you, I’m really hesitant to walk under a ladder, not for superstitious reasons,” says one poster.

12. Turkey

woman looking at hot air balloons in Cappadocia Turkey
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In Turkey, they believe that whistling at night will encourage the devil or demons. This belief is held in several Arabic countries. 

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