Keep these items away from the home
Could something you’ve introduced into your home bring bad luck, relationship problems, or even death? Legends from around the world warn us to keep various unlucky items, from bugs to birds to inauspicious colors, out of our homes. Considering that many of these seemingly capricious prohibitions could be rooted in practical concerns, it probably still pays to avoid these 16 things superstitious folk never keep at home.
A Broken Clock
Beware of that antique clock that doesn’t work—if it suddenly chimes, it's said that death is near! Keeping broken things around is also considered bad feng shui, a sign that your home (and soul) has clutter that should be cleared.
In the old days, certain green paints could literally kill you. Paris green, as it was called, was used in everything from textiles to children's toys to paint and wallpaper—but it contained arsenic and could produce poisonous arsine gas. Eventually, doctors and paint manufacturers caught on and put a stop to the toxic practice, but some still consider green walls in a home unlucky.
Related: 9 Paint Color Rules Worth Breaking
Some legends hold that bringing an axe into the home can bring death. At the very least, we can all agree that an axe isn't the safest thing to have lying around the house!
An Old Broom
If you move into a new home, don’t bring along the broom you used in your old digs! Legend has it that an old broom will sweep away the good luck, and common sense dictates that using old cleaning tools could introduce pests and grime from your previous residence. So it may not be a bad idea to spring for a new broom, superstitious or not!
A Garden Hoe
It’s not deadly, but carrying a hoe into the house can carry bad luck with it. If you do accidentally bring one indoors after finishing your gardening duties, it's best to walk backwards out the same door you entered to try and reverse the bad fortune.
Related: 10 Ways Your Backyard Can Hurt You
Red and White Flowers in a Vase
Bird in the House
An Open Umbrella
It's often said that opening an umbrella indoors is bad luck. According to this superstition, which has roots in Egyptian legends as well as Norse traditions, when you bring in an item that protects your body from rain, you're insulting your home’s guardian spirits by implying that their protection doesn't cut it. Whether it's bad luck or not is up for debate, but it's still worth being careful with an umbrella in the house—you could poke an eye out with that thing!
Related: 10 Sneaky Ways to Store Winter Gear
Scenes of Destruction
If you’re using your rocking chair, no problem—but Irish legends say that an empty rocking chair invites evil spirits into your home. And if it’s rocking on its own, look out! The evil spirits are already there, and death could be lying in wait.
They may be cute, trendy, and great for brown thumbs, but according to the principles of feng shui, spiky plants like cactus and thorny acacia are bad luck and can lead to discord in your home.
An Unmade Bed
A Leaning Ladder
Ladders have their place, but walking under them is bad luck! The origin of this legend is, however, disputed. It could have its roots in Christian tradition, where walking into a triangle formed by a leaning ladder could be seen as breaking the Holy Trinity. Another possibility is that the shape resembles medieval gallows. A more practical concern is that maybe it's just not that safe to walk under an unattended ladder. The takeaway is: Put your ladder away when you’re done with it!
Lucky or Unlucky?
What do you think? Does your skin bristle when someone opens an umbrella indoors? Do you steer clear of ladders? There's no reason to feel ashamed for being just a little superstitious—after all, you're not the only one.
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