'Tis The Season To Beware

| 10/22/2015 12:19:00 PM

Country MoonSoon it will all be coming out of the woodwork … black cats, bats, jack-o-lanterns and all things that go bump in the night. Halloween is a fun holiday with not a lot of emotions attached to it like Christmas and Thanksgiving. It is also a time when superstitions become a little more real and, whether we are big kids or little munsters, we pay a little more attention to night sounds and anything out of the ordinary.

Halloween is the holiday that celebrates superstitions. What exactly are they? Officially, they are explained as any belief or action that is inconsistent with science and is aimed at bringing good luck and avoiding bad luck. Is there any logic behind them? Probably not, but our brains are wired for cause and effect and, like anything else, if we believe something long enough then it becomes real. There is no rational reason why we pick on black cats as opposed to orange ones, ladders as opposed to anything else or singling out the number 13.

Most people, when asked, will say they are not superstitious. However, the numbers say otherwise. For example, 51% of us knock on wood to bring good luck, 16% will not open an umbrella indoors, 13% carry a good luck charm and 10% avoid black cats. Yep, you guessed it, I am one counted in these percents. After all, if in doubt, better to be safe than sorry!

Here are some of the more popular superstitions that run rampant this time of year. Only the brave read on…

1. Jack O Lanterns. They are everywhere this time of year. You have to admit they add a festive glow to our front porches and lawns. It is said that a burning candle inside a jack-o-lantern on Halloween night keeps evil spirits and demons at bay.

2. Ghosts. Whether you believe these exist or not, all of us at one time or another have “heard” footsteps behind us when no one else was around, thought we “saw” something whisk past our eyes in the dark of night or “felt” a presence near us. Depending on how they are perceived, they can be the basis of fun antics for Halloween or something a lot more scary. The story goes that if you see a ghost you should walk around it nine times and it will disappear. OK, seriously, who wants to get that close?

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