10 Weird Superstitions About Doors

Doors are such a common place item that we hardly take notice of them. The old timers, however, do remember the mysteries and symbolism of the door and captured it in common day superstitions.

In symbolism, the door can represent a beginning or an ending. A doorway can lead to a new path and close up an old one. It can lead to mystery, fortune, and danger. To stand in the doorway is to be neither here or there, but in the in-between world.

Here are ten interesting superstitions about doors that come from folklore.

Coming and Going

When you visit a friend, you must leave by the same door you entered to bring you both good luck. If you enter in one door and then leave through a different door, bad luck will befall you both.

To Get Rid of a Sty

Should you ever get a sty on your eye, it wouldn’t hurt to test out this superstition. To get rid of the sty, stand behind a closed door and say, “Sty, sty, get out of my eye,” fifteen times in one breath. The hard part is to say the phrase so many times before taking another inhale.

Wish Bone

Like horseshoes, wishbones used to be hung over the door to bring all who passed under it a bit of good luck. They say that if an unmarried woman hags a wishbone over her door, the first unmarried man, not a relative, to pass under it will be her future husband. Miners would also get into divining who would be their future wives. They would make a wish over the wish bone and hang it above their door. The first unmarried woman they could lure in through the door would soon be their wives.

Rooster Crow

If you have a rooster, or if your neighbor has one that likes to visit, pay attention to its actions. If it walks up to your front door and crows, it means you are about to get company.

Bride

In many European and U.S. areas, it is still a tradition to carry the bride through the door of her new home. It is believed to bring luck, but to many people in today’s world the custom, while quaint, is also reminiscent of the ownership men held over women.

Birch Cross

In Monmouthshire, people believed that a simple cross made from birch or whitethorn and hung above the door would protect people within the home from witchcraft and spirits. Wiccans and Pagans will often hang a pentacle fashioned from twigs above their doors to keep away negative energies and spirits.

Hanging Pictures

In a few sources, it is said to be unlucky to hang a picture above the door. No reason is given as to why it is unlucky, but the superstition may be tied to the theater.

Black Cat

If there is a black cat hanging around your door, it is extremely unlucky to chase the cat away. Doing so will chase away all your luck. It is better to give the cat a little treat to appease it and let it go on its merry way, unless it decides to move in with you. In wish case, you will have nothing but good fortune for as long as the cat stays with you.

Unknown Knocking

You might remember trick-or-treating as a child and playing the prank of knock-and-run where you would knock on someone’s door and then run. Not so funny if you know the old superstition that if there is a knocking at your front door and no one is there, death is coming for you.

Spider

If you see a spider crawling up your door, expect a visit from a stranger. Killing the spider in the doorway will ruin your chances of future opportunities.

Sources: 

Dresslar, F. (1907). Superstition and education. Berkeley: University Press.

Radford, E., & Radford, M. (1949). Encyclopædia of superstitions. New York: Philosophical Library.

The little giant encyclopedia of superstitions. (1999). New York: Sterling Pub.

Thomas, Daniel Lindsey, and Lucy Blayney Thomas. Kentucky Superstitions. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton UP, 1920. Print.