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May 12, 2022

APPALACHIAN SUPERSTITIONS

STORIES FROM THE APPLEWOOD MANOR

APPALACHIAN SUPERSTITIONS, The Applewood Manor Friday the 13th is a very dreaded and unlucky day! As for the origin of this strongly embedded superstition concerning Friday the 13th and for the general desire to avoid anything numbered thirteen, the people of Appalachia will quickly tell you about the story of the Last Supper and subsequent crucifixion. Jesus Christ and his disciples met for that Last Supper on Thursday. The last and 13th guest to arrive was Judas, who betrays Jesus, leading to the crucifixion of Jesus the following day—Friday!

Asheville’s roots are the faces of mountain people—descendants from generations of settlers, immigrants, native Americans, and slaves with a tradition of witches, ghosts, myths, and folklore. That folklore combining signs, superstitions, omens, and beliefs became a behavioral system practiced in everyday life. It provided protection against troubles, evil, bad luck and even death; it foretold the future and provided hope for good luck, good health, and good fortune. In addition to Friday the 13th, a few more of their mountain practices and beliefs passed down through generations are listed below. Even as a modern day guest of Applewood Manor, the chances are you also observe some of these to this day.

Signs, Superstitions, Omens, and Beliefs

  • A chicken laying an uneven number of eggs is an omen of danger.
  • A rabbit crossing your path before sunrise will bring unhappiness.
  • Always go out the same door you came in.
  • Bad fortune is soon to follow when a broom falls no reason.
  • A black cat crossing your path means bad luck [stop and go another way].
  • Carry a four-leaf clover to ward off bad luck.
  • A chin dimple is a sign of bad character. Dimples are made by the devil’s shoe.
  • Cows laying down means it is going to rain.
  • Deaths come in threes.
  • Don’t let anyone sweep under your feet.
  • Don’t wash clothes on Sunday.
  • Draw an X in the air three times to void bad luck from a black cat crossing in front of you.
  • Dreaming of bees is a sign of good fortune.
  • Dropping a knife means a man is coming to visit.
  • Dropping your fork, it means a woman is coming to visit.
  • Seeing a white horse means good luck.
  • A foot itching is a sign that you are about to embark on a long journey.
  • For good luck, eat black eyed peas with greens and pork on New Year’s Day.
  • Gifts of knives to newlyweds will cut their love!
  • A girl should hold their feet up when crossing a railroad track or they will lose her boyfriend.
  • Hang a horseshoe upside down to keep good luck from running out.
  • Hang a mirror by the door to protect against evil.
  • A hard to light candle is a sign of coming rain.
  • Hearing a screech owl at dusk means someone will die.
  • Hold your breath passing a cemetery or you could inhale a dead soul.
  • If a man wipes his hands on a girl’s apron, he will fall in love with her.
  • If a pregnant woman sees a dead person, her baby will have a birth mark.
  • If dough cracks while being shaped, a funeral will follow.
  • If your nose is itching, company is coming.
  • It is bad luck to walk under a ladder.
  • It is seven years of back luck to close a knife you didn’t open.
  • It’s bad luck to step on a grave.
  • An itching ear is a sign that someone is talking about you.
  • Its bad luck to spill salt unless your throw a pinch over your left shoulder.
  • Keep a lucky rabbit’s foot in your pocket to ease aches and pains, and for good luck.
  • Keep a penny in your washer.
  • Knock on wood to continue good fortune.
  • Leave one apple on the tree to keep the devil away.
  • Leaving a rocking chair rocking invites spirits.
  • Leaving diapers on the clothesline during a full moon will attract evil forces.
  • Never cut your baby’s hair before their first birthday.
  • Never give knives as a gift.
  • Never repay salt that you have borrowed.
  • Open the window when someone dies and cover mirrors so their soul can leave.
  • Plant your crops under the full moon.
  • Pour a drop of strong drink on the ground for sprits [ghosts] passed.
  • Put a 2-edged axe in a stump facing a storm to have it go around you.
  • Rub a chicken over your baby to keep if from getting chicken pox.
  • Sleeping on New Year’s Day will lead to an unhappy year.
  • Speaking a dead person’s name in your dream is an omen of a death.
  • Spit on a new baby to bring it good luck.
  • Stepping on an ant’s nest will cause rain that day.
  • Stopped the clocks when there is a death, to prevent another one.
  • Washing clothes on New Year’s Day will cause a death in the family.
  • Wear a buckeye in your bra to ward off rheumatism.
  • When walking together, both must walk on the same side of a post, or it will break your friendship.
  • Women should not do any canning or gardening during her period.
  • Your baby has to fall off the bed before their first birthday.

Asheville has been called many things—weirdest, happiest, quirkiest place in America, Santa Fe of the East, New Age Capital of the World, Paris of the South, Beer City USA, Most Haunted, Sky City and others. It has many secrets, mysteries, and legends—some factual, some alleged, some exaggerated and some just plain lies.

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APPALACHIAN SUPERSTITIONS, The Applewood Manor

62 Cumberland Circle, Asheville, NC 28801 | 828-254-2244 | contact@applewoodmanor.com


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