June 1, 2020

‘Tis the season for ‘spoopy-stitions’

With the Halloween season upon us, it is only right to look at some of the superstitions related to the holiday and superstitions around Capital.

Since Friday the 13th was just last week, it seems to be the most talked about. With many scary movies named after this haunting date, the fact that it occurs in October this year makes it even more spooky. This particular superstition is so popular that there is an actual fear named after it: paraskavedekatriaphobia.

There is also a fear of the number 13 itself: triskaidekaphobia. Some historians believe that the superstition surrounding the number comes from biblical times, specifically from the 13 disciples sitting around the table at the Last Supper. In general, the number is feared year-round. Most hotels and apartment complexes won’t have a 13th floor or a 13th room on any of the floors.

Black cats are probably the most popular superstition when it comes to Halloween. They are known to bring bad luck to any person whose path they cross. This legend started back in the Dark Ages, when old women who typically had cats around their houses were accused of witchcraft.

In terms of all-year superstitions, not opening umbrellas indoors seems to be the most popular. It is believed that opening an umbrella indoors allows the bad luck to “rain” down on you.

“I refuse to open an umbrella indoors,” Haylee Perry, first-year, said. “I don’t need to get any bad luck voluntarily.”

Other popular superstitions include knocking on wood, throwing spilled salt over your shoulder, carrying around a rabbit’s foot, crossing your fingers and not walking under ladders or breaking a mirror.

“I knock on wood a lot because I often find myself saying things that I actually don’t want to happen to me,” Hannah Barnard, first-year, said. “I just knock so that I don’t jinx myself.”

Some people claim that these are just old housewife’s tales but others couldn’t go a day without experiencing one of these things.

As far as Capital goes, we have quite a few superstitions around campus. One the first that new students are introduced to is the Memorial Gateway. First-years walk through the gate during welcome week and aren’t supposed to walk through it again until they graduate. If they do, they aren’t going to graduate.

Another Capital superstition is the St. Anthony statue. It is said that by rubbing St. Anthony’s head, good luck will come to you both in life and in academics.

“I believe in all Capital’s superstitions. St. Anthony’s is one I abide by religiously,” Daniel Robey, junior, said.

Robey’s reason for this dedication is due to the experience of one of his friends. She lost her key and wallet during welcome weekend, rubbed St. Anthony’s head, and not even an hour later, two separate people had brought back both of her belongings.

Robey also believes in the superstitions surrounding the gate and stepping on the Capital seal. A multitude of other students also believe that lost items will be returned to you by rubbing the bread in St. Anthony’s hand.

The last notable superstition on Capital’s campus is one that can be seen around many other colleges as well. The seal outside of the Blackmore Library is scared, not only because it is the emblem of Capital University itself, but also because of the myth surrounding it. Students are strictly told to not step on the seal because if they do, they will fail their next exam.

Not to worry, though, because there is a way to get out of the punishment: the student that steps on it can reverse the curse by kissing the seal.

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