It is Friday 13th again, and whether or not you believe in the western superstition that the day is bad luck or think the notion of evil omens based on the Gregorian calendar is a load of old codswallop, most likely, you will have heard of many common superstitions. You may consciously or subconsciously avoid walking under ladders for example, or perhaps you have a lucky charm on your desk? In Wales, we have many unique superstitions, many of which are still upheld in rural communities today. I have chosen 13 of the darkest (of course!) and creepiest that you might want to avoid this Friday 13th…
1. In South Wales, Friday is associated with bad luck. Miners would refuse to start any new projects on a Friday and pit men would stay away from the mine on Good Fridays throughout Wales.
2. Beware of Corpse Candles – spectral candles seen by roadsides foretell of impending death. Read more here.
3. The smell of flowers is often thought to predict doom. Invisible “death flowers” gave off such strong scent, that miners in the Port Talbot area of South Wales heeded this superstition, and many stayed at home. That day 87 miners died in a massive explosion.
4. Watch out for birds. Pigeons Robins and Doves flying over a pit were believed to be foretelling a disaster. Dubbed “Corpse birds.” They were seen before a massive explosion at Senghennyd Colliery in 1913 in which 440 miners were killed. Owls screeching over the house were also seen as an omen and known as “Corpse birds” read more here
5. Look out for the squinting woman! If a miner passed a woman with a squint on his way to work, he would turn back and go home! It is a wonder any of these guys ever made it to work!
6. Hide the cat! On the day's miners were to be selected for new positions at the mine, women would hide the family cat in an (unlit!) oven to avoid her husband being chosen for the most dangerous. On another note, cats were not permitted to enter the room where a dead body lay before burial as it was believed that c