Superstitions, phobias affect many

Story and captions by Emma Hente, Managing Editor

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More than a third of Americans surveyed in  2014 say they believe that finding and picking up a penny is good luck, according to a Harris Interactive/Statista poll. And 20 percent believe that knocking on wood prevents bad luck. A previous Gallup news poll found that a quarter of the population say they are “very” or “somewhat” superstitious.

Even at Miriam Academy, students have superstitions.

“I can’t pick up a bat without having to swing it,” says Nick Lewis. But it’s not just superstitions he and his fellow Americans have. Nick admits that he used to have a phobia: astraphobia, the fear of thunderstorms.

According to Stuart Vyse, a Connecticut psychologist and author of “Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition,” people have superstitions and phobias because they are uncertain about things out of their control.

For Humanities teacher Chris Holmes, it’s the fear of heights (acrophobia), one of the most common phobias. The most common phobia is arachnophobia, the fear of spiders, followed by the ophidiophobia, the fear of snakes. Other popular phobias are the fear of dogs, injections and social situations.

As for superstitions, crossing your fingers is often considered good luck, and breaking a mirror is seven years of bad luck. In Spain, instead of kissing someone at midnight on New Year’s Eve, people are supposed to eat 12 grapes in a row. Walking under a ladder is supposedly back luck, and finding a spider in the morning is good luck… unless you have arachnophobia, of course.

Here are some of the strangest superstitions are phobias:

Strange Superstitions

If   three people   get their picture  taken. The person in the middle will die first .   in India, a solar eslispe  means everyone will stay indoors because they believe that the sun’s rays  are toxic.

In Russia, carrying an empty bucket  is a bad omen. Tsar Alexander II  was killed with a man  with buckets for hands. In the U.K. ,   if you  say rabbits , white rabbits,or rabbit  on the first day of the month you will have good luck for the rest of  that month.  In South Korea , sleeping  with a fan in an enclosed space it can straight up kill you. Knitting  on the doorstep  mid winter,  it will prolong  the chilly season.  In  China, the  number four  is considered unlucky because  it means death in Chinese.

Strange Phobias

Xanthophobia  fear of yellow fear of cheese.   Fear of clowns,  fear of trees ,etc. The fear of going to church and church,  the fear of sitting down, the fear of flowers, the fear of pretty women.

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