Do you shudder when a black cat crosses your path? Will you walk all the way around a ladder and never go under it? While most Americans have wised up and don't believe in any of the 12 most common superstitions, there are still as many as a third who do think at least some of them are true, according to a Harris Poll. The 12 most common superstitions and the percentage of Americans who believe they are true:
  1. See a penny, pick it up, all day long you'll have good luck: 33%
  2. It's bad luck for the bride and groom to see each other before the ceremony on their wedding day: 24%
  3. Seven is a lucky number: 23%
  4. Knocking on wood prevents bad luck: 21%
  5. It's unlucky to walk under a ladder: 20%
  6. Opening an umbrella indoors is bad luck: 14%
  7. Friday the 13th is an unlucky day: 14%
  8. Breaking a mirror brings seven years of bad luck: 14%
  9. Throwing spilled salt over your left shoulder prevents bad luck: 13%
  10. A black cat crossing your path will bring bad luck: 13%
  11. The number 13 is unlucky: 12%
  12. Stepping on a crack is bad luck: 7%

Why are black cats thought to bring bad luck? Centuries ago in both Lincolnshire, England and Salem, Massachusetts, it was thought that witches could turn themselves into black cats at night and roam the streets unobserved. However, the Scots believe that black cats are good luck. When a black cat comes to a home, it signifies prosperity. And in the English Midlands, black cats are given as wedding gifts to bring good luck to the bride.


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