Very Superstitious: Urban Myths and Superstitions We All Live By

Sunday, 06 May 2012 16:20 Written by  Hiba Abdillahi

When we were little we chanted, “Step on a crack, break your mama’s back.” I knew that if I stepped on a sidewalk crack, my mom would be perfectly fine, but I still avoided them anyway. “Find a penny, pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck” is another one that had us picking up every penny in sight.

From the beginning of time, superstitions have been apart of daily life. It’s something for us to believe in that’s bigger than us. From the Salem Witch Trials, to modern day, we all believe in some form of superstitions: not stepping on cracks, avoiding black cats, or throwing salt over your shoulder.

My good friend Bria and I decided to spontaneously try on wedding dresses. Both of us have no desire to get married anytime soon, but we passed by a bridal shop and couldn’t resist. In all the excitement, Bria texted one of her friends informing her of our intentions. She received a text telling us to leave the bridal shop ASAP!

Apparently, trying on wedding dresses before you get married is a jinx! Bria and I literally ran out of the bridal shop, not even looking back. This incident had me thinking, I could have easily tried on that wedding dress, but I let an urban myth, that possibly isn’t even true, ruin my day. What if I tried on that dress, and eventually got married? What if I did try on that dress and was doomed for all eternity? It’s a risk I am not willing to take.

“I work at a bridal salon, and I have never heard of that myth. I, personally, think that if you don’t get married, it isn’t because you tried on a wedding dress early,” says Jessica Gaddam, 25.

There is an urban myth for everything these days. For instance, men are intimated by powerful and independent women. Who thought of this? Women hear this and think they need to feel less powerful and more dependent to find a good man, which is a total lie, but some people still believe it.

Another one: you shouldn’t sleep with a guy on the first date. With this, I am not advising or promoting sleeping with a guy on the first date, but I feel this myth was created by Hollywood movies that portrayed this in the wrong light. What if you sleep with a man on the first date and he ends up being the one? I’m going out on a limb here, but it could happen.

“We have to stop making excuses for our failed relationships. As long as we believe that most men are intimidated by strong successful women, we fail to look at ourselves for the reasons we cannot maintain successful relationships. It relinquishes us of all responsibility, and I think its holding us back,” says Jam Donaldson, writer and Editor-in-Chief, a daily online magazine.

Asking around, I found that some people don’t live by these superstitions or urban myths, they simple don’t give in to the hype.

“I don’t believe in those things. I don’t let them live my life,” comments Taylor Jones, 19.

I have come to the conclusion that we believe in these superstitions because we don't have all the answers. It seems that it all stems from your background, your faith, and how you view things. I asked Jam if she believed in any superstitions.

“YES! Reluctantly! I believe hats on the bed are bad luck. No hats in the house, it's bad luck,” she replies. “Hold your breath going pass a cemetery because you could breathe in the spirit of someone who recently died. I don't walk under ladders and I do not split poles!”

I believe in superstitions, no matter how crazy they seem. I don’t know why I let them run my life, but things just seem a little more interesting with them. I grew up in a household that believed in superstitions and constantly lived by them. My mom never put her purse on the floor because she felt that it meant she’ll end up becoming broke. Although that might sound far fetched, I never put my purse on the floor. No matter what, or who you believe in, its always good to believe.

Hiba Abdillahi

Hiba Abdillahi

Hiba Abdillahi is a student at Columbia College Chicago, majoring in broadcast journalism. She aspires to be an international correspondent.

Hiba can be contacted at