DEFINITION OF SUPERSTITION
HISTORY AND ORIGIN
TYPES OF SUPERSTITION
CLASSIFICATION OF SUPERSTITION
TOP SUPERSTITIONS IN INDIAAND AROUND THE
ASTONISHED FACTS AND FIGURES ON
SURVEY AND INTERVIEW ON SUPERSTITIONS
REPORT AND STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF SURVEY
ARTICLES ON SUPERSTITIOUS BELEIFS
ANTI CORRUPTION LAWS AND ACT IN INDIA AND
ACROSS THE WORLD
PREVENTION AGAINST SUPERSTITIONS
BOOKS AND MOVIES ON SUPERSTITIONS
We would like to express a special thanks of
gratitude to our teacher Mrs. Dipanjana Banerjee
on behalf of our BS group 5 who gave us the
golden opportunity to do this wonderful project on
the topic “Superstitious belief”, which also helped
us in doing a lot of Research and we came to know
about so many new things and we are really
thankful to you.
A superstition is an irrational fear of what is
unknown or mysterious, especially in connection
with religion. Being too superstitious is opposite of
being materialistic and realistic. It is the belief that
certain events bring good or bad luck which cannot
be explained by reason or science. In short,
superstition means blind belief. Superstition is a
worldwide phenomenon. People in every country
believe in one or the other superstition.
WHAT IS IT?
HISTORY AND ORIGIN
Origin of Superstition is one of those fourteen minute filler shows that
is fun to listen too, but a real pain to find information about. Neither
Dunning, Terrace or Buxton make any mention of it. However, the
recordings are dated 1935, and the stagy acting and older music style
support that date. The word superstition is first used in English in the
15th century, modeled after an earlier French superstition. The earliest
known use as an English noun occurs as Friar daw’s reply (ca. 1420),
where the four general sinners are enumerated as Cediciouns,
superstitions, be gluttonous, & be proud.
While the formation of the Latin word is clear, from the verb super-
stare, "to stand over, stand upon; survive", its original intended sense is
less clear. It can be interpreted as "standing over a thing in amazement
or awe", but other possibilities have been suggested, e.g. the sense
of excess, i.e. over scrupulousness or over-ceremoniousness in the
performing of religious rites, or else the survival of old, irrational
Two Types Of Superstitions
• Good Luck Superstitions
• Bad Luck Superstitions
List of Good Luck Superstitions
• If you sneeze it means someone is missing you.
• If your right hand itches, you will earn money.
• If you find a four-leaf clover, you will have good luck.
• If you see a horseshoe which was lost, you will have good luck.
• If you dream about a white cat, you will have good luck.
• If your right ear itches, someone is speaking well of you.
• You can hang up garlic in your house for good luck.
• If you put a mirror just across the door, before you will have
• If you put the sugar into the cup first, the tea, you will have good
• If you step on your shadow, it brings you luck.
• If you blow out all the candles on your birthday cake in one
blow, you will get whatever you want.
List of Bad Luck Superstitions
• If you break a mirror, it will bring you seven years of
• If you walk under a ladder, you will have bad luck.
• If a dog howls at night, death is near.
• If you eat from the pot, it will rain at your wedding
• It is bad luck to see an owl in the sunlight.
• If a bat flies into your house it is bad luck.
• Many people believe Friday 13th is an unlucky day.
• If a black cat crosses your path you will have bad luck.
• It is bad luck to open an umbrella in the house.
Boiled egg: When finished eating a boiled egg, push the spoon
through the bottom of the empty shell to let the devil out.
Bread: In Yorkshire, housewives used to believe the bread would not
rise if there was a dead body in the vicinity, and to cut off both ends of
the loaf would make the devil fly over the house!
Table knife: If you drop a table knife expect a male visitor, if you drop
a fork a female visitor.
Plate: Crossed cutlery on your plate and expect a quarrel.
•Bears: One ancient British superstition holds that if a child rides on a bear’s back it will
be protected from whooping-cough.
•Ravens: In some parts of the UK meeting two, three ravens together is considered really
bad. One very English superstition concerns the tame ravens at the tower of London. It is
believed if they leave then the crown of England will be lost.
•Bats: It is said to be bad luck if you see bats flying and hear their cries. In the middle ages
it was believed that witches are closely associated with bats.
•Sparrow: if a sparrow enters a house it is an omen of death to one of the people living
there. In some areas it is believed that to avoid bad luck, any sparrow caught must be
immediately killed otherwise the person who caught it will be die.
Bride and groom must not meet on the day of the wedding except at the altar.
The bride should never wear her complete wedding clothes before the day.
For good luck bride should wear “something borrowed, something blue, something old and something
The husband should carry his new wife over the threshold of their home.
TOP SUPERSTITIOUS BELIEF
•If a black cat crosses your path, it's a bad omen:
The origin of this superstition has come from the Egyptians who believed that black cats were evil
creatures and they bring bad luck. In India, black color is generally associated with the Lord
Shani. It is said that if a black cat crosses your path, then you should let somebody else pass before
•Hanging lemon and 7 green chilies:
It is believed in India that 'Alakshmi', the goddess of misfortune can bring bad luck to the shop
owners or business. Since, she likes sour, pungent and hot things, shop owners in India hang lemon
and 7 green chilies at their door so that the goddess eat her favorite food, satisfy her hunger and
leave without entering the shop.
•Menstruating women are considered impure and unclean:
In India, menstruating women are considered impure and unclean. This, of course, gives rise
to many superstitious beliefs. Women who are menstruating are not allowed to enter the
kitchen. They are also supposed to stay away from temples, mosques and all religious spots
in the house itself. A woman on her period is not allowed to perform regular household
duties like cooking food.
Crows are referred as our ancestors:
Crow is the vahana of shani who represents the karmas of past. We are indebted to our
ancestors who have given us birth. So offering food to crow is regards as pacifying the
hunger of ancestors where ever and whichever form they are reborn. It is believed that
crows are being related to our ancestors since the ‘treta yuga’.
•Indians throw coins in holy rivers:
Throwing coins in fountains and other water bodies for good luck is now done all over the
Break a Few Coconuts:
At the start of a new journey (i.e. a new business partnership, the purchase of a car,
moving into a new house, the start of marriage, etc.), it is considered auspicious in
India to crack a coconut against the ground (or another surface) so that it breaks into
several pieces. In Hinduism (India's largest religion), this is a common ritual, praying
for the longevity and prosperity of a project.
•ITALY:--Italians think lucky if they hear a cat sneezing.
It’s bad if a bird enters through a window.
•UK:--In UK people believed to be lucky if they meet a black cat.
Unlucky are those who break a mirror, see a crow.
•IRELAND:--Any Irish knows that a werewolf is afraid of water.
The Irish place metals on high levels. Blacksmithers are respected, since
they are considered to dispose of bad spirits and diseases.
•CHINA:--In China, the number four is considered incredibly unlucky
because it sounds very close to the word for "death.“
•SOUTH KOREA:--Going to sleep with a fan on in an enclosed space can
straight up kill you. This unfounded belief is so prevalent that electric fans
are often sold with timers, to prevent accidental death.
A small look on the numbers showing
existence of superstition
Part of Religion 13
Part of Culture and Tradition 39
Practiced by adults 20
Practiced by others 2
Don’t know 4
Don’t believe in superstitions 22
Superstitions are usually attributed to a lack of education. But, in India educated people
have also been observed following beliefs that may be considered superstitious. The
literacy rate of India, according to the 2011 census is at 74%. The beliefs and practices
vary from region to region, with many regions having their own specific beliefs. The
practices may range from harmless lemon-and-chilly totems for warding off evil eye to
serious concerns like witch-burning. Some of these beliefs and practices are centuries
old and are considered part of the tradition and religion, as a result introduction of new
prohibitory laws often face opposition.
About 61% of Indian employees are superstitious: Study
The survey, conducted by Team Lease Services, the country’s composite staffing
company, found that management in India are generally adaptive to various
superstitious beliefs of employees and do not restrict them from practicing them at
work. Besides, a majority of the senior management at companies themselves believe
that superstitious practices are more prevalent at the top of the order.
In June 2013, National Commission for Women (NCW) reported
that according to National Crime Records Bureau statistics, 768
women had been murdered for allegedly practicing witchcraft since
Between 2001 and 2006, an estimated 300 people were killed in the
state of Assam.
Between 2005 and 2010, about 35 witchcraft related murders
reportedly took place in Odisa’s Sundergarh District.
OUR SURVEY ON
We conducted a survey on 20 students from
our university on superstitions
We also conducted interview with 2 faculties
and 3 students. On the basis of which we made
the report and statistical analysis.
So Let’s see what faculties say and
think about superstition……..
Questions asked during the survey
Do you believe in superstitions?
If yes , why and what is the most influential superstition in
Do you believe superstitions have anything to do with reality?
Do you believe in superstition?
Reasons why people believe in
LACK OF CONTROL
Total no. of subject involved =5
(2 faculties and 3 students)
CHARTS AND GRAPHS BASED ON A SMALL
<No. of students who attended the survey=20>
University Survey Findings
REPORT BASED ON SURVEY:
• 40 percent said that they don’t believe in
• 40 percent said they are neutral ie they
selectively believed in superstition.
• 20 percent said yes they belive in superstition
• The main reason found for believing in
superstition is pshychological.
• Another major reason is false cause bias.
• Fallen Brazilian business mogul offers gold to the Queen of the
Sea[source :INDEPENDENT, 3rd March 2016]
Mr. Batista, who admits to being highly superstitious, was told by a Brazilian-African
religious leader he needed to appease the water-bound deity, Yemanja, for his ungrateful'
• Mob beats couple for 'killing neighbors using black magic' in Jharkhand,
sets house on fire[source: ZEE NEWS, December 17, 2016 ]
A mob beat to death an elderly couple accused of witchcraft in eastern India, police said
Saturday, the second such killing in the region in two weeks.
• Karnataka shocker: This couple partially buried its own child – know
why[source: ZEE NEWS, March 12, 2016]
In an incident of superstition which can be called an example of inhumanity, a couple
in Karnataka's Bidar district partially buried its 9-month-old child in a mount of dirt
during the solar eclipse which occurred last week on Wednesday.
• Black magic is killing India’s owls
[source :THE INDIAN EXPRESS, November 5, 2010]
Superstition holds that the various body parts of owls have medicinal, occult
• Superstition over witchcraft claims three lives in
Gumla[source: THE INDIAN EXPRESS, :June 22, 2012]
Three members of a family were axed to death by unknown men after being
branded as ‘witchcraft practitioners’ in Gumla district,police sources said today.
The assailants pulled out Birsa Bhagat (65) and his two sons,Bichar and Tara (25
and 22 years respectively) from their home at Khaira village last night and struck
them with axes till they died.
CASE STUDIES ON
Kalawati Gupta , of Mumbai was the victim
of a sacrifice, according to Thane Rural police.
Her body was found at Nalasopara last December,
the head severed, and a tantrik was among five
people arrested a month later. Kalawati used to
visit the tantrik, Saravjit Ramdev Kahar, for a cure
for her ailing son. According to the chargesheet filed under sections of the
superstition Act and IPC, Kahar planned her sacrifice as a solution to the problems
of two other clients, brothers Ramdhani Yadav and Gulab Yadav who, the
chargesheet, went on to behead her.
Kalawati’s is among 76 cases, and one of seven involving human sacrifice or
murder, registered in the first year of the Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication
of Human Sacrifice and other Inhuman, Evil and Black Magic Act, 2013, according
to data compiled by Maharashtra Andhashradda Nirmulan Samiti (MANS) of late
crusader Dr Narendra Dabholkar.
The Aurangabad rural police have arrested a
40-year-old self-proclaimed godman on the charges
of raping a widow and molesting her younger sister,
an MBBS student, on the pretext of "freeing them
from the clutches of spirits and evil souls" at Bidkin,
around 23km from here. The accused, Narayan
Baburao Vaishnav, is a resident of Bidkin. As per the complaint lodged by the 28-
year-old woman, she went into depression after her husband passed away a couple
of years ago. The accused, claiming to have supernatural powers, came in contact
with her family and informed them that the she was haunted by evil spirit and
needed "to be treated".
Falling prey to his trap, the family allowed him "to treat" her and the accused would
call her to his place. The woman in her complaint has stated that in a span of about a
year, the accused allegedly raped her several times by spiking her drinks and food
he would offer as prasad.
The Vishrantwadi police then arrested
a maulana, Sayed Alam (36),
of Shantinagar in Yerawada, for
allegedly inducing a 25-year-old
married woman to sit naked with him to perform a black
magic ritual to cure her husband of his tuberculosis. The
maulana had also told the woman that a lot of money would
be generated automatically during the ritual, of which he
would give her Rs 3 lakh.
Two brothers are alleged to have asked
a witch to beat their mother to death in
a ritual sacrifice to bring them good
luck.The brothers were among ten
people arrested for the murder of Budhabai Dore, 65,
after she was found in a shallow grave in Nashik,
Maharashtra, India.The occultist is alleged to have gouged
out Ms Dore's eyes and buried her nearby. Their sister,
who was also to be sacrificed, managed to escape with her
STEPS TAKEN BY INDIAN GOVERNMENT
• The Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of
Human Sacrifice and other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori
Practices and Black Magic Act, 2013
• Karnataka Prevention of Superstitious Practices Bill,
• Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh have enacted laws
to restrict witchcraft.
• The Assam Government has been mulling an anti-
superstition law. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi recently
announced that the state government was
contemplating to enact a law to put an end to the
practice of witchcraft.
Anti-Superstition laws across the world
All across liberal democracies, anti- witchcraft and anti- divination laws have been
repealed. The USA has TV channels with plenty of psychic lines, tarot readings,
crystal balls, palmistry. They have achieved a great balance by adding a tiny
disclaimer “For Entertainment only”. The last remaining local statute against
divination in the state of North Carolina was recently repealed. Britain had its last
anti-divination law – the Fraudulent Mediums Act repealed a few years ago. The
Witchcraft Act 1542 enacted by King Henry VIII –had similar provisions to the
Karnataka Act. The act called for sanctions against invoking spirits for a voluntary
participant causing the same kinds of harms mentioned in the Karnataka Act. Papua
New Guinea’s Parliament also repealed the country’s 1971 Sorcery Act, which
criminalizes sorcery and recognizes the accusation of witchcraft as a defense in
murder trials. Thousands of people had protested and signed petitions calling for an
end to violence against women and violence related to ‘sorcery’ accusations.
Sorcerers, fortune-tellers and other pagans will be able to cast their spells without
fear in the Australian state of Victoria after local authorities moved to repeal a 200
year-old anti-witchcraft law. Victorian Attorney General Rob Hulls said he had
introduced legislation repealing the Vagrancy Act, which makes it illegal to pretend
or profess to tell fortunes or “use any kind of witchcraft sorcery enchantment or
conjuration”. “It is almost 200 years old and is steeped in the language and attitudes
of Dickensian England,” Hulls said. Section 365 of the Criminal Code of Canada
deals with the practice of witchcraft
How to get rid of or prevent superstitions?
If you plan on sticking to cultural superstitions, make sure you know it’s
If you choose not to believe, superstition has no weapon against you except
for the fear.
Realize that there’s no rational proof that these superstitions can affect your
Realize that you have the power to make your own luck.
Prove that these superstitions have no basis in reality.
Expect the best instead of the worst.
Read more of science books .Be optimistic. Good food & good sleep will help
your mind to be calm & relaxed. Practice Yoga &meditation regularly.
Learn to ignore the urge to act on a superstitious belief.
Seek help if your superstitious beliefs are an indication of OCD (Obsessive
Know that a superstition only works because you believe in its inherent
charm and power.
Spend time with people who are not superstitious.
• Superstation is irrational state of mind which is
illogical state we should be reasonable and
rational mind to overcome upon it.
• Education is one factor that can wipe out
superstitions to some extent.
• A scientific outlook and temper should be
cultivated to do away with superstitions.