Some Appalachian superstitions

Posted by | April 1, 2010

Easter’s around the corner. If you keep chickens, be sure to color those biddies’ eggs; otherwise they won’t hatch! Ever heard that before? Appalachia’s full of such superstitions. Here’re a few:

Aching joints indicate rain.
When a bobwhite calls, it’s praying for rain.
Thick, tight shucks on corn indicate bad weather.
Killing a black snake and hanging it on a fence with its belly turned to the sun will bring rain before the next sunset.
If it rains on Monday, it will rain 3 days that week.
An owl hooting high on the mountain signals fair weather; the owl hooting in the lower lands signals foul weather.
There will be as many snows in a winter as there are fogs in October.


If a girl sleeps in a strange bed and names each bedpost a boy’s name, the post she looks to first upon waking will name the boy she’ll marry.
A girl won’t get married if anyone sweeps under her feet.

A dream about the dead means you’ll get a letter.
If you sleep in a strange bed, whatever you dream will come true.

If a cow moos after dark, someone will die.
If a bird flies against a window pane, there will be a death in the family.
If a dog howls before the moon rises, someone will die.

You’ll have good luck if you:
Find a 4-hole button.
Always put your right sock and shoe on first.
See a bluebird.
Look at the new moon over your left shoulder.
Find a red ear of corn.
Find a pin and pick it up.
Find a penny lying “heads-up” and put it in your right shoe.

Source: Gathering Up Memories: A Collection of Appalachian Stories
By Ann Goode Cooper
Published 2003
Parkway Publishers, Inc.

appalachian+history appalachian+culture history+of+appalachia appalachia

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