Folklore About Omens of Death
involving Household Objects
Folklore abounds with tips and suggestions about how recognize death approaching. The idea, of course, is to be prepared and, where possible, ward off this inevitable final phase of life.
Here is a list of folk ways:
- A dish or glass breaking when no one is near it is or a glass while drinking to a toast are bad omens, especially for the person being toasted.
- When a clock that has not been running strikes.
- A clock that strikes 13 times is also an ominous sign.
- Wearing another person’s “mourning clothes” could invite in death. The same is true if wearing the closed of someone who has died.
- Coffee grounds in the bottom of the cup shaped like a coffin is not a good sign.
- The cracking of a stone step of a newly built house could forewarn of an early death in the
- A loaf of bread that splits across the top while baking suggests a crack in this life-sustaining basic food.
- Opening an umbrella indoors is bad luck and, if held long enough could be an invitation for a visit from death.
- A portrait falling off the wall could foretell the death of the subject. Same is thought to be true if the glass on the portrait breaks without being touched or nudged.
- Furniture creaking at night with no apparent cause could usher in illness that could lead to death.
None of this folklore has been proven to be accurate. But it is interesting to note that folklore offers people a way to make sense of their experiences. Perhaps someone opened an umbrella, held it open for a while and shortly thereafter died. Those who witnessed may have come to the conclusion that doing so would lead to death.
We hope you enjoy this folkloric view of death.