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Superstitions about Doors

Superstitions about Doors

About back doors

1864, R Chambers Book of Days II It is unlucky to enter a house, which you are going to occupy, by the back-door.

1883 Burne Shropshire Its is unlucky (after a wedding) to re-enter the house by the back door. In the case of a servant married from her mistress’s house, I have known the wedding-party on their return from church drive up to the hall-door in the most matter-of-course fashion.

1891-3 Proceedings Royal Irish Acad., 3rd ser. The corpse is carried our by the back door.

1907 Folklore At this first home-coming (after the wedding) the entrance is always by the back door of the cabin, it being deemed unlucky to go in the front, through which the dead are always carried out.

1912 Leather Herfordshire It is very unlucky for the bride and bridegroom to leave the bride’s home by the back door after the wedding. This was done near Hereford recently, by a couple wishing to escape showers of rice; the old people present shook their heads, and thought it a very bad omen.

1923 Taunton It is considered very unlucky when moving into a new house to enter by the back door.

Bride’s door

1920 Folklore The door of the bride’s home must not be closed while she is at church.

Changing a Door

1882 Folk-Lore Record Another plan of … averting misfortune is to change the doors of the house, to block an existing door and open another in its place.

1926 Folklore A village woman, speaking of ghosts, said, “you can keep ‘em out if you unhangs the door and puts it on the other way round.

Front Doors

One of my dearest friends from my teen years always took us to through the back door because “the front door’s for strangers.”

1883 Burne A few years ago, a butler in the service of a family in North Shropshire died in his mistress’s house and on the day of the funeral the servants especially begged leave for the body to be carried out the front door, otherwise there would surely be another death in the house within a short time.

1923 Wellington, Som. It is lucky for a baby to go out of the front door for the first time.

Leaving by the Same Door

1852 N&Q Ist ser. Be sure when you go out to get married that you don’t go in at one dour and out the other, or you will always be unlucky.

1961 I’ll let you out by the front door… unless you are superstitious and won’t go out except by the same door as you came in.

1985 Woman c.35 (on being shown to the front door after her visit) If you don’t mind I’ll use the back door, I always like to go out by the same door as I came in by.

Doors and Windows – opened in thunderstorms

1873 Kilvert Diary 23 July At 2 AM began the great lightning storm… There were lights in the houses all over the village and the cottage doors and windows were opened wide to let the lightning out easily if it should come in.

1964 Girl, 16, If there is a storm, there must be a window open at the back and the front of the house so that the lightning can pass right through.

1984 Woman, 56, My mother always opened the windows during a thunderstorm. She said it was to prevent the build-up of hot air in the room, which might draw the lightning to strike the house.

Window-Blind falls – an ominous sign…

1899 Schoolmaster: If a window blind fall of its own accord, it is unlucky. 1923 If the blind suddenly unrolls without being touched you will shortly have to pull then down through death.

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