When I heard the topic “Superstitions, Fears and Scary Stories” of this blog entry I tried to think of German examples and talked to some Americans about them. And apparently all of the stories matched!
In Germany you are also a little bit worried when a black cat crosses your way. When you break a mirror, of course, you end up having bad luck for the next seven years. On a Friday the 13th you better not do anything important, because it’s a cursed day. So if anything good happens, you’re surprised that it worked out although- it’s Friday the 13th, and if something bad happens, of course, it was just because it was Friday the 13th. Also when it comes to positive superstitions there are similarities. For example, a chimney sweep is believed to pass on good luck to those they meet. So all in all, Germans and Americans have pretty similar superstitions.
There are some superstitions though, that I think are just common in particular regions. The one that I am aware of the most is one that my mother told me. It is about the time of day that you see a spider in your house. The German saying is: “Spinne am Morgen bringt Kummer und Sorgen, Spinne am Mittag bringt Freude am dritten Tag und Spinne am Abend bringt Segen und Gaben.” (A spider in the morning brings misery, a spider at noon brings joy on the third day, a spider in the evening brings blessings and gifts.) My mother is pretty serious about it, but doesn’t know where it comes from. Maybe she believes in it because she’s arachnophobic. So I can understand her. Maybe you know about some more American superstitions? Then tell me and we can find out if there is a German equivalent!