Superstitions: Silly or Sincere?

Maria Soto, Assistant Editor

Superstitions are almost as old as time. Most of the widely-known superstitions come from fear during the Middle Ages or stem from Christianity. Whether they are true or merely anecdotal is still debated to this day.

There are many superstitions from different cultures and religions, ranging from the seven years of bad luck that will come from a broken mirror to the series of unfortunate events that will occur if you open an umbrella indoors, there’s an endless amount of beliefs. So, what do the students and staff of Ripon High believe in?

Ripon High Sophomore Kate Villegas can often be found around campus talking about zodiac signs with her friends.

According to the Online Star Register, “the Zodiac is a circle consisting of twelve 30° divisions that are centered upon the apparent path of the Sun over the course of the year.” These tweleve divisions are also representations of twelve personality types that those born under each sign possess. Picture is from Creative Commons

    “I don’t actually believe [in zodiac signs] but I think zodiacs are a super interesting concept,” she stated. “You can’t really fit people’s personalities into categories based on when they were born. [However], every now and then I’ll knock on wood or say ‘I hope I didn’t jinx it’.”

RHS Freshman Bryan Ochoa has a different take on the matter. He believes in superstitions, his personal favorite stems from his Mexican culture: Vicks VapoRub.

“There’s no proof, but VapoRub cures everything,” he chuckled.

Along with the mysteries of VapoRub, beginner’s luck is something else he believes in. Ochoa believes in superstitions because there are so many unknown things about the world, so who’s to say that they are or are not real?

Despite the funny ghost stories he shares during Halloween, Ripon High history teacher and Sacred Heart advisor, Mr. Perez is amongst the group who does not believe in superstitions or the supernatural.

“I was raised in a family that is religious and as I studied my faith, it just seems to me that superstition has no part of it. It’s fun to be scared, but when it comes to superstitions, I really don’t have any,” he shared.

Friday the 13th is considered a very unlucky day in the United States because of the unlucky number 13 and the well-known horror film, “Friday the 13th”. Picture is from Creative Commons

Perez pointed out that scammers prey upon superstitions that others have. He told of how he has seen advertisements on TV from people who “cleanse” (for a fee, of course) those who have bad luck or who seek answers about relationships in their personal lives.

If we take a closer look at the media and life around us, we can see that there are people all everywhere who may or may not have real abilities to see the future or talk to the deceased like the famous Theresa Caputo. The difficult question is, who is telling the truth and who is just after your money?

In the words of RHS senior Zoey Krohn, “superstitions are all psychological phenomena that were made from fear”. So, why do we believe in them?

“It’s fun,” Krohn exclaimed. “I believe in a lot of the common ones like walking under a ladder and breaking a mirror gives you bad luck, throwing salt over your shoulder for good luck, four leaf clovers and such. The black cat superstition is one of the ones I don’t believe in, however.”

Besides the well-known superstitions, there are many others that aren’t thought of as superstitions such as New Year’s Resolutions, Santa Claus (not to be confused with Saint Nicholas), wishing on a star, Groundhog Day, Friday the 13th, wishing on a wishbone, and saying “bless you” when someone sneezes. Though some may see these acts as silly, to many, they hold importance.

“I also think that [superstitions] shouldn’t be looked down upon,” Krohn added. “Just let us believe what we want!”