• Superstitions are customary pieces of folklore that describe conditions (either signs or causes) and their results. When analyzing various superstitions, it was not difficult to classify them into three groups: Sign Superstitions (If A, then B), Magic Superstitions (If you do A, then B), and Conversion Superstitions (If A, then B, unless C.) It became apparent as more pieces of folklore were collected and we spoke with our informants that it is likely that the superstitions originated through polygenesis. We didn’t notice prevailing trends suggesting the superstitions favored homeopathic or contagious magic. They were all unique. There were many similarities in superstitions across cultures that are likely explained due to a similar psychological basis and basic conditions around the world. For example, evil eye superstitions are present in Greek and Indian cultures; number superstitions are present in Korean, Chinese, and Japanese societies; cutting finger nails at night is viewed as bad luck in Japanese and Korean superstitions.
  • Overall, we focused on Greek, Chinese, Indian, Mexican, Korean, and American superstitions, with an emphasis on culture-specific sub-genres, by investigating the history of the folklore and by speaking with people who have first-hand experience with the practices. We spoke with — different individuals who practice or have knowledge related to the superstitions. Given the rich, cultural diversity throughout the Dartmouth student body, many of our informants were classmates who were excited to describe their traditions and customs. They were all of the superstition’s national origin or had family who once lived in the respective country. Through a series of interviews, we learned that superstitions, along with other forms of folklore, are proudly and resolutely passed down from generation to generation. We discovered that the customs have origins that date back to ancient times; however, they have changed and evolved throughout history. Many individuals and families remain resolute in continuing ancient traditions of folklore, like superstitions, to perpetuate the origins of their heritage.


  • Greek
    • Evangelia Constantine – Interviewed in-person
    • Katherine Spanos – Interviewed in-person
    • Gregory Angelos – Interviewed over FaceTime
    • Rachel Kouris – Interviewed over FaceTime
    • Niko Lalos – Interviewed in-person
    • Arthur Costas – Interviewed over FaceTime
  • Chinese
    • Miya Xieng – Interviewed in-person
    • Hesheng Zhang – Interviewed in-person
    • Siyao Wang – Interviewed over FaceTime
    • Eric Chen – Interviewed over FaceTime
    • Elisa Tsao – Interviewed over FaceTime
    • Dartmouth 22 year old ’19 – Interviewed in person
    • Dartmouth 21 year old ’19 – Interviewed in person
  • Mexican
    • Rosa Mendoza – Interviewed in-person
    • Jennifer Lopez – Interviewed in-person
    • Thalia Dominguez Bautista – Interviewed in-person
  • Indian
    • Priya Shukla- Interviewed in person
    • Sarina Kothari- Interviewed in person
    • Athi Venkatesh – Interviewed over FaceTime
    • Rama Venkatesh – Interviewed over FaceTime
    • Vandana Venkatesh – Interviewed over FaceTime
  • Korean
    • Kyu Kim – Phone interview
    • Jamie Park – Interviewed in-person
    • Sunglim Kim – Interviewed in-person
    • J.H. – Interviewed in-person
    • Jung Dong-Hyun – Interviewed on the phone


Superstition Presentation



  • 💡 Kira Koehler
  • 💡 Madeline Donahue
  • Oliver Campbell
  • Seby Carter
  • Will Graber
  • Clay Han
  • Max Hunter
  • Mia Kobs
  • Ama Kyerewaa
  • Derek Lue
  • Marlee Montella
  • Casey Ross
  • Sanjena Venkatesh
  • Kipling Weisel


  • Kira Koehler – Interviewed Evangelia Constantine, Gregory Angelos, Rachel Kouris, and Katherine Spanos. Created webpages: “Evil Eye,” “Crows,” “Leap Year Weddings,” “Cologne & Perfume as Gifts,” and “Cheers with Coffee.”
  • Madeline Donahue – Interviewed Katherine Spanos, Evangelia Constantine, Niko Lalos, and Arthur Costas. Created webpages: “Spitting at Weddings,” “Salt,” “Dragees,” “Sneezing,” and “Pomegranates.”
  • Oliver Campbell – Interviewed Katie Slinkosky, Blake Crossing, Austen Michel, Carl Marvin, and Andrew Fava. Created webpages: “Knock On Wood,” “The Same Flavor Gum,” “Break A Leg,” “God Bless You,” and “Coins in the Socks.”
  • Seby Carter – Interviewed Miya Qion Xie, Hesheng Zhang, Eric Fei, and Siyao Wang. Created webpages: “Scholartree and Willow tree”, “Wall in front of House”, “The Number Four”, “The Number Seven”.
  • Will Graber – Interviewed Kyu Kim and Jamie Park. Created webpages: “Red Ink”, “Leg Shaking”, and “Fan Death”
  • Clay Han – Interviewed Jamie Park, Sunglim Kim, and J.H. Created webpages: “The Number 4”, “Ugly Dumplings”, “Touching Butterfly, Touching Eye”, “Blabbermouth” and “Chopsticks in a Bowl of Rice”.
  • Max Hunter – Interviewed Bennett Mccaskill, Logan Adams, Henry Eilen, and Alec Vaules. Created posts: “walking under a ladder”, “black cat crossing your path”, “Friday the 13th”, “666”, “Umbrella Superstition”, and “test superstition”
  • Mia Kobs – Interviewed Elisa Tsao, interviewed Dartmouth 22 year old ’19, interviewed Dartmouth 21 year old ’19. Created Posts, “The Colour Black,” “Mirror Facing Bed,” “The Colour Red,” “Upright Chopsticks,” “Clean Plates,” “Flipping Fish.”
  • Ama Kyerewaa – Interviewed Rosa Mendoza, Jennifer Lopez, and Thalia Dominguez Bautista. Created Post, “Passing Salt (Version 1)”, “Passing Salt (Version 2)”, “Opening an Umbrella Indoors”, “Sweeping at Night”, “12 Grapes on New Year’s Day”, “La Llorona”, “Cutting Hair At Night” and “Tying Red Ribbon Around Aloe Vera”
  • Derek Lue – Interviewed Aashika Jhawar and Alka Jhawar. Created webpages: “Karva Chauth Fasting”
  • Marlee Montella – “House Entrance Facing East”, “Traveling in Groups of Threes”, “Accepting Gifts with Left Hand”, “Stepping on a Textbook”, “Touching the Feet of Elders”
  • Casey Ross – Interviewed Miya Qiong Xie and Hesheng Zhang. Created the webpage “Western River and Sun”, “The Number Four”, “The Number Seven”.
  • Sanjena Venkatesh – Interviewed Athi, Rama, and Vandana. Created Posts: “Black Cat”, “Sleep”, “Salt, Dried Chilis, Camphor”, “Funeral Procession”, and”Kajal”
  • Kipling Weisel – Interviewed Jung Dong-Hyun and Sunglim Kim. Created Posts:”Cutting Finger Nails at Night”, “Crow vs. Magpie”, and “Throwing Salt after a Funeral”

We all collaborated on making the powerpoint presentation and on making this cover page for our website.


  • Superstitions. Greek. Chinese. Korean. Indian. American. Sign Superstitions. Magic Superstitions. Conversion Superstitions.