Death is an important topic of folklore. What it is, how it appears, and how avoid or trick it are all part of the rich stories, legends, tales, superstitions and more that make up the world of folklore.
Here is a list of folk ways that center on events that could foreshadow the arrival of death:
- If a meteor falls on a house, someone within will die soon.
- Sneeze twice when you first get up and you could hear about a death before nightfall.
- Rain falling in an open grave could be a sign there will be another death in the same family before the end of the year.
- If there is perfect silence in church while an ill person is being prayed for, that person will die.
- If a corpse lies unburied over a Sunday, there will be another death nearby before the week ends.
- If the body of the corpse does not become stiff, there will be another death in the family.
- Dream of your teeth falling out? Death may on its way.
- A white horse in dreams could foretell a death coming within the week.
- If you dream about old shoes you might be hearing soon about the death of someone you know.
- If thirteen people sit down to eat together, one of them will die before the year is out.
- If a rainbow bends over a house, it could mean that a death will occur inside.
- An old saying states that, “A hot May makes a fat graveyard.”
- If it is perfectly calm on New Year’s, many old people will die that year.
- If the church bell rings while a preacher is reading a sermon, someone in the congregation will die.
- To meet a funeral procession going to or from a wedding is an omen of death. If the funeral is for a male, the groom will die; if for a female, the bride will die.
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 way of understanding death.