While researching for our previous article on this subject, we realised just how many strange and captivating superstitions there are around the world. Far too many for just one article! So here we are again, with three of the craziest pieces of folk-lore, urban legend or ancient traditions that we could find from the around the globe.
The Curse of the Colonel (Japan)
What links Japanese Baseball team The Hanshin Tigers, Oklahoma Senator Randy Bass and Kentucky Fried Chicken founder Colonel Sanders? Why the curse of the Colonel, of course.
In 1985, perennial underdogs Hanshin Tigers cruised to victory in the Japan Series national championship game against the Seibu Lions – mainly thanks to their star American batsman Randy Bass. In a riotous celebration, fans began jumping off the Ebisu Bridge into Dotonbori river. The team sheet was called out, and one fan would plunge into the water on each call. However, upon reaching Bass’ name, the fans were stumped as no White fans were there to jump in for Randy. In his place, the fans looted a nearby KFC and threw a statue of Colonel Sanders into the river instead.
According to legend, the displeasure of Colonel Sanders was forthwith responsible for the Hanshin Tigers subsequent 30-year loss streak. They reached the Japan Series final three times over the next 33 years – but still have yet to win it for a second time.
The Presidential Werewolf Children of Argentina
The unluckiness of a seventh son of a seventh son is a well-documented superstition around the world, with roots in the UK, North America and Europe. However, only in Argentina has it been mixed up with werewolves and a long standing presidential tradition.
In 1907, a Russian immigrant couple asked the Argentine president of the time (José Figueroa Alcorta) to be the godfather of their seventh son. He accepted, and over the years more and more Argentine families also flocked to get their seventh sons adopted. Large families are fairly common in the highly religious country – former president Juan Perón had nearly 2000 godchildren when he died during his third term as President in 1974.
Somewhere along the line this tradition became mixed up with a longer Argentine legend regarding the lobizón, which is a sort of pig-werewolf hybrid. Traditionally it has been associated with seventh sons of seventh sons, but there is no evidence that modern Argentines are offering up their children to the President to stop them becoming werewolves. Sorry, internet!
Ravens in the Tower of London
Anyone who’s ever visited the 1000-year old Tower of London will have seen the ravens. What you might not know, is should they die or be taken away, then supposedly the British Monarchy will fall.
The earliest known legend regarding this is that of ancient King of Britian, Brân the Blessed. Brân defeated the Irish in battle but lost his life. With his dying wish he asked to be decapitated and his head buried looking out towards France, on the spot of what is now the Tower. The Welsh word for Raven is Bran, and thus started a long-lasting legend. Ravens have been recorded as being present at the tower, despite not having a local habitat, since at least the 1500s.