Just because you’re older doesn’t mean you outgrew these superstitions in your Mexican American household. It is said Mexicans and Mexican Americans are among the most superstitious races in the world! So, let’s see how many of these superstitions you still believe in.
1. “El Mal de Ojo”
The superstition most common in the Mexican cultural sphere is El Mal de Ojo. English speakers and Europeans know this term as the Evil Eye that they brought to and became prominent in Latin America.
Essentially this superstition is the belief in curses transmitted by looking at the recipient in a hostile manner. Usually, these recipients are children and the people giving these looks can invoke disease or illness upon them.
2. Black Cat
Of European influence, black cats are seen as signs of the Devil and seeing one crossing by you is believed to be an omen of impending bad luck. In some cases, seeing a black cat also means death! Carried over from the witchcraft paranoia and religious invasion of Europe, this belief hasn’t any meaningful roots in Mexican or indigenous lifestyle.
3. What That Ringing In Your Ear Means
Ever hear a sudden ringing in your ear even when you’re not doing anything? According to Mexican superstitions, that means someone somewhere is talking mad s*** about you! Okay, this one seems like a reach, but hey, we didn’t invent these beliefs!
4. Santa Muerte
The rapid commercialization of Dia de Los Muertos has meant the idolization of Catrina, a family/consumer-friendly mascot for the holiday. In contrast, Santa Muerte, another idol of the holiday, has slowly been cast out due to her association with paganism, the cartels, and death cults.
That isn’t to say Santa Muerte is an evil figure with only malefic followers, but parents have warned their children to stay away from this controversial non-Catholic figure!
5. Children Must Pass Both Directions Under Your Legs
If a small child is playing around you and passes between your legs, that child must also come back and pass through them again, only this time in the opposite direction! Otherwise, they will never grow up to their full height. Mexican superstitions are weird.
6. Going Under A Ladder
While not culturally specific to Mexico, crossing under a ladder is a still recognized and common superstition many Mexicans and Chicanos abide by. They fear to cross under a ladder for the same reason many across parts of Europe and the United States do… because their parents told them!
7. Owls Are Bad Omens
Owls in Mexican superstitions are often associated with witches and brujería. Thus, owls are somewhat eared and even despised by many who interpret their arrivals as omens of death. Owls are considered familiars to Mexican witches as cats are to their European counterparts.
Plus, some owls are just plain creepy. I mean, look at their eyes! Yikes.
8. The Groom Shouldn’t See His Bride’s Dress
Again, another not so culturally-specific belief, but Mexican superstitions just love to borrow from other walks of life! Looking at your bride’s dress or even just seeing her before the ceremony is suspected to invite disharmony. Calamity will ensue to undo not just your wedding, but your love for each other entirely!
9. El Chupacabra
This cryptid is just as, if not more, famous as La Llorona with its penchant for attacking livestock. The chupacabra’s bloodsucking attacks and mysterious origin continue to haunt rural communities to this day! If you’ve lived in or near a rural community, you’ll know that the chupacabra legend is one not to be trifled with.
10. Never Visit Rivers Or Lakes At Night
The terrifying tale of La Llorona is so entrenched within Mexican culture that it even has sub-superstitions of its own! It’s like a whole genre unto itself.
The traditional story of La Llorona featured a lake or a river in which her horrors took place. Now, many a superstitious warning has been made against visiting those bodies of water, for fear that she might get you!
11. New Years Luggage
Perhaps this is more of a tradition, but this practice is fueled by the superstitious belief of potentially getting to visit the places you most want to go. Right as the clock strikes midnight to signal the first day of the new year, you and your loved ones grab empty luggage and running around the street with it!
12. Polilla Negra Or Mariposa Negra
Should a black witch moth, or polilla negra in Spanish, enter your house, it is imperative that you get it out as quickly as possible. Black moths are considered harbingers of death in Mexican superstitions. Your parents probably told you they bring omens of bad luck, disease, and misfortune upon your livelihoods, so go get the broom and chase it away!
13. Tuesday The 13th
Beware the dreaded day known as Friday the—… I mean, Tuesday! Tuesday the 13th! Like Friday the 13th, Tuesday the 13th is considered an unlucky day in Mexican households. The reason for this? No one is really sure. All that is known is any time the 13th of a month falls on a Tuesday, it is widely considered an unlucky day by many Mexican and Latin American cultures.
14. Sweet Bread Eliminates Evil
Eating bread has never been better for your well-being when it comes to this superstition! Sweetbread, or pan dulce in Spanish, has been a traditional and staple treat in Mexican customs that it’s no wonder there’s a superstitious belief attached to it!
15. Dropping A Tortilla On The Floor
In Spanish, there is a saying that goes, “tirar una tortilla al suelo.” This translates to “dropping a tortilla on the floor.” This Mexican superstition has made many folks believe that by dropping a tortilla on the floor, they will soon have to expect company. For some, this means bad or annoying company, but the severity of these visits will vary between communities. Plus, that’s just a waste of food.