5 Spooky Korean Superstitions to Avoid this Halloween
As we're in the second half of the year, we forget about the summer and welcome in the fall. With that comes plenty of holidays and celebrations, a big one being Halloween, a creepy, fun holiday celebrated worldwide on the last day of October. This holiday is known for its terrifying costumes, urban legends and myths. If you want to know how to survive past the month of October, here are some spooky Korean superstitions you might want to avoid during Halloween.
- Death by Red Ink
A common superstition that started ages ago and is still feared to this day is the myth that writing a living person's name in red ink will result in extremely bad luck, or worse, death. Originating during the Qin dynasty in China, and years later being an influence in Korea, the myth started for a multitude of reasons. The primary one was that during these times, only the King was allowed to wear red and would kill anyone else who wore it. Secondly, the color red is the same color as blood, which is often related to pain or death. This Halloween, it's better to be safe than sorry, and avoid picking up any red stationery.
- Friendly Whistling
Walking home late at night might get boring, but don’t you dare start to whistle! The thought behind this Korean urban legend is that whistling at night will summon spirits, demons, and even snakes. Often related to an action that shows content, whistling is thought to be the favorite tune of these creepy creatures. Good or bad, one might not know, but what are the chances that you’ll meet Casper the Friendly Ghost while walking home at night?
- Blinded by Beauty
Used to symbolize a long-lasting marriage in traditional Korean weddings, butterflies are often seen or portrayed as wonderful, insects with wings. However, don’t get blindsided by their beauty! This superstition goes that if you touch a butterfly and then touch your eyes, you’ll go blind. Why would someone do such actions? Who knows, just be wary of what you go around touching.
- Between Death and Life
Having started back during the Mongol invasion of Korea in 1270, this superstition will have you thinking twice before walking into any home. It was during these years when those who had died in the comfort of their home would remain there for some time. Afterwards, they would be taken out of their house in a coffin. It’s believed that once the coffin passes through the front door, the boundary between the living and dead has also been crossed. Thus, creating bad luck for anyone who steps foot into the household after.
- Lucky Number 4
This superstition originated from China where the word “four” (sì) closely sounds like the word “death” (sǐ), and supposedly brings bad luck. Because the Korean number system closely resembles that of China’s, the same beliefs come into play. To show how seriously they take this superstition, go into any tall building and take the elevator to the fourth floor. Can’t find it? That’s because the number has either been replaced with the letter F to signify the same thing or gets removed completely.
Don’t be afraid to go out this Halloween month, just be careful of the things you’re going to be doing. Which one of these spooky superstitions will you avoid during the month of October? Let us know in the comments below!
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Written by Briseida Rivera