Beliefs

  • Fishermen's Superstitions - Cockenzie and Port Seton

    While fewer of the younger generation of fishermen adhere to these, some still feel it is bad luck to mention certain birds, fish and animals either on their boats,at home, or at all. In the fishing villages of Cockenzie Port Seton near Edinburgh these include swans, salmon, pigs and rats. Instead, fishermen will refer to a 'red fish' (salmon), a 'curly tail' (pig) and a 'long tail' (rat). One man in Port Seton was overheard asking the shop assistant in the local 'store' for matches and "not the ones wit... Read More

  • Granny Kempock Stone

    The megalithic Kempock Stone, popularly known as Granny Kempock (perhaps because of its resemblance to an old woman), stands on a cliff behind Kempock Street, the main shopping street in Gourock, Scotland. The stone, or menhir, is grey mica schist and of indeterminate origin, but it has been suggested that it is an old altar to the pagan god Baal, or a memorial to an ancient battle. Supposedly there is a superstition that for sailors going on a long voyage or a couple about to be married, walking seven time... Read More

  • Touch Wood

    For years I have carried a piece of wood around on my key ring. I use it along with the saying 'touch wood that ... does not happen to me'. I use it for luck and to ward off bad luck. I have no idea why I do it and I think I must have just picked it up from my parents. I have noticed others searching for wood to touch when they have said the saying and tapping their head as ifmade of wood as a joke and as an alternative to the real thing.... Read More

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