Dog Hause
A Playground for Pets and Pet Lovers
Animal Superstitions A-B

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In the days of sail, an albatross flying round a ship in mid-ocean was an omen of wind and bad weather to come. It was very unlucky to kill it because it was thought to embody the restless soul of some dead mariner. Echoes of these time-honored traditions were heard in July 1959 when the cargo liner, Calpean Star, docked at Liverpool with engine trouble, after a voyage from the Antarctic that had been dogged by many misfortunes. The crew blamed these on the presence on board of an albatross destined for a zoo. Fifty of the crew staged a sit-down strike because they were unwilling to continue their unlucky voyage. The captain is reported in the Daily Telegraph of July 7, 1959 that it had required some courage on his part to bring the albatross on board in the first place. And most of his crew still believed that the bird would bring bad weather or misfortune, or that it was connected with the souls of the dead.

Note: I got an email from John Hulligan...

"To bring you up to date. The ship suffered major Generator engine failure on the return trip to Antarctica in 1959. It smashed the rudder and one screw on the rocks at South Georgia. It was towed to Montevideoo and then as it was leaving AFTER repairts it sank in the river Platte! I KNOW because I was on the bloody ship!!"

Thanks for the update!


A bat means long life and happiness, a good omen, to the Chinese and Poles. If a bat lands on your head, you should hope the Cricket sees rain coming because the bat won't get off until it hears thunder. When you see a bat, you might actually be seeing the Devil, a witch, a ghost, or Dracula.

Bats have always had a connection with witches, and can have good or bad connotation, depending on the tradition. According to one, if a bat flies three times around a house, it is a death omen. Conversely, when bats come out early and fly about playfully, it is a sign of good weather to come.

If a bee enters your home, it's a sign that you will soon have a visitor. If you kill the bee, you will have bad luck, or the visitor will be unpleasant.
Bees have often been regarded as wise and even holy insects, having foreknowledge as well as knowledge of many secret matters. In antiquity they were sometimes divine messengers, and their constant humming was believed to be a hymn of praise. Because of their status it is still considered unlucky in some places to kill a bee. If a bee flies into the house it is a sign of great good luck, or of the arrival of a stranger; however, the luck will only hold if the bee is allowed to either stay or to fly out of the house of its own accord. A bee landing on someone's hand is believed to foretell money to come, while if the bee settles on someone's head it means that person will rise to greatness. They were once considered to deliberately sting those who swore in front of them, and also to attack an adulterer or unchaste person; it was once held to be a sure sign that a girl was a virgin if she could walk through a swarm of bees without being stung.
Source: Vanessa's Pagan Place Folklore Page

There is believed to be a very strong link between bees and their keepers; bees cannot prosper in an atmosphere of anger or hatred, and will either pine away and die, or fly away. There is still a common belief that bees should be told about deaths that occur in the beekeeper's family; in past times this was extended to include every birth, marriage or other notable event in the life of the family. It was especially important to inform the bees of the death of their owner; traditionally this was done by the eldest son or widow of the owner, who would strike each hive three times with the door key and say 'The master is dead!'. If the procedure was not followed, the bees would die or fly away. In many districts the hives were put into mourning by having black crepe draped around them, and at the funeral feast sugar or small amounts of the food eaten by the mourners were brought out for the bees.
Source: Vanessa's Pagan Place Folklore Page

An old country tradition states that bees should not be purchased for money, as bought bees will never prosper. It is acceptable to barter goods of the same value in exchange for bees, and in some districts gold was an acceptable form of payment. A borrowed swarm or one given freely is more likely to do well; a stock of bees was often started from a borrowed swarm on the understanding that it would be returned if the giver was ever in need of it.
Source: Vanessa's Pagan Place Folklore Page

Bee-stings were once thought to prevent rheumatism, and in some places a bee-sting was also thought to cure it.
Source: Vanessa's Pagan Place Folklore Page

A bird that flies into a house, foretells an important message.

The white bird foretells death.

A bird call from the north means tragedy; from the south is good for crops; from the west is good luck; from the east, good love.

"An old friend I met in college was from Ireland... She told me that it is a superstition there that if a bird poops on your car, it is good luck. I think I heard that somewhere else too."
Source: Suzanne896, Dog Hause Visitor

"I heard that if you have bird droppings land on your head it is good luck."
Source: Christopher Husenitza, Dog Hause Visitor

If the first butterfly you see in the year is white, you will have good luck all year.

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Recommended Book:
Black Cats, Hoot Owls, and Water Witches
Black Cats, Hoot Owls, and Water Witches : Beliefs, Superstitions, and Sayings from Texas
by Kenneth W. Davis (Editor), Everett Gillis (Editor), Teel Sale (Illustrator)

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