Folk Beliefs
Legends

White Lighters: A Smoker’s Superstition

E: So you won’t use a white lighter?

J: Never, it’s horrible luck. I won’t use one, keep one on my person, or be in the room when someone uses one.

E: Why do you say so?

J: All of the members of the “27 Club” were found to have white lighters on or around them at the time of their death.

E: Could you tell me what this club is and who its members are?

J: The “27 Club” is the name associated with young  legendary musicians who all died at the age of 27. The likes of which include: Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, and Fredo Santana.

E: Have you ever experienced any sort of change in luck with a white lighter?

J: Personally I had glassware break the same week that I used one. It’s an unfortunate coincidence but not one I want to take a chance at again.

E: When did you first hear about white lighters being bad luck?

J: It actually wasn’t till well into high school when a friend told me a story about them and a white lighter that I found out it was a cursed object.

E: What happened in their case?

J: This is one of a few stories that I’ve heard from people and misfortunes with the lighter but this story starts at the beach. Two of my friends went to the beach one day and while they were enjoying their fun in the sun one of them found a white lighter. Thinking “oh cool free lighter!” they went back to my buddy’s house and used it. Later that same night a person was murdered on the beach.

Analysis:

After doing some research I found out none of the members of the 27 club died with white lighters on them and it’s really just a common misconception. For many deaths the iconic white Bic lighter had not even been invented yet. Although I am a very superstitious individual and when I hear a new superstition they stick. I find it interesting that feeding the belief has both proved some strange coincidences as well as created an association with musical legends. This is likely due to a high frequency of addictions in musical history.

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