USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘Terror’
Folk Beliefs
Protection

A Superstitious Fear of Crowds

“Whenever me and my family go places, we always avoid big crowds because we have this superstition that only bad things can come from crowds.  I don’t really know why we ever started avoiding crowds so vigilantly, but now we make it a point to never be around a big crowd, especially in places we aren’t familiar with.  It’s a family superstition we take very seriously.  So, when I was in Nice, there were a lot of big crowds and I didn’t feel comfortable, and I didn’t feel safe, so I told my girlfriend that we should leave, so we did.  As we were walking away we started to see people running behind us, and then someone told us to run, and then we heard shooting.  That was the day of the Nice terror attack.  And if we hadn’t left because of our fear of crowds, we would’ve been right in the middle of the attack.  Then, a year later, we were visiting London, but because it was right in the middle of tourist season we were always around crowds, so we left early.  Two days after we left, there was a terrorist attack.  And if we had stayed in London for our entire planned trip, we would have been there for it.  Now I think it’s a good thing we have our superstition, it’s saved us a few times.”

ANALYSIS:

This is a really interesting case of a superstition being validated by random events that seem to have meaning.  What I find really fascinating about superstitions is that, no matter a person’s background, upbringing, or beliefs, they are probably superstitious about one thing or another.  Everyone is susceptible to believing in a superstition simply because sometimes certain events happen in a person’s life that are seemingly undeniable, and that’s probably the source of their superstition.

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