Feet Up!

Informant Background:

This informant is a sophomore at USC in the Naval ROTC program. Very soft spoken and polite, she grew up in Anaheim California. Considering herself a typical teenager through highschool, she had a fondness for the urban legends that circulated throughout the school.


Informant’s Story:

“When I was little and I was in the car with my mom, when we were about to go over train tracks my mom would say, ‘feet up’ and we all would put our feet up until we were across the tracks. Apparently if we left our feet down it was considered bad luck.”



This story is most likely related to the fact that railroad tracks are electrified, particularly the third rail. If one were to step on this rail they would be electrocuted and so the idea came to pass to avoid electrocution by raising your feet so you don’t touch it, or to possible keep you from grounding yourself. Other variations include doing the same action, but instead making a wish, or lifting your feet when crossing a bridge, instead of or in addition to railroad tracks.