Folk Belief/Superstition

White Lighter Superstitions

– Folk Belief / Superstition

“…you know that white lighters are bad luck? I know lots of n*ggas have gotten fucked using white lighters.  One of my boys had just bought a bomb ass triple chamber bubbler, right?  And like three days later he’s uhh … he’s usin this white lighter to fire it up.  Now, we were outside cause he was tryin to be all careful cause he don’t want his girl to know hes still smoking. N*gga lets loose and shatters that shit on the floor of his balcony.  Of course when we tryin to clean it up, his girl eyes him.  He was in big shit.  I heard another story from my homegirl in downtown.  She said her cuz was out with some fuckin n*ggas in Long Beach. They was sparking some masta kush in the car while parked out on out Ocean. When her cousin was passed the pipe, he uhh, he pulled out his white lighter.  As soon as the n*gga lit the bowl, the fuckin bitch ass police pull up.” (L.M.T.)

Informant Analysis:

“I heard bout white lighters back a few years ago.  I don’t know how true the whole thing is, but I heard enough to know not to buy em.” (L.M.T.)

Personal Analysis:

It’s hard to tell how exactly this superstition began, although I have heard similar stories from other informants.  All the stories tend to involve broken pieces, the police, or simply just a lost lighter.  I figure these same misfortunes occur with all color lighters, but greater attention is paid to that of white lighters due simply to the stigma that has since surrounded them.  Perhaps white lighters may have been easier to spot by the police.  This is made possible in that white lighters might help distinguish cannabis smokers from cigarette smokers due to the resin that builds on the bottom of the lighter.  This resin would be much more noticeable on a white lighter than on any of the darker colors.

It seems this story would most often be told when one literally possesses a white lighter.  It could serve as a conversational item amongst smokers.  Some might take it more seriously than others, but most active bearers of the folklore would probably be prompted to state their dismay upon seeing another’s use of the lighter.  Superstitions amongst smokers may be heightened by the effects of the cannabis itself.  It is rumored that cannabis has the potential to make its users exhibit signs of paranoia.  This paranoia might trigger a smoker to fear and avoid white lighters.

Some smokers might use this superstition to their advantage.  It seems that unintentional lighter theft is rampant in the smoking community.  One might be less likely to pocket a white lighter if familiar with the superstition.  White lighters may, therefore, be a less attractive item, hence stolen less often.

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