West Indian Superstitions

I grew up with a lot of nonsensical superstitions that I half paid attention to. Some of the ones that stand out are below. My first-hand experience are with Trinidadian superstitions but I've learned that there are commonalities between us island folk and perhaps others as well.
  1. If you attend a funeral and you are coming home you have either walked into the threshold backwards or sprinkle water over you head.
    This is to prevent any spirits may have become fond of you home. It's what you do when you don't want have to call the Ghostbusters because it's long distance. Also, spirits are called jhumbies. They are scary as shit and every scary story includes them. I guess the bogeyman is the equivalent.
  2. You should not point... At cemeteries. If you do you need to bite all 10 of your fingers. I'm not sure if this is because you've disrespected the dead.
    Yep I had to do this. I was 5 and I tell you I think about it every time I drive past a cemetery.
  3. When you're pregnant you should not drink a lot of chocolate milk otherwise your kid will be dark-skinned
    Lightness is revered above all else.
  4. Do not go swimming on Good Friday. Unless you want to turn into a fish.
    Sure. Why not.
  5. Do not hand someone a knife or a pepper. If you do you and this person will argue.
    My family is a firm believer of this. I tried to insist that my uncle take the pepper from my hands and he told me to put it on the floor so he could then pick it up. It's hilarious to watch this.
  6. Don't pick fruit after 6pm. The tree is sleeping and you are a disrespectful asshole for doing this.
  7. Do not cut a baby's hair until he or she has said their first word. If you do cut their hair this child will never speak.
    My sister did cut her son's hair before he spoke his first word. He didn't speak until he was 3, completely unrelated, of course, but her other two kids had very long hair until she said their first words.
  8. If you want someone to leave your house because they've overstayed their welcome you need to place a broom upside down near the door.
    Imagine how awkward this gets. Sure the person left because they literally saw you trying to get them to leave.
  9. There is a certain time in the year that you should not be under any trees or tree branches after 6pm as spirits are more free during this period
    I totally forgot the name of this. You also need to leave food out for the dead.
  10. Do not put your bag/purse on the floor, if you do you will lose money.
  11. If you sweep your house or property (we swept our yards/driveways - don't judge) at night you will sweep away good fortune
  12. If you sweep the feet of another person they won't get married
    Not sure why brooms and sweeping was so prominent
  13. If there is hair on your hairbrush you should not just throw it away. If you do the following things might happen: someone will use it to do Obeah (voodoo) on you or a bird will make a nest using your shedding hair and you will suffer with headaches.
    What you should do is spit on it or wrap it in another bag or paper. Supposedly those are impenetrable to people using black magic and birds.
  14. If you need to sew anything on a garment of clothing you are wearing (for example, a button) you have to have a put a piece of paper in your mouth while doing so.
    I don't even know why. I just don't sew.
  15. Before going to bed you should "dust off" your bed. This is dusting away and spirits that may have gone in for a nap.
    I'd get tired too following people home after they attend funerals.
  16. If you physically cross someone by walking over them this will cause them to stop growing. To reverse this you only need to cross back.
    F U genetics. This shit is real.
  17. People born on certain days of the week have sayings about them. I only know this because I was born on a Saturday, which is if you are born on a Saturday you will struggle in life.
    Seems about right.