Mon, 08 Oct 2012 13:45:00 GMT | By Tom Phillips
13 superstitions and their origins

Black cats

Black Cats (© Dean Lipoff / Rex Features)
  • Black Cats (© Dean Lipoff / Rex Features)
  • The Scottish Play (© Rex Features)
  • Gargoyles (© traumlichtfabrik/Flickr/Getty Images)
  • Dead Man's Hand (© gfpeck/Flickr/CC)
  • Crossing fingers (© OJO Images / Rex Features)
  • Broken Mirrors (© Novastock / Rex Features)
  • Groundhog Day (© Columbia/Everett/Rex Features)
  • Spilled Salt (© Jeffrey Coolidge/Digital Vision/Getty Images)
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Black cats have long been seen in Western cultures as an omen of bad luck - they have long been associated with witches, and many cultures believe that a black cat crossing your path means you will suffer disaster or even death. Gamblers are especially fearful of the black cat curse - many of them believe that if they see a black cat while going to a casino, they should abandon their plans to gamble there.

However, it's not all bad news for the black cats; in some cultures, including in Japan, Great Britain and Ireland, the opposite is true, and black cats are seen as bringers of good luck.