Science aside, mirrors have a number of supernatural legends and superstitions around the world.
From the ancient legend of Narcassus, who fell in love and longed for his reflection in a pool, to the modern urban legend about the horror of summoning Bloody Mary by saying her name three times into a mirror. Snow White's queen has a magic mirror, and Alice walks through a mirror to the other side. In Chinese myths and legends, demon mirrors are frequently referenced.
Mirrors are also closely associated with the concept of spirits, resulting in a wealth of superstitions.
Most of these superstitions are due to the fact that people in ancient times could not explain the principles of optical imaging, and there are still some people who are more superstitious about the supernatural phenomenon of mirrors.
Let's take a look at some superstitions of mirrors, both in ancient and modern times.
Why Do People Believe in the Superstition of Mirrors?
The Greeks believed that a person's reflection on the surface of a pool revealed a person's soul.
But it was actually Roman artisans who learned to make mirrors out of polished metal surfaces and believed that their gods looked at souls through these devices. Damaging a mirror was considered so disrespectful that it was thought to force the gods to pour out bad luck on someone so careless.
Around the third century, when mirrors were made of glass, breakage became more common. But the Romans did not believe that the ensuing doom would last forever. They believed that the body would renew itself every seven years.
The belief that good luck would eventually return was certainly comforting, and people always tended to believe in things that made them feel good, even if they were untrue.
Are there any scientific explanations for why some people might believe in the superstition of mirrors, or is it all just nonsense?
The scientific reason for the superstition of broken mirrors is about psychological explanation.
When we find ourselves in a difficult situation, superstitions can reduce stress and improve performance. They can also be fun to talk about and promote group unity.
For many people, engaging in superstitious behavior can provide a sense of control and reduce anxiety - which is why superstition levels increase in times of stress and anxiety. This is especially true in times of economic crisis and social uncertainty - especially in war and conflict.
Whether you believe in them or not, it can't hurt to abide by these simple rules just in case!
Some Superstitions of Mirrors Around the World
All over the world there is the admonition "not to break the mirror"
Once you find a broken mirror in your home, be sure to replace it promptly. Breaking a mirror can bring 7 years of bad luck.
This saying is very common and first arose in the Roman Empire in the 1st century AD. This is because they believed that seven years was the time for the soul to renew itself.
The Romans were also responsible for providing little-known remedies for anyone who broke a mirror - such as burying the broken mirror pieces deep in the ground.
Superstitious stories about babies and mirrors
Some superstitious stories say that babies before the age of ONE should not look in the mirror, or they will easily have nightmares at night. They believe that babies' souls are more fragile and prone to losing their souls when looking in the mirror.
Scientifically speaking, it is not recommended to look in the mirror for infants within 3 months of age.
Because the baby's vision is not well developed; can not focus; the vision is blurred; and the mirror will reflect light, which will frighten the baby.
But then older babies looking in the mirror have many benefits.
Helps babies to recognize themselves. When a baby looks in the mirror, curiosity will make him interact with himself in the mirror, such as laughing, making faces, etc. This process will help him achieve self-awareness.
It can promote intellectual development. When babies look in the mirror, they will touch and tap their hands to attract the attention of the "other side", and they will imitate the actions in the mirror. These actions will promote the development of their vision, touch and hearing.
Mirror custom at the wedding
At a wedding, the couple should stand together in front of a mirror. This is a sign of a happy married life.
It is said that if the newlyweds look into the mirror together after saying "I do", their souls will become one. Because when you and your loved one look in the mirror together, it creates an alternate universe where the two souls can live together forever.
Another common wedding tradition is risky. But just as fun. Breaking glass on your wedding day is a good sign (try to avoid mirrors!) . The broken glass shards represent how many years the couple will be together.
But in Asian customs, mirrors are not a good omen. Presenting the couple with a mirror on their wedding day can bring bad luck. This is because mirrors symbolize something fragile and breakable, and marriages are supposed to last forever and firmly.
If the mirror on the dresser in the couple's bedroom breaks, then the couple may become unhappy in their relationship.
About Feng Shui Mirror
Mirrors do not always bring bad Feng Shui results; it is also possible to bring positive effects.
Everyone should know that mirrors should not be placed against the bed, so I will not say more.
Mirrors should also not be placed directly against doors and windows. Otherwise it will destroy the good Feng Shui at home.
So what kind of good Feng Shui can mirrors bring?
According to Feng Shui, a mirror placed against the food in the dining room can bring wealth to the owner. A mirror facing a beautiful arrangement or landscape in the house can bring double good luck.
Here are many Feng Shui studies about mirrors, if you are interested, please click to read more.
See your future husband
Legend has it that at midnight on Halloween night, if you peel an apple into a long strip in front of a mirror and then throw the peel over your left shoulder with your right hand, your future husband will appear in the mirror.
Another version is that you sit in front of the mirror and eat an apple. After that you start combing your hair and the image of your future lover will appear in the reflection of the mirror behind your shoulder.
Still another version is to cut the apple into nine slices and eat eight slices yourself. Then, take the ninth slice and throw it into the mirror. Your husband-to-be will appear in the mirror and catch the ninth slice of the apple.
These Halloween traditions were created by women in the 1800s to 1900s in pursuit of love.
And there is also a tradition in China about seeing your future husband in the mirror. A woman who places a mirror under her pillow before going to bed will dream of a strange man who will be her future husband.
Summoning Bloody Mary
Every teen slumber party's "Truth or Dare" night game features Bloody Mary, and there are many versions of the Bloody Mary.
The most common is when you stay in a dark house at midnight and yell "Bloody Mary" three times into the mirror, she will appear.
Sometimes she is harmless; you will only see her reflection in the mirror, and she will answer your questions.
Sometimes she is so vicious that she will stretch her nails and claws out of the mirror to grab people. Use her fangs to rip open people's faces and kill them or force them to commit suicide; she can also trap people in the mirror and pluck out their eyeballs.
Have you ever played this game? Do you believe that you can really summon Bloody Mary in the mirror?
Drink a Bloody Mary to drive away your fears😆
Covering a mirror with a cloth can trap a soul
Once someone dies, their soul is released from their body and begins to roam.
Legend has it that if a soul encounters a mirror before the body is buried (usually within the first three days), their soul will be trapped in the mirror.
This is said to cause the mirror to lose its luster and even turn into the image of the deceased. People often claim to see the faces of the dead in old antique mirrors.
So now, we often cover the mirror in the deceased's home with a cloth during a funeral.
Also, antique mirrors should not be used in bathrooms and bedrooms for this very reason - to prevent the soul of the deceased from being seen in the mirror.
Hanging mirrors to scare away ghosts
In China, a bronze mirror or a Bagua mirror is often hung above the idols. This way, if evil spirits enter their place of worship, they will see their reflections and flee.
It does not have to be a mirror; any highly reflective object will do.
Nowadays, many people also hang mirrors in front of their homes to reflect negative energy from the outside world and protect their homes.
If there is a sharp corner (a sharp roof on someone's house or a sharp decorative object on the road) facing your home, then placing a mirror against that corner will prevent bogeys from entering your home.
It seems that the superstition of mirrors is just a myth. However, like with all myths and legends, there could be some truth to it. If you want to avoid any bad luck, maybe stay away from breaking mirrors. But if you do happen to break one, don't worry – you're not going to bring on a seven-year streak of bad luck. At least that's what science tells us!
Have you ever experienced any bad luck after breaking a mirror? Let us know in the comments below!