Black Cat Superstition, Halloween, And Why They “Bring Bad Luck”

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By Mayukh Saha / Truth Theory

Black Cat superstition can be considered to be one of the oldest superstitions. We consider that it is bad luck if a black cat crosses our path. These black cat superstitions have brought about modern Halloween symbols and have given these felines the tag of being spooky.

Read on to find out where and how this association was made between black cats and bad luck.

The Origin Of Black Cat Superstitions

The relationship between cats and humans dates back to the earliest civilizations. It was in Egypt where cats were hailed as divine symbols. Cats had a role in Greek mythology too, as it was a pet to the Goddess Hecate of magic and sorcery. It was at this point that black cat superstitions became more popular.

Black cat superstitions were found in written records dating back to the 13th century. A church document called “Vox In Rama” was issued by the Pope. It was mentioned in the document that black cats were declared as an “incarnation of Satan”. 

This decree started the church-sanctioned witch hunts. It was designed to destroy the growing Luciferians in Germany but had quickly spread all over Europe.

Early Christian Church Threatened By Cats And Witches

Medieval Europe saw Cats being linked to Witches as opposed to Satan.

The early Christian Church coexisted with the era of witches and it saw that the witches were their direct competition to winning the minds and hearts of the people. This is when the church began to hunt, torture, and kill witches in large numbers.

Witches honored the natural world and had great respect for animals and plants. As such, the Church considered it to be diabolical to have affection for animals. Black cat superstition arose soon and old ladies with cats became a suspect.

Read: Study Says Cats Form Emotional Attachments To Their Owners Like Dogs And Babies

Black cats were accused of witchcraft as they tended to exhibit great disrespect towards authority. In the church, neither independent women nor animals were tolerated.

After some point, witches were paired with black cats, but it was not clear why that happened. The black cat superstition and its association with witchcraft spread towards the Atlantic due to Puritan colonists. 

Cats were murdered during the Middle Ages as it was associated with evil deeds. Some people went ahead and blamed them for spreading the Bubonic plague. They used this reason to get rid of these animals but their plan backfired.

The killing of cats helped speed up the rate of the plague. The fewer number of cats could not control the rodent population which sped up the disease. 

Black Cat Superstition: Origin Of The “Crossing Your Path” Superstition

It was believed that witches and devils could take the form of cats during Medieval times. The black cat superstition came from a thought that a witch could be on a mission to thwart your plans. It could also be the devil and was considered to be a bad omen.

The black cat superstition carried on to the Renaissance and peasants fled to their churches to ask for blessings and rid them of any curse that could be laid by the black cat. This was seen by the Church as a source of income and such fears were encouraged.

Read: Prisoners Lives Changed After Shelter Cats Allowed In Indiana Prisons

Black cat superstitions are not universal and some cultures believe that black cats are bringers of good luck. They were honored in Egypt as they resembled the Goddess Bastet. In other countries, such as Scotland and Japan, they have been known to represent prosperity.

Black cats can be seen as a stroke of good luck or an evil force. It all depends on you and which lore you chose to embrace.

Image credit: 123RF

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