When men's reasoning power fails to investigate, superstitions begin. In the ancient times man's knowledge of himself and his surrounding was limited. So he used to believe in a number of superstitions. With the progress of science superstitions started disappearing. Science has dissolved superstitions. Still some of the superstitions stick to us and even if we try we cannot forget them. In the past people used to believe that when comets are seen the kings have to suffer. When Julius Caesar was murdered there was a wild thunder storm. Similarly, people used to believe many other superstitions. Even today English people are considered to be the most superstitious people of the world. In India also some superstitions are well known.
While lying in my bed, reading a novel and wandering in the world of imagination if I hear the wailing of a dog I f eel a shudder down my spine. In fact it is a bad omen. People in India think that if a dog wails it is a sign of some approaching death.
Similarly, while going on an important errand, if some cat crosses the road one does not go. It is considered to be a bad omen. So is the case with sneezing. It is believed that sneezing and crossing of the cat bring bad luck.
The hooting of the owl forbodes some evil happening. Owl is the bird of night and as such it is not favored by the astrologers and others.
Among the English people there are many superstitions. For example, Hardy in his novel 'Tess of the D’urbervilles' mentions' some of them. He tells that it was a common belief among the people if a new milching maid comes cows will not yield milk. Similarly, he tells us that before the marriage of Tess some owls were seen and so she could not lead a happy married life.
Another superstition which is nursed by the people is that one should not meet a Brahmin while going for some work. They also say that if at this time the person comes across a dead body, it is a good omen. It is difficult to reason out the superstitions.
Another superstition of the English people is that if a person dies because of drawing some spirits lament for him. In the same manner where a death is to occur some of the ghost or shadows start visiting that house.
In fact many crimes are committed because of superstitions. It is because of superstitious belief that human sacrifices are made. They also think that whenever the ghosts become angry, it is necessary to please them. Superstitions can be finished only if we develop scientific temperament. But superstitions have their own romantic charm even in this world of science. Even many scientists act by taking superstitions into consideration.