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Is This Your Unlucky Day?

Find out how Friday the 13th got its reputation — and the stories behind other popular superstitions

A red bird sits on a branch in front of a wallpapered wall.

Watch the birdie, but keep the windows closed. — Photo by Zachary Scott/Getty Images

A bird in your house portends death

Like most superstitions, this one stems from the days when the ways of the world were a great mystery. A bird's ability to fly led people to assume this outdoor creature was connected to the heavens. So any strange behavior on its part — such as flying into a house — was believed to be a sign of impending doom. 

Next: Open an umbrella indoors and misfortune will "rain." »

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