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Superstition Informative Speech

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Informative Speech

Specific Goal: To inform my audience about the myths and mysteries surrounding Superstitions and how they have transitioned through


Thesis Statement: In this essay I will uncover the history and origin of superstitions, common superstitions and what their meaning, and religion superstitions in today's society.


A. "Happy Birthday to you. Happy birthday to You. Happy Birthday Happy Birthday Happy Birthday to you. Okay blow out your candle and make a wish!"

B. Now be honest how many of you today still make a wish on your birthday candle? Did you know that that tradition is actually a superstition? Just like picking a penny heads up for good luck and not walking under a latter in fear of getting bad luck. You ever wonder why the lady behind you just threw salt on you or why at baby showers they spin a needle of the belly of the mother to be to determine the baby's sex. You aren't the only one. In my speech I will inform you of the many different superstitions that are still practiced and why people do the crazy things they do.

C. I am no expert on superstitions when it comes down to why people do such crazy things I am in the same boat you are. But I'll be the first to admit that Yes I am very superstitious. You will always find me making a cross symbol when a black cat crosses my path and if I break a mirror oh boy, I will cry. Seven years bad luck is a long time and it seems to accumulate for me.

D. That's why in my speech I will enlighten you among other things as to why that lady threw salt on you, why you knock on wood when something is said that could possibly jinx you and why people hang horseshoes for good luck. In my speech I will uncover the history and origin of superstitions, common superstitions and what they mean, and religious superstitions in today's society.

Transition to body: To understand superstition you must understand its origins and its history. I mean it had to come from somewhere right?

II. Body

A. History and Origins

1. To begin lets first define what a superstition is.

a. According to the Encyclopedia of Superstitions by E. Radford, Superstiton; "is a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation."

b. Another definition is it's an irrational abject attitude of mind toward the supernatural, nature, or God resulting from superstition

c. And lastly it is a notion maintained despite evidence to the contrary

2. Superstition and its origins date back to centuries ago when our ancestors tried to explain mysterious circumstances or events as best as they could with the knowledge they had.

a. An example is before the development of science explained such strange things as why mirrors show our reflections or why shadows appear when it's sunny, ancient people reasoned that a shadow or reflection was part of their souls.

b. So if someone broke something onto which the shadow or reflection appeared, people believed that their soul was harmed. Therefore, when a person broke a mirror it was considered unlucky or harmful and that is where the common superstition of breaking a mirror brings seven years bad luck.

Transition: That brings me to common superstitions and what the mean.

B. When researching superstitions there were three superstitions that I considered to be common in today's society. Holding your breathe while passing a cemetery, knocking on wood and hang a horseshoe for good luck.

1. Ever wonder why you cutting off your source of oxygen while you drive past a cemetery.

a. The origins of this superstition was said to be sometime during the witch hunt ages. During this time people were extremely fearful of being posed by some evil being. This is where the holding your breathe superstitions comes in. People believed that if you didn't hold your breathe while walking past a cemetery you would breathe in the spirits of someone who recently died.

2. This superstitions is extremely common. I mean common on how many times have you found yourself knocking on wood?

a. This superstition was said to have begun with the Native Americans. The Native Americans believed in Mother Nature and all of her attributes as gifts. It was believed that good spirits lived in trees, and that by knocking on anything made from wood, we could call upon these spirits for protection against misfortune.

b. Another notion was that evil spirits, upon overhearing potential good news during human conversation, would try to sabotage the situation. The sound of rapping on wood was meant to keep the spirits from hearing the news as it was told.

3. Although not as common as knocking on wood many households across America have a horseshoe hanging over the doorway.

a. It is believed that a horseshoe, hung above the doorway, will bring good luck to a home.

b. The ends-pointing-down display simply means that the good luck is able to flow out and



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