ST. LOUIS – Ever wondered which Missouri superstitions are real and which are just stories that people tell each other? Here is a list of the most common superstitions in Missouri, along with whether they are true or not.

Psychologists say superstitions are based on the idea that there is a connection between things that happen at the same time but have nothing to do with each other. For example, the idea that charms bring good luck or keep bad luck away.

Lucky prime numbers

Based on these numbers, the most common superstition in Missouri is picking lucky prime numbers. A prime number is only divisible by itself and by 1.

A number 13 plaque on the exterior of a building.

Sciencing says that these numbers are “lucky” because they made it through a process called “serving.” It is a method that involves crossing out numbers on a list based on a set of rules. With the Sieve of Eratosthenes, you can find prime numbers.

There are many ideas about what numbers are lucky. But other than being called “lucky,” it doesn’t seem like they are any luckier than the numbers that didn’t make it. People think that the numbers 13 and 7 are lucky.

The following superstitions come from Ozark Magic and Folklore by Vance Randolph, a folklorist who put together a book of superstitions.

Coffee grounds

Heap of freshly ground coffee in a red cup

If coffee grounds stick to the high sides of the cup, it means that someone is coming with good news.

In reality, if you use a finer grinder or make too much coffee, water will build up and flow over the paper filter and into the space between the filter basket and the paper filter.

Because the filter basket doesn’t filter the coffee, the grinds can get through and make the coffee cloudy.

Burnt bread

When a woman burns light bread to the crust, it means she will blow up before the day is over.

When you work hard at something but don’t get the results you want, you may feel disappointed or like you’ve failed. Instead of complaining about how bad the bread is, you should clean it.

Unwashed dishes

When a housewife gives a neighbor something to eat or drink, she sends the dish back dirty, because sending it home clean is a sign that she and the neighbor aren’t getting along.

The Oklahoman says to either clean the dish and bring it back, or bring another cooked meal and bring it back. People think it’s rude to not clean the dishes.

Right day to cut fingernails

It’s bad luck to cut your nails on Sunday because you’ll be in pain for a week or the Devil will run your house for a week or something like that. says that this is an old superstition that has been passed down from generation to generation as a way for new parents to learn about their baby’s nails. No one knows for sure what day of the week someone should cut their nails or if the Devil will take them as a victim.

Closing opened scissors

If an Ozark woman sees a pair of scissors open, she closes them right away. If she doesn’t, she will fight with her best friend before the moon changes.

This story seems to have been made up to keep children from using scissors carelessly.

According to the Dartmouth Folklore Archive, opening and closing a pair of scissors without anything in between them can cause problems at home.

The author says that when they were young, it made them sad when their parents fought. Because of this, they can see how this superstition might make kids less likely to use scissors carelessly.

Wooden spoon

a smile on your face, wooden spatulas on a light background, a happy emotion, we are different, but we are together, concept

Don’t pick up a spoon that fell on the road. Women who are having trouble at home may throw a spoon away because they think that whoever picks it up will be cursed.

Even for people who think they are lucky, luck doesn’t just “happen.” Richard Wiseman, a professor of psychology at the University of Hertfordshire in England, has done a lot of research to find out what makes some people lucky and others not.

In one study, he asked people who thought they were lucky or unlucky to read the newspaper. He wrote in big letters on a half-page of newspaper, “Tell the experimenter you saw this and win £250.”

Wiseman found that people who thought they were lucky were more likely to see the ad, while people who thought they were unlucky were more stressed, which made it harder for them to notice things. On Wiseman’s website, there are now “four theories” about luck. All of them have to do with being open to new things and keeping an eye out for chances as they come up.

Bread crusts

Delicious homemade sourdough rye bread on a plate and milk. Homemade baking.

An old wives’ tale says that eating bread crusts will make your hair curly and give you luck when you fish or hunt.

Naturtint says that this myth is false and that eating bread crusts will not make your hair curly.

Whether you’re fishing or hunting, a good way to bait a hook is to feed fish bread crusts. Bread is a great way to catch carp, catfish, and suckers.

Don’t eat in the bathroom

It is very bad luck to eat or drink while urinating or defecating, so when moms found their kids eating candy in the bathroom, they beat them very hard. In this case, a child who eats anything is thought to be feeding the devil and leaving God hungry.

Jenna Brown, an environmental health officer and the founder of Food Safety Mum, says that eating in the bathroom, whether at home or in a public one, can expose food to several pathogens. Germs are things like E. coli and Salmonella that can make you sick.

Over-mixing cake

Whipping cream with a mixer. Bubbles on cream

When a woman makes a cake, she always stirs the batter in the same direction. If you stir it in different directions, the cake will be ruined.

If you mix cookies, cake, muffins, pancake, and bread batters too much, the finished products will be hard, sticky, or chewy in a bad way.

Singing at the dinner table

Sing at the table, sing in bed; if you sing at the table, you’ll marry a crazy person.

Table manners are based on this idea. People think it’s rude to sing at the table.

Table manners dictate that you shouldn’t sing at the dinner table, so would show that you aren’t educated or aren’t as important as other people. Marking yourself as low-status is likely to turn off higher-status relationships, leaving you with fewer socially attractive options (a.k.a. someone “crazy”).