17 Superstitions You Didn't Know Were Rooted In History

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If you've ever held your breath driving by a graveyard or knocked on wood after voicing something optimistic, you know how ingrained superstitions can be. Although people tend to be dismissive of old wives' tales these days — while still going through the motions, of course, just in case — quite a few superstitions are rooted in history. From tossing a coin into a wishing well to crossing the street to avoid a black cat, some rituals have stuck around long after the beliefs that created them have faded away.

If you've ever wondered why some superstitions exist, today is your lucky day  (no rabbit foot required). Here are the historical origins of 17 common superstitions.

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