Be honest now – when you spill salt, do you throw some over your shoulder? Do you knock on wood when you want something good to happen or blow out birthday candles after making a wish? What about stepping on sidewalk cracks, killing spiders, and opening an umbrella indoors? How do you feel about Friday the 13th?
This film will delve into the fascinating world of superstition, travelling the world to explore myriad superstitions, learning about their origins, and above all, discovering what they tell us about ourselves.
We live in the most scientifically and technologically advanced time in all of history. Yet we are more superstitious than ever. Multi-million dollar skyscrapers are designed in consultation with feng shui experts, and 80% of all buildings lack a thirteenth floor. Stock markets consistently go down when there is an eclipse, and there is now an investment fund which buys and sells solely guided by superstitious beliefs.
Almost no one is immune. Athletes, architects, actors, fishermen, even politicians and scientists – all can be captive to complex superstitions, convinced that their success depends upon carrying out these precise rituals. We know it makes no sense, but the instinct is so deeply ingrained that we cannot help ourselves.
New studies are starting to shed light on why we are superstitious: because it works. Psychologists argue that superstition is good – it helps us deal with life, and scientists say it’s hard-wired into our brains.
As we move through this world of irrational beliefs, we will meet skeptics and believers,
experts and ordinary people. Whether we view superstition as a waste of time or even harmful, or embrace it as a positive force to help us get through our lives, one thing seems clear: to believe in superstition does not make you stupid, ignorant or crazy. It makes you human.