American`s Superstitions

American`s Superstitions
Superstition is defined as a belief not based on human reason or scientific knowledge. Also considered a belief in something not justified by reason or evidence. Americans today have become more superstitious than ever. Superstition has begun to grow in our country and breathe new beliefs and thoughts into the American people. Movies and books that are commonly read by Americans have caused them to become more naïve inducing their superstitious beliefs. Many types of movies influence superstitious beliefs. These movies can vary in genre these include: supernatural movies, fantasy movies, and horror movies. All of these movies tend to expand the beliefs in human superstition. The term supernatural refers to an order of existence beyond the scientifically visible universe. The 2009 film Unborn is a prime example of a supernatural film. The movie is about a young woman who is haunted by an evil young boy after having a dreadful nightmare. She later finds out that her mother lost an unborn child whom died in her womb. According to, the website states ?Unborn is a supernatural thriller that draws upon the legend of a dybbuk, a malevolent spirit that refuses to leave the human world and inhabits the body of a person.? (Synopsis paragraph1). Dybbuk is the belief that a demon enters the body of a living person and controls that body?s behavior.

Fantasy is defined as imagination unrestricted by reality. The 1960 Disney movie Peter Pan is a fantasy movie. Peter Pan is about a boy who refused to grow up. It has been proven that even movies as small as this one can have an impact on human beliefs. The late Michael Jackson viewed his life as if he was Peter Pan himself and never wanted to grow up. However some found something bizarre about this principle, some viewed it as typical human behavior. The Disney films Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel all are fantasy movies that assumes life will be happily ever after no matter the circumstances.

Horror films have so much effect upon many superstitious beliefs. The movie Friday the 13th is an American movie that has shaped a superstitious belief. Some people believe that the actually day will be unlucky, and yet a gruesome day. Friday has been considered an unlucky day since the 14th century Canterbury Tales. The 1984 film Nightmare on Elm Street itself has caused Americans to become superstitions as well. There is speculation that the superstitions of Bloody Mary, Candy Man, and belief in other non-human monster like creatures have come from movies of this kind.

Books can be another source that influences these beliefs. The books can contain fantasy, horror, cultural superstitions, etc. The book Thinks Fall Apart by the author Chinua Achebe is an example of superstition brought up in books. Superstitions in this book includes one where the main character Okonkwo beats his wife during what his culture knew as Peace Week and had to repent, or an evil spirit would fall over his clan. Okonkwo?s father Unoka died of a serious illness and instead of burying him, they threw him in the Evil Forrest they believed it would offend the earth if he was buried. Members of their clan that suffered from infirmities were seen as unclean, and were not able to be buried so they had to be cast into the Evil Forest. Another was that if a child was stillborn, it is known as an ogbanje, a wicked child who dies and returns to the mothers wound to be reborn. This clan also believed that if someone called your name from outside you should not answer ?yes?, instead you would state ?Is that me? in fear that it could be the evil spirits calling. You should not call a snake by its name; you should call it a string. They also believe that if you whistled at night it would attract evil spirits. This book relates to Americans so much because we do tend to believe in things based upon our culture and what we are raised up to believe.

The book Macbeth that is commonly read by high school students is full of superstitions about prophecies. There are three witches that prophesize Macbeth will be king one day. There is also the weird sisters who makes a number of prophecies throughout the story. They prophesize that Banqou?s heirs will be kings, that Macbeth should be aware of Macduff, that Macbeth is safe until Birnam comes to Dunsinane, and also that no man born of woman can harm Macbeth. This relates to today?s time when Americans believe in psychics. This concept opens up the human mind to believing that one is gifted with the ability to make predictions of impending events. One know psychic is Sylvia Brown. Who has predicted many things, some of which have never become true.

After life is referred as the idea that conciousness or mind of being continues after physical death occurs. (Paragraph 1). The book The Afterlife Experiments: Breakthrough Scientific Evidence of Life After Death is about a scientists who really wants to know is there life after death. He unfolds many accounts that could prove science wrong and could actually prove that there may be life after death. Some Americans do believe in the life after death theory while some do not. Will there be someone to prove that there is life after death, or will it just be added to our gatherings of superstitious beliefs.

Therefore I conclude that books and movies of these kind can and do have a major effect on superstition in the American culture. In our days and times movies and books continue to generate. In addition to this being stated it can be assumed that these beliefs will continue to expand and new beliefs will be born.

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