Saturday 20 August 2016

Blood luck - a strange superstition from Harbour Deep, Newfoundland. #folklore

I came across this paragraph about folk belief and superstitions from the community of Harbour Deep, located on the east coast of Newfoundland's Great Northern Peninsula:

The settlers had many superstitions and were obsessed by a belief in the presence of ghosts. It was common to hear of a man, who, while rowing across the harbor, had seen a phantom French ship, with many soldiers aboard, also crossing. Others had seen an Indian ghost following them from one settlement to another. Their superstitions were legion and I shall mention only one. During the seal hunt if a successful hunter saw anybody throwing blood out of his boat into the boat of another, a fight was sure to follow because the hunter believed that his luck was being stolen. 
- J. Morgan, "Recollections of Harbour Deep." September 1957, page 5. Atlantic Guardian Vol 14, no 9

Has anyone come across the idea of someone using blood to break someone's luck? If you have, I'd love to hear about it! You can email me at

Dale Jarvis is an author, storyteller, and professional folklorist who splits his time between St. John’s and Clarke’s Beach, Newfoundland, Canada. The proprietor of the St. John’s Haunted Hike ghost tour, Dale tells ghost stories, supernatural stories, legends and traditional tales from Newfoundland, Labrador and beyond. The Haunted Hike runs every Sunday to Thursday during the summer, and is online at You can like us on Facebook, or better yet, come along and let us tell you a tale!

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