Superstitions abound in local area

By Ryn Gargulinski: Columnist

Anyone who can read this should consider themselves lucky — they survived yet another Friday the 13th.

Not that I’m superstitious, knock wood, but certain things, like a full moon or the stray black cat that’s been circling my yard, just make me a little wary.

This certainly applies for Friday the 13th.

I even toyed with taking the day off, but I figured I’d be safer at work in a newspaper office than at home in my haunted farmhouse.

Although we did have a bat in the office not too long ago. It hung blithely from the ceiling above my desk while my coworkers insisted I put it there on purpose.

But bats, black cats and the number 13 aren’t the only things that send some superstitious folks into a frenzy.

And who can blame them, especially with the host of superstitions surrounding the Land of Enchantment.

Some local superstitions include ghosts in the Hotel Clovis and the angry spirits of murdered men who swirl about Tucumcari Mountain. These are best seen at night, of course, while walking a black cat in a full moon.

The state capital is also a hotbed of superstitions and haunted haunts.

Workers at a health care facility built on an old penitentiary graveyard report it’s often filled with unexplained cold spots, moans and groans.

A visitor at a corner home where a wheelchair-bound child tumbled down the stairs to his death said he witnessed moans and groans, the smell of rotting meat and blasts of air so chilled it killed the houseplants.

Folks have also seen a headless horseman galloping down Alto Street to the Santa Fe River.

Many superstitions trot around the rodeo arena.

Riders should make sure to shave before a performance in order to woo Lady Luck, wear a different color sock on each foot for increased luck and never put a cowboy hat on the bed, as it could lead to severe injury, mutilation or death.

The hat thing actually applies to all hats — not just those that can hold 10 gallons of water.

It’s also bad luck to put new cowboy boots, or any new shoes, on the kitchen table.

I once witnessed the heinous bad luck new shoes on a table can bring.

A mom came home and put new shoes on the table. This led to her twin sons being separated at birth, one growing up rich and the other poor, only to end up shooting each other to death in a back alley somewhere.

Sure, I witnessed that horror on-stage in a London play with actors attempting to emulate American accents, but it was a strong message just the same.

My new shoes go right in the shoe rack, thank you.

A few other New Mexico superstitions include the bad luck that comes from riding backward and blindfolded down Route 66 and not eating tumbleweeds to substitute for the spinach that’s been pulled off the shelves in the E. coli scare.

But that’s just common sense.

But then again, aren’t all superstitions common sense?