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Top 7 Knife Superstitions: Why Put a Knife Under Your Pillow

I enjoy exploring the workings of the mind and writing about topics related to human psychology.

Top 7 Knife Superstitions

Top 7 Knife Superstitions

The Top 7 Knife Superstitions

Do you consider yourself to be a knife lover? If so, you’re not alone! People have been fascinated with knives for as long as there have been knives. They’re useful tools with plenty of value, and there’s also something inherently cool about them – they can be intimidating weapons, yet beautiful works of craftsmanship.

Knife superstitions are common around the world, but they tend to focus on the same few things: why people put knives under their pillows, what the breaking of a knife means, and why it might be bad luck to pass or hand someone else a knife. Let's take a look at the top seven knife superstitions and see how they have evolved into the beliefs that we are familiar with today.

1. Passing or Handing Knives

There are many superstitions about knives that are passed down from generation to generation. One of the most popular is that its bad luck to pass a knife across the table and have it fall on the floor on either side.

It is also considered bad luck to hand over a knife with the blade facing up or pointing at someone unless you're giving them something else as well (like an apple). Others believe that it's bad luck to pass a knife on from one person to another without wiping the blade, or else the person who receives the knife will be killed.

2. Having a Broken Knife

Many people believe that if you drop your favorite kitchen knife and break it, this will bring you some good fortune because now you can purchase another one. It is also believed that if you put a broken knife under your pillow at night, the broken pieces will grow back together by morning. Another superstition states that a broken knife simply brings good luck for no apparent reason.

3. Giving Knives as a Gift

Buying a knife is a serious matter for some. Some people believe that buying knives as gifts will bring bad luck to the recipient and their family. Some superstitions state that to avoid bad luck from knives as a gift, it is best to not accept them or give them as a present in the first place.

The superstition goes on to say that if the knife was bought by the giver, then there are no problems with giving the gift but if the knife was purchased by the recipient, then they should refuse or exchange the blade for something else. Many people hold the opinion that giving someone a knife as a gift will sever their relationship with them.

4. Pocket Knife Superstitions

If someone drops their pocketknife on the ground, they are calling on more luck and success in their future endeavors Other pocket knife superstitions suggest that a person should always close the blade of their knife before placing it into a sheath or case. The act of closing a blade is seen as an act of respect for the blade’s potential to injure if not handled with care.

5. Falling Knives

Beware of falling knives! The superstition states that if a knife falls, it will cut somebody in the house. There are many stories about people who have fallen and been injured as a result.

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The most famous story is about Grace Darling, who saved several people from a shipwreck on the North Sea in 1838. She was rescued by her father after she had fallen from the cliffs to rescue those on board the ship but died two days later from her injuries.

What does it mean when you drop a knife? According to Farmers' Almanac, when you drop a knife, it means you'll have a fight. The dropping of a knife also suggests that you will be visited by a male friend in the not too distant future.

6. Closing a Knife

It is said that closing a knife can bring bad luck. That's why some people put the blade of the closed knife under their pillow at night. The reason why closing a knife could bring bad luck is because you're trapping or holding onto the unlucky spirit, and if you do not let it out, it will take hold of you. You have to be aware when opening or closing your knives so that you release any negative energy.

7. Putting a Knife Under Your Pillow

Of all the knife superstitions, this one is probably the most classic and widely talked about. It states if you put the knife under your pillow at night, you will have good dreams and nightmares can't harm you. In some cultures, if one falls asleep with a knife in their hand they will have dreams of the future.

The other reason why people put knives under their pillows is that they could keep thieves away from their homes while they slept. If a thief tried to break into the house, he would be scared away by the sight of a shining blade.

Knife superstitions: if you put a knife under your pillow you will have good dreams

Knife superstitions: if you put a knife under your pillow you will have good dreams

The History Behind Knife Superstitions

Knife superstitions have been around for centuries. A superstition traced back to 1646 once claimed that placing a knife across another piece of cutlery was a sign of witchcraft. Due to its long history as a necessary survival tool, the knife is well known for playing a significant role in some cultures' rituals and superstitions.

Knives represent all stages of life, from childbirth to death. For instance, it is believed that placing a knife under the mattress during childbirth will lessen the pain or that sticking a knife into the headboard of a baby's bed will safeguard the child. Some Anglo-Saxon burial customs even included the use of knives to shield the deceased from the afterlife.


Knife superstitions go back centuries, from times when it was thought that witchcraft played a part in crossing shiny blades across one another, to more modern times when we put knives underneath our pillows to protect us from having bad dreams. It seems that these knife superstitions are here to stay and will continue to evolve over future years as well.

Sources and Further Reading

  • Knife - Wikipedia
    A knife is a tool or weapon with a cutting edge or blade, usually attached to a handle or hilt. One of the earliest tools used by humanity, knives appeared ...
  • Drop a knife? Get ready for a visitor. | Farmers' Almanac
    Here are a few more superstitions: If an eyelash falls out, put it on the back of the hand, make a wish and throw it over your shoulder. If it flies off

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 Louise Fiolek

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