Halloween & Black Cats: Are Black Cats Really so Scary?


black cat superstitions

Why is it that some people are superstitious about black cats? Why are some people even afraid of black cats? Let’s have some Halloween fun with our feline friends and explore black cat myths. The black cats in these myths and tidbits are cats with all black fur, but can be a dark or light variety of black fur. Some black cats have fur that turns brownish in the sunlight, which is called rusting. These are still considered black cats. Also, these mysterious black cats also have black noses and paw pads. Most are not a particular breed of cat, but there is a breed that has nothing but black fur – the Bombay.

Some cultures believe that black cats are bad luck, while others believe they are good luck. The folklore on black cats is quite interesting.

Black Cats and Witches

In the Middle Ages some believed that black cats were familiar spirits of witches. Some believed that witches reincarnated into black cats. The Middle Ages is when the black cat became associated with things evil, and it’s all because our feline friends are nocturnal. People saw the black cats roaming the nights and they believed they were either witches reincarnated or a witch masquerading as a cat or a witch’s aid, otherwise known as a familiar. Unfortunately, when witches were put on trial and burned, their familiars (black cats) were killed along with them because of these beliefs.

Halloween, Black Cats & Witches

Have you ever wondered why witch and cat costumes are so popular for Halloween? Well, now you know. It all started in the misguided beliefs of those in the Middle Ages. Now we dress up as witches and black cats for fun, and decorate our homes with them during the month of October. We celebrate them!

Black Cat Superstitions

  1. Specifically in Yorkshire, England, it is considered good luck to own a black cat, but bad luck if one crosses your path. Some in North America also believe it is bad luck to have a black cat cross your path. Superstitious North Americans will also believe a white cat will bring good luck.
  2. In the UK and Asia black cats are considered good luck.
  3. If you have a dream of a black cat, it’s considered good luck.
  4. However, if you see a black cat in your dream it could mean that you are afraid of believing what your intuition is telling you, or you’re scared to use your psychic abilities.
  5. Scottish folklore says that a black cat on your porch will bring the owner prosperity.
  6. If you find a white fur on a black cat you will have good luck. Unless you pluck that white hair. Then your luck will turn sour.
  7. If you are in a funeral procession and a black cat shows up it means another family member will die.
  8. If you see a black cat walking away it’s bad luck, but if the furry friend is coming to you it is good luck.
  9. Another superstition, and this is quite the superstition, says that if you are driving and a black cat crosses your path you need to turn your hat backward and write an “X” on your windshield. Just doing this one could get you in a car accident!
  10. In the 1700s in Italy people believed that if a black cat were to lay on someone’s bed that person would get sick and die.

It must be exhausting to be superstitious! Black cats aren’t so scary. These are all just superstitions and myths. Enjoy Halloween and dress up as a black cat. Stay safe!

Photo:  Courtesy of Alan Turkus via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Nicky LaMarco has been a freelance writer since 2001. Nicky is an experienced ghostwriter and copywriter. She also writes for a variety of magazines. Nicky lives in Maine with her husband, two daughters, and two cats. Learn more about her at www.nickylamarco.com.