"This is how we were raised": Superstitions have us believing the strangest things

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"... that's just how we live... This is how we were raised, and this is normal [for] us. There's nothing weird about it."
"... that's just how we live... This is how we were raised, and this is normal [for] us. There's nothing weird about it."

We'd like to imagine that superstitious beliefs are beneath our logical or even faith-based approach to life – until someone sneezes or spills the salt. 

In good ol' SA, superstitions aren't so much taken with a pinch of salt as elevated using bricks under beds. (Tokoloshe, much?) 

According to one Yohan Yoon in South Korea, it isn't a pocket-sized mischievous spirit that form part of the collective folklore, it's fans. 

(Watch Yohan Yoon's video above)


Also see: OPINION: Do you believe in the evil eye?

What superstitious beliefs have been passed down in your family? Share your story with us, and we could publish your letter. If you want to remain anonymous, tell us in your email.


Tis' an ill wind

"There's a superstition found only in Korean culture... in Korea, fans can kill you," said Yohan Yoon, who explains that his discovery of the fan myth came after a visit with his parents, a myth his mom, in particular, swears by. 

"My dad's, mom's, sister's, daughter got married... her husband went to sleep, closed the door, left the fan turned on, suffocated and passed away," explained Yohan's mom, who believes the fan myth with 100% certainty. 

A content contributor for NBC's Left Field documentaries, Yohan used his home visit to explore the origins of the fan superstition and found that like his mom, most of the community members he interviewed believed in it as well, with the exception of a handful of non-believers. 

"I genuinely believed that you could die if you slept with the fan on," said one man. 

"My boyfriend asked me, 'When you sleep, you turn the fan off, right?' And I told him that wasn't real," said a woman. 

In his search for the origin of the odd belief, Yohan came across a conspiracy theory that the myth was started by the South Korean government in an attempt to control the populations' use of electricity at night. Their reason: an electricity crisis. 

This may explain the country's news reports that claimed fans left on during the night caused death. 


Also see: First tooth traditions around the world

"This is how we were raised"

Despite little to no evidence of the myth being true, and subsequent News reports to the contrary, the superstition remains embedded in South Korean culture. 

When asked his opinion on why any of us give merit to superstitious beliefs, Yohan's father, a general surgeon and MD with 40 years of experience, hit the nail on the head. 

"That's just how we live... This is how we were raised, and this is normal for us. There's nothing weird about it." 

Chat back:

What superstitious beliefs have been passed down in your family? Share your story with us, and we could publish your letter. If you want to remain anonymous, tell us in your email.

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