Why you will have bad luck if you put your hat on the bed

by hatrevivalist on November 2, 2009

Did you know that putting your hat on your bed may be unlucky?

Perhaps you are not superstitious? You don’t sweat over walking under a ladder. You are not in the least worried if a black cat walks in front of you. There is no stress if you break your mirror. Further you certainly don’t believe that touching or even kissing a frog will give you warts.

On the other hand even if you don’t believe in any of this stuff you avoid doing it anyway in case there IS something to it. (Something like reading your horoscope in the daily newspaper).

I was wondering why I am having no luck these days. Perhaps I can win the lottery if I only kept my hats off my bed. I confess that there have been many hats on my bed. Should I stop or maybe I have garnered enough bad luck to last three life times? Enough already!!!

When hat wearing was common there were many references to this superstition. I see it all the time in the vintage movies I watch. I am addicted to the old movies and the lovely hats in them.

So, is there any factual basis for this bad luck prognosis? Like all these things there is little documentation of beliefs that are handed down over the generations.

A couple of suggested explanations:

  • In the old days people did not wash as much as they do today. Lice in the hair was a huge problem. The lice would go from hair to hat in no time flat. When you put your hat on the bed the lice would jump on to the bed as you will have shaken them loose. My question is when you take your hat off and lie down on the bed the lice would jump on the pillow in any event – yuck!!!
  • The supernatural brings another explanation. It was believed that evil spirits lived in the hair (not surprising since there were a lot of living creatures there!). You can transfer the evil spirits from hair to hat and then to bed. All kinds of nasty spirits would get you at night!! The myth got magnified if some warm dry night you throw your hat on the bed and there are sparks from static electricity – the devil at work no less. You could go to hell for less sorcery. It is really really unlucky to throw your hat on the bed for this reason. I think it is really unlucky to throw your best fashion hat anywhere!!

Some valid questions were raised at this blog post about Italian superstitions. How is this hat on the bed rule to be applied?

  • Can one throw all one’s clothing on the bed except the hat?
  • If I hang the hat on a bed post does that count?
  • What if the hat rests on top of something in actual contact with the bed?
  • What if the hat is inside something else in contact with the bed – a coat for example?
  • Are all hats dangerous when on a bed or is it just brimmed hats?

Good questions – do our readers have more questions?

As I mentioned before there are references to this superstition in the popular culture. Please read the blog post on this at the Village Hat Shop.

The movie Drugstore Cowboy is one such reference in relatively recent times. I have not seen the movie and it is not one I really feel the urge to watch. The main character was obsessed by the superstition that it may have led to murder. All this craziness came from a botched drug heist where one of the gang put her hat on the bed. Read more ….

Well what does everyone think of this? Do you have any bad experiences from leaving your hat on the bed? Perhaps one drunken night you left your best high fashion hat on the bed and then accidently laid down on it – an ouch moment!

Props also to this reference about superstitions.

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