Celebrities with Strange Superstitions | Reader’s Digest

Most of us have an irrational fear 
or habit. Famous folks often seem 
to go one step further.

Lucille Ball

Lucille BallEllen Weinstein for Reader’s Digest

On the day that three-year-old 
Lucille Ball’s father died, a bird flew into her home and became trapped. Traumatized by the events, she 
developed a lifelong avian aversion. The actor (1911–1989) even refused to stay in hotels that had pictures of birds on the walls. Check out the bizarre origins of everyday superstitions.

Gustav Mahler

Gustav MahlerEllen Weinstein for Reader’s Digest

Composer Gustav Mahler (1860–1911) thought he could cheat death by not naming 
his ninth symphony 
by number. This was 
because several 
composers, including Beethoven and Schubert, had died after completing their ninth symphonies. So Mahler called his ninth The Song of the Earth—and it worked, 
in a sense. He lived long enough to write most 
of his tenth symphony, though he died before it was performed.

Michael Jordan

Michael JordanEllen Weinstein for Reader’s Digest

Michael Jordan (1963– ) reportedly began the trendsetting change from mid-thigh basketball shorts to longer ones as a way of covering up a pair of University of North Carolina shorts, which he wore 
for good luck under his Chicago Bulls uniform. Find out the history behind 5 common superstitions. 


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