Where Does the Fear of Omens Come From? (Revealed)

Comets have long been associated with terror in various cultures. Seen as portents of death or even as signs from above, comets have often been seen as signs of doom or divine punishment.

Crows are often taken as an omen of death and sighting a group can predict an impending loss. Owls are also considered dangerous due to their magical properties which allow them to cast spells and take souls.


Crows and ravens are creatures long associated with superstition, serving as portents of both good fortune and bad luck. Their dark plumage, haunting calls and mysterious behavior have caused many people to view these birds as portents of death, witchcraft or supernatural beings – including urban legends that claim that hearing crows in your house means someone is about to pass.

Crows and ravens are predatory birds that prey upon other organisms for sustenance, making them natural omens of death in many cultures. Crows are commonly seen circling battlefields, cemeteries and other sites where animals or humans are expected to die soon – often in large groups above these sites. Furthermore, these birds may provide messages between our world and the afterlife by passing messages between living humans and dead souls in spirit form – providing another link between these realms.

Black is often associated with death and evil, so seeing dead crows or ravens lying around on the ground is seen as a bad omen; some cultures believe seeing multiple dead birds (known as “murder”) at once signals someone is about to die.

Crows are highly intelligent birds, famous for using tools, imitating human speech and solving complex problems. Crows also exhibit social behavior which may explain why they’ve come to be associated with evil and foreboding – they frequently appear in horror movies or tales of mischief, leading many people to fear them as a result.

Crows and ravens are closely associated with witchcraft in European folklore. Over the ages, these birds have been thought to be familiars of witches that help cast spells and gain knowledge of the supernatural. Crows can even be found as literary characters such as William Shakespeare’s Macbeth where seeing an appearance of one foreshadowing an appearance of witches at the palace; several omens are attached with ravens or crows that might indicate something unfavorable happening: seeing an unusual number is seen as an omen forebode of something negative!


Owls are unquestionably one of the world’s most mysterious and captivating animals, yet in some cultures these intelligent nocturnal birds have come to symbolize misfortune and even witchcraft. Owls were popular symbols in ancient Greece and Rome due to their association with prophecy; this made them appealing targets for witches using shapeshifting techniques to disguise themselves as owls and enter houses where victims resided in order to perpetrate harm against them.

Even today, this mythic creature carries with it an association with death and destruction due to its nighttime hunting habits and unsettling hoots. Many believe hearing three consecutive hoots from an owl is an omen of bad luck while some even consider seeing an owl during daylight as bad omens.

While owls may seem terrifying, the truth is that these majestic birds pose no harm to humankind. You should only ever come within close proximity of an owl nest by accident – otherwise the chances are very low that one of these wondrous animals will make an appearance! Furthermore, these amazing animals do not hunt humans; while they may prey upon smaller mammals like mice and voles for food; humans do not factor into their hunt at all!

Superstitions about a ringing noise should always be treated with caution; while their roots lie largely in folklore and traditional beliefs, they still can have an enormous effect on our behavior. Superstitions provide us with comfort in an uncertain world – don’t let them stop you from exploring nature’s wonders!

Jonathan Slaght is Projects Manager of Wildlife Conservation Society’s Russia program and Julie Larsen Maher serves as Staff Photographer at five New York wildlife parks: Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, New York Aquarium Prospect Park Zoo Queens Zoo. Together they are working on an expert essay series for Live Science on some of Earth’s most intriguing species.

Deathwatch Beetles

Deathwatch beetles have long been seen as an omen of impending doom. Though not considered ghostly in nature, these wood-boring insects wreak havoc by feeding on structural timbers found in old buildings and homes, often leaving behind extensive damage as a result. While not directly harmful to people, deathwatch beetles must still be dealt with immediately to minimize further disruption and protect property assets from further infestation.

The Deathwatch Beetle (Xestobium rufovillosum) is a grayish-brown insect belonging to the Anobiidae family and Coleoptera order of insects, typically found laying its eggs in dark crevices of old wood, such as trees or structures. Once hatching, larvae bore into it feeding for up to ten years before pupating into adult beetles – deathwatch beetles prefer attacking damp timber that has experienced fungal decay; particularly fondly they enjoy attacking oak wood.

Adult beetles resembling deathwatch clocks, with heads almost entirely hidden beneath an overhanging thorax and wings hidden within their shells, resemble deathwatch clocks in appearance and have long been associated with tragedy and death due to being easily mistaken as human corpses, leading to their folkloric reputation as bearers of bad news and impending doom.

As part of their mating rituals in summertime, adult deathwatch beetles emit an audible tapping sound to attract potential mates – this sound resembles that of a grandfather clock and has come to symbolize mortality and bad omens. Furthermore, tapping sounds may also be heard throughout the day as adult beetles chew away at timber structures in old buildings.

Deathwatch beetles don’t pose any direct threat to humans, but their damage to wooden structures should be eliminated quickly and completely. Depending on its extent, hiring an experienced pest control company might be best.

AZ Animals is an expanding team of animal experts, researchers, farmers, conservationists, writers and editors working together to share our knowledge about animals with the world. Our goal is to help people comprehend the complexity of wildlife; how it influences our lives; and the necessity of protecting it.

Phantom Funerals

People often interpret certain omens as portents of death. This is an understandable response when something inexplicable cannot be explained scientifically – such as an eclipse, auroras, or comet. Unfortunately, placing faith in unfounded magical thinking over scientific factual analysis may prove hazardous when it comes to your survival.

Over time, various cultures have identified certain symbols and experiences as being death omens. Some can predict an individual’s passing while others serve as universally applicable indicators of imminent doom.

Some people believe that witnessing a funeral procession go by without attending is a sure sign of impending death, while dreaming of muddy water – which symbolizes negative emotions bubbling to the surface – or wearing black in front of mourners is seen as an omen of impending doom.

An indication of death may also come in the form of a visit from a loved one’s spirit. It is thought that souls often attend their own funerals in order to assess how well they’re being received by loved ones and/or properties they prefer or dislike in order to attempt reentering physical reality – if unable to reenter, spirits often linger around until successful reentry occurs.

Other signs of death could include hearing three knocks on a wall or door when no one is present, seeing cats inside houses, or seeing shadows pass by windows. According to some people’s beliefs, hearing taps on window sills is indicative of someone already deceased being around and that tapping represents ghostly presences who have already crossed over.

Many have heard it said that dropping salt onto the floor and having it shatter is a sure sign of death, much like when Judas spilled his salt at the Last Supper. Furthermore, many believe walking past a graveyard while it rains is also an omen of death as spirits from those deceased may come back into our realm and cause trouble to those still living.

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