Very Superstitious - 36 million Brits believe in the ‘special powers’ of household artefacts and good luck charms
7th September 2009: New research revealed today shows that three quarters of Brits believe certain household artefacts have brought them comfort and good luck! 20% of those questioned even go as far as to admit they believe artefacts in their homes hold ‘special powers’ or spiritual meaning, despite 61% of those questioned claiming they are not superstitious!
The research, from the SCI FI channel, to celebrate the UK premiere of hit US TV series Warehouse 13 (Tuesday, September 8th at 9pm) has found the top five most common artefacts found in UK households which are perceived to hold ‘special powers’ are: gemstones, wind chimes, charm bracelets, dream catchers and Buddhas.
The majority of us (74%) believe good things have happened since certain items have come into our possession, with the luckiest items being vintage jewellery, crystals and Buddhas, whilst antique dolls are said to be the items that have brought us the most bad luck.
Professor Richard Wiseman, head of research at the University of Hertforshire, who has gained an international reputation for research into quirky areas of psychology, including luck and the paranormal, comments: "Owning such objects may not be as irrational as it appears. It is quite possible that they might make people feel better, and be more optimistic about the future and this, in turn, could make them persist in the face of failure and adopt a more positive outlook that could then act as a self-fulfilling prophesy, resulting in them experiencing good fortune".
The research also reveals that the younger you are, the more sceptical you are likely to be with only 27% of 18 year olds admit to being superstitious, compared to 48% of those aged 50 and over. The cynicism of the younger age group is also reflected when it comes to money - 40% of 26-30 year olds keep an artefact because of its monetary value, compared to just 16% of those aged 56 years and over.
The majority of us inherit artefacts from family members (34%) and very often keep them because they have some sort of sentimental value (36%). However, one in ten of us admit to keeping something because we get a ‘good feeling’ from it.
Interestingly, women (42%) are more superstitious than men (30%). Professor Wiseman concludes: “There is considerable debate about why this is the case, but many researchers believe that it is cultural - in most societies there is considerable pressure on men to appear emotionally strong and rational, and thus they are often reluctant to admit to being superstitious.”
The South West is the least superstitious region of the UK, despite the area being known for having spiritual and pagan associations. However, those living in the region are the most likely to give artefacts and relics to each other as gifts. The most superstitious region is the North West, followed closely by the Midlands. Londoners are the most likely to keep a religious symbol or special artefact in their car to warn off potential danger whilst driving.
Warehouse 13 - part X-Files, part Indiana Jones - centres on two secret service agents who are consigned to a massive, top-secret storage facility in windswept South Dakota, which houses every strange artefact, mysterious relic, fantastical object and supernatural souvenir ever collected by the US government.
Warehouse 13 sees the agents tasked with tracking down plenty of other tricky items imbued with paranormal powers and bring them back to the warehouse.
Warehouse 13 comes to UK screens every Tuesday at 9pm from September 8th 2009, exclusively on the SCI FI channel, which is available on Sky, Virgin Media and Tiscali TV. Viewers can also watch in High Definition, exclusively on Sky channel 214.