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13 superstitions that only Chicagoans believe in

Alchemy Arts
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas Alchemy Arts

Chicago isn't exactly known for being a superstitious city—sure, we toss salt all over our roads in the winter, but we're mainly trying to keep them from getting coated with ice. The recent Cubs World Series championship only goes to show that every perceived curse can eventually be broken (or transferred to the local football team). That being said, there are a few superstitions that are only applicable in Chicago—we've gathered 13 of 'em.

Say “Tamale Guy” three times into the mirror and he’ll appear. This isn’t a curse at all, but quite the opposite. Indeed, the appearance of Tamale Guy is a magical byproduct of a drunken night on the West Side.

Lucky Chicago bunny foot. Chicago is delightfully overrun by rabbits—make sure your lucky rabbit’s foot is a Chicagoan. You can tell your rabbit’s foot is a Chicagoan when it refuses to admit it’s cold outside.

Wearing clothes with four-leaf clovers on them. Let’s not mince words here: if you choose to be a Notre Dame fan (or celebrate St. Patrick's Day multiple times throughout the year), you’ve already cursed yourself.

When a 21-year-old improviser crosses your path. Tricky to avoid, yes, but by all means don’t let these bright eyed, bushy-tailed “yes, and”-ers cross your path.

Tom Skilling voodoo dolls. We’re all secretly cursing the revered weatherman, especially when the temperature drops.

Bisecting a six-way intersection in one swoop. Crossing your fingers for good lucky? Psh. Collect the ultimate good luck by crossing North, Damen and Milwaukee all at once. (Note: You’ll need some good luck stored up beforehand.)

606. 666 might be the devil’s number, but in Chicago, 606 means just the opposite. 606 is the number of happiness, exercise and casually checking out shirtless joggers without being pervy about it.

Wishing upon a Big Star. Unlike wishing on real stars, wishing upon a Big Star means terrible things are forthcoming. If you’re at the point where you’re wishing upon an overrated taco restaurant, well, good luck.

Knocking on your Revolution can. Nothing brings good luck by knocking (or lightly tapping) on local craft beer cans. The ultra superstitious can also sub in Half Acre, Begyle, Two Brothers, etc.

Side-swiping a parked car’s mirror. Both a mystical curse and a fat repair fee will fall on your tender shoulders upon side-swiping someone else’s mirror. And honestly, what magical curse could be worse than dealing with a pissed off stranger who’s totally in the right?

Opening an umbrella indoors—actually, just holding an umbrella at all. Come on, it’s just a little rain, right? We’re tougher than a little bit of water. The real curse is looking stupid carrying an umbrella.

Don’t step on a pothole. Stepping into a pothole is basically like stepping on a crack times 100. Go to streets where the mayor’s buddies live and you can avoid this curse altogether.

Letting a goat into a baseball game—oh wait. Never mind, scratch that one.

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