Call it what you want, but fear of the unknown is a very real thing. It’s especially true when you’re staying in an unfamiliar place, say… a hotel room.
With everyone taking the opportunity to vacation ever since international travel was allowed and borders reopened, it’s best to remind ourselves of a few precautionary things to do before settling in our hotel rooms.
Whether you’re superstitious or not, there are just some things the hotel staff won’t tell you — some things are better left unsaid. Here are some hotel superstitions your mother probably warned you about:
1. Don’t insist on getting a room when the hotel is full
It’s always best to book your accommodation way in advance, but sometimes it’s just unavoidable (we’re all for spontaneous getaways, after all!)
But if the receptionist tells you that there are no more rooms available, don’t insist on one or you may end up in one that’s reserved for special unseen guests.
2. Knock on the room door when first entering
It’s all about basic courtesy and manners.
Would you walk into your boss’ office without knocking on the door? It’s the same thing for a hotel room – just signal that you’re about to enter by knocking or ringing the doorbell to let ‘whoever’ is inside know that you are coming in. Perhaps they’ll get out.
It’s just a symbolic respectful gesture that requires no effort else you might have some company at night. You might also want to follow up with a simple phrase like “I come in peace and mean no harm…”, just for some extra reassurance.
3. Flush the toilet
It’s said to be another way to ‘flush away’ the room of whatever is still there.
For practical purposes too, sometimes the previous occupant dropped a deuce and somehow housekeeping overlooked it as well. Better to do it and spare yourself the nightmarish sight.
4. Throw around your shoes
Why make it harder to zip to the breakfast buffet? Because clearly, you don’t want to be possessed by ghosts.
Putting your shoes together neatly or leaving them the way you stepped out of them makes it easier for any malevolent ghost to step into your shoes and take over your body.
I usually give one shoe a little spin when I kick them off, but if you’re a neat freak, well… too bad.
5. Leave the holy books alone
Most hotels have a Bible or, in this country, a Quran in one of the bedside drawers. Although you might be tempted to catch up on some reading, I’d bring my own copy if I were you.
There’s usually nothing much to worry about unless it’s already opened to a specific page – just leave it where it was as the holy scripture might be protecting you from whatever was attempting to enter. Some say that closing the book might break a “spell” that was cast to ward off all spirits.
6. Don’t sleep opposite a mirror
This one goes for all places as a general rule. In feng shui, they mention that a mirror facing the bed directly depletes your personal energy when you need it the most.
There are many theories as to why this is imperative, but I heard that you’ll frighten your soul when you wake up and see your reflection. But if you can’t move the mirror or your bed, just cover it with a towel or your luggage and you’re all good for a snooze.
7. Occupy all beds
Single guests are usually given a room with a double bed, but on the off chance that those are fully booked then you might have to make do with a twin-bedded room.
Now, instead of just picking one bed and leaving the other untouched – mess it up. Toss the pillows, turn down the blanket, dump your clothes and towels on it. Just make you send the message that extra company (living or otherwise) is not welcome!
Did you grow up hearing these superstitions, or are you too cynical to believe them? Either way, safe travels!