Watch out for the black cats and cracks

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Don't step on a crack, look out for black cats, don't walk underneath a ladder and treat your mirrors with care. These are some of the most common superstitions, but where did they come from?

When it comes to the lore around Friday the 13th, there are countless stories to choose from according to Eric Clapham, an assistant professor at Black Hills State University.

Clapham says the stories vary from Jesus dying on a Friday to medieval kings killing people on the day. More recently, the movie "Friday the 13th" has added another negative connotation.

"It seems that we've learned it, and as social creatures it's important that if something bad happens to you, I don't need to have it happen to me for me to learn from that," he says.

That learned behavior is a more scientific explanation for the resilience of superstitions throughout history. Clapham explained the brain remembers good and bad events, and tries to find the causes for those outcomes.

While sometimes the correlations are correct, sometimes they aren't which can create the unreasonable superstitions that withstand the test of time.