Mining Superstitions

Making It Happen

Sometimes a story just won’t leave me alone until I get it down on paper (or, the virtual paper that is my laptop). Stories are very much like living things, pesky little needy things that nag and nag and nag until I finally cave in and write it down. Normally I don’t mind the nagging, but since I’m in the middle of edits for FRUITION, it’s a little annoying. Because, you know, my Goal-Oriented Driven Self wants to finish the SHRILUGH series before I start on anything else. My Creative-Driven, Muse-Gets-First-Dibs Self, however, has a loud, shrill voice that’s wicked hard to ignore.

So, SALT MINE (its working title) has been getting some attention lately. It’s a story about a girl who’s chosen to be mute, a government in shambles that’s after her secret, a dog programmed to protect her, and a guy hell-bent on keeping his promise to her dead brother.

Fun, right? (If you’re curious, you can check out its Pinterest board here.)

Anyway, in my online hunt for info (aka, research), I came across some miner superstitions that I thought were fantastic and fun. Check ’em out:

*Miners believed that accidents happend in threes.

*Miners believed that a man was likely to fall if his clothes fell off their hook on the wall.

*Miners believed it was bad luck for a woman to enter a mine.

*Miners believed it was dangerous to whistle underground.

*Miners believed it was bad luck to drop his tools in a mine.

*Miners believed if a candle fell from a tunnel wall, or went out three times, something was wrong at home.

*Miners believed in Tommyknockers, two foot creatures that were blamed whenever anything went wrong. Tommyknockers got credit whenever good things happened, too. Miners would often leave their last bites of food for the Tommyknockers as a means of extending goodwill.

*Miners believed that rats had a keen sense of impending dangers, such as cave-ins. If the miners saw them running out of the tunnels, they would chase after them, giving rise to the term ‘rat race’.

Have you heard of any of these superstitions before? Were they mine-related, or related to something else? What are some of your favorite superstitions?

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6 thoughts on “Mining Superstitions

  1. jansenschmidt says:

    All good miner superstitions. Because I live in the heart of gold country here in California (I really do. I live about 6 miles from where gold was discovered in 1948 by James Marshall.) I have been in lots of mines and have heard lots or superstitions.

    Thanks for the reminders. And watch out for the Tommyknockers.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  2. butimbeautiful says:

    I have heard that miners are pretty superstitious. I think it’s common to people who work with the dangerous unpredictable. So is Fruition your latest novel? Or Salt Mine?

    • Fantasy For the Rest of Us. says:

      Fruition is set up to be the third book in the Shrilugh Saga. It’s percolating in the back of my brain right now…something’s wrong with it, and I can’t put my finger on what it is, so I’m working on Salt Mine while I’m waiting for my subconscious to figure out what’s bothering me with Fruition. Salt Mine (that’s its working name…not sure what it will officially be called yet) is coming along at a fast clip, and I expect to be done with it relatively soon!

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