These refuges saved many lives, and it then became common to knock on wood to bring good luck.
On the other hand, if a hearse is empty and moving away from you, you are close to death. Slippers and shoes being upside down are not good.
By walking back through the ladder, you can undo the harm and secure a second chance of better luck.
There is evidence in Hebrew, Syriac, Greek, Sanscrit, Sogdian and in other languages that knowledge of Mesopotamian omen compendia was widespread both in space and time in the ancient world see Pingree ; Sims-Williams To see a black cat means ill-omen.
There are times when people even knock on their own heads for luck when there is no wood around. Due to the fact that inter-racial marriages were frowned upon by some, it was also common then to say that stepping on the pavement lines meant you would marry a black person and have a black baby.
If water is poured out of a glass, it means that guest will come home. Also, it foretold the amount of china dishes that you would break. A new, more rationalistic lens was beginning to see use in exegesis. Even to gamblers the number seven is lucky.
The specific numbers may vary, but every culture has a superstition about numbers nonetheless. One of the more interesting traditions about hearses passing by is taken from Japanese culture.
Soap is given to somebody on top of hand.