’Tis the season for superstition
’Tis the season for superstition spiders

’Tis the season for superstition

By Terry W. Johnson

Most folks enjoy having wildlife living just outside their backdoor. But that hasn’t always been the case. In times past, people often either took their wildlife neighbors for granted or honestly believed that many of them were imbued with frightening magical powers.
Worse yet, some thought they were cavorting with witches and ghosts.
Many of these superstitions and myths have been handed down for generations and linger on to this day. This is especially true of a handful of animals that are doomed to be forever linked to Halloween.
Here is a small collection of some of the bizarre myths and superstitions that concern some of our most familiar backyard residents … from owls to crows and spiders to snails.

Read the rest of Terry’s column for an amazing look at how owls and other common wildlife used to cast a shadow of fear, particularly at this time of year.

Terry W. Johnson is a former Nongame program manager with the Wildlife Resources Division and executive director of TERN, the Nongame Conservation Section’s friends group. Column archives.