When picking the Superstitions for the house this year i certainly wanted to choose some of the most iconic there were, but i was also hoping to do some more ancient, international and/or esoteric ones. So i thought this meant that modern, American-centric Superstitions like "walking underneath ladders", although necessary to do, was going to fill out my quota of familiar Superstitions. But the more I researched the more I realized that these superstitions have been passed down from generation to generation, country to country. We think of ladders as a fairly modern device, but clearly they have been around for as long as people could walk, and so have some of the superstitions surrounding them.
With ladders, the superstition is obviously that walking underneath them is bad luck. But like I have asked in all of my other superstition postings is why? Most people assume its because things may fall off the stiles and onto your head while walking underneath them. But that is like saying that there is a superstition about walking in front of cars. it's practical thinking that a wrench might fall on your head, there isn't much superstition there. But there is actually a more superstitious basis. The idea is that when you lean a ladder up against a wall it forms a triangle (I know they all do now, but back then, straight ladders is all they had). That triangle represents the Trinity (the father, son and the holy spirit). You break the trinity and that's bad news. And hence things might fall on your head. People probably had stuff fall on their head and said, "gosh darnit, if i didn't break the trinity there that paint bucket might not have fallen on my head." And thus a superstition was born. But in Nightmare, we are going to actually drop the ladder itself on you.
so there it is