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Pushing Your Luck? 9 Surprising Things in Your Home That Give Off Bad Juju

By Jennifer Kelly Geddes 
on 25.07.2018 03:23

At some time or another, we've probably all had something in our homes that, quite frankly, gives us the creeps.

Maybe it's the heirloom Victorian doll that your mother insisted you keep, or perhaps it’s an empty-eyed tribal mask that seems to gaze at you every time you pass by. Or was it an old clock with a ominous-sounding chime?

In my house, it was an Edward Curtis photograph of a Native American chief. I bought this sepia-toned picture for my photographer husband, who'd fallen in love with Curtis' series on the subject during one of our romantic getaways. But the chief's craggy visage soon left me cold, and ended up scaring the bejesus out of my youngest daughter. In the coming weeks, there were frequent "man with the feather" nightmares.

It was clear the photo had to go. And I'll tell you what—the whole family slept soundly after it did.

I don't know if the photo was actually cursed, or if it was just our imaginations running wild. But it turns out, there are certain household items that tempt fate. If you're superstitious (or just a little stitious) consider banishing these unlucky things from your home. You'll thank us later!

1. Broken appliances

Is your microwave on the fritz? Or has your wall clock stopped ticking? Fix it—fast.

"Anything broken won't bring positive energy or chi into your life," reports Kim Julen, a feng shui coach.

A stopped clock might even impact your health and income, say juju experts.

"Having one that never ticks forward symbolizes a lack of movement or progression of time—things that only the living experience," points out Katie Weber, a certified feng shui expert and creator of the e-zine Red Lotus Letter.

2. Dried flowers

Dried flowers will suck the life right out of your home.
Dried flowers will suck the life right out of your home.

Photo by Doug Towle

Professional organizer Darla DeMorrow laments the presence of dried flowers all over a house, which contribute to stuck energy. (Plus, they tend to collect dust and allergens.)

"Dried bouquets represent a trapping of the past in your current space, so if you want to sell your home, the energy you create should be positive and forward-thinking," explains the author of “Organizing Your Home With SORT and SUCCEED.”

3. Cracked glass

Broken glass, whether in a mirror, around a picture frame or embedded in your tables and counters, is a definite no-no when it comes to home juju.

"Broken picture frames usually indicate disenchantment or betrayal," notes Trisha Keel, a feng shui expert. "And a cracked mirror could point to low self-esteem."

Julen once had a client whose wedding photo was in a frame with broken glass. "I immediately recommended a new one, but it turned out to be a bad omen—they're now divorced," she says.

On a related note, avoid glass desks (whether cracked or not) in your home office, Weber says—that signals to the universe that opportunities and money will fall through.

4. Taxidermy

Photo by Shannon Malone 

You might be proud of that lucky shot, but death mounted on the wall isn't going to help you feel at ease. (And definitely, hide the taxidermy if you're selling your home—some prospective buyers could find these souvenirs highly disturbing.)

"Dead animals in your living space isn't considered good for feng shui—and even small butterflies pinned under glass are thought to have a negative effect," Weber says.

These lifeless beings will bring in yin, or dead energy, that could be harmful.

5. Personalized welcome mats

Leave the name off the mat
Leave the name off the mat


Is your family’s name written on the welcome mat outside your door? Time to swap it out for something less identifiable.

"This symbolizes guests walking on the family’s name," Weber says. "It is better to leave doormats plain and place the family’s name in a place where one looks up, not down."

6. Anything related to the death of a loved one

It can be hard to part with the program from your Aunt Ginny's service, but keeping death notices from the newspaper and other funereal reminders around the house won't improve your luck.

"One of my clients lined up pictures of her deceased relatives in her bedroom," Julen recalls. "Her love life and sleep quality were suffering." (Once the photos were removed, things improved, she reports.)

On a similar note, DeMorrow is confounded by how often she sees pet ashes displayed in the home.

"We don't bury people or pets inside, so why keep their remains in a box or urn? Sprinkle them outside, in a place where the pet would have been happy," she suggests.

Keeping ashes around could create health and money problems, since they're not living energy.

"If you must keep your beloved pet close at hand, store the ashes out of the bedroom, away from the front door and definitely not in the kitchen or dining room, as this is where you nourish bodies," Julen says.

7. Prickly plants

Photo by - Look for sunroom pictures
This may come as a blow to Pinterest disciples everywhere, but prickly plants—including the oh-so-trendy cactus—bring bad vibes, too. You can blame the fact that they're, well, prickly.

"I don’t like them," Julen says. "They can create prickly relationships, cause sharp tongues, or a feeling like you’re being poked."

"Cactus spines are the weapons the plant uses to protect itself," Keel adds. "These should never be at the front door; if you find sharp thorny plants at the front door you know there is pain inside and if you go in, you, too, will feel the pain."

8. Chipped dishes

This one's a toughie—who among us doesn't own a chipped plate?

But chipped dishes represent broken luck, and you can end up passing on that kind of energy to the person who's eating from the dish."When dishes aren't in good shape, it's a lot like serving food with a hair in it—it's unappealing," Weber says.

9. Scary artwork

Photo by Houzz 

Much like the Curtis photo that freaked out my family, images that depict trouble are inauspicious in the home.

"It could be a ship in a storm, a horse rearing up on his hind legs or any other picture that appears violent or augurs misfortune," Weber says.

Every print or painting you select defines a frequency of energy—and those that show disaster, war, or misery resonate at a low level. Like attracts like, so choosing low-energy art can affect you in a corresponding way, experts say. Be forewarned!