We all know that superstition is rooted in ignorance. It is never true, no matter what people say. The Catholic Church teaches that superstition is sinful. Nevertheless, people can become very attached to their superstitions. Sometimes it is because they simply believe in it and will not be convinced otherwise, but sometimes it is because they have had “experience.” This “experience” is more likely than not a coincidence. Here is a funny story my mom remembers her grandmother telling her:
My mom’s grandmother’s cook was superstitious. She always said that if silverware fell on the floor, company was coming. Of course, no one believed her. Well, one day the cook was washing dishes, and spilled a whole drawer of silverware upon the floor. She immediately went to tell mom’s grandmother, who told her to think nothing more of it. But the cook did not listen. She spent all afternoon baking, for there would surely be a large group of people judging by all that silverware. That evening, a bus full of people from a church group broke down in front of the house. Since it was raining, they were all invited inside. Thanks to the cook’s superstition, there was food for everyone!
In Tom Sawyer, there are quite a few popular superstitions. Maybe in those days people were just stubborn, but maybe they claimed “experience” because of a funny coincidence.