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Old 09-09-1999, 04:33 AM
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: U.S.
Posts: 13
Is there a superstition dealing with putting rubber bands on door handles? I recently bought a house in which the previous owners had 2-3 rubber bands hanging from each door handle. On one of the exterior doors, the rubber bands were inside of the handle's cover plate. Either the former owners just liked hanging rubber bands all over the place or they had some superstition about door handles. There is a cemetary across the street that might have some bearing on this. Please reply if you have any ideas( or witty answers).
Old 09-09-1999, 05:40 AM
Charter Member
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Wheaton IL USA
Posts: 2,037
I've seen the same thing. I think the explanation is simple - it's a handy place to store them. My ex-wife, who violently resisted ever throwing anything away, ('cept me) used to hang lots of things on doorknobs, rubber bands included.
Old 09-09-1999, 09:08 AM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: New York, NY, USA
Posts: 12,972
Assuming you're referring to door knobs, which must be turned, often a rubber band will help you turn it (better traction) if it's stucj for some reason. (even if the rubber band is not currently on that part of the doorknob, it might have been placed there originally and then rolled back by mistake).

If you're talking about door handles of all sorts, including non-rotating door pulls, then I have no idea.

Chaim Mattis Keller
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"Sherlock Holmes once said that once you have eliminated the
impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be
the answer. I, however, do not like to eliminate the impossible.
The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it that the merely improbable lacks."
-- Douglas Adams's Dirk Gently, Holistic Detective
Old 09-09-1999, 10:10 AM
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,597
First it is a little known fact that the ancient Romans created the first rubber bands. Back in them days the general populace (outside of Rome) was very superstitious. To them these rubber bands seemed very magical. After all it was like a stretchy rope. Obviously some sort of supreme magic was going on to allow this to happen.

It was also thought that evil demons would enter your house at night if you did not have the proper protection. Some people began using these rubber bands over their doorways to ward off this evil. Since nothing bad happened once they hung up the rubber band, they assumed it had worked (never mind that nothing had happened before the rubber band, but then again the general populace was not that bright.) This practice then extended to hanging them above all doors. As time went on this got pasted from one generation to the next. As door knobs came into existance, the people started hanging them on the door knobs instead of the door frame (people not being very tall and all). Then people decided that if one rubber band worked well, then several should work better. This practice has continued without much discussion till today. People who grew up seeing these rubber bands on the door knobs did the same in their own houses later.

As you mention the house being across the road from a cemetary, then the people surely believed that the more rubber bands the safer they would be. Since likely nothing happened to these folks in all the years that they lived there, they probably figured that it worked. Maybe you should leave the rubber bands there just in case.


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