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Bat

There are many associations connected with this nocturnal creature, the majority of which have been fostered during the nineteenth century in eastern and central Europe since the connection of ‘Dracula’ and vampires, the former believed to have taken the form of a bat when seeking out his prey. The negative aspects of this legend were drawn from country folklore and lead many to associate the animal with death, disaster or the sign of spirits and even the devil at play. Hence if a bat should fly near you it was thought that someone would betray you, or even worse affect your daily life with either a curse or enchantment.

A bat flying around the outside of a house or into a room was thought to indicate that a period of misfortune would befall someone known by the family. Bats on the wing were seen to have different meanings. If many were seen before twilight then fair weather would ensue, and for perhaps obvious reasons, to see one actually hit a building whilst on the wing was a sure sign of rain.

Some beliefs also originate in Africa, Australia and many are universally known. Often thought of as an extremely lucky animal, many would traditionally carry a bat bone to provide protection and encourage prosperity. In fact, although often associated with the darker aspects of what some may call witchcraft, the opportunity to become invisible at will was thought possible by carrying a right eye in the pocket. To kill one would shorten the life of a man according to folklore in Africa and Australia as the life of a bat was seen to parallel that of man, and if you ever found one entangled in your hair, be careful not to hurt the animal but get ready for a change of hairstyle as it was thought to encourage bad luck to head your way if the bat was not released by cutting the hair.