Psychologist B. F. Skinner got pigeons to repeat strange “rituals” by dropping food into their cage at random intervals — the birds associated their actions before the treats with reward, and demonstrated superstitious repetition of those actions.
There is a Royal Navy superstition that whistling on a ship can summon strong winds. Traditionally, the only person allowed to whistle is the ship’s cook, as it means he’s not eating the food.
The last meal is based on a superstition from pre-modern Europe. By accepting the last meal, the condemned was believed to forgive the executioner, the judge, and witness(es). This would prevent the condemned from returning as a ghost to haunt those responsible for their killing.
In Indian folklore, the Chedipe (which literally means “prostitute”) is a vampire prostitute. She is believed to enter a man’s house naked in the night and suck his blood through his toes.
In India, many people believe that women who die in childbirth or pregnancy can return as undead vampires and suck blood of their male relatives.