18 Superstitions and Beliefs Only Ghanaians Understand

Monkey | © pen_ash/Pixabay
Rajaa Banda

In Ghana, superstitions and beliefs range from practical advice and social decorum to the downright bizarre and bewildering. Always entertaining and sometimes very informative, here are a few common (and some really outlandish) superstitions.

It is a grave insult to give anyone anything with your left hand, as it is the hand traditionally used to clean oneself after using the bathroom

Open left hand statue

Herbal alcohol bitters cure a host of ailments such as sexual dysfunction and waist pain

Bottle tops

Dwarfs with feet pointing backwards live in the forest and will kidnap you if you go deep in the night (you’ll only be returned home after several months!)

Forest canopy at Kakum

The crocodiles in Paga hold the souls of the village’s deceased

Crocodile, Paga

When two people say the same thing at the same time, someone is gossiping about them

Elephants chatting, Mole

If you paint your chickens fluorescent yellow or pink, baboons will not attack them

Baboon, Mole

Maame Water, the deity mermaid of the oceans, demands peace during the run up to Homowo festival so no music can be played in the coastal areas

Hi fi system

An itchy palm means money is coming your way soon


Whistling at night attracts evil spirits and ghosts

Night reading

If you sit on a fufu mortar, you will have trouble with penile erections

Sad and worried man

Itchy feet mean you will be travelling soon

Vintage map, camera, photos

If you sell your soul to the juju man for money, he will come to collect sooner rather than later and you will turn into a goat

Goat under a truck

Nails should not be clipped at night as they are pieces of your body and can be taken by the spirits to perform evil acts against you

A fist

A man will become stupid if he washes a woman’s underwear

Hanging laundry

Bathing in warm water makes you age faster

A monkey in a hot spring

If a pregnant woman goes out after 6 pm, the evil eye will harm the baby in the womb

Pregnant woman

If you stay sealed inside a coffin for a week, you will become rich once you’re out

Chilli pepper coffin, Ghana

Walking through cobwebs accidentally is seen as an evil attack on the spirit


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