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Monkey | © pen_ash/Pixabay
Monkey | © pen_ash/Pixabay

18 Superstitions and Beliefs Only Ghanaians Understand

Picture of Rajaa Banda
Updated: 10 December 2017

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 | © Positive_images/Pixabay

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


Bottle tops | © jarmoluk/Pixabay

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 | © Francesco Veronesi/Flickr

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

Crocodile at Paga

Crocodile, Paga | © lapping/Pixabay

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


Elephants chatting, Mole | ©© Stig Nygaard/Flickr

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


Baboon, Mole | © Stig Nygaard/Flickr

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

An itchy palm means money is coming your way soon

Whistling at night attracts evil spirits and ghosts

Night Reading

Night reading | © Chad Skeers/Flickr

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


Sad and worried man | © jidaley/Pixabay

Itchy feet mean you will be travelling soon


Vintage map, camera, photos | © Dariusz Sankowski/Pixabay

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 truck

Goat under a truck | © Chad Skeers/Flickr

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


Hanging laundry | © wilhei/Pixabay

Bathing in warm water makes you age faster


A monkey in a hot spring | © pen_ash/Pixabay

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


Pregnant woman | © photo-graphe/Pixabay

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


Chilli pepper coffin, Ghana | © Rachel Strohm/Flickr

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