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Why Don’t Cowboys Put Their Hats on a Bed?

Why Don’t Cowboys Put Their Hats on a Bed?

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Today, the average cowboy might not even think twice about where he puts his hat after a long day of work. However, some old-school cowboys are very careful where they place their hats at the end of the day.

For superstitious cowboys, putting a cowboy hat on the bed is a big no-no.

Though it may seem silly to some about where you can and can’t place your cowboy hat, to others it is a serious matter.

Many superstitious cowboys don’t put their hat on a bed because they believe that it will invite bad luck into their home. At worst, some believe that putting a hat on a bed may lead to serious injury or death to someone dear.

Also read: 10 Cowboy Superstitions Still Practiced Today

Why Did Cowboys Believe This Superstition?

There are a few reasons why this superstition began. One theory is that evil spirits live in your hair and by placing your hat on your bed where your head goes the evil spirits will spill out.

This belief began from static electricity that would discharge when people would take off their hats in warm, dry weather. Since most people didn’t know what static was at the time, they thought it was evil spirits.

Another theory to how it began was that at funerals, as the hat of the deceased would be placed at the bottom of the casket.

Placing a hat on the bed was said to have the same connotation as placing a hat on a casket, in return evoking evil spirits.

There is another reason behind this tradition that isn’t a superstition, but is actually practical. Back in the day, cowboys didn’t regularly bathe, which unfortunately often led to hair lice.

Cowboy hats became nesting grounds for lice and by placing a hat on a bed, these tiny nuisances could spread even more.

How to Properly Way Store Your Cowboy Hat

Traditionally, the proper way to store a cowboy hat is on a hat rack or somewhere you can place it upside down. This is not only to keep it safe, but also to keep the luck in.

If you place your cowboy hat down, the luck will escape out. By placing it upside down, all the luck will stay inside your hat.

Fortunately, there seems to be no evidence that placing a cowboy hat on the bed will bring bad luck. However, if you are superstitious, it is best to store your hat upside down on a rack to keep all the luck inside.

Phil Franks

Thursday 8th of June 2023

My Grandfather was an "old timer" I'm 77 and my brother who was a cowboy, both told me the reason you didn't put a hat on a bed was because of lice infestation. That WAS bad luck.......happy trails...phil