Don't Whistle After Dark According to These Legends
It's always fun to research old legends and fairytales. While most of them seem a bit far fetched, every now and then we come across some legend or superstition that makes us a little creeped out. That's the case with this one.
A popular held superstition is that whistling after 12:00 AM is a no-no since it may invite or summon the dogs of hell. Believers say that the hell hounds hear the sound of whistling and then search out the whistler - edging closer and closer until they are found.
We don't plan to try it, but if you want to give it a go - turn off all the lights and whistle for 30 seconds to see who shows up. If it's working, legend says that you will hear a snapping sound then feel a hot air surround you. This is reportedly the breath of the hell hounds smelling your aura!
Another belief is that whistling in the shower (especially during the morning) enables one to see shadows and spectres in the corners of the room. Sounds crazy right? But this superstiton is a commonly held one, showing up in folklore around the world. In Mexico, it is believed that whistling at night invites the Lechuza, a witch who trasforms into an owl that swoops down to snatch up the offending whistler and carry them away into the night.
Plenty of other cultures warn of whistling after dark. Here are some commonly held superstitions and the consequences that follow if you dare to whistle in the dark.
Middle East Legends
Others around the world say that whistling invites similar bad spirits: many people in Turkey believe that whistling at night will summon the Devil himself. Arabian folklore says that night time whistling invites supernatural creatures called jinns who may be good or bad, but the worst case scenario is that summoning a jinn will lead to misfortune, disease, or even demonic possession.
You may also invite a sheytan (AKA "Shaytan" and "Sheitan") into your home. These creatures are mentioned in the Quran and other Middle Eastern texts and referred to often. Born of hell-fire, and appearing in an ugly and grotesque form, sheytan urge the summoner to perform sinful deeds by 'whispering to the heart'. Some believe that Sheitan are the Devil himself.
Far East Legends
The Japanese belive in the legend of the 'tengu', a dangerous demon spirit that appears in a bird-like form which can be summoned by whistling. Whistling at night may also cause snakes and thieves to appear to those who dare.
Likewise, many superstitious Koreans believe that whistling will attract ghosts or snakes to come out of the shadows at night. The Han Chinese believe that whistling will attract ghosts into your home. In Thailand, many believe that whistling at night will attract evil spirits and plenty of bad luck, so don't do it.
Canada is known for being a bit of a melting pot of cultures; in Vancouver’s Chinatown many immigrants of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese-Canadian decent warn of whistling after dark - carrying on the long held Canadian superstition. Inuit natives even believe that whistling at the Northern Lights will call down spirits from the aurora.
Pacific Island Folklore
Samoans and Tonga people of the Pacific Islands believe that those who whistle at night may be visited by unwanted spirits. Native Hawaiians have two different versions of the legend. One says that whistling at night invokes the Hukai’po, or “Night Marchers”, who are the ghosts of ancient Hawaiian warriors. In the second version of the Hawaiian legend, late night whistling summons the Menehune, a family of forest-dwelling dwarves. We don't know if either spirit in the Hawaiian legends is friendly, but it doesn't sound like it.
Austrailia and New Zealand Folklore
The indigenous Noongar people of southwestern Australia beleive in bad spirits called the 'warra wirrin' who may be summoned at night by whistling. The creature can be warded off by a smoking ceremony. The Maori of New Zealand believe that if you whistle after midnight ghosts and spirts called the kehua will whistle back. In Māori belief, deceased loved ones can take the form of spirits who will watch over family members - but not all spirits or paranormal occurances are friendly.