Go Out the Door You Came in


The other day I was outside working when I forgot something in the backyard. On my way to get it, one of the girls yelled for me to come tell her bye and I ended up right at the backdoor of the house. Even though I was ready to go in, I walked all the way around the house to go in on the front porch so I could take my dirty work shoes off.

As I walked around the house I got tickled at myself. I thought “Crazy you could have just slipped your shoes off on the deck and carried them through the house to the porch instead of making another trek around.” By that time I was already going up the steps to the porch.

My thoughts made me think of one of Granny’s golden rules of folklore. Never leave a place by a different door than the one you came in by or you’ll have bad luck. Granny’s not the only one in my part of Appalachia who goes by that old piece of folklore. I’ve even heard it said in a board room meeting on a college campus.


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  • Reply
    MaryAlice Webberkig
    September 28, 2021 at 4:52 pm

    Hi Tiper!
    I’ m up here in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Just today an electrical inspector came to approve the instalation of our new 200 amp electical supply. He entered the house at the front door but refused to leave by the back door to check the new outdoor electric meter. He said he had to go back out the front door because that’s just the way he is!
    Mary Alice

    • Reply
      September 28, 2021 at 5:02 pm

      Mary Alice-love that! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  • Reply
    August 24, 2020 at 5:13 am

    Ezekiel 46:8. could this be where the custom comes from?

  • Reply
    Don Byers
    July 22, 2019 at 10:38 am

    We have a friend, an old classmate who strongly believes and practices this!

  • Reply
    Joe Mode
    July 22, 2019 at 9:15 am

    My mother-in-law was superstitious and practiced this one about going in and out the same door. She also said if someone gives you flowers, don’t thank them. It’s bad luck. Also, don’t split a pole. If she walked around the right side of a pole, and I walked around on the left side, she would say, “Bread and butter,” and then fuss at me and tell me to go around the same way she did.

  • Reply
    lynn legge
    June 28, 2018 at 6:43 am

    tipper my mom always told us that also…..she had quite a few little habits..she told us that her mom (who was Russian and Romanian) and she always called a gypsy, believed wholeheartedly in these things. I loved that part of heritage as I always had that wanderlust in me too. she would say if you dropped a fork company was coming….never hand scissors blade first..and the old favorite of many I’m sure..the tossing of salt over your shoulder if you knocked the shaker over…gee too many to think of…as always you get the imagination going and I love that..have a great weekend.

  • Reply
    Ed Karshner
    June 27, 2018 at 9:29 pm

    YES! I always do this. It is just one of those things I do and have no idea why. It leaves my wife scratching her head…but it is just the way it is.

  • Reply
    June 27, 2018 at 6:05 pm

    Been doing that ever since I can remember.

  • Reply
    Virginia Malone
    June 27, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    Hey Tipper, have you heard this one? Going in and out the side door. Thats what we do most of the time. We have a front and back door but after adding on we have a side door. We use the back door to go feed our animals. Hadn’t heard about the pillow though. God Bless!

  • Reply
    June 27, 2018 at 11:36 am

    Apparently animals are aware of this folk lure. Every house pet we have ever had will return to the door where they were let out to come back in.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    June 27, 2018 at 11:35 am

    I was listening to our Christian Radio Station at Murphy when Donna Lynn announced The Pressley Girls and Paul. They sung “If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again” and the Girls sung “River of Jordan”. Then she played one by Pap and Ray, “I Saw the Light”. Those are a few of my Favorites! …Ken

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    June 27, 2018 at 11:07 am

    I’m a bit superstitious too, in that I line-up all my medicines and take them in order. Perhaps it’s because I’m liable to take some twice if I don’t. We all have our little quirks in life. …Ken

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    June 27, 2018 at 11:05 am

    I’ve heard this one all my life. When going out to town and Granny went with us, we usually went out the front door. It would have been more convenient to go back thru to the kitchen door when we came back home…Nope my Granny wanted those bags carried all the way thru the living room, dining room and to the kitchen…If she had only said, “I need to stop by the grocery store we could have gone thru the kitchen door…LOL
    Have you ever heard this….My friend from childhood always said….If you forget something and have to go back home, unlock the door and go in to get it…”ALWAYS TOUCH A PILLOW” before coming back out to the car! I never did find out why! To this day if we forget something, and at our age we do this often…it is back to the front door to get it by my husband…with me yelling, “Don’t forget to touch a pillow!” He always has a smart remark about that! I tested him on this one day…after we were settled and on our way back down the driveway…In my sweetest voice, I said, “Did you touch a pillow?”….After a few minutes he said…”Yes, I did, the one on the couch!” I just grinned…
    Thanks Tipper,
    Do you or any of your readers know of this good luckm back luck, touch a pillow omen?

  • Reply
    June 27, 2018 at 10:37 am

    I’ve heard it, but not as a superstition; rather as a warning to an unwelcome visitor who has entered your home or workshop or barn and seems to be snoopy so you tell them to “git out the door you come in” which also strongly implies “and don’t bother me no more”.
    Fewer times it was used as “shoulda gone out the door I come in, then I wouldn’t a forgot what I was doin’. “

  • Reply
    June 27, 2018 at 10:15 am

    I’ve heard this before.

  • Reply
    June 27, 2018 at 10:02 am

    I hadn’t heard about this one before! That is so interesting. 🙂 Have a wonderful day, my friend!

  • Reply
    June 27, 2018 at 9:18 am

    The house I was raised in had two doors. One opened into the kitchen which us used all the time. The other Daddy had nailed shut because if you went out through it there was a six foot drop off down to the ground. He had intended to put a porch on there but never did. Instead, when the population there got up to seven or eight he built a whole nuther, larger, house.
    So “go out the same door you came in” wasn’t superstition but reality in Our Old House.

    • Reply
      June 27, 2018 at 9:29 am

      “Which us used”? Where did that come from?

  • Reply
    June 27, 2018 at 9:04 am

    I would have done the same thing you did with the shoes. When carrying ashes out of the woodstove, I find myself freezing and walking a long way from the dump site just to go back through the ‘right’ door.

    • Reply
      June 27, 2018 at 10:33 am

      You should put your dump site near the door (in a metal container). Ashes are excellent source of lime and potash if your soil has a high ph. Plus little crawly critters don’t like them.

  • Reply
    Jennifer Weakley
    June 27, 2018 at 8:57 am

    My grandparents in western Kentucky told us that as long as I can remember.

  • Reply
    June 27, 2018 at 8:52 am

    I know I”ve heard a lot of superstitions from my childhood but I don’t remember that one. lol I mean every time you turned around there was something you shouldn’t do, or if you did do something you must do it a certain way or a calamity would fall on you.

  • Reply
    Pamela Danner
    June 27, 2018 at 8:27 am

    My Mom always said this.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    June 27, 2018 at 7:52 am

    Heard that one all of my life. I do try to do it.

  • Reply
    Don Byers
    June 27, 2018 at 7:28 am

    I have an old classmate who firmly believes in that…..

  • Reply
    Sheryl A. Paule
    June 27, 2018 at 6:27 am

    Ard it most of my life. Guess I unconsciencely do it too

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    June 27, 2018 at 5:34 am

    I’ve heard of going out the same door you go in but it’s not something I follow. Guess I just never put much stock in superstitions however I do find them interesting. The only case I can think of going in another door is if I manage to lock myself out of the door I came out . LOL, and I’m sorry to say that I have done that.

  • Reply
    June 27, 2018 at 5:12 am

    That’s a new one on me, maybe that’s what I’ve been doing wrong all these years, food for thought.

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