Even in 2017, it’s not uncommon to encounter smokers who not only won’t purchase white lighters, but won’t use them to light things even if they belong to someone else. Some people don’t even like being in the room when one is being used. But how did this legend get started in the first place?There are a couple of other possibilities for the origin of this superstition, one that even makes sense, that you can read about at Atlas Obscura. The article is part of their series on luck running all this week.
The most common origin story behind this myth is actually tied up with another popular urban legend. The so-called “27 Club” includes young artists and musicians—Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix—who all died at the age of 27. A number of superstitions revolve around the 27 Club, one of which being that those musicians, as well as a later addition to the club, Kurt Cobain, had white lighters on them when they died. They didn’t.