What It Means When A House Has One Upside-Down Baluster

I have always lived in multiple-story homes, but I must admit, I’ve never paid much attention to our homes’ staircases. One in particular was pretty grand, but I still never really gave it a close, detailed look. I regret not paying closer attention to that staircase as we’ve since moved, and I’ve recently discovered that in many homes with staircases, you will find a single, upside-down baluster.

source: Facebook/Historical Homes of America

If your home’s staircase has an upside-down baluster that you noticed, you may have just thought it was the mistake of a carpenter or builder. However, upside-down balusters are generally installed that way for a reason – and there is a fair amount of superstition behind it.

source: Reddit/u/spopoff54

There is a long-standing tradition of builders and carpenters installing a single, upside-down baluster on purpose to acknowledge that “only God’s creatures are perfect,” and everything man-made will have its flaws. The other train of thought behind installing the upside-down baluster lies in the superstition that doing so would prevent the devil from creeping up the stairs and capturing anyone who may be about to pass away.

source: Facebook/Scott McGillivray

Whatever the reason, both send a slight shiver down my spine! While our current home has a staircase, it’s quite narrow and has walls on both sides – no balusters. This is why I so badly wish I could take a peek back into my old house one day and see if its staircase had that telltale upside-down baluster!

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