The black cat is a classic symbol associated with Halloween, and they have also been associated with witches and witchcraft throughout history. There are many superstitions associated with black cats that seem to have their basis in folklore, and some of those notions still exist today.
Depending on where you live, black cats can still be considered very unlucky but believe it or not, in some places and situations, they can be a premonition of good luck or good fortune. For example, in parts of Asia and the United Kingdom, black cats are a symbol of good luck. That bit of good luck ends, however as soon as the cat crosses your path—this is almost invariably a bad omen no matter where you are, particularly if the cat is walking away from you. This seems to be a symbolic gesture that the cat is taking all good fortune and walking away with it!
During a funeral procession it’s never a good thing to see a black cat. Some people say that this event foretells the demise of another family member in the foreseeable future. During the 16th century, black cats were kept away from any sick or ill people, as it was thought that their presence on or near the sick bed would cause death to occur.
Black cats have a long association with witches and witchcraft. The ebony kitties were thought to actually be assistants to witches, helping them out with their spells and other witchy activities. Others actually believed that witches who died were reincarnated as black cats, too. In ancient days when witches were burned at the stake for practicing their craft, their cats were often burned with them.
It’s not all bad news for our purring pets, however. If you see one lurking about your front porch, this is usually thought to be an omen of good luck or a forecasting of prosperity. (That is unless it turns around and walks away from you. Apparently this cat business is a very precise science.)
Because of its great superstitious and mythological background, the black cat is still one of the best symbols for Halloween costumes and decorations around. You will want to make sure and include several of these nocturnal felines as part of your Halloween festivities!