As I've been fixing up each room of my new house, I've noticed that each room, closet and hallway has a dusty old penny lying face up. In most rooms the penny is on the floor near the baseboard and would have been under the wall-to-wall carpeting the previous owner installed. There's also a penny on the molding over the front door.
I did some googling and learned that this is possibly a Catholic tradition. I found postings from people saying that this was something their Irish Catholic or Italian grandmother taught them. The basic idea (there were many variations) seems to be that you should leave a penny in each room to bring good luck for the next person to live there. Which is really very nice, doing something to bring good fortune to a stranger.
I wonder how long this has existed, and why pennies? Once, on a tour in Bath, England, I learned that the ancient Romans may have started the wishing well tradition--in their case making an offering to the gods by tossing coins into a well. What, then, is the origin of pennies in each room bringing good luck?
I think there must be a lot of superstitious things for the home. Crickets on the hearth, horseshoes over the doors, pennies in every room.
There is a store at the Brass Mill mall that sells mostly Chinese goods. I strolled through there a few weeks after buying my house and bought a bundle of white sage, because it had a label stating that burning the sage would dispel negative energy. It seemed a little bit like having a priest bless your new home. If nothing else, it smelled very nice.
My thanks to whomever it was who left the pennies. When it comes to luck, every little bit helps!