In Reply to: Shoot the devil in the eye posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on December 17, 2009 at 16:14:
: : My wife spilled some salt, then threw some over her shoulder and said, "Shoot the devil in the eye".
: : Where did that phrase come from? How did she know he was looking over her shoulder?
: It's an old superstition that everyone has a devil sitting on (or standing behind) their left shoulder, whispering evil suggestions, and an angel at the right shoulder, urging us to be good. (VSD)
And the salt is of significance, as, historically, it was expensive and very important as one of the few means of preserving food; thus spilling it was a serious matter - and one which left the 'spiller' at the mercies of the Devil.