Guess people don't watch nature shows.
"Owls, too, are also generally associated with death and the underworld because of their nocturnal habits. The most widespread species, the Barn Owl, with its ghostly appearance and blood-curdling shriek, is considered a bad omen in cultures throughout the world. Several African cultures depict owls as spirits of the dead and as omens that foretell the death of anyone who sees them."
Oh, and the whole natural predator to bats theme, that people seem to ignore.