Are you afflicted with paraskevidekatriaphobia? That’s fear of Friday the 13th. I’ll admit to a few shivers about it this year, as it’s picture day at school <g> But many people go to great lengths to avoid the bad luck they are certain follows this day.
Why is Friday the 13th considered so unlucky? According to legend, if thirteen people sit down at a table for dinner, one of them will die within the year. Some cities refuse to name a 13th Street or Avenue. We’ve all been in buildings that don’t have a thirteenth floor. And it’s been noted that many infamous serial killers have thirteen letters in their name: Theodore Bundy, Albert De Salvo, Jeffrey Dahmer and Jack the Ripper. Judas was the last (13th) to arrive to the last supper, and at the end of the evening betrayed Jesus.
Friday’s had a bad rap throughout eternity. Some say the trouble with Friday started in the Garden of Eden, when Eve tempted Adam with the apple. (Am I the only one who has always thought Adam was a huge wienie to succumb to a piece of fruit? And he was pretty quick to throw Eve under the bus for the whole thing, too. Definitely not hero material.) Friday was Hangman’s Day in Britain. Witches observed their Sabbath on Fridays. During pagan times, Friday was execution day. And the crucifixion is said to have happened on a Friday.
No one knows when unlikely Friday became entwined with unlucky number thirteen. But it was probably simple math: Unlucky Friday + Unlucky 13 = doubly bad luck. To most of us it’s just another day. But for the ultra-superstitious, any misfortune that happens to befall them on this day, from hangnails to true woe, only underscores the truth in Friday the 13th’s bad rep.
Do you have any superstitions? Do you think Friday the 13th is unlucky? Have you ever had anything unfortunate happen to you on this date?