Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Friday the 13th: Unlucky or Unreal?

Friday the 13th is the notoriously known urban legend entailing that when the thirteenth day of a month lands on a Friday, bad luck will ensue and creepy things are bound to take place. But is this age-old myth a reality, or do bad things happen on these days for some people coincidentally? What is this superstition’s origin, and how did this one number get such a bad rap?
When most people hear the phrase “Friday the 13th,” they think of the horror flick featuring the hockey mask clad serial killer who is out to brutally take the lives of college co-eds. They may become more likely to rent a scary movie or play with a Ouija board embracing the mindset that the day itself will help set a creepy mood. Others, however, may get an eerie chill inside of them. They may refrain from doing normal things in their daily routines in fear of this dreadful day bringing harm. The latter may suffer from paraskevidekatriaphobia: The actual fear of Friday the 13th. It is said that approximately 8% of Americans suffer from this phobia. Psychological studies, however, say that people who believe they are unlucky are more likely to believe in bad luck superstitions. If you fear one particular day so much that you believe something terrible will definitely happen, the likelihood is that you will talk yourself into this notion and trouble will follow.
According to many historians, the number 13 has a few different roots. The oldest theory leads back to primitive man and the act of counting. Since he has 10 fingers to count on and 2 feet equaling 12 units, he could count no further, therefore making anything beyond 12 a mystery. Hence, superstition. Another theory dates back to the ancient Romans where witches gathered in groups of 12, the 13th was considered to be the devil. The biblical reference to the unlucky number 13 says that the thirteenth guest at the Last Supper was Judas, who betrayed Jesus. So depending on the historian you ask, there are many explanations for this urban legend. The world will never know if this fateful date truly brings evil or if bad occurrences are coincidence. After reading all about this folklore, I don’t think it makes a difference whether you stay home on this “hellish” day or set your next flight to Europe on the Friday the 13th.


  1. Friday the 13th I feel will forever spook many people. From the movies and horrors that people emphasis on this number I think it would be impossible to ever let go of this idea. The concept that people actually suffer from the fear of this number is pretty extreme but I did learn something new because of this post! thanks

  2. I always thought people act very weird during Friday the 13th. I guess I am overthinking their weirdness.