Marion Pellicano Ambrose
Happy Friday the 13th! It’s the first one of the year, but there will be 2 more in 2012. The next will be in April and another in July. (For the really superstitious, that’s 3 Friday the 13th’s in 13 weeks!)
People who are afraid of Friday the 13th are called paraskevidekatriaphobiacs. Think it’s a myth? Think again! There are over 60 million of these people in the world.
The number 13 has long been a source of superstition and fear. Some believe it began with events surrounding Christ’s crucifixion. There were 13 people at the table for the last supper and Jesus died on a Friday.
Other experts trace back the evil origins of 13 to the Code of Hammurabi which was enacted without a 13th law. Friday, according to History.com, was also the day that Eve offered Adam the forbidden fruit. Others point to the demise of the Knights Templar, who were arrested on October 13th, 1307. It was a Friday.
The superstition has crept into modern culture. Many tall buildings are built without a 13th floor. The ill-fated Apollo 13 mission gave paraskevidekatriaphobiacs “proof” that the number 13 was unlucky.
Business suffers on Friday the 13th as well. Between $800 - $900 million is lost because many people won’t fly or do business on this day. Who wants to have surgery on Friday the 13th? Would you bet on the horses on this day?
Are you a paraskevidekatriaphobiac? If so, what exactly are you afraid of? We’d love to hear your best Friday the 13th story, even if you have no fear! Send it in to