Friday, August 13, 2010

Are you paraskavedekatriaphobic? (Or, Happy Friday the 13th)

Happy Friday the 13th!

An estimated 28 million Americans are staying home today, avoiding roads, shopping malls, the great outdoors, ect. All because of two little numbers that happen to fall on a Friday. As an extremely non-suspicious person myself, I was curious as to why Friday the 13th is considered so unlucky. In researching the 13th, I found some interesting facts, and some very old suspicions.


Do you have a phobia with the number 13? Surprisingly, its so common they gave these phobias names.

Friggatriskaidekaphobics is a phobia where a person worries that bad things could befall them each time the thirteenth day of the month lands on a Friday, as it does today and up to three times each year.

Those who fear the number 13 are said to have triskaidekaphobia.

And of course, we have paraskavedekatriaphobia, the fear of Friday the 13h itself.

So, is "Black Friday" as evil and unlucky as some people fear? Well, consider this:

It is considered extremely unlucky to sit 13 people at a dinner table. Suspicion states that the first person to rise from such a table will die within a year. This old rumor is thought to have originated from Biblical times with The Last Supper, as Judas the traitor was the first to rise, and the first to die.

Many buildings don't have a "13th floor." You'll see their elevator numbers skip from 12 to 14.

In a traditional hangman's noose there are 13 twists of the rope and 13 steps to the gallows. Also, a guillotine blade falls from a height of 13 feet.

Charles Manson, Saddam Hussein, Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, Theodore Bundy, and Jack The Ripper each have 13 letters in their names.

The term 'baker's dozen' came into existence as a baker generally adds a 13th loaf to a dozen. This 13th loaf is offered to the devil in the hopes that it will keep him from ruining the rest of the basket.

According to legend, in the 18th century, the British Navy commissioned a ship called the H.M.S. Friday in order to quell the superstition. The navy selected the crew on a Friday, launched the ship on a Friday and even selected a man named James Friday as the ship's captain. Then, one Friday morning, the ship set off on its maiden voyage -- and disappeared forever.

Getting chills yet? Well, try not to worry. If you go looking for bad luck, bad luck is sure to find you. However, if you are the suspicious type, here are some things to avoid today.

(Spiderman fans will get this)

And of course, this guy.

But lets not let Friday the 13th get to us. I leave you with this video, hoping that you'll take today with a grain of salt, and if something unlucky DOES happen to you today, well, you can just blame Hollywood.


  1. Oh no, my name also has 13 letters. :O
    The H.M.S. Friday ship story is pretty creepy. The 13 dinner guests at the table is freaky also. Thanks for sharing these freaky facts.

  2. Haha wow! this was such a creepy post! lol! It made me gasp and laugh at the same time! ...That 13 people at the table thing is kind of scary though.

  3. I'm a theater person and am extremely superstitious when it comes to theater stuff, but other than that...meh. My friend smashed 3 mirrors in a performance of Snow White and is one of the luckiest people I know :)

  4. Hahah neat post :) Not a superstitious person at all but I can see how some might "be afraid"... I suppose :/ HAHA

  5. I'm not s superstitious person, but that story about the ship called Friday is FREAKY! This was a really fun post =)

  6. See, my Friday the 13ths tend to be pretty fabulous. So far today, I've gotten a book in the mail, gotten a donut AND a muffin, AND I've had Mt. Dew.

  7. Haha, I love that commercial!

  8. Imagine if someone was actually born on Friday the 13-th. :D

  9. Interesting.

    I use to believe that stuff, like black cats and such but wouldn't that mean that people who LIVE with black cats are constantly unlucky??

  10. Awesome, I love this post! Friday the 13th to me is like another holiday :) Perfect time to do a night tour at the Winchester House!