you're reading...

Cornelius News

Friday the 13th, especially in October is a little spookier

Oct. 13 or Friday the 13th. According to the much-quoted Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, an estimated 17 million to 21 million people in the United States are affected by a fear of this day, making it the most feared day and date in history. 

Some people are so paralyzed by fear that they avoid their normal routines in doing business, taking flights or even getting out of bed. 

If you don’t want to think about Friday the 13th, today is also World EggDay, National No Bra Day, National Train Your Brain Day, International Day of Disaster Reduciton and Navy Birthday.

Friday the 13th happens at least once a year

This year, there’s two Friday the 13ths on the calendar; next year it’s the same. There is at least one in any given calendar year, but never more than three. There will be three Friday the 13ths in 2026.

Friday the 13th (think hockey mask donned by the character Jason) is also an American horror franchise with 12 slasher films, a television series and related merchandise, novels, video  games and comic books. 

A real phobia

From timeanddate.com: You need to feel more than a little uneasy about the date to be diagnosed with friggatriskaidekaphobia, a psychological condition marked by a disabling fear of Friday the 13th. Some people who have this disorder are even too afraid to say the words “Friday the 13th.”  Symptoms of this phobia range from mild anxiety and a nagging sense of doom to full-blown panic attacks.

The name of the phobia derives from Frigg, the Norse goddess whom Friday is named after, and triskaidekaphobia, which is Greek for the fear of 13. It’s also known as paraskevidekatriaphobia, which is based on paraskevi, the Greek word for Friday.

Origins of the superstition

There are several theories on why and when the Friday the 13th superstition began. 

Some say that the concept of Friday and the number 13 being unlucky may be linked to stories from the Bible. For example, Judas Iscariot, the apostle who betrayed Jesus, has been labeled “the 13th guest” at the Last Supper.

Other biblical events that supposedly occurred on a Friday include the great flood during the time of Noah, the confusion of languages at the Tower of Babel, the day Eve tempted Adam with the apple, and Good Friday, the day Jesus was crucified.

On Friday the 13th in October 1307, a warrant was issued for the Knights Templar to be arrested. Masses of Templars were tortured or executed.