Paraskevidekatriaphobics

Image Source: How Stuff Works

Image Source: How Stuff Works

It sounds Greek and it may just be all Greek to me and you, but Paraskevidekatriaphobics is the irrational fear of Friday the 13th. They are not alone, they are just following in the footsteps of the Triskaidekaphobes who fear the number 13 which not be as irrational as they say since so many of those superstitions still exist today. According to Urban Legends, these are some of the reasons people fear the number 13:

If 13 people sit down to dinner together, one will die within the year. The Turks so disliked the number 13 that it was practically expunged from their vocabulary (Brewer, 1894). Many cities do not have a 13th Street or a 13th Avenue. Many buildings don’t have a 13th floor. If you have 13 letters in your name, you will have the devil’s luck (Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Theodore Bundy and Albert De Salvo all have 13 letters in their names). There are 13 witches in a coven.

10 More reasons why people fear the number 13 here.

13 examples of the fear for the number 13 that are still evident today:

  1. Some buildings still omit the 13th floor when numbering
  2. Many public buildings like schools and courthouses also omit room 13 (operating rooms omit number 13 too)
  3. Some airports do not have a gate 13 as some airplanes do not have a row 13
  4. There are very few streets named 13. Even in cities where streets are named by the number.
  5. Some sports teams do not issue the Number 13 to their players
  6. Some people will not have a dinner party of 13. That’s also why you never see a dining table/set for 13. Always even numbers.
  7. The Upcoming Office Suite of Microsoft skipped the major number 13 and went on to Office 14 instead
  8. Brussels Airlines changed their ‘unlucky logo’ to have more than 13 dots
  9. Businesses lose money because people refuse to conduct business on Friday the 13th
  10. Some people will not buy or live in houses or apartments numbered 13
  11. People still point to Apollo 13 incident as evidence to the unlucky 13
  12. Brands who use numbers do not use 13. (examples: Chanel No. 5, Mazda RX-7, etc)
  13. People still will not start on the 13th anything that they want to succeed ie. weddings, starting a new job, planting, harvesting, traveling, etc.

I for one always do a TGIF (thank god it’s Friday) on Fridays and today is no different although it is Friday and it’s the thirteenth day of the month. The Clone and I love Fridays! Besides, if you believe in one superstition, then you’ve got to give credence to the other that believes that the number 13 is lucky. So today, even knowing what day and date it is, I woke up this morning smelling the weekend coming. I was already planning on what to do, what to cook, what to read, etc. Today is just like any Friday, a prelude to the much anticipated weekend. For some people though, they would rather crawl into a corner and wait for today to pass than risking the misfortune Friday the 13th is supposed to bring.

How about you? Are you feeling any special apprehension or anxiety because it’s Friday the 13th?

Bonus trivia:
Every year has at least one incidence of Friday the 13th. This year, 2009, there are 3. The last year that there were 3 Friday the 13ths in a year was 1998.  (At least it wasn’t 13 years ago ’cause that would be totally weird and scary 😛 ) Two more Friday Thirteens coming up in March and November!

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