Friday the 13th!!

by John on March 13, 2009

Friday the 13th is widely hailed as the most common superstition in the world. It’s the second one in two months this year, so I thought that I would explore the Phobia!!


The fear of Friday the 13th (known as paraskevidekatriaphobia) isn’t exactly grounded in scientific logic. But the really strange thing is that most of the people who believe the day is unlucky can offer no explanation at all, logical or illogical. As with most superstitions, people fear Friday the 13th for its own sake, without any need for background information.

It is the linking of Friday and the number 13 that make up the even more unlucky Friday 13th.

Facts or Myths.

  • Never change your bed on Friday; it will bring bad dreams.
  •  Don’t start a trip on Friday or you will have misfortune.
  • If you cut your nails on Friday, you cut them for sorrow.
  • Ships that set sail on a Friday will have bad luck – as in the tale of H.M.S. Friday … One hundred years ago, the British government sought to quell once and for all the widespread superstition among seamen that setting sail on Fridays was unlucky. A special ship was commissioned, named “H.M.S. Friday.” They laid her keel on a Friday, launched her on a Friday, selected her crew on a Friday and hired a man named Jim Friday to be her captain. To top it off, H.M.S. Friday embarked on her maiden voyage on a Friday, and was never seen or heard from again. ( I don’t believe a word of it) .
  • It was on a Friday, supposedly, that Eve tempted Adam with the forbidden fruit.
  • In pagan Rome, Friday was execution day (later Hangman’s Day in Britain)
  • Thirteen is significant to Christians because it is the number of people who were present at the Last Supper (Jesus and his 12 apostles). Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th member of the party to arrive.
  •  In 2006, a study by the RAC revealed that the number of personal injuries leading to hospital admissions because of road accidents had increased by as much as 52 per cent on Friday 13th.
  •  Christian legend holds that 13 is unholy because it signifies the gathering of 12 witches and the devil to form a covern.
  • Hindu and Norse people believe that If 13 people sit down to dinner together, all will die within the year.

So are you a sufferer of  paraskevidekatriaphobia or a skeptic? Will you be avoiding damaging mirrors, walking under ladders or looking for black cats…………………………Dare you ignore Friday the 13th!!!!!!


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve Heaven March 26, 2009 at 9:55 am

We moved into our first house, a number 13 on a Friday the 13th in 1974 and we had a great time there.
Now we regularly sit down to Sunday lunch with 13 of us. Myself, my wife, my father in law, our two daughers, two sons in law and 6 grandchildren !

John March 17, 2009 at 5:34 pm

Hi Valonia,
Yes, It is a lucky number, for many centuries in Scandinavia, Friday was known as “Witches’ Sabbath” and in Pagan Yorkshire (I should have known this as a Yorkshireman), Both Friday and No.13 were positive, lucky signs. These pagan associations with the predominance of woman were not lost on the early Church, which went to great lengths to suppress them. If Friday was a holy day for heathens then the Church fathers felt, it must not be so for Christians.

valonia March 16, 2009 at 1:03 pm

I remember being told that 13 was a lucky number for pagans. I’m not sure whether this is true but if it is maybe Friday 13th is a very auspicious day for some!

x V.

Lesley Kimantas March 13, 2009 at 3:28 pm

A good post John. I am not of the superstitious persuasion, it seems all bunkum to me but if you are FEARFUL , phobic, it can’t be much fun as you spend your time avoiding the next piece of nonsense.

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