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Superstition about Friday the 13th

Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.


Friday the 13th is no more dangerous than any other day on the calendar even though some people might think so. Some people think Friday the 13th is an unlucky day.

People who are superstitious stay home all day because they fear something bad will happen to them. Accidents and bad things can happen to people on any date on the calendar no matter where they are and no matter what they are doing. The fear of Friday the 13th is widespread. Experts say that fear affects over 20 million Americans and many more worldwide.

Every calendar year has at least one Friday the 13th and can have as many as three. Any month that starts on a Sunday will always have a Friday the 13th. August 13th is the only Friday the 13th in 2021. After that, the next one is not until May 2022.

Bad Effects of Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th impacts the economy in the United States. It is estimated that businesses lose about $900 million in productivity every Friday the 13th.

Some people are so superstitious that they do not go to work. They do not spend money traveling. They do not shop for big-ticket items. They do not make any major decisions. They do not start a new job. They do not plan their wedding on a Friday the 13th.

Good Effects of Friday the 13th

Because businesses know how some people feel about Friday the 13th, they deliberately have sales and other offers to entice people to use their services on that particular date.

Something good almost always comes from things that appear to be bad. Because people are extra careful on Friday the 13th, there are fewer traffic accidents, according to the Dutch Centre for Insurance Statistics. There have been reports that fires and thefts on that date are also much lower.


The Number 13

Some people think 13 is an unlucky number whether it appears on a Friday or not. For instance, some cities do not have a 13th street. Some hotels and hospitals do not have a 13th floor or the number 13 on rooms. The number 13 is not listed on the elevator. Therefore, one goes from the 12th floor to the 14th floor. Eighty percent of high-rise buildings do not have a 13th floor. Some airports do not have a gate 13, and there is no 13th row of seats on airplanes. Some race car drivers do not have the number 13 on their vehicles.

The irony of those places that are said to be without a 13th street, a 13th floor, a 13th room, or a 13th gate really do have them after all. They are just not numbered as such. The 14th of any of them is really the 13th one.

Some companies have done their best to accommodate those who are superstitious of the number 13. The house between 12 and 14 is considered to be 12 1/2 as the official address. In Scotland, instead of having a terminal 13, there is terminal 12B. The 13th soundstage at Universal Studios in California doesn't exist.

Apollo 13 is the only unsuccessful moon mission that is believed to have been unlucky because it had the number 13 in its name. The astronauts returned safely to earth after the oxygen cylinder exploded, which made it difficult for them to survive in space.

The number 13 is not unlucky all over the world. Number 13 is not considered bad in China, Japan, and Korea. Instead, the number 4 is considered unlucky.

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Triskaidekaphobia and Paraskevidekatriaphobia

The fear of the number 13 is called triskaidekaphobia. The fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskevidekatriaphobia. Symptoms for both fears are the same and so is the therapy.

People with triskaidekaphobia do everything that can to avoid coming in contact with the number 13 because they consider the number unlucky. They will not have an address or telephone number that has a13 in it. They are extremely careful on the 13th day of the month and especially on Friday the 13th.

Everyone who considers the number unlucky does not have a phobia. Instead, they are just superstitious about number 13. It becomes triskaidekaphobia and paraskevidekatriaphobia when the fears interfere and keep people from their work, social activities, and their usual daily functions.

Symptoms can range from mild anxiety to something more serious such as full-blown panic attacks. Some people might need therapy because the fear is real and might have a bad effect on their lives.


Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on September 14, 2019:

Yes, Lori, we made it through Friday the 13th.

Yes, Cheryl, I read your article on the same topic. That means we covered twice as much ground. Good job!

Cheryl E Preston from Roanoke on September 14, 2019:

Great article. As if hey say great minds and think alike.

Lori Colbo from United States on September 14, 2019:

That's funny Margaret. I went to town 25 miles away and came back on our two lane dangerous highway in the dark with no lights and here I am at home writing you.

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on September 13, 2019:

Lori, when I posted this on Facebook, some Christians said they were staying home today because of its date. I thought about them when I went grocery shopping and Line 13 was the shortest. I used it and nothing bad happened to me or to my groceries.

Lori Colbo from United States on September 13, 2019:

It's the same with the number 666. It's taken out of context, and by a lot of Christians even. Bad things happen every day. I haven't looked at statistics, but I'm willing to bet the occurrence of accidents and tragedies are no greater on this day than others.

Thanks for showing people how silly it is.

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