Friday the 13th: The Unluckiest Day of All?

In keeping with the ‘Best of’ theme from the Crossroads blog tour last January, I’d like to share a post that was one of my favorites! Fortunately, Friday the 13th won’t roll around again until September 2013!

Friggatriskaidekaphobia or Paraskevidekatriaphobics.  No matter what you call it (assuming you can pronounce either of these words because I sure can’t!), the irrational fear of Friday the 13th is no myth. Millions of people will change their behavior today due to superstition. There will be fewer air travelers, fewer road trips, and probably a few folks who called in sick to avoid tempting fate.

The good news? This infamous and fearsome day occurs three times this year which is the highest number possible. Oh, wait. That’s not good news? Only if you’re superstitious, which I’m not– usually. I’ve always been told it’s a day of bad luck, but those superstitious warnings are rarely followed by an explanation so I decided to do some research. And guess what? Just like any urban legend there are numerous possible origins for the irrational fear of the 13th (most of them inconclusive since the fear of the 13th arose during the 19th century).

Still, some persist that there were earlier indications that the number 13 was unlucky. In Christianity, it’s believed there were 13 guests at the last supper which led to betrayal. Norse mythology has a similar tale where a 13th (and evil) Loki god crashed a dinner party leading to the death of a favored and benevolent god. Dig a little deeper and I’m sure we could find countless examples of misfortune and 13 throughout history.

Face it, we’re superstitious creatures by nature and quite a few of us believe the number 13 is inherently unlucky (or maybe even rooted in evil). As a result, the devil’s dozen is frequently omitted in everyday ventures.

  • Ever stayed on the 13th floor of a hotel? No?  That’s because many buildings skip the 13th floor.
  • It’s bad luck to have a dinner party with 13 guests. Unless one of them has a death wish.
  • 13th Street/Road/Avenue are typically skipped by city planners.
  • 13 letters in your name? Better prepare for the devil’s luck… like Charles Manson.

As for me, I think I’ll being spending my Friday night curled up on the couch with a big bucket of popcorn and a scary movie or two. Now that seems fitting! The question is… what to watch?

Here are a couple of my all-time favorites. Post yours below! Even if I can’t get it tonight, I’m always looking for new and different horror flicks. I’ve seen quite a few, but with such a popular genre, I’m surely missing some amazing cinematography… or least a few good screams!

* Originally posted at My Life With Books

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