For those who fear this dreadful day, the fear you are suffering from has a name: “friggatriskaidekaphobia.” It’s also called “paraskavedekatriaphobia.” It’s what happens when a fear of Fridays meets a fear of the number Thirteen (triskaidekaphobia). Nearly 20 million Americans are affected by friggatriskaidekaphobia.
Did you know that friggatriskaidekaphobia, according to Fox News, can be traced back to “October 1307, when on Friday the 13th, French King Philip IV rounded up hundreds of monks and tortured them into admitting a variety of heresies.”
It may also have religious roots. You might be surprised to learn that the superstitions surrounding Friday the 13th are said to stem from religion. National Geographic reports that the fear was fueled by Judas, the 13th apostle at the Last Supper, who betrayed Jesus, and Jesus’ crucifixion, which occurred on a Friday.
The number 13 suffers from its position after 12, according to numerologists who consider the latter to be a complete number — 12 months in a year, 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 labors of Hercules, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 apostles of Jesus, 12 days of Christmas and 12 eggs in a dozen.
The seals on the back of a dollar bill include 13 steps on the pyramid, 13 stars above the eagle’s head, 13 war arrows in the eagle’s claw and 13 leaves on the olive branch. So far there’s been no evidence tying these long-ago design decisions to the present economic situation.
Here are some scary, yet scintillating facts about Friday the Thirteenth:
– In a traditional hangman’s noose there are 13 twists of the rope and 13 steps to the gallows.
– Many buildings don’t count their 13th floors. You’ll see on their elevators that the numbers skip from 12 to 14.
– In Formula 1 racing, there is no car with the number 13. The number has been removed after two drivers were killed in crashes, both driving cars numbered 13.
– Killers Charles Manson, Saddam Hussein, Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, Theodore Bundy, and Jack The Ripper each have 13 letters in their names.
On the other hand, some people still consider 13 as a lucky number:
– The number 13 is considered lucky by Italians.
– Taylor Swift considers 13 her lucky number and used to paint 13 on her hand.
Either the unluckiest, or even luckiest day, Friday the 13th really depends on how different people view it.