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13 Friday the 13th Facts

Today is Friday, September 13th. The Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina estimates that 17 to 21 million people in the United States are affected by a fear of this day. Some of these people are so paralyzed by fear that not only will they not do anything outside of their normal routine, such as fly, they will not even partake in their everyday activities.

1. Friday the 13th is the most feared day and date in history

Why this day and date combo? We just marked the 12th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks which took place on a Tuesday. That is a date no one will ever forget for as long as they live and it will likely be discussed long after those of us alive when it happened are gone. So why not fear Tuesday the 11th? Or what about Monday the 14th? On April 14, 1912 the unsinkable Titanic hit an iceberg and sank resulting in a catastrophic loss of life. 101 years later and no one forgets, yet we do not fear Monday the 14th like we do Friday the 13th.

2. The amalgamation of two older superstitions may be to blame

One reason thought to explain the phobia of Friday the 13th is that 13 itself is considered an unlucky number and Friday itself is considered an unlucky day. Put the two together and you have double the bad luck.  13 is said to be unlucky because it is irregular. In numerology 12 is considered the number of completeness (12 months of the year, 12 hours of the clock, 12 signs of the Zodiac, etc). 13 is one too many. Friday is also the day that Jesus Christ was crucified.

13, the unlucky number behind the Friday the 13th superstition

13, the unlucky number behind the Friday the 13th superstition

3. Records of the Friday the 13th superstition are practically nonexistent before 1907

That same year, author Thomas W.  Lawson, write a novel in which a broker uses the superstition to his advantage to create a panic on Wall Street on Friday the 13th. That novel was aptly titled, Friday the Thirteenth.

4. Friday the 13th results in the loss of $800-900 million in business

A US study estimates the country loses $800-900 million in business because people are not flying, driving or even leaving their homes. Hard to spend any money that way.

5. The Friday the 13th superstition makes the 13th safer than any other Friday

A Dutch insurance statistical study points out that as a result of less people being on the roads and/or taking risks in their behavior due to their fear of something awful happening on Friday the 13th, Friday the 13th is actually safer than other Friday and many other days as well.

6. The fear of Friday the 13th has three names

friggatriskaidekaphobia, triskaidekaphobia and paraskevidekatriaphobia

7. The Greeks and Spanish-speaking countries, consider Tuesday the 13th to be bad luck.

8. In Italy, 13 is generally considered to be a lucky number. Friday the 17th is considered bad luck.

9. The longest period that can occur without a Friday the 13th is fourteen months

When they do occur, these fourteen month periods take place between July to September or August to October.

10. There is at least one Friday the 13th every calendar year

11. Any month that starts on a Sunday contains a Friday the 13th

12. Hubert Humphrey died on Friday, January 13, 1978

So did Sam Patch (November 13, 1829 while performing a jump into the Genesee River to raise money), Gioachino Rossini (November 13, 1968), Christopher Wilder a.ka. “The Beauty Queen Killer” (April 13, 1984), Tupac Shakur (September 13, 1996), Julia Child (August 13, 2004), and Tim Russert (June 13, 2008), to name a few.

13. The next Friday the 13th is Friday, December 13, 2013

If you are one of the millions of people who suffer from a fear of Friday the 13th, here are the months and years of the next Friday the 13ths up to the year 2029:

June 2014

February 2015, March 2015, November 2015

May 2016

January 2017, October 2017

April 2018, July 2018

September 2019, December 2019

March 2020, November 2020

August 2021

May 2022

January 2023, October 2023

September 2024, December 2024

June 2025

February 2026, March 2026, November 2026

August 2027

October 2028

April 2029, July 2029

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