Friday The 13th Phobia and Superstitions

Friday the 13th is known by many as an unlucky day. In fact there was a whole movie franchise devoted to the name because it is a day that symbolises fear and death. Some people even have a phobia of this day, which is referred to as friggatriskaidekaphobia.

This long name comes from the name of the Norse goddess, Frigga, and the word “triskaidekaphobia,” which means fear of the number thirteen. In the Gregorian calendar, there is at least one Friday the 13th every year. Friday the 13th has nothing to do with something bad that happened on that day in the past. Instead it has to do with the superstitions surrounding the number 13 and Friday. So when you put these two unlucky things together, it creates a day of pure horror and chaos.

Historians are not exactly clear as to the origins of Friday the 13th and the fear that surrounds it. Up until the 19th century, there has been no written evidence or documentation to address the fears people have of this day. However, the number 13 has its own series of superstitions that started way back in 1800 B.C.

If you look at the ancient Code of Hammurabi in Babylon that dates back to 1772 B.C., their list of laws skips over the number 13 and goes right to 14. Over the centuries, myths were developed all throughout the world as to what would happen to you if the number 13 is in your life somehow.

For example, there is a myth that when 13 people have dinner together, one of them will be dead within one year. This myth derives from the Last Supper, which is when Jesus feasted with 12 Apostles right before his death.

There is also another Norse myth about the god, Odin, and his 11 friends dining together. As they are dining and having a good time, a 13th guest shows up, uninvited to destroy the good time. This guest was Loki, who was the god of evil.

The number 13 has been seen as a cursed number for thousands of years. People often see the number 12 as a lucky number and the number of completeness. Think about it. There are 12 hours on clocks, 12 months in a year, 12 Apostles for Jesus, 12 Olympian gods, and many other numbers where 12 is considered good. So any time you have something going to the next number after 12, it is seen as an unlucky and dangerous sign.  

As for Friday, this has been considered an unlucky day for a long time. The most common reason for this has to do with Jesus being crucified on Friday. Then in the 14th century, a book was published called “The Canterbury Tales,” which describes Friday as a day of bad luck and misfortune. And more recently, Wall Street experienced a large drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average on a Friday the 13th in 1989. Even the Da Vinci Code references Friday the 13th as being a day to avoid.

It is safe to say that the superstition surrounding Friday the 13th still exists today. Some hotels in New York City don’t even have a 13th floor because they fear it will bring bad luck to any guests that stay on it. Also, celebrities have become superstitious on Friday the 13th. Singer and pop star, Britney Spears, won’t even schedule her flights on Friday the 13th because she fears something bad could happen on her flight that day.

She is not alone either. Many travellers around the world will try to reschedule their flights if they land on Friday the 13th. But the real bizarre thing is pregnant mothers who try to refrain from giving birth on Friday the 13th. They think it will cause their baby to have a terrible life or bring them great pain later on. There is just no end to the fear and superstition surrounding this day.  So, they’ll attempt to induce or not provoke labour that day.

Since the origins of Friday the 13th derive from religious tales and folk-lore, there are not too many non-religious people that fear this day. But there are still a considerable number of people who do fear it.

Studies show that about 20 million Americans suffer from friggatriskaidekaphobia. Some of them even develop physical symptoms as a result of their fears from this day. They may have dry mouth, nausea, high anxiety, panic attacks and loss of physical control.  These physical symptoms derive from the psychology of their fear for this day and is evidence of the mind body connection that can affect health and outcomes.

 People often take medications to help them reduce their stress levels. Others may practice meditation and relaxation techniques to overcome their fear.

But in the end, it all comes down to your own experiences with Friday the 13th and how bad it has been for you. And ultimately, having a positive mind set where you see every day as a door of opportunity.  

For every phobia, there is a cure using hypnotherapy, one of the best ways to rapidly modify one's mindset.