Whether it’s crossing the path of a black cat, walking under ladders or pre-game rituals, many have superstitions.
But for those who suffer from paraskavedekatriaphobia, or fear of Friday the 13th, this Friday will not be a reason to celebrate the upcoming three-day weekend.
Even worse, a double dose of Friday the 13th is being served this year, and – for horror movie fans – the second occasion strikes at the best time of year. Besides this week, there’s another Friday the 13th that falls in October.
An entire film franchise is based on the fear of the date, TIME reported in 2015, adding that it’s difficult to trace why the date is so widely feared. While there are many theories, there are few definitive answers.
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Even if they may not fear it, many are fascinated by the phenomenon, and The Telegraph speculated as to the origins of the “unlucky” date.
Whether the origins are biblical or rooted in that 13 is viewed as an “unlucky” number is up for debate. Some believe that Judas was the 13th disciple at the Last Supper and betrayed Jesus, giving the number its unfortunate fame.
Snopes reported that references of Friday being considered an “unlucky” day go back to the 14th century in the “Canterbury Tales,” but it’s unpopularity seemed to grow over time.
“The belief in Friday the 13th as a day on which Murphy's Law reigns supreme and anything that can go wrong will go wrong appears to be largely a 20th century phenomenon,” Snopes reported.
A Snopes investigation revealed that the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times both first made mention of the date in 1908, when a senator “dared to tempt fate by introducing 13 bills on Friday the 13th.”
In 1913, Snopes found a minister offered to marry couples for free on Friday the 13th.