Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday the 13th

The Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in North Carolina has reported that approximately 17 to 21 million Americans have a fear of Friday the 13th.  This makes Friday the 13th the most feared day in history.

Friggatriskaidekaphobia is the term that describes the fear of Friday the 13th.  There are two root words in this expression.  Frigga is the name of the Norse Goddess for whom Friday took its name.  Triskaidekaphobia refers to the fear of the number thirteen.

There is an extremely popular horror series about the day, and mentioning Friday the 13th can instill frightened looks.  But why is this day so feared?

Here are some theories and superstitions surrounding Friday the 13th:
  • Thirteen is an unlucky number, and Friday is an unlucky day, are two older superstitions that merged together.
  • In numerology, the number twelve is the number of completeness.  The number thirteen is irregular and messes up the completeness of twelve.
  • Having thirteen people sit down to dinner - like in The Last Supper and a lesser known Norse myth - will result in the death of one of the people seated around the table.
  • Jesus Christ was crucified on a Friday.
  • Hundreds of members of the Knights Templar were arrested in France on October 13, 1307.
Here are a few books that have correlations between Friday the 13th and the Knights Templar:
  • FRIDAY, THE THIRTEENTH (Thomas W. Lawson, 1907)
  • THE DA VINCI CODE (Dan Brown, 2003)
So is Friday the 13th an unlucky day?  In the interest of shock value - I'm a big fan - I like to bring it up in conversations whenever I can.  But alas, logic tells me it's just another day.  In fact, fewer accidents are reported on Friday the 13th than any other day.  This is probably because people are more careful, keeping their fears of the day in the front of their minds. 

But just in case I haven't convinced you yet, here are a few things to keep in mind:
  • In Greece and Spanish-speaking countries, Tuesday the 13th is considered an unlucky day.
  • In Italy, Friday the 17th is the day to be most careful.


  1. That whole Knights Templar thing is pretty gruesome. My daddy was a big historian on them. Great post Kristi!

  2. Thanks, Kristi. This one inspired me in my own writing!

    1. So glad to hear that, Chris! Happy writing!

  3. Friday the 13th...I'm late!
    That's alright, next month is Halloween - so I'll be expecting really great things from you about that!

    1. Yes, my blog schedule is PACKED with all sorts of interesting topics!