Friday the 13th: Some Especially Scared, But We're All Making It Worse

Friday, 13 Dec 2013 04:57 PM

By Ken Mandel

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It's Friday the 13th, and the notorious day of bad luck and superstitions is an epidemic in Great Britain.

According to a study conducted by the Travelodge hotel chain, 34 percent of British people suffer from friggatriskaidekaphobia, or the fear of Friday the 13th, Market Wired reports.

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Those adults said they prefer to avoid traveling on the day for fear of an accident. Others said they would reschedule meetings and delay making important purchases.

The study surveyed 2,500 adults across the country on their views on certain "lucky" or "unlucky" numbers. It was conducted in concert with a managers survey on customer behaviours.

"It's evident that Triskaidekaphobia is hitting Britain hard," Travelodge Spokeswoman Shakila Ahmed told Market Wired. "Britons really do have a fear of the number 13 and will avoid this number at all cost. At present just half of our hotels have a room 13 and we are now looking to see if we can rename these rooms."

The origins of Friday the 13th, and the bad luck associated with it, date to Biblical times. Judas, the 13th guest at the Last Supper, betrayed Jesus, who was crucified the next day, a Friday. The "Friday the 13th" slasher movie franchise helps perpetuate the fear.

It should be just another day on the calendar, if only popular culture didn't create an irrational fear, Connecticut College psychology professor Stuart Vyse told National Geographic.

"If nobody bothered to teach us about these negative taboo superstitions like Friday the 13th, we might in fact all be better off," he said.

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