Tags: friday | 13th | myth | superstition

It's Friday the 13th ... Why's That So Scary?

It's Friday the 13th ... Why's That So Scary?
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By    |   Friday, 13 April 2018 09:15 AM

It is Friday, the 13th, and according to Reader's Digest, the history to why the date is so scary is rooted in religion and mythology.

The Mirror wrote that the fear of Friday 13th is called "paraskevidekatriaphobia" and it is estimated to cost businesses up to $833 million as people avoid events and parities. The publication said that about 49 million Britons are said to fearful of Friday 13th, believing that bad things will and do happen on the date.

According to the Bible, there were 13 people who attended the Last Supper, and the final arrival, Judas, betrayed Jesus, Reader's Digest wrote. In one Norse mythology story, the primary 12 gods were eating together peacefully until the 13th, Loki, the god of mischief, arrived and carnage ensued, the magazine wrote.

There is another suggestion that 13's fate comes because it is next to 12, which has been considered by many ancient civilizations as "a perfect number," wrote Reader's Digest.

After all, there are 12 hours on a clock, 12 months in a year, and 12 phases of the Zodiac and is the largest number that also has one syllable. Thus 13 seemed flawed, inspiring unease throughout the ancient world, Reader's Digest said.

That fear even spread to construction where some hotels skip the number 13 in tall building while some elevators did not list the 13th floor, according to USA Today.

Some point to bad incidents that have happened on Friday the 13th as well, according to the Mirror.

  • Five German bombs struck Buckingham Palace in September 1940.
  • In October 1972, Air Force Flight 571 from Uruguay crashed in the Andes, while flying members of a rugby team, where 16 survivors remained alive by eating the flesh of the dead.
  • In August 1976, New York man Daz Baxter elected to stay in bed to ward off bad luck, but the floor of his apartment block collapsed and died after falling six stories.
  • In May 1981, Pope John Paul II, formerly Cardinal Karol Wojtyla of Poland, was shot four times, but later made a full recovery.
  • The stock market crashed in October 1989, sending global markets plunging when a buyout for a United Airlines parent company failed.
  • One young boy, 13, was struck by lightning in 2010 at 1:13 p.m., or 13:13, military time.
  • The cruise ship Costa Concordia sank off the coast of Tuscany, Italy in January 2012 and 32 people drowned.
  • In November 2015, a terrorist attacks ravaged Paris where 130 died in six coordinated attacks in and around the city.

That's not to mention the "Friday the 13th" movie franchise that started in 1980, scaring movie-goers out of $380 million at the box office since 1980 with 12 pictures, per Box Office Mojo.

Rebecca Borah, an English professor at the University of Cincinnati, told National Geographic that most people, whether they believe in Friday the 13th myth or not, will likely be a little more careful on the day.

"When you have rules and you know how to play by them, it always seems a lot easier," Borah told National Geographic in 2014. On Friday the 13th, "we don't do anything too scary today, or double-check that there's enough gas in the car, or whatever it might be. Some people may even stay at home — although statistically, most accidents happen in the home, so that may not be the best strategy."

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It is Friday, the 13th, and according to Reader's Digest, the history to why the date is so scary is rooted in religion and mythology.
friday, 13th, myth, superstition
567
2018-15-13
Friday, 13 April 2018 09:15 AM
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