I dare you to say that word real fast: Paraskevidekatriaphobia. Who can even say it for starters?
But if you’re afraid of Friday the 13th, that’s exactly what you have: Paraskevidekatriaphobia. There I did it again! LOL!
So why do we freak out about Friday the 13th? There are lots of theories, but as I’ve discovered while researching them, it appears that the origins of this fear don’t really exist before the 19th century so Paraskevidekatriaphobia appears to be a more modern phobia.
But why the fear? Here’s some possible reasons!
Jesus Christ was crucified on a Friday and was betrayed by Judas, the 13th apostle. There were 13 people seated at the Last Supper and in some cultures, seating 13 at a table is considered bad luck as one of the diners may die after the meal, just like Judas. My family followed this superstition and we never ever set a table for 13. FYI, fear of the number 13 is triskadekaphobia.
On Friday the 13th in 1307, King Philip of France ordered raids on the Knights Templar resulting in the torture and /or murder of thousands of knights.
On August 13, 1521, a Friday, Cortes captured Cuauhtemoc, the ruler of Tenochtitlán (now Mexico City), bringing an end to the Aztec Empire.
In 1989 there were two Friday the 13th occurrences. On the first one in January, the Friday the 13th virus affected computers in several countries, wiping out programs and infecting data. In October, the Black Friday mini-crash shaved 190 points off the Dow Jones, the Nasdaq fell nearly 15 points and the S&P fell nearly 22 points. That may not sound like a lot, but back then it ranged from 3% to almost 7% of the total market values.
On March 13, 1931, Al Capone was indicted for tax evasion.
Italian composer Rossini died on Friday the 13th.
Scary thought if you have Paraskevidekatriaphobia: 2015 has three Friday the 13ths in it! February, March and November.