Friggatriskaidekaphobia and Triskaidekaphobia (aka Paraskevidekatriaphobia) are both terms for the fear of Friday the 13th. [FONT=&]It's Friday the 13th, and millions of people are on edge, fearing a calamity with personal or global repercussions -a broken leg, a stock market crash, or the trigger pulled for World War III.[/FONT] [FONT=&]Why all the anxiety? In short, because the fear is ingrained in Western culture, according to experts[/FONT]. [FONT=&]"If nobody bothered to teach us about these negative taboo superstitions like Friday the 13th, we might in fact all be better off," said Stuart Vyse, a professor of psychology at Connecticut College in New London.[/FONT] [FONT=&]People who harbor a Friday the 13th superstition might have triskaidekaphobia, or fear of the number 13, and often pass on their belief to their children, he noted. Popular culture's obsession with the fear-think the [FONT=&]Friday the 13th[/FONT] horror films and even this story-helps keep it alive, added Vyse, the author of [FONT=&]Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition.[/FONT][/FONT] [FONT=&]Although superstitions can be arbitrary-a fear of ladders or black cats, for example-"once they are in the culture, we tend to honor them," said Thomas Gilovich, a professor of psychology at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.[/FONT] [FONT=&]"You feel like if you are going to ignore it, you are tempting fate," he explained.[/FONT] [FONT=&]Origins Rooted in Religion[/FONT] [FONT=&]The trepidation surrounding Friday the 13th is rooted in religious beliefs surrounding the 13th guest at the Last Supper - Judas, the apostle said to have betrayed Jesus-and the crucifixion of Jesus on a Friday, which was known as hangman's day and was already a source of anxiety.[/FONT] [FONT=&]The two fears merged, resulting "in this sort of double whammy of 13 fallingon an already nervous day," he said.[/FONT] [FONT=&]The taboo against the number 13 spread with Christianity and into non-Christian areas, noted Phillips Stevens, Jr., an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Buffalo in New York."It became extremely widespread through the Euro-American world, embedded in culture, andextremely persistent," he said.[/FONT] [FONT=&]More interesting, he noted, is why people associate any Friday the 13th with bad luck. The answer, he said, has to do with what he calls principles of "magical thinking" found in cultures around the world.[/FONT] [FONT=&]One of these principles involves things or actions-if they "resemble other things in any way of resemblance-shape or sound or odor or color-people tend to think those things are related and in a causal way," he explained.[/FONT] [FONT=&]In this framework, there were 13 people present at the Last Supper, so anything connected to the number 13 from then on is bad luck.[/FONT] [FONT=&]Thomas Fernsler, an associate policy scientist in the Mathematics and Science Education Resource Center at the University of Delaware in Newark, said the number 13 suffers because of its position after 12.[/FONT] [FONT=&]According to Fernsler, numerologists consider 12 a "complete" number. There are 12 months in a year, 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 labors of Hercules, 12 tribes of Israel, and 12 apostles of Jesus. [/FONT] [FONT=&]Fernsler said 13's association with bad luck "has to do with just being a little beyond completeness. The number becomes restless or squirmy."[/FONT] [FONT=&]Then there's Friday. Not only was Christ crucified on that day, but some biblical scholars believe Eve tempted Adam with the forbidden fruit on a Friday. Perhaps most significant is a belief that Abel was slain by his brother Cain on Friday the 13th.[/FONT] [FONT=&]Crippling Impact[/FONT] [FONT=&]On Friday the 13th, some people are so crippled by fear that they lock themselves inside; others will have no choice but to grit their teeth and nervously muster through the day.[/FONT] [FONT=&]Nevertheless, many people will refuse to fly, buy a house, or act on a hot stock tip, inactions that noticeably slow economic activity, according to Donald Dossey, a folklore historian and founder of the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina.[/FONT] [FONT=&]"It's been estimated that U.S. $800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day because people will not fly or do business they normally would do," he said.[/FONT] [FONT=&]To overcome the fear, Vyse said, people should take small steps outside their comfort zone. Those who are afraid to leave the house could consider meeting a close friend at a cozy cafe, for example.[/FONT] [FONT=&]"Try some small thing that they would be reluctant to do under normal circumstances and gradually experience, hopefully, no horrible thing happen when they push through and carry on," he said.[/FONT] ______________________________________________________________________________________________ [FONT=&]The origins of the Friday the 13th being an unlucky date are shrouded in mystery.[/FONT] [FONT=&]The most commonly held perception is that Friday is an unlucky day and 13 is a particularly unlucky number.[/FONT] [FONT=&]In numerology 13 is considered to be an irregular number and is also the number of witches you need to form a coven.[/FONT] [FONT=&]Some say the roots of 13 being considered unlucky lie in a Nordic myth about 12 gods having a dinner party at Valhalla.[/FONT] [FONT=&]The 13th guest was Loki, the god of mischief, who arranged for the god of joy and gladness to be shot with a mistletoe-tipped arrow. He died and the whole world was thrust into mourning.[/FONT] [FONT=&]Ancient Christianity may also yield some clues as to why Friday is perceived as unlucky. Christ was crucified on a Friday and Cain is believed to have killed his brother Abel on a Friday, perhaps even Friday 13th. Some biblical scholars believe that Eve tempted Adam with the forbidden fruit on a Friday.[/FONT] [FONT=&]In the 14th century Geoffrey Chaucer referenced Friday as being an unlucky day in his Canterbury Tales, "And on a Friday fell all this mischance".[/FONT] [FONT=&]Seafarers have long considered it is bad luck to set off on a journey on a Friday. It was also historically known as the day that people were usually hanged in Britain.[/FONT] [FONT=&]In the 1990s medical researchers tried to prove whether or not people are particularly prone to misfortune in Friday 13th.[/FONT] [FONT=&]The results published in the British Medical Journal, noted that the number of motor accidents in the South West Thames region increased from a total of 45 on the six Friday 6ths between 1989 and 1992, to some 65 accidents on the six Friday 13ths in the same period - an increase of 52 per cent.[/FONT] [FONT=&]Researchers in Sweden also claimed that the country was a more risky place to be on Friday the 13th.[/FONT] [FONT=&]However Dr Caroline Watt of the University of Edinburgh says that it is the belief in the Friday 13th superstition that could, in fact, prove the greatest risk to the average person:[/FONT] [FONT=&]"If people believe in the superstition of Friday the 13th then they believe they are in greater danger on that day. As a result they may be more anxious and distracted and this could lead to accidents. It becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.[/FONT] [FONT=&]"It is like telling someone they are cursed. If they believe they are then they will worry, their blood pressure will go up and they put themselves at risk."[/FONT] Are you superstitious about Friday the 13th? [FONT=&]Unfortunate events that have happened on Friday the 13th[/FONT] [FONT=&]The Da Vinci Code popularised the link between the Friday the 13th superstition and the decline of the religious order the Knights Templar.[/FONT] [FONT=&]On Friday 13 in October 1307, King Philip IV of France ordered the Templar Grand Master Jacques de Molay to be arrested along with thousands of other Templars.[/FONT] [FONT=&]Buckingham Palace was hit by five German bombs on Friday September 13 1940 with both King George VI and Queen Elizabeth coming close to being killed. [/FONT] [FONT=&]One member of the royal staff died and the palace chapel was destroyed.[/FONT] [FONT=&]A Chilean Air force plane â€˜disappeared' in the Andes on Friday 13 October 1972, with 16 survivors turning up two months later. [/FONT] [FONT=&]They had been forced to eat dead passengers in order to survive.[/FONT] [FONT=&]The rapper Tupac Shakur died of his wounds on Friday September 13 1996 six days after being shot multiple times in a drive-by shooting.[/FONT] [FONT=&]The Costa Concordia cruise ship ran aground on Friday 13 in January 2012 off the western coast of Italy killing 30 people.[/FONT] [FONT=&]Friday 13th travellers take chance on flight 666 to HEL[/FONT] [FONT=&](one L not HELL because HEL = Helsinki)[/FONT] [FONT=&]Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia[/FONT] [FONT=&]Pilot of Finnair flight from Copenhagen to Helsinki says he is not superstitious about flying on an unlucky date.[/FONT] [FONT=&]Would you board flight 666 to HEL on Friday the 13th? For superstitious travellers, that might be tempting fate. But Finnair passengers on AY666 to Helsinki apparently were not too bothered. Friday's flight was almost full.[/FONT] [FONT=&]"It has been quite a joke among the pilots," said Juha-Pekka Keidasto, who will fly the Airbus A320 from Copenhagen to Helsinki. "I'm not a superstitious man. It's only a coincidence for me."[/FONT] [FONT=&]The daily flight AY666 from Copenhagen to Helsinki falls on Friday the 13th twice in 2013. Friday the 13th is considered bad luck in many countries and the number 666 also has strong negative biblical associations.[/FONT] [FONT=&]Some airlines, such as Scandinavian Airlines, take such fears seriously and do not have a row 13 on board. However, the negative connotations are a relatively new phenomenon for northern Europeans, and Finnair and other regional carriers such as Norwegian and Estonian Air keep row 13.[/FONT] [FONT=&]"Less than 100 years ago the number 13 did not have this sinister meaning. It's quite recent in the north," said Ulo Valk, professor of comparative folklore at the University of Tartu in Estonia.[/FONT] [FONT=&]"There are 12 hours, 12 months and in Christianity 12 apostles and this is a divine number. Add one more and it brings in a certain element of chaos," he said.[/FONT] [FONT=&]Passengers on flight 666 to HEL should have a calm flight over the Baltic at this time of year. "It's hopefully smooth skies," said Keidasto. "And if there's some passenger who is anxious about this 666, our cabin crew is always happy to help them."[/FONT] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ [FONT=&]Dr. Dossey, who coined the latter term, states that as many as 21 million Americans suffer from this superstition. Is it an old superstition or a more modern amalgamation of two other fears: Fridays and the number 13?[/FONT] [FONT=&]The most widespread origin references the crucifixion of Jesus, on a Friday, and the 13 guests at the Last Supper, with the 13th guest being Judas, the traitor.[/FONT] [FONT=&]The publication of The Da Vinci Code a decade ago, however, popularised a link with the Knights Templar. According to historians, on October 13th, 1307, orders from King Philip IV of France accusing the Templars of heresy were opened. Officers of the King carried out dawn arrests that left several thousand Templars in chains and in the years that followed many died from torture or were executed.[/FONT] [FONT=&]In Norse mythology, Frigga, the free-spirited goddess of love and fertility, was labelled a witch and banished when tribes converted to Christianity. Legend has it that every Friday, the malicious goddess assembled the devil and eleven other witches (13 in total) and plotted evil fateful deeds for the coming week. For centuries in Scandinavia, Friday was therefore known as the "Witches' Sabbath."[/FONT] [FONT=&]There is, however, virtually no written reference to the superstition prior to the 1900s. My preference is that a very popular novel published in 1907 is to blame. Thomas W. Lawson's novel entitled "Friday, the Thirteenth" tells the story of an unscrupulous stockbroker who picks that particular day to bring down Wall Street. The book sold 60,000 copies in its first month.[/FONT] [FONT=&]Coincidentally a ship named after Lawson hit a storm and was wrecked on the night of Friday 13th December, 1907. Whether it has a literary, biblical, Norse, or Knights Templar origin remains to be seen but the unlucky associations with the number 13 are equally interesting.[/FONT] [FONT=&]The fear of the number thirteen is known as triskaidekaphobia. As a number associated with bad luck it is a belief that is strong enough that many hotels and tall buildings traditionally skip labelling the 13th floor entirely.[/FONT] [FONT=&]I've found reference to a superstition that says "If you have 13 letters in your name, you will have the devil's luck" (Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Theodore Bundy and Albert De Salvo all have 13 letters in their names).[/FONT] [FONT=&]There are many theories as to why this unlucky belief is held. One relates to the biblical reference mentioned earlier about the traitor, Judas. This is echoed in Norse mythology, originating with an incident involving Loki, the God of Evil & Turmoil, which states that having 13 people seated at a table will result in the death of one of the diners.[/FONT] [FONT=&]Also, throughout history the number 12 has been associated with perfection or wholeness (e.g. twelve gods of Olympus, hours of the clock, tribes of Israel etc) and the number 13 with irregularity or imperfection.[/FONT] [FONT=&]One of the oldest references is in ancient Babylonian history (1700s BC). In the Code of Hammurabi, an early law code, the laws are numbered and skip from 12 to 14. Possibly the Babylonians considered 13 to be unlucky because of the Song of Ishtar, an ancient Babylonian epic poem. The thirteenth line contains the name of the Goddess of the Dead (which is never a good thing!).[/FONT] [FONT=&]Related Sources:[/FONT] Code: [FONT=&]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friday_the_13th[/FONT] [FONT=&]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triskaidekaphobia[/FONT] [FONT=&]http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/09/130912-friday-13th-thirteenth-superstitions-phobias-nation-culture/ [/FONT] [FONT=&]http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-news/friday-13th-fear-unlucky-day-2270760[/FONT] [FONT=&]http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/13/friday-13th-flight-666-hel[/FONT] [FONT=&]http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/howaboutthat/10305590/Friday-the-13th-why-do-we-fear-it-and-how-unlucky-is-it-really.html[/FONT] Are you superstitious? Have you ever been affected by this? If so, how?