If the very thought of Friday the 13th sends chills up your spine,
you may have paraskevidekatriaphobics.
(say that 3 times fast!)
What is that you ask?
It is an irrational fear of Friday the 13th.
According to phobia specialist (and coiner of the term paraskevidekatriaphobia) Dr. Donald Dossey, it’s the most widespread superstition in the United States today.
Some people refuse to go to work on Friday the 13th.
Some won’t dine in restaurants.
And many wouldn’t think of setting a wedding on that date.
So, how many Americans actually suffer from this condition?
According to Dossey, the figure may be as high as 21 million.
A recent estimate stated that Fear of Friday the 13th is responsible for causing U.S companies to lose an estimated $800 to $900 million in business due to workers who refuse to travel or go to work on Friday the13th!
But to those people who have paraskevidekatriaphobics, It is a VERY real fear.
So where did our fear of this day originate?
Friday the 13th superstitions originated in a Norse myth about twelve gods having a feast in Valhalla.
The mischievous Loki crashed the party as an uninvited 13th guest and arranged for Hod, the blind god of darkness, to shoot Baldur, the god of joy and gladness, with a mistletoe-tipped arrow.
Baldur was killed and the Earth was plunged into darkness and mourning as a result.
‘Friday’ was named after Frigg, the Norse goddess of marriage.
Later she was confused with the goddess of love, Freya, who in turn became identified with Friday.
When the Norsemen and Germanic tribes became Christians, Freya was supposed to have been banished to the mountains as a witch.
Friday came to be called ‘witches’ Sabbath.
It was believed that on this day, each week, twelve witches and the Devil met – thirteen evil spirits in all.
So regardless of how you personally feel about this day, I have created a list of 13 things you can do to survive the third Friday the 13th this year!
So whether you’ve bravely hauled yourself to work.
You are hunkered down in your house safely watching TV in bed today.
Here are your 13 tips on how to make it to
Tip #1: Get out of bed on the RIGHT side.
(that’s right, the RIGHT side NOT the Left.)
The right side of the bed is believed by superstitious folks to be luckier than the Left side is.
Tip #2: Wear RED underpants…
Apparently that color will bring you more luck than the other colors will.
Tip #3: If you happen to see a ladder…Don’t walk under it.
(Seriously…Let’s not push our luck just because we have on RED underpants… It IS Friday the 13th after all)
Tip #4: Don’t go exploring unknown places today.
I understand that you might suddenly have an irresistible urge to go exploring that cave you found last year…
(BUT You might want to wait till tomorrow before you step into the unknown darkness.)
Tip #5: Do not get a haircut today.
It is believed that if you cut your hair on Friday the 13th someone in your family will die.
Tip #6: Drop the Mop.
Apparently it is believed that handling a broom is unlucky on this day.
So is changing the sheets…
Flipping the mattress,
Or doing the laundry.
So I guess that we can all just relax and enjoy the day because it seems VERY risky to clean the house on Friday the 13th.
(You don’t have to tell me twice! )
Tip #7: Can’t find a rabbits foot? Grab an acorn instead.
This was one I had never heard before, but according to Norse folklore, both the acorn and it’s bearer the Oak tree are considered to bring good luck.
(So what could it hurt to have both red underpants and an acorn in your pocket today?)
Tip #8: Black Cat…Give it a Pat!
No need to go back and re-read that one. I really did advise you to pat a black cat because in some cultures it is actually considered a good omen if a black cat walks in front of you, and even better if the cat allows you to pat it.
(So don’t run screaming from every black cat you see today, instead give it some love.)
Tip #9: If traveling today…Avoid the number 13.
This one shouldn’t be too hard due to the fact that most hotels, and even some airlines do not have a 13th floor or 13th row.
(But if you should happen upon a 13th floor…BEWARE!)
Tip #10: Focus on positive thoughts and energy today.
Research has shown that people who focus on bad luck actually bring more of it into their lives.
So think positive today.
(As for me, I am still not going to clean the house or change out of my red underpants though)
Tip#11: Throw salt over your LEFT shoulder to blind the devil.
This action is usually taken to counteract the effects of spilling salt,
I figured that today it might be a good idea to do it periodically throughout the day as a form of insurance policy.
Tip#12: If you stop for gas and the store is full of CREEPY people…Turn around IMMEDIATELY .
Your trip is officially over!
( And if by chance, you hear a banjo…Run like your butt is on FIRE!)
Tip#13: DO NOT break out your old Ouija board to summon demons today!
(This one should be obvious, but I feel it needs to be said anyway)
I mean seriously, if there ever was a day that you do not want to tempt fate…Friday the 13th is definitely that day.