If you woke up today dreading what the day was going to bring and preemptively threw some salt over your shoulder, then here’s your diagnosis: paraskevidekatriaphobia A.K.A the fear of Friday the 13th.
It may seem irrational but you’re definitely not alone in fearing the day as it’s been considered unlucky for a pretty long time, and certain events have cemented the belief, such as Tupac dying on a Friday the 13th and the bombing of Buckingham Palace, which also happened on this date. But how exactly did this superstition originate? As for most things, there’s no single reason, but there are some theories that have stuck around for a while.
Both Friday and the number 13 have been penned as unlucky individually in their own right, so when they come together it’s no surprise that it would be considered unlucky as a day. Some associate it with the Last Supper, as Jesus was crucified on a Friday and Judas was the 13th guest at the gathering.
Another popular association with the date is when King Philip IV of France had the Knights of Templar, a religious group, arrested and later executed.
The day got its real push in popular culture thanks to prompts by various books and movies. In 1907, Thomas Lawson’s book Friday, the Thirteenth, had a fictional stockbroker choose that particular day to deliberately crash the stock market. The fear was then firmly put in place by the Friday the 13th movie franchise, one of most popular superstition films of all time.
So while there’s no solid reason for the emergence of this day’s reputation, you could use it to your advantage as flight tickets for this day are usually cheaper because no one wants to fly on the ‘unluckiest day’. If you do want to book your tickets then the next and last Friday the 13th of 2018 is in July.