All about the 
Fear of 

Friday the 13th!

Paraskevidekatriaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobia
Brownielocks and The 3 Bears




Here's another cartoon with Friday the 13th theme from our Weekly Cartoon area.
Job Interview13

This long word is derived from three Greek words =  "Paraskevi" which means Friday, "dekatria" which means Thirteen and "phobia" meaning fear. Or, Latin frigga meaning "Friday" and triskaidekaphobia meaning fear of the number thirteen

Although Friday the 13th isn't a genuine official holiday, it does cause commotion.  Every year will have at least one Friday the 13th fall in one of the months, with a maximum of 3 times (months) that it will occur in a year.  Which months it will fall on is part of it's mystical uncertainty and surprise.  And, Friday the 13th doesn't really have any official symbol or color to go with it.

How the Fear of Friday the 13th Began...

It is surprising how subtly superstitions and folklore creep into our lives even in this new millennium and all our technology.  We, civilized folk, like to think we are beyond such silly things. But are we really?

It's uncertain exactly when or how Friday the 13th became a suspicious day.  Some say that  it begins with Jesus and the Last Supper.  There were 13 at the table and well, one of them died the next day.  It has been considered bad luck (and poor etiquette) to have "13 for dinner" (Note: Also a title of an Agatha Christie book I might add!).  And, that Christians also considered Friday back luck because Jesus was crucified on a Friday. Others believe that it goes way back to the Knights Templar.  On Friday, October 13, 1307 King Phillip of France secretly ordered the rounding up and killing of all the Knights Templar because they were becoming very powerful (which threatened the King's rule.) 


Another version states that the fear goes back to the 14th century and The Canterbury Tales,  where starting a journey or any kind of deed on Friday the 13th is bad luck. 

Going along with this....According to ancient maritime tradition, no voyage should ever begin on a Friday because sailors felt that if it did, that voyage would have back luck. Even Lloyds of London (famous insurance company) in the 1800's refused to insure any ship sailing on a Friday the 13th. Sailing tales tell of many captains who tried to defy this silly fear by sailing on Friday, only to find their ship not in good shape after a day or two (or never heard from again!).

If some ocean liners were scheduled to leave on the 13th (regardless of the day of the week) captains would actually come up with excuses to delay leaving port until after midnight when it was technically the 14th.  The US Navy today will not launch a ship on any Friday the 13th.  And, many of us will not travel by any means on Friday the 13th.  Some won't even leave their homes!

Other superstitions are:  That it is bad luck to be born on a Friday, marry on a Friday, accept (or begin) a new job on a Friday, clip your nails on a Friday or visit the sick on a Friday.  If you change your sheets on a Friday, you will not sleep well.  Some criminals pray that they don't get sentenced on a Friday as they feel the consequences will be even worse for them.

Doesn't this make you wonder about today's phrase, "TGIF" (Thank God It's Friday) if Friday is suppose to be so terrible?
And, what about dying on a Friday? As if some of us have a choice in that matter even?

A few other quirks about 13

According to a poll in USA Today in 1992, 2 out of 5 people in the US believed that cars built on a Friday have more mechanical problems because workers are more careless on those days.

French socialites (quatorziens = fourteeneers) would make themselves available as emergency guest fill-ins for dinner parties which held 13 names so they could be the 14th guest.

Many theatre managers will refuse to open a new show on a Friday, esp. if it is the 13th.

Some ball players feel it is bad luck to play a game on a Friday.

Threats of computer viruses run amuck on Friday the 13th often needlessly scaring many users.

Many businesses (or their CEOs) dislike beginning a new venture on a Friday, starting on a business trip or even signing a contract on any 13th of any month, esp. if it's a Friday the 13th.

Otis Elevator Company says that 90% of skyscrapers (and many big hotels) have no 13th floor.

Many hospitals, hotels, office complexes, etc. have no Room 13.

Universal Studios in California has no studio lot 13.

Many airlines, sports arenas and auditoriums eliminate a "seat 13" or even a row 13.

The airport in Fresno, CA doesn't have a Gate 13.

And, many folks will not have 13 as a house number so the Post Office gives them 12 1/2. And in France to replace the number 13, they use 12 two times as 1212.


When discussing how bad 13 is, we have to think of 12 first.

As I said above, some people feel that the source for the number 13 being bad luck goes back to biblical times because there were 13 at the table of the Last Supper, with Judas being the 13th of course. It actually goes even further back than that. One anthropological theory is that early man was comfy with the obvious and feared the unknown.  They counted using all 10 fingers and then 2 feet which equalled 12. (I have no clue why they didn't count their toes too.)  Anyway, after 12, well Duh?  So they feared 13.

In ancient Greek and Roman numerology, the number 13 for fortune telling meant a sign of destruction.  (You'll have to go to a numerology site to see why.)  In early Rome, witches gathered in groups (covens) of 12. So the 13th one was said to be the evil one.

According to Norse Mythology, there were 12 gods gathered for dinner when suddenly the 13th guest, named Loki,  (who was uninvited) popped in. He  is said to be cruel, mischievous and for some, even evil.  He also has red-hair.

The Viking's hangman noose had 13 knots, and so they considered 13 to be unlucky.

Why is Friday so fearful?


We all hate Mondays, so why not hate it?
 Just how did Friday get this bad rap?


In Nordic mythology, Frigga is the Goddess of Friday. She isn't mean or evil. Actually she is married to Odin, the father of all gods. She is also the mother of Balder, the god of goodness. But, because her main activity was to stay in her home and weave golden threads and make multi-colored clouds, I guess that's how you get the  "staying in on Fridays" connection? 

Ancient manuscripts imply that Eve gave Adam that infamous apple on a Friday and some say it was a Friday the 13th. But, this is just a guess and not proven at all!  

Another biblical reference is the rumor that it was on Friday that Cain slew his brother Abel. And, the crucifixion, as we know, fell on a Friday. For the Druids, Friday was the night of the "Witch's Sabbath."

So, if you mix the two items: evil 13 + ominous Friday together, you get a day that for some feel is a guaranteed dismal day.

In regards to the bible....

Some feel that evidence shows that the real mark of the beast or anti-Christ is 616.  So, if you add up 6 + 1 + 6 = 13 then some feel that 13 is really the number for the anti-Christ or beast, thus making 13 a bad number in that aspect.

Friday the 13th Phobia

Some people have the Friday the 13th phobia only slightly where they simply refuse to travel. And yet, others will literally call in sick and not even go to work that day. Is this why you're home and reading this page? (wink!>

We all have fears.  It's when those fears determine our actions (or non-actions) that determines the seriousness of a phobia. I don't want to dwell much on this because the fear of Friday the 13th and it's symptoms is pretty much the same as any other extreme fear.  For those who want advice and help, I suggest checking out other phobia websites or local support groups.

But the basic low-key symptoms are nervousness, giggles and constant comments about the day, what's going on, mentioning 13's etc. More serious symptoms are having a real intensive panic attack (hyperventilation, dizziness, sweats, rapid heartbeat) to  an actual  heart attack for some! Some people won't even get out of bed for a day they are so afraid of Friday the 13th.  Others limit their phobia to 1 activity they refuse to do, such as  write a check, go to a doctor, eat in a restaurant or drive a car (they walk!).

Good Fridays & other 13 Stuff...

According to the Irish, "It is good to die on Friday, be buried on Saturday and get prayed for on Sunday." 

Whether something is lucky or unlucky is all how you want to view it.

On Friday, September 13, 1939, Igor Secorsky invented the helicopter.  

On Friday, July 13, 1900, Teddy Roosevelt laid the cornerstone for the new county courthouse in New York.

On Friday,  September 13, 1814 Francis Scott Key wrote "The Star Spangled Banner".  This is a good thing for our country, but not necessarily for all our ears (depending on who sings the song).

On Friday, September 13, 1857, Milton Hershey was born.  And, thus gave us Hershey chocolate!

And, many couples choose on purpose to marry on a Friday the 13th just to defy the divorce ratio in the United States!

But, what is bad to one country isn't to another...

In Japan the number 3 is considered unlucky. And in Madagascar the number 6 is unlucky. Yet, in China, they think 3 and 9 are lucky.  On the other hand, the Turks don't like 13 so they literally removed it from their vocabulary.

To each his own ...

The US had 13 original colonies.

 13 signers of the Declaration of Independence,
 13 stripes on our flag,

Regarding our Dollar Bill and it's images:
 13 steps on the Pyramid,
 13 letters in the Latin above, 
13 letters in "E Pluribus Unum",
 13 stars above the Eagle,
 13 plumes of feathers on each span of the Eagle's wing,
 13 bars on the shield,
 13 leaves on the olive branch, 
13 fruits, and 13 arrows
(look close or use a magnifying glass).

The 13th Amendment freed the slaves.
Ike Eisenhower has 13 letters in it.
President Eisenhower was an honorary member of Missouri's "Lucky 13 Club" (made up the states 13 presidential electorates).

I'm not sure how many of the states have 13 electoral votes.

But Rhode Island our 13th state.

A baker's dozen has 13 items, not 12.

And, ah..well a certain adult film star named John Holmes is said to have a certain male organ 13 inches long!


Dutch Centre for Insurance Statistics claims that fewer traffic accidents, fires, thefts, etc. happen when there is a Friday the 13th because people seem to be more cautious on that day.

Being 13th isn't always so bad.

Who was the 13th President? Who was the 13th Nobel Prize winner? Who was the 13th Oscar Winner for ----?  Maybe you are the 13th child in a family? Or,...

Who was the 13th person you dated?
Or was your first kiss on a date experienced on a Friday?


And, we could go on and on... 

For most of us, 13's and Fridays don't matter at all.

For those who are in need of some protection there are silly  rituals and cures galore to protect them on Friday the 13th.

A few of them are:

1. Walk around your house 13 times on Friday the 13th.
2. Hang your shoes out the window. (My guess is the smell will drive all the evil away!)
3.  Sleep with a mirror under your pillow for the first 3 Fridays before Friday the 13th comes.  You are suppose to dream of your true love on Friday the 13th then also.

4. Walk around the block with your mouth full of water. If you do not swallow it, you will be 100% safe on Friday the 13th.

and finally there's always 13th century age-old Aristotle cure...

5. Wear and/or eat garlic!



Need to be prepared for Friday the 13th? 
 Well, here's when they're coming for the next 30+ years.


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To learn about a few more superstitions that
have crept into our culture, visit this page.

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with Halloween Jokes, Trivia,  History, etc.


  Midi is "Terror  + Phobia" by?
I found seve
ral Midi's  years  ago and just saved them in my system for future use.
Now the sites where I got them are gone and so I have no way to know more about a song.


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