Friday the 13th: Real Life is Spookier than Fiction

Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th rolls around about every 212 days, but having the 13th of October land on a Friday is even more rare. For any month to have a 13th on a Friday, it must begin on a Sunday, which is exactly how this October began.

Did you know there is a clinical term for the fear of Friday the 13th? It is friggatriskaidekaphobia, in fact the fear is so widespread that the term paraskevidekatriaphobia refers to it as well.

While there is no logical reason to fear one specific date over another, it has become a worldwide phenomenon.

Experts claim that millions suffer from friggatriskaidekaphobia, and they can prove it.

The late Donald Dossey, a folklore historian who founded the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute, revealed to National Geographic in 2013,

“It’s been estimated that $800 or $900 million [U.S.] is lost in business on this day, because people will not fly or do business they normally would do.”

Those who have the phobia may refuse to travel, buy a house, or purchase stock, and these inactions can noticeably slow economic activity. The airline industry is takes the biggest loss on these days.

Ironically, a 2008 study by the Dutch Centre for Insurance Statistics reported that fewer traffic accidents occur on Friday the 13th than on other Fridays. Fire and theft statistics also dropped, the study found.

Here are a few notes about Friday the 13th:

  1. All years will have at least one Friday the 13th
  2. No year will have more than 3 Fridays on the 13th
  3. No one can prove exactly how or why the fear of the specific date originated

Even the most superstitious can take comfort in knowing the next occurrence will not be until Friday, April 13, 2018.

Want to see how true life is creepier than fiction? Read our story about Florida’s very own Body Farm.

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