Not friggatriskaidekaphobia

The real spooky history of Friday the 13th

The real spooky history of Friday the 13th

You locked your keys in your car. Your heel broke. Your computer greeted you with the blue screen of death. And that was only before 11 a.m.!

Verdict: The world is definitely against you.

Paranoia, we can't escape you tonight, so come on in. The front door's wide open.

Haven't checked the date yet today? It's Friday the 13th. And if a little chill just went down your spine, you're not alone.

But why does the 13th day of the month on the final day of the work week get us in such a tizzy anyway?

Su-per-sti-tion. We can't help ourselves. Much like a black cat crossing our paths, we believe this combination is simply bad luck.

But why?

As it turns out, no one has a good answer.

Donald Dossey, founder of the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute, told National Geographic that the Friday the 13th freakout is rooted in ancient beliefs that both the number 13 and Friday were separately unlucky, colliding in a maelstrom of misfortune.

Reality really lost the battle with Norse mythology on the Friday the 13th notions, though. According to word on the street, the gods were kicking back, sipping the bubbly. Suddenly, a 13th, uninvited guest appeared, and had the most-loved god of joy and gladness knocked off. Then the whole world went pitch black.

What a killjoy.

While the Scandinavian story seems a legit source of lore, it doesn't stop there. Cavemen only had their 10 fingers and two feet to use for counting purposes. Ten plus two equals 12, and anything above 12? The stuff nightmares were made of. 

Time blames Thomas Lawson's book about crashing the stock market, Friday the Thirteenth, for really etching the unlucky day in people's brains.

And of course, Jesus died on Friday amongst 13 of his buddies. Which was nothing less than a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

But those theories are merely the tip of the shattered mirror shard. We'll never really know the truth.

Since we can't pinpoint the locus of the legend, there's only one thing left to do.

Hide. Until Saturday. It's really not safe out there tonight.

News_Fayza_broken mirror
We all have our superstitions, but do we even know why?
News_Jesus_walking_on water
There's a Jesus component to the Friday the 13th fear.
Friday the 13th poster
But mostly, it has to do the number.