January 13, 2012
Paranormal Fridays: Lucky Friday the 13th
It's time again for my weekly Paranormal Friday post. Since today is Friday the 13th, I thought it would be appropriate to dedicate today's post to Friday the 13th.
I have to admit that I am partial to Friday the 13ths having been born on one.Because of my personal affinity for Friday the 13th, I am a little perplexed why some people in this day and age still dread them. I almost always have great things happen to me on them, or at the very worst they are average days. In fact, there is an actual condition for people who have a fear of Friday the 13ths, called friggatriskaidekaphobia. It's really pretty crazy.
So where did all this irrational fear of the luckiest day of the year come about? As far as historians can puzzle it out, the whole tradition cropped up in the late 18th to early 19th century. Conflicting theories exist about how Friday the 13th was targeted as a bad day. The leading theory points out that in European society, the number 13 was considered unlucky. Couple that with Fridays also being considered unlucky (they must have no worked in an office), and that is where the whole thing started.
How widespread is the fear of Friday the 13th? I did not believe this at first, but according to The Stress Management and Phobia Institute located in Asheville, North Carolina (which is a beautiful area where my book Shadow House is set), between 17 and 21 million people in the United States suffer from friggatriskaidekaphobia. These people avoid flying, bungee jumping and even going to Macaroni Grill on Friday the 13th for fear they will die of a heart attack in the restaurant (which, having eaten there myself, could happen to anyone dining there at any time considering the nutritional value of the meals there).
So what should you do if you suffer from friggatriskaidekaphobia? Whatever you do, do not watch the old Friday the 13th movies, since those will not sooth your fears. Also, avoid watching the newer version of Freaky Friday, since the fact Lindsay Lohan is in it will probably rattle your nerves (at least it does mine). I personally think we should make Friday the 13th a holiday somewhat similar to Halloween. We could all dress up and bob for apples (assuming nobody is going to be afraid of drowning) or do a pinata (assuming nobody is afraid the pinata's head is going to break off and strike somebody in the head, putting that person into a coma).Better yet, we can all huddle under the blankets at home, with a flashlight, and read old Calvin and Hobbs books as we snicker violently, just like I did as a kid when I wanted to escape everything scary in the world.
Happy Friday the 13th, everyone!!