Why Are We Frightened Of Friday 13th? (And What We Could Get If We Weren’t)

Why Are We Frightened Of Friday 13th?


by Grazia |

'What day is it today?'


'Cool. What's the date?'



It's well-known that us Brits have an on-going fear of today – Friday 13th – otherwise known as 'Black Friday'. But do any of us know why?

Some believe our aversion to this day dates back to the Middle Ages, originating from the story of Christ's crucifixion, where 13 people were present at the Last Supper, the night before Good Friday.

Others believe it was the day that Eve tempted Adam to eat the forbidden fruit, and the start of Noah's great flood. But in actual fact, no one really knows why it's considered so unlucky.

That doesn't stop us giving it an official name though: Paraskevidekatriaphobia – a word which marries the Greek word 'Paraskeví', meaning 'Friday', with 'dekatreís', meaning 'thirteen'.

So, what of Friday 13th? Well, for some it's a day spent entirely in bed, a day never to fly, never to buy a house and never to get married. In days of old, babies born on this day in Cumbria were placed on the Bible, whilst others believed that to call a doctor on Friday 13th was a bad omen.


But what if – dare we whisper it – Friday 13th isn't as bad as we all think. Are there any gains to gotten from it?

As it happens, there are, reported The Telegraph yesterday. According to travel search engine Kayak, Friday 13th June 2014 was the cheapest day to fly – owing to travellers' superstitious tendancies, which lobbed 22% off the average flight price for that month. Bargain!

Similarly, motor insurer Direct Line claimed that motorists are more like to have an accident on 12th than they are the 13th, when people are generally more cautious. The same can be said of accidents in the home; breakages and theft costs are considerably less on Friday 13th, home insurer Policy Expert has claimed.

Home Is Safer On Friday 13th – Cottage From 'The Holiday' (2006) [Rex]
Home Is Safer On Friday 13th – Cottage From 'The Holiday' (2006) [Rex]

Want to get married? Try Friday 13th! TheKnot.com conducted research which revealed that 1,345 fewer couples are set to wed on Friday 13th July 2017, compared to the following Friday. That might mean your dream band, location, church and caterers are far more likely to be available, and therefore, your dream day will be even more of a dream... if you eschew superstition.

Similarly, if you're looking to buy a house, why not purchase Number 13? Whilst 28% of UK streets fail to include a Number 13 house, if you find one that does, you may save up to £4,000 for your bravery, according to Zoopla.

Whilst it can't be ignored that yes, some dreadful things have happened on Friday 13th – a 13-year-old boy was struck by lightening in Suffolk on Friday 13th 2010 at 13:13 (thankfully he survived); Buckingham Palace was hit by five German bombs on Friday 13th September 1940; and there was a stockmarket crash on Friday 13th October 1989, which led to the early 1990s recession – some good things have happened too.

The Hollywood Sign Was Unveiled on Friday 13th 1923 [Rex]

For instance, the first nudist colony was founded in Britain on Friday 13th June 1930. The Hollywood sign was unveiled on Friday 13th July 1923 (built originally as an advertisement for a housing development – howzat for a fact?). And the Summer Olympics returned to the birthplace of the ancient and modern Games – Athens – on Friday 13th July 2004.

But if you need any further convincing that Friday 13th may not be that bad after all, look to Taylor Swift...

'I was born on the 13th,' she told MTV in 2009. 'I turned 13 on Friday the 13th. My first album went gold in 13 weeks [and] my first Number One song had a 13-second intro.'

That's all the convincing we need!

rushes quickly back to bed and pulls cover over our heads

Are you frightened of Friday 13th?

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