ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Paraskevidekatriaphobics, Friday the 13th

Updated on December 2, 2011

That’s quite a mouthful for a single word wouldn’t you say? However, it’s just a fancy way of describing a fear of Friday the 13th. Some say it's the most widespread superstition in the United States today and even refuse to go to work or participate in any normal daily routines on that day. They prefer to stay at home behind locked doors with their fingers crossed. Not only is Friday the 13th considered unlucky, but some even believe the day Friday is also.

Dr. Donald Dossey, a phobia psychotherapist who also coined the word, says as many as 21 million Americans may be affected by this ancient superstition.

Let’s take a look at a few beliefs and legends connected with Friday the 13th:

· If 13 people sit down to dinner together, one will die within the year. The first to finish and stand will be the one fated to encounter misfortune.

· Many buildings don't have a 13th floor.

· Many cities do not have a 13th Street or a 13th Avenue.

· There are 13 witches in a coven.

· People having 13 letters in their name will be cursed with bad luck. For instance, Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Theodore Bundy and Albert De Salvo all had 13 letters in their name. Could it be just mere coincidence?

It’s not known when people began associating the number 13 with bad luck, but there are a number of theories. Some believe it began in biblical times as far back as the Garden of Eden. Supposedly, it was on a Friday Eve tempted Adam with the forbidden fruit. Other biblical events which some hold to have happened or began on a Friday were the Great Flood; destruction of Solomon’s Temple; the Last Supper at which 13 were present and the Crucifixion of Christ.

There are even maritime superstitions connected with Friday. Many seamen believe any ship that sets sail on a Friday is doomed to have bad luck. One legend says the belief was so prevalent during the 1800s in England the British government set out to dispel the myth. It is said a ship was built and named the H.M.S. Friday.

The keel was laid on a Friday, she was launched on a Friday, her crew selected on a Friday and captained by a man named Jim Friday. H.M.S. Friday also embarked on her maiden voyage on a Friday and was never seen again.

The novel The Da Vinci Code describes a catastrophe concerning the Knights Templar a fabled order formed during the Christian Crusades. By the 1300s the order had grown so powerful it became feared as a political threat.

On October 13, 1307, a Friday, officers of King Philip IV of France carried out mass arrests of several thousand Templars shackling them in chains. They were subsequently charged with heresy, blasphemy and various other trumped up charges…none of which were ever proven. But during the seven years following their arrest, hundreds were subjected to excruciating torture or burnt at the stake in order to pry confessions."

References to Friday the 13th as a day of misfortune began showing up in Western literature around the mid 1600s. But, the number's association with Friday didn't take root until the 20th century.The Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute says over 800 million dollars are lost every Friday the 13th because of people's fear to conduct any type of business transactions.

Here are a few more Friday the 13th myths:

• If you get a haircut on Friday the 13th, someone in your family will die.

• Any children born on Friday the 13th will have bad luck the rest of their life.

• If a funeral procession passes you on that day you will die next.

Is there any substance to these beliefs? Perhaps, but the next time Friday the 13th rolls around you might want to avoid any men wearing a hockey mask.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • JY3502 profile imageAUTHOR

      John Young 

      7 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      OK! Enough already. :-)

    • Daffy Duck profile image

      Daffy Duck 

      7 years ago from Cornelius, Oregon

      Damn right dude (13), :)

    • JY3502 profile imageAUTHOR

      John Young 

      7 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      hmmm..."under this mask" has 13 letters!

    • Daffy Duck profile image

      Daffy Duck 

      7 years ago from Cornelius, Oregon

      Hey! I'm a nice guy under this mask. What the hell. :)

      Interesting/funny hub.

    • JY3502 profile imageAUTHOR

      John Young 

      7 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Well Femme, you obviously overlooked something, U.S. Marine Corps has 13 letters!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I just took a poll regarding the number 13 and Friday 13th.

      We all answered a negative to having fear or worry of it. One of my colleagues said if it means she can get out of work on Friday 13th, then she's decided she's definitely developing a phobia specifically for that date.

      All that aside, pretty interesting stuff! I liked it! :)

    • JY3502 profile imageAUTHOR

      John Young 

      7 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Why thank you! Knock on wood.

    • barryseotech profile image


      7 years ago from England

      great hub..


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)