This world it plagued with many superstitions. There are countless bad luck omens such as black cat’s crossing your path, walking under ladders, breaking mirrors etc. It’s even said that Squamish’s granite monolith, the Chief is actually bad feng shui.
On the lucky side, many believe we just passed the luckiest day of the millennium. Well of course, that is if you subscribe to the whole lucky number seven theory. If you do then it doesn’t get much better than July 7th 2007 or 07.07.07. While some think it lucky, numerologist will tell you it’s a gamblers day, and as they say, sometimes you’re lucky, sometimes…
Apropos then, that seven days later we come upon today which is a day so famous it has its own name for it’s fans “Paraskevidekatriaphobics”. That’s the catchy moniker for those deathly afraid of Friday the 13th.
Popularity wise, it’s thought that this day may be the most widespread superstition in North America. Some people won't go to work on Friday the 13th; some won't eat in restaurants; many wouldn't think of setting a wedding on the date.
The Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute estimates that more than 17 million people are affected by a fear of this day. Now, being spooked by a day is fine, but this isn't just your regular heebie-jeebies. These are people so paralyzed by fear that they are actually unable to get out of bed when Friday the 13th rolls around.
In 1993 the British Medical Journal published "Is Friday the 13th Bad for Your Health?" Their aim was to find the co-relation between health, behavior, and superstition surrounding Friday 13th. They compared the ratio of traffic volume to the number of automobile accidents on two different days, Friday the 6th and Friday the 13th, over a period of years.
If you believe it, while fewer people chose to drive on the 13th there were significantly more accidents than on a “normal” Friday. Their findings concluded that accidents may be increased by as much as 52 percent. Staying at home is recommended.
Funny enough though, no one actually knows where the fear originated. The Greek Gods have a theory, the Wicca’s have a theory, and then of course there’s the famous Christian theory that involved 13 dinner guests at the last supper which led to a crucifixion on a Friday. Plus Eve offered Adam an apple on a Friday (although Steve Jobs is in court right now claiming that’s just more IBM propaganda).
If you need further proof of today’s murky mojo, one need only to look to Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen who were born on, you guessed it, Friday the 13th.
Personally I suffer from a fear of mumbo-jumbo. Considering I find myself in one, if not thee most beautiful part of the world, on a gorgeous summer day, it’s a tough sell to say this day is actually cursed. . Actually, if all this means there will be fewer people at the lake, then this just turned into my lucky day.