Friday, June 13, 2008


Friday the 13th Prompts Some Americans Not to Get Out of Bed

Today is the only Friday the 13th of 2008, a day whose ties to bad luck prompts some Americans not to get out of bed or leave home.

Fear of Friday the 13th, known as paraskevidekatriaphobia, affects 17 million to 21 million Americans, according to Donald Dossey, author of "Holiday Folklore, Phobias and Fun." Symptoms range from mild anxiety and a nagging sense of doom to full blown panic attacks, Dossey said.

Some believe the Friday the 13th superstition has its origin in Norse mythology. In one story, the evil god Loki is said to have crashed a party with 12 guests and tricked the blind god Hod into killing his brother Balder, the god of light, joy and reconciliation.

Also according to Norse mythology, it was the Vikings who decided a hangman's noose should have 13 loops.

Others believe Friday the 13th has origins in Christianity. Jesus was supposedly crucified on a Friday, and there were 13 men at the Last Supper, Jesus and his 12 disciples.

More here.

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