IF YOU suffer from friggatriskaidekaphobia, otherwise known as paraskevidekatriaphobia, Friday the 13th won’t be a great day for you.
The phobia is all about a blinding fear of this day — however irrational it may seem.
Some Friday the 13th facts:
(1) A lot of people fear Friday the 13th. A 2004 National Geographic article quoted Donald Dossey, founder of the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in North Carolina, as saying up to 21 million people may suffer from the phobia, exhibiting symptoms that can range from mild anxiety to full-out panic attacks.
(2) Dossey’s centre has estimated that up to US$800 million is lost every Friday the 13th. Why? People who believe the day are unlikely don’t want to travel, go to work, go to a store or do much of anything except stay home and avoid black cats and 13th building floors.
(3) A lot of buildings, including hospitals, don’t have a 13th floor because so many people fear the number, which itself a condition called triskaidekaphobia. They include Napoleon and Franklin D Roosevelt, who refused to travel on the 13th day of any month and would never host 13 guests at a meal.
According to livescience.com, Mark Twain once was the 13th guest at a dinner party that a friend warned him to avoid.
“It was bad luck,” Twain later told the friend. “They only had food for 12.”
In fact, in Paris, the site says, superstitious diners “can hire a quatorzieme, or professional 14th guest.” (WP-BLOOM)