Today is 13th October and the day is Friday. This deadly combination strikes fear and terror in many. Around 49 million Brits believe that something bad will happen on this day. The superstition is so deep-rooted that many don't even step out from their bed. Well, you must be amused to know that this superstition has its own term- the unpronounceable friggatriskaidekaphobia. While triskaidekaphobia is fear of digits 13, frigga means Friday. This phobia is also known as paraskevidekatriaphobia. There are number of theories that escalates the fear of Friday, many also consider 13 as the unlucky digit. When two inauspicious elements come together, the superstition is bound to be much larger.
This is the second time in 2017 when the frightening event is taking place, the first one was in January. The panic surrounding Friday and 13 is not new, it has Biblical origins.
Origin of superstition
As per New Testament, 13 people were present at Jesus's last supper, a day before Christ's crucifixion on Good Friday.
Some even date back its origin in 1307 when Philip IV of France arrested hundreds of Templar Knights and then burnt them alive. It happened on Friday October 13. In Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown says that Templar Grand Master Jacques de Molay cursed people and the King of France and hence misfortune began.
According to Norwegians or Scandinavians (Norse mythology), Frigga, the goddess of love and fertility was labeled a witch. It is believed that every Friday, the goddess along with total 13 witches and devil plan evil acts.
The oldest reference is found in Babylonian history (1700s BC). In the Code of Hammurabi, which is an early law code, laws are skipped from number 12 to 14.
Has anything happened on the fateful day?
Lot of freakish events have happened on this day which further consolidates the belief:
The Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia disaster hit an underwater rock and sank off coast of Tuscany in which 32 people drowned. The incident took place in January 2012.
In October 1972, Air Force Flight 571 from Uruguay crashed in the Andes in which 29 out of 45 died. Remaining 16 survived on cannibalism.
In September 1940, Buckingham Palace was bombed by Germany in which one Royal staff was killed and four were left injured.
In 1976, a New Yorker Daz Baxter thought that the safest place for the day is his bed but unfortunately he was killed after the floor of his apartment block collapsed.
However, it is not Friday the 13th which is feared, there are many such unions of numbers and days which make people shiver. In Italy, people consider Friday the 17th unlucky while in Spanish speaking countries, it is Tuesday 13th. Greeks too fear Tuesday the 13th.