There are times when one feels that he/she is not in control of a situation leading to the feelings of desirous and eagerness. Such feelings, in most cases, are always related to awful occurrences in one’s life. Canonically, such feelings- feelings encompassing a wide range of beliefs and behavior, have always been considered superstitious owing to the fact that they lack a strong empirical base and justification and can singly be traced to incorrect establishment of cause and effect. Of the plethora of superstitions in existence today, Friday the 13th has risen to be one of the most dreaded. Just as the name suggests, Friday the 13th occurs when the thirteenth day of a month materializes as a Friday. Even with people approaching this date with apprehension, it is incontestable that the date must come at least once every year with some years, for instance 2009, having up to three Fridays falling on the 13th day of the month.
The fear of Friday the 13th can be attributed to the fear of Friday and the number 13. Several reasons have always been brought forward leading to Friday and 13 falling among the most common superstition in American today (Carroll 274). It is openly believed that the last supper was partaken by thirteen people of which one of the thirteen people, Judas Iscariot-the thirteenth to enter, betrayed Jesus (Carroll 274). Moreover, the fear of the number 13 is further heightened by the fact that the Egyptians believed that human life is divided into 13 stages with the 13th stage being death (Carroll 274). Regarding Friday, superfluous of people believe that Jesus was crucified on a Friday which was the Romans execution day. Further, Friday was the day set for hanging in Britain (Carroll 274). To top it off, The "Good Friday" earthquake that hit Alaska killing over 100 people (Pulinets, and Boyarchuk 50) vindicates why moat people are afraid of Fridays. It is only logical that the combination of the two, Friday and 13, to form Friday the 13th is associated with terrible occurrences hence the reason why an umpteen number people are afraid of this day.
Psychologically known as paraskavedekatriaphobia, the fear of Friday the 13th is also attributable to a vast number of unfortunate events that have in the past happened on this date or are prognosticated to happen. One of such nasty event that warrants the perception of Friday the 13th as an awful day is the death of the 38th president of the United States of America. As Solberg reports, Hubert Humphrey lapsed into a coma that led to his death the same day on Friday, January 13, 1978 (456). What is more, The Great Flood of 1951 that hit Kansas and its environs reached its peak on the 13th day of July- a Friday. The Flood, the worst to have been experienced in the region, caused deaths and destruction of properties worth millions of US dollars. As things are now, astrologers have portended that a large comet (an Apophis) is slated to hit the earth on Friday, April 13, 2029 (Arnould 110). According to Arnould, statistics indicate that the Apophis is most likely to fall in the sea thereby causing a Tsunami (110). This projection further aggravates the fear of Friday the 13th.
It should, however, be noted Friday the 13th, although characterised by a record dreadful occurrences, is just a day just like other days. This assertion is based on the fact the there is no any scientifically proven framework to support the thought of Friday the 13th being an ill-fated day.
Arnould, Jacques. Icarus' Second Chance: The Basis and Perspectives of Space Ethics. New York, NW: Springer-Verlag/Wien, 2011. Print.
Carroll, Robert Todd. The Skeptic's Dictionary: A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, And Dangerous Delusions. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2003. Print.
Pulinets, Sergey and Boyarchuk, Kirill. Ionospheric Precursors of Earthquakes. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 2004. Print.
Solberg, Carl. Hubert Humphrey: A Biography. St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2003. Print.