The fear of Friday the 13<sup>th, also known friggatriskaidekaphobia, is one of the most commonly held superstitions worldwide.

The belief that Friday the 13<sup>th is an unlucky day is believed to stem from two fears – the fear of 13 being an unlucky number and the fear of Fridays.

Unlucky 13

The fear of the number 13 is scientifically referred to as triskadekaphobi.

The number 13 is often skipped when numbering hotel and hospital rooms, apartments and airport gates due to the stigma that lingers with the number for centuries.

Some businesses are also reported to suffer from losses for people refusing to conduct work on Friday the 13<sup>th.

"Most buildings don't have a 13th floor, you won't find 13 people seated a table and some airlines don't have a 13th row. The taboo comes directly from Biblical stories," said Dr. Phillips Stevens Jr., Associate Professor of Anthropology at Buffalo University, reported The Christian Post.

Thirteen people seated together on a table being considered unlucky stems from the biblical account of the Last Supper, where 13 people were seated at the table a day before the crucifixion of Jesus Christ with the 13<sup>th guest being the traitor, Judas, who betrayed Christ.

Unlucky Friday

Fridays have been deemed to be an unlucky day since medieval times. Some people are known to go to the extent of avoiding starting a job, marriage, move houses or give birth on a Friday.

"The crucifixion was a great tragedy, it was the murder of Christ and it happened on a Friday. There were also 13 people at the Last Supper and the 13th was the one who betrayed Jesus. It is considered a very powerful, Earth-changing day," said Dr. Stevens.

"In the Bible, some people believe that Eve gave Adam the apple on a Friday, people believe God's Great Flood came on a Friday. Friday is a day that doesn't bode well. When you combine the two, how much more potent could a superstition be?"

Research and Statistics

According to a 2002 study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, Friday the 13th was concluded to be more dangerous for women since they suffered from a higher level of anxiety from the superstition.

Dutch statisticians have, on the other hand, concluded that Friday the 13<sup>th is actually safer than an average Friday.

"I find it hard to believe that it is because people are preventatively more careful or just stay home, but statistically speaking, driving is a little bit safer on Friday 13th," said Dutch Centre for Insurance Statistics (CVS) statistician Alex Hoen, reported Reuters.

Hoen said less accidents and reports of fire and theft are reported when the 13<sup>th of the month falls on a Friday.