Today is Friday the 13th …the unluckiest day on the calendar. Did you know there is a name for people who have a fear of this day? They are called: paraskevidekatriaphobics. I don’t even think I can pronounce this word.
The number 13 has been unlucky for centuries. Did you know there were thirteen people who attended the Last Supper? We all know how it ended for Judas and Jesus. Enough said. Because the number thirteen has been plagued as unlucky, an organization called The Thirteen Club attempted to improve the number’s bad reputation. It lasted for years and grew to over 400 members, including five U.S. presidents: Chester Arthur, Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt.
Have you noticed that many cities don’t have a 13th street or 13th Avenue? Why is that? Many buildings don’t have a 13th floor either. And the topper! If you have 13 letters in your name, you will have bad luck (Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer and Theodore Bundy to name a few). Coincidence? I think not! Does your name have 13 letters? Hummm. Mine has 15….so I am in the clear. Are you?
The earliest known reference in English occurs in a 1869 biography of Gioachino Rossini:
- [Rossini] was surrounded to the last by admiring and affectionate friends; and if it be true that, like so many other Italians, he regarded Friday as an unlucky day, and thirteen as an unlucky number, it is remarkable that on Friday, the 13th of November, he died.
So try not to get into a car accident, fall down a flight of stairs or do anything else that might compromise your well-being. And please, just for today, stay away from men in hockey masks.