With Friday 13th looming for the second time this year, we’re investigating why so many of us fear the dreaded date.
The fear of Friday 13th or paraskavedekatriaphobia, as it is named, dates back to biblical times. According to historians, this is the date that Eve ate the apple from the tree of knowledge. It is also the number of people who were present at the last supper and the day after (which was a Friday) was the day Christ was crucified. This triggered the start of the superstition surrounding the date, with certain bad events in history falling on a Friday 13th.
For those of us who aren’t superstitious however, the date has many perks. If you’re planning a wedding on a budget, it may be a good idea to get married on Friday 13th as many believe a marriage would be doomed if it was held on this unpopular date, making the wedding far cheaper.
People also don’t seem to be too keen on flying on this date either meaning if you are prepared to jet away on Friday 13th, you may be able to pick up a cheap flight.
If you do decide to take advantage of these deals, you may be surprised when you reach your hotel. The number 13 is seen as unlucky on its own, meaning many hotels don’t have a 13th floor. Similarly, the number 13 is often skipped when looking at street numbers.
A survey has revealed just how superstitious we are as a nation, revealing that 20 per cent of us believe breaking a mirror will bring bad luck
But it’s breaking a mirror which tops the worry list for those that are superstitious with 20 per cent of people believing it will bring seven years of bad luck, according to the banks’ latest House buyers’ Research.
Apparently nearly one in four (39 per cent) of us are so superstitious that we refuse to open an umbrella indoors as well as avoiding stepping on any cracks in the pavement.
However, two thirds (61 per cent) of us do not let superstitions spoil our day – even on Friday the 13th - believing them all to be old wives’ tales. Some even focus on the positive with one of us in six hopeful of finding a four leaf clover to bring about good fortune and a further 12 per cent of us will be hoping a black cat crosses our path.
The research found that that those living in the North East of England were the most superstitious where the most commonly held fear was of opening an umbrella indoors.
Top superstitions by region
- North East - To open an umbrella indoors brings bad luck
- London - If you walk under a ladder you will have bad luck
- Midlands - To break a mirror will bring seven years of bad luck
- Wales - It is unlucky to spill salt and if you do you must throw a pinch of salt over your left shoulder
- North West - To break a mirror will bring seven years of bad luck
- Scotland - If you walk under a ladder you will have bad luck
- South West - If you find a four-leaf clover you will have good luck
- South East - To break a mirror will bring seven years of bad luck/If you find a four-leaf clover you will have good luck
- Yorkshire - To break a mirror will bring seven years of bad luck
- East - To break a mirror will bring seven years of bad luck