Friday 13th Superstitions Paraskevidekatriaphobia

Will and Guy's Humour - Friday 13th SuperstitionsFriday 13th Superstitions Paraskevidekatriaphobia

It is bad luck to be superstitious.  Andrew W. Mathis

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Friday 13th Trivia and Funny Stories

Top Ten Friday 13th Trivia

  1. 90% of US skyscrapers do away with floor number 13, according to reports by the Otis Elevator Company, the world's largest elevator manufacturers.
  2. In 1881, a group of 13 people came together to form The Thirteen Club. Their main objective was to dissipate some of the ominous associations of number 13. The number of members eventually rose to 400 which included 5 US presidents namely, Benjamin Harrison, Grover Cleveland, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt and Chester Arthur. It is therefore that Theodore Roosevelt placed the cornerstone for a new county courthouse in New York on Friday, 13th July in the year 1900.
  3. It was a Friday on 16th of September, 1814 when Francis Scott Key finished composing the poem 'Defence of Fort McHenry', from which came the lyrics of the national anthem of the United States of America, "The Star-Spangled Banner".
  4. The report issued by the Dutch Centre for Insurance Statistics on June 12, 2008, states "fewer accidents and reports of fire and theft occur when the 13th of the month falls on a Friday than on other Fridays, because people are preventatively more careful or just stay home." This in turn was reflected in the reports received by Dutch insurance companies, in the last three years, which showed that on normal Fridays, the number of traffic accidents touched a figure of approximately 7,800 but it decreased to 7,500 on a Friday, the 13th in The Netherlands.
  5. On Friday, 13th November, 2009, NASA scientist Anthony Colaprete, confirmed the discovery of 25 gallons of water in the southern polar region of the moon.
  6. Lizzie Borden, the prime accused in the infamous Hatchet Murder Case of 1892, uttered a total of 13 words during her trial and got acquitted.
  7. For Muslims, Fridays are extremely auspicious days, for example: 'Solah Shukravar Vrats' fasting for 16 consecutive Fridays.
  8. The 32nd President of the United States, Franklin Roosevelt, never travelled on a 13th and refused to have a meal with 13 people at the table.
  9. The deadliest associations with number 13 are the facts that there are 13 stairs leading to the gallows; the blade in a guillotine fell from a height of 13 feet; and a hangman has 13 knots in a hangman's noose.
  10. Julius Henry "Groucho" Marx, the celebrated American actor produced exactly 13 feature films with his brothers, entertaining us all for many years.

Friday 13th Joke

Thirteen at a table is unlucky only when the hostess has just
twelve chops. - Groucho Marx

A Friday 13th Funny Story

Roger left for work on Friday 13th morning. Friday was payday, so instead of going home, he stayed out the entire weekend partying with the boys and spending his entire pay packet.

Finally, Roger appeared at home on Sunday night, and obviously he was confronted by his angry wife, Martha who castigated Roger for nearly two hours with a tirade befitting his actions.  Finally, Martha stopped the nagging and said to Roger, 'How would you like it if you didn't see me for two or three days?'

Roger replied grimly, 'That would be fine with me.'

Monday went by and he didn't see his Martha. Tuesday and Wednesday came and went with the same results.

On Thursday, the swelling went down just enough so that Roger he could see Martha a little out of the corner of his left eye.

13-year-old Struck by Lightning on Friday 13th at 13.13Reasons not to fly on Friday 13th

Friday the 13th is often thought of as an unlucky day - and it lived up to its reputation for one youngster in Lowestoft, Suffolk, England.

Three people were hit by lightning during a display of the Red Arrows at Lowestoft in Suffolk . At precisely 13:13, a boy aged 13 was seen by the St John Ambulance team at Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival in Suffolk after he was struck by lightning Will and Guy have discovered.

The boy suffered a minor burn and was taken to James Paget Hospital, where he is expected to make a full recovery.

Jason Gillingham, county ambulance officer and on scene at the show told us, 'This was a very minor burn to the boy's shoulder, but he was conveyed to hospital and is recovering well."

The three were watching a display of the Red Arrows during a downpour when the lightning struck.

See our Black Friday jokes.

Another Reason Not to Fly on Friday 13th -->

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More Friday 13th Superstitions

Paraskevidekatriaphobia - Fear of Friday 13th

Most cultures have superstitions centred on the number thirteen.  Let us start with a Greek word, which will impress your friends: Paraskevidekatriaphobia, meaning an irrational, even morbid, fear of Friday the 13th.  Incidentally, you can trace the synonym friggatriskaidekaphobia to Frigga the goddess of Friday.

The word Paraskevidekatriaphobia was coined by therapist Dr Donald Dossey, in fact he claims whimsically that if you can pronounce the word then you are cured of the dreaded Friday 13th affliction.

One famous study by Scanlon TJ, Luben RN, Scanlon FL, Singleton N. found that there were more car accidents on Friday February 13th than there were on Friday February 6th despite the fact that fewer people drove on February 13th.  Guy is cynical, if you do enough studies you will find one that proves your point, their figures are 65 for Fri 13th, 45 for Fri 6th - not a big sample.

Friday 13th Superstitions

It is bad luck to fall out of a thirteenth story window on Friday.
American Proverb

Do you believe that getting married on a Friday brings bad luck?
Of course, why would Friday be an exception?   Anon

Triskaidekaphobia - Fear of the Number 13

The Greeks also have word for fears associated with number 13 Triskaidekaphobia [triss-ka-deck-ah-phobia].  Interestingly, the Greeks traditional rivals the Turks have virtually removed 13 from their vocabulary.

Famous people who were born on Friday the 13th include Samuel Beckett (13 April 1906), Margaret Thatcher (13 October 1923), and Fidel Castro (13 August 1926).

Challenge
I have a dare for you.  The next time visit one of those tall office blocks, see if they have a 13th Floor.  In fact anytime you hail a lift, see if it has a button for the 13th Floor.

Superstitious?
A Poem Written by Trevor Warland

Superstitious? Not me, that's for certain! I'm not, and I naver have been,
though some funny old things have happened since the day I became thirteen.
It happened to fall on a Friday - the year's longest day, in June;
my bed was facing from south to north, and at night there was a blue moon.

That night I looked in the mirror and it fell, and smashed on the floor,
and for seven long years I suffered bad luck - or eight- it might have been more.
One day a black cat came towards me, and good fortune was promised at last,
but as I bent forward to stroke it, it spat and it hissed as it passed.

And then I spotted a ladder just leaning against a high wall;
I thought I would just walk around it in case something up there might fall,
so I cautiously stepped off the pavement and got hit by a car in the leg
while a lad, walking under the ladder, caught a large can of paint on his head!

But no! I'm not superstitious; I don't really believe all this rot.
I suppose, in my life, as luck goes, I've just been unlucky a lot.
I've thrown lots of coins into fountains, hoping my luck's gonna change;
I've wished with a wishbone of chicken, but my luck always stays just the same.

They say a rabbit's foot brings luck, but pity the three-legged rabbit -
He won't get away from the farmer's gun; he might just give up, cos he's had it!
On every Friday the thirteenth some people will never go out,
but I don't really care what awaits be, or what it is really about.

I've taken my shoes off the table, and closed my umbrella indoors,
I've just bought a shiny new mirror, and I don't mind indecent phone calls.
I won't let my milk boil over; I'll try not to spill any salt;
I'll not walk again round a ladder, although that paint job aint my fault.

I'll toss no more coins into fountains, or cut off a bunny's back foot;
and never again pull a wishbone and wish for a great pile of loot.
No! I'll PROVE that I'm not superstitious - that's there's no triskaidekaphobe here,
but I'll be damned if I go out of my house on the second Friday of January next year!!

An Example of Triskaidekaphobia - Fear of the Number 13

The addresses of an entire block of flats had to be changed after a council banned the owner from using number 13. Officials insist no one wants to live at number 13 because it is considered unlucky - even though it has been sold. The landlord, Mr Paul alfacre, was also told to renumber the flats from right to left, instead of left to right, reports the Mirror newspaper, July 2007.

Mr Gary Taylor, who bought Flat 13 in Brunel House, Thatcham, UK, said the change was a sign of the 'the world going mad'. West Berkshire Council admitted banning homes numbered 13, adding, 'It is fairly common policy.'

Why more people should fear the number 13

...(videVfl2)

The The superstitious will need no convincing but there really is good reason to steer clear of the number 13. It is the unluckiest ball in the National Lottery, research has revealed.  Since the lottery was launched in the UK in 1994, number 13 has come up on fewer occasions than any other ball.

Origin of the Fear of Friday 13th

The Knights Templar rose to prominence in Europe between 1096 and 1307.  Their downfall came on Friday 13th October 1307.  This date saw the catastrophic destruction of the Knights Templar at the hands of King Philip of France and his puppet Pope Clement V.  Some say this event, in which the Templars were burnt at the stake, gave birth to the superstition associated with Friday 13th.

One superstition is that if 13 people sit down to dinner together, all will die within the year.  One form of this legend dates back to the Norse god of mischief -  Loki.  The saga tells of Loki gate-crashing a party bringing the number of guests to 13.  To cut a long saga short, Balder the good was killed.  For this reason Norwegians believe that 13 at a dinner party is bad luck. Friday 13th Trivia

Beware naming your children with 13 letters in their name, they may be cursed for example, Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson. 

Warning: count your women because there are precisely 13 witches in a coven.

How many loaves are there in a 'Baker's Dozen'?   It is superstition that prevents this number be mentioned by name, in fact the extra loaf, presumably the runt of the litter, was baked as a special bribe for the devil not to spoil the batch of loaves.
[Will likes this one because of his surname - Baker].

Sportsmen are notoriously superstitious and many teams avoid using number 13 in their squads.  Dan Marino broke most of the quarterback's records, he fearlessly wore number 13 throughout his career with the Miami Dolphins.  However, some say his number was his undoing and is responsible for his epithet, 'The greatest quarterback never to win a Super Bowl'.  Fate played it's part in Super Bowl XIX, where Dan Marino (13) was beaten by his nemesis Joe Montana who preferred number 16 on his back
[Guy likes this one because of his love of American Football].

In the Bible, Luke's Gospel Chapter 22, tells us that there were 13 present at the Last Supper.   There is evidence that this Last Supper was held on a Friday, and of course this is when Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus Christ to the Romans.

Some people are so afraid that they refuse to get out of bed, or go to work on Friday 13th.  A study in the BMJ [British Medical Journal] in 1993 looked into the relationship between driving and road accidents in the UK on two separate Fridays: the 6th and the 13th. This study was carried out over a period of years. They eventually concluded that, 'Friday 13th is unlucky for some. The risk of hospital admission as a result of a transport accident may be increased by as much as 52 percent. Staying at home is recommended.'

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Friday 13th Superstitions Investigated

Knights Templar - Downfall on Friday 13th October 1307

TThe Knights Templar were immensely powerful in the middle ages.  In fact they were probably had more military and financial might than many European countries, yet on a Friday 13th in October 1307 they met their downfall.  The Knights Templar Grand master Jaques de Molay, together with 50 of his senior knights were tricked into a meeting and captured by King Philip IV of France.  On that Friday 13th thousands of Templars were arrested and tortured. When they confessed to various trumped up charges they were executed.  Since that day, Templars regarded Friday the 13th not only unlucky but evil.

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More Friday 13th Superstitions (Paraskevidekatriaphobia)

Naval Friday 13th Myth Unfounded Reports BBC Online News

Historians have dispelled a rumour that the Royal Navy once launched a ship called HMS Friday to encourage sailors to set sail on that day.

According to the myth, the Royal Navy launched HMS Friday on a Friday and put a Captain James Friday in command before it mysteriously disappeared. But Portsmouth's Royal Navy Museum said no HMS Friday had ever existed. The museum's Julian Thomas said the story 'regularly arose', particularly around a superstitious Friday the 13th.

'Sailors are superstitious'  He added there was 'absolutely no truth to the tale which has many internet references'. 'Presumably, it has surfaced because of it being Friday the 13th this week and there are dozens of references to it on the internet,' said Mr Thomas.

'Sailors certainly are superstitious - it's something to do with being at the mercy of such an unpredictable element as the sea - and anyway who would want to give up a weekend ashore.  'But we can confirm that there has never been a Royal Navy ship named HMS Friday - or after any other day of the week for that matter.'

Another related legend believed by many fishermen is: 'A Friday's sail, always fail.'   See more Friday jokes.

The Sinking of the HMS Royal Oak on Friday 13th October 1939

[One of the true stories that gives seamen cause to be superstitious]

On Friday 13th October 1939 the German submarine U-47 torpedoed the British battleship HMS Royal Oak.  Captain GÜnther Prien manoeuvred his U-boat through a narrow gap in the British defences of Scapa Flow in the Orkney Isles.  The result of his salvo of 3 torpedoes was the loss of 833 British seamen.  This was the greatest loss of life ever suffered by one British warship.

Friday 13th Jokes

Friday 13th Superstition - Case Study

'Britain's unluckiest man' has suffered 16 major accidents and is laid up yet again after falling down a manhole. 

Mr Lyne's mishaps cover a lifetime. As a child, he fell off a horse and cart - only to be run over by a delivery van. When he was a teenager, he broke his arm falling from a tree. On his way back from hospital, his bus crashed, breaking the same arm in another place. The date was Friday the 13th.

John Lyne's misfortunes have included two lightning strikes, a rock-fall in a mine, nearly drowning and three car crashes. Mr Lyne, 54, of Stainforth, near Doncaster, will be out of action for 32 weeks after his latest mishap, reports the Doncaster Free Press. The accident damaged his back and injured his left leg and both knees. Mr Lyne says he's not bitter, just glad to be alive. 'Everyone thinks it is just hilarious,' he said. 'My mates, family and wife Susan just laugh about it. I don't think there is any reason or explanation for it though, it has just happened really. I have to particularly be careful on the Friday 13ths, when a few accidents have fallen.' 

See more Heroic Failures

Beware Dangers of Foggy Weather

One Friday two motorists had an all too literal head on collision in heavy fog near the small town of Guetersloh, Germany.  Each was guiding his car at a snail's pace near the middle of the road because of the thick fog.  At the moment of impact their heads were both out of the windows when they smacked together.  Both men were hospitalised with severe head injuries. Their cars weren't damaged at all and didn't have a mark on them.

Follow-up to Friday Accidents

The report issued by the Dutch Centre for Insurance Statistics on June 12, 2008, states "fewer accidents and reports of fire and theft occur when the 13th of the month falls on a Friday than on other Fridays, because people are preventatively more careful or just stay home." This in turn was reflected in the reports received by Dutch insurance companies, in the last three years, which showed that on normal Fridays, the number of traffic accidents touched a figure of approximately 7,800 but it decreased to 7,500 on a Friday the 13th in The Netherlands.  See more jokes for Friday.

Insurer Warns About Monday 27th

...(videoG2)

Forget Friday the 13th; insurers say Monday the 27th is really the unluckiest day, more people suffer mishaps when the 27th is a Monday than on any other day the AA insurers warn. Their report, based on one million claims, dispels the myth that Friday the 13th is the date to fear most.  AA's Kevin Sinclair states, 'Friday the 13th is associated with bad luck, but our records show that you're more likely to have an accident or break something on Monday the 27th.' 

Monday the 27th disasters include a cat that started a house blaze by toppling a candle, and a man who put his foot through a ceiling while fetching Christmas decorations from his loft.

Dr Donald Dossey Treats Paraskevidekatriaphobia or Friggatriskaidekaphobia

Some people are so obsessed with the fear of Friday the 13th that they need treatment.  There are doctors who provide treatment.  See more on the irrational fear of paraskevidekatriaphobia

Next Friday 13th - Dates for Paraskevidekatriaphobia

In 2014 June is the only case of a Friday 13th.

In 2015 February, March and November are the months to look out for.

Here is a PowerShell script to calculate the next Friday 13th

# You need Windows PowerShell for this.

$i=0
do {
$i++
$next = (Get-Date).AddDays($i)
} until ($next.DayOfWeek -eq "Friday" -AND $next.Day -eq 13)

Write-Host "The next Friday the 13th is in $i days on $($next.ToShortDateString())." -ForegroundColor Red

In 1998 Friday 13th appeared three times in the calendar, February, March and November.  The next year that we had three Friday 13ths was 2009.  Again, Friday the 13th falls in the months of February, March and November in 2015.

Most other years have two Friday the 13th.  While occasionally, years have only one Friday 13th, (2014) it is impossible for a whole year to pass without a single Friday the 13th.

The Most Unlikely Friday 13th

Back in 2009 Paddy says to Mick, "Christmas is on Friday this year".

Mick said, "Let's hope it's not the 13th then."

 

Footnote:
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