Friday the 13th Bad Luck—Myth or Fact?

The date is often seen as a bad luck day for many. Find out the the real deal behind the superstion. Is the day lucky or unlucky?

Once again we visit Friday the 13th. There is at least one and possibly three such days each year. For some people, it is a time so dreadful and fearful that they can barely get out of bed.

Studies have estimated that there may be at least 21 million Americans who have some or significant fear of Friday the 13th. For these people the anxiety and discomfort is real. It can cause them to stay at home from work, change travel schedules and personal plans. Others see it as just another day. To be sure some people may experience some problems on Friday the 13th.

Yet, are those problems average or outside of the norms? Some studies have shown that with travel; Friday the 13th is a safer day but perhaps that is because people are more cautious or some simply do not travel that day there-by reducing general incidents.

Movies and Mayhem

Putting the horrifying Friday the 13th  movie franchise aside (which itself is actually financially lucky) is the date a harbinger of bad fortune? Fear of Friday the 13th combines myth, legends, history, superstition and some facts. This day is a combination of phobias, fear of Friday and fear of the number 13. Fear of Friday the 13th is friggatriskaidekaphobia using the Norse Goddess Frigga which is where the name for Friday comes from. Paraskevidekatriaphobia is the Greek version of the fear.


Some people see 13 as a negative number. In the Bible, Judas was seen as number 13 at the last supper and thus this adds to the negativity of the numeral. However, it is overlooked by the same people that Jesus was number 13. He had 12 apostles and he was number 13 in that group.

In Norse legend Loki was the 13th guest at a banquet and his subsequent arrival added to the mayhem and tragedy of the event. There are many legends and myths that keep adding to the negativity of the number. Yet when one plus three are added together, you get four of course, which is a number about balance and working in harmony with people.

Some people would not want to be guest number 13. Various buildings do not have a floor numbered 13 though well what do you say to the fact that there is actually a 13th floor whether so named or not.

Friday has had negative connotations for some people with superstitions such as it was bad luck to cut your hair on Friday or for ships to sail on that day. Combine fear of Friday and fear of the number 13 and there you have it.


Superstitions are beliefs that are not always supported by facts. They are deeply rooted in our fears as well as in things that we do not understand or can not explain. Every culture has had various superstitions since the beginning of human interaction.

Black cats, cracks in the pavement and broken mirrors are among the myriad of superstitions that haunt us. Our beliefs and our fears give power to them. It is time to stand back and begin to understand why.


It is all about human consciousness and it’s connections to our bodies and the fact that we create reality on both the individual and group levels. If people have a belief such as a superstition those thoughts can influence what is created or what happens for them and thus can be validated by fact.

This is because we as humans have a powerful connection with our subconscious and conscious minds which is tied to our fears, emotions and social programming. Groups, cultures and societies create a strong consensus reality that does play out for us.

For example, in China the cricket is seen as a sign of good luck. This has been so for centuries. Crickets are kept in cages inside the home and signal prosperity and blessings. Because this is the belief and is a part of the social consciousness there it can buoy the individuals and their actions and thus can actually bring about more prosperity. Key question—are the results based on the cricket or on the beliefs and subsequent reality created by those beliefs?

Now in America (except for Native American ideas where the cricket is seen as a good omen) this creature is more of a nuisance. If a cricket happens to get in the house and commence to chirp all night the end result in the morning of the mate or husband rocking in a fetal position and singingMary Had a Little Lamb after hours of futile, mad searching for the animal…would hardly make the cricket be seen as lucky.

Superstitions are are subjective. They have their effects based on the reviewer’s beliefs, thoughts and emotions. Yet they can affect actions and indeed physical conditions. For example broken heart syndrome has been trending recently. Takotsubo cardiomyopathy or stress cardiomyopathy is a condition where a break up, loss or death of a loved one can bring about a sudden heart attack due to extreme stress.

Couvade Syndrome is the sympathy pains and symptoms such as vomiting, weight gain, moodiness that some men experience while their mate is pregnant. It is like they actually share some of the woman’s pregnancy symptoms

Both these conditions are results of the human mind-body and consciousness reacting to outside events to such an extent that it affects their physical well being. This is all said to point out that if someone fears a day, number, or has a strong enough superstition that fear or belief can affect them though it does NOT have to have that reaction. What is affecting the individual is not the day or superstition but their emotional response to the superstition. Remember superstitions are not universal and vary. So the fact is it is about the person's reactions. 

The key is to be kind to yourself on this day. If you are afraid of Friday the 13th - it is not going to just go away. Research and study about it and find away to understand what your fears mean. Find someone to talk to and delve into what you are really afraid of and begin to heal. Be as stress free and relaxed as you are able.

For those of us who see it as just another day we can simply put out positive energies to others on this day. Respect their right to have such beliefs and do not make fun of or put further duress on them. If they are open give them some other insight on the subject.

The main thing is to celebrate our powerful mind and body connection and put that to a more positive and productive use for yourself and the planet.

Oliver Yu January 14, 2012 at 04:27 AM
I have personally always considered it a lucky day for me. I was born on a Friday the 13th.
Shripathi Kamath January 14, 2012 at 05:53 AM
"Superstitions are beliefs that are not always supported by facts" More like "Superstitions are beliefs never supported by facts" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superstition) .


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