By Kate Murphy
It’s the one Friday when a lot of people don’t say TGIF — Friday the 13th. So, how did it get such a bad rap?
To answer that we have to go way back — we’re talking biblical — to Jesus’ last supper, where Judas was the 13th to sit at the table. Jesus, of course, was crucified the next day, which was a Friday.
The superstition might also go back as far as the story of Adam and Eve. Some think Eve offered Adam that fateful apple in the Garden of Eden on a Friday.
The bad luck theory associated with Fridays can also be traced to the 14th century, when Geoffrey Chaucer wrote in “The Canterbury Tales,” “on a Friday fell all this mischance.”
So where does the number 13 come in? Thomas W. Lawson infamously wrote an early 20th-century novel called “Friday the 13th.” The storyline: A broker picks that day to bring down Wall Street.
Believe it or not, your shrink has a name for the fear of Friday the 13th. It’s paraskevidekatriaphobia. And fear of the number 13 is called triskaidekaphobia. People with this phobia can show symptoms of acute anxiety. The fear is so real that some hotels omit the number 13 in labeling elevator panels and stairwells. Otis elevators says about 85 percent of elevator panels omit the number 13.
This practice is fairly new. Skyscrapers weren’t a thing until 1885, and even then, the first one was only 12 stories tall.
So for all you superstitious people out there, which dates should you mark on your calendars? Any month that starts on a Sunday will have a Friday the 13th. This year has two – one in January and another in October.
Whether or not you choose to steer clear of black cats or sidewalk cracks, at least when it comes to the bad rap of Friday the 13th, you can say, “Now I get it.”