DETROIT (CBS Detroit) – There are those among us who feel lucky on Friday the 13th — and others who take the day off, too terrified to risk venturing into public and tempting a piano to fall from the sky.
So, who’s right?
An oft-cited British study published in 1993 proved that you’re more likely to be injured in a car accident on Friday the 13th, with statistics showing there were fewer cars on the road and yet more accidents. “The risk of hospital admission as a result of a transport accident may be increased by as much as 52 percent” on the 13th.
The problem? The article was meant as a spoof, not to be taken seriously. There are no serious studies about mishaps befalling people on Friday the 13th.
But there are plenty of suspicions. Dr. Donald Dossey, a psychotherapist, told ThoughtCo.com that 8 percent of Americans — or 21 million total — are afraid of Friday the 13th. In fact, those afflicted with a morbid, irrational fear of Friday the 13th are known as Paraskevidekatriaphobics.
And the fear goes way back.
To ancient Egyptians the number 13 symbolized death, early Hindus believed it was unlucky for exactly 13 people to gather in one place. In the Bible, there were 13 people present at the Last Supper, with Judas as the 13th person at the table. Coincidence? Perhaps.
We won’t see another Friday the 13th until next year, in April and then again in July.