Gina Florio
January 13, 2017 11:44 am
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You’ve heard the myths since you were a little kid. Friday the 13th is thought to be unlucky, so unlucky in fact that superstitious people are utterly terrified of the day. Also, there are even high rise buildings and hotels that simply don’t have a 13th floor (technically they have 13 floors, it’s just not LABELED as the thirteenth floor). And of course let’s not forget the horror movie franchise called Friday the 13th, because, well, it’s a scary day.

But have you ever wondered why we’re so scared of this day? What is it about Friday the 13th that freaks us out? Christopher French, a psychologist at Goldsmiths University, talked to Cosmopolitan about the history of this infamous day. A lot of our fear of Friday the 13th can be traced to biblical tales. Strangely enough, Friday itself was considered an unlucky day, and the number 13 was separately considered unlucky as well.

The fear has stuck around for a while, because 10 percent of the Western population still acknowledge Friday the 13th as a day of misfortune, perhaps because we keep in mind the few frightening incidents that have happened on that day. There was a cyclone in Bangladesh in 1970 that killed upwards of 500,000 people. Then there was that plane crash in the Andes in 1972 that killed 29 people.

However, scientists are quick to point out that these kinds of tragedies also happen on days during the year that aren’t Friday the 13th. In fact, there’s no real proof that it’s more dangerous than any other day.

But superstition runs deep, and we don’t plan to get on any flights or make any life-altering bets today, thanks very much. By the way, today isn’t the only Friday the 13th of the year. The second one will arrive in October, so brace yourselves.

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