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Why are we afraid of Friday the 13th?

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By Natalie Grim

WASHINGTON (Circa) - Whether you’re a superstitious person, or just a horror movie fan, you’re probably familiar with the legend of unlucky Friday the 13th. But do you know where the concept comes from?

The answer goes back to the Bible. The Last Supper had thirteen guests total, consisting of Jesus and his twelve disciples. Judas, who betrayed Jesus, is believed to have been the thirteenth to arrive. One day later was Good Friday, the day Jesus was crucified. Because of this, the idea of unlucky number thirteen was born.

Friday also has a trend of unluckiness in other parts of Christianity. It’s thought to be the day that Adam and Eve ate the Forbidden Fruit in the Garden of Eden.

While not many people today fear Fridays, the fear of the number thirteen is very common. The name is “triskaidekaphobia.” Even author Stephen King and former president Franklin D.Roosevelt are known to have the condition. Because of how frequently the fear pops up, several elevator manufacturers offer the option for buildings to not include a thirteenth floor. As of 2013, less than 5% of residential condos in Brooklyn and Manhattan had a thirteenth floor.

Quite a few tragedies have happened on Friday the 13th in history. Some include the German bombing on Buckingham Palace in 1940, the death of rapper Tupac Shakur in 1996 and the crash of the Costa Concordia cruise ship in Italy in 2012.

Before you hide inside all day, studies show Friday the 13th could actually be safer than usual for the average person. Most people tend to be more careful that day, so far fewer accidents and thefts are reported than on a typical Friday.

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