By: Erikka Chowdhury
There is a Friday the 13th on October of this year! It’s very ironic as October has always been known for being the most horrific and spooky month. I have always been Uber hyped about this psychoplasmic phenomena and whether or not it is really that unlucky for people and the world. The number 13 is odd providing ample support towards the fact that it can be unlucky, however why is there such a deep-rooted hysteria behind Friday the 13th? Is this merely a divine work of superstition or is there authenticated proof behind it?
As a curious intellect, I resorted to researching more in depth about Friday the 13th. Luckily, I was able to excavate deeply into the roots of its origin and the reasons behind it’s consistent hysteria. According to the Associate Policy Scientist in the Mathematics & Science Education Center (MSERC) of the University of Delaware Thomas Fernsler aka Dr. 13, “The number suffers from its position after 12, which numerologists consider a complete number, encompassing the number of months in a year, signs of the zodiac, gods of Olympus, labors of Hercules, tribes of Israel, apostles of Jesus, days of Christmas, and eggs in a dozen.” From this analysis, I discovered an innovative way to understand the ideology behind the number 13 and how it is indeed an “incomplete” number. Although, the number 13 sounds and looks extremely uncanny, spooky, and morbid, how is Friday related to it?
As a college student, Fridays are the days in which I rarely have classes and am able to relax after such a hectic week. The same goes for people in the professional field as well the majority in the globalized population. After all, it is the last day of the week right before the 2-day weekend! But why is it super unlucky if the 13th falls on a Friday? The historical criteria originated from the Middle Ages when there were 13 individuals present on the 13th Thursday, the night before his death on Good Friday. On the other hand, Fernsler proposed the fact that Friday the 13th in 1899 was the day in which the first person got killed in a car accident. This iconic fact amazed me in a very alarming way because I’m now starting to feel the eliciting effects of triskaidekaphobia, the proper scientific name given to the ongoing fear of Friday the 13th.
Triskaidekaphobia affects individuals in many serious ways. Most people are unable to function properly when this dreadful day arrives leaving them with sleepless nights and aching agony. Their aching agony results in increased levels of mental anguish that never goes away easily. Can you imagine that a single day can have such an adverse effect on an individual’s state of mind? I would recommend everyone who are a victim of this phobia to not get overly worked up about Friday the 13th as misfortunes can happen at any time and at any place for any individual. No one can go against what destiny has written for all of us and we should always strive to remain as positive as we can under difficult situations.
Finally, I would just like to remind everyone that whenever you are invited to a lavish and beguiling party, never be the 13th guest! Not everyone might know, but the prominent writer Mark Twain was once the 13th guest at a dinner party. A friend warned him not to go. He replied, “It was bad luck. They only had food for 12.”
- Erikka Chowdhury, Copy Editor