Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Friday the Thirteenth

It's the most widespread superstion in the United States today. Some people refuse to go to work on Friday the 13th; some won't eat in restaurants; many wouldn't think of setting a wedding on the date. Millions of Americans have paraskevidekatriaphobia, the fear of Friday the 13th, these people experience a very old superstition. Exactly how old is difficult to say, because determining the origins of superstitions is mostly guesswork. Some believe the origins come from the Scandinavian who thought that the number thirteen was unlucky because the mythological twelve demigods were once joined by a thirteenth, who was evil and brought pain, and misfortune to humans. There are also Christian related roots to the Friday the thirteenth as Jesus was crucified on a Friday and the number of people at the Last Supper was thirteen! And of course, the thirteenth guest was Judas, who was nothing more than a traitor. But are all of these explanations just answers that were seeked out for explaining peoples bad luck on the dreaded day? Hollywood seems to be benefiting from people’s fear of Friday the 13th since there has been countless movies about Friday the thirteenth. Starting in 1980 with the title Friday The 13th then the next year Friday The 13th Part Two then the year after that Friday The 13th Part III then finally Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter in 1984 if only it would have been the final chapter, yet Hollywood keeps throwing out the same old ideas in the same old fashion even with the same old name! The year after Friday the 13th the “final Chapter” Friday The 13th: A New Beginning was released in 1985. Then Jason Lives: Friday The 13th Part VI -1986 Friday The 13th Part VII: The New Blood -1988 Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan – 1989 Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday (yea, right!) – 1993 Jason X – 2001 Freddy vs. Jason -2003 Then Finally Friday The 13th (didn’t they already use this title?) -2009. I am personally just waiting for the sequels!
A 1993 study published in the British Medical Journal provocatively titled "Is Friday the 13th Bad for Your Health?" With the aim of mapping "the relation between health, behavior, and superstition surrounding Friday 13th in the United Kingdom, its authors compared the ratio of traffic volume to the number of automobile accidents on two different days, Friday the 6th and Friday the 13th, over a period of years. Incredibly, they found that in the region sampled, while consistently fewer people chose to drive their cars on Friday the 13th, the number of hospital admissions due to vehicular accidents was significantly higher than on "normal" Fridays. Their conclusion:
"Friday 13th is unlucky for some. The risk of hospital admission as a result of a transport accident may be increased by as much as 52 percent. Staying at home is recommended."

Do people really experience bad luck on Friday the 13th or do they just contribute every little thing that goes wrong to the date whereas on a different date they wouldn’t pay much attention to the small misfortune?

Here's a link to abc's bit on how Friday the 13th got so scary: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/MindMoodResourceCenter/friday-13th-origins-phobia/story?id=11395381#.T70tzNym-8A

No comments:

Post a Comment