When Friday the 13th rolls around, everyone gets a little spooked. We all grow cautious hoping that we don’t run into any bad luck. Did you know that up to 60 million people worldwide are affected by paraskevidekatriaphobia, the fear of Friday the 13th? Here are some interesting facts that we’ve found circulating around Friday the 13th:
- Napoleon Bonaparte, President Herbert Hoover and President Franklin D. Roosevelt all suffered from paraskevidekatriaphobia.
- Mark Twain ignored his friend who warned him not to be the 13th guest at a dinner party. Mark learned his lesson when they only had food for 12.
- Superstitious diners in Paris can hire a quatorzieme, or professional 14th guest.
- Space Travel – Many say the No. 13 pointed to the ill-fated mission to the moon, Apollo 13.
- There’s at least one Friday the 13th every year. This year, we have two Friday the 13th, the next one occurring on December 13, 2013.
- Most airports do not have a gate 13 and skip the 13th row.
Check out some of the ways to ward off bad luck for Friday the 13th:
- Horseshoes: Horseshoes are a symbol of good luck. Iron, which horseshoes are often made of, was once believed to protect the life force and ward off evil spirits. Be sure to hang it with the ends facing upward, though, or the good luck will “run out.”
- Turn seven times, clockwise: This was said to ward off evil and break curses.
- Four leaf clovers: This plant originated as an ancient Irish symbol of luck symbolizing “faith, hope, love and luck.”
- Throw salt over your shoulder: It is said that to improve your good luck, throw some salt over your left shoulder.
- Rabbit foot: Lucky rabbit foot is a more common good luck charm. Faux or not, you can carry one around to prevent bad luck from happening.
- Keep your shoes on the right feet: Putting on your left shoe before the right is considered bad luck, and it is even worse luck to accidently put the right shoe on the left foot, or vice versa.