If you ask a kid from theater to say Macbeth in a theater without performing it, they’ll curse you for the suggestion. Ask someone superstitious to walk under a ladder and they’ll run away. Cleaning spilled salt without throwing a pinch over your left shoulder? I think not!
There are many people who only feel superstitious on Friday the 13th. Then there are people like me. I fear many of these superstitions all year, and on Friday the 13th I quake under my covers clutching my rabbit’s foot keychain, lucky pennies from the year I was born, and four leaf clovers. If I see a black cat I don’t know, I will find a new way to get to where I’m going. Open an umbrella inside? No thank you!
But why does Friday the 13th scare people so much? No, we’re not looking over our shoulders for scary men in hockey masks. So why? Because someone somewhere said it was scary!
While there is no origin story for the frightful day, superstitions surrounding it have been discovered as early as the 19th century. It isn’t an ancient belief handed to us from the days of old, yet many people will do what they can to avoid certain things, especially the so called cursed number. Some cities refuse to have a 13th street, some have buildings that go from floor 12 to floor 14, and no room 13 in certain hospitals please! All because someone said 13 was unlucky.
The number 13 has a notorious rep for being unlucky, but people never seem to question why Monday the 13th doesn’t worry the masses. Since the works of Jeffrey Chaucer in the 14th century, Friday has been seen as a day of ill fortune and poor luck thanks to the Canterbury Tales.
In 2003 The DaVinci Code popularized the fear of the day once more by delving into the slaughter of the Knights Templar, which is said to have happened on Friday October 13 1307. This day has inspired many horror movies and suspense novels too, driving the craze of the day ever deeper in many people.
My personal concerns about the day in question even extends to things like volume control, it has to be an even number. Or if I spill salt, I have to throw a pinch over my shoulder. Use caution when doing this in public though.
Besides myself, our office is home to a few other “stitious” people. Most of our agency won’t say they’re “superstitious” – rather they’re a “little stitious”. Kaylee Dougherty of the Compulse Telesales team shares a dislike of numbers, only not 13. For her, if her total at a store were to come up as $6.66, she would have to purchase additional items to alter the number. Additionally, when she played college volleyball, she believed that having different things in her bag would alter her skill. To avoid playing poorly, she had to house the same things in her bag for each game.
Sasskia Wells, one of Compulse’s Digital Sales Coordinators, has many superstitious beliefs. First and foremost is not splitting the pole. Don’t walk on the opposite of the pole as her because if you do, she’ll make you backtrack and walk on the other side. That’s my girl! She believes in the broken mirrors and not walking under ladders, and she fears jinxes so much she won’t discuss matters until they’re confirmed as fact. In the Caribbean she says it is bad luck to sweep after 6pm, and you cannot step over someone’s feet. Coming from a girl born on Friday the 13th, I can’t blame her for believing. Thankfully, she says that she was spared the lifetime of bad luck because it was also Good Friday.
Whatever the belief, whatever the reason, I believe in Friday the 13th. I’m glad to see I’m not alone. Have fun today everyone, and avoid: breaking mirrors, stepping on cracks, walking under ladders, $6.66, splitting poles and don’t cross any black cats. Very superstitious…nothing more to say.