There is one day that seems to strike a sense of dread in the hearts of many. It can happen as many as three times in a given year or it could wait as long as 14 months between visits, but the fear of Friday the 13th is known as Paraskavedekatriaphobia.
This is one of the longest names for phobias, but it’s history may be relatively short. The rise of this fear happened in the 20th century after being widely introduced in the 19th century. This fear was given extra power by combining two powerful superstitions. The first was the number 13, which instilled a sense of fear because it was a number of imperfection. Friday was added because it was a day that was considered either lucky or unlucky. People could expect something good or bad to happen on a Friday. When the unlucky number 13 was combined with a day that could be unlucky this became a challenging day.
What Causes Paraskavedekatriaphobia?
As alluded to in our last section this fear has its roots in suspicion. Since there is already a sense of dread in relation to this day it can create an atmosphere sensitive to other fear triggers. For example there have been horror and apocalyptic movies released on Friday the 13th including Resident Evil 5 and the movie 2012. The date of release can give the films more emotional power in the minds of moviegoers.
In order to experience the fear one has to believe there is something inherently evil in the number thirteen that is enhanced when it coincides with Friday.
Experts in the Netherlands show statistics that indicate fewer accidents happen on Friday the 13th and they believe the reason for this is because individuals who may fear the date may exercise greater caution seeking to avoid any problems on this particular date.
Symptoms of Paraskavedekatriaphobia
This fear will likely express itself with a growing sense of dread leading up to any month that features a Friday the 13th. The one who fears may be less likely to engage in any social activity and may even call in sick or take the day off.
Other symptoms include…
- High anxiety
- Air hunger
- Loss of control
- Pronounced worry
- Dry mouth
- Panic attacks
These individuals may experience fear on the 13th – they may experience fear on Friday, but the combination of the two events creates an unusually tense situation for those who are phobic.
How to Overcome Paraskavedekatriaphobia
Sometimes by learning more about the origins of fears based on superstition one can learn to relax a little and accept that the fear may have less control over their lives by removing the mystery of its origin.
Therapy sessions can help paraskavedekatriaphobes learn to sort the logic of what they know to be true about Friday the 13th with the power they have given the fear. In most cases individuals will not be able to connect more evil or incidents of danger with these dates than any other on the calender.
Removing the mystery of the date will be important to dispelling the fear.
The fear of Friday the 13th is also known as…
- Friday the 13th fear
- A fear of days and dates