Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday the 13th: The Phobia...

Today is Friday the 13th!
Are you superstitious? If so, today you are probably throwing salt over your shoulder, not stepping on cracks in the sidewalk, avoiding walking under ladders and near black cats.

Did you know that you should always leave a room by the same door you entered in. Yes, that is supposedly a superstition. I just learned that one today. (Thanks Tracey!)

According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, an estimated 17 to 21 million people in the United States are affected by a fear of this day. Some people are so paralyzed by fear that they avoid their normal routines in doing business, taking flights or even getting out of bed. "It's been estimated that $800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day".

I wondered what the Fear of Friday the 13th was called so I looked it up…yes, there is a list of named fears (if you need a diversion from work you can find it here) it is called friggatriskaidekaphobia...yep, I can’t pronounce it either!

Are you extra cautious today??? Looking over your shoulder expecting the worst (Kosmikophobia)? Avoiding flying (Aviophobia)? Or not making any major decisions (Decidophobia)? These are all fears crippling people today.

Also, did you know more than 80% of high-rises lack a 13th floor, many airports skip the 13th gate, and airplanes also have no 13th aisle. Italians even omit the #13 from their national lottery and streets in Florence address homes between 12 and 14 as #12 ½. Many cities do not even have a 13th street or avenue!

If you don’t have chills by now….read on….

If you have 13 letters in your name, you will have the devil's luck. For example, Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Theodore Bundy and Albert De Salvo all have 13 letters in their names. Have you counted the letters in your name yet????…I did…11…I’m safe.

Most still consider Friday the 13th to be a day of bad luck. This day occurs at least once, and at most three times a year. Lucky for us 2011 has only one Friday the 13th…so Enjoy it while you can! (And pass up the urge to pick up any coins that are heads down...you can never be too careful!)

-Karen
GMG

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