It’s Friday the 13th, the last for 2012

Posted: July 14, 2012

Today is Friday the 13th, the third and last of three this year.

Of course, most folks know that today is supposed to be unlucky, but why is lost in the mists of time and misfortune.

Still, the superstition persists and is so widespread that experts have come up with two names for the fear of Friday the 13th - friggatriskaidekaphobia and paraskevidekatriaphobia.

Talk about mouthfuls. (The irrational fear of things associated with the number 13 is known as triskaidekaphobia.)

It is hard to find an awful major event that occurred on a Friday the 13th, but that has not stopped many from believing that bad things could happen to them on the day.

According to Donald Dossey, the behavioral scientist who coined paraskevidekatriaphobia, as many as 21 million Americans have some measure of fear for Friday the 13th.

Dossey, who runs the Management Center/Phobia Institute in Asheville, N.C., estimates that fear costs the economy hundreds of millions of dollars because those afraid of Friday the 13th are inclined to stay home and do nothing rather than tempting the fates by venturing out.

That means they don't drive, fly, eat at restaurants or even go to work.

There is no Friday the 13th on the calendar until September, 2013, 14 months from now.

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