Superstition ain't the way: Friday the 13th spooks us all
If looking at your calendar makes you panic, you're not alone: Friday the 13th is not just a day of superstition lite (ladders, black cats, et. al.). The dreaded date has been known to effect everything from the economy to the movements of armies, at least in the west. So why the panic? No one really knows, but there are a few theories, according to Wikipedia. And hey, if you're stuck in your house today hiding from all the bad fortune that may befall you, don't let your friends bother you...just tell them you have paraskavedekatriaphobia. That's right, paraskavedekatriaphobia (fear of Friday the 13th, of course). Say that three times fast.
"It's been estimated that [U.S] $800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day because people will not fly or do business they would normally do," said Donald Dossey, founder of the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina.
Among other services, Dossey's organization counsels clients on how to overcome fear of Friday the 13th, a phobia that he estimates afflicts 17 to 21 million people in the United States.