What Is the Fear of Friday the 13th Called?
Friday the 13th is a day riddled with superstition, fear, and horror. There are some folks that believe it’s unlucky to walk under a ladder, shatter a mirror, or even step on a crack in the road! Then there are others who believe that the number 13 is unlucky, citing different coincidences as proof.
And yet, there’s an even greater fear surrounding Friday the 13th. Some believe that it is a dangerous and terrifying day. Maybe they’ve seen the dangerous mask of Jason Voorhees flash across their screens enough times to make their bones shiver. Or maybe they have a phobia! What is that phobia called? Well, there’s actually more than one name for it. Let’s take a look.
Paraskevidekatriaphobia is certainly a mouthful. It’s a rather complex compound word that builds a greater whole. The first part of the word, paraskeví, is the word for Friday in Greek. Dekatreís is the Greek word for the number 13. And of course, phobia is derived from phóbos, the well-known Greek word for fear.
Together, these words translate to “a fear of Friday the 13th.” This fear isn’t that different than the fear of the number 13, which is actually more common than people might expect. Pay close attention to tall office buildings and hotels. You might notice the elevator doesn’t actually go to a 13th floor! Instead, it goes to the 14th. And even though it is technically the 13th floor, many places will simply call it the 14th to put guests at ease.
Friggatriskaidekaphobia is another name given to the fear of Friday the 13th. It’s a particularly interesting word because it adds a unique mythological spin to the term. It’s comprised of two root words that combine to tell a story.
It’s best to actually start with the jumble of letters at the end: triskaidekaphobia. This is the fear of the number 13 bundled into one giant word. Similar to the word above, the components of this compound word are also the ancient Greek word for number 13, treiskaídeka, and the word phobia, used again to indicate fear.
The first part of the word is actually Frigga, the Norse goddess. Frigga is a powerful witch, the wife of Odin, and mother to Loki and Thor. Frigga is also where the word Friday comes from. Just like Wednesday is Odin‘s Day, and Thursday is Thor’s Day, Friday is Frigga’s Day. In Norse mythology, 13 is an unlucky number because of a feast. It’s associated with the story of how the trickster god Loki attended a feast in Valhalla meant for 12 guests and in honor of Baldur, a god whom everything in existence had promised not to kill. Everything, that is, except mistletoe. Loki then arranged for Hod, a blind god, to shoot Baldur with a mistletoe-tipped arrow, killing the beloved god. Since Loki was the 13th guest, 13 became unlucky.
Do you celebrate Friday the 13th? Do you watch the films? Or do you just try to avoid as many unlucky superstitions as possible?
Let us know what you do for Friday the 13th over at side.show/geekgroup, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!