Whether we're superstitious or not, Friday the 13th has long captured our attention. Ahead of this Friday, read up on all of the trivia related to the supposedly unlucky day. Here are five fast facts about Friday the 13th:
1. Sometimes it happens more than once a year. While the 2014 calendar had only one Friday the 13th, 2015 will not be as lucky. Not only will the date occur in February, it will also come back to haunt us just four weeks from now, in March, and once more in October. Thankfully 2016 contains only one Friday the 13th date, in May. While some years are more lucky than others in terms of the number of Friday the 13th dates, it's impossible for any year to go by without at least one.
2. The date isn’t inherently unlucky. Despite superstitions surrounding Friday the 13th, there is no hard evidence that the date is actually unlucky. “No data exists and will never exist to confirm that the number 13 is an unlucky number,” Igor Radun, of Finland’s Human Factors and Safety Behavior Group, told LiveScience in 2012. “There is no reason to believe that any number would be lucky or unlucky.”
3. The fear can be real. If you have a deep-seated fear of the holiday, you’re not alone. There are several phobias related to Friday the 13th. Paraskevidekatriaphobia is the "official" name of those who have a phobia of the day, according to ABC News. A phobia of the number 13 — called triskaidekaphobia — also afflicts thousands.
4. It may have religious roots. — You might be surprised to learn that the superstitions surrounding Friday the 13th are said to stem from religion. National Geographic reports that the fear was fueled by Judas, the 13th apostle at the Last Supper, who betrayed Jesus, and Jesus’ crucifixion, which occurred on a Friday. Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University, told the publication that the number and day of the week merged to create a “double whammy” of fears.
5. Take me to the movies. The widespread fear surrounding the unlucky date has translated to some major box-office success. The “Friday the 13th” horror film franchise kicked off in 1980 and it's now up to 12 sequels. The original followed the story of a group of camp counselors who are murdered at a summer camp, the very same site where a child had previously drowned. A sequel, “Friday the 13th: Part 2,” came out the following year, and the sequels just keep coming.
In 2009 a reboot of the Jason Voorhees murderous tale was released starring “Supernatural’s” Jared Padalecki and actress Danielle Panabaker. The next installment, directed by David Bruckner, is due to debut in May 2016.