It’s Friday the 13th: Are you afraid?

How did this old superstition begin?

It’s Friday the 13th which means you better not let a black cat cross your path and for goodness sakes don’t break a mirror of walk under a ladder.

And for good measure, if you spill the salt, throw it over your shoulder.

The fear of the number 13 is known as triskaidekaphobia and the fear of the combination of Friday and the number 13 is known as paraskevidekatriaphobia.

The question is, how did this superstition begin?

There are a number of theories about the origins of Friday 13th and its association with all things unlucky.

One popular theory is the superstition began from early Christianity, as Jesus Christ was crucified on a Friday and Judas Iscariot was the 13th guest at the Last Supper.

While another is that the date associated with such bad fortune began later with King Philip IV of France commanding hundreds of Templar Knights be arrested on the date in 1307, and then be tortured and burned alive.

Or, in Norse mythology, Frigga, the goddess of love and fertility, was called a witch and banished when tribes converted to Christianity. Legend has it that every Friday, the malicious goddess assembled the devil and eleven other witches (13 in total) and plotted evil deeds for the coming week.

Another story from Norse mythology also tells the tale of when a dinner party was once ruined by Loki, whose appearance plunged the world into darkness and led to the death of a God called Balder. Loki was the 13th guest at the gathering.

While we may never know why the date is considered unlucky, the superstition has managed to stand the test of time.

Happy Friday the 13th.

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