Friday the 13th
Long considered a harbinger of bad luck, Friday the 13th has inspired a late 19th-century secret society, an early 20th-century novel, a horror film franchise and not one but two unwieldy terms—paraskavedekatriaphobia and friggatriskaidekaphobia—that describe fear of this ...read more
Why do people knock on wood for luck?
In many cultures, it’s a common superstition for people to knock their knuckles on a piece of wood to bring themselves good fortune or ward off bad luck. Yet while the phrase “knock on wood”—or “touch wood” in Britain—has been part of the vernacular since at the least the 19th ...read more
What’s So Unlucky About the Number 13?
Researchers estimate that as many as 10 percent of the U.S. population has a fear of the number 13, and each year the even more specific fear of Friday the 13th, known as paraskevidekatriaphobia, results in financial losses in excess of $800 million annually, as people avoid ...read more