Today is Friday the 13th, one of three in 2012. Why is this day such a superstitious one? You may have to go back centuries to answer that question; maybe back to biblical times.
People who believe Friday the 13th brings bad luck have a variety of theories as to the origins of the superstition.
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If the thought of merely leaving the house this Friday the 13th has you spooked, you're not alone. The Stress Management Centre and Phobia Institute, based in Asheville, N.C., estimates that $800 million to $900 million US is lost every time the 13th of the month falls on a Friday, as people avoid doing business or flying.
The official names for fear of Friday the 13th are friggatriskaidekaphobia and paraskevidekatriaphobia. Sufferers can have symptoms as severe as panic attacks.
Stuart Vyse, professor of psychology at Connecticut College, said the superstition that associates Friday the 13th with bad luck is one of the most widespread in Western culture.Do you dread the 13th?