Friday, February 13, 2009
Friday the 13th Fears Cost U.S. $900 million in lost business
Numbers have a funny impact on people, and Friday the 13th is the perfect example. According to a study by the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, the infamous date causes superstitous people to radically adjust their lifestyle on the dreaded day.
A National Geographic article titled "Friday the 13th rooted in ancient history" claims that 17 to 21 million people are afflicted by the phobia known as "paraskavedekatriaphobia" with symptoms ranging from mild anxiety to full blown panic attacks. included this interesting quote from the Phobia Institute's founder, Donald Dossey:
It's been estimated that [U.S] $800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day because people will not fly or do business they would normally do.
Of course, you can't mention Friday the 13th without thinking of Jason Voorhees, the vengeful serial killer in a slasher horror movie franchise that, like Jason, just wouldn't die. Somehow they managed to create Jason 10 -A.K.A. Jason X, where Jason was frozen in time, picked up by a spaceship, and resurrected for "medical study". A remake, directed by by Marcus Nispel, was released in theaters today. As for the historical roots, there's no clearly-defined single source, but it's tied to ancient fears regarding the number 13 and the day of Friday.Dossey credits Paraskavedekatriaphobia to a a myth involving an unwanted, 13th guest who sabotaged a dinner party. He described the myth to National Geographic.
The uninvited 13th guest, the mischievous Loki. Once there, Loki arranged for Hoder, the blind god of darkness, to shoot Balder the Beautiful, the god of joy and gladness, with a mistletoe-tipped arrow. Balder died and the whole Earth got dark. The whole Earth mourned. It was a bad, unlucky day. From that moment on, the number 13 has been considered ominous and foreboding.
By Matt O'Hern at 10:19 AM | Comments (1)