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Warehouse on the Canal
According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute, an estimated 17 to 21 million people in the United States are affected by a fear of this day making it the most feared day and date in history.
Some people are so paralyzed by fear that they avoid their normal routines in doing business, taking flights or even getting out of bed. "It's been estimated that $800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day".
Throughout history the number 13 and the day of the week Friday had always been associated with bad luck on their own. However: the combination of the two to make Friday 13th the superstitious day that it is known today is believed to be a creation of the 20th century. I am guessing that similar to ghosts, the scary and unlucky images of Friday 13th were further exploited by the new motion picture industry.
Some superstitions on why the day Friday and the number 13 are unlucky.
Judas was the 13th guest at the last supper. The 12 apostles and Jesus
Ancient Romans believed that witches gathered in groups of 12 and the 13th person to join them was the devil
Jesus supposedly crucified on a Friday.
The Origin of the Walking Under a Ladder Superstition
Christians believe in the Holy Trinity made up of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit symbolic in the shape of a triangle and the triangle was by association also sacred with its three sides. A ladder is in the shape of a triangle. To walk through this triangle was seen as breaking the Trinity and was blasphemous inviting the hangman and witch trials.
Another origin of the superstition was a bit less specific, and had to do with the similarities between a ladder leaning against a wall and a gallows. Anything associated with a gallows was considered ill luck, so walking under one- or a ladder that looked like one- was not advisable.
So what to do if you realize you’ve just walked under a ladder and want to ward off the bad luck?
You spit. Either you spit three times through the rungs of the ladder, or you spit on your shoe. Make sure you don’t look at your shoe until the spit has dried. However; failing these tactics, cross your fingers until you find a dog.
Dread of cats, especially black cats, first arose in Europe in the Middle Ages, particularly in England. Alley cats were often fed by poor, lonely old ladies, and when witch hysteria struck Europe, and many of these homeless women were accused of practicing black magic, their cat companions (especially black ones) were deemed guilty of witchery by association.