Do you have a fear of Friday the 13th, or paraskevidekatriaphobia? Most University students claim to be unfazed by the supposedly unlucky date.

Paul Wong
Photo illustration by JOHN PRATT/Daily
While many ignore the old adage not to walk under ladders, some still believe in many different superstitions.

“I know that bad things are supposed to happen,” LSA junior Kristin Casanova said.

But Casanova will not be taking any special precautions today.

“To me it’s just another day. The only thing I associate with Friday the 13th is horror films on TV,” she said.

LSA sophomore Rodey Wing said he is not concerned, but he used to play practical jokes on the day by delivering pumpkins on people’s doorsteps.

Most students questioned were unaware of the origins of the Friday the 13th superstition, although Rackham student Daniel Marco said that “13 in America is not regarded as a good number.”

And Marco is pretty much on target. According to an article published on urbanlegends.com titled “Why Friday the 13th is Unlucky,” by David Emery, the Friday the 13th superstition arose from the fact that the day Friday and the number 13 were both historically considered unlucky.

The controversy about 13 stems from Biblical scripture, as there were 13 present at the Last Supper, one of whom went on to betray Jesus Christ. Friday’s negative connotation is also tied to Biblical origins. The crucifixion of Jesus Christ and Eve’s famous sin were said to have taken place on Friday.

While some believe Friday the 13th is an unlucky day, others instead believe in other superstitions.

“My great aunt, she would say you have to burn your hair after you get a haircut or else a bird will make a nest in it and you will go crazy,” Engineering senior Mark Christian said, adding she also believed that if you got your shirt wet while washing the dishes, you would marry an alcoholic.

Rackham student Wendy Grus said her coworker’s superstitions made her susceptible to practical jokes.

“I convinced her once that her cookie was cursed and she didn’t eat it,” Grus said.

“I say that I don’t have any superstitions,” LSA sophomore Alana Ward said. “But I’ll try not to split the pole when I’m walking with a friend.”

“Splitting the pole,” or letting a pole come in between you while walking with a friend, will result in the end of your friendship unless you say “bread and butter” after you pass the pole, Ward said.

As for the reason why so many people believe in superstitions, Ward said she thinks superstitions are just “leftovers from childhood.”

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