Friday the 13th Spooks the Superstitious

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Are you spooked by Friday the 13th?
Then lock your doors and batten down the hatches because this is your unlucky day.

Friday the 13th has turned into a bit of a cultural joke. Millions of people take it and other superstitions so seriously that they actually change their plans and activities.

"A lot have heard this so many years they accept it," psychologist Frances Kimbrough said. "It's like ok I don't want to get out and nothing bad will happen to me."

Kimbrough says some people have a phobia of the number 13.

"Some people are afraid to go out in public, some people are afraid of spiders and this one is a fear of the number 13," Kimbrough said.
"I've seen it like in hotels sometimes they'll skip the 13th floor."

Avoiding cracks in sidewalks, not opening your umbrella indoors, and not picking up a penny that is turned to tails are minor superstitions compared to others.

If you take the number 13 and the date too seriously, it could be a sign of an underlying problem.

"For a lot of people, it's kind of a minor thing that would not need help. But if it really impacts your life, then would need to be addressed," Kimbrough said.

Some say the phobia goes back as far as the Greek mathematician Pythagoras who believed that numbers had magical properties.