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Friday the 13th: Why you should be afraid... or not

By Jael Mboga | December 13th 2019

It has been said that superstitions are a belief of the weak.

It has also been said, that if you believe something for so long it will manifest.

It is on this premise that we try to explain the fear of Friday the 13th -- if it's believable, or as useless as a glass hammer.

Many consider Friday the 13th an unlucky day.

It occurs when the 13th day of a month falls on a Friday.

This means at least once a year, you will run the risk of having your most unlucky day on the most feared day and date in history.

Others take it so seriously that they will alter their routines, for example, flights, travelling, or simply leaving the house.

Picture this, running out of water, power outage, so you need to take a cold shower from a bucket. As though that was not enough, it's early in the morning and a bit cloudy outside, so you take a candle to the bathroom.

Alas, as you shower, you sprinkle water on your candle, which is straining against unexplained wind to stay lit, and poof! Total darkness.

There are two ways to explain this occurrence. One, you just didn't have power and running water. Living in Nairobi makes this a very common occurrence.

Second, it's Friday the 13th, and everything that could possibly go wrong, Will. Go. Wrong.

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Some of the notable incidents that occurred in the local scene in line with the Friday 13 bad luck was the discovery of murdered Dutch citizen Tob Cohen in his Kitusuru home, Nairobi.

He had been dumped in a septic tank after it was reported that he'd gone missing.

Cohen's wife Sara Wairimu has denied killing him.

The fear of the number 13 is scientifically known as triskaidekaphobia and that of Friday the 13th is referred to as paraskevidekatriaphobia.

No History to back it

The belief around Friday the 13th being the most unlucky day came up in the Middle Age. There is also a bit of influence from the story of Jesus and the Last Supper.

There were 13 individuals in the Upper Room just before he died on Good Friday.

Before the 19th Century there was little connection between Friday and the number 13.

Modern culture has further stamped the belief that Friday the 13th is an unlucky day.

There have been movie productions as well as novels written to make the masses believe that there's a connection between the date and the day of the week.

The Stress Management Centre and Phobia Institute in North Carolina says a record 17-21 million believe the day carries a stroke of bad luck and it is safe to lay low.

"It's been estimated that $800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day".

However, some prominent airlines have denied that they record any noticeable drop in sales on Friday the 13th.

Whether plain superstitious or something worth believing, it is said the only dates that should matter to man, are the day he's born, and the day he finds out why.

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