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My Take: Why we fear Friday the 13th
May 13th, 2011
10:29 AM ET

My Take: Why we fear Friday the 13th

Editor's Note: Stuart Vyse is professor of psychology at Connecticut College and the author of "Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition," which won the American Psychological Association's William James Book Award.

By Stuart Vyse, Special to CNN

Why do we fear today above all other Fridays? On any other Friday we hear the gleeful exclamation of “TGIF.” The work week is almost over and playtime is about to begin.

But when Friday the 13th arrives, many of us respond quite differently. Travel arrangements are canceled and doctor appointments are rescheduled. Risky endeavors of all kinds are put off in an effort to avoid tempting fate. Modern Homo sapiens are remarkably sophisticated creatures, capable of writing symphonies, solving the Poincare Conjecture, and inventing Nutella, yet we carry around a number of fears that seem to be more characteristic of our ancient past.

Why? And why do we fear Friday the 13th in particular? There are several reasons.

First, it is all but impossible to avoid learning the superstition in the first place. Friday the 13th is perhaps the most prominent of a group of traditional anxiety-heightening superstitions that includes black cats, broken mirrors, stepping on cracks and walking under ladders. This collection of fearsome hobgoblins is an inherent feature of our Western culture and our families and friends indoctrinate all of us.

Most superstitions arise as a method of coping with uncertainty. We fret about the important things in our lives: our health, our children, our paychecks and our sports teams. All these things are dear to us and all can be drastically affected in a positive or negative direction by events utterly beyond our control.

Superstitious rituals and lucky charms give us a comforting sense of control over the unexpected when there is nothing more practical that can be done. In the case of the lucky superstitions, there is some evidence that belief in luck-enhancing powers can bring psychological benefits and improve performance.

But the phobic, unlucky superstitions are more problematic. Once acquired, these superstitions bring their own anxiety. If you believe Friday the 13th is unlucky, on average a couple of times a year you will be forced to consider whether or not to adapt your daily routine to avoid the prospect of harm.

When bad things happen to us, we may prefer having something to blame, such as a traditionally unlucky day. But the price we pay for this illusory explanation is having to confront a recurring fear whenever Friday the 13th rolls around.

For some, the traditional origins of the Friday the 13th superstition probably encourage belief in the day’s dark power. There are many theories about the source of this superstition, but the most lasting and convincing points to the biblical account of the Last Supper, which the Bible describes as a gathering of Jesus and the 12 apostles just before Jesus’ crucifixion on Good Friday.

It’s also probably best theory for explaining why the number 13 itself is considered unlucky. There's also a common superstition about 13 people at a table being bad luck, which is thought to have the same origin.

Interestingly, the infrequency of Friday the 13th helps to maintain the anxiety it provokes. There is a 13th day in every month of the year, but when the 13th falls on a Tuesday or a Sunday or any day but Friday we take little notice. Same goes for the 50 or more non-13th Fridays each year.

This year, today is the only Friday the 13th.

If we encountered our superstitions at a much higher rate—if black cats were everywhere and mirrors broke on a daily basis—all of the ups and downs of life would occur in their proximity. These superstitions would not be unusual enough to imbue them with any special significance. Unexpected happy or unhappy events could not be easily attributed to the presence of a black cat or a broken mirror.

But because black cats and broken mirrors and Fridays the 13th are quite rare, it's almost impossible not to associate a calamitous event that befalls you when they’re nearbywith the superstition attached to them.

Finally, we should not underestimate the role of the media in keeping this irrational belief alive. As the author of a book on the psychology of superstition, my phone often rings during the week preceding Friday the 13th. Superstitious belief is a quirk of our humanity that carries an enduring fascination, and news outlets are always hungry for an interesting story. As long as these superstitions are kept floating around in our cultural ether, they will persist.

If you have managed to live your life without superstition, congratulations. A life of reason is better for us as individuals and as members of society than one spent in service to ghosts and magical thinking.

But if you are one of those who feel an anxious pang when you realize it is Friday the 13th, your reaction is not at all surprising. There are many forces conspiring to make you anxious, and they are likely to exist as long as we do.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stuart Vyse.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Jesus • Superstition

soundoff (229 Responses)
  1. Rebelmamma

    What a terrible article. The author never even figures out why 13 was considered unlucky! It was because there are 13 full moons per year and the Matriarchal Celtic calendar reflected this with 13 months, each comprised of 28 days. This equals 365. The Patriarchal Christians tried to stamp out the old religion by disrupting the womens' power cycles (menstruation) and changing the calendar into the ridiculous 12 month affair it is now. "13" became a symbol of witchcraft. Duh.

    May 13, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
  2. Rebelmamma

    Rediculous. No research at all. Triskadeccaphobia (fear of 13) comes from the thirteen loops on a hangman's noose.

    May 13, 2011 at 10:51 pm |
  3. Bippy, The Lesser Squirrel-God of Rapped Polka

    Do you often have problems with tripping over cats? I cannot say that I've had that happen enough to make a voodoo superst-ition of it to protect others.

    Here is a long list of supersti-tions:

    http://www.corsinet.com/trivia/scary.html

    Darned little common sense in there.

    May 13, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
  4. Chris

    Its Friday (the 13th), friday (the 13th)..
    Getting down on friday (the 13th)..
    Yesterday was Thursday...
    Today it is Friday (the 13th)..
    We we we so excited... we so excited..
    Tomorrow is saturday and sunday comes afterwards!!

    May 13, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  5. Reality

    The Friday the 13th supersti-tion is related to the Last Supper? Interesting, since the Last Supper as per thorough analyses by many contemporary NT scholars was not a historic event.

    e.g.

    . See http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php/016_Supper_and_Eucharist

    An excerpt:

    "At the same time, Luedemann concludes that the portrayal of Jesus celebrating such a ritual on the night before his death is not historical. He is clear that there is "no generic relationship" between any actual final meal and the Lord's Supper understood in cultic terms. He also denies the Passover character of the supper as a Markan creation. Like Meier (below), Luedemann does accept the saying (Mark 14:25) about drinking wine in the kingdom of God as authentic. He concludes: (this saying) "hardly came into being in the early community, for in it Jesus does not exercise any special function for believers at the festal meal in heaven which is imminent. Only Jesus' expectation of a the future kingdom of God stands at the centre, not Jesus as saviour, judge or intercessor."

    May 13, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  6. GB

    As Dr. Dre once said, "Over and above all, it's just another day". I am somewhat leery of the number 49, as several of my loved ones passed away at that age (my maternal grandfather, my mother, and my aunt). as for Friday the 13th, not so much. and today was a payday for me, so of course that is always a plus.

    May 13, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  7. Troy

    Someone might want to check his sources – it was the date the King of France issued an order to arrest and execute members of the Order of the Templars. By tradition, the Last Supper took place well before "Good Friday", so tying the two together is just projection.

    May 13, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • Muneef

      Troy.
      Here you are;
      His next move was clear. If he wanted to have no debts, he had to order the arrests of De Molay and many other French Templars. This happened on Friday October 13, 1307. All these people were arrested simultaneously.
      http://www.knightsofjerusalem.co.uk/arrests.html

      May 13, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • JenLaw

      Agreed. This is my understanding as well, that it goes back that far.

      May 13, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  8. Ikenye David

    This article is indeed reasonable.When it comes to our fears, either we are voluntary slow learners or we refuse to learn despite the obvious reality.

    May 13, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  9. Cathy W

    Black cats are rare? They don't seem all that uncommon to me.

    May 13, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • Muneef

      Not that rare where we live there are many stray black cats and as dark as the night,they are less fearful from humans compared to other colored cats..,even noticed that colored stray cats fear the stray black cats more than fearing other colored ones !! Seems all stay out of their way... Actually we have a belief that all black birds or animals or birds can easily be possessed by devils and demons to do evil and some say devils and demons appear to man in a shape of a black bird or animal.... Although we are told in Islam not to be pessimistic to such things as people used to believe alot in such things as to where the birds flew to,or the number of birds passed by and so on...(Tatauir).

      May 13, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • Muneef

      Here find few Quran verses that speak of a people who were being pessimistic ;

      Rejecting The Messengers: A Tragic Human Trait*

      [36:13] Cite for them the example of people in a community that received the messengers.

      [36:14] When we sent to them two (messengers), they disbelieved them. We then supported them by a third. They said, "We are (God's) messengers to you."

      [36:15] They said, "You are no more than human beings like us. The Most Gracious did not send down anything. You are liars."

      [36:16] They said, "Our Lord knows that we have been sent to you.

      [36:17] "Our sole mission is to deliver the message."

      **[36:18] They said, "We consider you bad omens. Unless you refrain, we will surely stone you, or afflict you with painful retribution."

      **[36:19] They said, "Your omen depends on your response, now that you have been reminded. Indeed, you are transgressing people."

      [36:20] A man came from the other end of the city, saying, "O my people, follow the messengers.

      [36:21] "Follow those who do not ask you for any wage, and are guided.

      [36:22] "Why should I not worship the One who initiated me, and to Him is your ultimate return?

      [36:23] "Shall I set up beside Him gods? If the Most Gracious willed any harm for me, their intercession cannot help me one bit, nor can they rescue me.

      [36:24] "In that case, I would be totally astray.

      [36:25] "I have believed in your Lord; please listen to me."

      May 13, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • Ahmed Salami

      Here is a Quran passage related to black cats:

      47:31 – "Oh, spo-oky black cat, Allah obeys your random meanderings and curses those whose path you cross. Allah, beloved, rains misfortune on those who walk under ladders. Allah demands that you say "bless you" when people sneeze, or the demons that inhabit your nose will run rampant throughout the Earth.

      May 13, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • Reality

      Here are koranic verses that speak to killing infidels:

      o "Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends." (Surah 5:51)

      "Believers, when you encounter the infidels on the march, do not turn your backs to them in flight. If anyone on that day turns his back to them, except it be for tactical reasons...he shall incur the wrath of God and Hell shall be his home..." (Surah 8:12-)

      "Make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God's religion shall reign supreme." (Surah 8:36-)

      "...make war on the leaders of unbelief...Make war on them: God will chastise them at your hands and humble them. He will grant you victory over them..." (Surah 9:12-)

      "Fight against such as those to whom the Scriptures were given [Jews and Christians]...until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued." (Surah 9:27-)

      "It is He who has sent forth His apostle with guidance and the true Faith [Islam] to make it triumphant over all religions, however much the idolaters [non-Muslims] may dislike it." (Surah 9:31-)

      "If you do not fight, He will punish you sternly, and replace you by other men." (Surah 9:37-)

      "Prophet make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home." (Surah 9:73)

      "Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them." (Surah 9:121-)

      "Say: 'Praise be to God who has never begotten a son; who has no partner in His Kingdom..." (Surah 17:111)

      "'How shall I bear a child,' she [Mary] answered, 'when I am a virgin...?' 'Such is the will of the Lord,' he replied. 'That is no difficult thing for Him...God forbid that He [God[ Himself should beget a son!...Those who say: 'The Lord of Mercy has begotten a son,' preach a monstrous falsehood..." (Surah 19:12-, 29-, 88)

      "Fight for the cause of God with the devotion due to Him...He has given you the name of Muslims..." (Surah 22:78-)
      "Blessed are the believers...who restrain their carnal desires (except with their wives and slave-girls, for these are lawful to them)...These are the heirs of Paradise..." (Surah 23:1-5-)

      "Muhammad is God's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another." (Surah 48:29)

      May 13, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • Free

      Black cats are easier to trip up over at night should they cross your path. Nothing supernatural about the superst.ition really. Just like walking under ladders. Good way to upset the ladder and bring somebody down, or get paint or a hammer dropped on your head. Just common sense, really. Other things, not so much.

      May 13, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • Muneef

      Free.

      It is as you said but some people do have their own fears for some bad experiences that they might have had otherwise it is commen sense...to avoid what your deeper instincts tell you to avoid whether you understand it or not....

      May 13, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
    • Muneef

      Ahmed Salami.

      That was very bad of you Mr.Salami to do...you should be put into a sandwich and given a good bite in order that you would learn not to messup with people faith and belief....surprised of your name whether it is Arabic or Islamic am sorry to say you couldn't be one of ours...wonder whether you were brain washed or hadn't one from date of birth?!?

      May 13, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
    • Free

      Muneef-
      All cats have a certain sinister side :-), but are supposing that black cats are actually evil?

      May 14, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
    • Muneef

      Free.

      Not really evil but maybe more confident some how....

      May 15, 2011 at 7:45 am |
  10. Muneef

    It is twice 13 ?
    -Today is Friday the 13/05/2011.
    Then 1+3+5+2+0+1+1= 13..??
    so it must be double effect might have to stay by the news channel and see what will or could have happened today night?!

    May 13, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • Lester Halliburton

      Muneef, that worked yesterday, too. It will work until the 19th. It's not magic; math just works that way.

      Ask anyone born before 2000 to add their age to the last two digits of the year they were born, like 50 years old, born in 61, and you get 111. Are ones magic this year, with dates like 1/11/11 and 11/11/11? No, just math at work.

      If you can believe in an invisible man in the sky, they it's not surprising that you can believe that math is somehow a magical prophecy.

      May 13, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Muneef,
      I'm curious. I've seen multiple postings by you here that seem to go against what I thought Muslims avoided, such as gambling (lotto) and dealing in things "unseen" (numerology and demon possession).
      Am I just misinformed? Just curious.

      May 13, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • Muneef

      Lester Halliburton.
      Seems you did not understand the point that not every Friday 13 when month and year added give total as 13...again after all because we believe we are called believers...

      Nonimus.
      Actually this issue is disputed and Lotto is considered as gambling although feel it is far from what we know of gambling...I might be wrong to consider it as investment but always have had the hope of big winning and that can be easily purified if paid the charities mentioned out as fifth of the amount..
      About Numerology...I think Islam had a long history with that and have contributed the 0 number and Algebra by "Gaber bin Haian". But this adding issue I have learnt from one of the books of "Linda Goodman" I found interesting whether believed in or not.
      About demon possessing humans or even animals is a thing that is realized by Islam and we have many verses gathered in a certain order that are supposed to free a person from any deman possession or any black magic that might have been made for a person...another verses made in a certain order that if was read daily it is supposed to protect as a shield from all evils of envy or bad eyes....so don't know where your information resources are from but Islamic Doctrines might have indifference's about such views that I might not know of....!! After all I believe in God, the Quran,the Prophets but am not an extreme religious that see every thing in black as Haram with out Logical thinking....I might be right or wrong but God is the best of judges and no one else...

      May 13, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
  11. Muneef

    Love for your Neighbor as what you will love for your self...Amen

    May 13, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  12. Muneef

    Actually have found that number 13th was always there surrounding me in my life with good things such as having had lived in a house that was numbered as 13th and had cars with number plates numbers that when added together end up as 13...beside many things that past my way...although wish to win the jackpot of the lotto pool of tonight draw to proceed with many projects and dreams I had in mind for my country Yemen,so pray for me and say Amen to that..May God accept my request for that if was meant for me or otherwise make it up for me in the after life, Amen.

    May 13, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • Reuben Kincaid

      Allah has not giving you the winning lotto numbers yet?

      May 13, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Muneef

      Reuben Kinciad.

      Was that the best wish you could make? May God forgive you...thank you any way and wish that your sarcasm will be added to me as a good deed.Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Reality

      Muneef,

      You hit the jackpot again on Friday the 13th as we present to you free of charge, a two minute cure for your Three B Syndrome i.e. Bred, Born and Brainwashed in Isalam.

      The Five Steps To Cure/Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

      ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

      Are you ready?

      Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

      The First Five of the 77 Branches:

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone."

      Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

      Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Snydrome!!!!

      May 13, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • Free

      Muneef-
      Wouldn't playing the lotto be considered a form of gambling? Playing the lotto may be halal, but it's usually considered haram because it's gain not through hard (virtuous) work, right?

      May 13, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Frogist

      Hi Muneef!
      You and me both, my friend. I wish you luck in the lottery, if you wish me luck in mine! LOL! We could all use some extra cash.

      May 13, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • Muneef

      Free.

      Will talk about that if I ever win...have been playing for the past 15 years and since no win...although many time thought to stop but have kept it as a reason where God could give me richness when ever seemed right time by him...the set of numbers were generated by them and not mine to bet on...after all if think that sort of game is not really gambling unless you spend a lot of money as if challenging but not as ticket of investment...
      After all incase a big winning was made it can be purified by charity that is if considered as spoils of war, after all 15 years wasted money on it is considered as war;

      [8:41] You should know that if you gain any spoils in war, one-fifth shall go to GOD and the messenger, to be given to the relatives, the orphans, the poor, and the traveling alien. You will do this if you believe in GOD and in what we revealed to our servant on the day of decision, the day the two armies clashed. GOD is Omnipotent.
      Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
    • Muneef

      Frogist..

      Hi there long time no talk...but my best wishes goes for you with all the best but just make an ought within you to give the fifth as the verse spoke of no matter what religion you are of;
      "One-fifth shall go to GOD and the messenger, to be given to the relatives, the orphans, the poor, and the traveling alien. You will do this if you believe in GOD".
      May God keep you happy and give you more than you need to become an upper hand for his faithful servants to reach their richness through you...may God accept the ought from both of us and reward both of us. Amen.
      Thank you again Frogist you have always been kind with every one.

      May 13, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
    • Muneef

      Frogist.
      Well not a lucky date nor a lucky draw it was;
      Here are the official results of the EuroMillions Draw on Friday, 13th May 2011 (Draw #476).Numbers drawn:  9 11 17 36 47     L.Stars :  1  2
      Beside that the first two numbers were unlucky enough for me....!

      May 13, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
    • Free

      Muneef-
      Wouldn't buying a single ticket with the same numbers not satisfy your craving to gamble as well as allow God the window he needs to give you the riches you want? God only needs you to buy a single ticket for any given draw, right? You can't win by not buying any tickets, but a minimum investment like this always leaves the chance open, yes?

      May 14, 2011 at 12:10 am |
    • Bippy, The Lesser Squirrel-God of Rapped Polka

      As funny as I would like to be, I must admit that Muneef is truly funnier. I bow to these fine examples of natural comedy:

      "we have a belief that all black birds or animals or birds can easily be possessed by devils and demons to do evil"

      "Lotto is considered as gambling although feel it is far from what we know of gambling...I might be wrong to consider it as investment"

      "after all because we believe we are called believers"

      "demon possessing humans or even animals is a thing that is realized by Islam" – Who'd a thunk it?

      "You should know that if you gain any spoils in war, one-fifth shall go to GOD and the messenger, to be given to the relatives, the orphans, the poor, and the traveling alien." – E.T. PHONE MUNEEF!

      May 14, 2011 at 1:26 am |
    • Muneef

      If you think that this is weird then you do not know what is weird....am a believer but not as religious if you would under stand that....another thing I represent the Afro Asian culture and beliefs while you represent the western culture that has lost so much from the culture of origin (Middle East)....
      Another thing about that Lotto is that I have given my self a false hope of a dream winning to allow my self to dream of a better future and give me the patience to stand up against the difficulties with out fear and worries trusting that God is capable of mericales....it was and is as a candle light for some one needed warmth in the coldest nights....it gave me hope and that was worth the amounts I have used for it...
      Guess you will not understand because you are from a different world where every thing is secured for you from A to Z while for us in the third world all we have is a hope for a better future...

      May 14, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
  13. Muneef

    As understood or heard that Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city before the Ottoman conquest on 1453 where the siege became finally over and the city conquered was on Friday 13th 1453...but any way seems many other things became related to be taken as a day or a number that is unlucky for some....Some taken it that Jesus was the 13th added to his 12th disciples...

    May 13, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • Joe Bob

      Constantinople fell on May 29, 1453. FAIL!

      May 13, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • Muneef

      Joe Bob.
      let's try again;
      Think this one looks a bit closer;
      Suleiman launched his campaign on the 10th of May, 1529 and faced numerous obstacles from the onset.[11] The spring rains that are characteristic of south-eastern Europe and the Balkans were particularly heavy that year, causing flooding in Bulgaria and rendering parts of the route used by the army barely passable. Many large-calibre cannons and artillery pieces became hopelessly mired or bogged down, leaving Suleiman no choice but to abandon them, while camels brought from the empire's Eastern provinces, unused to the difficult conditions, were lost in large numbers. Sickness and poor health became common amongst the ranks of the janissaries, claiming many lives along the perilous journey.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Vienna#Ottoman_army

      Or this one;
      Battle of Vienna
      Events during the siege
      The main Ottoman army finally invaded Vienna on 14 July. On the same day, Kara Mustafa sent the traditional demand for surrender to the city.[7]

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Vienna#Events_during_the_siege

      But really wouldn't know if any were during Friday or the 13 .

      May 13, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
  14. dbinpitt

    Finally, we should not underestimate the role of the media in keeping this irrational belief alive.

    Thanks for writing this article then.

    May 13, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
  15. flowergirl13

    It is my birthday also! I was born on a Friday the 13th and was the 13th grandchild. Pretty lucky number for me. 🙂

    May 13, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • Frogist

      Are you left-handed? Do you have a black cat too? LOL! Happy birthday!

      May 13, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • Artist

      🙂 I turned 13 on Friday the 13th...my first name is jason.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • Artist

      I used to have a black cat, she passed couple months ago :(. But we have others...we rescue animals and find them homes. 🙂

      May 13, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • Frogist

      I'm sorry about your kitty. We had to put mine down a couple months ago too. 😦

      May 13, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Artist

      Happy birthday !!!

      Peace...

      May 14, 2011 at 2:49 am |
  16. S

    Interestingly this article could have been called My Take: Why Religion Exists?

    May 13, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
  17. Nonimus

    This article should be a reply to another article:
    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/12/religious-belief-is-human-nature-huge-new-study-claims/

    May 13, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Nominus: They do seem to go together, don't they? Maybe that's why this one follows the other so closely! ooh It's an anti-religion conspiracy! LOL! Or am I just looking for patterns that don't exist again? 😉

      May 13, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Frogist,
      😀

      May 13, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
  18. N

    Blah...blah...blah

    May 13, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
  19. Artist

    Today is my Birthday!!!!!!!!! 🙂 13 has always been my lucky number

    May 13, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • Frogist

      Happy Birthday, Artist! Hope you have a really great day!

      May 13, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
    • Magic

      Artist,

      Have a very Happy Birthday (iiiiiiiiiiiii) - 13 candles on your cake for good luck 🙂

      May 13, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Artist

      Happy B-Day, brother...!

      Peace...

      May 14, 2011 at 2:47 am |
    • Eric G

      Mine too! Happy Birthday my friend!

      May 14, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Eric G.

      Hey friend...my OCD is kickin' in here. I 'have' to ask ya'...

      You Said: "Mine too." in response to @Artist's posting.

      Mine too... *meaning* your 'birthday' is on May 13th too...or 13 is your 'lucky number' too...'both'...?

      Peace...

      May 15, 2011 at 3:36 am |
  20. Neil

    What a waste of cyberspace this article was.. .not to mention my time!

    May 13, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • Chris

      Yet, you still chose to read it.

      May 13, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • Xiomara

      paraskavedekatriaphobia

      May 13, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • Ahmed Metawee

      Jewish who made this 13th number and they feared Saturday 13th in their custom...

      May 13, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • john

      No one made you read it dumm@zz.....

      May 13, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.