Here's why Friday the 13th scares us

Find out how the date got its unlucky reputation and how even nonbelievers may be influenced by our collective triskaidekaphobia.

The creepiest day on the calendar has returned: Friday the 13th.

In 2022, there was just one ill-fated Friday—May 13. But this year the inauspicious day occurs twice: January 13 and October 13, 2023. It seems that no matter how many of these frightening Fridays we survive unharmed, the dreaded day continues to inspire unease and fears of misfortune.

There's no logical reason to fear the occasional coincidence of any day and date governed by the 400-year cycle of the Gregorian calendar. But Friday the 13th can still have noticeable impacts. Sometimes we create them in our own minds—for good and ill.

(Learn about Friday the 13th with your kids.)

“Generally speaking, I find that this occurs because the bad

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