Paraskevidekatriaphobia, a word coined by an American psychotherapist which unfortunately has not made it into the Oxford Dictionary, means, of course, fear or hatred of Friday 13th. There seems to be a lot of it about – perhaps 20 million Americans won’t go to a restaurant on Friday 13th, it is said. Many think the origin is from the New Testament, particularly the last supper, although there are theories that the origins may lie in Norse folklore.
It has been said that people with thirteen letters in their name are evil, such as American serial killers Charles Manson, Theodore Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer. And Jack the Ripper. And Timothy Hedges.
Anyway, you Paraskevidekatriaphobes can take comfort in the fact that a Friday 13th cannot occur more than three times a year, and today is the only one in 2010.
(written with my fingers crossed)