We all know about Friday the 13th — it is supposed to be a day of bad luck, doom and danger. The question is, why a Friday and why Friday the 13th?

It may surprise you but there are millions of people around the world suffer from Triskaidekaphobia, which is the fear of the number 13. It seems that there are many origins of this fear, and here are just a few of them.

In Norse mythology, twelve gods were summoned the god Odin’s house at Valhalla for a banquet. After the twelve guests had arrived, Loki, the spectre of evil and turmoil, appeared uninvited making the number of guests 13.

Others say that it stems from the tale of when the Norse goddess Freya was banished to the mountains as a witch. There she is said to have met with 11 other witches and the devil each Friday, or ‘Witches Sabbath’. That added up to 13 spirits bent on evil, revenge and mischief.

Some superstition researchers say that fear of the number 13 can be traced to ancient times. When man first learned to count it was easy to count to 12 because he had 10 toes and 2 feet but beyond that was unknown and thereby mysterious. Later, it is thought that people discovered that they could divide evenly by 12 but not so with 13.

It is thought that Triskaidekaphobia may have developed from interpretations of the Bible as well. In the Old Testament, everything is in sevens, 12s and 40s because those numbers were considered good or lucky in Mesopotamia at that time. Because 13 came after the number 12, it was thought to be associated with evil.

Then of course, there are the superstitions surrounding Friday — as the day on which Christ was crucified, and the day on which Adam and Eve allegedly ate the forbidden apple. In other religions, Friday is believed to be the judgement day for the dead. No wonder people have scared themselves silly over Friday the 13th!!