Paraskevidekatriaphobia. It may not be a word you recognise, but it is something that millions of people suffer from. Simply put, it’s the fear of Friday the 13th.

The interesting thing about the date is that no one is entirely sure why it’s become subject of such superstition around the world.

There are plenty of reasons why both Friday and the number 13 are perceived as unlucky on their own. For instance, there’s a long biblical history of catastrophic events occurring on a Friday. Adam and Eve being kicked out of the Garden of Eden; the destruction of Solomon’s Temple; and most famously, the day on which Jesus Christ was crucified.

Similarly, the number 13 is infamously and consistently depicted as unlucky. 13 people were seated at the Last Supper, with Judas being the 13th; and the 2012 apocalypse phenomenon was predicted due to the end of the Mayan calendar’s 13th Baktun.

But quite how they came together to form a single unlucky date is uncertain. Many people credit Friday 13th October 1307 with the superstition’s origin, that being the day that the Pope and the King of France sentenced the Knights Order to death, along with the crucifixion of their leader.

The accuracy of this claim is up for debate, but wherever it came from it’s a worldwide phenomenon today. Few people would argue that the Friday the 13th franchise has brought the date into the public consciousness for horror lovers and hide-behind-the-couchers alike!

Everyone has their favourite movie (mine’s Part VI for sure), but the series’ reputation for scares and supernatural goings-on has cemented the date as one not to leave the house on.