An estimated 17 to 21 million people in the United States are affected by a fear of Friday 13th, and the full moon this year makes it extra “spooky.”
Rabat – For the first time in 13 years, a Harvest Moon will fall on a Friday 13th. A Harvest Moon is the full moon that occurs closest to the September equinox each year when the face of the moon is on the opposite side of the Earth as the sun.
The Harvest Moon occurs every year and marks the beginning of autumn. The rare thing about this moon is that it falls on what is considered to be the unluckiest day of the year in Western superstition, leading people to call it the “spooky full moon.”
A full moon this Friday 13th? Time to get spoopy 👀🎃
— Sarita Bee (@quesarita21) September 10, 2019
The fear of Friday 13th is believed to have originated in the 13th century, but the exact origin of the superstition continues to be debated. But, in many cultures, 13 is considered to be an unlucky number and Friday has also been associated with bad luck, so the two combined strikes fear into the hearts of the superstitious.
September Full Moon is on Friday 13th.
My four wicked brain cells: pic.twitter.com/ew9wfRfOhY
— T0NEδ (@GiinTonic) September 8, 2019
According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, an estimated 17 to 21 million people in the United States are affected by a fear of this day.
There is even a specific term for the phobia: friggatriskaidekaphobia. The word, which is over 100 years old, is made up of a combination of the Norse and Greek roots words for ‘Friday’ (Paraskeví), ’13’ (dekatreís) and ‘fear’ (phobia).
Over the years, studies have been conducted, particularly in the US, to determine whether the day actually increases the chances of unlucky things such as accidents occurring. No significant correlation has ever been found.
The day has also held cultural relevance in the West thanks to the American horror franchise Friday the 13th, which has had 12 sequels as well as a series of spinoffs and is believed to be one of the most successful media franchises of all time.
A full moon also has spooky connotations in many cultures. One widespread belief is that the full moon causes people to act strangely, which lead to words such as lunacy and lunatic being derived from the Latin word “luna.”
The combination of the two leads to a perfect storm for superstitious people this Friday. The next time the date coincides with a full moon won’t happen until 2049.