Beware the 13th of August?

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 13, 1999

Is Friday the 13th a doomed day on the calendar or just another day getting a bum wrap?

Local psychic Maggie Burkley said Friday the 13th doesn’t carry any extra psychic baggage that we don’t attach to it ourselves.

&uot;People tend to think that if something bad happens and it’s Friday the 13th, then that was the cause,&uot; Burkley said.

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Superstitions in general go back a long way, said Burkley, and have no foundation in fact.

&uot;We project our own good and bad experiences on the days of the month,&uot; she said. &uot;Some people believe in seven as good luck charm. If something good happens and it happened to occur on the seventh of the month, then that’s their lucky day.&uot;

The fear of Friday and the number 13 have combined for a powerful psychic punch. And in 1999, we have to make it through Aug. 13, Sept. 13 and Nov. 13 – all Friday the 13th.

According to Yale University’s web site, there is even a name for people who are afraid of Friday the 13th – Friggafriskaidekaphobes.

A group of students called the Yale College Society for Humanists, Atheists and Agnostics host a Superstition Bash every Friday the 13th. Today is no exception.

&uot;We’re going to have the grand four-foot mirror breaking under a ladder, in a circle of salt,&uot; said Meghan Smith, vice president of YCSHAA.

According to Phenomena Online magazine, the number 13 has been thought to be unlucky for centuries.

&uot;The most common belief is that the Last Supper was attended by 13, the twelve apostles plus Christ,&uot; it reads.

Hotels skip the 13th room, high rise buildings often omit a 13th floor on the elevator panels, and some hotels set an extra place at the restaurant table for the hotel cat should the dinner party number 13, the magazine reports.

Historically, America and England chose Fridays almost exclusively as a day for hangings, resulting in Friday being called &uot;Hangman’s Day.&uot;

But all this talk about good luck days or bad luck days doesn’t matter, said Sister Teresa, a spiritualist in Natchez. &uot;I don’t believe in Friday the 13th,&uot; she said. &uot;When you have God in your hands, it doesn’t matter what day it is.&uot;