DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Did you cross your fingers for luck today? It’s Friday the 13 and a full moon. The combination is enough to make some people want to stay inside. But do they really have anything to fear?
“Not really,” said Debra Marina as she walked her dog in Addison. Then she added, “Occasionally I don’t step on cracks or something, but other than that, not really.”
We all may have little quirks about superstitions. They give us a sense of control, according to Melody Brooke, a licensed professional counselor and author of the book “Oh, Wow This Changes Everything.”
“Because there’s so much in our lives we don’t feel like we have control over and having even an irrational explanation helps us feel like there’s some kind of control,” she said.
Why Friday the 13th? Speculation is it sprang from early Christianity. Jesus was crucified on a Friday. And with his twelve disciples there were 13 at the Last Supper. Much later, in the 1980s, Friday the 13th spawned an entire genre of slasher films.
Many hotels and office towers don’t even have a 13th floor, they jump from 12 to 14 because some people are superstitious.
But there is a double dose of superstition this Friday the 13th. “When you add Friday the 13th to a full moon, then you really have something interesting,” Brook told us, adding there are legitimate lunar effects on us. “There’s something about the full moon that affects us emotionally and behaviorally. It’s track-able on police data, it’s track-able on ERs (hospital emergency rooms).”
Chris Potthast was a place kicker in college. “As a former athlete I try to stay away from any superstitions,” he told CBS 11 News. But place kickers are notoriously superstitious.
“Some would have different things,” he agreed, “how they wear their socks, where they tied their shoe, different things like that.” He continued, “I tried to stay away from that. I guess my superstition was not to have any superstitions!” he said, laughing at his own observation.
Fortunately, this particular match of day and moon won’t come again until 2049. Knock on wood.
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