paraskevidekatriaphobics — people afflicted with a morbid, irrational fear of Friday the 13th
(also known by friggatriskaidekaphobia)
Ain't it a "friggin' shame"? ... hehehe ...
We have one this month ... this Friday ... the 13th of April. The belief in or fear of "13" brings into play 'urban legends'. What is an urban legend? Urban legends are stories (funny or horrifying) that may, or may not, be true. They spread quickly and often, through inadequate transference, will have many variants. It is said that most urban legends are false, but ... some are true! "... do do do do ... do do do ..."
Another part of all of this comes into play the word "superstition". The dictionary defines a superstition as "an irrational belief arising from ignorance or fear" ... they have been around, for centuries! I had planned to listing a few that just "come to mind" for me, but there are so many. Here is a website that has quite a list, for the "inquiring, that want to know more" *smile* http://www.csicop.org/superstition/library/common_superstitions/
Although superstitions and urban legends are, for the most part, a form of entertainment there is still a small percentage of people who are controlled and dominated by their own self-inflicted fears or paranoia. It seems it is more about human behavior and fraility, than actuality and truth. Even if their fears are fallacy, it makes them no less real, in their own minds.
Here's an interesting quote about urban legends from http://www.tafkac.org/
"In a sense, urban legends are meta-informative – they say a lot about the current culture and what people are willing to believe. Children can be excused for being naturally gullible, but adults who “should know better” often suspend disbelief when they adopt an urban legend. Is this an innocent lack of critical thinking, or perhaps a subversive swipe at authority by people who resent authority? Whatever the source of its power, an urban legend can be accepted as truth by the majority of a population, and may take years to be exposed. Before a legend can be debunked, people must overcome the claims of friends who swear the legend is true. These oaths tend to authenticate and personalize the myth, and after all, one hates to disbelieve a friend."
Here's a couple of fun links for superstitions and other great entertainment:
http://www.bored.com/oldsuperstitions/ and http://www.corsinet.com/trivia/scary.html