On Air

Pat Sharp

What brings bad luck?

Brace yourself, because today is Friday the 13th which many consider to be the unluckiest day in the calendar.

But what things should you avoid doing today and what can happen if you do them?

Why is Friday the 13th unlucky?

Considering Friday the 13th as unlucky dates back for hundreds of years, with the tradition said to have begun in the Middle Ages or even Biblical times.

Some say the superstition arose from Jesus’ last supper, where is it thought there were 13 people present on the night before his death – which occurred on a Friday.

Thanks to a string of events that have occurred on this day, many feel it is jinxed and pay particular care to avoid catastrophe when it comes around.

The fear is so widespread that psychologists have even come up with a word for those who suffer from it: paraskavedekatriaphobia.

Casinopedia's research suggests that 49 million Brits are superstitious about Friday 13.

However, it can be interesting to know that the "unlucky" day can be great for bagging a bargain. 

What are the spookiest things that have happened on Friday the 13th?

Last January, there were plenty of unfortunate occurrences on the notorious date.

Some Christians even worried that the world was going to end on January Friday 13th.

Legendary horror writer William Peter Blatty, who penned The Exorcist, passed away.

If that wasn't tragic enough, the news followed the death of the Catholic priest who inspired the iconic horror.

And the child actor who played Damien in The Omen and punched two cyclists in a road rage attack has arrived at court for sentencing.

While this trail of destruction may seem unusual, it's far from odd for bad things to happen on Friday the 13th.

Tupak Shakur's mysterious death, the sinking of the Costa Concordia and a Buckingham Palace bombing are among the chaos to ensue on the date that's shrouded in superstition.

What are the top superstitions in the UK?

Avoid walking under a ladder
Touching wood
Blessing someone when they've sneezed
Crossing your fingers
Picking up a penny
Breaking a wishbone and making a wish
Throwing salt over your shoulder because you spilled it
Avoiding opening an umbrella inside
Avoiding putting new shoes on the table
Avoiding telling anyone your birthday wish when blowing out your candles
Saluting a magpie
Avoiding passing someone on the stairs
Ensuring you have 'something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue, borrowed, something blue on yours or a friend's wedding day
Worrying about Friday 13th approaching
Avoiding the number 13
Avoiding walking over three drains
Avoiding the number 666
Avoiding seeing the bride in their wedding dress before their wedding day
Avoiding walking over a crack
Avoiding eating cheese before bed
Avoiding letting a black cat cross your path
Having your husband carry you over the threshold of your new home
Avoiding stepping on a grate
Ensuring the bride (yourself or a friend) has not worn her complete wedding clothes before the day
Avoiding lighting three cigarettes with one match
Pushing a spoon through the bottom of an empty eggshell after finishing it
Carrying a 'lucky rabbit's foot' around with you
Cutting off both ends of the loaf of bread
Making sure you haven't left a white tablecloth on a table overnight
Never giving gloves as a present