IT is Friday 13. The more superstitious among us might feel a shiver when they see the phrase written down. Many of us won’t.
It’s Friday, remarkable only because it is Saturday tomorrow, so we can look forward to a pint and a lie-in.
It will be no less lucky than any other day.
But even the most hardened rationalists may still feel the need to cross their fingers for good fortune now and again.
Emyr Williams, lecturer in psychology at Glyndwr University, Wrexham, said: “There are two main types of superstition and two reasons for exhibiting them.
“Probably the biggest is group conformity. We see people behave a certain way around us so we start behaving that way too. We’re not very good at questioning our beliefs, but we are good at picking up learned behaviour.
“I often see my students knocking on wood for luck. They have no idea why it’s good luck, they just do it because other people do. It becomes a social ritual.”
Any fear of Friday 13, said Mr Williams, may have originated in the same way, with one person “catching” the idea it is unlucky from another.
Movies like the Friday the 13th franchise, where a holiday camp is terrorised by a mysterious slasher-killer, don’t help matters.
There are conflicting theories about its origin. It has been traced back to the number of bodies seated at the table during Christ’s Last Supper.
Or it could be that Friday was considered an unlucky day as far back as the 14th Century, while 13, the number after 12 (considered in numerology to be a symbol of wholeness) was likewise tainted.
Linking them together made a date doubly unlucky.
An extreme fear of Friday 13 is known as “paraskevidekatriaphobia” or “friggatriskaidekaphobia”.
Mr Williams said: “The other kind of superstition runs much deeper. Genuine superstitious belief could be linked to high levels of nervousness, by someone wanting to control the environment around them.
“There are people who seriously believe there are forces out there that can affect their lives, and they try to react accordingly.
“For instance, if someone is aware that Friday 13 is unlucky, they could take steps to balance the luck out, but of course that also means they will be more aware of bad things happening, and will link that with the date.
“It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
Fortunately, Friday 13 does not seem to bode badly for several Leader readers.
Samantha Carson, 26, of Brymbo, said: “September 13 is my birthday.”
Sue Cartlidge, 56, of Flint said: “I’m not superstitious at all. I was born on Friday 13.
My Mum used to say it wasn’t lucky for her!”
Nettie Thomas, 34, of Mold, said 13 has always been her lucky number.
She said: “It’s my birthday. I was born 13 days late and was born at 13 minutes to 11. My mother told me she was in labour for 13 hours. I am actually looking forward to what the day might hold.”
Sandra Stevenson, 47, of Buckley said: “My nephew was born premature at 27 and a half weeks on September 13. He will be 22 today.”
Some will be keeping their fingers crossed this morning.
Rachel Boswerth, 37, of Wrexham, said: “After a five year wait I get the keys to my brand new flat today. I’m hoping it’s lucky for me.”
Alice Dipper, 26, of Llanarmon Dyffryn-Ceiriog, Wrexham, said: “Me and my family are flying today!”