Want a good turnout at a company meeting? Don’t schedule it on Friday 13th (that’s this Friday!). According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, an estimated 17 to 21 million people in the United States are affected by a fear of this day, making it the most feared day and date in history. Some people are so paralyzed by their fear that they avoid their normal routines in doing business, traveling or even getting out of bed. In fact, the organization estimates that $800 to 900 million is lost in business on this day.
But while some opt to stay home, others use this superstition to build franchises. Opening May 9, 1980, the original Friday the 13th film would go on to become an incredibly influential and profitable entertainment franchise. It now consists of 12 films (we’re still waiting for lucky 13!), novels, comic books, and collectibles. Plus, it carries one of the most recognizable film icons: Jason’s hockey mask. In 2006, IGN ranked Friday the 13th seventh in the top 25 film franchises. Judged by three senior editors, the editor-in-chief, and IGN’s entertainment editorial, the panel’s general consensus was that, even though the Halloween franchise started the slasher genre, Friday the 13th became one of “the most influential franchises of the 1980s.”
So how will this Friday affect you? Maybe you’ll remark about it on Facebook and drive a little more cautiously on your way to work. You may even counter with some good luck charms or you might forget what day it is altogether! But no matter what you do, just remember, there’s another Friday the 13th in July!