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This Week’s Unlucky Day, Friday the 13th

Nobody freak out, but this week we get another Friday the 13th!

The superstition that this day is unlucky reportedly first appeared in the 19th century, when a biographer wrote about how the Italian musical composer Gioachino Rossini died on the unlucky and fateful day.

Thirteen has long been considered an odd and unlucky number. Some point to the Last Supper and a Norse myth that suggests seating 13 people at a table will result in the death of one of the diners. And while many of us consider Friday the best day of the week, The Canterbury Tales branded the day unlucky in the 14th century. The 1907 Wall Street abuses book Friday The Thirteenth and more recently The Da Vinci Code have also focused on the negative charms of the day.

Add it all together and you’ve got a date that some studies suggest costs the United States as much as $800 million in productivity, as people avoid their routines and stay home. Maybe they’ve been too spooked over the years by Jason.

Friday the 13th happens again this week.

Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images