Friday the 13th superstitions – what brings us bad luck? From breaking a mirror to walking beneath a ladder

BRACE yourself, because it's Friday the 13th TODAY – and for some it is the unluckiest day of the year.

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

When is the next Friday the 13th?

Approximately 20 Friday the 13ths occur every decade.

In 2019, the date came in September and December.

In 2020, the date comes just once, in March,

The next Friday 13 will be in August 2021,

Why is Friday the 13th considered 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: paraskevidekatriaphobes.

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?

In 2017, there were plenty of unfortunate occurrences on the notorious date.

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

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 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.

Tupac 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
  • Breaking a mirror
  • 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

Do hotels skip a 13th floor?

Many hotels avoid the 13th floor, reserving it for storage and maintenance or skipping it entirely, due to many people’s morbid fear of the number 13.

These include the Carlton Hotel in London, which skips from floor 12 to 14.

Some planes may also not have a row 13.

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