Friday 13th coincides with a full moon – and it could be more dangerous than you think

Not only is it Friday 13th, but it is also a Full Moon and the last time this event occurred was 13 October 2000

If you're a selenophobic or a friggatriskaidekaphobic it might just be best to stay in bed.

For the first time in over a decade two of the great Western superstitions will combine bringing potentially a double dose of dire luck.

Not only is it Friday 13th, but it is also a Full Moon. The last time this event occurred was in Oct. 13, 2000.

Throw into the mix factors such as late licencing for the World Cup and soaring temperatures, and the more nervous among readers may just choose to stay under the covers and avoid the potential carnage.

But why is Friday the 13th considered unlucky, and what's the truth behind the superstition? And what of the Full Moon? Why do we fear it so much and does it really affect our behaviour?

Origins of the myth...

The origins of the idea that Friday the 13th is unlucky are unclear.

Some have suggested that it relates to the fact that the number twelve is considered the number of chronological completeness: the twelve Apostles of Jesus, twelve months in a year, twelve hours of the clock day etc.

Thirteen is therefore considered irregular and incomplete.

Other theories suggest the unlucky myth derives from the Last Supper.

In Norse mythology having thirteen people around a table is considered unlucky and indicates that one of them will die.

Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code suggested a link between Friday the 13th and the Knights Templar.

Oddly Fridays on their own are considered unlucky.

The fact that Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus on the Friday before Easter adds to the idea that Fridays are unlucky days.

In other biblical origins Eve is believed to have tempted Adam with the forbidden fruit on this day.

Traditionally it was also the day that prisoners were hanged in Britain before the abolition of the death penalty.

So is the day really unlucky?

Apocryphally staff in hospital emergency departments will sometimes refuse to work on this particular date.

A study published in the British Medical Journal in the 1990s noted that the number of motor accidents in the South West Thames region increased from a total of 45 on six Friday 6ths between 1989 and 1992, to 65 accidents on the six Friday 13ths in the same period.

This showed a marked increase of 52% in the number of accidents.

Another study by The Dutch Centre for Insurance Statistics (CVS) concluded, however, in 2008 that "fewer accidents and reports of fire and theft occur when the 13th of the month falls on a Friday than on other Fridays, because people are preventively more careful or just stay home. "

"Statistically speaking, driving is slightly safer on Friday the 13th."

Despite the fact that statistically the day has little influence on whether you're in an accident or not - the myth still has a huge impact.

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 Friday 13th.

It is estimated that it costs the American economy approximately $800- $900 million (£500 million- £570 million) because people won't travel on the day.

So, what of the full moon?

Some theories suggest that the moon influences our behaviour in the same way in which it affects the tide. It exerts influence on the water in our bodies through gravitational pull.

Others have suggested that it's the light of the moon that has influence. One study found an alarming increase in the number of animal bites on a full moon.

So prevalent is the idea that the moon makes people behave in a bizarre way (hence the term lunacy) that in 2007 extra police were called in to patrol the streets of Brighton when the moon is full.

Research by Sussex police concluded there was a rise in the number of violent offences that take place when the moon is full.

Police compared crime statistics for Brighton and Hove with lunar graphs to discover the trend.

Police officers or staff in hospital emergency departments insist there are more accidents, violent incidents and psychiatric admissions on a full moon.

Other studies have shown that people rated their sleep as 15 per cent lower on a full moon.

In 1985 US psychologists James Rotton and Ivan Kelly, however, combined the findings of 37 studies and concluded the full moon played no part in the number of psychiatric admissions, murders, car accidents, suicides and crimes.

They found some small correlations between the death and incidents but were able in lots of instances to explain the spike through analysing other events on that date.

Given that this June Friday the 13th falls on a full moon, but also during the World Cup, and with extended opening hours (both of which are likely to affect the numbers of arrests and accidents), correlations between the date and the lunar activity and unfortunate events are unlikely to be put to bed any time soon.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Account Manager / Membership Manager

£35 - 38k + Benefits & Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Account Manager ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Services Advisor / Administrator

£16000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This position will in the main ...

Recruitment Genius: Ecommerce Assistant

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the top Cosmeceutical br...

Guru Careers: Software Developer / Web Developer

£350 p/d (Contract): Guru Careers: A Software Developer / Web Developer (PHP /...

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks