One In Six Brits Still Dread Friday The 13th

October 12, 2017 6:00 AM

This article is more than six years old.

Researchers found millions of Brits dread the arrival of Friday the 13th, a date which is traditionally known as the scariest date on the calendar.

Friday 13th Superstition

According to a recent poll one in six adults believe Friday the 13th poses the greatest risk of bad luck striking and consider it unluckier than black cats, broken mirrors and spilled salt.

The study also found around half of Brits are "superstitious" and a similar number believe luck, both good and bad, has an impact on their lives.

It also emerged seven in ten wouldn't risk walking under a ladder for fear of bringing bad luck and two thirds have even 'touched wood' to ward off any future mishaps.

Gregory Tatton-Brown from, which commissioned the research, said, "even in modern times, with the power of science and technology at our backs, and less mystery in the world than ever before, it's hard to shake the feeling that invisible forces hold some sway over our lives.

"Friday the 13th still holds an odd power among the superstitious thanks to pop culture and enduring superstition from the Middle Ages, though many Brits still choose to make their own luck."

The study also found four in five Brits believe they have fallen foul of a bad omen at one time or another in their lives with 42% shattering a mirror and two in five having had a black cat cross their path.

Almost one third have brought bad luck upon themselves by opening an umbrella indoors and 39% have risked walking under stroll a ladder.

Two in five clumsy diners have spilled the salt, though thankfully 42% immediately threw a pinch over their left shoulder to negate the effects.

To ward off any hard luck, 57% have knocked on wood and one in six have carried a lucky four-leaf clover with them.

One in eight Brits have a lucky item of clothing they wear when they need added defence from adversity, and 54% believe picking up a penny will bring good luck throughout the rest of the day.

46% attribute some mishap in their lives to bad luck, and 58% suspect there might be some truth behind the phrase "bad luck comes in threes".

And as for the consequences of breaking a superstitious habit, one in four think they will suffer an injury, and 23% think the resulting bad luck will lead to something they care about breaking.

Rather than gradually being disproved over time, our faith in superstitious beliefs is stronger than ever.

Two thirds of Brits aged 18 to 24 considered themselves superstitious, compared to 53% of those aged 55 and over. The study also revealed women are more prone to the paranoia of superstition.

Two thirds of the females surveyed admitted to indulging their superstitious tendencies, compared to 45% of men.

Women are also more concerned about Friday the 13th. 26% are approaching the unlucky day with caution, compared to just 17% of men.

They are also more likely to avoid stepping on three drains in a row, bless someone when they sneeze and keep their wish a secret after blowing out their birthday candles.

Gregory Tatton-Brown added, "many of us believe in luck, good and bad, and the power it has to strike at any time.

"At we don't put much stock in the mystical worlds of luck and superstition. We prefer to test our mathematical odds on the go and online."

Would You Smash A Mirror?

The UK's Most Common Superstitions

1. Avoiding walking under a ladder
2. Touching/knocking on wood
3. Blessing someone when they sneeze
4. Crossing your fingers
5. Pickiing up a penny
6. Breaking the wishbone and making a wish
7. Throwing salt over your shoulder when you spill it
8. Avoiding opening an umbrella inside
9. Avoiding putting new shoes on the table
10. Avoiding telling anyone your birthday wish when blowing out your candles
11. Saluting a magpie
12. Avoiding passing someone on the stairs
13. Ensuring you have "something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue, borrowed, something blue" on yours or a friend's wedding day
14. Worring about Friday 13th approaching
15. Avoiding the number 13
16. Avoiding walking over three drains
17. Avoiding the number 666
18. Avoiding seeing the bride in their wedding dress before their wedding day
19. Avoiding walking over a crack
20. Avoiding eating cheese before bed
21. Avoiding letting a black cat cross your path
22. Having your husband carry you over the threshold of your new home
23. Avoiding stepping on a grate
24. Ensuring the bride (yourself or a friend) has not worn her complete wedding clothes before the day
25. Avoiding lighting three cigarettes with one match
26. Pushing a spoon through the bottom of an empty eggshell after finishing it
27. Carrying a lucky rabbit's foot around with you
28. Cutting off both ends of the loaf of bread
29. Making sure you haven't left a white tablecloth on a table overnight
30. Never giving gloves as a present

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