With the immense popularity of Halloween, October has become synonymous with all things frightful. For those with “friggatriskaidekaphobia” – fear of Friday the 13th – the second Friday of this month is particularly distressing. So what is a friggatriskaidekaphobic to do?
The nine-syllable word is derived from Frigg, the Norse goddess of wisdom after whom Friday is named, and the Greek words “triskaideka” meaning 13, plus “phobia” meaning fear. Since this terrifying day typically makes an October appearance once every five to six years, emotional and physical preparation is mandatory.
Fear experts at Six Flags Great Adventure recommend Six Tips for Surviving Friday the 13th this month:
- Know the Enemy – Whether it’s a black cat crossing the street, a ladder leaning against the side of a building, or a rogue salt shaker getting in the way at the table, be aware of the surroundings and what lurks just around the corner.
- Eat Finger Foods – Crossing a fork and knife at the dinner table is said to be an invitation for bad luck and often symbolizes difficult times to come. By eating fish sticks, jalapeno poppers or chicken fingers, there are no utensils involved. Phew!
- Hang Out with 11 of your Closest Friends – If you dare to leave the house, make sure your friend group doesn’t include more than 12 people, including yourself. A group of 13 people on Friday the 13th is a perfect recipe for rotten luck.
- Knock on Wood – It doesn’t matter whether it’s oak, cherry or mahogany. If you’re in a pickle, you can always just knock on wood. The origin of this superstition comes from the Germans who believed that if bad luck is present, knocking on wood grants protection from mystical tree fairies.
- Stay Positive – Chances are, if you think bad things are going to happen, they probably will — so keep the good vibes flowing. Think positive, and not even a broken mirror can bring you down. If you’re feeling particularly daring, test your luck! Step on that crack, walk under a ladder, and dance the tango with lady luck. If you’re a little hesitant, cross your fingers.
- Embrace Friday the 13th – If all else fails, embrace the fear and bad luck that comes with this day, and what better way to do it than by visiting Six Flags Great Adventure for Fright Fest? Terrifying zombies, clowns and mutants roam the streets all night long. If that’s not your speed, there are tons of thrilling rides and spook-tacular monstertainment to help you celebrate the most feared day of the year in terror-ific style.
Fright Fest runs Friday nights, Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 29 plus Monday, Oct. 30 and Tuesday, Oct. 31. For more information, call 732-928-2000 or visit www.sixflags.com/greatadventure
If you’re looking to rent a house at the shore, check out ShoreVacations.com, Jersey Shore’s biggest vacation rentals resource. It lists hundreds of rental homes and condos from Sandy Hook all the way down to Cape May (including Belmar, Point Pleasant, Seaside Heights, Ocean City, Long Beach Island, Atlantic City or the Wildwoods). It’s a one-stop website for planning your Jersey Shore vacation, featuring beach information, weather updates and more! And of course, it has a full list of all the Jersey Shore events this year.