Mystery or Misfortune? The effect of Friday 13th on business

What do you believe?

Friday the 13th has quickly become the most notorious day of the year owing to superstitious beliefs and coincidental phenomena. 

The origins of 13 Friday have been disputed over the years, some believe that religion is the cause owing to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on a Friday and his betrayal by Judas Iscariot - the 13th guest at the Last Supper. 

Although these events occurred centuries ago, recent history is peppered with unlikely events and tragic disasters all linked to Friday the 13th. The ever-growing list of freak occurrences has most likely contributed towards the beliefs surrounding the UK’s most dreaded day.

In 2010, a thirteen year old boy was struck by lightning at 13:13 on Friday the 13th. 2012 saw the Costa Concordia Disaster that involved a sinking cruise ship that killed at least 32. Cyclone Pam caused widespread damage in Vanuatu and the South Pacific in 2015, it’s sustained winds peaked on Friday 13th reaching 155 MPH.

Even sceptics might struggle to rule all of these events as mere coincidences and research shows that even the business and finance industries have been affected by superstitious beliefs. 

A study published by The Express, identified that properties at number 13 are around £9,000 cheaper than other properties due to superstitious beliefs surrounding the number 13. Previously 13 has also been named as one of the 15 least common lottery numbers drawn and each year flight prices drop on Friday the 13th with many avoiding flying on that date due to superstitious beliefs.

Even the stock markets are not immune from bad luck. On Friday 13th of October in 1989, stock markets crashed causing the Dow Jones Industrial Average to plummet by 190.58 points. Financial experts have explained the cause due to the breakdown of a UAL Corporation deal worth $6.75bn however, these spooky situations all share the same date which is increasingly difficult to ignore.

Bestselling financial author, Rob Moore, has noticed that people are very superstitious regarding their finances, he said: “Some people invest in houses or other assets based on superstition and not research because they have a good or bad feeling. Superstitions are not viable investing strategies.”

“Superstition definitely influences some individuals and when they avoid carrying out big transactions on Friday the 13th, this impacts on the market and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. I’ve known people avoid buying a house because it’s number 13 and deemed to be unlucky.”

Read the full research at Friday 13th: The definitive guide to the unluckiest day of the year if you dare…

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