NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Friday the 13th and worrying about bad luck go hand-in-hand for many people.
One Nashville hospital says that they see a dramatic difference when the superstitious day rolls around.
The nursery wing at Baptist Hospital was busy with activity on Friday morning, but not as busy as usual.
“Today we had two scheduled C-Sections, we normally may have five to eight,” said hospital spokeswoman Kristi Gooden. “We had about five scheduled inductions, we generally have about eight to 10, so it’s a little bit of a lighter load.”
Many expecting mothers refuse to give birth on the supposedly unlucky day.
“We have had people call and say, ‘Hey I didn’t realize this was Friday the 13th, can we schedule this a day earlier or a couple days later?'” Gooden told News 2.
Of course, natural childbirths aren’t hampered by the superstition, only pre-planned births like C-Sections and inductions.
One new father at Baptist Hospital said he and his wife chose this day, just to buck the trend.
“I just wanted to be different, everybody’s so superstitious and all that type of stuff,” said Roy Culberson, Jr. as he looked into the nursery at new son, Roy Culberson, III. “I believe in the Lord,” the father added, “so you’re not really worried about something that television created.”
According to a Vanderbilt University psychiatrist, fear of the number 13 has some origins from early Christianity.
The Twelve Apostles and the Twelve Tribes of Israel led to feelings of incompleteness and fear surrounding the number 13 according to Dr. James Walker.
Paraskavedekatriaphobia is the official fear of Friday the 13th.
The Vanderbilt psychiatrist says people’s selective memories play a big part in their fear of Friday the 13th.
“When Friday the 13th comes up, many people say, ‘oh that’s the day I had that big argument with my husband, or that’s the day I had that flat tire on the way to work,'” said Dr. Walker.
“I think for most people in this day and age it’s a fun topic, but there are some people that have serious anxiety about the day,” said Dr. Walker.
According to the psychiatrist, the fear of heights and a fear of public speaking are much more common than a fear of Friday the 13th.