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Publication: The Paranormal Insider
Friday the 13th

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Issue date: Saturday, October 14, 2006
P A R A N O R M A L  I N S I D E R 

Hello, Everyone!

Seeing as we just survived a Friday the 13th (well, I hope 
we did but I AM writing this the day before!), I thought 
it would be fun to explore the origins of this widely known 
superstition. In much of the world, Friday is considered 
unlucky, and combined with the ominous number 13, a Friday 
the 13th is seen by many as a double-whammy of ill fortune. 
Called 'paraskevidekatriaphobia', the fear of Friday the 
13th is quite prevalent, with many people in North America 
and Europe refusing to leave their homes, fly in airplanes, 
or attend social gatherings on this day. According to the 
Macmillan English Dictionary, the term 
'paraskevidekatriaphobia' was first coined in the early 
nineties by Dr. Donald E. Dossey, an American psycho-
therapist specializing in phobias and stress management, 
and is based on the Greek words paraskevi (Friday) and 
dekatria (thirteen) with -phobia as a suffix to indicate 

Studies show that in spite of the decline in travel and 
general activity on a Friday the 13th, the incidence of 
hospital admissions due to accidents is actually higher on 
these days. The wariness about Fridays being ill-fated can 
be traced back through Christianity. Adam and Eve were said 
to have eaten from the forbidden fruit on a Friday, the 
Great Flood is supposed to have begun on a Friday, and of 
course, Jesus was crucified on a Friday. 

Some traditional superstitions about Fridays include: Never 
change your bed on Friday; it will bring bad dreams. Don't 
start a trip on Friday or you will have misfortune. If you 
cut your nails on Friday, you cut them for sorrow. Ships 
that set sail on a Friday will have bad luck. 

Historically, sailors (a superstitious lot to begin with) 
have feared this day as one of extreme bad luck and often 
refused to set out to sea on a Friday. In 1791, the British 
Navy commissioned a ship called the H.M.S. Friday in an 
effort to quell the superstition. The crew was selected on 
a Friday, the ship was launched on a Friday and stranger 
still, the ship's captain bore the name James Friday. On a 
Friday morning, the ship set off on its maiden voyage -- 
and was never seen or heard from again.

Some historians also point to the church's opposition to 
pagan religions as a root of the widespread Christian 
distrust of Fridays. The English word Friday is derived 
from the name Frigg (Old English: frigedaeg)', the Norse 
goddess of love and sex. The male-dominated church was 
threatened by such a strong (and passionate) female icon, 
and to fight against this influence, Frigg was characteriz-
ed as a witch, thus also vilifying the day named after her. 

Fear of the number 13 has its roots in many ancient 
cultures. In ancient Egypt, life was considered a quest 
for spiritual ascension, and there were 12 earthly stages, 
with the 13th being afterlife. Thus, later cultures began 
to associate the number 13 with death. 

In Norse mythology, 12 gods were at a banquet at Valhalla. 
The evil god, Loki, The Trickster, had not been invited 
but he crashed the party anyway, bringing the number in 
attendance to 13. Loki ended up inciting the death of the 
beloved god Balder, causing great grief and trauma. 

Hindus also believe that it is unlucky for 13 people to 
gather at dinner, and of course, Christians are ever-
cognizant of the fact that the Last Supper had 13 people 
present (Jesus and his 12 apostles), with Judas, the 
apostle who betrayed Jesus, being the 13th member of the 
party to arrive. 

Historically, Friday was the preferred day for public 
executions, and legend says that 13 steps led up to the 
hangman's noose. Also of note: it was on a Friday the 13th 
in 1306, that King Philip of France burned the Knights 
Templar at the stake. 

While most of us recognize that a Friday the 13th is 
logically no more inherently 'evil' or ill-fated than any 
other day, I think many of us still wouldn't tempt fate on 
this day. And apparently, the 'big' Friday the 13th that 
we all would have to worry about is on Oct. 13th, 4772, 
which is the date the world will end according to some 
interpretations of the Mayan calendar. I won't worry about 
that just yet:>) 

Carpe diem

Zsuzsana Summer

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From Our Mailbag: 

Hello. My sister sent me this link to write to you about a 
trip we took in 1998 to England. I was raised in Ohio, and 
I had a reoccurring dream of a large house with all bed-
rooms, and a ghostly looking older man who I figured knew 
where I was, but as I tried to reach him, he would disappear
in bedrooms, or around a corner (and there were many). I 
told the dream to all of my family, and had the same dream 
for a good 30 years. I even went so far as to write it 
down, and got tired of writing the same basic entries, so 
I finally knew for sure it was the same place, same dream. 

In 1998 my sister and a few cousins went to the UK for a 
vacation. I was on a cane and had a hard time getting 
around, but did OK. We finally got to a motel in Sheffield, 
England, at night, and we were given room number 69. I 
laughed about that as I am dyslexic and couldn't remember 
any of our room numbers up to that point (and we had stayed 
at least 4 motels before that one). I knew I could remember 
that number and thought that was funny. My sister and I had 
been bunking together, so off we went, key in hand to our 
room. On the way there, we passed through a freezing cold 
pocket of air. I said it was a ghost (play the twilight 
zone theme there) and we all laughed quietly. As we 
approached our room, I stopped in my tracks. I saw a spiral 
staircase ahead. I saw a corridor to my left and our hall-
way ahead. I just stopped ... then I said, "I Know where I 
am." My sister asked how as we had never been here before. 
I said, "That spiral staircase doesn't go anywhere." She 
looked at me like I was demented, and she walked up to the 
stairway, went up a ways, and reported back, "IT DOESN'T! 
It's a dead end" and I said that was because it isn't 
supposed to be there. I then explained that I needed to go 
down the hallway to our left, that is where you go up some 
stairs and there's a dumbwaiter at the top and a room 
where the floor caves in, and that is where the dream gets 
scary because someone is after me, a man, and I try to 
climb into the dumbwaiter to get away, knowing if I can get 
through this small wooden door, I can reach the attic and 
hide, but I wake up every time it gets to that point. My 
sister said, "Let's put our bags in our room, it's right 
here!" We did, then off we went to check out this hallway. 
As we were walking, I said "This is a door to the basement."
I reached, opened the unmarked door, and there were the 
stairs going to the basement. My sister couldn't believe 
what was happening, I was so sure of everything, I had 
dreamed it so many times, it was as if I was home. There 
were plenty of unmarked doors. Then all the other doors had 
numbers, and you might walk 3 steps ahead, have to go down 
2 steps, two steps forward, then 3 steps up, it was so 
strangely put together, but I knew my way. We went around 
corners, up and down small sections of steps and finally 
reached THE staircase! It was located at a T type inter-
section, with a hallway to the left, a stairwell to the 
right, a room ahead to the left and the grand stairwell 
ahead on the right. The stairs went up along the wall, then 
a small landing, then the steps went back over our heads 
from where we were standing. The light switch on the wall 
was one of those early 1900's double push button style 
switches, but we didn't turn on the light, we began the 
climb. At the top of the stairwell was a DUMBWAITER, the 
first one we had seen during our travels (and the only one 
we saw). I popped the door open and inside, just as I said, 
was a small wooden door but we tried to open it, and it 
was as if a huge spring was attached and we could not pull 
it open. An ice cold slow rush of air crept up my hand to 
my shoulder, and I quit trying (it sort of gave me a 
scare), then we proceeded to the room. The room had been 
abandoned; papers scattered everywhere. The floor was 
there, but was soft to step on; you could see it give, so 
we did not enter all the way. I had to know why this room 
was there, I needed answers. That was the right room, that 
was the bad room in my dream. 

I went to the lobby and questioned the night manager, an 
older man in a gray suit (sound familiar? Yep, that guy 
in my dream I never could catch up to) and he said the 
residents wouldn't stay in that room, it had problems, 
like birds coming in and they put bars on the windows so 
they couldn't get in, but they were still getting in, and 
other strange things, strange sounds had happened in there, 
and they decided it was haunted. They then decided to use 
the room as an office, but the employees were frightened 
by something and no one would go back in to get the papers 
and equipment. They abandoned the room. The place is called 
the Rutland Inn in Sheffield England. I had been tracing my 
family tree, and I came to a dead end for awhile, until I 
got back to the USA, and I found my Dowell and Wilson 
lineage came from Sheffield England area. Isn't that weird. 
Now, back to Rutland Inn for a brief thing worth mention-
ing, The hallways all had names like Captain Halsey... My 
hallway had a weird name, and I didn't notice these names 
above the doorways until we were ready to check out, but 
our hallway was called YULE GREIVE. 

I have this on video! It is still a mystery to me, I think 
I have a memory cell passed down from an ancestor. This 
gets into Quantum Physics, but our bodies have DNA that 
make our nose the way it is, our eyes the color they are, 
our features that are passed down in the family, etc., so 
why not a brain cell memory? 
Anxious to hear from you. 

Judy Dowell Bundschuh 
a 50 year old female and very sensitive to the other side. 

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I have had several ghostly experiences and one I believe 
is a flashback of a former life. The latter was a dream I 
used to have as a little girl, ending about age 5.  I was 
burned to death in the false bottom of a buckboard where 
my parents had hidden me during an Indian attack.  My 
parents were (I suppose) killed and the wagon train set on 
fire.  I have since read that reincarnation occurs faster 
when the person has met an untimely or violent death.  
Ordinarily it is about 300 years and I suspect the reason 
most don't remember is because it is in the distant past. 

Referring to the ghost experiences, there were two I 
remember clearly. One was when my future father in law 
passed away and I stayed at the family home to babysit 
all the children.  My impression is of a voice more than 
a visual sighting and I was told to be sure and remind the
family to cut the limbs off the fir trees in the front 
yard before they damaged the siding.  He was never very 
fond of me but perhaps he figured since I was there he 
would give me the message to pass along. 

The second time was in my neighbor's home where I was stay-
ing with him as a caregiver.  I had obtained a hospital 
bed for him downstairs as he was too feeble to climb stairs 
safely.  I was sleeping in his bed and felt the other side 
of the mattress depress as though someone has just lain 
down.  I said, "Mac, you aren't supposed to be climbing 
stairs." I got no reply and then turned on the light and 
there was no one there. 



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Following is a small selection from the many letters I have 
received asking for opinions and advice. Because I can't 
possibly answer so many emails (as much as I would like 
to), I am publishing some of the questions here for our 
readers' responses. Please post any responses or advice 
you have to our forum at: Paranormal Insider Forum 

Paranormal Experiences

Hello, my name is Mike and I live in Southwest Florida. 
Last year I went up to Debuque, Iowa to visit my dad. The 
guestroom was down in the basement and one night while I 
was sleeping, I woke up in the middle of the night and all 
of a sudden, I felt 2 warm hands on my neck choking me and 
I could not breathe, move, or speak for that matter. When 
it finally stopped something caught my attention and I 
looked straight ahead and saw this demonic shadow man (like 
someone else had said in the last article you guys sent 
out) and it reached the height of the top of the doorway. 
I just kept looking at it until it finally started slowly 
fading away. What could this mean or be? What was it? I 
have looked on the internet for related situations on 
message boards, search engines and more and couldn't find 
anything. So maybe you can post this on the next article 
so hopefully someone can read it and tell me what it was 
because it still happens to me every so often ever since I 
left Iowa. Thanks. 

"Keep Your Stories Haunted"


I have been a reader for about two years now and this is my 
first time writing in. I've yet to read about anything like 
this and I was wondering if anyone else could explain it or 
has had a similar experience. 

Ever since I was little, I've seen this figure out of the 
corner of my eye at times. It's a man, always the same one. 
He has black hair and is wearing a purple T-shirt. I always 
see him before something bad happens but he gives me a feel-
ing of comfort. For example, it was storming one night and 
I was driving home from college. I caught a glimpse of him 
in the rear view mirror. So, I pulled over and waited for 
about 15 minutes for the rain to slack off a bit. When I 
began driving again, I made it maybe 20 miles and there had 
been a wreck. There's a good chance if I hadn't stopped, it 
would have been me. I've about decided that this "man" is 
perhaps a guardian angel.  However, a few nights ago, as 
I was pulling into my drive way, I caught a glimpse of 
another face in my rear view mirror. I have never been so 
scared in my life. It wasn't a body just a face. The eyes 
were slanted and the nose was nothing more than slits, like 
a bat kind of. It was ghostly white but not transparent. It 
looked as though I could have reached back and touched it. 
I've since seen this face at other times. It's now even 
started showing up during the day, like I'll look and a 
mirror and see it over my shoulder. This is really scaring 
me and I just wondered if anyone had any ideas or similar 
experiences with this kind of thing. 



Hello Zsuzsana,

I have been enjoying the Paranormal Insider for quite some 
time but have never emailed you before. 

I would like to share an experience that I had with your 
readers. First, let me explain that my teenaged daughter 
is a Pisces and as such she is considered a 'Mystic of 
the Zodiac'. She is far more sensitive than I to the 
paranormal, and has had many experiences. I have only 
recently started to explore my mystical side and am very 
much into gemstones with their healing qualities. 

One day we decided to check out some of the haunted sites 
in our town. Some of the sites are historic and have quite 
a history of frequent paranormal occurrences. 

We decided to check out a Maritime Museum downtown (it 
used to be the old court house building where a famous 
'hanging judge' sentenced people to hang for their 
transgressions) because we had heard many stories about 
strange things happening in the building. Historical 
stories have said that bodies that were unclaimed after 
the hangings were subsequently buried under the flagstones 
of the Square. 

Now let me tell you that I have never experienced anything 
quite like what happened that day in my life, and if my 
daughter hadn't had the exact same experience at the same 
moment, it would have cast doubt in my mind that it had 
occurred at all. 

Upon our climb to the second floor of the museum, we had a 
horrible experience on the landing of that floor. While we 
stood there looking over the many displays on the floor, 
both of us in the same instant felt like we had suffered 
some kind of very painful electric shock and the hair stood 
up on the back of my neck. Immediately we both felt intense 
heat like we had walked into a furnace. The feeling was so 
strong I looked at my daughter...her eyes were huge with 
shock. I saw one other visitor standing by the far wall 
of the floor looking at a painting on the wall. I wanted 
to scream and tell her to run, but I couldn't get the words 
out. The feeling eventually passed and left me feeling 
dizzy. I all but ran out of the place. 

There are many objects in that museum that were salvaged 
from ancient ships over the years, I wanted to touch many 
of the items but just as I reached out to touch them, my 
daughter would reach out suddenly and grab my hand. She 
seemed to feel some kind of negative energy coming from 
some of the objects and refused to let me touch them. 

I wonder if you can shed some light on what happened to 



If you wish to send me a story for publication, please 
email to: paranormal@zsuzsana.com. Please post responses 
to today's column or our readers' letters to: Paranormal 
Insider Forum

Take care and see you next week!

Zsuzsana Summer

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