Ah, yes. Another Friday the 13th, when the ultra-superstitious will hide at home with the shades drawn and hope nothing ill befalls them. But have you ever wondered why this particular date has the power to freak out so many people?

Seems that friggatriskaidekaphobia -- that's the actual name for a fear of Friday the 13th -- hasn't been around as long as you might think, and it's born more of a combined fear of Fridays and the number 13 rather than just the date itself.

While no one's entirely sure how Fridays came to be seen as unlucky, some believe it goes back to a significant event in Christian tradition said to have taken place on a Friday, such as the Crucifixion, Eve's offer of that fateful apple to Adam, or the beginning of the Great Flood. Other references to bad things happening solely on Fridays exist in literature as far back as the late 14th century.

As for unlucky 13, it too may have Biblical roots -- at the Last Supper, Judas was allegedly the 13th guest at the table, which in turn led to a superstition that said having 13 people seated at a table would result in the death of one of the diners.

So there you have it. And if you're one of those people staying in bed with the covers over your head today? Don't worry -- there won't be another Friday the 13th until September of next year.

[via Snopes]