Did you know that there’s an actual word for the fear of Friday the 13th? Yeah, it’s paraskevidekatriaphobia. Say that five times fast. Or even once.
Nobody really knows 100% why people get so creeped out by Friday the 13th (other than thinking that Jason might pay us a visit), but the reigning theory comes from Christianity: Jesus died on a Friday, and the night before, he had 13 guests with him at the last supper. It is said that Judas, Jesus’ betrayer, was the 13th guest.
But then again, there’s no mention of anyone being afraid of the date until the 19th century, so who really knows?
Either way, happy Friday the 13th, everyone! If you’re feeling unlucky today, you’re not alone.
Or maybe, like me, you’re feeling like you need a good dose of some pants-pissing, blood-pumping fear in order to celebrate the spirit of the day, eh? But before you think about popping in your favorite scary movie or queueing up the latest creepy binge-watch on Netflix, let’s take a moment to think about why it is that we like being scared out of our minds sometimes.
You see, it all stems from the knowledge that the fright we get from hearing a scary story or watching a horror movie is controlled. Sure, you might be sweating through your shirt and feeling like someone is going to break into your house and murder you while you sleep tonight, but deep down you know it’s not real. And, you can say you got through it! There’s nothing quite like the relief of walking out of a haunted house with all your limbs still attached.
And yet, part of the appeal is that there’s still that element of the unknown that draws us in. We don’t want to know what that creepy monster is doing in that dark room—but then again, we do, don’t we? There’s something about those dark, dangerous, and forbidden things that we can’t resist.
Basically what I’m saying is that horror is like an extreme sport, but it’s free.
With that in mind, why would you settle on watching a movie when you can experience both the ultimate control and the ultimate unknown while reading a scary book? Think about it: it’s in your hands, it’s in your head, it’s essentially your story when you’re reading it. But it’s a double-edged sword because if it’s your story, it’s your imagination that creates those monsters and bloody scenes, making them hit that much closer to home.
If you’re a true horror fan, you gotta read the books. (See what I did there? Reading = extreme sports ;))
How’s that for a grand entrance? Bazaar of Bad Dreams is the latest collection of horror stories from Stephen King. Wanna step into the eerie worlds of one of the most legendary horror writers to ever live? Read it.
Or maybe you’re less about the can’t-sleep-tonight-from-all-the-monsters-in-your-head sort of fright and more about the plain old-fashioned, sit-up-in-bed-because-your-heart-is-pounding-so-hard sort of adrenaline? If so, then you might want to get your hands on a book like Swerve by Vicki Pettersson. Once you go down this road, it won’t let you go until you are thrown around all the curves and spit out on the other side.
Ready for the ride of your life? Happy reading everyone!