By Christopher Moloney
It’s a strange day today.
Fewer people are shopping or traveling than normal. And hardly anyone wants to get married.
It’s Friday the 13th.
Triskadekaphobia - or the fear of the number 13 - is in full effect today.
Airlines, hotels and wedding planners are all reporting a drop in business because people are afraid today is unlucky.
And even though there’s absolutely nothing to back up the superstition, for some reason our society has embraced this fear of the number 13.
80% of all high-rise buildings don’t have a 13th Floor.
Airports regularly skip Gate 13.
And most hotels don’t have rooms that include the number.
Donald Dossey, the founder of the Stress Management Center in Asheville, North Carolina told National Geographic:
"It’s been estimated that $800 or $900 million is lost…because people will not fly or do business they would normally do."
But those of us who don’t buy into the superstition can buy a lot of stuff… at a big discount.
To help customers conquer their fears, many businesses are offering cheaper prices today.
A number of hotels have slashed their prices in half and some airlines are offering flights for next to nothing.
There’s just one problem.
If you want to take advantage of the big savings, you’ll have to act fast, or wait a long time.
The next Friday the 13th isn’t until September 13… 2013.