The superstitious have long regarded Friday the 13th to be a day prone to accidents and misfortune.
The roots of Friday as an unlucky day lie in early Christianity; it was the day on which Christ was crucified.
In Britain there are regional variations. In Somerset, it is said that whoever turns a bed on a Friday turns ships at sea. In Cumberland, babies born on a Friday were laid on the family Bible.
In some areas, calling a doctor for the first time on a Friday is a certain omen of death. Cutting hair and nails on a Friday is a certain path to misfortune, and many couples will refrain from marrying on a Friday.
A Yorkshire legend has it that laudry should not be performed on a Friday. It is said that as Christ was walking to Calvary a woman washing outside her house derisively waved a wet garment at his face, leading him to curse her and all those who washed on that day in future.
Suspicion around the number 13 has Christian origins as well, reflecting the last supper where Christ dined with his twelve apostles.
The Romans also disliked the number, believing it to be a symbol of death, destruction and misfortune.
Houses often do not have a number 13, and many hotels, including the Carlton in London, miss out a thirteenth floor.
It is considered very unlucky for thirteen people to dine together, and the first to rise will reach serious misfortune - a superstition upheld by US President Roosevelt. He also refused to travel on Friday the 13th.
In the novel Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown cites the 14th century execution of Templar Grand Master Jacques de Molay, which took place on Friday the 13th. He cursed the Pope and the King of France, spreading misfortune. Some historians have claimed it was the day on which Eve bit the apple from the Tree of Knowledge, the great flood began and the builders of the Tower of Babel.