(NEW YORK) — Get the garlic. A full moon is rising on Friday the 13th — the very same day a solar flare could send a shockwave to Earth’s surface.
It’s a triple whammy for superstitious folks, according to Stuart Vyse, a psychology professor at Connecticut College.
“People tend to try to read something into coincidences like these,” said Vyse, author of Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition. “There will be a small group of people who are undoubtedly, predictably nervous about tomorrow.”
In addition, the possibility of a solar flare shocking Earth’s atmosphere and disrupting communication signals adds another level to the tension.
“Astronomical events tend to be seen as very momentous and almost biblical in nature,” Vyse said. “It’s seen as being very powerful and something you can’t do anything about. It makes sense to me that it, too, would be connected to the general fears about Friday the 13th and the full moon.”
It’s a long-standing superstition that lunacy is connected the full moon, and that the lunar phase pushes people to act crazy and triggers more check-ins at mental institutions — theories that live on despite being proved wrong by research, Vyse said.
For people scared of the curse, staying home might be a solution.
“People afraid of these superstitions tend to restrict their activity,” Vyse said. “They tend to, for example, not schedule a doctor’s appointment or not travel on this day. In some rare cases, they stay home from work.”
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
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