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Local residents say Friday the 13th all in good fun

July 13, 2012|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com

Boonsboro resident Bill Gormley wasn’t being extra careful on Friday the 13th, saying he doesn’t buy in to the idea of the date bringing bad luck.

“It’s all coincidence,” said Gormley, 64. “If you walk under a ladder 10,000 times, nothing might happen, but you could walk under it one time, and it might be windy, and you can slip.”

Friday was the third time that the 13th fell on a Friday in 2012,  a year already related to superstitions. There is, after all, the theory that the world could end in December.

Also, the three Fridays that fell on the 13th day of a month this year — Jan. 13, April 13 and July 13 — have been 13 weeks apart.

Gormley said that does not bother him at all.

“If you think something bad is going to happen and it does, you can be in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he said. “It’s like a placebo effect.”

William Herold of Hagerstown also said that he does not believe the superstitions surrounding Friday the 13th.

“I don’t believe in any of that,” he said. “I’ve crossed black cats and walked under ladders, and I’m still alive.”

Herold, 40, did say, however, that he thinks the day is a bit like a great hoax that people can enjoy.

“Thousands of people love it,” he said. “Somebody can come up with a good story and capture the world.”

Alice Augustine of Hagerstown said she isn’t superstitious about the day.

“I think it’s all made-up stuff,” she said. “I just believe in good luck, not bad luck.”

Augustine, 43, said she thinks the day has been played up by television and entertainment.

Hagerstown resident Travis Vinson, 30, said he has had good luck on Friday the 13th.

“I’ve spent time with my daughter, had no trouble that day, and had a relaxing day,” he said. “It’s just another working day for the average American.”

Jerry Fontilus of Frederick, Md., said he has had bad luck on a previous Friday the 13th.

“I lost $20 the last Friday the 13th,” he said. “I keep away from all of the superstitious things.”

Fontilus, 17, said that he was born in Haiti and the superstitions are different there.

“They’re kind of silly here,” he said. “I grew up in a superstitious house.”

Fontilus’s sister, Frederick resident Jennifer Fontilus, 17, said she tries to avoid things that are considered bad luck.

“It kind of scares me because when you’re younger you hear about it a lot,” she said. “I want to stay away from it just in case something does happen.”

Bill Putiri, 42, of Hagerstown, gave an example of why he doesn’t believe that Friday the 13th is bad luck.

“Today we went to court, and one person who loses a case may say it’s because of Friday the 13th, but that means somebody also won the case,” he said. “With everything bad there’s a good.”

John Sagi, 63, of Annapolis said he thinks people can believe there’s something about the day because of “correlations.”

“There are a lot of correlations with superstitious things and Friday the 13th, but there are also superstitious things with Thursday the 12th, Monday the 9th, and other times such as midnight or noon,” he said. “There might be some correlations, but there’s no cause-effect relationship.”

Sagi was born and raised in Hagerstown and still owns property here.

Hagerstown resident Tony Young, 37, said that he does not think bad things happening are related to any superstitious beliefs and that he does not believe in the holiday.

“If you believe in it and something bad happens, you’re just giving power to it,” he said. “If it happens, it happens, but reality is more powerful than superstitions.”

Rick Crown, 36, of Hagerstown, said he does not believe in anything scary about the day, either.

“It’s nothing more than a superstition that people want to have fun with,” he said. “I don’t believe in superstitions, ghosts or any of that stuff.”

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