Many consider Friday the 13th an unlucky or spooky day. But others believe the day brings good luck. Either way, the pseudo-holiday -- really, just a day in the calendar -- has become a bit of a marketing ploy, especially in the travel world.
And since we have a Friday the 13th right in the middle of summer this year, why not take advantage of these weekend getaway deals?
And in case you were wondering, there is a technical term for a fear of Friday the 13th: Friggatriskaidekaphobia. Now you know.
So without further delay, here are 13 ways to celebrate Friday the 13th.
Stay at a Spooky Hotel
Guests have reported hearing children playing or giggling in the third floor hallway. (From 1920 until 1954, the hotel was a private Knox School for Girls). Voices have been heard in the Glimmerglass Room, apparitions have been seen walking hand-in-hand in period clothing, staff have heard their names being called from unseen sources, and a security officer has heard people walking above him on the third floor.
Of all the experiences reported, nothing seems in any way malevolent, just very, very longtime guests enjoying their stay at hotel.
To help add to the creepiness, the hotel organizes the Cooperstown Candlelight Ghost Tour, which operates every day at 8 p.m.
Haunted New Orleans and Voodoo
New Orleans has it all for the tourist looking for a little bit of scare: ghosts, vampires, above-ground cemeteries and spooky back alleys.
To get a feel for this city's occult past, consider the Haunted History Tours. The tour guides dress in gothic costumes and there's even a stop at a haunted bar for refreshments.
After your tour, head to the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum , which covers all the mysteries, the secrets, the history and folklore of rituals, zombies, of gris-gris, of voodoo queens and all that jazz. It puts all the voodoo magic together in one place in the heart of the French Quarter.
It's said that no one really grows up in New Orleans without voodoo. In the case of Charles Massicot Gandolfo, the museum's founder, this was all the more intensified by the tales from his grandmother that her great-grandfather had been raised in New Orleans by a voodoo queen. An artist with a passion for all the history and romance of New Orleans, he created the Voodoo Museum to share his fascination with that world.
Museum of Oddities and Superstitions
Ripley's Believe It or Not in New York's Times Square is a showplace for all sorts of oddities.
First off, to ensure your dead relatives don't haunt you, check out a decorative Widow's Finger Necklace from Papua New Guinea. Women cut off their fingers to honor and appease the spirit of each dead male relative and add each one to their necklace (note, many elderly women have no fingers from engaging in this practice over time).
To vanquish enemy spirits, consider a shrunken head from the Jivaro tribe of Ecuador -- believed to harness the spirit of your enemy and make him serve you.
And finally, to solicit a favor from the gods, there is a Tibetan Skull Bowl: a human skull completely lined inside with silver, used by Tibetan Buddhist monks to drink/eat from to ensure the gods looked favorably upon them.