Friday Night Forgotten Oldie: Paraskevidekatriaphobia

WTH is that?

Paraskevidekatriaphobia – Para-skev-EE-dek-a-tri-a-pho-bia

It’s the fear of Friday the 13th (today).  In the United States 8% of the population reportedly suffers. Symptoms include:

  • Hyperventilation
  • Rapid heart rate (that may increase fear of having  a heart attack or dying)
  • Nervous giggling
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Refusing to leave the home on this day. Finding excuses, crying, screaming, trying to flee etc.
  • Indulging in ritualistic behavior- for example, hanging shoes outside the window to repel evil, or eating garlic, or walking around the room 13 times etc may be seen
  • Thoughts of death or dying

This week’s oldie is by no means horrifying, but does fit the day. It’s by a soft rock group from the late 1960’s. Drummer and lead singer Dennis Yost got together with several high-school classmates in Jacksonville, Florida, and formed a band, “The Classics IV,” named after Yost’s Classic drum kit.

Two guitarists in the group took a jazz instrumental at the time and added lyrics about a spooky little girl. Released in October of 1967, the single shot up to #3 in 1968. The NY Times wrote, “In a realization of perhaps the biggest dream in rock ’n’ roll, a bar band got lucky.”

Listen for the whistling.

Image may contain: 6 people, people smiling

Lead singer Dennis Yost, he of the throaty, resonant baritone, died in late 2008. He had been hospitalized since suffering a brain injury in a fall in 2006. The cause of death was respiratory failure. Yost was 65. He died on December 7, 2008, the 40th anniversary of the entrance of  another Classics IV hit, “Stormy” into the Hot 100’s top 10.


The late Dusty Springfield did a gender-flipped version in 1970.

Image may contain: 1 person, standing and outdoor

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, indoor

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