Carroll residents afraid of Friday the 13th should find a lucky rabbit's foot and hold on tight, as special family-friendly adventures are offered around the county on the last of three Friday the 13ths this year.
People with paraskavedekatriaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobia - both technical terms for a fear of Friday the 13th - have something extra to be suspicious of this year. Not only are there three Friday the 13ths in 2012, but they are each 13 weeks apart.
Those who want to face their fears or those who just want to have a little bit of fun can take advantage of this especially freaky year with activities in Carroll July 13.
In Westminster, people are invited to take part in a night hike at the Wakefield Valley Community Trail on Tahoma Farm Road. The night hike is being put on by the Westminster Recreation and Parks Department, which is celebrating July as National Recreation and Parks Month.
Nikki Haschert, program specialist at the Westminster Recreation and Parks Department, said the night hike will take on myriad superstitions on what is considered the most unlucky day.
"We're really excited that we could include a Friday the 13th event during in our National Recreation and Parks Month celebration," she said. "Be sure to bring a rabbit's foot or your lucky coin if you are superstitious, because we will have lots of unlucky obstacles along the way."
Haschert said hikers will have the opportunity to follow the trail while avoiding black cats, sidewalk cracks, ladders, broken mirrors and other common superstitions.
The hike begins at 8:30, but there is no real start or finish time. Haschert said participants are asked to bring their own flashlights to use while exploring the trail in the dark.
A couple of branches of the Carroll County Public Library are hosting after-hours Friday the 13th events, too.
The Eldersburg branch of the Carroll County Public Library is hosting Library Lock-In: Fright Night Zombie Walk for children ages 12-17.
The library closes at 5 p.m. on Fridays, but the zombie-themed night will take place after the doors have closed, from 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Participants will have the opportunity to create their own zombie look with make-up provided by the library, participate in and judge a zombie fashion show, practice their zombie walks, re-create Michael Jackson's famous "Thriller" dance scene, play zombie tag and more, according to Angie Knight, adult services supervisor at the Eldersburg branch.
"We kind of thought that zombies seemed to be popular now and we wanted an event that was for teenagers to come to the library," she said. "Friday the 13th seemed like the perfect day for a zombie program."
Registration and permission slips for the event are required and space is limited, according to Knight.
The Mount Airy branch of the Carroll County Public Library is also hosting a late evening event called After-Hours S'mores and Scares.
This 6:30-9:30 p.m. event requires registration and is for children ages 11-17.
Children at the After-Hours S'mores and Scares will share their favorite scary stories or frightening stories they have written themselves, play flashlight tag, and participate in a variety of campfire activities, including making s'mores.
Beth Heltebridle, children services supervisor at the Mount Airy branch, said the library has done after hours events before. The Friday the 13th theme worked especially well this year because the teen summer reading theme is "own the night," which goes well with campfire activities and scary stories, she said.
"It's a great opportunity for them to really come and socialize and have some fun, and it's exciting for them just to be in the library when it's closed and it's all for them, they can be as loud as they want, eat snacks and have fun," Heltebridle said. "The summer reading theme this year is 'own the night,' so it ties in nicely with Friday the 13th and what a lot of the other library branches are doing."