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Friday the 13th

Superstition has long held Friday the 13th to be a day of bad luck. It has become so widespread that there are specific phobias associated with the day.

Triskaidekaphobia is the fear of the number 13 while fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskevidekatriaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobia.

There is at least one Friday the 13th every year, but no single year has more than three. Months with a Friday the 13th always begin on a Sunday.

Friday the 13th in 2017

There are two Friday the 13th dates on the 2017 calendar. The first occurs in January, the second in October.

Friday the 13th in History

According to folklorists, there is no mention of a "Friday the 13th" superstition before the 19th century. The earliest documented reference in English occurs in Henry Sutherland Edwards' 1869 biography of Gioachino Rossini, who died on a Friday the 13th and regarded Fridays as an unlucky day and 13 as an unlucky number. This corresponds to one theory about 
the origin of the Friday the 13th superstition
:  it is a modern amalgamation of two older beliefs that thirteen is an unlucky number and that Friday is an unlucky day.

In numerology, the number twelve is considered the number of divine organizational arrangement or chronological completeness, as reflected in the twelve months of the year, twelve hours of the clock day, twelve gods of Olympus, twelve tribes of Israel, twelve Apostles of Jesus, the 12 successors of Muhammad in Shia Islam, twelve signs of the Zodiac, etc., whereas the number thirteen was considered irregular, transgressing this completeness.

On a Friday the 13th in October, 1307, King Philip IV of France raided the homes of the Knights Templar, who were warrior monks during the Crusades, imprisoning several thousand men on charges of illegal activities. None of these charges were proven, but hundreds suffered torture intended to force confessions, and more than a hundred died.

On a Friday the 13th in March 1314, the last known Grand Master of the Knights Templar -   Jacques de Molay - was burned to death on a slow fire outside Notre Dame.

On a Friday the 13th in April, 1866, the notorious American train and bank robber Butch Cassidy was born.

On a Friday the 13th  in September, 1940, Buckingham Palace is hit by five German bombs, nearly killing both King George VI and the future queen, Elizabeth.

On a Friday the 13th  in July, 1951, The Great Flood killed 24 people, destroyed more than 2 million acres of land in Kansas and caused $760 million in damage.

On a Friday the 13th in November, 1970 , a huge South Asian storm killed an estimated 300,000 people in Chittagong, Bangladesh, and created floods that killed as many as 1 million in the Ganges delta

On a Friday the 13th in  October, 1972, a Uruguayan rugby team’s plane crashed in the Andes mountain range.

On a Friday the 13th in  January, 1978, the 38th vice president of the United States, Hubert Humphrey, , passsed away

On a Friday the 13th in January,  1989, the "Friday the 13th virus" infected hundreds of IBM computers across Great Britain.

Friday the 13th Superstitions

Legend has it if 13 people sit down to dinner together, one will die within the year. In France, diners can hire a quatorzieme, or professional 14th guest.

Friday is said to be the day when Eve tempted Adam with the forbidden fruit, Abel was killed by Cain and Jesus Christ was crucified.

Ancient Christians may have started associating the number 13 with evil shenanigans when Judas — the disciple who sold Jesus out to Pontius Pilate — showed up late to the Last Supper to take a seat. The 12 others were already sitting. The crucifixion of Jesus was held shortly thereafter, on what's now become Good Friday.

Many cities do not have a 13th Street or 13th Avenue.

Many buildings don't have a 13th floor.

Most airports skip having a 13th gate and airplanes a 13th row.

Many hospitals do not have a room number 13.

If you have 13 letters in your name, you have the devil's luck - Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer and Theodore Bundy all have 13 letters in their names.

There are 13 twists of the rope in a traditional hangman's noose and 13 steps leading up to the gallows.

In Formula 1 racing, there is no car with the number 13. The number has been removed after two drivers were killed in crashes, both driving cars numbered 13.

An urban myth states the Brittish Royal Navy tried to dispel the superstition that sailing on Friday was bad luck. They built a ship named HMS Friday. On its maiden voyage, the vessel left dock on a Friday the 13th, and was never heard from again.


In Nordic mythology,
a dozen Norse gods were throwing a party
in the gilded halls of Valhalla, but Loki - the trickster god of mischief - was not invited and consequently crashed the party as the 13th guest.

Loki put a major damper on the fun by tricking the blind god Höðr into shooting the beloved and nearly invincible god Baldr through the heart with an arrow fashioned from his one weakness: Mistletoe. (Incidentally, the story also explains why we kiss under the stuff come Christmastime. Gods are weird.)

A record screeched, Loki had a chuckle, and the rest of the Norse gods entered a long period of mourning. Dark times.

Apollo 13

The ill-fated Apollo 13 launched at 13:13 CST on April 11, 1970. The sum of the date's digits (4-11-70) is 13 (as in 4+1+1+7+0 = 13). And the explosion that crippled the spacecraft occurred on April 13 (not a Friday). The crew did make it back to Earth safely, however.

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Black Cat Pendant
Black Cat Pendant
Friday the 13th Superstition ~ A collection of Old Time radio
Friday the 13th Superstition

 A collection of Old Time radio

Castle of Almourol on the Tagus River in Portugal, once held by the Knights Templar
Castle of Almourol on the Tagus River in Portugal, once held by the Knights Templar

The Encyclopedia of Superstitions
The Encyclopedia of Superstitions
Crystal Lake Memories
Crystal Lake Memories
The Complete History of Friday The 13th

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