For as many as one hundred years, Friday 13 has sent millions across the globe ducking for cover; avoiding long journeys, big tasks, and, in some worst-case scenarios, leaving the house. From inspiring a blockbuster horror franchise, books – and phobias, this date seems to send shivers down many spines, but why?
Any month that begins on a Sunday will see a Friday 13, and when the calendar lands on this day, it’s believed there’s more chance of bad luck.
There is no confirmed origin of the superstition, however, there’s been ample speculation over the years and mainly, it’s thought to come from both Friday and the number 13 having a history of bad luck.
The combination of two emblems of bad luck is what puts the fear in most.
There are many factors that are believed to contribute to the superstitions for Friday and 13, from biblical meanings to Norse mythology.
Why is number 13 thought to be unlucky?
Many believe the bad luck swirling around the number 13 comes from the Bible.
According to the Bible, 13 guests attended Jesus’ Last Supper on Maundy Thursday, the day before Jesus’ crucifixion.
Those who attended included Jesus and his 12 disciples, but the 13th guest to sit down is thought to have been Judas (who betrayed Jesus).
This seating arrangement is thought to have spurred the longstanding Christian superstition that having 13 guests at a table was a bad omen and that it could potentially “court death”.
Some even put an object on a 14th seat, like a teddy, to increase the number of ‘guests’.
For others, the unlucky nature of the number 13 came from Norse mythology.
Why is Friday thought to be unlucky?
Friday has been considered the unluckiest day of the week for centuries. In Britain, Friday used to be known as Hangman’s Day, which saw those condemned to death hung on this day.
Like the number 13, Friday is also deemed unlucky for biblical purposes.
Jesus’ crucifixion took place on Good Friday; Friday is also thought to be the day Eve gave Adam the fateful apple, which expelled them from the garden of Eden.
Contrary to this, some actually believe you’re luckier if you’re born on a Friday.
What bad things have happened on Friday 13?
The combined superstitions around Friday and the number 13 make for one much larger superstition, and coincidentally, a few bad things have been known to have happened on this date.
When discussing bad Friday 13 events, many cite the link with the Knights Templar.
Officers of King Philip IV of France were thought to have arrested hundreds of the Knights Templar, a powerful 12th-century religious military group, on Friday 13.
Rapper Tupac Shakur was assassinated on September, Friday 13 in 1996.
The German bombing of Buckingham Palace in 1941 also took place on Friday 13, as did the disappearance of a Chilean Air Force plane in the Andes – to name a few.
Do you believe Friday 13 is bad luck? Have your say in the comments.