It’s Friday the 13th! (Cue slasher film music.)
Are you superstitious of this day?
No doubt that this date spawned one of the biggest horror movie franchises in history. One that terrorized teenage girls throughout the 80s and 90s…myself included.
But where does the superstition surrounding this date actually come from? No one really knows—even in America where many people carry superstitions about this day. Yet no one knows why.
So, here are some fun facts about Friday the 13th—a day that brings up images of unlucky murder victims being chased through the woods by a machete wielding psycho in a hockey mask.
- While it is not proven, many historians believe that the origin of 13 being an unlucky number grew from the story of The Last Supper. Jesus had 13 guests at his last meal, and the 13th guest was Judas—the infamous betrayer of Jesus. Jesus was then crucified on a Friday. This is what has been pieced together over the years to explain where Friday the 13th got its bad rap.
- If a month starts with a Sunday, it will have a Friday the 13th.
- This date has its own official phobia. Fear of Friday the 13th is paraskevidekatriaphobia, or friggatriskaidekaphobia, named for the Norse goddess Frigga, who gave her name to Friday in Norse myth. This phobia is a recognized phenomenon. Just don’t ask me how to say it.
- In Italy it’s not Friday the 13th that is considered unlucky, it’s Friday the 17th. And in Greek and Hispanic cultures, it’s Tuesday the 13th which is considered unlucky.
- In the year 1307, King Phillip IV of France commanded that hundreds of Templar Knights be arrested on, you guessed it, Friday the 13th. They were tortured and burned alive. Keep in mind that, prior to the decree that the Templars were “enemies of the faith,” they were strongly rooted in French support.
- Ironically enough, Thomas W. Lawson wrote a novel called, Friday the 13th at the beginning of the 20th century. Then, in 1907 a ship named for the author was shipwrecked on a Friday the 13th. This novel was the first written reference which specifically named Friday the 13th.
- Before that, Chaucer referred to Friday as unlucky in The Canterbury Tales. This was in the 14th century.
- Every year has at least one Friday the 13th, and at most three. This year, 2020, is right in the middle and has two!
- In the film series Friday the 13th, Jason Voorhies has killed a total of 199 victims. With the most people being offed in Jason Goes to Hell and Jason X. The worst was death by burning in a deep fryer in Jason Goes to Hell.
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Alfred Hitchcock, Steve Buscemi, and Mary Kate and Ashley Olson all came into the world on Friday the 13th.
- Black cats, which are often linked to Friday the 13th, and the number 13, are both feminine symbols. Is this a coincidence? I’d have to say no. (Don’t get me started on the suppression of the Divine Feminine throughout history.)
- The great hip-hop artist, Tupac Shakur, (allegedly) died on Friday, September 13, 1996 at the age of 25.
- Whenever January 1st falls on a Thursday (except in Leap Years), February, March, and November will all have a Friday the 13th. This will happen 11 times in the 21st century. If January 1st, of a Leap Year, falls on a Sunday, the months of January, April, and July will each have a Friday the 13th.
If you are superstitious, I wish you well and I hope these fun facts can bring you some light today. Thirteen hasn’t always been an unlucky number, and many cultures view it as lucky. The wise ancient Egyptians saw 13 as lucky because they linked it to the afterlife which, in their tradition, was the 13th stage of life.
I don’t know about you, but I’m going to get myself a lotto ticket.
Bright Friday the 13th blessings to all of you!
Comment below and share your Friday the 13th stories or superstitions!
Author: Lindsay Carricarte
Editor: Travis May
Image: Movie Still