Friday 13th has long been associated with bad luck and generally staying indoors to avoid black cats and falling ladders. But what are the facts behind this age-old superstition?
#1 -There is a medical term for the fear of this day
The fear of Friday the 13th is also called ‘Friggatriskaidekaphobia’ or ‘Paraskevidekatriaphobia’. Frigg comes from the Norse goddess of wisdom after whom Friday is named, triskaideka meaning 13, and phobia meaning fear.
#2 - It's an Unlucky Day Only For Some
Friday the 13th is not universally seen as a day of misery. For example, in Italy, Friday the 17th and not Friday the 13th is considered to be a day that brings bad luck. In fact, the number 13 is considered to be a lucky number! In many Spanish speaking countries and in Greece, Tuesday the 13th is seen as a day of misfortune.
#3 - The Day Inspired One of the Highest Grossing Film Series
The commercially successful Friday the 13th enterprise includes 12 horror movies, a television series and several books that focus on curses and superstitions. Even though the films and the television series consistently received negative reviews from critics, they have a huge following. The mask worn by the key character in the films, Jason Voorhees, is one of the most known images in popular culture.
#4- The Day Might Have Originated From The Time of Jesus
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.
#5 - The Date Will Occur Only Once This Year
Don’t worry, if you fear the day, let us tell you that it can only come thrice in a year at the most. Unfortunately, it’ll come once in a year for sure, so the maximum you go without seeing Friday the 13th is 14 months.
#6 - It Became Mainstream in the 19th Century
As stated earlier, the modern paranoia of Friday the 13th became mainstream around 1800. Henry Sutherland Edwards’ wrote in the 1869 biography of Gioachino Rossini, who died on a Friday 13th, that:
"He [Rossini] was surrounded to the last by admiring friends; and if it be true that, like so many Italians, he regarded Fridays as an unlucky day and thirteen as an unlucky number, it is remarkable that on Friday 13th of November he passed away."
Later a 1907 novel titled Friday, the Thirteenth by Thomas W. Lawson’s popularized the idea in America. The novel is about a “Wolf of Wall Street” type broker who takes advantage of the superstition to wreak havoc on Wall Street.
#7- Famous People Have Died on This Date
Beloved rapper Tupac Shakur was killed on Friday, Sept. 13, 1996. Another notable Friday the 13th death was that of Julia Child in Aug. 2004.
#8- Another Reason The Number 13 is Unlucky
Some numerologist believe the number 13 is considered unlucky because of its relation to the number 12. Numerologists consider 12 a "complete" number: 12 months in a year, 12 apostles, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 labors of Hercules, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 hours on a clock.
#9- The 13th Floor
According to National Geographic, more than 80 percent of highrise buildings avoid having a 13th floor. Hospitals skip the 13th floor and many hotels skip having a room No. 13. Some airports even skip having a gate 13.
#10- The Full Moon
The number 13 is considered lucky by some. For pagans, it represents the number of full moons in a year.
#11 - Friday the 13th Myths
There are a number of myths and superstitions are associated with the day:
If you cut your hair on Friday the 13th, someone in your family will die.
If a funeral procession passes you on Friday the 13th, you will be the next to die.
Do not start a trip on Friday or you will encounter misfortune.
If you break a mirror on Friday the 13th, you will have seven years of bad luck.
A child born on Friday the 13th will be unlucky for life.
Ships that set sail on a Friday will have bad luck.
If you walk under a ladder or if a black cat crosses you on Friday the 13th, you will have bad luck.
#12 - Outer Space Isn't Safe
On Friday April 13, 2029, a large asteroid will fly close enough to the Earth to be visible without a telescope in Africa, Europe and Asia, according to NASA.
#13 -Very Superstitious
Mark Twain once was the 13th guest at a dinner party. A friend warned him not to go. "It was bad luck," Twain later told the friend. "They only had food for 12." Superstitious diners in Paris can hire a quatorzieme, or professional 14th guest.