Friday The 13th

by Allacyn - May 13, 2011

Today is a seemingly innocent but quite interesting day – Friday the 13th. There are a lot of superstitions and supposed bad luck surrounding this day, but how much of it is true and how much has been blown out of proportion?

Friday has traditionally been thought of as an unlucky day (to me it is the best day of the week – start of the weekend) and 13 has been considered an unlucky number (my lucky number). The combination of the two has even led to a phobia paraskavedekatriaphobia – the abnormal fear of Friday the 13th.

Why did people begin to fear this specific day, though? The fear of Friday the 13th got its start because across history, several horrible events have taken place on this day. On Friday, October 13, 1307 French King Philip IV was said to have rounded up hundreds of monks and tortured them for admitting heresy. Other scary Friday the 13th events include:

  • July 13, 1951- The Great Flood killed 24 people and destroyed more than 2 million acres of land in Kansas.
  • March 13, 1964- An earthquake near Prince William Sound killed 131 people, and is the largest in North American History.
  • July 13, 1987- 27 people were killed in Edmonton, Alberta when an F4 tornado tore through the area.
  • March 13, 1992- Turkey was hit by an earthquake that killed 2,000 people and left 50,000 homeless.

Over time, several superstitions have formed involving the number 13, such as:

  • Many hospitals and hotels have no room 13.
  • Many cities lack a 13th street or 13th Avenue.
  • Many horrible people had 13 letters in their name, like Charles Manson, Saddam Hussein, Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, Theodore Bundy, and Jack The Ripper.
  • Many airports skip the 13th gate.
  • Airplanes have no 13th aisle.
  • Italians omit the number 13 from their national lottery.
  • More than 80% of high rises lack a 13th floor.
  • In Florence, Italy the house between 12 and 14 is addressed as 12 and a half.
  • In France, socialites called quatorziens (fourteeners) make themselves available as 14th guests to keep a dinner party from an unlucky fate.
  • Many believe the number 13 pointed to the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission.
  • Tarot Card number 13 is the Death Card with the Grim Reaper on it.
  • The babylonian Code of Hammurabi omits the 13th law.
  • There is no number 13 car in formula 1 racing. The number has not been used since two drivers in the number 13 cars were killed in crashes.

So if we scared you with all of this, just remember that in a study by the Dutch Centre for Insurance Statistics found that Friday the 13th is actually safer than regular Fridays, because there are less accidents, fires and thefts.

Wishing you a great Friday the 13th!

More Friday the 13th resources

Friday The 13th: History, Trivia, and Everything Else You Need To Know – Huffington Post

The 13 WEIRDEST Friday The 13th Superstitions (PHOTOS) – Huffington Post

Five facts about Friday the 13th – MSNBC

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Filed under: Just For Fun

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