This Friday will be the infamously eerie Friday the T-H-I-R-T-E-E-N-T-H, a day some people dread waking up to more than they do having a root canal. Every form of bad luck, bad mood, and bad choice seems to be blamed on that combo day/date, which I find sort of fascinating. If that day and date does in fact have some kind of bad mojo tied to it, then the one coming in short order out to be a humdinger. Not only is this Friday the 13th , it’s the second one of the year, the first being in February, and we have yet another coming in November—a triple whammy!
Curious about the phenomenon, I went on a little research expedition and found out that three Friday the 13ths in a year happens only once every eleven years. And here are some other cool facts I dug up about the 13th…
According to Smithsonian Magazine, fear of the #13 costs American a billion dollars per year in absenteeism, train and plane cancellations, and reduced commerce on the 13th of the month.
Fear of Friday the 13th dates back to Nordic Mythology. Many of their thirteenth Gods met with violent deaths, such as Loki, the trickster.
Ancient Romans regarded the number 13 as a symbol of death, destruction and misfortune.
Lizzy Borden uttered a total of 13 words at her trial.
There were 13 original colonies.
A witches’ coven consists of 13 members.
Tarot Card number 13 is the Death Card, depicting the Grim Reaper (although it is read as transition or change and not literal death).
Hotels rarely have a room number 13. Usually it is called 12a or 14. Same with floors of buildings and elevators without a #13 button. Highways sometimes will skip exit 13 altogether.
There are 13 steps leading to the gallows.
13 knots in a hangman’s noose.
13 feet which the guillotine blade falls.
The driver of Princess Diana hit pillar #13 at Place de l’Alma when she was killed in Paris, France.
13 people, Christ and his 12 disciples, were in attendance at the last supper. This is where the Christian belief ties in, making Friday a believed unlucky day, as the crucifixion occurred on a Friday.
Certain ocean liners will be held in dock until after midnight to appease passenger’s fears on Friday the 13th.
British study concluded that even though there were less cars on the road on Friday the 13th (as compared with other Fridays) more accidents were reported.
Triskaidekaphobia is the technical name for fear of Friday the 13th.
Apollo 13, 1970, the 13th mission launched from pad #39 (13 x 3), mission was aborted, after an explosion occurred in the fuel cell of their service module. The rocket had left launching pad at 13:13 CST and the date was April 13th.
E pluribus Unum has 13 letters.
The US Seal has 13 stars, bars, feathers in the eagle’s tail, 13 bars in one claw, 13 olive branches in the other.
A “quatorzieme” is a professional 14th guest hired by the French who had only 13 guests in attendance for dinner, who felt that was unlucky.
A baker’s dozen consists of 13 for a reason. As the story goes, a witch near Albany, NY demanded 13 items every time she came into a particular bakery, and one day the old baker could not afford her extra biscuit. She sneered, said some strange words to the man, and he suffered terrible luck from then on…until he brought her another 13 rolls. After that life was once again easy for the baker and word spread around town. Many bakers still practice the custom today.
So….do you get creeped out whenever Friday 13th rolls around?