The Fear of Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th is a day we all approach in fear. However, many people do not know the true reason behind why Friday the 13th is such a scary or unlucky day!

Friday and the number 13 have troubled ties to christianity. In the bible, Jesus was crucified on a Friday. Friday was also a bad day because back in medieval times it was hangman's day. The number 13 is so unlucky because some people believe one of the thirteen, Judas Iscariot, was the betrayer of Jesus Christ. Captain William Fowler tried to put an end to the fear of Friday the 13th (particularly the unwritten rule about not having 13 guests at a dinner table) by creating an exclusive society called the Thirteen Club. The group dined regularly on the 13th day of the month in room 13 of the Knickerbocker Cottage, and before sitting down for a 13-course dinner, members would pass beneath a ladder and a banner reading “Morituri te Salutamus,” Latin for “Those of us who are about to die salute you.” Pretty meta right? Not to mention all the Friday the 13th horror movies. Friday the 13th, released in 1980, introduced the world to a hockey mask-wearing killer named Jason Voorhees, and is perhaps the best-known example of the famous superstition in pop culture history.

What are some bad things that happened on Friday the 13th? On Friday, October 13, 1307, officers of King Philip IV of France arrested hundreds of the Knights Templar, a powerful religious and military order formed in the 12th century for the defense of the Holy Land. Put in prison for charges of various illegal acts, many of them were later executed. In more recent times, a number of traumatic events have occurred on Friday the 13th, including the German bombing of Buckingham Palace (September 1940); the murder of Kitty Genovese in Queens, New York (March 1964); a cyclone that killed more than 300,000 people in Bangladesh (November 1970); the disappearance of a Chilean Air Force plane in the Andes (October 1972); the death of the famous rapper Tupac Shakur (September 1996) and the crash of the Costa Concordia cruise ship off the coast of Italy, which killed 30 people (January 2012).

So with Friday the 13th just around the corner, keep in mind these interesting facts and be prepared for the glooming day ahead.


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