Lucky or Unlucky? Superstitious about Friday the 13th?

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I always proclaim that I am not at all superstitious about Friday the 13th, but usually plan my life so that I can stay home.

At home I can avoid black cats (sort of – mine is black and white), ladders and stresses of any kind. But I’m not really that superstitious although I certainly avoid brooms and mirrors.

Fear of Friday the 13th is called Paraskevidekatriaphobia

The fear of the number 13 has been given a scientific name: “triskaidekaphobia”; and on analogy to this the fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskevidekatriaphobia.

An Unlucky Day

Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day in Western superstition. It occurs when the 13th day of the month in the Gregorian calendar falls on a Friday, which happens at least once every year but can occur up to three times in the same year.

However in Spanish speaking countries, instead of Friday, a Tuesday the 13th (martes trece) means bad luck and Friday 13 is a lucky day.

Mars, is the Roman God of war, so Tuesday is ruled by the red planet, that of destruction, blood and violence. In addition, the legend says that on Tuesday 13th there was confusion of languages ​​in the Tower of Babel.

The Greeks also consider Tuesday (and especially the 13th) an unlucky day. In Italian popular culture, Friday the 17th (and not the 13th) is considered a day of bad luck.

Fear of Friday the 13th in the USA

According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, an estimated 17 to 21 million people in the United States are affected by a fear of this day, making it the most feared day and date in history. Some people are so paralyzed by fear that they avoid their normal routines in doing business, taking flights or even getting out of bed.

In the United Kingdom

Friday the 13th – is considered to be one of the unluckiest days of the year, with many Britons fearing what the day entails. From walking under ladders to finding a lone magpie, Britons are aware of several eerie superstitions and in recent years Friday the 13th has become a superstition in itself.

The supposedly unlucky date will occur once more this year, in July.


Friday the 13th – Mama’s boy Jason and THAT Hockey Mask

Then there is the slasher film and film series called Friday the 13th – don’t even want to think about psycho-killer Jason Voorhees coming after me with a bloody machete.

Some Bad things about Friday the 13th

I have looked up few of these incidents and I believe them to be true. I am not so sure if the unlucky date caused them to happen or if they simply happened on this date.

  • Tupac Shakur died on Friday September 13 1996, six days after he had been targeted in a drive by shooting.
  • Uruguayan Flight 571 crashed in the Andes on Friday October 13 1972. The surviving16 passengers had to eat the remains of the deceased in order to survive.
  • The Costa Concordia cruise ship also ran aground off the Italian coast on Friday January 13 2012 resulting in the deaths of 32 people.
  • On Friday July 13 1821,  Nathan Bedford Forrest was born. He went on to become the first Grand Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan.
  • In the olden days, evidently Friday was the day for the execution of criminals and became known as Hangman’s Day.
  • Christ was crucified on a Friday, and Judas Iscariot was the thirteenth guest to join the table during the Last Supper.
  • There also happen to be 13 letters in the names of cult leader Charles Manson and serial killer Theodore Bundy.
  • During the Blitz, Buckingham Palace was bombed on Friday the 13th. Four people were injured and one died.
  • One young boy saw everything unlucky collide when he was left with burns after being struck by lightning at 13.13 on Friday 13th in 2010. He was 13 at the time.
  • Kitty Genovese was murdered on 13th March 1964. The then 28-year-old was stabbed in Queens in New York as allegedly 38 neighbours did nothing. The killing led to the development of the Bystander Theory. This finds that a single witness to a crime is more likely to do something than if they are part of a large group of people.
  • On Friday 13th August, 1976, New York man Daz Baxter elected to stay in bed to ward off bad luck. But his choice was to be an unlucky one, as the floor of his apartment block collapsed and he fell six storeys to his death.

Unlucky Number 13. Perfect Number 12.

So, the number 13 has always been seen as a bit of an oddity while 12 has been seen as a number denoting ‘completeness.’ There were 12 Gods of Olympus and 12 hours of the clock. There are also 12 months in a year and the equivalent number of signs in the Zodiac, as well as 12 Apostles of Jesus. And, you apparently need 13 witches to form a coven.

Thirteen is known to be unlucky, even by the commercial world that is not known for superstition. Not too long ago some hotels refused to have a room 13 and others, like the Carlton Hotel in London, refuse to have a floor 13 entirely. Some planes also did not have a row 13.

So who knows whether Friday 13th is unlucky or lucky.  I’m staying home. I’m not taking a chance.