It is also called Friggatriskaidekaphobia, when someone is afraid of Friday the 13th. Nearly 20 million Americans are affected by Friggatriskaidekaphobia /Paraskevidekatriaphobia.
The modern basis for the aura that surrounds Friday the 13th stems from Friday, October the 13th, 1307. On this date, the Pope of the church in Rome in Conjunction with the King of France, carried out a secret death warrant Against “the Knights Templar.” The Templars were terminated as heretics, never again to hold the power that they had held for so long. There Grand Master, Jacques DeMolay, was arrested and before he was killed, was tortured and crucified.
Superstitions swirling around Friday as being lucky or unlucky have existed since ancient times, beginning with the northern nations. Ancient Romans dedicated the sixth day of the week to their beautiful, but vain, goddess Venus, so, when the Norsemen adopted the Roman method of naming days, they naturally adopted Venus as their name for the sixth day of the week. Their closest translation for Venus, Frigg, or Freya, eventually evolved into Friday, a day they considered to be the luckiest day of the week.
From a religious standpoint, Muslims tout Friday as the day Allah created Adam, the story goes that Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit on a Friday, and later died on a Friday. Christians consider Friday as the day on which Christ was crucified by the Romans.
The Scandinavian belief that the number 13 signified bad luck sprang from their mythological 12 demigods, who were joined by a 13th demigod, Loki, an evil cruel one, who brought upon humans great misfortune.
The number 13, in the Christian faith, is the number of parties at the Last Supper, with the 13th guest at the table being the traitor, Judas. When Christians combine this day and number, the combination can only hold special significance.
Part of the reason 13 got a bad rap is because it comes after 12, which is a number of “completeness.” For example: 12 months in a year, 12 hours in a clock, 12 God of Olympus, 12 Zodiac signs, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 days of Christmas, 12 labors of Hercules, 12 Apostles of Jesus and 12 eggs in a dozen.
Some may say that Friday the 13th just got a bum rap, there’s been more than a few unfortunate occurrences that happened on this infamous day.
According to Hauntedbay.com, here are a few examples of the sordid history of Friday the 13th:
– July 1951: The Great Flood killed 24 people, destroyed more than 2 million acres of land in Kansas and caused $760 million in damage.
– March 1964: The “Good Friday” earthquake wasn’t actually so good. It remains the largest earthquake in North American history, killing 131 people near Prince William Sound.
– July 1987: An F4 tornado ripped through Edmonton, Alberta, killing 27 people and injuring at least 300.
– March 1992: An earthquake killed nearly 2,000 people and left 50,000 homeless in Turkey.
And that’s not all. Here a couple scary, yet scintillating facts about Friday the Thirteenth:
– In a traditional hangman’s noose there are 13 twists of the rope and 13 steps to the gallows.
– Many buildings don’t count their 13th floors. You’ll see on their elevators that the numbers skip from 12 to 14.
– There is no 13th Avenue in San Francisco, instead Funston Avenue is between 12th and 14th Avenues.
– In Formula 1 racing, there is no car with the number 13. The number has been removed after two drivers were killed in crashes, both driving cars numbered 13.
– Killers Charles Manson, Saddam Hussein, Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, Theodore Bundy, and Jack The Ripper each have 13 letters in their names.
And lastly, these people weren’t so lucky on Friday the 13th:
– Tupac Shakur was shot and killed in Las Vegas on a Friday the 13th.
– Al Capone was sentenced to prison on a Friday the 13th.
– Benny Goodman, the King of Swing, died on a Friday the 13th.
– Hubert Humphrey, the 38th vice president of the United States, died on a Friday the 13th.
Whether or not a person considers Friday the 13th as unlucky, he or she must understand that this superstition, as well as others, merely stem from beliefs or practices man used, and continues to use, to explain, and to protect himself, from events beyond his control in his complicated world. He worked, and works only with the bag of knowledge he has on hand.
Only when factual, scientific bases for these beliefs are unearthed, and people do not dispel the beliefs, but instead cling to them, the beliefs become superstitions. Today’s beliefs may very well be tomorrows superstitions. Until then, however, don’t step on a crack!