Friday the 13th may be one of those days that is steeped in more myth and superstition than Halloween and Christmas. It’s considered an unlucky day and coupled with the fact that it’s falling in October this year makes it doubly spooky as, of course, we move closer to Halloween. You may hear strange idioms about black cats crossing your path or throwing salt over your shoulder to ward off evil but here are some interesting (and some unnerving) facts about this day:
- The fear of this day actually has a name: friggatriskaidekaphobia – Friggatriskaidekaphobia comes from Frigg, the Norse goddess of wisdom after whom Friday is named,the Greek words triskaideka, meaning 13, and phobia, meaning fear. By the way, for those who are really superstitious, every year, Friday the 13th occurs at least once yet no more than thrice in a calendar year.
- Because of that fear, in some cases, travel loads are lighter. Some travel agencies have estimated that costs for flights can drop from a mere 5% to nearly 44% because people are afraid to fly on Friday the 13th.
- Speaking of, it’s estimated that between $800 to 900 million is lost on Friday the 13th because people fear doing business this day.
- Then, if that is not enough, on October 13th 1989, the stock exchange suffered a mini crash to what some called, “Black Friday”. Actually some of the most notorious stock crashes in history have occurred in October.
- Albert Hitchcock, the master of suspense, was born August 13, 1899. So it makes one wonder how he celebrated his birthdays on years when his birthday was on a Friday?
- Tupac Shakur died on Friday, September 13th, 1996.
- For any month that MUST have a Friday the 13th, it has to start off with a Sunday the 1st. Go look at your calendar right now if you don’t believe me.
- The Hollywood sign in California was unveiled on July 13, 1923. When that sign turns 100, it will miss doing so on the exact day by one day.
- In Italy, Friday the 17th is their Friday the 13th. Hmm, just doesn’t have that same kind of flow.
- For Taylor Swift fans, she turned 13th on a Friday the 13th.
- Most hotels don’t have a 13th floor button due to superstition.
- For those that followed the Moon landings in the late 60s and early 70s would remember that Apollo 13 was the only lunar mission that never landed on the moon after a freak accident post launch nearly killed the astronauts in the capsule.
- Of course, for those that remember basic American History 101, there were originally 13 colonies which was the beginning of the United States. Also, it was the 13th Amendment that abolished slavery.
Of course, if today if Friday, then it’s the start of the weekend so remember don’t step on any cracks or walk under any ladders and if you are at a haunted camp, run fast as hell from Jason!
Happy Friday the 13th!!
(P.S. – If this author has been born one day earlier, he would have been born on a Friday the 13th!)