Friday the 13th

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that, as a kid, Friday the 13th made more than a little nervous. I was a pretty superstitious kid with an active imagination and a love of the supernatural. This of course made me a prime target for tricks and resulted in being scared to death to say Bloody Mary while looking in the mirror on Friday the 13th (something to this day I’ve still never tried, despite the fact that for the record I think it’s complete baloney [note from the editor: Meghan I think you’re still scared! ;)]).

So I decided to dive in to this history of this infamous day of bad luck to see where the unluckiest day of the calendar came to be. I ran into no real official story as to how Friday the 13th came to be, but as with anything you research on the internet I discovered a lot of crazy trivia and stories of things that supposedly happened on this day in history and about the number 13 itself.

  • In San Francisco there is not 13th Avenue, instead Funston Avenue is between 12th and 14th Avenues.
  • There is no car with the number 13 in Formula One racing. The number 13 was
  • removed after two drivers were killed in crashes, both driving cars numbered 13.
  • Charles Manson, Saddam Hussein, Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, Theodore Bundy, and Jack The Ripper each have 13 letters in their names.
  • Friday the 13th traces back to a Dutch holiday where naughty children would sneak into graveyards at night and defecate on tombstones.
  • Some people claim the number 13 has been unlucky since the Last Supper of Christ, where thirteen people were in attendance (plus Christ was betrayed by Judas the 13th Apostle).
  • It’s said that 80 percent of high-rises lack a 13th floor. One man, Gregory Johnson bravely included a thirteenth floor in his designs for the Empire State Building in New York. Three days after its completion, on a Friday, the weight of the building caused it to buckle and it crushed the thirteenth floor but has been structurally sound ever since.
  • Many airports omit the 13th gate.
  • Hospitals and hotels regularly have no room number 13.
  • Allegedly, at the request of Hernan Cortez, a man who claimed to be a God, the Aztecs brutally killed 39,000 people in one day on Friday the 13th of August 1539. The next day Cortez overthrew their empire.
  • In Florence, Italy, houses between number 12 and 14 are addressed as 12 and a half.
  • A group of New Yorkers started The 13 Club in 1881. The goal of the club was to remove the superstitious stigma from the number 13. During their first meeting on a Friday the 13th, all thirteen members walked under a ladder and into a room filled spilled salt and broken mirrors. They all died shortly after in a freak accident involving a runaway truck and a rabid wolverine on its way to be put down.
  • Many people point to the ill-fated mission to the moon, Apollo 13 as another example of the unluckiness that surrounds the number.
  • Billy Ray Cyrus, Bobby Brown, and Michael Bolton all released albums on Friday the 13th.

OK, so that last one was a stretch, but hey what are you going to do? For the record I’d like to state that I by no means believe any of these stories to actually be true. But if you’d like to do the research I’d be happy to hear your findings.

Happy Friday the 13th!

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