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Friday The 13th Superstitions List

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Friday the 13th Bad Luck Superstitions…where do they come from?

The fear of Friday the 13th has been called “friggatriskaidekaphobia.”  The superstition that Friday the 13th is bad luck, is only in the U.S., but  it is estimated that over 21 million people are affected by the fear of this day. This fear causes some people to stay home, avoid important meetings, avoid traveling and some basically hide from the world on this day. Symptoms can include shortness of breathe, rapid heart rate and hyperventilation.

There are several theories as to how Friday the 13th became a day to where you had to be careful.  One of the more popular theories is that it came from as far back as Biblical times when the 13th guest/apostle at the Last Supper, Judas, betrayed Jesus. Other theories on Why Friday the 13th? Cain is said to have killed his brother Abel on a Friday, the Temple of Solomon was said to have been destroyed on a Friday and Jesus was said to be crucified on Friday.  Some biblical scholars have even said that Eve tempted Adam with the “forbidden fruit” on a Friday the 13th as well.

Another theory is that it originated in Norse mythology. The Norse gods had a party for 12, and Loki, the god of mischief showed up as the 13th, and uninvited guest.  Loki tricked someone into killing the god of light, joy and reconciliation (Balder) which sent the gods into a dark period of mourning.

Other theories include the fact that there are 12 months in the year, 12 hours on a clock and 12 zodiac signs, so 13 was considered to be irregular and therefore unlucky. 13 also happens to be the number of witches needed to form a coven.

Poster of friday the thirteenth. Vector illustration.Over the years many things have happened on Friday the 13th or had the number 13 associated with it. Bad luck or just mere coincidences? You be the judge.

Friday The 13th Superstitions List

  • In 1307 the Knights Templar were arrested, imprisoned and many were killed by King Philip IV of France which eventually led to the demise of the order that had existed for nearly two centuries. This theory was popularized in the Da Vinci Code, but with no documented history.
  • 1521 is known as the fall of the Aztec Empire when Cortes captured the Aztec capitol of Tenochtitlan.
  • There is an urban legend that the British Navy built a ship that they named Friday the 13th. According to the legend the ship set sail on its maiden voyage, but was never heard from again. The Royal Navy Museum has stated that this is a hoax, but many people still believe it.
  • In 1939, a fire in Australia’s Victoria province killed 36 people.
  • Germany bombed Buckingham Palace on September 13th, 1940. Both King George VI and Queen Elizabeth were almost killed.
  • In 1951, an already flooded area in Kansas, got hit with so much rain, that the Kansas River rose to a record high 40.8 ft. According to the National Weather service, it was the worst day of flood destruction for the Midwest causing over 935 million in damage, which today is equivalent to over 6 billion dollars.
  • A Swedish military plane disappeared over the Baltic Sea on June 13, 1952. In the 90’s Soviets admitted to shooting down the DC-3 plane.
  • New York City, Friday March 13, 1964, over 30 people witnessed a rape and murder in New York city without calling the policy.  The case became a popular topic in psychology classes, to illustrate why people fail to act in a situation because they assume someone else will step in (also referred to as the “bystander effect.”
  • The famous spacecraft, Apollo 13 launched on April 11, 1970. If you add up all the digits of the date, 4-11-70 (4+1+1+7+0) it equals 13. The spacecraft actually exploded on April 13th, although it wasn’t a Friday.
  • On November 13, 1970, a terrible storm killed around 300,000 people in Bangladesh and created floods that are thought to have killed as many as one million more in the Ganges Delta.
  • October 13, 1972 a plane crashed leaving many dead, and other 16 passengers stranded in the Andes Mountains for over 72 days. Survivors had to resort to cannibalism to prevent dying from starvation.  The book and movie “Alive” were later released based on this true story.
  • January 13th, 1989, a Friday the 13th computer Virus spread through the UK.  Hundreds of IBM computers were affected which also permanently deleted many files.
  • October 13, 1989 the stock market dropped 190 points which back then was considered a “mini-crash” and was the 2nd largest drop in history. Now that day doesn’t even make the list of the top 10 largest drops in history.
  • August 13th, 2004 the Category 4 Hurricane Charley (winds reached up to 150 mph,)  hit south west Florida. It was the strongest hurricane to hit the state since Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and caused over 8 billion dollars in damage to the region.
  • Friday September 13, 1996 Rapper Tupac Shakur died of wounds from a drive by shooting.
  • October 13, 2006, a blizzard hit Buffalo, NY bringing over 24 inches of snow to the region.
  • In 2010, at 13:13 military time, a 13 year old boy was struck by lighting in Suffolk.
  • The Costa Concordia cruise ship sank off of the western coast of Italy on January 13, 2012, killing 30 people.
  • A terrorist attack that killed 130 people in Paris occurred in November 2015 on Friday the 13th.
  • More bad luck in the future?  On April 13th, 2029 an asteroid named “99942 Apophis” is predicted to come dangerously close to Earth.

Famous People Born on Friday the 13th

  • Train and bank robber Butch Cassidy was born on Friday, April 13, 1866.
  • Dictator Fidel Castro was born on Friday, August 13, 1926.
  • Actress Julia Louis Dreyfus was born on Friday, January 13, 1961.
  • Actresses and fashion moguls Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were born on Friday, June 13, 1986.

Other Interesting Friday the 13th Facts

  • Many tall buildings and hotels have no 13th floor, as they intentionally skip it.
  • Some hospitals do not have a room 13.
  • Throughout the years some presidents have considered the number 13 to be lucky, while others have not. President Woodrow Wilson thought that it was his lucky number while President Franklin D. Roosevelt would not travel on that day and would never have a meal that had 13 guests attending.
  • Many people refuse to fly or even go into work when there is a Friday the 13th.
  • If you are very superstitious about the number 13 or Friday the 13th, don’t carry any dollar bills with you. On the back of the bill on the eagle’s claw there are 13 arrows in its left talon (representing the 13 original states) and the olive branch has 13 leaves & 13 olives as well. The pyramid has 13 steps and above the eagle’s head there are 13 stars.
  • Having a dinner party with only 13 people is considered bad luck because Judas, the disciple who was said to have betrayed Jesus was the 13th guest at the Last Supper.
  • Dan Marino wore the number 13 his entire career with the Dolphins and never won a Super Bowl.  He has often been referred to as the best quarterback to never win the SuperBowl.  Another ironic thing was year later on the day they were retiring Marino’s jersey, a hurricane hit South Florida.
  • The 13th card of the Tarot shows the Grim Reaper mounted on a horse, which stand for death.
  • In 1997, the car that Princess Diana was in, crashed into the 13th pillar of Pont de l’Alma resulting in her death.

If Friday the 13th really freaks you out, after this July, there are 3 more not too far away – December 13, 2019, as well as March 13th & November 13th, 2020.

If you are staying home today, why not take the time to plan your next trip?  Popular travel companies that have released 2020 pricing include Globus Tours, Tauck Tours and Insight vacations, while with cruises, trending cruise lines include Royal Caribbean Cruises 2020, NCL Cruises 2020 and Celebrity Cruises 2020.

Related blogs posts about Superstitions:

Superbowl Traditions & Superstitions
New Years Superstitions to Travel More
Strange Superstitions from Around the World
Chinese New Years & Superstitions
New Years Traditions & Superstitions

The post Friday The 13th Superstitions List appeared first on Atlas Traveler – A Travel and Lifestyle blog from


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