Friday the 13th

Posted by dwallace on August 13, 2010 in Friday the 13th |

Today is Friday the 13th. It is the only Friday the 13th of this year, but it can happen as many as three times per year. It all depends if the first of the month falls on Sunday.

There are many superstitions surrounding Friday the 13th. One of these superstitions is that if there are 13 people sitting at a dinner table, all of them will die within a year. Another one is that having 13 letters in your name is unlucky. The most famous serial killers have thirteen letters in their name: Charles Manson, Theodore Bundy and Jack the Ripper. One could argue that these names have been manipulated somewhat—Bundy was called Ted, not Theodore and Jack the Ripper obviously isn’t the killer’s real name. But people’s beliefs aren’t always logical. This is why superstitions are around in the first place.

Friday’s, for many cultures, is an unlucky day. Thirteen is seen as unlucky in many cultures because the number 12 is considered complete. There were 12 apostles, there were 12 Tribes of Israel and there were 12 gods of Olympus. Therefore 13 is upsetting that traditional good-luck number by one, making it unlucky.

Believe it or not, most superstitions are rarely referenced in history before the 1800’s. But Friday the 13th can be traced all the way back to October 1066 when King Harold II made the decision to lead his troops into battle the next day instead of letting them rest after a long march from a battle three weeks prior. The day he made that decision seems to be the earliest reference to Friday the 13th being unlucky.

But the best thing about Friday the 13th is the movie. It has scared the bejeezus out of tens-of-millions of kids. The hockey mask, the chainsaw, the screaming girls who run back into the house when you know they should run into the scary woods, or the girls who runs into the scary woods when you know that that’s not going to work either, you got to love it. Here’s a clip.


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