Happy Friday the 13th! I for one have never had a superstition about Friday the 13th (in fact, the Pollyanna in me loves to see it as a GREAT day!!) but I love the lore of it all. I love how it gets people all twisted up and freaking out. I don’t know why that is, but maybe because it plays into my love of all things grand. Anyhow, I thought it would be fun to pull together some of that lore and fanfare and present it to you on this Friday, the 13th of April. So, here are my 13 favorite freaky factoids and nuggets of fun that play into this superstitious day (plus a few bonus bites).
- We’ll start by going all the way back to its potential biblical origins. Did you know that Christ’s crucifixion is believed to have taken place on a Friday? Ok, not good enough, however, the number of guests at the Last Supper you ask? 13. But wait, you know that Judas guy, the one who later betrayed Jesus? Well, supposedly he was the 13th person seated at the table (so says the New Testament). Hmmm, cause for superstition? Perhaps!
- This is one of my faves! Triskaidekaphobia (say that 5 times fast) – the fear for the number 13. You know, the only reason I can say that word is because of Natalie Portman in Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, thank you, Natalie! Ok, so the fear of Friday the 13th is ‘friggatriskaidekaphobia’ – Frigga refers to the Norse goddess who gave her name to Friday. Unfortunately, if you have friggatriskaidekaphobia you will have to suffer at least 1 Friday the 13th each and every year, sorry phobics. On the upside, you will never have to suffer through more than 3 in one year.
- Alfred Hitchcock, the master of suspense, was born Friday the 13th. I mean, obviously, right?!? Born Aug. 13, 1899, which was a Friday. Did you know that his directorial debut was supposed to be a film called “Number 13?” Never happened, though.
- Another fave is that an asteroid will be giving us ‘earthlings’ a fly-by in 2029…on a Friday the 13th!! Friday, April 13, 2029…dun dun duuuuhhhhnnn!!! That’s exactly 11 years from TODAY. Whoa! 99942 Apophis was at one time predicted to have a chance of colliding with Earth, but that’s not happening, so don’t add to your worries. However, if you live in Africa, Europe, or Asia, you will be able to see the asteroid passing with your very own eyes (so says NASA), just look up.
- Here’s a superstitious guy for you > Former U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was reported to have had a great fear of Friday the 13th. He avoided starting trips on Fridays, wasn’t likely to travel on the 13th day of any month, and would NEVER host 13 people at the dinner table. I mean, NEVER? What if you had invited 14 but one person got sick, then what? Just cancel the whole party!?!
- Black Friday, no, not the shopping extravaganza, happened on a 13th, so there you go. Friday, October 13, 1989, to be precise, the U.S. stock exchange suffered a major mini-crash. It’s this event that is often pinpointed as the start of the early 1990s recession.
- It is estimated that every Friday the 13th costs the U.S. economy approximately $800-900 million in losses, ouch!! This is according to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute, and it happens because many people refuse to do business or travel by air on this day. Kinda sounds like some folks are looking for a reason to take a day off if you ask me!
- Wishing and hoping for that special zombie wedding of your dreams? Well, the Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapels in Las Vegas, Nevada offers special zombie, vampire, and horror-themed wedding ceremonies on Friday the 13th. Anybody looking to elope today? I mean, I might need to hop on a plane and renew some vows, let’s go!
- You probably know this one already, but it’s worth mentioning…hotel and hospital buildings often skip the 13th floor, and airports sometimes don’t have a gate no. 13. Probably a good idea, smart decisions being made left and right, does this make you question the human mind?
- Now Taylor Swift, on the other hand, believes 13 is her lucky number and for good reason, I suppose. She was born on the 13th. She turned 13 on Friday the 13th. Her first album went gold in 13 weeks. And, her first #1 song had a 13-second intro…she literally could have planned that though!
- The band Black Sabbath released its debut album on Friday, February 13, 1970. Nuff said.
- The movie “Alive” is based on the true story of a plane crash in South America on Friday, October 13, 1972 (now that’s pretty cray-zay!). Fourteen survivors were found in the mountains more than two months after the plane went down. If you haven’t seen this movie, it’s a nail-biter and I highly recommend it!
- No list about Friday the 13th would be complete without mentioning the critically-acclaimed, ok ok, the commercially successful and cult-classic Friday the 13th enterprise which includes 12 horror movies, a television series, and several books that focus on curses and superstitions. The mask worn by the key character in the films, Jason Voorhees, is one of the most known images in popular culture. So, basically, this movie played on the fears of everybody who has friggatriskaidekaphobia. What does that say about us? So many things, I say, so very many things.
- Quick bonus: Exactly 200 characters have been killed in the 12 Friday the 13th films. That’s 16.6666667 slaughters per movie. Poor campers.
- Another bonus: Friday the 13th the movie was almost named Long Night at Camp Blood. If screenwriter Victor Miller had gotten his way on the movie’s name I just don’t think it would have made it to the 3rd sequel, do you?
Well, that wraps up my exploration on everything Friday the 13th. You have now been informed. Please, take this wisdom, and share it. But most of all, enjoy it. May you avoid ladders and black cats today. I suggest staying at home and taking a nice long nap.