The History of Friday the 13th

Happy Friday the 13th gals and ghouls! Today I want to teach you about the interesting history behind the so-called “cursed” day of Friday the 13th. I don’t know about you, but Friday the 13th is one of my favourite days of the year and usually ends up being a pretty great day regardless of the negative connotation that the day carries. Without further ado, the history of Friday the 13th.

 Western Origins
In the Western world, Friday the 13th carries an unlucky superstition along with it. Generally the superstition simply states that Friday the 13th is an extremely unlucky day for everyone. This is referencing when the 13th day of any given month happens to land on a Friday. Now, there are some terrible historic events that occurred on Friday the 13th (see Proof section below), however there is nothing specific that explains why it is an unlucky day.

Believe it or not, there wasn’t even an explanation as to why the unlucky day is specifically Friday the 13th until after the 19th century. However, the superstition behind this day is so strong that it has even sparked one of the most well known horror/slasher movie franchises of all time, which goes by the same name. There are however theories as to why Fridays are superstitious and why the number 13 is superstitious on their own.

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The fear of the number 13 is technically called “triskaidekaphobia” and is often traced back to the Last Supper, where there were 13 people present on the 13th day of Nisan Maundy Thursday. The presence of the number 13 throughout the history of this day, and the fact that it was the day before Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, have lead to the fear of the number within the Catholic church. Other reasons why the number 13 seems unlucky to many include the fact that women menstruate (on average) 13 times per year, traditionally, there were 13 steps up to the gallows, and a witches’ Coven has 13 members.

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Although there are many reasons why people are afraid of the number 13, there are less reasons why people have brought Friday into the mix. The main religious explanation is that Jesus Christ was crucified on Good Friday, which obviously would make it an unlucky time and a day of mourning. Another reason that I’ve seen reference to is the fact that the mass arrest and execution of the Knights Templar began on Friday the 13th. Gioachino Rossini, a famous Italian composer, also died on Friday the 13th, according to biographical records.

Hispanic and Greek Culture

In Spanish-speaking countries, as well as Greece, it is actually Tuesday that is considered an unlucky day, therefore Tuesday the 13th is their equivalent to our Friday the 13th.

In Greek culture, Tuesday is considered to be the day belonging to Ares, the God of war. The Fall of Constantinople to the Fourth Crusade occurred on a Tuesday, as did their fall to the Ottomans, which obviously would add to the superstition. It is also said that because Tuesday is the third day of the week, that makes it even more unlucky as in Greek culture, bad luck is said to come in threes.


  1. The Costa Concordia cruise ship crashed on Friday, January 13, 2012, killing 32 passengers on board.
  2. On Friday, October 13, 1972, an aircraft carrying a rugby team from Uganda crashed into the Andes and the survivors of the crash were forced to eat the flesh of those who died in order to stay alive until being rescued. (This is depicted in the movie Alive)
  3. At 11:00AM on Friday, September 13, 1940, Buckingham Palace was hit by 5 German bombs, there were 4 injuries and one death.
  4. Tupac Shakur died on Friday, September 13, 1996 following a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  5. On Friday, August 13, 1993, The Royal Plaza Hotel in Thailand collapsed

My Thoughts

Personally, I think that the “unluck” if you will, of Friday the 13th is something that is completely controlled by our minds. Some statistics have shown that no more accidents occur on Friday the 13th than on any other day of any given year. The accidents that do occur, are often involving women who are known to believe in the superstition, adding to my theory that this is 100% fuelled by our own beliefs.

I have always considered 13 my lucky number. Perhaps it is because I am a dark and twisted person who liked to believe that I was a witch when I was younger, or perhaps it’s just because nothing bad has ever happened to me on Friday the 13th. Friday is the best day of the week, and I think that if we all went into Friday the 13th believing that it is going to be a good day, nothing will go wrong. Obviously we cannot stop some of the terrible things that could happen on any day, but I think we are generally in control of the minor things that could go wrong on Friday the 13th. Positivity is everything my friends!

What do you think about Friday the 13th? Has it proven to be unlucky for you? Share your stories in the comments section below, I would love to hear what you have to say. If you have any other proof that Friday the 13th is the worst day ever, tweet me @kelsimarie1330! Is there any story that you would like me to cover next? Submit your suggestions to the Contact page and your story could be next. 

Until next time… Keep it spooky!

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