Top 13 Historical Facts About Friday the 13th

This one’s for the Friggatriskaidekaphobes.

Happy Friday the 13th horror fans! No one knows for sure exactly how or when Friday the 13th became synonymous with bad luck, but theories abound. Below are some of the most interesting facts I could find regarding this infamous date and events that occurred on these dates. Enjoy!


1-last supper

Connection to the Crucifixion of Christ: There were 13 people at the Last Supper and the 13th was Judas. Christ was crucified on the next day, which was a Friday.



In numerology, the number 12 is considered the number of “completeness” as reflected in the following examples: There are 12 months in a year, 12 hours on a clock, 12 deities of Olympus, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 Apostles of Jesus, 12 successors to Muhammad in Shia Islam, and 12 signs of the Zodiac. 13, in contrast, is considered irregular, transgressing this completeness.



A person who is afraid of Friday the 13th is called a Friggatriskaidekaphobe; over 20 million Americans are afflicted by friggatriskaidekaphobia (also known as paraskavedekatriaphobia). Being afraid of the Number 13 is called triskaidekaphobia.



Four of the 12 movies in the Friday the 13th franchise were released on Friday the 13th. The next Friday film with be the 13th and is currently slated for release on Friday, May 13, 2016.



West Coast Gangsta Rap pioneer Tupac Shakur was shot multiple times in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas on September 7, 1996. He died six days later on Friday the 13th.



Statisticians at the Dutch Centre for Insurance (CVS) have established that Friday the 13th is actually safer than an average Friday. They claim that rates of accidents, fires, and thefts all decrease when the 13th of a month falls on a Friday.



According to Fox News, French King Philip IV rounded up hundreds of monks on Friday the 13th in October of 1307, and tortured them into admitting a “variety of heresies.” This event marked the downfall of the powerful Knights Templar.



The “Good Friday” Earthquake of March 13, 1964 remains the largest recorded seismic event in North America, killing 131 people near Prince William Sound.



Killers Charles Manson, Saddam Hussein, Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, Theodore Bundy, and Jack the Ripper all have 13 letters in their names.



Fidel Castro was born on Friday, August 13, 1956.



At an airshow in Lowestoft, Suffolk, on Friday the 13th, a 13 year-old boy was struck by lightning at precisely 1:13 pm (or, in military time, 13:13).


12-al capone

Al Capone was sentenced to prison on a Friday the 13th.



There are 13 twists in a traditional hangman’s noose and 13 steps to the gallows. The blade of a guillotine is set at a height of 13 feet. Most buildings don’t have a 13th Floor. There is no 13th Avenue in San Francisco. There are no Formula 1 racecars with the number 13. Many airlines omit Gate 13. Lizzie Borden uttered exactly 13 words during her trial for killing her parents with an axe; she was acquitted.



If all of these facts have you feeling uneasy, just jet on over to Italy where 13 is actually considered a very lucky number. Just don’t plan your Italian vacation on a Friday the 17th, which is considered a day of bad luck.


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2 Comments on this post.

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  • Evan A. Baker
    13 February 2015 at 3:59 pm - Reply

    Of course, before adopting the name “Jack the Ripper,” the press identified the killer as “Leather Apron,” which has a perfect 12 letters in it. What to make of that…?

  • Matthew Myers
    13 February 2015 at 6:00 pm - Reply

    Great article. So many different things, I was only aware of two of them