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Researchers estimate that at least 10 percent of the U.S. population has a fear of the number 13, and each year the even more specific fear of Friday the 13th, known as paraskevidekatriaphobia, results in financial losses in excess of $800 million annually, as people avoid marrying, traveling or in the most severe cases, even working. But what’s so unlucky about the number 13, and how did this numerical superstition get started?
An early myth surrounding the origin of the fear involved one of the world’s oldest legal documents, the Code of Hammurabi, which reportedly omitted a 13th law from its list of legal rules. In reality, the omission was no more than a clerical error made by one of the document’s earliest translators who failed to include a line of text—in fact, the code doesn’t numerically list its laws at all.
READ MORE: Friday the 13th: Origins and Superstitions
Mathematicians and scientists, meanwhile, point to preeminence of the number 12, often considered a “perfect” number, in the ancient world. The ancient Sumerians developed numeral system based on the use of 12 that is still used for measuring time today; most calendars have 12 months; a single day is comprised of two 12-hour half days, etc. Following so closely on the heels of a “perfect” number, some argue, the poor 13 was sure to be found lacking and unusual. This fear of the unknown would seem to play into two other popular theories for the number’s unlucky connotation, both of which revolve around the appearance of a 13th guest at two ancient events: In the Bible, Judas Iscariot, the 13th guest to arrive at the Last Supper, is the person who betrays Jesus. Meanwhile ancient Norse lore holds that evil and turmoil were first introduced in the world by the appearance of the treacherous and mischievous god Loki at a dinner party in Valhalla. He was the 13th guest, upsetting the balance of the 12 gods already in attendance.
It also seems as if unexplained fears surrounding the number 13 are a primarily Western construct. Some cultures, including the Ancient Egyptians, actually considered the number lucky, while others have simply swapped numbers as the base of their phobias—4 is avoided in much of Asia, for example. According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, more than 80 percent of hi-rise buildings in the United States do not have a 13th floor, and the vast majority of hotels, hospitals and airports avoid using the number for rooms and gates as well. But in much of East and Southeast Asia, where tetraphobia is the norm, you’d be hard-pressed to find much use of the number 4 in private or public life, thanks to similar sounds for the Chinese language (and Chinese-influenced linguistic sub-groups) words for “four” and “death.”
READ MORE: Why Friday the 13th Spelled Doom for the Knights Templar
13 (thirteen) is the natural number following 12 and preceding 14.
Strikingly folkloric aspects of the number 13 have been noted in various cultures around the world: one theory is that this is due to the cultures employing lunar-solar calendars (there are approximately 12.41 lunations per solar year, and hence 12 "true months" plus a smaller, and often portentous, thirteenth month). This can be witnessed, for example, in the "Twelve Days of Christmas" of Western European tradition. 
Why Is 13 Unlucky?
The number 13 is synonymous with bad luck. It's considered unlucky to have 13 guests at a dinner party, many buildings don't have a 13th floor and most people avoid getting married or buying a house on a day marked by this dreaded number.
But why is 13 unlucky? And is there any statistical proof to support the superstition?
"No data exists, and will never exist, to confirm that the number 13 is an unlucky number," said Igor Radun of the Human Factors and Safety Behavior Group at the University of Helsinki's Institute of Behavioural Sciences in Finland. "There is no reason to believe that any number would be lucky or unlucky." [10 Weird Things Humans Do Every Day, and Why]
Radun might very well be correct, but there are a few bits of scientific research that have given superstitious folk a little more cause for concern, even if the scientists who performed the work aren't necessarily alarmed by their findings.
For starters, a 1993 study published in the British Medical Journal indicates otherwise. Researchers analyzed the traffic flow and number of injuries from car accidents on the southern section of London's M25 motorway during the five months that the 13th fell on a Friday between 1990 and 1992.
They compared these numbers to data collected on Friday the 6th of the same months, and found that although there are consistently fewer vehicles on the road during the 13th &mdash possibly as a result of superstitious people choosing not to drive that day, the researchers proposed &mdash "the risk of hospital admission as a result of a transport accident may be increased by as much as 52 percent" on the 13th.
But before triskaidekaphobics, or those who fear the number 13, say "I told you so," it should be noted that although the data were authentic, the authors didn't mean for their conclusions to be taken seriously.
"It's quite amusing and written with tongue firmly in cheek," said Robert Luben, a researcher at the school of clinical medicine at the University of Cambridge and one of the study's authors. "It was written for the Christmas edition of the British Medical Journal, which usually carries fun or spoof articles."
Many people took the study at face value and it continues to be cited as valid evidence regarding the misfortune of both the number 13 and Friday the 13th.
"(Some people) clearly didn't understand that the paper was just a bit of fun and not to be taken seriously," Luben told Life's Little Mysteries. "Many also assumed that the authors were 'believers.' I'm sure that most of these people hadn't read the paper, which suggests that people being superstitious affects their behavior."
Since the 1993 study, other studies have been written showing that it's just women who have more accidents on Friday the 13th, with further studies determining that that's actually not the case. Other research results attempting to measure just how unlucky the number 13 is are mixed.
For example, in 2005, the United Kingdom newspaper The Telegraph analyzed the winning lottery balls dating back to when the UK National Lottery began in 1994. They found that the number 13 is the unluckiest ball, since it was drawn a total of 120 times since 1994, compared with the luckiest ball, number 38, which was drawn a total of 182 times. But, "of course, there is no way of predicting which balls will be luckiest in the future," the article cautions.
Not everyone has found similar patterns.
"Unfortunately, most of studies dealing with Friday the 13th and the number 13 are solely focused on statistical data, such as accident data, stock exchange data, etc., without any attempt to establish a 'direct' relationship between belief, or superstition, and behavior," said Radun, who is co-author of the 2004 study "Females Do Not Have More Injury Road Accidents on Friday the 13th," which was published in the journal BMC Public Health.
"Therefore, it is not surprising that contradictory results may occur … In our study, we did not find that either women or men have more injury road accidents on Friday 13th compared to previous and following Fridays," Radun added.
Luben agrees that studies about statistics surrounding the number 13 should acknowledge how people's superstitions influence how they act. He wrote in his study that "superstitions affect behavior in all cultures in all parts of the world in some form or other." So whether you vow to never play the number 13 in a lottery or declare that 13 is your lucky number just to go against the grain, the stigma surrounding the number still influenced your decision.
"There are no lucky or unlucky numbers they exist only in our heads &ndash or in the heads of some of us &ndash and they might become lucky or unlucky only if we make them as such," Radun said.
But many triskaidekaphobics, who count author Stephen King and former president Franklin Roosevelt among their ranks, don't need statistical evidence or hard facts to back up their conviction that the number is truly cursed. As with any superstition, no matter how irrational it may be, some people will still choose to believe in it.
Follow Remy Melina on Twitter @RemyMelina.
This story was provided by Life's Little Mysteries, a sister site to LiveScience.
13 Of The Scariest Things That Have Happened On Friday The 13th
We all know Friday the 13th is unlucky, and any bad things that happen today should naturally be blamed on that. There’s even a term for fearing Friday the 13th – friggatriskaidekaphobia. (Luckily, sufferers will be too scared to hit the bar tonight, try saying that drunk.)
But, it wasn’t always considered unlucky. It was only in the 19th century that Friday the 13th became a “thing” that people spoke about. However, the roots of the superstition go further back. Some hold that 12 is a complete number – 12 signs of the Zodiac, 12 tribes of Israel, etc. – so 13, one over, is unlucky.
Some even think that if 13 people sit down to dinner, one will surely die, which stems from the Last Supper. It doesn't help that Jesus was crucified on a Friday, either.
Today’s Friday 13th even has a full moon (spooky), which is pretty rare. It won’t happen again until 2049.
Below is a list of scary events that have occurred on Friday the 13th.
1. Crusaders Were Captured
On Friday, October 13th, 1307, thousands of Crusades warriors were imprisoned. Members of the Knights Templar were accused of heresy, blasphemy and homosexuality. Many later died from torture, carried out by officers of the French King Philip IV.
2. Notorious People Were born
On July 13th, 1821 – a Friday, of course – Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard Nathan Bedford Forrest was born. He also fought in the Civil War, and eventually distanced himself from the KKK later in his life.
3. Backwards laws were passed.
On Friday, May 13th, 1925, the state of Tennessee declared it unlawful to teach the study of evolution. School kids were only allowed to be taught the biblical story of the creation of man. Scary stuff.
4. Twisted minds were born.
Alfred Hitchcock was born on Friday the 13th. Yes, that’s right, the film director with a seriously twisted mind (he managed to come up with “Strangers on a Train” and “Psycho”) was born on this fateful day. If that’s not a reason to stay home today, I don’t know what is.
5. War took a turn for the worse.
The Nazis dropped a bomb on Buckingham Palace on Friday the 13th of September 1940, as part of the Blitz during World War II. The Royal family was apparently taking tea at the time.
6. Planes crashed
On Friday the 13th, October 1972, a plane crashed in the Andes. Twelve people died instantly and more were killed in an avalanche later.
Those who survived did so by resorting to cannibalism. Is it any wonder that some Americans won’t fly today? The Andes crash was later turned into a film, “Alive.”
7. Musical legends died.
Tupac died on the 13th, a few days after being shot several times in Las Vegas as he left a Mike Tyson boxing match. His death is the source of controversy among fans, some of whom maintain he’s still alive. In one of his songs, Tupac raps about his own funeral.
8. Unforeseen natural disasters occurs.
A cyclone killed 500,000 people in Bangladesh on Friday, November 13th in 1970, one of the most catastrophic natural events the world had ever seen. #Thesecannotallbecoincidences
9. Markets collapsed
On Friday, October 13th, 1989, the stock exchange suffered a serious crash, the second most damaging in market history at the time. The recession blew these statistics away, but at the time, brokers were in a state of shock, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 190.58 points.
10. Technology failed.
On another Friday the 13th in 1989, a deadly virus crashed IBM computers in Britain, terrifying people and deleting lots of data that couldn’t be redeemed. This was before backup systems, and adversely affected businesses.
11. Tourist cruise ships sank.
Just two years ago in 2012, the cruise ship Costa Concordia partially sank on Friday the 13th. Over 30 people died. I didn’t even believe in this sh*t, but totally starting to.
12. Money is lost.
Apparently, $900 million is lost every Friday the 13th because people are scared to work and travel on this date. The only scary thing about that is how ridiculous people are.
13. It’s not looking good.
And a little preview for a Friday the 13th in 2029: Asteroid 99942 Apophis is forecasted to pass earth at a closer distance than any of our satellites. Not sure of the ramifications, but does not sound promising.
13 Freaky Things That Happened on Friday the 13th
This date, of course, is associated with bad luck and superstition, which is why it has its own phobia — "Frigg" was a Norse goddess who originally lent her name to the word that became "Friday," and "triskaidekaphobia" is the fear of the number 13. Statistically speaking, the day is not more dangerous than any other. But even people who don't avoid black cats or fear walking under ladders can have a little fun with Friday the 13th.
Read on for some of the strangest, most tragic and simply notorious events that have occurred on Friday the 13ths throughout history. [What Really Scares People: Top 10 Phobias]
1. A daredevil's death leap
Perhaps Friday the 13th wasn't the best day to stage a leap into New York's Genesee River. But then again, concern over the date may never have occurred to Sam Patch, an early daredevil who made his name by jumping off a cliff near Niagara Falls on Oct. 17, 1829. Patch, who was born around 1800, lived before Friday the 13th superstitions were prevalent. (They probably emerged closer to the end of the 1800s, or at least that's when folklorists find the first written records.)
A child mill worker, Patch would get an adrenaline rush by leaping off of mill dams — a talent he eventually spun into public stunt shows for cash. The Niagara leap made him a national name. Less than a month later, however, Patch arrived in Rochester "half drunk," according to "Sam Patch, the Famous Jumper" (Hill and Wang, 2003) by Paul E. Johnson. Some 10,000 people gathered to watch Patch leap from Genesee Falls on Friday, Nov. 13, 1829.
What happened next is lost to history, but an 1883 article in The New York Times reported that Patch "did not retain the position while descending or strike the water as he did on the former occasion," when he had previously made a similar jump. Whatever occurred, the Friday the 13th leap was Patch's last.
2. The "Black Friday" fires
On Jan. 13, 1939, a bushfire tore through Australia's Victoria province, killing 36 people in one day. This "Black Friday" fire was the deadly icing on top of a terrible fire season for the province. According to Australian Emergency Management, a total of 71 people died that January, and 75 percent of the state was affected by the flames.
Drought exacerbated the already-dry Australian summer that year, and amateur attempts to back-burn dry vegetation all too often spread out of control, contributing to the blazes that spread across the state. All told, about 1,300 buildings, including 700 homes, were destroyed in the January blazes. [Top 10 Deadliest Natural Disasters in History]
3. Buckingham Palace bombed
During World War II, Nazi Germany began an intensive bombing campaign against the United Kingdom, targeting London in particular. On 16 occasions, Buckingham Palace itself was hit, according to the City of Westminster Archives Centre.
One of the most destructive of these hits occurred on a Friday the 13th. On Sept. 13, 1940, Queen Elizabeth and King George VI were at tea, according to the Archives. Five bombs struck the palace, one of which destroyed the interior of the Royal Chapel. Another ruptured a water main. Three people were injured, one fatally.
Additional bombings would follow, but the palace survived the war with only slight damage.
4. Kansas floods
July 13, 1951, was an extremely inauspicious day for northeastern Kansas. The rains had been coming down hard and heavy since July 9, bringing up to 16 inches (40 centimeters) of precipitation to the Kansas, Neosho, Verdigris and Marais Des Cygnes rivers. On that Friday the 13th, records were broken. In Topeka, the Kansas River rose to 40.8 feet (12.4 meters), which was 14.8 feet (4.5 m) above flood stage and 6 feet (1.8 m) higher than any flood ever measured to that date, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).
Topeka was swamped, as was Lawrence. In the Manhattan, Kansas, business district, the water stood at 8 feet (2.4 m) deep. It was the single worst day of flood destruction in the Midwest to that date, according to the NWS. Twenty-eight people died, and another 500,000 were displaced until the waters receded. The NWS and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimate the damage amounted to $935 million at the time, which is equivalent to $6.4 billion in today's dollars.
5. A Cold War crisis
On Friday, June 13, 1952, the Cold War turned hot when the Soviet Union shot down a Swedish military transport plane. Eight people were on board the plane, which the Swedish government insisted was merely on a training flight. For its part, the Soviet Union declared it had no involvement in shooting down the lost DC-3.
However, a life raft with shrapnel damage was found during the search for the wreckage, according to the Swedish Air Force Museum. And one of the rescue planes (a Catalina) was shot down by Soviet fighters mere days after the DC-3 disappeared.
Both Sweden's and the Soviet Union's stories eventually fell apart. Almost 40 years after the so-called "Catalina Affair," Swedish officials admitted that the plane was a spy plane. Likewise, in 1991, the Soviet Union admitted to shooting the plane down. In 2003, the wreckage of the lost plane was found on the floor of the Baltic Sea. Four crewmembers were identified, but the other four remain missing. The remains of the plane are on display at the Swedish Air Force Museum. [Flying Saucers to Mind Control: 7 Declassified & Military Secrets]
6. A murder goes ignored
One of New York's most brutal and notorious murders occurred on Friday the 13th. On March 13, 1964, bar manager Kitty Genovese was stabbed and raped by a stranger, Winston Moseley. The attack took more than a half-hour, and an early New York Times article reported that 38 people witnessed the attack and failed to call the police. The tragic case became a staple in psychology classes as a way to illustrate the "bystander effect," or "Kitty Genovese syndrome," which occurs when people fail to act in a situation because they assume someone else will step in.
The story appears to be more complicated, however subsequent journalistic investigations revealed that this initial article inflated the number of witnesses and the number of attacks, and that it mistakenly claimed that Genovese was already dead by the time ambulances arrived. Several witnesses did see parts of the attack and turned away, but most saw only snippets and did not understand the gravity of the situation, or did intervene, albeit not quick enough to save Genovese's life.
7. A deadly cyclone strikes
The deadliest tropical cyclone in history struck on Friday, Nov. 13, 1970, in Bangladesh. Making landfall that Thursday night, the Bhola cyclone killed at least 300,000 people, according to the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.
The storm was equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane, with sustained winds of 115 mph (185 km/h). Even more devastating was the storm surge. Funneled by the shallow geography of the Bay of Bengal, the ocean pushed onto land. According to a 1970 report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the surge pushed water up to 16 feet (5 m) high. With nowhere to evacuate to, people climbed trees to escape the rising waters many were swept away.
"The highest survival rate was that for adult males aged 15 to 49," researchers reported in a 1972 article in the journal The Lancet, "which is consistent with the impression that those too weak to cling to trees — the old, young, sick and malnourished, and females in general — were selectively lost in the storm."
8. An infamous story of survival begins
On Friday the 13th in October 1972, the Uruguayan Old Christians Club rugby team boarded a turboprop plane to travel to a match in Chile. They never made it. Because of a navigational error, the plane careened into an Andean mountain peak, crashing on a high-altitude snowfield.
But the ordeal was only the beginning for 27 of the original 45 passengers who survived the crash and its immediate aftermath. Without cold-weather gear or much food, they were forced to improvise water-melting devices and eventually eat from the bodies of their lost companions — an ordeal memorialized in the 1974 book and 1993 movie "Alive." An avalanche killed eight more survivors at the end of October, and illness took the lives of others.
Incredibly, rescue did not come until the end of December, after two survivors launched a death-defying effort to hike out of the rugged terrain for help. The last of the 16 survivors were rescued on Dec. 23, 1972, after 72 days in the frigid wilderness.
9. A lesser-known plane crash kills 174
According to a statistical analysis by the Aviation Safety Network (ASN), superstitious passengers need not worry about flying on Friday the 13th. The "unlucky" day is no more prone to plane crashes than any other. In fact, the overall rate of fatal crashes on Friday the 13th is lower than the average of all days.
But Oct. 13, 1972, was not a great day to fly. The same day the turboprop plane carrying the rugby team went down in the Andes, a much larger flight crashed near Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport in Russia, according to the ASN. The Ilyushin-62 airplane was carrying 164 passengers and 10 crewmembers from Paris to Moscow, with a stop in Leningrad. As the plane approached the airport, it flew into the ground at an air speed of 385 mph (620 km/h). Everyone on board was killed.
According to the ASN, the cause of the accident was never determined. Mechanical malfunction is one possibility, or the pilot may have lost control due to a lightning strike.
10. Tupac Shakur dies
Friday, Sept. 13, 1996, was a tragic day for hip-hop, when rapper Tupac Shakur died of gunshot injuries in a Las Vegas hospital. Shakur had been injured on Sept. 7 in a still-unsolved drive-by shooting and died from those injuries on Friday the 13th.
Theories on the ultimate motive for the murder quickly proliferated: business disputes, personal feuds, gang violence. Some die-hard conspiracy theorists refuse to believe that Shakur really died, and insist that he is still alive somewhere, in hiding. [Top 10 Conspiracy Theories]
11. A master of suspense turns 100
Alfred Hitchcock was born on Aug. 13, 1899 — a Sunday. That's two days off of perfect horror-movie-myth kismet, but never fear: The famous filmmaker would have turned 100 on Aug. 13, 1999, which was — you guessed it — a Friday.
Hitchcock's work as a director was dark and often spooky, from the murderous "Psycho" to the creepy "Rear Window" and the obsessive "Vertigo."
12. Freak blizzard hits Buffalo
Residents of Buffalo, New York, have come to expect a lot of snow in the winter months. But 22 inches (56 cm) in the middle of October?
That was the snowfall total recorded at the Buffalo airport on Oct. 13, 2006, during the "Friday the 13th" blizzard. (The towns of Depew and Alden, New York, got 24 inches, or 61 cm). The storm was so unprecedented that NOAA's history of the blizzard can barely contain itself: "Words cannot do justice to the astounding event which opened the 2006-2007 season," reads the agency's website.
The snow that fell on Buffalo and upstate New York starting that Thursday afternoon and continuing into Friday was heavy and wet, and because the trees had not yet lost their leaves, branches snapped like matchsticks under the combined weight. Almost 1 million people lost power for up to a week because of the storm, according to NOAA.
13. A cruise ship capsizes
On Jan. 13, 2012, a peaceful Friday of cruising off the Tuscan coast turned chaotic as the Costa Concordia cruise ship struck a reef off the Isola del Giglio and began to tilt. At first, passengers were evacuated by lifeboat, according to the Associated Press, but as the ship came to rest on its side in the shallow water, survivors had to be airlifted to shore by helicopter. Thirty-two people died in the wreck.
A massive salvage operation took 19 hours to raise the ship from the reef where it came to rest. The captain of the ship, Francesco Schettino, was arrested for multiple manslaughter and for abandoning the ship instead of directing the evacuation. Perhaps appropriately, the verdict in the case is expected this week, right around yet another Friday the 13th.
Why is Friday 13th so scary? A history of tragedy on the fateful dayLink copied
Friday the 13th is considered the most unlucky day of the year
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While experts have been unable to officially identify its origins, some believe the hype stems from the number 13 and the day Friday both being particularly unfortunate.
The number 13 is often considered to be an irregular number, with some suggesting the roots of its supposed evil comes from the Nordic myth of 12 gods having a dinner party.
A 13th guest &ndash Loki, the trickster god of mischief &ndash was said to have strolled into the party uninvited before inciting Hind, the blind god of winter, to attack and subsequently kill Balder the Good, the god of joy and gladness.
The story then tells of how Balder's death brought darkness and mourning into the world, possibly lending to the misfortune that is now associated with the number 13.
In Christianity, some believe that Judas &ndash one of Jesus' apostles &ndash was the 13th guest at the Last Supper.
It is believed that Judas then betrayed Jesus the very next morning, leading to his crucifixion.
Leonardo da Vinci's depiction of the last supper
But for others, the number 13 is considered unlucky because of its place after 12, which according to numerology is associated with wholeness &ndash as suggested by the 12 Olympic Gods and the 12 calendar months.
A maths and policy scientist at the University of Delaware in the US explained that for some, the number 13 is "a little beyond completeness".
Thomas Fernsler, who also goes by the name Dr. 13, also told National Geographic in 2013 that that the "number becomes restless and squirmy".
The most popular theory as to why Friday is unlucky also stems back to Christianity.
Some suggest that Friday was the day that Eve gave Adam the "apple" that led to them being banished from the Garden of Eden.
The pair were also believed to have been killed the following Friday.
However, some have quashed this theory by theorising that the term "Friday" would not have been around then.
In other references, Jesus was traditionally considered to have been crucified on Friday &ndash the day we now know as Good Friday.
Superstitious Numbers Around the World
Numbers carry different meanings depending on what country you are in.
Today is Friday the 13th—a day thought to be unlucky because of the idea that number 12 is "complete" (think apostles, months of the year, zodiac signs) and 13 is just . odd. That's the explanation given by Joe Nickell, a senior research fellow and paranormal investigator for Skeptical Inquirer magazine.
But in other countries, different numbers are thought to be just as unlucky. In case 13 makes you nervous, here are five other numbers to avoid.
4: In China, the pronunciation of the word for the number four is similar to that of the Chinese word for death. Many buildings in China skip a fourth floor, just as U.S. builders sometimes omit floor 13.
9: Just as the number four has a bad-luck soundalike in Chinese, 9 is feared in Japan because it sounds similar to the Japanese word for torture or suffering.
17: Some Italians are superstitious about Friday the 17th because rearranging the Roman numeral XVII can create the word "VIXI"—translated from Latin to mean "my life is over."
39: The number 39 gets a bad rap in Afghanistan. An NPR report explains: "Many Afghans say that the number 39 translates into morda-gow, which literally means 'dead cow' but is also a well-known slang term for a procurer of prostitutes—a pimp." So when Afghans see a car with number 39 on the license plate, they head the other way.
666: Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia means fear of the number 666. In the Bible's apocalyptic Book of Revelation, John the Apostle refers to 666 as "the number of the beast." This "beast" is often interpreted as being the Antichrist—and thus the number is a sign of the devil.
Friday joins in the mix mostly because all of the early accounts of Jesus’s crucifixion agree that it took place on Friday—the standard day for crucifixions in Rome. As Chaucer noted in The Canterbury Tales, "And on a Friday fell all this mischance." Yet perpetuating Friday as an unlucky day in America came from the late 19th-century American tradition of holding all executions on Fridays Friday the 13th became the unluckiest of days simply because it combined two distinct superstitions into one. According to the Oxford University Press Dictionary of Superstitions, the first reference to Friday the 13th itself wasn’t until 1913. (So despite actually occurring on Friday, October 13, 1307, the popular notion that the Friday the 13th stigma comes from the date on which the famed order of the Knights Templar were wiped out by King Philip of France is just a coincidence.)
The repercussions of these phobias reverberated through American culture, particularly in the 20th century. Most skyscrapers and hotels lack a 13th floor, which specifically comes from the tendency in the early 1900s for buildings in New York City to omit the unlucky number (though the Empire State Building has a 13th floor). Some street addresses also skip from 12 to 14, while airports may skip the 13th gate. Allegedly, the popular Friday the 13th films were so-named just to cash in on this menacing date recognition, not because the filmmakers actually believed the date to be unlucky.
So, is Friday the 13th actually unlucky? Despite centuries of superstitious behavior, it largely seems like psychological mumbo jumbo. One 1993 study seemed to reveal that, statistically speaking, Friday the 13th is unlucky, but the study's authors told LiveScience that though the data was accurate, "the paper was just a bit of fun and not to be taken seriously." Other studies have shown no correlation between things like increased accidents or injuries and Friday the 13th.
And Friday the 13th isn't a big deal in other cultures, which have their own unlucky days: Greeks and Spanish-speaking countries consider Tuesday the 13th to be the unluckiest day, while Italians steer clear of Friday the 17th. So today, try to rest a little easy—Friday the 13th may not be so unlucky after all.
There’s a Study on That: Are People Born on the 13th Unlucky for Life?
Author Nadine Hays Pisani was born on a Friday. That would be otherwise unremarkable, but the day Pisani was born also happened to be the 13th of the month. Friday the 13's an inauspicious day according to some Western superstitions, and it's something that's followed Pisani her whole life.
"Whenever that comes up in conversation, I usually get one person who looks at me strangely, as if I exude bad luck," she says via email. “I've been at a blackjack table in Atlantic City where my friend, just for fun, announced to the crowd I was born on Friday the 13th. Players actually got up and walked away from the table.”
The superstitions surrounding the number 13 can be particularly problematic for people born on the 13th day of a month, and especially for those born on Friday the 13th. But is there any science behind that? Will a person born on the 13th really contend with a lifelong streak of bad luck – and encounter far more bad luck – than people who don't share the same birthdate?
British social scientists decided to find out. They examined whether being born on the 13th of the month, and particularly on a Friday, had a lifelong impact. Did people with the 13th as a birthday have more trouble finding employment, earn less money or encounter other disadvantages?
Broken heels, dropped ice cream, ripped umbrellas. can you blame a birthday?Zero Creatives/Getty Images
Using data provided by the nearly 4 million people who participated in the U.K. Labor Force Study, researchers examined the employment status, wages and marital status of respondents born on the 13th of a month. The survey of residents across the United Kingdom allowed researchers to compile data received from people born on the 13th and compare it to that of people born on other days.
The researchers found no distinguishable difference in employment status, earned wages or marital status between people with a 13th birthdate and a birthdate falling on another number. The data essentially debunked the “unlucky 13” superstition.
Despite the rational results, you'll still find few hotels and office buildings have a 13th floor, and you'll be hard-pressed to find an airplane with a 13th row of seats or an airport with a Gate 13. In fact, flying on the 13th day of the month is so unpopular that airlines in some countries may offer deep discounts for tickets.
It makes little sense to Pisani. Any bad luck she has encountered was caused by her own decisions, not fate, she contends.
“Crashing my dad's car when I was 17 after I sneaked it out of the garage without permission," she says, "is because I was a dumb teenager. Dating that guy who broke my heart was clearly due to my inability to acknowledge someone's horrible behavior. But I've also made great decisions, some that changed my life in ways I could never have predicted.”
Several years ago, Pisani and her husband quit their jobs as chiropractors and moved to Costa Rica. “We had no friends living there, didn't even understand the language. We just knew that we did not want to spend the next 25 years stuck in the office,” she says.
Pisani went on to write a three-book series and is currently building a bed and breakfast in Costa Rica. “I made this luck by taking a chance,” she says. “Perhaps being born on Friday the 13th was the best thing that ever happened to me.”
Studies suggest fewer motor-vehicle accidents occur on the 13th of a month because people tend to drive more carefully on that day, making it not that unlucky after all.
THE NUMBER 13: LUCKY OR UNLUCKY?
Over the centuries there has been so much speculation about the number 13 and whether it is unlucky or not. In the main, people are superstitious and often avoid this number. So much so that in sports for example, this number is avoided. Floors in buildings go from 12 to 14, the number 13 being avoided at all costs. But how lucky or unlucky is it actually?
Thing is many hundreds of years ago, people connected much more with it, like the 13 moons in a year. The cycle of 28 days and feminine energy.
Today is the Summer Solstice and believe it or not it’s pouring with rain here. The official start of the summer, even though there are several other dates, seasonal, calendar and astrologically. The sun moves from Gemini (The Twins) into the emotional dreamy sign of Cancer (The Crab). Interesting when you think about a crab who spends a lot of his or her life in a shell, hiding. Moving only when necessary and the moment any danger appears, they retreat as fast as they can back into the protection of their shell. Sharp pincher claws to attack anyone who threatens them. Hmmm interesting, when often the sign of Cancer is portrayed quite differently. But there will always be opinions.
To me personally I don’t think that the number 13, which is what this blog is supposed to be about, has never been a number that I felt was one I had to avoid. On the contrary and it’s interesting to see that over the years, 13 has been connected to several very significant things like: the USA was originally formed with 13 states. 13 stars and 13 stripes on the flag to name but a few.
13 colors in the spectrum and even though you may disagree and say no, only 12, this is not true. The first and foremost color is white or clear. White light shone through a prism gives the three primary colors, blue, red and yellow. Mixing these gives both the secondary and tertiary colors, completing the spectrum at 13 not 12.
So, there are also 13 rays of color for incarnation. People have argued for centuries about which color was the first but to my mind, the white or clear. The first speck of light that shines even in the pitch black.
Numbers have and always will play a big role in our lives and a lot of people are suddenly noticing a lot of ‘communication’ appearing in the form of numbers, from car number plates to double numbers on a digital clock. That feeling of ‘how coincidental’. No, not really, it’s like a subtle message for you.
Yesterday evening, I was reading through the many astrological emails I get every day and one caught my attention in particular. It was based on a summary of personal numbers which are reached when you add up several things. Your date of birth, your name, the vowels in your name and guess what mine was 11, 1 and 11. A repeat of five one’s. Now one thing I know for sure is that 11 is a master number (like 22 and 33 too). It means: An angelic digit and the spiritual meaning is considered to be the gateway to enlightenment. It represents change, a new vision, a new chance, and in the Tarot it’s the Justice Card which is the symbol for balance, decision making and fairness. Not bad and I have five in a row. Of course, curious as I am, I had to look up the meaning of five one’s in a row … and this is interesting. ‘You are in the right direction and attracting everything you are focused on and paying attention to. It can be either negative or positive. That is irrelevant. You are just attracting things and people, through your intense and immense vibration and energy. Also known as the Law of Attraction.’
All in all, it’s a sign for sure, from the angelic realms (and many people have told me that I originate from there) or a message from the so-called Ascended Masters. They are telling you it’s time for change, new choices, new challenges and new beginnings. OK I hear you clearly.
What is relevant today is that I have started a 21 day online challenge with the quite controversial title : Unfuck Yourself. It is being run by a friend of mine and this morning, day one, I wrote down all the major points from the past year. Just by leafing back through the past year in my diary and believe me it was quite depressing. Personal things and the one thing that has ‘fucked’ us all up over the past few months – The Lockdown!
I am fully committed to the next 21 days, because come on, what is 21 days really in a lifetime when it could be that all important life changing moment?
So, in I go, diving into the deep for the next 21 days when one of the things coming up is a social media detox as well. I intend to take that seriously and go offline as well. One of the best phrases in the information today was a sentence that really resonated with me which I mentioned in my last blog, but I will repeat as it is so important: When referring to constantly ‘liking’ on social media … maybe the best thing you should like is the image of yourself in the mirror every morning. Good advice.
There is very little evidence to show that Friday the 13th is indeed an unlucky day. Many studies have shown that Friday the 13th has little or no effect on events like accidents, hospital visits, and natural disasters.
The commercially successful Friday the 13th enterprise includes 12 horror movies, a television series, and several books that focus on curses and superstitions. Even though the films and the television series consistently received negative reviews from critics, they have a considerable following. The mask worn by the key character in the movies, Jason Voorhees, is one of the most known images in popular culture.