What exactly is it about the 13th day of the month landing on a Friday that brings out the superstitious nature in us all?
From avoiding walking under ladders to the paranoia surrounding a broken mirror, opening an umbrella indoors or crossing paths with a black cat, these peculiar notions are heightened on Friday the 13th.
According to those invested in what makes this date especially spooky, the fear of the number 13 has been recorded in history since biblical times. In Christianity, while 12 is the number of completeness, 13 has been an omen of death. With 13 guests at the last supper, and Jesus being crucified on a Friday, as well as the belief that Eve ate the forbidden fruit on a Friday, those two factors have heavily influenced the fear of 13 and the day Friday. Fear of 13 also is reflected in the omitted 13th law of the ancient Code of Hammurabi, as well as King Philip IV of France’s arrest of hundreds of the Knights Templar on Friday the 13th, 1307.
In more modern times tragedies have occurred on this date, such as the German bombing of Buckingham Palace in 1940, the murder of Kitty Genovese in 1964, a cyclone that killed more than 300,000 people in Bangladesh in 1970, the disappearance of a Chilean Air Force plane in the Andes in 1972, the death of rapper Tupac Shakur in 1996, the crash of the Costa Concordia cruise ship off the coast of Italy in 2012, and many other strange and devastating occurrences. In pop culture, the 1980s hit thriller of the same name depicts a murderous Jason Voorhees wreaking havoc on Friday the 13th, adding an imaginative twist to the dreaded date.
This year, believers will be tip-toeing carefully through two different Fridays that happen to land on the 13th — today and again in July. So be sure to throw a pinch of salt over your left shoulder for good luck (to distract the devil from causing mischief) and grab your four-leaf clover if you, too, are feeling bad vibes on this Friday the 13th.
Reach Ivy Potter at 740-353-3101 ext. 1932