Happy Friday the 13th to all you superstitious folk out there! Friday the 13th is famous for being the unluckiest day of the year, but just how true is that belief? (Hint: not very.) Read on for some interesting facts you may not have known about this spookiest of Fridays!
1.) Fear of Friday the 13th is known as friggatriskaidekaphobia. Just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?
2.) You may have noticed that this is the second Friday the 13th of this year. Well, there’s going to be a third one too! Expect more spookiness coming your way in November.
3.) In case you think it’s eerie that there’s not one but three of these frightening Fridays this year, fear not, it’s not that unusual according to EarthSky.org:
“Whenever a common year of 365 days starts on a Thursday, it’s inevitable that the months of February, March and November will start on a Sunday and any month starting on a Sunday always has a Friday the 13th.”
4.) The last time there was three Friday the 13ths in one year was 2009.
5.) You better savor the spookiness while you can, because the next time we’ll be (un)lucky enough to have three of them again won’t be until 2026.
6.) Nobody is quite sure about the origins of our unlucky associations with Friday the 13th, but the first written reference to it came in the mid-19th Century with the US army captain William Fowler’s Thirteen Club – a group of 13 men dedicated to proving the spooky superstitions about the day false.
7.) Though it’s widely considered as the most dangerous day of the year by superstitious folk, researchers believe that you are less likely to suffer any unlucky accidents because people tend to be far more careful due to these superstitions.
8.) Horror lovers may be pleased to learn that the Friday the 13th franchise has grossed $380 million to date, according to BoxOfficeMojo. Not too shabby!
9.) For the spook-loving travelers out there, according to Time.com, you can take a one way flight to HEL on Flight 666 for the low low price of $148. (When you consider that HEL is Helsinki and flight 666 is Finnair’s AY666, it becomes a little less exciting..)
10.) The association that the number 13 has with bad luck seems to be biblical, what with Jesus being betrayed by the 13th guest (JUDAS!) at the Last Supper.
11.) Friday isn’t the most popular day in the bible either – Jesus was crucified on a Friday, it’s thought that Adam and Eve ate the unluckiest apple ever on a Friday and even Noah’s flood is supposed to have occurred on a Friday. So it isn’t any wonder the combination of the number 13 and Fridays was a bit of a frightening thought for Christians.
12.) Even the most credible of establishments are spooked out by the number 13. In certain countries where it is considered unlucky, many buildings opt out of having a 13th floor. So if you’re ever wondering why that hotel you’re staying in thinks that 14 comes after 12, you can blame a superstitious building developer.
13.) So, why do some people fear Friday the 13th so much even in this day and age? You can thank the human propensity for pattern-making and associations for that, according to Thomas Gilovich, the chair of psychology at Cornell University:
“If anything bad happens to you on Friday the 13th, the two will be forever associated in your mind, and all those uneventful days in which the 13th fell on a Friday will be ignored.”