Quite possibly the most widely believed superstition in America, Friday the 13th is seen to be the “unlucky” day in Western superstition. So why do so many people believe this urban legend? It’s difficult to say exactly how old this superstition is. In fact, it's mostly guesswork, but here are some interesting facts associated with the number 13 and Friday the 13th (none to be taken too seriously.)
13 Interesting Facts about Friday the 13th
1) There were 13 people, including Jesus, at the Last Supper. The 13th person to arrive was Judas- the Apostle that went on to betray Jesus, and although it is subject to interpretation, many Christians believe that Jesus was crucified on a Friday.
2) On a Friday the 13th in 1307, King Philip of France arrested the revered Knights Templar and began torturing them, marking the occasion as a day of evil.
3) Natural disasters occurring on a Friday 13th include: the “Great Flood” of Kansas, Australia’s biggest wildfire and Florida’s especially costly Hurricane Charley.
4) Many elevators and buildings don’t label a 13th floor (it’s still there though), and instead the numbers skip from 12 to 14. In San Francisco, the street between 12th and 14th avenues is called Funston Ave.
5) Charles Manson, Saddam Hussein, Jack the Ripper and Osama Bin Laden all have 13 letters in their names.
6) 17-21 million Americans believe in Friday the 13th and will change their behaviors because of it. This fear is called paraskavedekatriaphobia (say 10 times fast!)
7) An estimated $800-900 million are lost to the U.S. economy every time there’s a Friday 13.
8) There is no #13 in Formula 1 racing after two fatal accidents occurred with the number.
9) Famous people born on a Friday 13th include: Butch Cassidy, the notorious American train and bank robber Fidel Castro, and the Olsen twins.
10) Famous people who died on a Friday 13th include: Julia Child, Tupac Shakur and Edwin Newman.
11) Good things are simply not in the cards. Tarot Card number 13 is the Death Card, depicting the Grim Reaper.
12) It doesn't actually scare everyone. In Italian popular culture, Friday the 17th—not the 13th—is considered a day of bad luck. Coincidentally, Italians generally consider 13 to be a lucky number.
13) The next Friday the 13th will be September 13, 2013.