Are you a bit more cautious on Friday the 13th? You’re not alone. Friday the 13th is a seriously unlucky day, feared by millions of people. It even has a phobia named after it – friggatriskaidekaphobia. (The word is a combination of Frigg [the Norse goddess of wisdom from which we get the word Friday], triskaideka [the Greek words for 13], and phobia.) Though many superstitious people are wary of the day, it wasn’t like this until the 1800’s. Part of it may stem from religion – more specifically, The Last Supper when Judas Iscariot was the 13th diner. Thus, some people believe if 13 people have dinner together, one of them is bound to die soon. Alternatively, Friday was the standard day for public hangings throughout Britain, and it’s believed there were 13 steps leading up to the gallows and 13 knots in the noose.
The bad news for any Friday the 13th worriers is that every year will have at least one Friday the 13th, and some years will have up to three (which, ironically, is actually a lucky number). The good news is research has not found the date to be particularly more unlucky than any other day, though this doesn’t really calm people with friggatriskaidekaphobia. Check out these strange and oddly unlucky happenings in our list of 25 Terribly Unlucky Things That Happened On Friday The 13th.
25 Terribly Unlucky Things That Happened On Friday The 13th | List25
One of the oldest suppositions of Friday the 13th’s origins dates back to 1307 when French King Philip IV ordered the arrest and death of thousands of Crusaders.
Just before Halloween in 1989, the New York Stock Exchange crashed on Friday the 13th, sending the Dow Jones plummeting by nearly 191 points in a single day – the second worst in history at the time.
On Friday the 13th, 2010, a 13 year-old boy was struck by lightening at 1313 (1:13pm) in England. He miraculously survived with only a small burn.
The Aztec Empire came to an abrupt and unexpected end on Friday the 13th, August 1521, when Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés overran the city of Tenochtitlán, renaming it Mexico City and ending the once-powerful empire.
Since millions of people are scared to travel or work on any given Friday the 13th, the world loses an estimated $900 million every time this day comes around.
New Yorker Daz Baxter chose to stay in bed on Friday the 13th in August 1976 to keep away from any potential bad luck. It seems bad luck came to him as his apartment block collapsed, and he fell six stories to his death.
The year 1989 also saw the “Friday the 13th virus” infect hundreds of IBM computers in the United Kingdom, permanently erasing loads of data in an age before computer backups.
A recent Friday the 13th disaster, in 2012 the Costa Concordia cruise ship ran aground near Isola del Giglio, killing 32 people.
Joshua Dudley’s uncle passed away in late 1995. His lawyers called to tell him he inherited an estate worth $3 million from his dear uncle. The trouble was Dudley was at the Fabergé egg exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art when he received the call – his happy dance caused $4 million in damages.
Ever heard of the psychological phenomenon known as the Bystander Effect? It’s when people in a group feel they don’t need to help someone in need because someone else will do it. It’s said over 30 neighbors watched as Catherine Susan Genovese was stabbed to death in Queens, New York City, on Friday the 13th, 1964, but failed to call the police or do anything at all.
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