Friday the 13th!
When it comes to myths, urban legends and tall tales, there are some that are just classics.
Don’t let a black cat cross your path, breaking a mirror is seven years bad luck, Bloody Mary and don’t walk under a ladder.
However one superstition actually causes people to change their daily plans and gave birth to the title of a infamous horror movie franchise: Friday the 13th.
Of course, the idea that one day on any calender is more unlucky or strange then another is pure craziness…or is it?
The origins of Friday the 13th are debatable.
Some say the tradition started as far back as at least 1869, where the day and date is mentioned in the biography of “the Italian Mozart” Gioachino Antonio Rossini, who was said to have a dislike for that particular combination of day and date, like many of his countrymen at that particular time:
“He [Rossini] was surrounded to the last by admiring friends; and if it be true that, like so many Italians, he regarded Fridays as an unlucky day and thirteen as an unlucky number, it is remarkable that one Friday 13th of November he died.”
Others say that the legend at least grew in strength with the publication of the novel Friday, the Thirteenth, by Thomas W. Lawson. In the book, a less then on the level broker uses the Friday the 13th urban legend to cause financial panic. The novel was first printed in 1907 and was very popular at the time. This may have at least helped spread the legend around a bit.
However is it all just a bunch of rumors and legends, or is there actually something about these dates that contain an element of the paranormal?
Most likely not, but there is a real phobia that many people have associated with the legend. The phobia is called friggatriskaidekaphobia, derived from Frigga the Norse goddess who was the inspiration for the name of the last day of the work week and triskaidekaphobia, which is simply a fear of the number 13.
Modernly we also associate the day with a madmen in a hockey mask who goes around murdering people. This of course is fiction, except in Detroit, where I suspect this is becoming more then just a Friday the 13th occurence.
What do you think about Friday the 13th? Is it just another silly old wives tale or urban legend, or is there something powerful in the number thirteen combined with Friday that causes bad luck?