A short history of Friday the 13th

Paraskevidekatriaphobia is a fear of Friday the 13th. Are there any suffers of this phobia out there? Tell me if you are. I promise not to tell anybody else.

Okay, itís my first official Friday the 13th website celebration. Iím going to start by looking at the history of this glorious day.

Why has it become so important in modern folklore? I have been researching this subject, and what I quickly found surprised me.

Most of us are now familiar with the events of Friday 13th, 1307, which was the date that the members of the Knights Templar were arrested. Many theorists, including fiction author Dan Brown, have stated that this mass arrest of the Knights Templar was the origin of the Friday the 13th superstition. However, there are many experts that do not agree with this and believe that this correlation is relatively recent.

So, Iíll leave this fight up to the experts and look at some other reasons why people think the number 13 is unlucky.

There are some that simply believe that the fear of Friday the 13th is an amalgamation of two older superstitions which are the fear of the number 13 and the fear of Friday. In numerology, 13 is considered unlucky because it destroys the completeness of the number 12. Friday has been considered unlucky since the Canterbury Tales, and according to Christian tradition Jesus was crucified on a Friday.

However, not all cultures believe in Friday the 13th. Spanish speaking countries and the Greeks believe Tuesday the 13th to be unlucky, and the Italians believe Friday the 17th to be unlucky. Iím not on expert on history and the Knights Templar, but I would think that if a correlation between the mass arrest of the Knights Templar and the Friday the 13th superstition existed then these European nations would also believe Friday the 13th to be unlucky.

Could the fear of Friday the 13th have religious origins? It is supposed that witches favor Friday for coven gatherings. The Christian church went to considerable lengths to suppress this practice and was thought to proclaim Friday as unlucky. In the Middle Ages it became known as the Witches Sabbath. We all know how they loved their witches in the Middle Ages. Fear of Friday would have spread like wildfire.

Yes, we can look back in time and see many reasons why Friday the 13th is now considered unlucky. But, can fear of Friday the 13th be good?

Some countries experience fewer traffic accidents and reports of fire and theft on a Friday the 13th, because people are more careful or refuse to leave their homes. So, you see, a little fear can be good.

So, sit back at home and read a horror novel or watch a horror movie on Friday the 13th. Iíll probably be watching the original movies.

Interesting Factoids

There are 3 Friday the 13th occurences in 2012, each 13 weeks apart.

In France, a professional 14th guest, or a quatrorzieme, is hired by people who have 13 dinner guests and consider this to be unlucky.

The 13th Tarot card is Death.

There are 13 steps leading to the gallows.

The blade of a guillotine falls 13 feet before it slices through a neck.

Click here to read my April 2012 Friday the 13th poem

Click here for my 13 things to do on Friday the 13th

Click here to read an Excerpt from Rebirth starring a not so nice feline