Today being Friday the 13th better grab your lucky rabbits foot and steer clear of any black cats! Who knows what can happen on this cursed day…wait…why has Friday the 13th been marked as so unlucky? Both Friday and the number 13 are each unlucky throughout history. When they appear together they create an irrational fear known as friggatriskaidekaphobia.

 

Unlucky 13

 13 has been considered unlucky for centuries dating all the way back to at least 1700 BC. Historians note that ancient Babylon's Code of Hammurabi skips over the number 13 in its list of laws. The next earliest reference that could contribute to the superstition is that 13 people present at the last supper.  Since these early account there have been plenty of folklore and coincidental comparisons to back it up.

 

A Fight To Prove #13’s Innocence

With so much hype surrounding this number there were bound to be a few people to disagree. In 1881 one such group was known as the Thirteen Club. This club was founded with 13 original members who attempted to prove that any negativity surrounding the number was false. On the clubs first meeting members walked under ladders into rooms covered with spilled salt to fight any superstition. This club gained popularity over the years even having 5 US presidents as members.

 

Unfortunately the phobia stuck and still remains a widely feared number. It is not uncommon for even businesses to react irrationally to the number. You may find yourself lost looking for row 13 at the theater just to discover that it is missing, or maybe you go to the elevator and see it skips straight from 12 to 14. Even airports quietly omit gate 13 on occasion.

 

A Bakers Dozen:

According to folklore, a witch in New York used to demand 13 baked goods whenever she visited the towns bakery. One day, when the baker could not afford to toss in an extra treat, the witch supposedly cursed the baker with bad luck. It wasn’t until he brought the witch another 13 rolls that things changed and he broke the curse. Believe it or not, the custom is still sometimes practiced today.

 

The Tarot Card Number 13

Tarot card 13 is known as the death card, which is illustrated as the Grim Reaper. Though the image is normally associated with death, things are not as bad as they may seem. Don’t worry too much if the death card shows up in your future, it is meant to signify a change which could just as easily be positive.

 

Off With His Head:

It is said that there are 13 stairs leading to the gallows, the blade in a guillotine fell from a height of 13 feet and a hangman has 13 knots in a hangman’s noose. Just in case walking to your death was not bad enough, here is some extra bad luck along the way.

 

Unlucky Friday:

Fridays in general have their own stigma. In several cultures Friday is simply considered an unlucky day. This is more so true within nautical folklore, for example; in sailing superstition it is unlucky to begin a voyage on a Friday. Friday is also considered an unfavorable day for sowing seeds. Even inThe Canterbury Tales, and many other professions have regarded Friday as an unlucky day begin new projects.

 

Now having a Friday that also falls on the 13th is a double whammy! Popular culture has fed on people’s superstitions by way of movies and books creating even more stigma. If you make it through today unscathed don't put away the 4 leaf clover just yet! You have 1 more Friday the 13th in 2013 in December!