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Friday the Thirteenth and other Superstitions

Updated on November 24, 2011

If you are looking for information on a dude named Jason who runs around with a chainsaw then keep looking. This site is going to explore how Friday the 13th became such an unlucky day and the origins of other superstitions.


How did Friday the thirteenth earn it's lore? Twelve is considered to be the number of completeness, ( ie 12 hours in a day, twelve apostles and the 12 months of the year) Therefore the number thirteen is considered to be not so lucky. Anything beyond Thirteen would be unheard of. There were 12 mythical Norse Gods. Loki, the God of Mischief, was number 13 and Evil. The Bible points out that there were thirteen in attendance at The Last Supper. There fore thirteen in attendance at a gathering is a bad omen. The tarot card # 13 is the card of Death

Some urban legends suggest if your name has thirteen letters in it you have the devils luck.. hence Charles Manson, Jeffery Dahmer and Theodore Bundy. How about Obama Bin Laden? Did I spell it right? Kind of freaky..

In folk lore the day Friday is considered to be the most unlucky day of the week believe it or not. Friday is named after Frigga (or Freya) a goddess of Fertility and Love. Frigga was banished and called a witch. it was believed she conspired with other witches to get even with those who banished her.  There are 13 witches in a coven too, by the way. 

Other sources say historically Friday has been a bad day. It was the day of the Crucifiction, the Day Eve offered Adam an Apple in the Garden of Eden and the first day of the great Flood. In Britain it was hangman day, with thirteen steps leading up to the gallows.

Friday the Thirteenth Facts

Did you know we will experience Friday the Thirteenth three times in the year 2009. Once in Feburary, March and November.

The fear of Friday the Thirteenth maybe the longest word ever..paraskavedekatriaphobia. That is one for the scrabble junkies. It is predicted people avoid going to work or driving a car on these days.

Astoriod 2004 NM4 will make a close encounter on April 13, 2029

October 13 Storm occured in New York on 10/13/06.

It is estimated that 8 percent of the American population are superstitious. Are you amoung them?

Are you superstitious about Friday the Thirteenth being bad luck?

See results

Other Superstitions

Walking under a ladder can be considered bad luck. The shape of a the ladder with the ground forms a triangle which represents the Holy Trinity. Walking through it was beleived to have weaken the gods and unleash the evil spirits.

Black Cats used to have a good connotation in ancient Egypt. They were worshipped and revered. To kill a cat of any kind meant death ot the one that killed it. To have a black cat cross your path in Egypt meant good luck. Cats started getting their bad reputation when Frigga (or Freya) turned her black cats into witches to reward their loyalty. This is where the idea of witches turning themselves into black cats or familiars originated.  If you were a woman who owned a black cat you were thought to be a witch.

 There are some saying about black cats

If you see a black cat at midnight it likely you are meeting the Devil.

If you walk under a ladder with a black cat you will have double bad luck.

If you have a black cat cross your path, spit as soon as you see it to avoid bad luck.

Breaking a mirrror.. It was thought in ancient times that looking into a mirror was a reflection of our souls. there for if you damaged a mirror you damage your soul.

If you speak aloud about good news you are supposed to knock on wood to ward off any punishment for bragging. Evil Spirits are supposed to be scared of the noise of knocking on wood 3 times.

Spilling salt is believed to be bad luck. But you are supposed to be able to reverse the bad luck by throwing salt over your left shoulder. The reason that people throw salt over their left shoulder after spilling it is because it was believed that an evil spirit stood behind you to your left. If you threw it over your left shoulder, it would get in his eyes and hopefully scare him off!

Saying God Bless yo after a sneeze originated from the Black Plague.  Sneezing at that time was sign of having ther plague.  Saying God Bless You was law as it was certain you would die.


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    • profile image

      West  8 years ago

      Karma babe!

      Be a good person, do good deed, earn good karma.

      Good Karma makes the world goes around.

      No more bad luck if you have good karma.

    • Bbudoyono profile image

      Bbudoyono 8 years ago

      In Islam there is no superstitions. There is no bad day. Everyday is full of blessings from Allah. We just believe in God.

    • Ms Chievous profile image

      Tina 8 years ago from Wv

      Now if this were only the year 2013 it would be crazier! How unusal Jillian! May you should play the powerball those days??

    • profile image

      JIllian 8 years ago

      i just saw you have written that this year there are only 3 friday the 13th's this year. well myself and my oldest daughter each have big bdays. my 30th bday was march 13th and my daughter is turning 13 on friday the 13th how crazy.

    • profile image

      hunter jordan 9 years ago

      alot of information thanks

    • Bill Beavers profile image

      Bill Beavers 9 years ago from California

      Enjoyed your writing. I own a Black Cat or of course she owns me, which may explain the last 10 years of my life. Just kidding. She is a remarkable cat that adopted us. We are all responsible for our own decisions and outcomes pretty much. Enjoyed your Hub.