13 Spooky Stories Behind Friday The Thirteenth
Friday the 13th falls is considered an inauspicious day among civilizations following the Gregorian calendar. Here are 13 stories that gave rise to the superstition surrounding this date.
1. The Last Supper — Jesus sat down to sup with twelve of his disciples, the night before his crucification on Good Friday, giving rise to the superstition that when thirteen sit to dine, the first to rise will be the first to die. His disciple Judas was the first to rise and he betrayed Jesus, hanging himself due to the guilt of the betrayal. Jesus was the next.
2. The Knights Templar — The Knights Templar were an Order endorsed by the Roman Catholic Church. Skilled fighters, they protected the pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land of Jerusalem. On Friday, 13th October, King Philip IV of France ordered the arrest and execution by burning of hundreds of Knights Templar, under false accusations, for his own personal reasons. It is said that the leader of the Templar called out from the flames, cursing the King and Pope to death for condemning them to death. Both the Pope and the King died within the year.
3. The Forbidden Fruit — Another story suggests that Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit from The Tree of Knowledge on Friday the Thirteenth, tempted by Satan, which led them to be banished from Eden.
4. The H.M.S. Friday — To dispel the superstition surrounding Friday, the thirteenth, the British Navy commissioned a ship called the H.M.S. Friday in the 19th century. The captain’s name was James Friday and the ship set sail on a Friday, only to disappear forever.
5. The Great Flood — Legend has it that the Great Flood, documented in many texts around the world, from Mesopotamian stories, Hindu Puranas, Greek mythology and lore of the Mayans and Native Americans, began on a Friday.
6. Apollo 13 mishap — The ill-fated Apollo 13 was launched on 11 April, 1970; the sum of the digits of the date add up to 13. Apollo 13 was to be launched to its landing site on moon at 13:13 Houston time. While NASA and mission’s crew laughed at the idea of the mission being cursed, the number of problems they faced, eventually aborting the mission, have only added to superstition surrounding Friday, the thirteenth.
7. Buckingham Palace bombing — Germans bombed Buckingham Palace on Friday, September 13, 1940. Both King George VI and Queen Elizabeth barely escaped.
8. Chilean Plane disappearance — A Chilean plane disappeared in the Andes on Friday, October 13, 1972. Only 16 survivors were found 2 months later. They had survived by eating the flesh of the remaining 31 passengers who had died. Another plane flying to Paris on the same day crashed, killing all 160 aboard.
9. The Stock Market Crash — On Friday, October 13, 1989, the story of the breakdown of a leveraged buyout deal for UAL Corporation led to the Friday the 13th mini-crash, which was termed as the start of the recession of the early 1990’s. Following this the stock markets entered a bear market period till 1995.
10. Bhola cyclone — The Bhola cyclone, often termed the deadliest cyclone over the Bay of Bengal and eastern Indian, killed at least 500,000 people. The cyclone struck the coast on 12 November, 1970 and created maximum havoc over land on Friday, 13 November, 1970.
11. The Witches’ Coven — The coven of witches, normally a coven of twelve would be joined by Frigg, the Norse Goddess of love, after whom the day is named, on Fridays, bringing the total number to thirteen. according to Christian legends, the 12 witches are joined by Satan on Friday the 13th, again bringing the total number to thirteen. Thirteen is also the number of months in pagan lunar calendar.
12. Ruled by Rahu — In Indian Astrology, the digits in 13 add up to 4, a number ruled by the planet Rahu, generally representing cruelty and considered inauspicious.
13. Norse mythology and the Norman conquest — One of the stories in Norse mythology is of the hero Balder, who was killed at a dinner for 12, where Loki went uninvited, thus taking the count to 13. Loki played a trick at the dinner, telling Balder’s blind brother Hod to throw a spear of mistletoe at Balder, thus causing his death. On Friday, 13 October, 1066, Anglo-Saxon King Harold ordered his troops to march against the Norman army of William, after a grueling three day march, in the legendary Battle of Hastings, only for the entire Anglo-Saxon army to be wiped out.
Do you have any Friday the 13th stories? Share with us in the comments below.
Originally published at www.tell-a-tale.com on November 13, 2015.