Friday the 13th

For many people, Friday the 13th is a day that carries ominous overtones and is considered unlucky in Western culture. It occurs at least once every year and may occur up to three times in a calendar year.

However, while some people consider the day to be unlucky or even evil, statistical analysis has shown that fewer accidents happen on this day than on any other day. This is probably due to more people staying home and being extra careful on this day.

History of Friday the 13th

Unfortunately, the history of this day has become somewhat obscured over time, so it is not widely known why it came to be considered unlucky. Throughout much of modern human history, both Friday and the number 13 have been associated with bad luck, but the combination of the two wasn’t considered especially unlucky until the late 19th century or early 20th century.

Since ancient times, Friday has been considered a day of bad luck. Sailors avoided embarking on new journeys, seamstresses refrained from needlework, and businessmen steered clear of writing letters on this day. The prevalent superstition surrounding the unluckiness of Fridays even extended to farmers, who avoided starting their crops on Fridays.

However, not all Fridays were created equal. Good Friday, in contrast, was believed to bring good luck, especially for sailors who made their maiden voyages on this auspicious day. Similarly, the number 13 has been associated with bad luck since ancient times.

The exact origins of this superstition, however, remain unknown. Some attribute it to the Last Supper of Jesus Christ, where there were 13 individuals at the table, including Jesus and his 12 disciples. The 13th guest, Judas Iscariot, is infamous for betraying Christ and taking his own life.

This belief led to the notion that if 13 people shared a meal, one of them would die within the year. The fear of the number 13 gained immense popularity in the 19th century, prompting people to go to great lengths to avoid it. It was common practice to skip the number when numbering hotel rooms, and the 13th floor of buildings was often labeled as the 14th floor.

The Horror Movie Franchise

Friday the 13th isn’t just an unlucky day; it’s also an American horror franchise. Starting with the first movie in 1980, this franchise has produced 12 slasher films, spawning numerous comic books, novels, video games, and merchandise. In total, the horror movie franchise has grossed over $464 million worldwide.

The Television Series

Airing from October 3, 1987, to May 26, 1990, Friday the 13th also had a television series. It featured Ryan Dallion (portrayed by John D. LeMay) and Micki Foster (played by Louise Robey) as two cousins on a mission to recover cursed antiques and return them to the vault of Curious Goods—an antique store owned by Jack Marshak (portrayed by Chris Wiggins).

These cursed antiques ranged from a doll that carried out killings for its owner to a gold compact mirror that could make men fall in love with its owner and even a cameo pendant that allowed the possessor to resurrect a person of their choice if they killed someone else. The series ran for a total of 72 episodes.

Celebrating Friday the 13th

While many people avoid activities on this day, and some stay home entirely, others choose to go about their day as if it were any other. Some celebrate by hosting parties featuring design elements and themes reminiscent of Halloween.

Certain charities utilize the day to host events and raise funds for their causes. However, individuals with triskaidekaphobia (fear of the number 13), paraskevidekatriaphobia (fear of Friday), or friggatriskaidekaphobia (fear of Friday the 13th) likely refrain from any specific activities on this day.

Some people opt to spend the day watching the Friday the 13th movies or television series. An increasingly popular trend is hosting watch parties for these two franchises with family and friends.


Whether you choose to stay home from work, avoid black cats and instances of the number 13, or throw a big party, you can rest assured that Friday the 13th remains one of the safest days on the calendar. It is also a holiday steeped in history and superstition, which is likely why it continues to captivate people as one of the more intriguing dates on the calendar today.

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