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How to Understand the Origins of Friday the 13th

Did you ever wonder how Friday the 13th became associated with danger and bad luck? This history lesson will answer your questions.


  • TIP: Originally titled _Long Night at Camp Blood_, the film's name was changed to capitalize on the public's superstition.
  • Step 1: Don't fear Friday the 13th. Look at it this way: people may actually have _fewer_ accidents than normal on this day because they take extra precautions!
  • FACT: People who fear the number 13 are known as triskaidekaphobics.
  • Step 2: Realize that Friday the 13th's scary reputation was solidified in 1980 with the release of the popular slasher film, _Friday the 13th_.
  • TIP: In an eerie coincidence, the 7-masted schooner named after him in 1902 was wrecked on Friday, December 13, 1907.
  • Step 3: Realize that Friday's reputation as an unlucky day can be traced to 2 Biblical events: it is said that Eve offered Adam the apple that got them thrown out of Eden on a Friday, and Christ was crucified on a Friday.
  • Step 4: Learn that the 2 did not come together formally as the ominous "Friday the 13th" until 1907, when a Boston stockbroker named Thomas William Lawson wrote a novel by that name. The plot involved a banker scheming to crash the stock market on the unluckiest day of the month -- Friday the 13th.
  • Step 5: Understand that the number 13 wasn't originally considered evil on its own. Rather, it was the notion of having that number of guests to dinner that was considered bad luck. The superstition may stem from The Last Supper, when Christ sat down to dinner with his 12 disciples, only to be betrayed by one of them.

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