There’s a reason for everything and Friday the 13th being seen as unlucky has a few historical events that made people become superstitious about this date, here are the origins, history, and superstitions.
There is actually a word for the fear of the number 13: triskaidekaphobia.
There’s also a word for a fear of Friday the 13th: paraskevidekatriaphobia
Good luck pronouncing those!
Many believe that this is the origin of the fear of the number 13.
The Code of Hammurabi was one of the earliest and most complete written legal codes. It was proclaimed by Babylonian king Hammurabi, who reigned from 1792 to 1750 B.C. The bad luck comes from the notion that Hammurabi purposely left out a 13th law from its written legal codes.
However, the omission was simply an error made by one of the translators who left out a line of text.
Historically, Western cultures and the Bible held the number 12 in high esteem. Israel had 12 tribes. There are 12 zodiac signs in Western astrology. According to one of the best sources on the meanings of numbers, the book, “Numbers their occult power and mystic virtues” by William Wynn Wescott published in 1911, twelve is considered the number of completeness and perfection. In opposition, therefore, (because allegedly evil and the devil always do the opposite of good) thirteen is seen as evil or unlucky. This came about because of the following…
Jesus and his twelve disciples add up to thirteen. Judas is associated with the number thirteen for his betrayal of Jesus. The Last Supper occurred on Thursday, with Jesus’ crucifixion on Friday, according to the History Channel.
It is well agreed upon by scholars that an event that occurred on Friday the 13th of October 1307 significantly contributed to the idea that the combination of that weekday and number constituted really bad luck.
At the time, the Knights Templar had grown extremely powerful, expanding from their role as Christian soldiers to the equivalent of an early, powerful banking cartel.
As it turns out, King Philip IV of France was deeply in debt to the Templar Knights, also known as the Order of Solomon’s Temple.
King Philip IV used rumors that the Knights were involved in satanic activity as an excuse to arrest them, torture them into giving false confessions and burn them at the stake. In reality, it was a move to erase his debt and acquire the Templar’s wealth.
From then on, Friday the 13th gained a reputation has been unlucky.
There is a Norse myth about 12 gods attending a dinner party in Valhalla. Turns out, the trickster god Loki didn’t receive an invitation. But he showed up anyway, becoming the 13th guest. He made arrangements for Höðr to shoot his brother Balder with a mistletoe-tipped arrow. Then Balder died, making the entire earth dark. This event established the number 13 to be unlucky.
Here is a sampling of other unfortunate events that occurred throughout history on Friday.13th.