Titan Times

The student news site of Tuscarora High School

The student news site of Tuscarora High School

Titan Times

The student news site of Tuscarora High School

Titan Times

Key Club Plants a Tree
Key Club Plants a Tree
Ms. Marcotte, Advisor • May 17, 2024

You may have noticed a new addition to the Tuscarora High School grounds this week, and no, that tree was not always there! This past Monday, May 13 around 2:30 p.m....

It’s Friday the 13th!

Learn about the history of how this unlucky day originated

It’s Oct. 13th! To the untrained eye this is just another ordinary day. However, to the horror movie buffs, conspiracy theorists and Halloween lovers, it’s the unluckiest day of the year: Friday the 13th! 

Many people have heard of the phenomenon that is Friday the 13th, but are unaware of its origin. While Friday the 13th specifically hasn’t always been feared, the number 13 itself has long had negative superstition around it, citing all the way back to biblical times. 

Thirteen guests attended the Last Supper, including Jesus and his 12 apostles; one of whom, Judas, betrayed him. The next day was Good Friday, the day of Jesus’ crucifixion.

These moments have given rise to a Christian superstition that having 13 guests at a table is a bad omen, more specifically, that it is courting death.  People also point back to the ancient Code of Hammurabi, which reportedly omitted a 13th law from its list of legal rules as proof of 13’s long standing negative associations. 

Negative connotations around Friday haven’t always been as popular, but roots of this superstition can also be found in Christianity such as Jesus being crucified on a Friday, Eve giving Adam the fateful apple from the Tree of Knowledge on a Friday, as well as the Friday Cain killed his brother, Abel.

The origin of the Friday 13th superstition is believed by some to have first occurred  on Friday, October 13, 1307, when officers of King Philip IV of France arrested hundreds of the Knights Templar for the defense of the Holy Land. Really the king wanted access to their financial resources, but imprisoned on charges of various illegal behaviors, many Templars were later executed. 

Many terrible Friday the 13ths followed such as: the German bombing of Buckingham Palace (September 1940), the murder of Kitty Genovese in Queens, New York (March 1964), a cyclone that killed more than 300,000 people in Bangladesh (November 1970), the disappearance of a Chilean Air Force plane in the Andes, (October 1972); the death of rapper Tupac Shakur (September 1996) and the crash of the Costa Concordia cruise ship off the coast of Italy, which killed 30 people (January 2012). (History.com)

The superstition behind Friday the 13th became so popular that in 1907, Thomas William Lawso wrote the novel “Friday, the Thirteenth.” The book told the story of a New York City stockbroker who plays on superstitions about the date to create chaos on Wall Street and make a killing on the market.

A very iconic movie also came from the superstition called Friday the 13th. The movie was written by Victor Miller. Miller was born in 1904 and would go on to meet director Sean Cunningham, with whom he collaborated on a couple of children’s movies about sports. They eventually realized that America’s youth didn’t want family-oriented movies, they instead wanted tons of blood, screaming and the ever important nubile flesh as proven by the success of John Carpenter’s “Halloween.”

Friday the 13th was released in 1980, introducing the world to a hockey mask-wearing killer named Jason. The movie spawned eight sequels, as well as comic books, novellas, video games, related merchandise and countless terrifying Haloween costumes. The movie made hockey-mask wearing Jason Voorhees a Halloween costume favorite and a pop culture icon. These movies have grossed more than $216 million at the domestic box office and is perhaps the best-known example of the famous superstition in pop culture history. 

Even after reading, this day may remain just another day to some and be categorized under superstitious nonsense, but there is always that category of people who will noticeably be very careful on this day because to them if there was any day that something in their life could go wrong, it’s Friday the 13th.

 

picture from The Sun
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