When the thirteenth day of a month falls on a Friday, superstition says it will be a day filled with bad luck. In the Gregorian calendar, this day occurs at least once, but at most three times a year. Where does the fear of Friday the 13th originate from? That’s a hard case to crack as there are endless theories on this matter some day that date all the way back to biblical times (it is said that Eve tempted Adam with the forbidden fruit on a Friday and also the day of the week on that Christ was crucified) although is no written evidence for a “Friday the 13th” superstition before the 19th century, the oldest documented reference in English occurs in an 1869 biography of Gioachino Rossini.
“Rossini was surrounded to the last by admiring and affectionate friends; and if it be true that, like so many other Italians, he regarded Friday as an unlucky day, and thirteen as an unlucky number, it is remarkable that on Friday, the 13th of November, he died.”
The name “Friday” comes from a Norse deity worshipped on the sixth day, known either as Frigg (goddess of marriage and fertility), or Freya (goddess of sex and fertility), and was considered lucky pre-Christianity but because of the cat being Freya’s sacred animal she became labeled a witch and her day would become one associated with pure evil.
As the legend goes, the witches of the north used to observe their Sabbath by gathering in a cemetery at night. On one such occasion the Friday goddess, Freya herself, came down from her sanctuary in the mountaintops and appeared before the group, who numbered only 12 at the time, and gave them one of her cats, making their coven 13 which happens to be the proper number for a coven even today.
Some other popular origin theories are found in numerology where the number twelve is considered the number of completeness, which is why there are twelve months of the year, twelve signs of the zodiac, twelve hours of the clock, twelve tribes of Israel, twelve Apostles of Jesus, twelve gods of Olympus, and so on. This is also where the fuel for another superstition that some believe is caused by the Last Supper that states having thirteen people seated at a table will result in the death of one of the diners.
There are countless other theories on the origin of the dreaded day of year some even involving the mysterious Knights Templar as Friday the 13th was the date King Philip would order the mass arrest of all the Knights Templar in France.
We may never known one hundred percent where the beginnings of Friday the 13th really start but regardless it has become embedded into our culture forever. Some people fear this date so badly the developed a disorder called “friggatriskaidekaphobia” I for one welcome this day as its responsible for the birth of one of the most celebrated horror franchises ever and to that hockey mask wearing, machete wielding psychopath that we all love to fear. *ki ki ki, ma ma ma*
– Ted “Ritualistic” Brown