The Terror of Friday the Thirteenth
Daytona Beach, Florida
July 13, 2018 8:54pm CST
As much as this day makes some people cringe while others might lock themselves indoors for me it is completely different. I was born on a Friday in March and one of my lucky birth numbers is 13 so each Friday the 13th is especially lucky for me. Some of the superstition about Friday the 13th comes from the Bible. At the Last Supper, there were 13 sitting around the table. They were Jesus and his 12 apostles. Among the apostles was also Judas who went on to betray Jesus. Today there are people who will not sit at a table if it makes the number of guests 13. The crucifixion of Jesus took place on a Friday which made people kind of nervous not happy about this day. The fear expanded and soon the conclusion was that a Friday and the number 13 were very bad luck. As years went on Friday the 13th got the reputation of being a cursed and evil day. This happened when on October 13, 1307, Philip IV of France had members of the Knights Templar arrested because of their growing power. This resulted in trails, torture and many of the Knights were burned at the stake. These Knights were a Catholic military order. Then we have to blame a stockbroker named Thomas Lawson who wrote a book titled "Friday the Thirteenth in 1907. In the book, he tells the story of a stockbroker who chose the 13th of Friday to be the day when he manipulated the stock market and brought demise to Wall Street. The book sold quite well and struck a cord with stockbrokers in the early 20th century. They were soon superstitious of trading and buying stocks on the 13th and so it made Friday the 13th really bad news. It was on Friday, July 13, 1923, that the famous Hollywood sign in Los Angeles, California was officially christened and originally read Hollywoodland. This was to promote a housing development being built in the hills above Los Angeles. Yes, you count that right there are thirteen letters in this sign. When it was made a permanent landmark the last four letters were removed and to this day it just reads Hollywood. If you are one of the people who are really terrified of Friday the 13th then know the name of your fear. It is known as triskaidekaphobia and isn't that a mouthful? This, however, only applies to the fear of the number 13. If you want to add Friday to your fear then you have two choices - paraskevidekatriphobia with paraskevi meaning Friday in Greek or friggatriskaidekaphobia, which is based on the word Frigg, the Norse goddess that Friday was named after in English. Either way, you could only sprain your tongue. The folks living in French Lick, Indiana which is the hometown of Larry Bird for you sports fans, took things a bit farther when it came to superstition. In the 1930s and into the 1940s the town board decreed that all the black cats living there had to wear a bell around their necks on Friday the 13th. It was a sure way to know if a black cat was anywhere near you. Then there was Captain William Fowler who had fought in 13 Civil War battles and though superstition was just nonsense. He started a club in 1882 whose members would meet on the 13th of the month, at 13 past the hour and 13 members would sit around a dining room table. These men were bound and determined to rid every one of superstitions so the dining hall also had open umbrellas and members would break glasses waiting for any curse to come upon them. This was not just a club for eccentrics since five US presidents became honorary members of the Thirteen Club they were Chester Arthur, Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, and Theodore Roosevelt. Cleveland even took part while he was in office and it appeared that no curse befell any of them except for McKinley, who was assassinated. But was it a curse or was it fate? There you have it and there are people who refuse to leave their houses. I don't know what I really believe but I know because I am at least the one odd person who is supposed to have luck this day nothing bad has ever happened to me on any Friday the 13th. Just remember not to answer your door late at night it might be Jason to do you in. Couldn't resist putting that in there. I have included the Stevie Wonder song "Superstition". What are your thoughts on Friday the 13th?
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• United States
When it comes to the number 13, there are hotels and other such buildings that skip the 13th floor. Going onto an elevator at a place I used to work at, You would go from the 12th to the 14th. I don't actually remember if there was a proper "thirteenth" floor if it was 1-12 and then 14- however many more floors thre were. This was a Marriot Hotel.