The character Jason dawns this mask in the 1981 horror classic Friday the 13th Part 2. (Contributed)

The character Jason dawns this mask in the 1981 horror classic Friday the 13th Part 2. (Contributed)

Friday the 13th: A brief history and look at its significance

Capital News takes a look at some of the craziest things to ever happen on Friday the 13th

If you’re the superstitious type, today might not be your favorite day of the week, although it’s Friday.

Friday the 13th is a day of superstition that has inspired a late 19th-century secret society, an early 20th-century novel, a horror film franchise and not one but two unwieldy terms—paraskavedekatriaphobia and friggatriskaidekaphobia—that describe the fear of this supposedly unlucky day.

We have to go way back to the age of Christ to get a sense of where this day originated. According to biblical tradition and History.com, 13 guests attended the Last Supper, held on Maundy Thursday, including Jesus and his 12 apostles. One of his apostles, Judas, betrayed him at this supper. The next day Jesus was crucified on what is known as Good Friday.

The seating arrangement at the Last Supper is believed to have created a longstanding Christian superstition. According to the bible, having 13 guests at a table was a bad omen and more specifically, that it was a foreshadow of death.

In present-day we associate Friday the 13th as a day of fear, where we avoid crossing paths with a black cat, walking under a ladder or breaking a mirror, to name a few.

Now that we understand the origins of the day, let’s take a look at how it’s affected history.

Here is a list of some of the most unlucky, evil and crazy things to ever happen on Friday the 13th.

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Buckingham Palace was bombed during WWII

According to the New York Daily News, the German forces during WWII bombed Buckingham Palace on September 13, 1940. The bombs hit both the palace and its chapel.

Even scarier, the King and Queen were both at the residence at the time of the attack. Even though the event was traumatic, Queen Elizabeth merely stated she was “glad we have been bombed. Now I can look the East End in the face.”

Tupac Shakur Passed Away

The murder of Tupac Shakur is one of the most famous unsolved cases in recent history. Some say he was taken out by his friend Suge Knight, others are convinced it was Christopher Wallace (a.k.a the Notorious B.I.G.), while others still think the FBI conspired to kill Shakur in order to end the violent East Coast vs West Coast feud.

The details we do know: Shakur was shot four times on September 7, 1996 in Las Vegas. He succumbed to his injuries six days later on Friday, September 13.

A British 13-year-old boy was struck by lightning on Friday the 13th, at 13:13

While getting struck by lightning is definitely horrible, this incident ended up being a miracle. According to the Daily Mail, the unnamed teenager was struck by lightning while at an air show in England and was treated only for burns on his shoulder. The hospital stated he was expected to make a full recovery.

Kitty Genovese, a Queens resident, was brutally attacked and murdered

The murder of Kitty Genovese took place on March 13, 1964. According to the New York times, Genovese was assaulted and killed by Winston Moseley inside her apartment building. The crime is famous because, reportedly, 38 people heard the attack, and none of them called the police — making the “bystander effect” a household term.

It was later suggested that the reporting of the crime was inaccurate and greatly exaggerated. But no matter the specifics, an innocent woman died, which is truly tragic.

Swedish flight DC-3 vanished and was never heard from again

According to National Geographic, a Swedish flight disappeared while flying over the Baltic Sea on June 13, 1952. And for 40 years, the Swedish government stuck by the story that the plane was merely performing training exercises.

However, National Geographic reported that in the ’90s it was leaked that the crewmembers were actually spying on the Soviet Union for NATO — even though Sweden was officially neutral during the Cold War. And Russia responded with its own confession. A Russian pilot told a Swedish diplomat that he had shot the plane down.

The stock market experienced a “mini-crash” in 1989

After the buyout of United Airlines fell through on October 13, 1989, the ripples were felt throughout the stock market, specifically the junk bond market.

According to CNBC, this resulted in a 7 percent sell-off in the Dow, and the S&P 500 lost six percent. Essentially, a lot of people lost a lot of money.

The Black Friday bushfires consumed Victoria, Australia

The fires in Victoria from 1939 to 1940 were the culmination of a long, dry summer. But on January 13, 1939 the Black Friday bushfires consumed the area: 71 people died directly from the fire, another 438 from the resulting heatwave, and 575,000 hectares of land were burned to a crisp.

The ash that resulted from the two days of flames was intense. There were reports of it reaching as far as New Zealand.

In 2029, an asteroid will come extremely close to Earth

According to NASA, an asteroid will come within 20,000 miles of the Earth on April 13, 2029. This might not seem like a big deal, but it’s actually extremely close in relation to space.

Although it’s not expected to actually hit our planet, the closeness of the asteroid could cause damage on its surface — the gravity of Earth might cause avalanches on Apophis.

All information is attributed to History.com, Wikipedia.com and Insider.com

READ MORE: RCMP search for Alberta murder suspect with ties to Kelowna


Daniel Taylor
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
Email me at daniel.taylor@kelownacapnews.com
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