Friday the 13th


Written by Leila Peacock
10 Tuesday 10th April 2012

Friday the 13th does not have a long history as an unlucky day, but separately Friday and the number 13 are age-old and illustrious bringers of ill fortune. Friday because it was the day that the Roman empire held it’s executions, and the belief surrounding thirteen stems in part from the fact that it had the sheer bad luck to come after the number twelve; twelve being the number of completeness (twelve apostles, twelve months, twelve star signs, etc). With their ten fingers and two feet, twelve was also the maximum number that our ancestors could count to, thus thirteen was the twilight zone by default. Then at some point to in the 19th century the Victorians (those great inventors of superstitions, who were afraid of everything, mostly themselves) brought these two into unholy conjunction to create the double whammy of unluck that is Friday 13th. In the spirit of a self-fulfilling prophecy bad things began to happen on this day, here are 13 of the weirdest…

Butch Cassidy, notorious American bank robber, was born and died on Friday 13th. The eldest of thirteen children, legend has it, he was fatally wounded by the thirteenth bullet to hit his battered body.

Friday 13th 1821 the notorious confederate general and Klu Klux Klan grand wizard Nathanial Bottomly-Dinwhithers the Third was born.

Friday 13th 1977, New York, there was a massive city-wide blackout that killed seven people but produced six as some erstwhile strangers got cosy in the dark.

The accordion was patented, Friday 13th January 1854.

On Friday 13th 1789 Benjamin Franklin wrote ‘everything appears to promise that it will last, but in this world nothing is certain but DEATH and TAXES’. Great.

Five German bombs hit Buckingham palace on Friday 13th 1940, but on the same day an Allied bomb hit the Berlin Zoo killing all the monkeys in the enclosure and severely maiming the only lion.

Friday 13th 1970 a huge storm in South Asia wiped out six members of the Indonesian royal family during the opening ceremony for a new watermelon processing plant.

Friday 13th 1986 Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson were born… oh god…

The fear of Friday the 13th is called Paraskavedekatriaphobia. One unfortunate sufferer was attempting to spell his condition down the phone to an unwitting emergency line operator and had a heart attack in the process.

Tupac Shakur was declared dead on Friday, September 13, 1996. R.I.P.

The Athens Olympic Games, the most debt-ridden and disasterous of all time whose Olympic park is already a ruin, opened on Friday 13th of August, 2004.

Thanks to the internet’s documentaing of the great inane in forums like we know that on the last Friday 13th ‘apachemountainmother’ fell down three flights of stairs. ‘nelliequeen-of-craziness2001’s favourite cat succumbed to cancer. ‘Warrior13’ was in a near fatal accident and poor ‘Dukekitten89’s ex- boyfriend (with bi-polar) burned their house to the ground and they lost everything including two of their beloved cats…

It is predicted that on Friday April 13th 2029 the asteroid Apophis will (hopefully) narrowly miss a direct collision with our small green and superstitious planet.

Stay safe this Friday the 13th, and pray that no more annoying child stars are born.

This article was originally published on our Berlin site.

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