The Number Thirteen


The Number Thirteen

Movies have been made about it, people are well aware when it comes, and it’s often the source of blame when bad things happen. Yes, it’s Friday, the thirteenth. No matter the month, Friday the thirteenth is a major source of bad luck it seems. But there is fact behind the belief that this is a particularly unlucky day.

  • The thought about bad luck occurring on Friday the thirteenth comes from the ancient world. It’s actually two different incidents. One of them happening on the thirteenth and one of them happening on Friday. How the two came to be in a combination, no one really knows.

  • There is an ancient myth that twelve gods were having a dinner party when an unwanted and uninvited thirteenth guest, Loki, entered. Loki forced Hoder, the blind god of darkness, to shoot Balder the Beautiful with an arrow that had a mistletoe tip. Immediately after Balder’s death, the entire world was encompassed in darkness.

  • In the Bible, Judas was the thirteenth apostle to sit down to the Last Supper. Judas later betrayed Jesus.

  • In Rome, witches used to gather in groups of twelve. The thirteenth visitor was thought to be the devil.

  • Centuries ago in Britain, the government would use hangings as capital punishment. The punishment was always carried out on Fridays and there were thirteen steps leading up to the rope.

  • There are many bad things in the Bible that people believe happened on Friday. These include: Eve giving Adam the forbidden fruit, the flood began on Friday, people started speaking in different languages at the tower of Babel, and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ all took place on Friday.

Whether the facts behind these beliefs are real or not, Friday the thirteenth is still feared today. This is proven in many different ways.

  • Most buildings that have more than thirteen floors won’t actually have a “Floor 13.”

  • A lot of airports don’t have a thirteenth gate.

  • Airplanes skip the number thirteen when numbering their aisles.

  • Hospitals and hotels both omit the number thirteen with their rooms.

  • Italians will never include the number thirteen in their lottery

The Number Thirteen

The Number Thirteen

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