#Friday the 13th – Thirteen Tales and Superstitions #Friday13th

A updated post from a previous Friday the 13th, back in 2013.

friday 13th


So it’s Friday the 13th again and many of the more superstitious among us will have greeted the day with trepidation. and with the way the world is going at the moment, that might well feel understandable! But why is the day considered to be unlucky, and is there any truth behind the fears placed on this date? Here are thirteen things you might not have known.

1) Friday has long been thought of as an unlucky day (despite that often gleeful refrain ‘Thank God it’s Friday).  In pagan Rome it was traditionally the day on which executions were carried out – and of course Jesus was crucified on Good Friday. There are lots of stories behind the evil of poor old number thirteen – more of which later. So putting the two together gives us this most unlucky date.

2) Some people are so superstitious and so terrified of the day that they actually have a phobia. If you are affected you can proudly tell people that you are suffering from Paraskevidekatriaphobics – that’s if you can pronounce it, of course.

3) Friday the 13th is not traditionally considered unlucky in Spanish speaking countries or in Greece. Rather, Tuesday the 13th is a bad day…

4) …and in Italy, you should be very afraid of Friday the 17th. In fact, when it was shown in Italy, the film Shriek if you know what I did last Friday the 13th was called Shriek – Do you have something to do on Friday the 17th (not a very catchy title, to be honest).


5) So why does thirteen have such a bad reputation? It seems this comes from an amalgamation of myths and legends. In the Christian faith, thirteen people sat down to the Last Supper, and one was a betrayer. This could have led to a belief in the number signifying bad luck.

6) Prior to this though, the ancient Vikings have their own version of the Last Supper. Twelve gods were apparently invited to a banquet at Valhalla. The evil god Loki wasn’t invited but he turned up anyway, bringing the number of guests to thirteen. Loki then persuaded the god of winter, Hod, to attack Balder the Good, who was well-liked by the other gods. Hod threw a rod of mistletoe at Balder and killed him – hence the idea that thirteen guests is bad luck.

7) Witches also come into the picture (obviously). The Norse goddess of marriage derives from a deity worshipped on the sixth day of the week (Friday). This goddess was known as either Frigg or Freya, hence Friday. Friday was considered a lucky day, especially to get married – however, with the advent of Christianity, the goddess was recast as a witch and she and her day took on a darker and wholly unwarranted association (she even had a cat). One legend has Freya herself joining a gathering of twelve witches at their Sabbat – bringing the number to 13. Since then a proper coven traditionally should have 13 members.

freya8) If you still persist in being scared of a date, then 2020 gives you twice the reason to worry – there is another Friday the 13th coming in November.

9) There’ll only be one next year though – in August.

10) Despite the fact that the connotations of the day are based on twisted tales, myths and superstition, a survey by the Daily Mirror found that three-quarters of people claimed to have experienced bad luck on this date…

11)… and 34% said that if they had the choice they would prefer to spend the day hiding under the duvet!

12) The makers of the hugely successful ‘Friday the Thirteenth’ film franchise probably have no superstitions about the day though. In fact I’m sure they adore it. According to ‘The Numbers’, the twelve movies have grossed more than $460,000,000 worldwide.


13) And if you make it through today unscathed – don’t get too complacent. If you’re still around in 2029, then hiding under the bed rather than the duvet might be the best place. Apparently that’s when the asteroid ‘99942 Apophis’ will come closer to the Earth than the orbits of communication satellites. When? On Friday the 13th, of course!







  1. All very interesting. Thank you. As my parents were happily married for over 50 years and lived at No. 13 AND it withstood a Land Mine falling down the street in WW2, I’ve always regarded the 13th as lucky. Coincidentally, my maternal grandparents also lived at No.13 and had a long, happy marriage too. So, there you go…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Both my parents were born on Friday the 13th and were the first couple in our street to get a divorce. My mother went on to marry somebody who was also born on Friday 13th. They had a longer and happier marriage, but both died within 5 months of each other…on a Friday (but not the 13th).

    My partner is very superstitious about having 13 people sat at a table for a meal. He’ll even go as far as to sit and eat his meal in another room!

    ‘Friday the 13th’ was the first horror movie I went to see at the cinema. The ending of that movie is still one of the best I’ve ever seen. It’s had such an effect on me that I started to write short stories with a twist at the end.

    Thanks for the interesting facts about what I consider to be a fabulous day, Alison.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love a scary film and I have a real fondness for those classics like Friday the Thirteenth, Halloween and the original Evil Dead.
      All those birthdays are something of a coincidence…
      Hope you have a lovely Friday 13th!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A most interesting post. I knew the tale of Loki from reading Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology, but hadn’t realized his appearance made the number up to thirteen.
    I wonder, though, how many of the three quarters of people who claim to have experienced bad luck on Friday 13 would have had it on any other day and not given it a moment’s thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Apart from being Freya’s Day, there are 13 lunar cycles in a year, making Friday 13th good luck for women. The negative superstitions emerge from a male fear of powerful females.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s