The true story of Friday the 13th

The true story of Friday the 13th

Since ancient times, Friday the 13th, as well as all the days of that number, have been considered “unlucky” and have been feared. But what is the true story of the origin of this superstition?

Since ancient times, Friday the 13th, as well as all the days of that number, have been considered "unlucky" an...

The massacre of the Templars and the Christian origin of superstition

Everything seems to have started in the Middle Ages, when Pope Clement V ruled and in France, Philip IV. Both ordered the capture of all the Templar monks of the entire French territory, on Friday, October 13, 1307. Since then, Friday the 13th is perceived as the day of bad omens, since in that operation several Templars were tortured and massacred. of those subjected to the inquisition.

At that time, the order of the Knights Templar had many enigmas around it, because apart from possessing enormous treasures and incalculable riches, it was believed that they guarded the mysterious Holy Grail and other secrets of the Church. Many were sentenced to the stake and others were brutally tortured to death, especially on that day of misfortune.

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But there are also those who firmly believe that the true story of Friday the 13th is of a Christian nature and is directly related to the event of the “Last Supper”, which had 13 guests who were Jesus Christ with his 12 Apostles. After that, they crucified the Christ, exactly on a Friday.

The relationship with Wall Street

In the early 20th century, a “stockbroker” by the name of Thomas Lawson wrote a book that inspired that belief, entitled “Friday the 13th.” Several films and television series were based on this work.

The book is about a character who is influential on Wall Street, accused of causing misery to many investors who he classified as enemies. He took advantage of the superstition of the businessmen every Friday the 13th, who generated great fear.

Since 1907, the belief in such a date of supposed bad luck intensified. But a group of stock market traders emerged, who decided to form a society in order to challenge the curse. They called themselves “The Thirteen Club.” Some say they emerged as early as 1882.

This club met every day 13, month after month to a special dinner. There were 13 people at the table. They smashed mirrors, crossed stairways downstairs, and purposely spilled salt; everything, to provoke the reactions of superstition.

Every year, the club made a detailed report on the number of members who had lost their lives while attending one of those risky dinners, every 13th of each month. Its founder was William Fowler, the captain who made available his restaurant called “Cottage Knickerbocker”, located on “Sixth Avenue in Manhattan, in New York”.

The failed efforts of a secret society determined to eliminate superstitions

Fowler was the leader and was highly regarded. He was considered a great comrade, with a huge heart and charitable humility like no other. They say that always with great courage, he led that group of brave daredevils.

One of the superstitions was that if 13 people sat at a table, one might soon die. Then they were located 13 to dinner. On the first night, one guest was missing, so Fowler forced a waiter to replace number thirteen, despite the man’s pleas, pleas and screams. But they saw that nothing happened.

One of his greatest statements in 1907 read: “the fact that Friday had been considered for many centuries an unlucky day … for meaningless reasons is deplored.” Also, they sent a letter to the president of the United States, to different governors, as well as to judges, asking them not to continue choosing Friday as the special day to execute sentenced to death, but to carry it out on the other days.

But they could never stop the superstition that grew in various corners of the continent and became popular everywhere. In fact, coincidence or not, various disastrous events occurred later, one Friday the 13th:

In December 1939, Friday the 13th, one of the largest fires recorded in history occurred in Victoria, Australia. With more than 70 deaths and more than 20 thousand square km of land, turned to ashes. More than 3,000 families had to be evacuated.

Another Friday the 13th, in October 1972, a serious plane crash occurred in the Andes. Plane 517 belonging to the Uruguayan Air Force, in which 45 people were travelling, crashed abruptly in the mountain range.

The famous rapper Tupac Shakur died on Friday, September 13, 1996, after being shot several times in Las Vegas.

A terrible tragedy occurred with the cruise ship “Costa Concordia”, which brutally crashed into some huge rocks in Giglio, an island in Italy, claiming the lives of 32 people.

On Friday, November 13, 2015, France was the victim of a serious terrorist attack in Paris.

Just like these, several tragedies and catastrophes have occurred on Friday the 13th. In Latin America it is not Friday, but Tuesday the 13th.

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Bibliography ► (November 27, 2022). The true story of Friday the 13th. Recovered from

About the author

This article was published by Phoneia, originally published in English and titled "The true story of Friday the 13th", along with 137 other articles. It is an honor for me to have you visit me and read my other writings.