About once a year, I get lazy and recycle a post about Friday the Thirteenth.
Mostly, because it’s an easy post to put together, since I’ve written the meat of it already and, frankly, the history of the superstition hasn’t really changed. We do get at least one Friday the Thirteenth each year, though most years have two and we occasionally have three in one year. The next time we have three will be in 2026. Besides, when I get stuck for topics, as I sometimes do, this is an easy enough post to whip together again. Honestly, when I can swing it, it’s almost like getting a small, blogging vacation to have a mostly pre-written post.
Back in the old days, before we could whip out our smartphones and use the internet to answer every passing question, I used to assume that Friday the Thirteenth was considered unlucky due to some Biblical association because Judas was effectively the Thirteenth Apostle or some other Apocalypse-related numerology that I hadn’t bothered to research too deeply before. I don’t think it’s a big stretch, really, since so many superstitions seem to tie back to some obscure custom related to religion. But, I’ve since found out that nothing could be further from the truth. Apparently, Friday the Thirteenth is considered unlucky because of its association with the plot to suppress the Knights Templar, according to this article on GlobalPsychics.com. No, seriously! And, I quote:
The modern basis for the Friday the 13th superstition stems from Friday, October the 13th, 1307. On this date, the Pope of the church in Rome in Conjunction with the King of France carried out a secret death warrant against “the Knights Templar”. The Templars were terminated as heretics, never again to hold the power that they had held for so long. There Grand Master, Jacques DeMolay, was arrested and before he was killed, was tortured and crucified. A Black Friday indeed!
So, there you have it, Friday the Thirteenth is a global conspiracy, though, for a nice twist, the Knights Templar or Freemasons aren’t behind it, but, rather, the victims of it! Which I appreciate, incidentally, because I am both a Freemason and, via another Masonic body, a Knight Templar, ironically. Although, to be fair, that same web page I link to there also goes into the fact that 13 is generally considered unlucky due to the number of people at the Last Supper being, you guessed it, thirteen. But, aside from the number, which is considered unlucky in a lot of ways, it’s the association with the suppression of the Templars, which happened on a Friday, that makes the day unlucky historically.
Personally, I usually have better luck on Friday the Thirteenth, but, then, I always have been a little out of step with the world. Besides, I don’t like to think of myself as a very superstitious person, so I generally don’t buy into most of this nonsense.
Oh, and if you’re not buying the Templar story, here’s a link to some alternate ideas why everyone else is afraid of Friday the Thirteenth.