“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”
There is a lot of nonsense surrounding Friday 13th.
Many superstitious people consider it to be unlucky. So much so in fact that they spend most, if not all, of that day in their homes, afraid to venture out into the great world beyond in case something bad happens to them.
In fact it has been estimated that around a billion dollars are lost every Friday the 13th because people are scared to work and travel on this date.
The really unfortunate thing is that sometimes circumstances play right into their hands, which only serves to reinforce their superstitions.
You can find some of them below along with other facts about Friday 13th that I hope you enjoy reading.
Every month has a 13th but no single year
has more than three Friday the 13th’s
and on average there are two.
Months with a Friday the 13th
always begin on a Sunday.
Folklore remedies for triskaidekaphobia
include climbing to the top of a mountain
or skyscraper and burning all the socks you own
that have holes in them.
Another is to stand on your head
and eat a piece of gristle.
It is from the Norse goddess Frigg, or Freyja,
that we get Frigg’s Day, or Freyja’s Day
which became the English Friday.
On Friday 13 2006,
36 inches of snow fell on upstate New York.
The ensuing chaos claimed three lives
and caused $130 million worth of damage.
On a Friday 13th in 1307.
thousands of soldier monks of the powerful
Knights Templar were massacred
by French king Louis IV.
Many people believe this is where
our fear of the date springs from.
Friday 13 January, 1939
in Australia is known as Black Friday
because on that date bushfires
decimated 20,000 km² of land,
killing 71 people and
destroying several towns entirely.
Retired bus conductor Bob Renphrey of North Wales
decided to spend every Friday 13 in bed
after a run of bad luck on the
fateful day during the early 1990s.
Among other misfortunes
he wrote off four cars,
got made redundant,
fell into a river,
crashed a motorcycle
and walked through a plate glass door.
When Bob died of cancer in 1998,
his widow Betty, who on previous Friday 13ths
had fallen downstairs,
been hit by falling guttering
and been hospitalized
after Bob hit her in the face
with a stick he was throwing to a dog,
decided to book his funeral for
Friday 13 March as a final tribute.
Alas, all Rhyl’s undertakers were too busy.
“Bob would have seen the funny side,”
said Mrs Renphrey.
On Friday 13 July, 1951
in Kansas ‘The Great Flood’
left 2 million acres of land underwater,
causing $760 million and killing 24 people.
Friday 13 August, 1976
was particularly unlucky
for New York man Daz Baxter.
Having elected to stay in bed
to ward off bad luck,
the floor of his apartment block collapsed
and he fell six storeys to his death.
Black Sabbath’s self-titled first album
was released in the UK on
Friday, February 13, 1970.
It wasn’t unlucky for them.
Michelle and Gary Docherty had a
memorable wedding on Friday 13 August 2004.
First, a swarm of wasps attacked guests
at East Kilbride Registry Office, Lanarkshire,
as they waited for Michelle’s arrival.
Her aunt Mary Strachan
smashed an expensive digital camera
trying to swat one of the pests,
and when Michelle finally did turn up,
an insect flew up her dress,
triggering a panic attack.
After the ceremony,
two minibuses booked to transport guests
to the reception failed to turn up
and the couple lost their wedding video.
On Friday November 13, 1970
a monster South Asian storm hit Bangladesh
killing 300,000 people in Chittagong
and creating floods that killed one million people
living on the Ganges Delta.
Women drivers have a 64% increased chance
of death when driving on Friday the 13th.
Friday 13 February, 1998
was simply business as usual for Manchester man,
John Sheridan, dubbed Britain’s unluckiest man
after once having his car stolen five times in one day,
making 16 trips to casualty in two years,
seeing eight TVs explode in six months
and losing out on a £4000 lottery win when he
put the ticket in the washing machine with his jeans.
John’s big day began when his Saab ran out of petrol.
He hitched a lift with a sympathetic policeman,
whose car broke down at the garage.
John returned to his car with a can of petrol,
got it started but lost a wheel as he turned a corner.
He returned home on a bus, which broke down.
Completing his journey on foot,
he realized he’d left his keys inside the car
and had to return in case in was stolen.
Friday, October 13th, 1989,
the stock exchange suffered a serious crash,
the second most damaging in market history at the time
(this was in the pre-recession era).
Brokers were in a state of shock,
as the Dow Jones Industrial Average
was down 190.58 points.
In Britain a deadly virus crashed IBM computers,
terrifying people and deleting lots of data
that could not be recovered.
This was before backup systems were used.
A full moon on Friday February 13 1987
drove troubled Robert Bullard, 21,
to attempt suicide by putting his head in a gas oven.
Not only was his methodology flawed,
suicide by natural gassing is virtually impossible
since Britain moved from lethal coke gas
to less dangerous natural gas,
but a flicked light switch caused an explosion
which injured his mother and a policeman
and caused £35,000 of damage.
Robert was unharmed.
On Friday the 13th, 2012,
the cruise ship Costa Concordia partially sank
killing more than 30 people.
Friday 13 October 1972 was the date
a plane carrying Uruguayan rugby team
Montevideo Old Christians crashed
on its way from Montevideo to Santiago, Chile.
When rescuers finally found the fourteen
survivors two months later,
it emerged that they had survived
by eating human flesh from some of the
thirty-one crew and passengers
who had perished in the crash.
In 1992, the story was filmed as
Alive, starring Ethan Hawke.
On the same day, Friday October 13, 1972,
an Aeroflot Il-62 airplane carrying 176 people
took off from Paris on a commuter flight
bound for Leningrad and Moscow.
The plane landed at Leningrad
and then took off for Sheremetyevo airport,
located just outside Moscow.
The weather was bad with rain and poor visibility.
The pilots were told to descend on approach to
the airport, but for unknown reasons,
they attempted and failed to land twice.
On the third attempt to land,
the plane crashed into a large pond
about 4 miles short of the airport.
There were no survivors.
No cause of the accident was ever established.
At the time, the crash resulted in one of the worst
loss of life incidents for a single plane crash, in history.
It remains the 44th worse loss of life in
an airplane crash in aviation history.
On Friday the 13th August, 2010
at 13 minutes after the 13th hour (1 PM),
a 13 year old boy was struck by lightning
as he was watching an air show
at Lowestoft, England.
The Hollywood sign above Los Angeles, California,
was first unveiled by the owner
of the Los Angeles Times newspaper,
on Friday the 13th of July, 1923.
According to at least one interpretation
of the Mayan calendar the world will end
or in the Gregorian calendar,
Friday, October 13, 4772.
But before then,
on Friday the 13th in 2029,
Asteroid 99942 Apophis
is forecast to pass earth at a
closer distance than any of our satellites.