The ominous Friday the 13th is upon us and for so many, that's a scary thing. Here are some facts about this superstitious day you may not have known:
How did it start?
There are a number of theories about the origins of Friday the 13th and its association with all things unlucky. One theory is that the superstition stems from early Christianity because thirteen is the number of people present at the Last Supper (Jesus and his 12 apostles), which took place on Maundy Thursday. At the Last Supper, Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th member of the party to arrive. Jesus died the next day on Good Friday.
Blame it on Sunday
For a month to have a Friday the 13th, it must begin with a Sunday.
It can come in threes
Friday the 13th will happen at least once a year but can occur as many as three times a year. There are two this year; the next one is October 13th.
The fear is real
Millions of people in the world, including prolific horror writer Stephen King, have an irrational fear of the number 13, which is known as “triskaidekaphobia.” People also fear Friday the 13th, which is known as “paraskevidekatriaphobia” or “friggatriskaidekaphobia,” depending on who you talk to.
Friday the 13th in literature
One of the first Friday the 13th stories was written by Thomas Lewson in 1907. The story, titled 'Friday, the Thirteenth', was about a Wall Street broker who chose the day to enact his rage and destroy the stock market.
Celebrities and the 13th
A number of celebrities were born on Friday the 13th including Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Julia Louis Dreyfus, Steve Buscemi, and Peter Tork.
Friday the 13th in space
According to NASA, on Friday, April 13, 2029, a large asteroid called Asteroid 2004 MN4, will fly close enough to Earth to be visible without a telescope, but it will not hit.
Friday the 13th in Canada
In Port Dover, ON, motorcyclists from all over Canada gather every Friday the 13th for massive rallies that draw thousands of participants. The tradition dates back to 1981.
13 is a dodgy number
The number 13 has always been looked at as an odd number, while the number 12 is more complete. There are 12 months in a year, 12 hours of the clock, 12 zodiac signs, 12 Apostles of Jesus, 12 Gods of Olympus, and 12 Days of Christmas. Not to mention most elevators don’t have a 13th floor. So, what comes in 13? Apparently, you need 13 witches to form a coven.