Friday the 13th is a superstition that dates back to the age of Christ. (Contributed)

Friday the 13th: A brief history and look at its significance

Capital News takes a look at some of the craziest things to ever happen on Friday the 13th

Today is Friday the 13th, the day that has inspired superstitions, a successful horror movie franchise and the term “paraskavedekatriaphobia,” which describes the fear of the supposedly unlucky day.

We have to go way back to the age of Christ to get a sense of where this day originated. According to biblical tradition and History.com, 13 guests attended the Last Supper, held on Maundy Thursday, including Jesus and his 12 apostles. One of his apostles, Judas, betrayed him at this supper. The next day Jesus was crucified on what is known as Good Friday.

The seating arrangement at the Last Supper is believed to have created a longstanding Christian superstition. According to the bible, having 13 guests at a table was a bad omen and more specifically, that it was a foreshadow of death.

In present-day we associate Friday the 13th as a day of fear, where we avoid crossing paths with a black cat, walking under a latter or breaking a mirror, to name a few.

Now that we understand the origins of the day, let’s take a look at how it’s affected history.

Here is a list of some of the most unlucky, evil and crazy things to ever happen on Friday the 13th.

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The bombing of Buckingham Palace – Friday, Sept. 13, 1940

Buckingham Palace was bombed by the Luftwaffe, while King George VI and Queen Elizabeth were in residence on Friday, Sept. 13 in 1940. During WWII, Buckingham Palace and its grounds suffered attacks on sixteen occasions, nine of which included direct hits on the Palace.

The murder of Kitty Genovese – Friday, Mar. 13, 1964

In the early hours of Mar. 13, 1964, 28-year-old Kitty Genovese was stabbed to death outside the apartment building across the street from where she lived in an apartment above a row of shops on Austin Street in Kew Gardens, Queens, in New York City.

Two weeks later, the New York Times published an article claiming that 38 witnesses saw or heard the attack, none of which called the police or came to her aid.

Uruguayan Air Force Flight crash – Friday, Oct. 13, 1972

Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 was a chartered flight that was headed for Santiago, Chile, but crashed into a glacier in the remote Andes.

The flight carried 19 members of a rugby team, and their family, supporters, and friends. Among the 45 people on board, 28 survived the crash. Facing starvation and death, the survivors reluctantly resorted to cannibalism. After 72 days on the glacier, 16 people were rescued.

The death of Tupac Shakur – Friday, Sept. 13, 1996

Highly successful American hip hop artist Tupac Shakur was shot in a drive-by shooting on Sept. 7, 1996, in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was 25 years old. The shooting occurred at 11:15 p.m. Pacific Time, when the car carrying Shakur was stopped at a red light at East Flamingo Road and Koval Lane.

Shakur was struck by four .40 caliber rounds fired from a Glock. He received two shots to the chest, one in the arm, and one in the thigh. He died from his wounds six days later on Friday, Sept. 13, 1996.

Costa Concordia Disaster – Friday, Jan. 13, 2012

On Jan. 13, 2012, the Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia overturned after striking an underwater rock off Isola del Giglio, Tuscan. The eight-year-old Costa Cruises vessel was on the first leg of a cruise around the Mediterranean Sea when she deviated from her planned route at the Isola del Giglio, sailed closer to the island, and struck a rock formation on the sea floor. A six-hour rescue effort brought most of the passengers ashore, but 32 people would still die.

All information has been provided by History.com and Wikipedia.ca

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Daniel Taylor
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
Email me at daniel.taylor@kelownacapnews.com
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