It’s Friday the 13th! For those of us who do not suffer from Paraskevidekatriaphobia, fear of Friday the 13th, it’s just another Friday (yay Friday!). Can’t pronounce that mouthful? Click here and a lovely British man will say it for you. For those of you who are superstitious about this unlucky day, you will be happy to know that this is the one and only Friday the 13th in 2011. Though I feel I should warn you that 2012, a leap year, has three Friday the 13ths. Yikes. I say, let’s cross that bridge when we come to it. On to some freaky fact-finding regarding this supposedly unluckiest of days.
13 Legends and superstitions about the Number 13, Fridays, and Friday the 13th
1. If 13 people sit down for dinner one will die within a year. I actually just learned about this one while reading The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell. Her male lead, Nathaniel, was a Fourteenth, or a hired guest to a dinner party to prevent the dreaded and deadly thirteen guests senario.
2. Changing your sheets on a Friday will bring bad dreams.
3. In pagan Rome, Friday was execution day.
4. A properly-formed coven of witches has 13 members.
5. In numerology, 12 is the number of completeness (12 months in a year, 12 hours of clock, 12 apostles, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 labors of Hercules), whereas 13 is irregular.
6. Friday, October 13, 1307 was the day King Philip of France arrested and tortured the Knights Templar.
7. More than 90% of high rise building do not have a 13th floor and airplanes do not have a 13th aisle.
8. If you have 13 letters in your name you will have devil’s luck. Infamous 13 letter names: Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Theodore Bundy and Albert De Salvo. Um, my name has 13 letters….
9. In Florence, Italy, the house between the numbers 12 and 14 has the address 12 1/2. The number 13 is also not part of the lottery
10. You should never cut your hair on Friday the 13th, as it will result in a death in the family.
11. There were 13 stairs leading to the gallows, the blade in a guillotine fell from a height of 13 feet and a hangman had 13 knots in a hangman’s noose.
12. Henry Bliss of New York became the first U.S. pedestrian killed by an automobile on Friday September 13th, 1899.
13. Last year in an article for National Geographic one historian reported that an estimated that $800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day because people will not fly or do business they would normally do!
So, in honor of Friday the 13th and Short Story Month 2011 why not pick up Kiss Me Deadly: 13 Tales of Paranormal Love edited by Trisha Talep or R.L. Stine’s collection, Fear: 13 Stories of Suspense and Horror? I dare you.