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13 freakin’ facts for Friday the 13th

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By Amy Haneline and Amy Bartner / The Star

Editor’s note: This story survived the Friday the 13th that fell on Sept. 13, 2013 and is brought back to test the fates again.

Are you feeling unlucky today? A little on edge? Superstitious, perhaps? Well, whether you believe in the luck (good or bad) that today holds, here are some freaky facts we found for Friday the 13th.

13th theory

History notes it was on Friday, Oct. 13, 1307 when King Philip IV of France raided the homes of the Knights Templar and arrested thousands of men on charges of illegal activities. Many believe this is how the fear of the date began.

Biblical roots

Others believe that the fears date back to the Bible. Some say it was the 13th guest at the Last Supper who betrayed Jesus. Supposedly, Jesus’ crucifixion was the next day, a Friday.

Famous deaths

Notable deaths that fell on Friday the 13th include Tupac Shakur (Sept. 13, 1996), Julia Child (Aug. 13, 2004) and Tim Russert (June 13, 2008).

Financial woes

According to Donald Dossey, founder of Stress Management and Phobia Institute, there’s an estimated $800 million or $900 million loss in business on Friday the 13th because people won’t fly or do business as they would normally. (Source: National Geographic)


The fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskevidekatriaphobia. Say that 5 times fast . . . or at all (don’t ask us to pronounce it). The fear of the number 13 is called triskaidekaphobia. (Source:

Presidential phobias

Franklin Roosevelt feared the number 13. Biographer John Gunther called him “moderately, not excessively superstitious. He hated Friday the 13th, he would never start an important trip on a Friday if he could help it, and he disliked sitting down with 13 at dinner.”

Psycho thriller

Alfred Hitchcock was born on the 13th, and Friday, Aug. 13, 1999, would have been his 100th birthday.

Double the trouble

The Olsen twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley also were born on a Friday the 13th: June 13, 1986.

13 phobias

Because of the superstition, many Western hotels omit the 13th floor. Many airlines don’t have a 13th row in seating. (Source:

Black cats in Indiana

In 1939, French Lick Springs enacted the credence that black cats must wear bells on Friday, Oct. 13th to ease fears. When the measure seemed to work, the practice continued for the next three years. (Source: Time U.S.)

Free marriages

In 1913, a New York pastor offered to marry couples for free on Friday the 13th. With the monstrous amounts of money weddings cost these days, maybe this wouldn’t be so bad. Not to mention the effect it’d have on bridezillas and divorce rates. (Source:Time U.S.)

Movie marathon

This Friday the 13th, you can finally purchase the complete collection of Friday the 13th movies on Blu-Ray. The box set includes the 12 films plus a bonus disc of special features. For $129.95, you can scare yourself silly – but only for 12 movies, not 13. News and rumors of a 13th installment in the series say one is on the way, but no timeline has been set.

Article originally published on INDYSTAR.

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