Friday the 13th has strange beginnings

Nathon Anthony, Staff Writer

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Friggatriskaidekaphobiam, or the fear of “Friday the 13th,” has been going on for a long-time, dating back almost 2000 years.

The fear of the day started with biblical tradition on the Last Supper. The supper was held on Maundy Thursday and the attendees were Jesus and his twelve disciples, one of which was a traitor. The next day on Friday, April 13, Jesus was crucified and it was the day that Eve handed the apple to Adam, which caused superstition around the number thirteen and Friday.

The fear of this day was relatively minor until pop culture started integrating it with popular books and movies. The first recorded evidence of this fear being used purposely in modern society was in 1907 when author, Thomas William Lawson, wrote a book called Friday, The Thirteenth.

The book told the story of a stockbroker who played on the superstitions of the date to create fear and chaos on Wall Street, and make a killing on the market. This book popularized the date slowly but the one piece of pop culture that made it famous was the movie Friday the 13th written by Sean S. Cunningham. The movie told the story of five young camp counselors who set up camp at Crystal Lake, a lake notorious for it’s history of murder, despite warnings from superstitious locals. When they get there, they find themselves getting stalked by a brutal killer. As they’re shot, slashed and stabbed, they try to find a way out of the deadly camp without ending up at the mercy of the killer. The movie soon became a hit and with the popularity, it spawned 11 more movies which cause major superstition around the date.

Some real life examples of tragedies that happened on “Friday the 13th” are Tupac Shakur’s death on September 13, 1996, “The Friday the 13th virus”, which was a widespread computer crash in England on January 13, 1987, and the Costa Concordia
cruise ship crash in Italy on January 13, 2012, killing 30 people.