Amazingly there have been seven times since this show started that we’ve had the 13th of the month land on a Friday, and we haven’t talked about the legend of Friday the 13th being bad luck.
Well, I’m not letting another one pass by without telling that story, so if you have a genuine fear of this day, if you’re friggatriskaidekaphobic, you may want to check in with us again on Monday.
It appears that fear of Friday the 13th is sort of a fear mashup.
In several cultural traditions, 12 was a virtuous, honorable number.
We have 12 months, the Chinese Zodiac is on a 12 year cycle, Hercules performed 12 labors.
If 12 was the good number, 13 was sort of its evil cousin.
In Christianity, Jesus had 12 Apostles, but at the Last Supper, there were 13 at the table, and that turned out to be bad luck.
There was also a story in Norse mythology about Loki crashing a dinner party of 12 gods and attacking one of them.
Meanwhile, Friday is the day of the crucifixion in the story of Easter, and in some accounts the day Cain slew his brother Abel, maybe even the day Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit.
So put the unlucky number with the unlucky day of the week and you have the unluckiest combination on the calendar, at least if you believe in that sort of thing.
One guy who didn’t was William Fowler.
He had attended Public School 13 in New York City and served in 13 battles of the Civil War, and he figured his life had turned out ok.
So he decided to rep this maligned number and start something he called the Thirteen Club.
Members would gather on the 13th day of the month, Friday or not, for a 13 course meal in Room 13.
As if this wasn’t all bad luck enough, on their way in to the room, the guests all walked under ladders and read a banner that said in Latin, “Those of us who are about to die salute you.”
From what I could find, they all made it through the meals safely.
The Chicago Botanic Garden is welcoming visitors for the Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns.
Participants get to take a nighttime walk around the grounds, surrounded by illuminated and very spooky carved pumpkins.
Origins of Friday the 13th: How the Day Got So Spooky (Live Science)
Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns (Chicago Botanic Garden)