What Exactly Makes Friday the 13th Unlucky?

October 13, 2023
1 min read
What Exactly Makes Friday the 13th Unlucky?

Friday the 13th is well-known as a scary movie franchise, but it also has a deep history behind it filled with plenty of superstition as well. And in 2023, the final Friday the 13th has arrived.

If you’re feeling a little scared, you’re not alone—the term “paraskavedekatriaphobia” actually means “the fear of Friday the 13th.”

So, when is the next Friday the 13th and how many of these dates will be in 2024? Why is this particular date seen as “unlucky”? Don’t be alarmed—we’ll cover it all here.

Related: Ch-Ch-Ch-Ah-Ah-Ah—We’ve Got the 20 Best Friday the 13th Memes

When Is the Next Friday the 13th?

Friday, October 13, 2023, is the last “Friday the 13th” in 2023. But if you’re curious about how many Friday the 13th dates are in 2024, exactly, we’ll fill you in:

  • Friday, September 13, 2024
  • Friday, December 13, 2024

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Why Is Friday the 13th Unlucky?

There are a couple of different explanations for the origin of “Friday the 13th” being considered unlucky—including reasons rooted in Christian history and Norse mythology. 

In the Bible, the Last Supper consisted of 13 people (Jesus and his 12 disciples—one of them being Judas, who was in the process of betraying him). Then, Christ’s crucifixion took place on the next day which is now observed on a Friday (Good Friday, to be exact).

“When those two events come together, you are reenacting at least a portion of that terrible event,” Dr. Phil Stevens an associate professor of anthropology at the University at Buffalo, explained to TIME. “You are reestablishing two things that were connected to that terrible event.”

Then, according to Nordic tradition, Loki, the trickster god, was the 13th individual to join a dinner party to which he hadn’t been invited. Norse mythology says that Loki then shot and killed one of the gods, Balder.

And these days, many people admit they’re superstitious (or a little stitious, as Michael Scott might say) of the date and/or number. This includes businesses or society as a whole as well. For example, as Chris Fahmy states in his TikTok above, in some apartments (and other buildings), there’s no 13th floor and some airlines do not have a 13th row. 

Is Friday the 13th Good Luck?

While Dr. Simon Bronner, a professor of American studies and folklore at Pennsylvania State University, previously told TIME that the number 13 is considered lucky in countries like Italy, it’s safe to say that Friday the 13th is not typically considered good luck, but largely the opposite.

However, some individuals are over all of the fear-mongering and would rather see this day as an opportunity to manifest good things and joy instead.

One thing’s for sure, if you’re Taylor Swift or a Swiftie, Friday the 13th likely hits different in a good way—especially this year.

Next: The 32 Best Slasher Movies of All Time, Ranked

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