Friday the 13th
Humans have long used superstitions as a way of explaining everyday phenomena or to help bring them luck or avoid misfortune. And while we’ve grown out of many superstitions as a society, some – like Friday the 13th being unlucky – still remain. But the idea that there’s an entire day that is more prone to bad things happening than others didn’t come out of nowhere. Here’s the bizarre history and origin story behind Friday the 13th, as well as some of the science behind it.
Find out the bizarre origins behind these 11 common superstitions.
What the science says
Believe it or not, there has been research looking into whether there is any truth behind common superstitions, including Friday the 13th. In a 2001 study, Brian Lucey, a statistician and business professor at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland, did an analysis of previous research that supposedly found that stock market returns on Friday the 13ths were lower than Fridays on any other date. As it turns out, he noticed several flaws in the methodologies – for instance, focusing on a few markets or single stock exchange – and found that when you look at the data as a whole, the returns on Friday the 13th were actually slightly higher than other Fridays.
The date may change our behaviour
Though there’s no science suggesting that Friday the 13th is actually unlucky, Kenneth Drinkwater, a parapsychologist at Manchester Metropolitan University in England told Live Science that people still alter their behaviour when that date rolls around. For instance, he explains that people may change the way they drive on Friday the 13th – being extra cautious out of fear something bad will happen. But when you look at the occurrence of traffic accidents based on the date, they aren’t more frequent on Friday the 13th.
Here are some odd things that have happened on Friday the 13th.