Friday the 13th Bad Luck and Why We Blame This Day

Black Cat for Friday the 13th Bad Luck
Photo Courtesy of Pixabay – 905513

Some people think nothing of Friday the 13th as anything but another ordinary day. On the other hand, there are others who associate it with doom and gloom since it has an unlucky history through the centuries that stuck from the superstitions that attached to it. If you’re curious how these superstitions about encountering bad luck for Friday the 13th came about, then sit back and I will explain.

Though no one really knows the origins of how these superstitions came about, there are some theories that suggest clues can be found in the Bible and traced back to the Last Supper. After all, there were 12 guests and Jesus to make 13, but Judas was the one apostle that betrayed Jesus at that supper. In addition, it was also a Friday that Christ was crucified, which further associated the stigma of bad luck to Friday the 13th, especially throughout the Christian world.

Looking further through history, Friday the 13th also was not lucky for hundreds of Knights Templar in France under King Philip IV. Many of those were executed on October 13, 1307 on trumped-up charges of blasphemy and homosexuality. By some accounts, it was probably merely a way for the King to gain their assets.

During World War II, the Germans bombed Buckingham Palace on September 13, 1940 to also fuel the fire of superstitions about bad luck centered on this date.

Then there is the tragic murder of Kitty Genovese on Friday, March 13, 1964 that happened in Queens, New York. According to a piece in the Times, this 28-year-old bar manager was stabbed in three separate attacks while 38 people watched and did nothing. However, this account was later changed when further investigated. While the murderer was the same, there were only a few people that observed one of the two, not three attacks. Most of those just let the poor woman scream without calling for help, but two actually phoned the police.

Thousands of people perished due to a cyclone that struck Bangladesh. This Friday the 13th tragedy occurred November 13, 1970. It is just another mark against Friday the 13th and the likelihood of bad luck.

Another memorable Friday the 13th was on October 13, 1989 when a small crash of the New York stock market took place. It was not in the same league of the Wall Street Crash of 1929 that devastated thousands of investors and contributed toward the Great Depression. Just the same, it also can be included among more recent superstitions about bad luck revolving around this day.

Superstitions have a knack for sticking, especially when people need a reason to blame or attribute bad or good luck to a day or an object like Friday the 13th. Happy Friday the 13th ! But if you want to be on the safe side, today is the perfect time to make my Good Luck pretzel recipe.



  1. tat2gurlzrock
    August 13, 2021 / 1:37 pm

    Interesting post!

  2. Maryann D.
    August 30, 2021 / 2:45 am

    I never felt that Friday the 13th was any different than any other day. I am sure bad things happen everyday somewhere. I do love black cats also, so I could never think they are bad luck!

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