Life Lifestyle

Friday the 13th and Other Unlucky Superstitions

Paraskevidekatriaphobia is a phobia of Friday the 13th and triskaidekaphobia is a fear of the number 13.

I think we can safely say that Freddy Krueger from Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street really kick started the hype of Friday the 13th.

If you haven’t seen those movies, be prepared to have nightmares for at least 2 weeks (to this day as old as the movies are Freddy Krueger pops up in my dreams after watching them!)

But where on Earth did this peculiar date originate?

The Unlucky Number 13

The number 13 can be dated as far back as biblical times. At the Last Supper, there were 13 people sitting at the table. The very table where Judas betrayed Jesus.

On Friday, October 13, 1307 King Philip IV had the Knights Templar arrested, tortured and burned at the stake. Over the course of 5 years, the Knights Templar was completely wiped out.

However, did you know the number 13 is considered lucky in Eastern culture?

It means life and prosperity – all good things. So maybe we should start viewing Friday the 13th as one of the luckiest days of the year?

Black Cats

I think black cats look really cool. However, the superstition of black cats being bad luck stems from the old witch hunting days.

It was believed that (those accused as being witches) could turn into black cats. So if you see a black cat – chances are it’s probably just a black cat.

There are way too many stray cats and dogs on the streets – people really need to spay and neuter their pets, but that’s a whole other topic on its own.

Walking Under Ladders

I will push the number 13 in any elevator and go about my day on Friday the 13th but one thing (well two) you will still never see me do is break a mirror and walk under a ladder!

In medieval days, it was blasphemous to walk under a ladder. Why? Because an open ladder is in the shape of a triangle and it was believed that you are breaking the Trinity when walking through it.

A ladder was also in the shape of the gallows.

I am still kind of on the fence about walking under ladders but I still wouldn’t do it superstitious or not – I’m not chancing the person on top of the ladder falling on my head!

Broken Mirrors

Apparently this broken mirrors superstition was started by the ancient Romans.

They believed that life renewed itself every 7 years and that a reflection of yourself was actually your soul.

So if someone broke a mirror they believed it temporarily taints your soul but will return to normal at the start of a new cycle.

Speaking of mirrors. Did you know there is a folklore in many cultures that instruct when in mourning you should cover up all mirrors and anything that can cause a reflection in the home of the deceased?

The belief is that the soul can become trapped in the mirrors instead of passing on.

What superstitions do you avoid? Comment below and share this post!

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  • Reply
    Crystal Rook
    October 14, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    Great article. I grew up hearing and believing in various superstitions; even the ones I thought didn’t make sense such as only a man should come into your home on New Year’s Day. Why does it matter what gender enters one’s home first, second, etc to bring a blessing or curse? It is the heart and intention of the person. Anyway, I had an aunt who would literally run off the road to attempt to kill a Black cat. Really?! When I became an adult, I realized that Black cats are beautiful and what harm would they cause a person. I have processed many superstitions and what meanings they have for me today. Frankly, I do not continue to believe in most of them due to my faith in God. SN: I am not implying that a person who believes in superstitions do not have faith.

    • Reply
      October 15, 2017 at 12:13 pm

      Hi Crystal! Oh yes I know what you mean! Growing up with family from Louisiana there are so many superstitions and customs, most of them don’t make any sense lol My dad always said “don’t let anyone pull a piece of hair off your head if you’re walking through New Orleans” voodoo talk! It is rude to just pick off hair from a stranger (common sense) so it shouldn’t be done anyway. However the whole voodoo thing – I stay away from that all together (just to be safe) haha! Thank you for reading our post and providing your insight 🙂

  • Reply
    Lottie Gibbons
    October 15, 2017 at 11:15 am

    Ahah! Love these superstitions, I like black cats too!

    • Reply
      October 15, 2017 at 12:08 pm

      Hi Lottie! Me too! If I ever got one as a pet it would definitely be a black cat – they just look super cool 🙂

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