How Did Friday the 13th Get Its Unlucky Reputation? CARLA COMETTO and AMANDA GAMBILL MAY 13, 2022, 9:00 AM EDT | 4 min read vimolsiri.s/Shutterstock.com Whether you’re superstitious or not, everyone’s aware of the negative connotations surrounding Friday the 13th. For ages, many folks have believed nothing good ever happens on this day, but how exactly did it get its unlucky rep? Most people don’t associate Friday the 13th with anything good—after all, there’s an entire horror franchise named after it. We decided to look into the origins of this myth, and here’s what we found out. Biblical Links RELATEDWhy We Knock on Wood (and Other Common Superstitions) When it comes to tracking down how this particular day got its less-than-fun reputation, the truth is a bit murky. Many hypotheses have been formulated over the years, but there’s not really enough evidence to pinpoint an exact time or reason that this idea took hold. The most common origin given for the Friday the 13th superstition has to do with the number 13 and the Bible. As there were 13 guests at the Last Supper (the 12 apostles and Jesus), it’s purported that Christians started to think having 13 people at a table was a portent of certain doom. Friday is a day of the week that also has strong biblical associations, as the holiday Good Friday is commemorated based on the theory that Jesus was crucified on that day of the week. However, the Bible theory isn’t the only one. Philip the Fair and the Knights Templars An illustration from a 15th-century illuminated manuscript depicting Phillip IV at the execution of the Knights Templars. Bedford Master/Public domain, via Wikimedia CommonsAnother Friday the 13th theory dates back to 1307, and you might be familiar with it if you caught the Knightfall TV series on the History channel. It involves the Knights Templars being arrested on orders from King Philip IV of France. The King alleged that the Catholic military was forcing new recruits to spit on the cross, deny Christ, and engage in “indecent kissing.” Confessions were obtained under torture, and the Knights were charged with financial corruption and practicing idolatry. When he was condemned to be burned at the stake in Paris, Jacques de Molay, the Grand Master of the Templars, is said to have cursed all who had wronged them. “God knows who is wrong and has sinned,” de Molay is reported to have said. “Soon a calamity will occur to those who have condemned us to death.”
It wasn’t long before the Knights Templars were wiped out. The claims of their corruption, as it turns out, were unfounded. In fact, many historians now believe that King Philip took these actions against the Templars because he was broke and the order was quite wealthy.
So, what does all of this have to do with Friday the 13th, you may ask? Well, that was the day the raid on the Templars began and it all ended in gruesome deaths and a curse. Yikes!
So Happy Friday the 13th!!!