Friday the 13th Origins, History, Folk Lore

Long considered a harbinger of bad luck, Friday the 13th has inspired a late 19th-century secret society, an early 20th-century novel, a horror film franchise and not one but two unwieldy terms—paraskavedekatriaphobia and friggatriskaidekaphobia—that describe fear of this supposedly unlucky day.

The Fear of 13

Just like walking under a ladder, crossing paths with a black cat or breaking a mirror, many people hold fast to the belief that Friday the 13th brings bad luck. Though it’s uncertain exactly when this particular tradition began, negative superstitions have swirled around the number 13 for centuries.


  1. The Fear of 13
  2. Why is Friday the 13th Unlucky?
  3. The Thirteen Club
  4. Friday the 13th in Pop Culture
  5. What Bad Things Happened on Friday 13th?
  6. Sources