Today is Friday 13th. Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day in Western superstition. If you are superstitious, you should know that the fear of the 13th Friday is very old. It worries us, maybe we can blame a group of American gentlemen who were sworn enemies superstitions. But what happened on Friday the 13th that make the day historic and create a mystery among western people.
From time immemorial many have feared Fridays and 13 days. But why did both fears come together to generate a belief with a life of its own in the English-speaking world?
In America, on the other hand, superstition applies to Tuesdays 13th. As for English-speaking countries, the reasons don’t seem to be mystical.
“From the astrological point of view, there is no need to worry about Friday the 13th,” says Robert Currey, Equinox Astrology. The fear of Friday the 13th is also called friggatriskaidekaphobia.
The dates and days of the week used to be closely related to the planetary movements and phases of the Moon in a system that goes back to the Babylonians, he explains, but that is no longer the case.
Sonia Ducie is a numerology consultant who firmly believes in the innate energy of numbers. 13th “has to do with the transformation and change,” he says. Ducie considers to Friday the fifth day of the week that is associated with the movement.
“You can see how those two numbers together could be very restless,” but he clarifies: “It’s up to us. Energy is neutral. “
Why did this combined superstition arise?
In 1907, a book called “Friday the 13th” was published by a broker named Thomas Lawson. It was the inspiration for the mythology of Friday 13th that culminated with the films and the television series in the 80.
Lawson’s book is a dark tale of Wall Street whose central character generates booms and falls in the market to take revenge on his enemies, leaving many in misery and ruin. And it takes advantage of the fears that the date Friday 13 could generate in the dealers.
Friday the 13th, In 1907 the fear of Friday the 13th was already an established superstition. “Every man in the stock market and on Wall Street has his eye on it. On Friday 13 would break the best bull market in history that was in progress, “says one of the characters. So in 1907 the fear of that date was already an established superstition. It was not a quarter of a century before.
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The Thirteen Club (Club of thirteen), a meeting of merry gentlemen determined to challenge all superstitions , met for the first time on September 13, 1881 (a Wednesday) although it was formally organized on Friday , January 13, 1882 .
The 13th day of each month gathered, sat on the table 13, broken mirrors, spilled salt with exuberance and reached under cross – dinner walking stairs .
The club’s annual reports carefully specified how many of its members had died and how many had died during the following year after attending a dinner at the club.
It was founded by Captain William Fowler at his Knickerbocker Cottage restaurant on Sixth Avenue in Manhattan, New York. Fowler was associated with “good camaraderie, a great, heart and a charity simple and without ostentation.”
As quarterback club ” always led the way boldly and fearlessly into the banquet hall , ” said the “chief ruler” of the club, Daniel Wolff.
The US newspaper The New York Times reported that at the first meeting, the guest number 13 was delayed, and Fowler pushed one of the waiters to compensate for the absence of the diner who completed the unlucky number .
“Despite his screams he was being pushed under the stairs when the missing guest arrived,” the newspaper reported. The first objective of the club was the fear that if 13 people were dining together one could die soon . But a second superstition came soon after.
In April 1882, a resolution was adopted deploring the fact that on Friday had been “considered for many centuries a day of bad luck … for senseless reasons.”
The club called on the US president, governors and judges to stop choose to Friday as the day of “hang” people and executions realizasen other days as well. But there is no sign in the Friday superstition mix club with the 13th.
It must have appeared sometime between 1882 and the publication of Lawson’s book in 1907.
Responsibility of the enemies of superstition?
Could it be the club’s own fault? There they took every opportunity to ridicule both fears.
The newspaper Los Angeles Herald reported in 1895: ” Every time during the past 13 years has fallen on Friday the 13th of the month , this particular organization has never ceased to hold a special meeting to rejoice.”
The club prided itself on putting superstition in the limelight. Its fame was great: of the original 13 members had been passed to hundreds at the beginning of Century XX. And similar clubs had been established in other cities in the United States and in London.
“Two such vulgar superstitions that have fought decisively and without flinching , ” wrote integral Charles Sotheran to other club members in New York in 1883, “that is, l a belief that 13 is an unlucky number and Friday a day of bad luck . They have created a popular feeling in favor of both. “
Sotheran must have meant that they “made the Friday and the 13th less unpopular,” but his phrase is ambiguous and could have meant “made popular superstitions.” Was this interpretation that established superstition in public opinion?
The doctrine of The Thirteen Club was “that superstition should be attacked and fought and expelled from the Earth.” If, on the contrary, it generated one of the most common and persistent superstitions, it was in fact an unfortunate accident.