Friday the 13th is a day rife with superstitions of all kinds. It’s commonly referred to as the most unlucky day of the year with dozens of myths tied to it. Many believe in the bad luck Friday the 13th brings so much that many cities do not have a 13th Street or a 13th Avenue, many high-rise buildings avoid having a 13th floor, some hospitals avoid labeling rooms with the number 13 and many airports will not have a gate 13.

The phobia is known as friggatriskaidekaphobia, from Frigga, the name of the Norse goddess for whom Friday is named, and triskaidekaphobia, is the fear of the number thirteen, that is also sometimes called paraskevidekatriaphobia, from the Greek Paraskevi for Friday, Dekatreis for thirteen and phobia for fear.

Some popular myths tied to the Friday the 13th are;

– If you cut your hair on Friday the 13th, someone in your family will die.

– If a funeral procession passes you on Friday the 13th, you will be the next to die.

– Do not start a trip on Friday or you will encounter misfortune.

– If you break a mirror on Friday the 13th, you will have seven years of bad luck.

– A child born on Friday the 13th will be unlucky for life.

– Ships that set sail on a Friday will have bad luck.

– If you walk under a ladder or if a black cat crosses you on Friday the 13th, you will have bad luck.

In Africa, we know a thing or two about superstitions, but perhaps not on the same level as the Friday the 13th superstitions. Much of the belief in the day’s bad luck is tied to the 13th apostle by name of Judas Iscariot that dined with Jesus and then betrayed him on the Friday he was arrested. Other beliefs on the history of the day exist but none can quite be said to be the genesis of the Friday the 13th superstitions.

Some facts we do know about the day is that there can never be more than three Friday the 13th in one year; so it was last year in 2015 and so it will be in the year 2026. For this year, we’ll just have to make do with one; today!


Author: Aderonke Adeleke

Writer. Music lover. Movie junkie. Social Media Enthusiast. Aspiring dancer. Aspiring photographer. Social Introvert.