Tech Ruins

Friday the 13: Only Unlucky to Templars and Teenage Campers

Superstitions generally have their roots in the Dark Ages, a decided technology-free era. In fact, the Enlightenment era was partly a direct opposition to the superstitions engendered before the 18th century. However, the Friday the 13th being bad juju phenomenon is, apparently, a relatively new superstition. No evidence that Friday the 13th is considered unlucky is found before the 19th century, and it didn’t gain widespread acceptance as some superstitious day of forboding until the early 20th century.

In fact, the only people that seem to have suffered any sort of less than desirable fate on Friday the 13 are the Knights Templar and some horny teenage campers. The Knights Templar had become very powerful as lenders of money to the kings of Europe. By 1306, the French monarch was deeply in debt to the Templars due to his reliance on deficit spending to fun his wars. When a defected Templar leveled charges that the Templars were idoloters, heretics, homosexuals and whatever else he could think of, King Philip IV seized on the chance to eradicate the debt holders and, thus, eradicate his debt. On Friday, October 13, 1307 hundreds of Templars were arrested and tortured to gain confessions. Soon, the Pope had no other choice than to request all other European monarchs arrest Templars in their kingdoms.

The other story involves a group of kids in 1980 who were trying to reopen a summer camp. Some guy in a ski mask didn’t like that. Or he didn’t like all the kids have sex. Or he didn’t like kids walking around by themselves. Or something. There are rules you can look up online.

But the fact that the superstition about Friday the 13 is so new begs the question: are we headed into a new Dark Age? Some have already suggested it, particularly in relation to NASA’s loss of focus. What do you think?

[Image Credit: Beyond @ via]

  • Yeah, I don't really care what happens in the Vatican.

    • Number_Six

      Maybe I meant the NBA.

  • BlackIce_GTS

    Ski mask? Anyway, in the first one it was actually [spoilers].
    In Japanese and Chinese 4 sounds like death. And 164 sounds like 'all the way to death'. Alfa Romeo accordingly rebadged the 164 as 168 in Hong Kong. Not because it sounded ominous, but because they didn't want to get sued for overstating the car's longevity.

    I saw a 164 in Vancouver the other day. And a new C63 AMG, a 911 turbo, and an Audi R8. But only one of those is really notable. The new cars just take money, the Alfa takes dedication. (and money).

    It might just be expectation bias, but I usually have a rather good day on Friday 13th.

  • craigsu

    There's never less than 1 and never more than 3 Friday the 13th's in a year. This year we have 3 with 2 already under our belts. Not a good year for triskaidekaphobians.

  • aastrovan

    Superstitions are particularly rampant in sports and gambling.Personally it is just a mental crutch not unlike organized religion.