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The Editor Speaks: Friday 13th

I am writing this Editorial on Friday 13th. The earliest you will get to read it will be the late evening of Sunday 15th.

You will (hopefully all of you), therefore, be able to smile that you have survived the dreadful day without some form of mishap or even worse!

Friday 13th does conjure up some form of foreboding even if you try to tell yourself it’s all bunkum.

The Friday 13th Movie Franchise made a “killing’ (pun intended) by using people’s fear of the day to make twelve movies that grossed over $464 million at the box-office worldwide.

Plans to make a 13th Friday 13th have, after numerous attempts, ended in failure because of disagreements between the rights holders.

Even a proposed TV series of the same name came to nothing after many attempts – not sure if it was 13…?

How did the superstition ever start? What is it founded upon?

According to an article in the UK’s Independent they have come up with various reasons:

The superstition surrounding the date is thought to originate with the Last Supper, attended by 13 people – Jesus Christ and his 12 disciples – on Maundy Thursday, the night before his crucifixion by Roman soldiers on Good Friday.

The number 13 is therefore associated with Judas Iscariot, Christ’s betrayer, and is regarded as imperfect compared with 12, which represents the number of months in a year.

The union of day and date has also been traced back to King Philip IV of France arresting hundreds of Knights Templar on Friday 13 October 1307.

The Catholic crusaders were apprehended – under pressure from Pope Clement V – over allegations made by an excommunicated former member that new recruits to the order were being forced to spit on the cross, deny Christ and engage in homosexual acts during initiation ceremonies.

The claims – seemingly entirely without foundation – were a convenient pretext for Philip to persecute the wealthy order and waive debts he owed them following war with England.

Charged with moral and financial corruption and worshipping false idols – often following confessions obtained under torture – many of the knights were later burnt at the stake in Paris.

The order’s Grand Master, Jacques de Molay, faced the flames in front of Notre Dame Cathedral and is said to have cried out a curse on those who had so gravely wronged them: “God knows who is wrong and has sinned. Soon a calamity will occur to those who have condemned us to death.”

The events initiated by the holy warriors’ arrest, according to tradition, ensured every subsequent Friday the 13th meant bad luck to one and all, De Molay’s hex ringing out through the ages.

There will be two Friday the 13ths in 2018: today and another in July. An irrational fear of the day is known as paraskevidekatriaphobia.


There you have it. I hope reading this has made you feel a lot better….?

You only have three months to your very next FRIDAY 13th!



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