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13 Odd Things That Happened on Friday the 13th

It’s just like any other day of the year, isn’t it?

13 Odd Things That Happened on Friday the 13th

Statistically, what happens on this superstitious day is no more bizarre than what goes on during any other day of the year. This year, we’ll have two chances to find out if the statisticians are correct with a double dose of Friday the 13th occurrences; one falling in January and the other in October. Friggatriskaidekaphobes (Friday the 13th scaredy-cats) are preparing for the worst. After all, the following all occurred on this blackest of days.

1. On Friday, October 13, 1307, King Philip IV of France rounded up hundreds of Knights Templar and tortured them as heretics. Some wonder whether this was the beginning of the whole Friday the 13th mythology (if it is a myth …).

2. On Friday, November 13, 1829, 10,000 people gathered to watch stunt man Sam Patch jump into New York’s Genesee River from atop the Genesee Falls. Only weeks earlier, he’d leaped off Niagara Falls and survived. He wasn’t as lucky this time.

3. On Friday, October 13, 1972, a plane crashed in the Andes in Chile. Twelve people died instantly, and survivors resorted to cannibalism.

4. That very same day, 174 people were killed when a Russian airliner crashed on landing near Moscow.

5. On Friday, August 13, 2010, a 13-year-old boy in Suffolk, England, was struck by lightning. The lightning reportedly hit at 1:13, or 13:13 in military time. The boy survived unharmed.

6. On Friday, October 13, 2006, nearly half a million people lost power when Buffalo, New York, and the surrounding suburbs were buried under 26–69 cm of snow. The area is used to a lot of snow, but 69 cm? In October?!

7. On Friday, October 13, 1989, the New York Stock Market’s Dow Jones fell a whopping 6.91 per cent, while the S&P 500 fell 6.12 per cent.

8. On Friday, July 13, 1979, Bob Renphrey decided to stay in bed every subsequent Friday the 13th because of a spate of bad luck he’d suffered on that unlucky day, such as: walking through a plate glass door, getting made redundant, falling into a river, writing off four cars and putting his wife in the hospital after hitting her in the head with a stick meant for the dog. After he died in 1998 his funeral was on (you guessed it) Friday the 13th.

9. On Friday, July 13, 1951, after days of record-setting rain fell in northeastern Kansas, swollen rivers poured over their banks consuming the cities of Topeka, Lawrence and Manhattan in the process.

10. On Friday, July 13, 1821, one of the scariest fellows ever was born: Nathan Bedford Forrest, an early member of the Ku Klux Klan.

11. On Friday, January 13, 2012, the cruise ship Costa Concordia partially sank off the Italian coast after running aground, killing 33 people.

12. On Friday, April 13, 2029, Asteroid 99942 Apophis is forecast to pass Earth a scant 31,300 kilometres away, closer than any of the satellites we’ve put into orbit.

13. On every Friday the 13th, the world’s economy apparently loses about $900 million because people are scared to work and travel on this date, says Donald Dossey, founder of the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in North Carolina.


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