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Friday The 13th: History, Trivia, and Everything Else You Need To Know

Huffington Post   First Posted: 08/13/10 10:01 AM ET Updated: 11/17/11 09:02 AM ET

Friday

Happy Friday The 13th everyone! Turns out, there is plenty of good news to be had on this supposedly "unlucky" day.

According to the AP, Friday the Thirteenth is not actually unlucky at all:

Unlucky for some? Dutch statisticians have established that Friday 13th, a date regarded in many countries as inauspicious, is actually safer than an average Friday.

A study published on Thursday by the Dutch Centre for Insurance Statistics (CVS) showed that fewer accidents and reports of fire and theft occur when the 13th of the month falls on a Friday than on other Fridays.

For those of you whose fears are not assuaged by this fact, you're in luck (pun intended!) - today is the one and only Friday the 13th of the year!

And in case you didn't know, the fear you are suffering from has a name. It's Paraskevidekatriaphobia. It's what happens when a fear of Fridays meets a fear of the number Thirteen (Triskaidekaphobia).

Did you know that paraskavedekatriaphobia, according to Fox News, can be traced back to "October 1307, when on Friday the 13th, French King Philip IV rounded up hundreds of monks and tortured them into admitting a variety of heresies."

And while the Dutch study may say that Friday the 13th just got a bum rap, there's been more than a few unfortunate occurrences that happened on this infamous day. According to Hauntedbay.com, here are a few examples of the sordidhistory of Friday the 13th:

- July 1951: The Great Flood killed 24 people, destroyed more than 2 million acres of land in Kansas and caused $760 million in damage.

- March 1964: The "Good Friday" earthquake wasn't actually so good. It remains the largest earthquake in North American history, killing 131 people near Prince William Sound.

- July 1987: An F4 tornado ripped through Edmonton, Alberta, killing 27 people and injuring at least 300.

- March 1992: An earthquake killed nearly 2,000 people and left 50,000 homeless in Turkey.

And that's not all. Here a couple scary, yet scintillating facts about Friday the Thirteenth:

- In a traditional hangman's noose there are 13 twists of the rope and 13 steps to the gallows.

- Many buildings don't count their 13th floors. You'll see on their elevators that the numbers skip from 12 to 14.

- There is no 13th Avenue in San Francisco, instead Funston Avenue is between 12th and 14th Avenues.

- In Formula 1 racing, there is no car with the number 13. The number has been removed after two drivers were killed in crashes, both driving cars numbered 13.

- Killers Charles Manson, Saddam Hussein, Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, Theodore Bundy, and Jack The Ripper each have 13 letters in their names.

And lastly, these people weren't so lucky on Friday the 13th:


- Tupac Shakur was shot and killed in Las Vegas on a Friday the 13th.

- Al Capone was sentenced to prison on a Friday the 13th.

- Benny Goodman, the King of Swing, died on a Friday the 13th.

- Hubert Humphrey, the 38th vice president of the United States, died on a Friday the 13th.



So, are you scared of Friday the Thirteenth? How do you handle your fears? Or, alternately, do you think this is all just a bunch of hogwash? Tell us below!

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