Singular Cerebrations: Fortean Friday the 13th
For people of a certain age, myself included, Friday the 13th will forever evoke images of our favorite hockey mask-wearing monster tearing through a cabin full of lascivious teenagers. But for many people the day is simply one of bad luck. Some believe that particular belief stems from the number of apostles present at Jesus' last supper (there were thirteen), and others think it has to do with the date Philip IV of France arrested hundreds of Knights Templar (Friday, October 13th, 1307).
There are, of course, conflicting reports on the actuality of the day's misfortune. A 1993 study in the British Journal of Medicine found that there "is a significant level of traffic-related incidences on Friday the 13th as opposed to a random day, such as Friday the 6th, in the UK." Yet a 2008 study by the Dutch Centre for Insurance Statistics found that "fewer accidents and reports of fire and theft occur when the 13th of the month falls on a Friday than on other Fridays, because people are preventatively more careful or just stay home." So there you have it, Friday the 13th either is or is not far more dangerous, or much safer, than any other day of the year, depending on your nationality.
It's difficult for me to see today as unlucky, honestly, because I've got a lot to which I'm looking forward. I'm working on my first book this year along with my partner-in-all-things Emily, and we're looking at covering even more conventions and other weird, wonderful things to share with all of you. So, instead of letting a few bad acts done centuries ago fill me with dread, I'll just be over here enjoying the present while keeping one eye optimistically toward the future. I hope you'll join me.
Yours in Impossibility,