This year we have Friday the 13th falling in February, March, and November. So, if you’re scared of the day, then beware! And if you aren’t scared of the day, let me give you some reasons why you should be. Bwahahahah!
1. The capture of crusaders (October 13, 1307)
King Philip IV of France raided the homes of the Knights Templar (warrior monks) and imprisoned thousands of them. All sorts of charges were levied against them though none were proven. Hundreds of the Templar knights died as they were horrifically tortured to force confessions out of them.
2. The fall of the Aztec Empire (August 13, 1521)
Famous conquistador Hernan Cortes led an expedition into South America to conquer and colonize the Aztec Empire. He destroyed city after city and on August 13, he captured the capital city of Tenochtitlan, thereby bringing to an end the Aztec Empire.
3. Cannibal faces justice (April 13, 1883)
Alfred Packer traveled to Colorado with four other men to find gold in February of the year. They had been warned not to go in the winter months but still went ahead. After running out of food, the men turned to cannibalism. Packer was the only survivor and was convicted on April 13 but stated he killed a man in self-defense after that man had killed the others.
4. Planes suffered tragedies (June 13, 1952)
Known as the ‘Catalina Affair’, a Swedish DC-3 military plane along with its eight crew members disappeared over the Baltic Sea. Two Catalina rescue planes were sent to search for it, and one was shot down by Russian forces. In 1991, the BBC stated that Soviets had shot down the DC-3 as well.
5. US and UK ignore nuclear test protests (July 13, 1956)
According to The New York Times, the United States and United Kingdom chose to ignore the protests by India and Yugoslavia to stop the atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons. There was concern that this could lead to innocent civilians facing radiation exposure.
6. Massive cyclone hit Bangladesh (November 13, 1970)
This Friday the 13 brought a great tragedy to the country of Bangladesh as a cyclone killed around 300,000 people in Chittagong. The cyclone also created floods that went on to kill an estimated 1 million people around the Ganges delta.
7. Friday the 13 virus hit IBM (January 13, 1989)
The ‘Friday the 13th virus’ infected hundreds of IBM computers all across the UK. The result was very damaging as the virus wiped out programming files. This was a time when large-scale viruses were still unknown to most people so the panic it caused was immense.
8. Dow Jones had a mini-crash (October 13, 1989)
In 1989, the Dow Jones Industrial Average experienced the second-largest drop that it had ever had till that date. The Dow dropped 190.58 points, which was a shocker for the pre-recession days. The crash was termed ‘Friday the 13th mini-crash’.
9. Collapse of Royal Plaza Hotel (August 13, 1993)
This famous hotel was regarded as the pride of Thailand, but an engineer’s negligence led to a disastrous collapse. Three badly-constructed stories had been added, which led to additional strain on the ground-level support. The building collapsed in seconds; 137 people died and 227 people were injured.
10. 13-year-old hit by lightning (August 13, 2010)
One teenage boy got the shock of his life during the Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival in England when he was struck by a bolt of lightning. Fortunately, all he got was a minor burn on the shoulder. What makes this case interesting is that he was 13 years old and was struck at 1:13 PM (13:13).
11. Cruise ship sank (January 13, 2012)
The Costa Concordia was an Italian cruise ship for tourists. It capsized and sank after hitting an underwater rock obstruction off the coast of Tuscany on the first leg of its cruise. 32 people died in the disaster and the search for missing passengers went on for months afterwards.
12. Superstitions hurt economy (Friday the 13)
According to sources, every Friday the 13 the economy is affected in millions as people feel too scared to invest in stocks, travel, and go through their normal routines. US sources estimate the loss to be around $900 million.
13. Asteroid will get closer (April 13, 2029)
The future of Friday the 13 promises to be as dark as the past as Asteroid 99942 Apophis is scheduled to pass Earth at a closer distance than any satellite in 2029. Since asteroids have the potential to destroy large parts of the Earth, the least that we can expect is lots of public hysteria.