Friday 13th gets a bad rep and depending on whether you’re superstitious or not, you might find yourself being extra careful around ladders, mirrors and the like.
Fear of this date is known as friggatriskaidekaphobia (named after “Frigg”, the Norse goddess whom Friday is named after, and “triskaidekaphobia”, meaning the fear of “13”.)
But some might suggest there’s a lot of sense in being wary of the date – after all, some pretty awful things have happened on a Friday 13th…
The Costa Concordia disaster
The cruise liner, which was carrying 3,229 passengers and 1,023 crew, was wrecked off the coast of Isola del Giglio in Italy on Friday 13 January 2012, killing 32 people.
The ship deviated from her planned route, sailing closer to the island, where she struck an underwater rock on the seabed.
The ship’s captain, Francesco Schettino, was found guilty of manslaughter in connection with the disaster and sentenced to sixteen years in prison.
Tupac Shakur died
The rapper and actor was shot four times in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas on 7 September 1971.
He died from his injuries six days later on Friday 13 September.
No one has ever been prosecuted for the killing.
The Black Friday stock market crash
Not to be mistaken with the day you can get all those bargains from Amazon. Quite the opposite in fact.
The stock market suffered a mini-crash on Friday 13 October 1989, following the breakdown of a buyout deal for UAL Corporation (the parent company of United Airlines).
Many blame the crash for the beginning of the recession in the early 1990s.
Despite this, statistically speaking, Friday 13th is actually a better-than-average day for stocks, according to MarketWatch.
The Andes plane crash
Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, a chartered flight carrying 45 people, crashed in a remote area of the Andes mountain on Friday 13 October 1972.
The crash killed 12 people, while many others died of their injuries or the cold in the following days and weeks. Eight more crash survivors were also killed in an avalanche.
Perhaps the most gruesome detail of the whole story is that the survivors collectively took the decision to eat flesh from the bodies of those who had died.
The remaining 16 were finally rescued more than two months later on 23 December when two of the survivors managed to trek across the Andes before finally finding help.
Buckingham Palace bombed
The Palace was deliberately targeted by the Luftwaffe as an attempt to try to break British morale, though the Royal family insisted on staying defiantly in their London home.
On Friday 13 September 1940, five bombs were dropped – two hitting the inner quadrangle, one the Royal Chapel and two on the forecourt and road in front of the Palace.
The King and Queen were both at the Palace at the time, though unharmed. Four people were injured that day, with one later dying from his injuries.
Following the attack, the Queen said: “I am glad we have been bombed. It makes me feel I can look the East End in the face.”
The Friday 13th virus strikes computers
On Friday 13 January 1989 a computer virus struck computers made by IBM, deleting swatches of files permanently.
The virus, named Jerusalem, remained dormant in computers before it was activated come Friday 13th.
Kitty Genovese was murdered
The case of the murder of Catherine ‘Kitty’ Genovese became infamous because it prompted the identification of the “Bystander Effect” or “Genovese Syndrome”.
Genovese was stabbed to death outside her home in New York by Winston Moseley on Friday 13 March 1964.
The New York Times reported that 37 or 38 witnesses saw or heard the attack and did nothing.
After the killer’s death in 2016, the NYT admitted that the number of witnesses and what they saw or heard had been exaggerated, but Genovese Syndrome is still used to describe the effect when which people are less likely to offer help to a victim when other people are present.