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The real story behind Friday the 13th

By Keith Wilkinson

     True Activist The unlucky Friday the 13th is one of the most well-recognized superstitions in the western world. This tradition is over 700 years old and has a very interesting origin. During the 12th century, there was a massive religious war that consumed most of Europe and Asia. Euro­peans referred to these times as “the crusades.”

     These wars lasted centuries and allowed an elite class of knights to accumulate so much power and wealth that their influence rivaled both the monarchy and the church. The knights of the temple of Solomon, or more commonly known as “The Knights Templar” were the most influential po­litical force of their time. They were the world’s first international bankers and were the corporate giants of the Middle Ages.

     During the crusades, it was rumored that the Templars studied alchemy and discovered forbidden knowledge on their journeys. This would not be the first time that this has happened in history, it is actually quite common for conquerors to return home with ancient artifacts, just like Napoleon did with the Rosetta stone, for example. Some say that instead of offering their discoveries to museums the Templars kept the artifacts and knowledge within their own order. This is all speculation and legend, but what we do know for certain is that the Templars were sneaky military men and became the world’s first multinational bankers.

On the morning of Friday, April 13, 1307, there was a surprise raid on all the Templar offices. The knights were being arrested on over a hundred different counts of heresy and treason and confessed after being brutally tortured. After a short, rigged trial the Templars were sentenced to burn at the stake. The grandmaster of the Knights Templar cursed the king and pope before he was executed, and synchronisticaly both died within the year.


     While the history of Friday the 13th is filled with many fascinating stories and intrigue, many people today are not so impressed with the history of the 13th, but more concerned with the superstition that surrounds this day.

Though many will simply laugh off the superstition as just another day, others will remain in bed paralyzed with fear, avoid daily tasks, conducting business or traveling. In the U.S., an estimated 17 to 21 million people suffer from a fear of Friday the 13th, according to a study by the North Carolina Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute

   In fact, the number 13 has been considered cursed across the world for thousands of years. The number 12 is historically considered the number of completeness, while its older cousin, 13, has been seen as an outlier. There are 12 months of the year, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 hours of the clock, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 Apostles of Jesus, 12 Descendants of Muhammad Imams, among many incidences of the pattern historically.

ibtimes The phobia, known as friggatriskaidekaphobia, is not uncommon. The word comes from Frigga, the name of the Norse goddess for whom Friday is named, and triskaidekaphobia, or fear of the number thirteen. It is also sometimes called paraskevidekatriaphobia, from the Greek Par­askevi for Friday, Dekatreis for thirteen and phobia for fear.

There will be three incidences of the superstitious day this year, Jan. 13, Apr. 13 and July 13. In the Gregorian calendar, Friday the 13th always occurs at least once a year and can appear up to three times in any one year.  Whether there is any merit to the superstitions surrounding Friday the 13th will remain uncertain, but that will not stop millions of people across the world from worrying about the unlucky day.

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