Can Jason Voorhees Talk?

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Indie Horror Scary Movies and Series

Is Jason Voorhees Able to Speak? [Friday the 13th Facts]

Behind the Scenes: Friday the 13th Slasher Jason’s Linguistic Skills

Jason is almost always associated with some pretty scary music. And almost everyone who encounters Jason (before actually dying) is nearly scared to death!  It is impressive to generate so much fear without uttering so much as even a peep. But has Jason Voorhees ever spoke? Do any of the Friday the 13th movies show Jason speaking?  Has he ever had a chat with a buddy…even before he drowned? Horror Enthusiast dives deep to the bottom of Crystal Lake for the answer to one of the greatest Friday the 13th fan questions of all time: Can the Friday the 13th Killer Talk?

Does Jason Voorhees Ever Talk?

Yes. Jason Voorhees can talk. He talks two times throughout this entire horror screen career, but nonetheless, he talks.

The first time, he was shouting in desperation. In the original movie, when he is seen drowning, he shouts for help and no one comes to his aid. These were very clear words and show he absolutely had the ability to talk as a kid.

The second time, he seems somewhat overly intelligent for the Jason we all know in Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993).  Although this movie is often dubbed one of the goofiest films of the franchise, it does feature a talking Jason towards the end of the movie when Jason mocks the actions of a policeman he has possessed. 

Summing Up Jason’s Social Skills

Perhaps it was after barely surviving the trauma of almost drowning. Or maybe it was the death of his mother.  Some suggest it could be due to a mental illness, or his low IQ.  Or maybe there is another reason as to why Jason Voorhees remains one of the silent killers. No matter his reason for quiet…he does a great job hacking and slashing and remains the horror movie killer with the highest body count. And whether he talks or not, no one would want to invite him to the party!

Did Friday the 13th Copy Halloween? [Movie Comparison]

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Scary Movies and Series

Friday the 13th vs Halloween: Which Movie Copied Which?

A lot of people believe that Halloween copied Friday the 13th. While it is probably true that both horror movie franchise giants have ‘borrowed’ a little from one another…the truth is, Halloween actually came first.  John Carpenter’s original Halloween was filmed in 1978 and featured the ruthless killer Michael Myers in a nearly polished fashion right away.  And while we are big fans of both slashers, Jason Voorhees seems a little under-developed in Sean Cunningham’s original Friday the 13th, released 2 years later in 1980. There are a few crossovers, however, that cannot be ignored and hint that the creators shared an interest in viewing each others films!

Slasher Similarities

The Case of a Properly Masked Killer

did Halloween copy friday 13th

Although the first Michael Myers comes complete with a very attractive ‘killer mask’, Jason Voorhees is forced to resort to wearing a sack over his head for the first two films. Jason did not receive his shiny new hockey mask until Friday the 13th: Part 3, in 1982.  Horror Enthusiast speculates, however, that the Friday the 13th franchise realized the reason Halloween movies were grossing more in the USA was probably because Michael Myers had a mask.  Having a mask makes a killer more identifiable, and more interesting.  A quick look at the gross records of the movies backs up this theory:

  • Halloween (1978) grossed approximately $47,000,000 in the USA [masked killer Michael Myers].
  • Friday the 13th (1980) grossed $39,754,601 in the USA [unmasked killer].
  • Halloween II (1981) grossed $25,533,818 in the USA [masked killer Michael Myers].
  • Friday the 13th: Part II grossed $21,722,776 in the USA [unmasked killer Jason Voorhees]

And then something interesting happened. The Halloween franchise distanced itself from Michael Myers entirely for Halloween Part III: Season of the Witch (1982) and totally bombed at the box office. It is interesting to note Halloween Part III did not feature any single masked killer that could be identified in promotional material. In other words, there was no “single greatest villain” at all!  That year, Friday the 13th Part III was released featuring the new, masked Jason Voorhees and it more than DOUBLED Halloween’s domestic gross that year! Check it out:

Friday the 13th killer with a machete and hockey mask.
  • Halloween Part III: Season of the Witch (1982) grossed an estimated $14,400,000 in the USA [no Michael Myers killer at all].
  • Friday the 13th: Part III (1982) grossed $36,690,067 in the USA [new masked Jason Voorhees killer].

Unfortunately for the Halloween franchise, it would be much harder to get back on the horse. In fact, Friday the 13th would go on to release 3 more movies (part 4, 5 and 6) before having any competition from Halloween again. Halloween part 4 would be released in 1988, attempting to out-gross Friday the 13th Part 7.  Still, Friday the 13th Part 7 would out-gross Halloween part 4. Have a look:

  • Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter (1984) grossed an estimated $32,980,000 in the USA [masked Jason, with no competition from Michael Myers that year].
  • Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning (1985) grossed $21,930,418 in the USA [masked Jason, with no competition from Michael Myers that year].
  • Jason Lives, Friday the 13th Part VI (1986) grossed $19,472,057 in the USA [masked Jason, with no competition from Michael Myers that year].
  • Halloween 4: Return of Michael Myers (1988) grossed $17,768,757 in the USA [masked Michael Myers].
  • Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988) grossed $19,170,001 in the USA [masked Jason Voorhees].

The entire point of comparing the history of earnings from these films is to highlight the fact the Friday the 13th films did not earn more than Halloween movies until after Jason was properly masked.  Clearly, a properly outfitted villain is everything! 

In the case of an identifiable, masked killer, Horror Enthusiast speculates Friday the 13th copied Halloween!*

*There is a even a scene in Halloween Part 4, where Michael Myers can be briefly seen stalking Dr Loomis, wearing a Jason hockey mask!

The Case of Gender Discrimination in Killing

are michael myers and jason the same

One argument could be that the Friday the 13th franchise chose the gender death count based upon the success of the Halloween.  While this argument would not be very valid from the initial history of the two franchises and their horror starts…it could be the case later on in the struggle throughout their rivalry.  Breaking down the history reveals an interesting pattern change between the 1988 and 1989 movies.  Here is how both franchises began…

  • Michael Myers and Halloween claim 5 female victims and 4 male victims in 1978.
  • The Voorhees’ and Friday the 13th claim 5 female and 6 male victims in 1980.
  • Michael Myers and Halloween claim 5 female victims and 7 male victims in 1981.
  • Jason Voorhees and Friday the 13th claim 4 female and 6 male victims in 1981.

A little time passes before the two franchises go head to head again. However, in 1988, Halloween part 4 is released to compete with Friday the 13th Part 7.

  • Michael Myers and Halloween claim 3 female victims and 17 male victims in 1988.
  • Jason Voorhees and Friday the 13th claim 8 female and 8 male victims in 1988.

It is interesting to note that a previous bias to avoid too many female kills had been heavily retained in the Halloween franchise, while Friday the 13th decided to even it up. However, Friday the 13th must have decided that did not work out very well, as the two giants competed in 1989 again, only Friday the 13th had re-limited their female death count. Have a look…

  • Michael Myers and Halloween claim 4 female victims and 15 male victims in 1989.
  • Jason Voorhees and Friday the 13th claim 5 female and 15 male victims in 1989.
monster grabbing woman in canoe from Friday the 13th movie

Although previous patterns for the first two may have indicated their own trial and error…and in the case of gender discrimination in killing, Horror Enthusiast speculates that Friday the 13th may have copied Halloween’s gender death count ratio.  Please be aware, this speculation must have been to avoid media scrutiny, not based upon profit…as Jason had been raking in the dough!

The Case of an Edged Blade

One could speculate that Friday the 13th chose to give Jason Voorhees a giant machete to outdo Halloween’s choice to outfit Michael Myers with a kitchen knife.  While the machete is admittedly much larger, a quick recap of the history of kills in the start of the two franchises reveals otherwise.

  • In Halloween (1978), Michael Myers claims 4 knife-based deaths. And in Halloween II (1981), that number drops to only 1 knife-based death.
  • In both Friday the 13th (1980) and Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), the Voorhees’ claims a total of 4 machete-based deaths.

Skipping ahead to the next relevant years of competition between Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees, 1988 and 1989…

  • In Halloween Part 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988), Michael Myers claimed 2 deaths by knife. And in Halloween 5 the following year, again only 2 victims are killed by knife.
  • In Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988) only one person is claimed by machete. And in Friday the 13th Part VIII the following year, again only one person is killed by machete.

In the end, the two slashers are creative enough in their death scenes to not always require their primary weapon of choice; Thus Horror Enthusiast speculates that in the case of an edged blade, neither horror franchise copied the other.

The Case of Franchise Name and Film Titles

Does Michael Myers wear Jason mask

Halloween’s first film being released 2 years earlier than the first Friday the 13th, creates some natural insinuations about the rivalry.  The most obvious comparison: the names of the films.  “Halloween” was most likely chosen because of it’s stigma…or the ‘already-encouraged celebration of all things scary.’  This is a common tactic used in Hollywood, as a surplus of horror movies are always available during the Halloween season. Surely, naming an entire movie after the holiday is a great way to rake in the real dough!  And they were right, Halloween did tremendously well it’s first year, being released a few days before Halloween on October 27, 1978.

Similarly, Friday the 13th seems to take advantage of the only other “horror-driven” day of the year: Friday the thirteenth. Friday the 13th (1980) would be released on May 9th, 1980, one month ahead of that year’s Friday the 13th, June 13th, 1980. 

Regardless of it’s release date, it is clear Friday the 13th chose to capitalize on the naming scheme piloted by the Halloween franchise, thus, Horror Enthusiast speculates that in the case of franchise name and film titles, Friday the 13th  may have copied Halloween’s naming scheme.

Final Notes About the Horror Franchise Rivalry

Michael Meyers behind a young woman looking out the window

Friday the 13th obviously came after Halloween, and thus it is reasonable to assume John Carpenter’s cult hit had at least lightly influenced the Friday the 13th creators and crew; However, both franchises deserve respect for their individual contributions to the slasher genre.  For horror alone would not be what it is had it not been for so many victims spanning across these 21 movies (there are 10 Halloween films and 11 Friday the 13th films). Both franchises deserve a tip of the hat.

The Halloween versus Friday the 13th rivalry is one for horror history books no doubt, however, it is one that lives on to this very day. Each day, a new fan is born and as long as the franchises see interest in the audience, Michael and Jason will remain prominent slashers.  And when one slasher is slashing, it usually wakes other killers up from their slumber as well…as the profits these killers rake in make it worth it to slash and slash again they will! Who knows, maybe we’ll even see a “Michael vs Jason” movie someday soon.  After all, there couldn’t possibly be a better matched fight and horror fans from both franchises would be thrilled to see it happen (hint hint)!

Does Jason Voorhees Have a Weakness?

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Lifestyle Scary Movies and Series

What Is Jason Voorhees’s Weakness?

Does the Friday the 13th Killer Have a Weakness?

Jason Voorhees always seems to survive any attempt on his life.  He has been dismembered, blown to smithereens and even disintegrated…yet he always returns!  Still, all horror movie killers seem to have a weakness and there almost ALWAYS seems to be a way for the supreme protagonist to somehow make it out alive as well.  Therefore…as Freddy Krueger himself wanted to know…

Does Jason Voorhees have a weakness? Can he be controlled?

Ways to Beat Jason Voorhees If You Were In a Movie

Horror movies can be hard to survive for anyone…however, an undereducated victim always dies faster.  Understanding some of the weaker parts of Jason Voorhees will increase the likelihood of surviving a Friday the 13th movie. Here are some of Jason’s greatest weaknesses used to defeat him.

Afraid of Water

Freddy vs Jason (2003) created a dynamic between nightmare master Freddy Krueger and horror movie slasher Jason Voorhees. Freddy realizes after he brings Jason back from hell to terrorize and kill that Jason is running wild and needs to be better controlled.  Thus, Freddy ends up probing Jason’s brain to find what is feared the most.  What Freddy discovers is that Jason’s traumatic childhood drowning created a fear of water. This fear for water allows Freddy the best advantages in controlling Jason.

Low Intelligence

Jason always seems to be outwitted. No matter which Friday the 13th movie, he is nearly always led to be the fool.  Whether being controlled by Freddy, victimized by the his peers for his mental deficiencies, or falling into a trap…Jason Voorhees can’t seem to get ahead in the thinking department. One of the best ways to survive and/or control Jason is by taking advantage of his low intellect and inability to solve complex problems.

A Soft Spot for Family

Jason Voorhees in a hockey mask from Friday the 13th movies

As the saying goes “even bad men love their mama” and Jason Voorhees does have a soft spot for his mother.  Jason and his mother had a close relationship, causing her to murder on his behalf for an entire movie (she is the real killer in the first Friday the 13th movie, not Jason).  Jason’s weird shrine to his mother is evidence that they have a very special bond.  Freddy uses this bond to his advantage, pretending to be Jason’s mother in his dreams in order to wake Jason up to slaughter on his behalf.

Sleep

Yet another exploit discovered by Freddy Krueger in Freddy vs Jason (2003), Jason is vulnerable when he is sleeping. Freddy even sacrifices one of his possessed victims in the movie in order to stab and inject two needles worth of high-powered tranquilizers to knock Jason out for transport.

But Jason Is Still Kicking!

The movie Freddy vs Jason (2003) may have led fans to believe water is Jason’s weakness, he definitely survived a childhood near-drowning experience and haunts teens at a camp in the woods called “Crystal Lake.”  Ultimately it would appear that Jason Voorhees’ only weakness is his low intelligence. Still, however, that has not stopped Jason from maintaining the highest kill count of all horror movie slashers! If Jason Voorhees has a true weakness, it has yet to be properly exploited…as he keeps coming back to kill and kill again!

Friday the 13th Movie Cameos

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Lifestyle Scary Movies and Series

Celebrity Cameos in the Jason Movies [Friday the 13th Trivia]

Are There Any Cameos in the Friday the 13th Movies?

The Friday the 13th franchise has been highly entertaining for decades. In fact, Jason Voorhees and Camp Crystal Lake never seem to get old! That said, throughout the long duration of Voorhees killings, there have been plenty of opportunities for celebrity cameos. There are a lot of ‘short lived’ roles (pun intended) that need filling, and cameos are sometimes the perfect way to get the job done.  Many of these cameos will be super obvious!

List of Celebrity Cameo Appearances in the Friday the 13th Movies

The Friday the 13th movies are iconic in the horror slasher genre, and thus a cameo appearance is a really cool ordeal!  Here is the complete list of celebrity cameos that appear throughout the Friday the 13th movies.

Betsy Palmer

Mrs. Voorhees, Jason’s mother, from the original film was invited to partake in a cameo for the second film, Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981).

Steve Miner

The voice of the TV newscaster in the 3rd film, Friday the 13th Part III (1982), is the director, Steve Miner!

Corey Feldman

Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985), was supposed to star Corey Feldman, however, his role of Tommy Jarvis was given to someone else due to scheduling conflicts.  Instead, Corey shot a few scenes to be used as a cameo in the film.

Walt Gorney

Walt played Crazy Ralph in the first two films.  He then returned to lend his voice as the narrator in the beginning of Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988).

John Carl Buechler

John is one of the best special effects and makeup  guys out there. He also plays a firefighter who finds and retrieves Jason’s broken mask at the end of the movie.

Kane Hodder 

The screenwriter for Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993) makes a cameo in the movie.

California DJs

Two California DJs can be seen in Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993). When Jason goes to hell, he throws a party first!

David Cronenberg

Cronenberg was killed on screen in a cameo appearance during Jason X (2001) as part of a deal made with director, Jim Isaac. Call it…pay back.

Robert Shaye

Robert Shaye has produced all of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, including Freddy vs Jason (2003).  He makes a cameo in this film as Laurie’s high school principal.

Rey Mysterio

Famed wrestler makes an appearance in Freddy vs Jason (2003). He can be seen “as the person who jumps.”

Evangeline Lilly

Evangeline is a part of a crowd about 27 minutes into the film. She is wearing a long-sleeve green shirt.

Last Notes About Friday the 13th Cameos

There were a couple that probably could have happened, but some red tape must have got in the way.  One example is the cameo of Adrienne King (the heroine of the original Friday the 13th movie) which was rumored to happen for the Friday the 13th (2009) remake.  It ultimately did not happen because the producers decided they did not want any originals to be in the remake.  It is obvious the franchise has had a lot of chances to cast cameo appearances, but has been rather conservative in doing so.

If you think you have found a new cameo or find other great cameos from famous actors in horror movies, please comment below so we can add it!

How Friday the 13th Became a Renowned Superstition

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Featured Horror Mystery and Lore Lifestyle

Coming up in just a few days is out second Friday the 13th this year! So let’s rediscover where this all began, shall we?

Paraskevidekatriaphobia—do you have it? Well, if you’re irrationally afraid of the natural occurrence of the thirteenth of any given month falling on a Friday, then yes—yes, you do. If so, then you might have a hard time this year, since we’ve got two of them coming up. Friday the 13th, supposedly the unluckiest day of the year, occurs at least once, but never more than three times in a calendar year. March and November are the unlucky winners this year, so if you’re scared, arm yourself with some of these facts and prepare to understand your superstition better than ever before.

The Origin of the Superstition

Within western culture, there are many superstitions that circulate on a regular basis—Friday the 13th is but one example of a superstition that has become so well-known that it has been worked into the very fabric of horror culture itself. From walking under ladders to breaking mirrors, stepping on cracks, or having a black cat cross your path, it seems as if there is always something to be superstitious of—people even subject themselves to their own superstitions, such as wearing their favorite sports team’s jersey to increase the odds of their team winning. Regardless, it seems that people still choose to purposefully avoid black cats, sidewalk cracks, and treat mirrors with respect, especially on Friday the 13th—as if these superstitions, when combined escalate into something even worse. Dr. Phil Stevens, an associate anthropology professor at the University of Buffalo, suggests that it’s important to respect the convictions that people display about their superstitions, noting that, “sometimes these are frivolous things, but sometimes they are deeply rooted cultural fears … you can insult somebody by making fun of it or you can be ignorant yourself. Some people have deep cultural taboos that you cannot change by denying them.” The question that has long plagued people, however, is why do we subject ourselves to these blatant paranoias—how did these things evolve to being harbingers of bad luck, and why do we continue to pay tribute to these traditions year after year?

How Thirteen Became an Unlucky Number

According to Dr. Simon Bronner, a notable professor of American studies and folklore at Pennsylvania State University, Friday the 13th is just a “convenient milestone for people who are looking to trace bad luck to a certain cause,” but he always state that there really is nothing special about the date itself—in fact, in countries like Italy, the number thirteen is actually considered a lucky number! To be perfectly honest, it’s unclear how Friday the 13th became such a totem for bad luck, but the number thirteen itself has been speculated, to have been considered unlucky since the Middle Ages.

First mentioned in the English language, this day was first introduced as an unlucky happenstance in the biography of Gioachino Rossini, an Italian composer who died on—you guessed it—Friday, November 13th, 1868. It was further extended into superstition by Thomas W. Lawson, an American businessman who published a book titled Friday the Thirteenth, in which a crooked stockbroker takes advantage of this superstition to create wide-spread panic on Wall Street.

In Manhattan and Brooklyn, New York an analysis conducted by CityRealty presented findings that fewer than five percent of mid-rise and high-rise residential condo buildings have a thirteenth floor. Not to say that the thirteenth floor doesn’t exist—it’s just not labeled under the number thirteen.

Norse Mythological Origins

While not the most notable mythological origin, according to Donald Dossey, in Holiday Folklore, Phobias and Fun, a Norse myth told of a dinner party that was set for twelve gods, where the thirteenth guest—the god of trickery, Loki—crashed the party and shot Baldr, the god of joy and happiness. Thanks for all the bad luck, Loki.

The Last Supper

Folklore historians all agree that isolating the exact time when Friday the 13th came to be known as a taboo and superstition, many of them agree that it may have originated from the Last Supper. As popular mythology agrees, Jesus was crucified on a Friday—some speculate Friday the 13th, immediately after the Last Supper, attended by Jesus and his twelve apostles to a total of thirteen people at the table. The longstanding superstition within the Christian religion is that having thirteen guests at a table is a bad omen that, “courts death.” Dr. Stevens told TIME that “when those two events come together, you are reenacting at least a portion of that terrible event … you are reestablishing two things that were connected to that terrible event.” So what started with what happened in Christian mythology, this somehow led to the modern phenomenon that has Americans avoiding things that are labeled with thirteen. Room number thirteen in a hotel, the thirteenth floor, the thirteenth row in an airplane—all of these superstitions are attached to the number of people who sat at the table the night before the crucifixion. Bronner believes that there is, “a grain of truth,” to the theory of the Last Supper, but that there is, “not much of a connection to the modern belief … it may be a case of religious folklore that rose to explain a belief.” He further tells us how psychologists treat the fear of Friday the 13th as a real phenomenon, but he believes that it was a constructed belief that is convenient for people to place blame upon.

Oddly enough, the crucifixion wasn’t the only biblical tragedy that befell mankind on Friday the 13th—in fact, it’s said that the story of Adam and Eve being expelled from the Garden of Eden, the day Cain killed Abel, the Great Flood during the time of Noah, and the confusion of languages at the Tower of Babel also took place on this fated day.

The Occult, Witches and their Covens

A long-standing myth that surrounds Friday the 13th puts a firm association with witches—likely another confirmation from the origination of this superstition from Christianity. For those that are not in-the-know, covens are said to be a formal gathering of witches who perform rituals together—a sort of religious or spiritual gathering, where they perform spells, rituals, or seasonal offerings to honor whoever they may worship. The Christian leaning of this is due to the witch trials where women were forced through torture to admit to things that weren’t necessarily true, stating that they were convening with the devil and attacking other members of the community to do his bidding.

What holds in the tradition of witchcraft is that a traditional coven recognizes twelve followers and a leader, which brings the total to—you guessed it—thirteen. In medieval covens, it is stated in The God of the Witches from 1931 that, “the number in a coven never varied, there were always thirteen, i.e., twelve members and the god.” In any case, the leader or god was always believed to be the Devil himself—or a man who represented the devil. This is of course, not backed by any substantial evidence from within the community of witchcraft practitioners, but instead considered more of an accusation from more mainstream religions such as Christianity.

The Thirteen Club

A New Yorker by the name Captain William Fowler made an attempt to remove the hardened stigma of the number thirteen in the late 19th century. In particular, his goal was to remove the stigma surrounding thirteen guests at a table—he attempted this vigorously by establishing a private society by the name of The Thirteen Club. As a general practice, this group dined on the thirteenth day of each month in room 13 of the Knickerbocker Cottage, which Fowler owned from 1863 to 1883. Before sitting down to dinner with twelve other guests, each participant of the club would pass under a ladder and a banner that read, “those of us who are about to die salute you,” in Latin. Notable members of this club were four former presidents of the United States of America, Chester A. Arthur, Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison, and Theodore Roosevelt.

HMS Friday—The Urban Legend

An urban legend centering around the Royal Navy from the 19th century considers this the ultimate Friday the 13th legend—the story goes, that it was an attempt by the Royal Navy to dismiss the superstition against sailing on a Friday. While the details vary from telling to telling, they christened the ship HMS Friday; her keel was laid on a Friday, she was launched on a Friday, she set sail on her maiden voyage on Friday the 13th, and all of this under the command of a man by the name of Captain James Friday. After her launch, she was never seen or heard from again. While it’s a great story, the truth is there has never been a Royal Navy ship by the name of HMS Friday.

Staring up the stairs, in the darkness
Photography by Yang Miao

A Timeline of Disasters

  • October 13, 1307—officers of King Philip IV of France imprisoned and executed hundreds of the Knights Templar.
  • September 13, 1940—German forces bombed Buckingham Palace during WWII.
  • November 13, 1970—A cyclone in Bangladesh killed 300,000 people.
  • October 13, 1972—A Chilean Airforce plane disappeared in the Andes mountains, sixteen survivors turned up two months later, having been forced to cannibalize the dead in order to survive.
  • February/August 13, 1976—(no we’re really not sure which month) Daz Baxter a New Yorker with a raging case of paraskevidekatriaphobia decided to ride out his least favorite day of the year by staying in bed; his bad luck was illustrated when the floor of his apartment block collapsed that day and he fell to his death.
  • October 13, 1989—Black Friday—a $6.75 billion buyout for the parent company of United Airlines caused the crash of global markets.
  • September 13, 1996—Tupac Shakur succumbed to his gunshot wounds six days after multiple gunshot wounds during a drive-by shooting.
  • March 13, 2009—the SAW ride at Thorpe Park in Chertsey was scheduled to open but was shut down due to computer failure.
  • January 13, 2012—the Costa Concordia cruise ship crashed off of the coast of Italy, killing 30 people.
  • November 13, 2015—ISIS organized seven simultaneous terror attacks in Paris, killing 130 people and leaving hundreds wounded.
  • April 13, 2029—an asteroid is rumored to come within 22,000 miles of Earth—what will happen?

Strange Friday the 13th Facts

There are of course strange facts surrounding any supernatural phenomenon or superstition, but Friday the 13th even more so—perhaps because more people pay attention to things that they’re afraid of, or perhaps because Friday the 13th is such a notorious date for strange occurrences. Here are a few—maybe more than a few—strange facts about the superstitions regarding Fridays.

  • In Somerset, if you turn a bed over on a Friday, you’re risking turning a ship over at sea.
  • In Cumbria, if a baby is born on a Friday, they immediately lay them upon the family Bible.
  • In some areas, if a doctor is called upon for the first time on a Friday, it is an omen of certain death.
  • According to English Folklore from the 1800s, a marriage conducted on a Friday is destined for an unhappy future—on the plus side, this superstition generally leads weddings conducted on Friday the 13th is substantially cheaper for couples.
  • If you cut your hair or nails on a Friday, you’re doomed for misfortune.
  • If thirteen people unwittingly dine together, the first to rise will certainly be condemned to misfortune—another fun fact attached to this one is that President Franklin D. Roosevelt was known to uphold this superstition almost religiously.
  • President Franklin D. Roosevelt also refused to travel on Friday the 13th.
  • Winston Churchill refused to sit in any row that was numbered thirteen—cited in particular are rows on planes or theatres.
  • In North Carolina, the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute conducted a study that found a loss of $700-800 million every single Friday the 13th because people simply refuse to conduct their lives as they normally would.
  • If you’re brave enough to fly on what’s considered the unluckiest day of the year, you’ll find that prices are actually a little bit more reasonable.

Unlucky in Reality, but a Pop-Culture Boon

Just like anything in the horror genre—if it’s unlucky, scary, gruesome, or lies somewhere within the realm of supernatural, it’s bound to have a selling idea. The movie franchise Friday the 13th firmly placed the date into the greater arena of cultural recognition. Jason Voorhees, the star and villain of the franchise has inspired so many sequels, spinoffs and more that if you were to google Friday the 13th, you’ll get more results about the franchise than the lore that launched the idea for it in the first place.

Final Thoughts…

It seems that Friday the 13thmay only be a western superstition though—as it’s cited that in Italy, the number thirteen is actually quite lucky, instead they rather fear Friday the 17th. Personal curiosity causes one to wonder if the movie franchise of Friday the 13th should be renamed in countries like Italy, to make it more culturally relevant. In Greece, it’s not Friday the 13th, but Tuesday the 13th that causes people to be unsettled, whereas in China the number four is considered to be unlucky as it has a similar pronunciation to the word for “death.”

So, in the long run—is Friday the 13th really a day of bad luck? According to Dr. Caroline Watt at the University of Edinburgh, it’s actually the belief in the superstition that causes all of the kerfuffle to happen on this date. She appeals to baser instincts when she suggests that, “if people believe in the superstition of Friday the 13th then they believe they are in greater danger on that day. As a result, they may be more anxious and distracted and this could lead to accidents. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy … It is like telling someone they are cursed. If they believe they are then they will worry, their blood pressure will go up and they put themselves at risk.” With that in mind—are you still afraid of a naturally occurring phenomenon?