Today is…Friday 13th

Looking back at the sometimes strange and unfortunate history of Friday the 13th...

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Friggatriskaidekaphobia is the fear of Friday 13th.

Good ol’ Friday 13th. That day, like no other day, when you stub your toe and everyone around you goes “Oooooooh Friday 13th!”.  However, sometimes strange and unfortunate things really do happen on Friday 13th…

 

Tupac Shakur murdered – Friday 13th, September 1996

The famous hip-hop star was stopped at a red light in Las Vegas, travelling in a car with Suge Knight, the founder of Death Row Records, when he was killed by a drive-by shooter. Knight survived but Tupac died from his injuries some days later. The case is still officially unsolved.

 

Kitty Genovese murdered – Friday 13th, March 1964

In New York City, Catherine Susan Genovese was murdered on her way home from work in the early hours of Friday morning. At the time, it was reported that there had been over 30 witnesses but that no one had stepped in to help her. It was later confirmed that this was exaggerated, however, it is true that a number of people saw or heard part of the attack and did not come to her aid.

This horrific incident brought about the term ‘Genovese Syndrome’, better known as ‘the Bystander Effect’ whereby people are less likely to help in a situation if there is a number of other witnesses.

 

Boy struck by lightning – Friday 13th, August 2010

A lightning strike is rare enough, but just to compound matters, the boy was 13yrs old and the incident was recorded to have happened at thirteen minutes past one in the afternoon (13:13). The boy survived with only minor burns. Now there’s a story for the grandchildren!

 

Plane Crashes – Friday 13th, October 1972

The now infamous event began when the Uruguayan Old Christians Club rugby team boarded a plane to travel to a match in Chile. The plane collided with a mountain peak in the Andes. The few who survived had next to no supplies. Ten weeks later, two survivors were spotted and rescued, everyone else had either died in the initial crash or over the following weeks from injury or sickness. Those who had survived for some time had been forced to eat the dead.

 

Plane Crashes – Friday 13th, October 1972

Some people are afraid of flying; the above tale doesn’t help. Flying is, however, very safe and, statistically, there are fewer plane crashes on a Friday 13th then there ever are at any other time. Which makes this day spine-chillingly notable.

As well as the more well-known crash on this day, an Aeroflot Il62 airliner which was flying to Paris via Leningrad crashed near the Sheremetyevo airport. Everyone aboard was killed.

 

Computers attacked – Friday 13th, January 1989

A computer virus crashed IBM computers in Britain. The virus was been programmed to delete files on the 13th. This was before there were backup systems so a massive amount of data was lost, causing distress and huge adverse effects to businesses.

 

 

 

Whatever you’re up to on Friday 13th, perhaps avoid ladders, black cats and mirrors…

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