“Wendy? Darling? Light of my life. I’m not going to hurt ya. I’m just going to bash your brains in.” These brilliant words from Stephen King’s horror-filled masterpiece the Shining, continue to send spine-tingling shivers straight through us no matter how many times we have seen Jack with that ax. Whether or not we want to admit it, fear is intoxicating and provocative and many of us seek it out, relishing every sweaty heart-pounding moment. In fact, humans have been fear based thrill seekers since time began.
Seamlessly passed down from one generation to the next, one of the most regular and reliable ways to spark fear is through the simple tales told known as superstitions. Whether it’s grasping a lucky rabbit’s foot, avoiding stepping on cracks in the preservation of mama’s back or going outside to fully open that umbrella; no superstition has gained more mileage or notoriety than the anxiety-fueled anticipation of Friday the 13th.
It turns out the fear behind Friday the 13th has roots deeply embedded into Christianity with Judas, the thirteenth apostle, betraying Christ before he was crucified on none other than a Friday. Since then, thirteen guests at a table has become synonymous with impending death. “Friday was also said to be the day Eve gave Adam the fateful apple from the Tree of Knowledge, as well as the day Cain killed his brother, Abel”. Not convinced in the power of Friday the 13th? Check out these additional seemingly coincidental events:
• Friday, September 13, 1940: The Germans bombed Buckingham Palace exposing the royal family’s vulnerability to the Axis regime.
• Friday, March 13, 1964: Kitty Genovese of Queens was stabbed to death reportedly while dozens of neighbors watched, neglecting to render aid.
• Friday, October 17, 1972: Twelve people die in a plane crash in the Andes Mountains, survivors eventually turning to cannibalism.
• Friday, September 13, 1996: Tupac Shakur dies from gunshot wounds in a Vegas drive-by shooting.
• Friday, January 13, 2012: 32 people are killed when the Costa Concordia cruise ship capsizes off the coast of Tuscany.
Modern thrill seekers have an abundance of choices when it comes to finding fear-based, dopamine-fueled adventures thanks to Hollywood who has fully embraced the Friday the 13th craze. Released in 1980, Jason and his hockey mask graced the big screen producing eleven movies followed by video game merchandise, clothing, costumes and action figures. With rumors underway about a Friday The 13th reboot, some may want to mark their calendars now as Friday, September 13th, 2019 is only a few months away.
Whether or not you are a fan of all the hoopla, perhaps Stevie Wonder is the man we should listen to when it comes to superstitions. “When you believe in things you don’t understand, you suffer – superstition ain’t the way.”