Friday the 13th – a day which leaves most of us wary, but passes by without much notice, is like an extra Halloween for ghost hunters.
For most people who are a bit superstitious, Friday 13th is seen as a day of bad luck where you need to beware of walking under ladders or spotting a black cat. And make sure you don’t break any mirrors. But according to Daniella Hodges – an experienced ghost hunter – there’s a lot more to it than just crossing paths with someone’s pet cat. Here are a few of her theories as to why Friday 13th is such an unlucky day.
13 – an unlucky number
The number 13 has always been deemed as unlucky, and for many of us there is no specific reason why, but there are two ancient events which could explain it. Firstly, in the Bible, Judas was the 13th guest who arrives at the Last Supper and ultimately betrays Jesus. And secondly, in ancient Norse lore, they believe that evil and turmoil came into the world when the cunning god Loki arrived as the 13th guest at a dinner party in Valhalla, upsetting the balance of the 12 other gods already there.
Frigg’s Day and the lunar cycle
The word Friday originates from Frigg’s Day, which is also known as Freya’s Day – a weekly celebration of Freya, the Norse goddess of love and fertility. If you tie this in with the 13 lunar cycles of the year – which in turn link to a woman’s yearly menstrual cycle – you get a very female day on Friday 13th. And in the past men did not like this, so branded it as a day of bad luck.
The fall of the Knights Templar
Going back to the 14th century, the Knights Templar – a military order set up in 1118 to protect Christian pilgrims on their journey to Jerusalem – were forced to relocate from their headquarters in Jerusalem’s Temple Mount due to Muslim armies taking over and by 1303 they found themselves in Paris where King Philip IV of France decided to bring them down. On Friday 13th of October 1307, many of them were arrested and burnt at the stake.
The weekend around Friday 13th, Daniella tells me, is one of the busiest weekends for ghost hunting besides Halloween. Daniella works for the company Haunted Happenings where they host ghost hunts around the country – as well as in London – in haunted locations such as 30 East Drive, Shepton Mallet Prison and Charlton House. These overnight ghost hunts happen weekly, but even more events are put on for those who look forward to the unluckiest date of the year.
When asked if ghosts are more active on Friday 13th, Daniella said: “I’ve never noticed an increase in supernatural activity on a Friday 13th hunt, but people definitely seem to be looking for more spookiness, that’s for sure.” If you fancy a Friday 13th haunting, click here for all the locations of Haunted Happenings ghost hunts for tonight. Personally, I think I’ll just stay in and lock my doors.
Words: Summer Rogers | Images: Daniella Hodges | Subbing: Tori Schiefer | Tweet/TikTok: Ashreya Jimi