Friday the 13th: superstition or super fake


Time Magazine

The date many have begun to fear. But is it truly as scary as people believe?

Macy Fowler, Co-Editor in Chief

As soon as Friday the 13th came out in 1980, critics were divided. Many praised the films’ cinematography, while others ridiculed the vast graphic violence. Pulling in over $39.7 million at the box office after its May 9 release, the film also brought in $20 million internationally. Friday the 13th was originally an independent film, but years later, the franchise grew to include twelve films and a crossover with Nightmare on Elm Street

Years later, people are still superstitious around Friday the 13th, especially when there is a full moon. Superstitions range from a simple task someone created or a twelve step ritual that was developed centuries ago. What led to an independent movie becoming one of the most known slasher franchises of film history, and heighten such a large superstition surrounding the haunted date? 

Friday the 13th ‘curses’ developed towards the middle ages from the Knights Templar, and Judas being the 13th member of The Last Supper. Due to the date of these incidents falling on Friday 13th, many began believing in the idea of a cursed date. Plus, people were already wary of the number thirteen, which is a reason that many hotels or skyscrapers are left without a technical 13th floor button. Mainly seen as an unlucky number, thirteen in numerical sense is quite the opposite. It is a symbol of love, compassion, strength, and inspiration. Many superstitious people refuse to believe the numerical meaning of thirteen and lean towards a more frightening, middle age version of its meaning. 

Friday the 13th was originally named A Long Night at Camp Blood, but producer and director Sean S. Cunningham was unsure about the title. Cunningham had previously worked with Wes Craven on The Last House on the Left, and he wanted to separate his new film from Craven’s work. The original name seemed too similar for Cunningham, so the new director began revising names and decided on Friday the 13th. Sometimes the success of a movie can depend on the title, as it helps advertise a movie towards its targeted audience or even further. With a mythical based history, Friday the 13th became a quick choice for the slasher films’ title. The plot of Friday the 13th created an entirely new meaning to the superstitious date, and now Friday the 13th is celebrated by those, and myself, who enjoy creepy relics. 

The simple way to celebrate Friday the 13th is simply by watching scary movies, including the long lasting franchise of Jason’s angry rampage. There have been people who go camping on the mysterious day, or find ways to scare other people who are not fans of the spooky day.

 I do not personally believe in the superstition of thirteen and I actually believe the opposite, that it is lucky. I am not a very superstitious person in general, but I do believe in certain myths like breaking a mirror or using salt to rid bad energy. What myths or superstitions do you believe in?