Today, will be the only “Friday the 13th” of the year — a day that many believe is fraught with bad luck and bad omens. But where does the fear of Friday the 13th come from? LiveScience has various possibilities though it does not mention my favorites involving the Templar Knights.
LiveScience notes that the phrase has been traced in the United States to the Thirteen Club found by U.S. Captain William Fowler — a group of 13 men in Manhattan who committed themselves to disproving superstitions by walking under ladders and doing other unlucky things. The group met for the first time on Friday, Jan. 13, 1881.
However, there are other theories from a stockbroker in England who detailed an attempt to crash the stock market in a book “Friday the 13th” to more ancient sources. First there is the Norse God Loki who showed up as the 13th guest at a dinner party and promptly killed Balder the Beautiful, a god representing joy and gladness. Loki thereby triggered a period of darkness in the world. Then there is Judas who was believed to be the 13th guest at the last supper before betraying Jesus.
The article however does not include my favorite theory involving the Templar knights. After becoming a massively powerful religious order with both military and economic interests throughout Europe, Pope Clement V decided that the knights were a threat. He famously issued an order “Dieu n’est pas content, nous avons des ennemis de la foi dans le Royaume” [“God is not pleased. We have enemies of the faith in the kingdom.”] This was at the instigation of King Philip of France who was heavily in debt to the knights. On Friday October 13th, 1307, the Pope ordered the arrest of all Templar Knights including Templar Grand Master Jacques de Molay and the Hospitaller Grand Master Fulk de Villaret who were called to a meeting. The result was horrible. Hundreds of knights were captured and tortured and killed. It was a massacre seen across Europe where the once all powerful and unchallengeable Knights were reduced to pathetic broken men begging for death. It would also explain both the Friday and the 13th in the superstition. That seems a lot more likely than a club in Manhattan or a book in England. Besides it involves cool images of knights and late night raids.
Source: Live Science