October 13, 2006


As I prepare to head off on a weekend camping extravaganza—don’t worry, we’re steering clear of Camp Crystal Lake—and a celebration of a year’s worth of marriage, I happened to notice the day and date. Is there a more appropriate month for a Friday the 13th than October? How often does Friday the 13th occur in October? With the little research I did, I couldn’t really find a pattern (or anyone else who did), but I can say that the next few are 2028, 2034, and 2045.

There is a long standing tradition of superstition and luck surrounding the day. Statistics say that you are more likely to have an accident occur on Friday the 13th, although many people seem to believe this is due to heightened anxiety and the so called “nocebo effect”. I like to think that the very name for the fear of Friday the 13th—paraskevidekatriaphobia—was created as a way to take your mind off your fears while you try to pronounce the behemoth word.

For me, Friday the 13th has almost always been synonymous with the horror film franchise of the same name. I remember when I played basketball in grade school, I chose the number 13 for my jersey because I thought I might cheat bad luck by facing it head on. And now I’m a graphic designer. Hmm. Well, plenty of good things also come in thirteens. How about a baker’s dozen? I suppose you could choke on the 13th doughnut, but if you’ve eaten 13 doughnuts, bad luck might not be among your biggest worries.

Off I go for a weekend of corn mazes, a haunted house (hopefully), and sleeping under the stars. Stay safe today, and just keep telling yourself “it’s only a number”.

Or, am I wrong? Have you ever had anything weird happen to you on a Friday the 13th?

Commentary (20):

1. justink says… oct 13, 2006 | 11:04 am

I woke up to a big slimey slug sitting on my pillow right next to my face this morning. I dont ever think Ive even see a slug before. I didnt think I was that drunk last night…

Anyways, have a good trip!

2. Tom says… oct 13, 2006 | 11:54 am

I’d say it’d be weird to be stuck in Buffalo, NY under 2 feet of snow in the middle of October. Not to mention damn unlucky. Good thing I’m in DC.

@justink: WOW. A slug. I would be buying a new pillow…

PS - What, no mention of your cats or LSD on this fine Friday the 13th? Perfect opportunity to do so!

3. IanM says… oct 13, 2006 | 1:03 pm


It’s obvious that ther are no more cats or LSD because Jason was replaced by an LSD-addicted, cat-eating alien doppleganger that is just making this post so people don’t suspect anything.

Talk about bad luck.

4. Jason Santa Maria says… oct 13, 2006 | 1:22 pm

Eep! They’re on to me!

5. MattLat says… oct 13, 2006 | 1:30 pm

Today I made myself a sandwich, and while I was going up the stairs, I tripped and my sandwich flew everywhere. I put it back together, and tried to pick off most of the dust and lint.

I still ate it because I’m a starving artist/college student (the double whammy!) but it tasted like dirt…

Does that count?

6. James Mathias says… oct 13, 2006 | 4:48 pm

13 is a lucky number for my family, both my Sons were born on the 13th, my upcoming child is due on the 13th, our truck had 13 miles on it when we bought it, our mortage has a 13 in it, every room of our house as a 13 in the dimensions, our address adds up to 13, my wife had life saving surgery on the 13th when she was 13. Lots of 13’s in our life and they are all lucky.

As far as Friday the 13th, that’s a movie franchise.

7. grey says… oct 13, 2006 | 4:54 pm

Just for the sake of whatever, the next October Friday the 13th occurs in 2017, not 2028. It’d be sooner, but the year that would be the next Friday year is a leap year (2012).

And to answer your question, Friday the 13th occurs in October just as often as any day of any month occurs on any day of the week (which, by the way, is five times in every thirty-three year period, for those of you who’re counting).

8. grey says… oct 13, 2006 | 5:03 pm

Oh, oh, and I should add that the eleven-year period between October Friday the 13ths which begins tomorrow is the longest period which occurs between October Friday the 13ths (or between any specific day of the month occuring twice on any specific day of the week). After that there will be periods of six, five, and then six years between them before the next eleven-year absence of an October Friday the 13th. (Which means that there are actually two October Friday the 13ths before 2028—2017 and 2023—but never mind about that.)

9. Jason Santa Maria says… oct 13, 2006 | 5:18 pm

grey: I stand thoroughly corrected! Thanks very much for the accuracy and the information :D

10. grey says… oct 13, 2006 | 5:20 pm

I’m a dork, I know. But, hey, be thankful that I didn’t get into the fact that years like 2100 aren’t leap years, and that that screws the whole thing up… :D

11. Klaus says… oct 13, 2006 | 6:20 pm
Or, am I wrong? Have you ever had anything weird happen to you on a Friday the 13th?
Well, I just graduated from my University (communications design) today, if that counts as weird :-)
12. Joshua Kendall says… oct 13, 2006 | 8:49 pm

Actually never had a problem with 13 as a number or as a Friday. Today has been no different than my “normal”… actually it’s been a little better than my “normal”. :)

PS - What, no mention of your cats or LSD on this fine Friday the 13th? Perfect opportunity to do so!”

And with that note, I mention that I have a black cat. :) Wonder if that’s why 13 doesn’t bother me?


I was trying to grab the 13th comment, but I didn’t want to wait around refreshing the page (more than I already have).

13. Spamboy says… oct 14, 2006 | 8:41 am

Congratulations on reaching an anniversary! I just hit my second and it feels like yesterday.

Friday the 13th is always an amusing time in world, as I almost died one year biting through an electrical cord as a kid. The story can be found here.

14. Dragan says… oct 14, 2006 | 8:55 am

my experiences with 13th (friday or not) are not so scary. In fact, when I was in elementary or high school I had very good experience (i.e. some good grades or something like that) on that day. Now, 13th is just another ordinary day in my life…
This is it…

15. Amanda Kern says… oct 14, 2006 | 11:50 am

Ah, no - Friday the 13th is always a lucky day for me. In fact, October 13th is my birthday so strangely I’ve found 13 to be my lucky number. And to add to the fun - not to date myself, but my 13th birthday in 89 was on October friday the 13th. I kid you not. So it’s so funny and ironic seeing this post. Oh, and being born in 76 I only recall three since that time.

Long live Friday the 13th - especially in October!

16. Chris Mayers says… oct 16, 2006 | 9:26 am

The day on which a given date falls does follow a pattern actually. I randomly figured this out one day because my birthday is November 22 and sometimes falls on Thanksgiving. So I checked what years my birthday would fall on that Thursday.

It follows this pattern of years between a day and date: 11, 6, 5, 6, 11, 6, 5, 6, 11, etc.

For example, the next Friday, October 13 will be 11 years from now, then it will be 6 years after that, then 5 years after that, then 6 years, then 11 years, then 6 years, and so on…

It has to do with leap years, crazy fools that they are.

17. Rachel Maxim says… oct 16, 2006 | 11:21 am

Although I’d hardly say I’m superstitious, I’ve had some pretty bad Friday the 13ths. The last October one I remember, I was in high school (I think it was 96 or 97) and I was supposed to go to a concert with a bunch of friends. I had a horrible day at work but left looking forward to the show, only to get home and find it had been cancelled. Ok so it wasn’t that bad but when you’re in high school.…Maybe I just pay more attention to the day since then.

18. paul says… oct 19, 2006 | 4:56 pm

nothing weird ever happened to me on fri 13th - but i’ve never had anything bad happen on that day, but congrats on a year of marriage. i just hit 6 months.

19. Sharyn says… oct 22, 2006 | 2:40 pm

The worst thing that happened to me this Friday the 13th? We ran out of coffee at the office, so I started the day off grumpy and going through withdrawal. But then I was sent on a work-sanctioned shopping trip to IKEA, and that was all right.

Congratulations on the anniversary! I hope the trip was swell.

20. Jason says… oct 23, 2006 | 2:27 pm

When I was younger I used to watch the kids across the street from time to time. Once it was on a Friday the 13th. I asked them if they knew it was Friday the 13th, that my name was Jason, and that their house number happened to be ‘666’