13 Odd and Creepy Real Things That Happened on Friday the 13th

Statistically, what happens on this superstitious day is no more bizarre than what goes on during any other day of the year. Well, we’ll find out if the statisticians are correct this month because 2016 is the rare year that has only one Friday the 13th on the calendar, and it falls in May.

On Friday, October 13, 1307 ...


The French rounded up thousands of Knights Templars and tortured them as heretics. Some wonder whether this was the beginning of the whole Friday the 13th mythology (if it is a myth …).

On Friday, November 13, 1829 ...


Ten thousand people gathered to watch Sam Patch jump into New York’s Genesee River from atop the Genesee Falls. Only weeks earlier, he’d leaped off Niagara Falls and into the Niagara River and survived. He wasn’t as lucky this time.

On Friday, October 13, 1972 ...

iStock/Galyna Andrushko

A plane crashed in the Andes. Twelve people died instantly, and survivors resorted to cannibalism.

That same day in Russia ...


One hundred and seventy four people were killed when a Russian airliner crashed on landing near Moscow.

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On Friday, August 13, 2010 ...

iStock/Evgeny Sergeev

A 13-year-old boy in Suffolk, England, was struck by lightning. The lightning reportedly hit at 1:13, or 13:13 in military time. The boy survived unharmed.

On Friday, October 13, 2006 ...


Nearly half a million people lost power when Buffalo, New York, and the surrounding suburbs were buried under 22 to 24 inches of snow. Western New York is used to a lot of snow, but 24 inches? In October?!

On Friday, October 13, 1989 ...


The stock market fell a whopping 6.91 percent. At the time, it was the second-worst day in market history.

On Friday, July 13, 1979 ...

iStock/Guillermo Perales Gonzale

Bob Renphrey decided to stay in bed every subsequent Friday the 13th because of a spate of bad luck he’d suffered on that unlucky day, such as: walking through a plate glass door, getting fired, and putting his wife in the hospital after hitting her in the head with a stick meant for the dog. Another Friday the 13th saw his wife fall down a flight of stairs.

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On Friday, July 13, 1951 ...


After days of record-setting rain fell in northeastern Kansas, swollen rivers poured over their banks, consuming the cities of Topeka, Lawrence, and Manhattan in the process.

On Friday, July 13, 1821 ...


One of the scariest fellows ever was born: Nathan Bedford Forrest, a founder of the Ku Klux Klan.

On Friday, January 13, 2012


The cruise ship Costa Concordia partially sank off the Italian coast after running aground, killing 32.

On Friday, April 13, 2029

iStock/Igor Zhuravlov

Asteroid 99942 Apophis is forecast to pass Earth a scant 18,000 miles away, closer than any of the satellites we’ve put into orbit.

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On Every Friday the 13th ...


The world’s economy apparently loses about $900 million because people are scared to work and travel on this date, says Donald Dassey, founder of the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute.

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