Friday has been an inauspicious day for a very long time, and in many varied cultures. It has been held to be both unlucky and as a day when evil influences are at work. In Ancient Rome, Friday was execution day. In Britain, Friday was customarily Hanging Day.
The number 13 is much maligned, This is why there are cities that do not have a thirteenth Street or Avenue, highways often do not have a thirteenth exit, many airports do not have a thirteenth gate and many buildings do not have rooms and in some cases floors number thirteen.
It is said that if you have thirteen letters in your name you will have the “Devil’s luck.” Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Theodore Bundy and Albert De Salvo all have had thirteen letters in their names.
Jesus died on a Friday and there were 13 people at the Last Supper. That is not the only calamitous event in the Bible that occurred on a Friday. Eve offered a devilish apple to Adam on a Friday. The Great Flood started on a Friday. The confusion at the Tower of Babel also happened on a Friday.
Another supposed origin of the Friday the 13th superstition comes from the historical destruction of the Knights Templar. Secretly ordered by King Philip of France, the mass arrest, of all the Knights Templar in France happened on Friday, October 13, 1307. The eventual condemnation, and eradication of the Knights Templar was to follow. The King of France and the Pope got the spoils, and a date was cemented in time.
According to folklorists, there is no written evidence for a “Friday the 13th” superstition before the 19th century. The earliest known documented reference in English occurs in Henry Sutherland Edwards’ 1869 biography of Gioachino Rossini, who died on a Friday 13th.