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

Is Friday the 13th more superstitious and scary than other days of the year? These bizarre events all took place on Friday the 13th throughout history.

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Knights TemplarPhoto: Shutterstock

What happened on Friday the 13th originally?

On Friday, October 13, 1307, the French rounded up thousands of Knights Templars and tortured them as heretics. Some believe the date of this massacre sparked our modern-day association of Friday the 13th with bad luck.

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Genesee Falls, New YorkPhoto: Shutterstock

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…

Find out the fascinating history behind these common superstitions.

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Andes MountainsPhoto: Shutterstock

On Friday, October 13, 1972…

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

This is why people are so afraid of the number 13.

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Remains of airliner crashPhoto: Shutterstock

That Same Day in Russia…

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

Don’t miss this roundup of the strangest unsolved mysteries of all time.

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Fork lightningPhoto: Shutterstock

On Friday, August 13, 2010…

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.

Find out what happens when you get struck by lightning.

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Snowy street of Buffalo, New York suburbPhoto: Pierre Williot/Shutterstock

On Friday, October 13, 2006…

Nearly half a million people lost power when Buffalo, New York, and the surrounding suburbs were buried under two feet (60 centimetres) of snow. Western New York is used to a lot of snow, but 24 inches? In October?!

Don’t miss these mind-blowing facts about snow.

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Stock market figuresPhoto: Shutterstock

On Friday, October 13, 1989…

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

These true crime movies will chill you to the bone.

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Elderly man sleeping in bedPhoto: Shutterstock

On Friday, July 13, 1979…

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.

Here are the luckiest days of the year to do everything, according to numerology.

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Flooded road in KansasPhoto: Mark Reinstein/Shutterstock

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.

You won’t believe these surprising things that are actually considered bad luck.

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Members of the Klu Klux KlanPhoto: Shutterstock

On Friday, July 13, 1821 …

One of the most notorious figures in American history was born: Nathan Bedford Forrest, a founder of the Ku Klux Klan.

Find out the history lessons your teacher lied to you about.

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Costa ConcordiaPhoto: dvoevnore/Shutterstock

On Friday, January 13, 2012…

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

Read up on the most famous shipwrecks in Canadian history.

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Comet passing in the skyPhoto: Shutterstock

On Friday, April 13, 2029…

Asteroid 99942 Apophis is forecast to pass Earth a scant 29,000 kilometres away, closer than any of the satellites we’ve put into orbit.

Find out what would happen if a meteorite hit the Earth.

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Global currenciesPhoto: Shutterstock

What happens 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.

Now that you know what happened on Friday the 13th to make it so infamous, check out these lucky things that happened on the same date!

Originally Published on Reader's Digest