It’s Friday the 13th

At all costs, avoid remote lakes and men named Jason wearing masks today of all days.

The prevalence of superstition is an interesting topic for a society. This particular day is a perfect example of a day when superstition takes on a life of its own and makes for an event anyway. Movies such as Friday the 13th are made. They’re released on Friday the 13th.  Origins of this day being unlucky are unknown.

There really doesn’t seem to be a reason to fear this day. But people don’t fly on Friday the 13th. They stay home. They don’t spend money. They change their routine.  In a sense, they make this superstition a fact of life by giving it life.

Superstition certainly plays a part in Science Fiction. In that bastion of all SciFi that is my go-to for everything, Star Wars had the Jedi. In the beginning of the first made film (I refuse to call that other movie the first one) the idea of the force had moved into superstition. Obi-Wan Kenobi is considered a superstitious old man. Though, in this case, we’re not talking Jason. The force is an important element of that universe.

The entire niche of 2012 apocalyptic fiction is based on superstition. I say bring it on! I could read some good the sky is falling fiction.

One story that has stayed with me for years, its impact lasting with me since I was a kid, is Isaac Asimov’s Nightfall. The story involves scientists on a world that never goes dark–except once every two thousand years or so. There’s a rash of fear it’s about to happen again. Superstition, the world is ending sort of stuff. It’s a wonderful story.

Will you avoid flying today, or walking under a ladder, or will you load up a good horror movie and pop some corn?

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9 comments

  1. cmtorrens · · Reply

    That’s one story I haven’t read by Asimov. I’ll have to pick that one up now. Great post Ella.

    1. Thanks!
      And do read the story. It’s a great one. As a matter of fact, I feel a need to pull it out and read it again.

  2. Friday the 13th is just another day as far as I’m concerned. I will walk under a ladder, let a black cat cross my path, break a couple of mirrors and refuse to throw spilled salt over my shoulder. How’s that for thumbing my nose at superstition?

    I do think it’s interesting that buildings don’t have 13th floors and Catholic hospitals (at least the one I worked in) do not have rooms numbered 13.

    1. You are such a trouble-maker! I do admit, I don’t walk under ladders, but come on! That’s just common sense. Who wants a paint bucket or a roof shingle on the head?

      I know! I’ve worked in buildings where they skip the 13th floor. But it’s impossible! If there is a 14th floor, there is a 13th one. Somewhere. Maybe it’s in an alternate universe.

  3. It always tickles me when I hear about buildings without 13th floors. Who do they think they’re fooling, really?

    I have no choice but to let a black cat cross my path once in a while, as I live with one. But we have a white cat too. Does he cancel out the black cat’s influence???

    1. absolutely! White always cancels black’s influence. It’s a law of physics or something.

  4. I’m not superstitious at all. I do avoid walking under ladders, but only ‘cos I don’t want something getting dropped on my head or a person landing on me.

  5. I always thought it originated with the Last Supper – Jesus and 12 disciples = 13 – and looked what happened next! – just what I was always told

  6. I’m not superstitious at all, I don’t think! I even love those movies, The Thirteenth Floor and Thirteen Ghosts.

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