Sometimes I dive into topics and get disappointed. Mention Friday the 13th to any Freemason, and you're going to hear about Jacques De Molay and the Knights Templar.
They became protectors of the people, and then protectors of the people's stuff. They created complex financial systems and eventually grew a little too powerful for the comfort of sovereigns in the area.
As the Muslim world started to overcome the Crusades, the Church and rulers throughout the Christian world started to come down hard on the Templars. In 1305, Pope Clement V took over. He was based in France, and he brought Templar Grand Master Jacques de Molay there to discuss a merger with another organization, the Hospitaliers. The grand master of that organization was delayed by several months and de Molay asked King Philip IV to reverse some older charges against a Templar.
On Friday the 13th of October, 1307, King Philip IV ordered the Templars arrested, de Molay included. The grand master would be executed seven years later.
The boys organization related to Freemasonry is named after de Molay, and there is a rumored link between modern Masons and the Templars.
Many people believe the Friday the 13th raid on the Templars was the beginning of the legend of Friday the 13th as a day of bad luck, but alas, it appears it's nothing so dramatic.
So how did
It seems fear of the number 13 has been around
Hesiod warned against
Legend holds that if thirteen people meet in a room, one will be dead within a year.
Chaucer declared Friday to be a day "of misfortune" in
In his 17th century play
Snopes lists an
But none of these bodes for an unlucky Friday the thirteenth.
Where did it come from? A novel by Thomas Lawson called
That's right, the mythos of Friday the 13th dates back barely over a century, and it was a work of fiction.
In the novel, Lawson — a stock trader in his own right — invents a trader who intentionally crashes the market on Friday the 13th.
Yep, that's it. That's the origin of the Friday the 13th bad luck myth — sort of. I mean, one novel that's basically been forgotten to time is no basis for a myth of that proportion.
There you have it. One year, a novel about someone intentionally crashing the stock market, and the next year, a senator filing a bunch of bills unlikely to pass.
Suddenly, people are calling the 13th floor the 14th floor, even though it's clearly the one after the 12th floor, and seven decades later, Jason is
Hey, at least