Myths and superstitions surrounding Friday 13th

Friday 13th Myths


Everyone knows that Friday 13th is supposedly connected with bad luck and bad omens. Many people across the world believe that a black cat crossing your path, stepping under a ladder and walking across a double drain is bad luck, but even more so on Friday 13th. Today we’re going to explore some of the most well known Friday 13th myths.

Dr Benjamin Cartwright believes that the number 13 carries a bad luck label because Judas was the 13th man in the Biblical account of The Last Supper. Christ was crucified on a Friday so many people believe Fridays are tainted. Sticking with the Biblical theories, it is said that Adam and Eve were created on a Friday, ate the apple on a Friday and died on a Friday…coincidence? Along with the more serious superstitions, there is the Scandinavian myth that there were originally 12 Demigods but then Loki appeared, a God who was evil and cruel thus making the mythology tainted.


Here at Dark Dundee HQ, we think it’ll take a bit more than a couple of auld wives tales to put the wind up us, but here are a couple of really weird superstitions from around the world.

If a woman sleeps with a shoe under her pillow at night that she will dream of her future husband so for all you single ladies out there you know what to do tonight!

If a woman wears a Chinese Jade necklace she will get whatever she wishes, with Valentine’s Day tomorrow, ladies, why not give this a go…what have you got to lose?!

In Turkey, chewing gum at night signifies that you are literally chewing the flesh of the dead! If you’re in a Turkish nightclub and you see people eating gum…get out there fast!

Superstitious Spaniards eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight as the New Year arrives, in the belief it will provide them with 12 months of good luck for the year ahead. If nothing else, it’s one of your “five a day”, so the health benefits are a bonus at the very least!

If you pass a graveyard in Japan, or if a hearse passes you, superstition dictates that you must hide your thumbs in your pockets so save your parents from death. “Thumb” directly translates as “parent-finger” in Japanese, so this is where the origins of this little foible are based.

Do not make or have your wedding gown made on a Friday. The myth is that if it is made on a Friday, the marriage is doomed to be a disaster so add in making a wedding gown on Friday 13th and you may as well not turn up at the church!

Now, not that we think anyone would, but digging a grave on a Friday which will not be used until the next day is a superstition that many people live by – although we are staying well clear of anyone who goes out on a Friday night to dig a grave…

If you take your dog for a walk on Friday 13th do not, we repeat DO NOT, allow him or her to eat green grass…if you do, you best have a brolly handy as it’s going to rain soon, according to some.

Finally, anyone who has a date with their girlfriend on Friday 13th might want to pay particular attention to this one…before going out make sure you don’t stub your toe. If you do, make sure it is a toe on your right foot. Some myths are that if you stub a toe on your right foot before meeting a girl that she will greet you with a kiss but, stub a toe on your left foot and it’s a whole different ball game…if this happens don’t show up as she will be waiting for you with a cleaver!

So, any volunteers willing to sleep with shoes under their pillows, let their dog eat grass or stub their left toe then go meet their girlfriend? We can’t – we’ll be too busy hiding our thumbs…just in case!

– DD Tours operates walking tours in Dundee city, covering dark local history such as wars, battles, murders, diseases, riots, disasters and executions. Walk with us for an unforgettable storytelling experience.



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