Superstition Squared: Friday the 13th, Full Moon

Moon 13

Run for Your Lives!

Oh, no!

It’s Friday the 13th.

And in some places on earth, it was a full moon this morning.

You know what that means, don’t you?


…it means one of three things:

  1. If you walk under a ladder and there is a werewolf on the ladder, you’re in for the biggest chase of your life.
  2. If a black cat crosses your path and you turn into a werewolf, that might be the unluckiest dinner you ever eat.
  3. If you look at a mirror and it breaks, it means the werewolf you turned into is having a Medusa-level hair-day.

Why is it so rare?

  • There can be as many as 3 Friday the 13th’s in a calendar year.
  • There can be as many as 13 full moons in a calendar year. (Don’t let that number go to your head.)

Doesn’t it seem like it should be more common? The next one is set for 2049 (well, some times zones get “lucky” and will see it in 2017 or 2019).

Read all about it

  • Slate explains that it’s no more rare than, say, having a new moon on Monday the 22nd. (If you really want to get rare, try a blue moon on Easter Sunday!) This article also explains the time zone issue, and how some time zones will see this again much sooner.

  • If you want to participate in some of the Facebook frenzy on this subject, here is a good place to start:

  • Want to learn two new really long words for a couple of cool phobias (fear of Friday the 13th and fear of the moon)? Check out this article:

Copyright © 2014 Chris McMullen

15 comments on “Superstition Squared: Friday the 13th, Full Moon

  1. It’s amazing how people invest significance into statistical events – it should be obvious that the 13th can fall on a Friday roughly 1/7 of the time, because there are 7 days in our (arbitrary) weeks. Nothing more.

    Humans are evolved to pay attention to patterns, because patterns can save your life (if you know that ladders with over 8 steps have a 50/50 chance of having a werewolf on top, you will be more likely to look carefully than someone who doesn’t know that).

    I blame science teachers in the primary grades – non-scientists teaching tender young mind junk from badly written textbooks that the teachers don’t understand.

    It’s a shame, really, because there is so much in the real world that is fascinating – start with humans – I don’t see the why of elves (ok, except in Tolkien), shape-shifters, and zombies (although Firefly had some cool reavers, and they are close to zombies).

    If it weren’t raining, I’d go out there and ride my bike in traffic right now. I guess I should hope there are no drivers with triskaidekaphobia driving down my street not paying attention.

  2. I came in to comment – and saw there were 13 comments! HAHAHA! 😀 Just wanted to say I enjoyed this (sorry to have spoiled that magic number of comments). 🙂

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