Today is Friday the 13th, a day when otherwise sane individuals freak the f*ck out. According to Donald Dossey, the founder of the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute, between 17 to 21 million people suffer from “triskaidekaphobia,” and it’s been estimated that “$800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day because people will not fly or do business they would normally do.” But why? Let us explain, with some help from our boy Loki.
Yes, he’s involved.
The Friday part is easy: Jesus was crucified on a Friday; Cain also killed Abel on a Friday. Friday=bad. Done.
As for the 13, that’s where things get trickier. No one is exactly sure why people go nutso over that number, but most theorists suggest that it has to do with 13 seeming abnormal (to quote Mental Floss, “There are 12 months in a year, 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 Gods of Olympus, 12 sons of Odin, 12 labors of Hercules, 12 Jyotirlingas or Hindu shrines where Shiva is worshipped, 12 successors of Muhammad in Shia Islam, and 12 tribes of Israel”). Plus, the whole Jesus being betrayed by the 13th guest to the Last Supper THING.
Also, in ancient Rome, witches gathered in groups of 12, while a 13th chair was left open for the Devil.
But my favorite theory brings us to Loki, everyone’s favorite Norse God (except Alexander Skarsgård). Way back, 12 gods were having a nice dinner in Valhalla, a gigantic hall presided over by Odin, when the 13th, Loki, crashed the party. Ever a mischievous schemer, Loki tricked Hoder, the blind god of darkness, into shooting a mistletoe-tipped arrow at his bro Baldr. He didn’t miss. Baldr died and, according to Dosser, “the whole Earth got dark. The whole Earth mourned. It was a bad, unlucky day.” There are other Friday the 13th theses, but let’s leave it at that.