Friday the 13th Stories, Traditions and Superstitions

Posted on April 13th, 2012 by The British Newspaper Archive

For the triskaidekaphobes among us, the newspaper archive provides numerous Friday the 13th solutions to help soothe a worried mind. From ships delaying their sailing time till one minute past midnight to fish-hooks baited with cheese to keep cats away, the stories in the archive reveal much about the collective angst of the nation.

We especially like the round-up of quirky superstitions listed in the Hull Daily Mail of 13 November 1931. For anybody who is looking to appear on ‘Mastermind’ with triskaidekaphobia as their ‘specialist subject’, then this is the page to get you started on your research. Other stories of interest are the deserted marriage registry offices where the clerks sat and watched the hands on the clock move, and the bus driver and fire brigade who applied a ‘Gordian Knot’ solution to the problem by deciding to abolish the number 13.

It’s also interesting to see how popular culture tunes in to our superstitions, which brings us to the newspaper review of the early 1930s Hollywood horror-ish movie, ‘Friday the 13th’. With a thunderstorm raging all around, a group of bus passengers endure all manner of Friday the 13th-type of malarkey, before the film finally ends. Is it any wonder why these days make us so jumpy?!

You can read these two stories in the archive for free! If you’re not currently registered, you just need to register first to view them. Just click on the links or images below to reach the registration page, and you will be able to read these stories in the archive.

There are dozens more stories in the archive that highlight our thoughts and feelings about Friday the 13ths. So why not brush up your knowledge of these spooky days by searching the website?

- Friday the 13th superstitions

- Friday the 13th – old Hollywood movie