Very Real Paranormal And Spooky Incidents On Friday The 13th

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
December 13, 2019
Last Updated
September 2, 2020
Estimated Reading Time
6 min read
Posted in
Supernatural, Folklore

We have written of the apparent origins of why Friday the 13th is considered unlucky previously. According to many researchers, the unlucky nature of the date stems back to the raiding of the Knights Templar’s main strongholds throughout France on Friday, October 13th, 1307, and so leading to their dissolution and ultimate execution of their Grand Master, Jacques de Molay.

A screaming woman blended into a picture of cat's eyes

Is Friday The 13th really unlucky?

While that notion very well may be true, at least for some, there are alternative theories as to why we think of the date as unlucky, one of which we will look at in a moment. What is for certain, though, whether via sheer coincidence or some truly bizarre twist that we simply don’t understand, many significant spooky and, at times, chilling incidents have occurred on Friday 13ths throughout history.

And while, statistically speaking, given the number of Friday 13th’s there have been since we began using the dating system we use today, these events far from prove a paranormal connection to date in question, they are extremely intriguing, nonetheless.

However, before we examine some of the very real chilling and spine-tingling incidents that have taken place on this date, we will look at an alternative theory as to why the date is considered unlucky.

Did The Unlucky Date Really Begin In New York With The Thirteen Club?

According to some, William Fowler and his obsession with the number 13 is at the core of the Friday 13th being considered unlucky. Fowler was particularly obsessed with the number and didn’t at all consider it unlucky, in fact, quite the opposite. And while we can point to esoteric learning and knowledge on Fowler’s part (given his social standing he would have almost certainly have been a member of one if not several secret societies), it was when he publicly opened The Thirteen Club that the connections were made to dark, chilling considerations.

A depiction of the Thirteen Club

A depiction of the Thirteen Club

And it is perhaps easy to see why. Fowler had specifically begun his lease of Room 13 at the Knickerbocker Cottage at 8:13 am on Friday 13th January 1882. Further to that, the public event would consist of a sitting with 13 courses. Even more chilling, to some, this 13-course supper was eaten under a banner upon which the Latin phrase “Morituri te Salutamus” was written. This would be “We who are about to die we salute you”.

These morose, to some, suppers would continue regularly until Fowler’s death in 1897, after which the group disbanded. Whether there is a reason to have been suspicious of Fowler’s motives and reasons for such a regular gathering is perhaps open to debate.

However, we will now, though, turn out attention to a little-known encounter that we would most certainly describe as a UFO incident today, that occurred in the mid-nineteenth century.

The Delaware UFO Sighting, 1860

On the evening of Friday 13th in July 1860, in Wilmington, Delaware, a “200-foot long object flying at 100 feet altitude” would cast a “pale blue light” below it and in doing so alerted almost every resident in the city.

As the awe-struck residents watched it made its way over the area and:

…moved in a straight line with any inclination downwards!

Perhaps even more bizarre was how the newspaper that reported the incident, the Wilmington Tribune would state that in front of the object was a strange, black cloud, while behind were “three very red, glowing balls!” After several more moments, a fourth glowing red ball appeared. This fourth ball appeared to be completely independent of the main craft and turned in a different direction to it, heading “southeast over the Delaware River”.

A picture of a UFO superimposed on a picture of mountains and woodlands

A strange UFO appeared over Delaware in 1860

This is an interesting detail. There are numerous reports from the second half of the twentieth century that speak of singular or multiple red spheres or orbs. And quite often these orbs show up in reports of a much larger craft as we have here in Wilmington.

As this was happening, the main behemoth-like craft “gave off sparkles in the manner of a rocket (firework)”. It then changed its direction slightly, heading to the east of the city and disappeared into the night sky.

The Brutal Murder Of Kitty Genovese

While the above encounter was perhaps one more of shock and disbelief than chilling, our next case is quite a different matter altogether.

On Friday 13th in March 1964 in Kew Gardens, Brooklyn, 28-year-old Susan “Kitty” Genovese was brutally murdered by 29-year-old Winston Mosely. The attack, however, took place on an open road surrounded by several apartment blocks. In total, police reports would later state that 38 people had heard or witnessed the attack. None of them, however, intervened or even attempted to call the police.

Eventually, when investigators would examine and reconstruct the timeline of the tragic events they would reveal that Kitty had twice freed herself from the attack, which took place at a little after 3 am as she returned home from work. Despite one man in the apartments above shouting down to “leave that girl alone”, the attacker returned and stabbed her a second time.

Kitty would plead for help, shouting that “he stabbed me” and “I’m dying”. But the surrounding neighbors ignored her pleas. Some lights would turn on in the windows overlooking the macabre scene. Some residents would even open their windows temporarily.

At this point in the attack, Mosely jumped into his car and drove away. This time was a little after 3:35 am. However, when nobody still came to the woman’s aid, he returned around 15 minutes later. At this point, he delivered the third and fatal stab wound to Kitty.

Why no one came to aid the tragic Kitty, or even contact authorities remains a mystery. Many psychologists, though, claim it is a great example of the “bystander effect”. Incidentally, Mosely was sentenced to life in prison for the crime. He would remain there until his death in the 2000s.

Double Plane Crash Horror

In October 1972, on Friday 13th, two plane crashes occurred, almost at the same time, in Chile and Russia, one of which would result in a book subsequent movie, Alive several years. This involved the Uruguayan rugby team, who were traveling to Chile to play a match there. Their plane, however, would crash in the Andes mountains. And while 28 survived, it would be 72 days before their recovery.

What followed is one of the most harrowing yet in many ways heroic ordeals in recent history. One borne out of necessity. The survivors would remove the dead from the fuselage section of the plane and use it as a source of shelter from the brutal elements. Furthermore, they would make makeshift splints from the wreckage to treat broken limbs. They would even fashion sunglasses from the sun visors of the cockpit so as to avoid snow-blindness.

The plane wreckage of Friday 13th 1972

The plane wreckage of Friday 13th 1972

However, following an avalanche that would kill 10 more of the survivors, it was time to take drastic action. Three of the remaining survivors would venture out for help and to raise the alarm. Even more following the suggestion that search teams that were beginning to give up hope. They would eventually succeed and 72 days after the crash, came the rescue of the remaining survivors.

Of course, in order for the survivors to remain alive, they had made a drastic decision. To use the dead as their food supply. It was a decision that literally saved them.

Incidentally, at almost the same time, a plane left Paris on its way Moscow. It would crash and kill all 174 people on board. The incident happened while they were attempting to land in extremely bad weather. They were just miles from the runway at the time of the fatal incident.

Truly Freaky Events Of Friday 13th

On Friday 13th in January 1939, multiple towns in Australia were practically destroyed when bushfires swept through several regions. In total 71 people died across an eventual total of 4 million acres in the Victoria region. So significant was the damage and destruction to the Australian psyche, the day is remembered merely as Black Friday. In a cruel twist, similar fires hit the region in February 2009 (a Saturday). Many of the same regions once again suffered severalty. This would lead to many recalling the more recent event as Black Saturday.

The Australian bush fired of 1939

The Australian bush fired of 1939

There are also without a doubt some truly freak incidents that we should take note of. For example, according to the BBC, a 13-year-old boy would be struck by lightning on Friday 13th in August 2010. And what’s more, this occurred at 13:13 (1:13 pm). Although the incident would prove to be a minor one, it nevertheless makes for some intriguing contemplation.

Maybe even stranger is the case of Dez Baxter from New York. In an effort to avoid the bad luck of Friday 13th in August 1976, at least according to multiple online sources, he would insist on spending the entire day in his apartment. However, in a truly bizarre and tragic turn of events, the floor directly under his bed suddenly collapsed. This would send him plummeting to his death.

Although less deadly but still an event that was felt across multiple platforms was the 1989 stock market crash of Friday 13th, October 1989. What’s more, for reasons unknown, the Dow Jones Index appears to suffer negative effects on Friday 13th, with several particular occasions being specifically so.

Whether by chance or not, for some, Friday 13th is a day to be suspicious of.

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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Fact Checking

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