DENVER – We’re one day away from what some believe is the unluckiest day of the year: Friday the 13th.
The day, which occurs at least once every year, has evoked fear and dread for centuries. But how did the superstition get started?
According to anthropologists, the superstition may have originated with Christians during the Middle Ages.
"There were 13 people at the table (at the Last Supper) and the 13th was Jesus," explains Phillips Stevens, Jr., associate professor of anthropology at the University at Buffalo. "The Last Supper was on a Thursday, and the next day was Friday, the day of crucifixion.”
Superstition or not, the day has seen its share of catastrophic events throughout history. Here are seven freaky things that happened on Friday the 13th, according to LIVESCIENCE.COM.
1. A murder goes unnoticed
On March 13, 1964, bar manager Kitty Genovese was stabbed and raped by a stranger, Winston Moseley. The attack took more than a half-hour, and an early New York Times article reported that 38 people witnessed the attack and failed to call the police.
2. Flight 571 disaster
On Oct. 13, 1972, a chartered flight carrying 45 members of a rugby team crashed in the remote Andes along the mountainous border between Chile and Argentina. The last 16 survivors were rescued two months later. They were able to survive by feeding on the on the bodies of dead passengers.
3. Another air disaster
On the same day as the Andes crash, a Russian airline carrying 164 passengers and ten crew members crashed during its approach to the Moscow airport. All 174 people on board were killed.
4. Tupac Shakur dies
On Sept. 13, 1996, Tupac Shakur died in Las Vegas hospital from a gunshot wound he received a week earlier during a still unsolved drive-by shooting.
5. Kansas Floods
On July 13, 1951, Kansas experienced the single worst day of flood destruction in the Midwest to that date when the Kansas River burst out of its banks. The flood killed 28 people and displaced 500,000.
6. Buckingham Palace bombed
Nazi Germany bombed Buckingham Palace on Sept. 13, 1940, while Queen Elizabeth and King George VI were at tea in the palace. They survived the bombing, but three people were injured, including one fatally.
7. The “Black Friday” fires
A deadly brushfire tore through an Australian province on Jan. 13, 1939, killing 36 people in one day.