5 Halloween Games to Scare You Silly

I love a good Halloween party. The costumes, the spooky refreshments, and of course, the games! 

I think we all know about Bloody Mary and Light as a Feather Stiff as a Board, but you know how I like to stretch your knowledge, it must be the teacher in me! Here are five lesser-known spooky games you can try for yourself. Play at your own risk, however. I don’t claim any responsibility for your safety!

Sweet Tooth Gnomeimp-945890_1280

The worst thing that can happen with this game is that a gnome will come and nibble at your chocolate bar. Personally, I don’t like to share my chocolate bar, so, no thank you. Furthermore, where does the little bugger go after he helps himself? Is he now loose in your house to nibble on other things? Like your hair in the middle of the night? Again, no thank you.

To Play:

  1. In a room with a ceiling light, place a mirror on the floor directly under the light, so the light is reflected in the mirror
  2. Suspend the chocolate from the light with a long string so that it is dangling just above the mirror
  3. Everyone sits down in a circle around the mirror
  4. One person should then pose with scissors ready to cut the string
  5. One person turns off the light and quickly rejoins the circle
  6. The scissor holder cuts the string (you should hear the chocolate bar hit the mirror)
  7. Everyone chants “ Sweet Tooth, Sweet Tooth, Please come” three times
  8. Everyone must remain completely still and silent and wait, soon you will hear a rustling sound (that’s the gnome unwrapping the chocolate)
  9. When the rustling stops, count to ten
  10. You may now turn the light back on

You will see that the gnome has either eaten some of the chocolate, left teeth marks where he nibbled, or possibly leave more chocolate behind.

Cat Scratcheyes-218185_1280

If you don’t mind being scratched by a ghost or possible demon cat, then this is the game for you! I mean, who doesn’t love evil unseen claws drawn across your tender flesh?

To Play:

  1. Two players, player one lies down with their head in the lap of player two
  2. Player two gently caressing player one’s temples while telling this story (there are a couple of different versions, but I like this one):
    “You are walking down a darkened road. You are alone with only the light of the moon to guide your way. Dark and lonely woods line each side of the road. Dry leaves rustle in the wind and the gravel crunches under your feet. You see a shadow moving in the trees. You hear something rustling in the underbrush. You pick up your pace, desperate to get past the woods. Then you see it. A dark shape of a large cat. Glowing red eyes focus on you. You run, but the demon cat chases you and jumps on you. It scratches you. One. Two. Three. Cat scratch, cat scratch, cat scratch!”
  3. The person sits up as the story-teller lifts the back of their shirt. Red claw marks will appear!

Charlotte’s Webdoll-1640841_1280

No, not the cute grammatically talented spider (did I just say cute in reference to a spider?). The name refers to the ghost of a little girl named Charlotte whose mother was supposedly hanged as a witch. If Charlotte likes your token, you will get the nice Charlotte. If she hates your offering, or you, you will get the bad Charlotte. According to players who have gotten the bad Charlotte, you don’t want her, at all.

To Play:

  1. Find a dark room with a large mirror
  2. Place two chairs facing the mirror with some space between them
  3. Place a table behind the chairs
  4. Put your token offering (a toy for a girl) on the table. Be sure you can see it in the mirror when you and your fellow player are seated in the chairs
  5. Together, say: We Want to Play Charlotte’s Web
  6. You may hear her moving around the room
  7. You may see her take the toy in the reflection
  8. Together say: Goodbye Charlotte
  9. Whatever you do, don’t turn around during this game, you aren’t allowed to look anywhere except at the mirror. If bad Charlotte shows up and throws a tantrum, well, I did say to play at your own risk!

The Midnight Gamedeath-1299194_1280

Remember playing hide-and-seek? A little tame for you? How about hide-and-seek with an entity who, if he finds you, will either trap you in a hallucination of your worst nightmare or rip your guts out? Now that’s a whole new level of motivation! This game takes real commitment, all night kind of commitment.

To Play:

  1. Turn off all the lights in your house and stand at your front door.
  2. Write your full name on a piece of paper
  3. Prick your finger and put a drop of your blood on the paper
  4. Place the paper on the ground just outside the front door.
  5. Place a candle on top of the paper and light it (adult supervision please)
  6. Close the door
  7. At precisely the stroke of midnight, knock on your front door 22 times, you must have completed the knocking before the clock reads 12:01 am.
  8. Open the front door and blow out the candle
  9. Bring the candle inside and immediately relight it, you have just invited the Midnight Man into your house!
  10. Now you move around your house with the candle to light your way, hoping to avoid the Midnight Man.
  11. If your candle goes out, it means that the Midnight Man is near. If you can relight it within 10 seconds, you are safe and can continue to move around to avoid him. If not, your only hope is to surround yourself with a circle of salt where you must remain until 3:33 am. Otherwise, he’s got you! If you make it to 3:33 am without having to resort to salt, you win…I guess!
  12. During the playing of this game, you may also feel cold spots, hear whispering, or see the shadowy figure of the Midnight Man in the darkness!

Seanceseance

The idea of summoning ‘who knows what’ not appeal to you? That’s ok; I have a game for you. This one isn’t real spirit communications; it’s just to scare your friends. Why? Because it’s fun!

To Play:

  1. Gather everyone around a table or sit in a circle on the floor.
  2. Hang a bottle cap from string to use as the pendulum (unbeknownst to the crowd, you have placed a tiny piece of tape or other sticky substance to the bottom of the bottle cap and layered it in sugar before hand).
  3. Light a candle and hold the pendulum just above the candle flame by the end of the string.
  4. Tell your victims that back and forth means a yes answer and around in a circle means no.
  5. Have them ask the “spirit” questions and watch the pendulum move
  6. Move the pendulum closer and closer to the flame until it is passing through the flame. Do this a little at time, so the victims don’t notice.
  7. Eventually, the sugar will catch fire and send out a burst of flames scaring everybody!

If my sister and cousins are reading this, now they know I’m a fake!

If you play one of these games or have one of your own, feel free to post in the comments! I hope everyone has a spooky, fun, and delicious Halloween. Until next time, Never Turn off the Lights!

Halloween Horrors That May be Waiting for You!

Halloween is upon us once again. It is the night that many believe the veil between the living and the dead is drawn back allowing spirits to roam the earth. Bonfires are lit, jack-o-lanterns are set aglow, and children dress up to confuse and drive malevolent spirits away.

I’m a strong believer that knowledge of your enemy is the basis for victory. As many of you get ready to dress up and head out into the darkened streets to battle these spirits, it’s a good idea to know who, or what, you may meet.

Bloody Bones

glass-975494_1280

This is a guy who comes and spirits away lazy or disobedient children in the night. In the tales told to me he is never described, and it is never disclosed what he does with the kids he takes. In my imagination (a dark place to be sure), he was humanoid with no skin, exposing his blood vessels and sodden muscles. The children he took? I supposed it had to do with replacing his missing skin.

El Coco or the Coco Man

He concentrates on kids who will not go to sleep at bedtime. If you are not asleep when he happens by he’s going to eat you. He is only described as having a coconut for a head. If that’s not incentive for some shut-eye I don’t know what is.

Bubak

dusk-1004436_1280His appearance is similar to a scarecrow, however, he can cry just like a baby to lure unsuspecting humans to their doom. Unlike the monsters previously mentioned, the Bubak targets everyone, including adults. He gets around in a cart driven by black cats and as you know that is no small feat. He’s crafty too, he weaves cloth from the souls of those he lured to himself.

Skinwalker

These are witches that have the ability to change into any animal they please. Not the anglo version of witches with pointy hats, but a shaman who has decided to use his knowledge and powers for evil rather than healing. It is a subject rarely spoken of out in the open. Who knows, the person you are speaking with could be a Skinwalker. It is believed they are usually seen as coyotes, wolves, foxes, owls, or crows. My grandpa told me that the way to tell if an animal is an ordinary animal or a Skinwalker is that if its eyes don’t reflect light, it’s a Skinwalker and you should run for your life. However, by that point it is presumably too late.

By LuxAmber (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Slender Man

Created by Erick Knudsen, Slender Man has a featureless face and a black suit covers his thin, tall body. He stalks, abducts, and generally disturbs people, especially children. Slender Man has become somewhat of a media star and is the subject of many stories, artworks, video productions, and video games. There are many variations on his mythos, but the one that tormented my little guy is that he lives in the storm culverts around our country town (there is one right behind our house). From these culverts, he lies in wait for any child that happens by. Slender Man has caused plenty of sleepless nights and may have been a catalyst for a depraved crime in 2014. Photo credit: By LuxAmber (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Black Eyed KidsBlack_eyes_by_megamoto85

I would say that a professional newspaper reporter can be trusted. In this case, the narrative of just such a person brought this phenomenon into the mainstream. Brian Bethel, a reporter for Abilene Reporter-News, recounted a strange encounter he had with two boys on a summer night. They approached him as he sat in his car and asked for a ride. Brian found himself gripped by an inexplicable fear. He soon realized that the boys had black orbs instead of human eyeballs. Like any sane person, he got the heck out of dodge. As he was pulling his car away, one kid banged on the window and angrily shouted, “We can’t come in unless you tell us it’s OK. Let us in!” Since then numerous others have recounted encounters with these beings. Sometimes they show up at your door insisting on being let in. Vampires? Aliens? No one knows. I found this subject so compelling that my debut novel Dread is based on it. 

Keep your eye out for these characters and when trick-or-treat is over, GO TO SLEEP. Take extra precautions and avoid carts pulled by cats. It’s might just be a good idea to avoid animals of any kind. Those kids ringing the doorbell? Don’t worry it’s only neighborhood kids looking for a treat, isn’t it?

Thanks for stopping by, and I wish you a safe and fun Halloween. Until next time, Never Turn Off the Lights!

How a Drunk and the Devil Shaped Our Most Iconic Halloween Symbol

fire-398808_1280

I’m taking a break from NaNoWriMo preparations to enjoy the holiday. We slammed some Halloween fun and a birthday celebration into the last couple of days. The weekend festivities ended with the traditional carving of the pumpkins.

You are likely aware that most Halloween traditions have roots in the Celtic holiday of Samhain which marked the end of summer and final harvest time. It was also a period when supernatural forces were particularly active. On this night the door to the spirit world opened and spirits were allowed to freely roam the Earth. To keep evil spirits away, raging bonfires were lit.

In the middle-ages the festival morphed into All Hallows Eve. Eventually the bonfires were toned down to hallowed out gourds and turnip lanterns. When Irish immigrants came to America they found that the native pumpkin was a superior way to create these lanterns. Ta-dah, the jack-o-lantern was born.

You might not believe this looking at my profile picture but my Pop is pure Scotch/Irish with the surname to prove it! There is an Irish folktale that tells a much more interesting story about how jack-o-lanterns came to be.

Stingy-Jack forever doomed to roam the Earth.

Stingy-Jack forever doomed to roam the Earth.

There once was a man named Stingy-Jack. He liked to drink, hang out at the pub, mooch off of everybody for drinks, and to play tricks on them because he fancied himself so much smarter than they. He wasn’t an especially likable fellow. So much so, that one Hallows Eve he found himself face to face with the Devil.

Stingy-Jack was sure he could outsmart the Devil, so he offered his soul in exchange for a drink. The Devil quickly changed himself into a coin to pay for the drink. He didn’t know that Stingy-Jack had already mooched a coin from another patron to pay for the drink. He snatched up the coin and put it in his pocket next to a silver cross that he always carried. Because of the cross, the Devil could not change into his real form and was trapped as a coin. Stingy-Jack refused to free the Devil until he promised not to claim his soul for ten years. The Devil agreed and Stingy-Jack released him.

Fast forward ten years. Stingy-Jack was walking along a darkened country road when the Devil came to collect what was due to him. Again, Stingy-Jack used his tricky ways. He told the Devil he would go but could the Devil please climb the tree and get him an apple first?

For whatever reason, the Devil went up the tree to get the apple and Jack quickly etched a cross on the trunk. The Devil now could not climb down from the tree. Jack made the Devil promise not to collect his soul now or when he eventually died. The Devil was furious but had no choice other than to agree.

Several years later Jack passed-away. He presented himself to the gates of heaven but was told he could not enter because of his deceitful, drunken life. He then presented himself to hell. The Devil remembered the promise he had made and refused him entrance. Instead, he was banished to roam the Earth forever with only a turnip lantern to light his way. This doomed ghostly figure was referred to as Jack of the Lantern and eventually Jack O’Lantern. In Ireland and Scotland people began placing their own version of Jack’s lantern in windows and doorways to keep evil spirits at bay.

As you carve your own jack-o-lanterns keep poor Stingy-Jack in mind. I think he actually got it easy compared to an eternity in hell!

My Family's Creations this Halloween.

My Family’s Creations this Halloween.

Until next time, Never Turn Off the Lights!

Cursed Objects?

I was searching around on the internet in the pursuit of football cleats and storage systems, and as is common with me, I strayed from my task at hand. When searching storage items a result popped up for burial urns. You did know that cookies and previous search history affect your search results, right? For most writers, if the police had to check out our search history we’d be in big trouble.

I followed the burial urn finding which eventually led me to Ebay where I found several “haunted urns” for sale. This led to haunted dolls, jewelry, photos, paintings, furniture, and more. This got me thinking about the validity of the claims. Can an object be haunted or cursed? Can an inanimate object retain energy from a previous owner? So much for football cleats and organizing the basement playroom.

I started searching around the internet and along with some episodes of “The Haunted Collector” I found some weird stories. The one that follows stood out for reasons I’ll reveal later.

The Basano Vase

The Cursed Basano Vase via Pinterest

The Cursed Basano Vase via Pinterest

This is a 15th century Italian silver vase with a disturbing history. Italian folklore says that it was a wedding gift to a young woman who died on her wedding night with the vase clutched to her chest. As it passed from family member to family member it brought death to anyone who owned it. The family reportedly hid the vase away but it was found again in 1988 with a note tucked inside that read “beware – this vase brings death”.

The person who found it was apparently not a believer in such things and threw away the note and sold the vase to an auction house. It went through the hands of a pharmacist, a surgeon, an archeologist, and an unlisted fourth owner. All of these owners died unexpectedly just weeks after purchasing the vase.

The last owner’s family tossed the cursed thing out of the window in desperation. It almost hit a passing police officer who promptly issued a disorderly behavior ticket. The officer tried to return the vase but the family member stated he would rather be arrested than take it back! It is reported that the police buried the vase.

Why is that Significant?

As with most things I find interesting, I was sharing all of this information and the possibility of making it a blog post with my husband. I usually spring this stuff on him in the car or very late at night, that seems to be the only time we ever have to chat.

He told me that a few days before, a woman had brought a very old copper pot with intricate inscriptions on it to his shop. The handle had broken off and she wondered if anyone there could repair it for her. After repairing it they were unable to get her to come back and pick it up, to the point that she stopped returning their phone calls. Jokingly, my husband told the guy who volunteered to fix it that it had better not be some kind of cursed thing.

Coincidence? I don’t believe in them and told him to get rid of it just to be safe, but take a picture first for my post! By the time he got back around to it she had already picked it up, no picture for me!

Just a side-note, as I was getting ready to post this I remembered that I have a silver vase in my house. It was purchased at a thrift store to use in staging our house when we sold it a couple years ago. I liked it so much I kept it. Now I’m wondering if I should be wondering about its history!

myvase

Think you have a cursed object? The good news is that you can probably sell it on Ebay or at the thrift store, the bad news is the rate of return might be high. And the bad-bad news, it may return itself! Until next time, Never Turn off the Lights!

True Urban Legends

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Urban legends are one of my favorite things; passed on from person to person with just a bit of “well maybe that could happen” to make it interesting. On doing research for some writing, I discovered that some urban legends are based in truth. Doesn’t that make them even more disturbing? I thought so. Here are few of my favorites to make you laugh, paranoid, freaked out, and just plain unsettled.

Tainted food urban legends abound, from bodily fluids in your fast food to spider eggs in your bubble gum. While some of those are plausible (maybe even likely and true!) I ran into one regarding my favorite food.

I love coffee. I make no apologies for my unabashed love of the stuff. When on a writing binge I’ve been known to drink a pot with maybe a Starbucks thrown in for good luck. At work the most annoying thing ever was to find the coffee pot empty and have to wait for a pot. Well, after I found this story I’m happy to make my own coffee and I’m very glad I work from home now.

badcoffeeIn 1994 workers at Wire Rope in Missouri knew their morning joe just didn’t taste right. These sleuthing workers set up a camera and discovered a fellow employ, Milton Ross, relieving himself right into the coffee pot. The information I found said the video made it to the news but I haven’t been able to locate it. Ross said his actions were due to an ongoing feud with a coworker. He was charged with assault and sentenced to 100 hours of community service cleaning public restrooms. Yes, very glad I work from home.

Ah, revenge. I used to have a scorched earth policy when it came to revenge but I have mellowed a bit with age. The longer I live the more I see that “what goes around comes around” is a true statement. It may take a long time for it to get back around but it always does. And when it does, it’s extra special when the fates allow you to watch, particularly if the baddies sin against innocents. There are many urban legends about getting yours but this one is true.

In 1982 two guys, David Grundman and James Joseph Suchochi, decided to do a little target shooting at saguaro. In case you don’t know, saguaros are tall cactus which grow in Arizona, California, and Mexico. They can live for an upwards of 300 years, get as tall as 60 feet, and weigh up to 8 TONS. For this excursion, Grundman picked a 100 year old specimen that stood about 26 feet tall. His crack shooting severed a 4 foot arm from the cactus which promptly fell and crushed him to death. My dad always told me to respect nature because it doesn’t respect you, it can kill you if you are reckless or disrespectful. Good advice, Pop.

Saguaro Cacti Specimen

Saguaro Cacti Specimen

Dumb criminal stories are a favorite around here. But a story about a criminal that ends with the criminal learning a lesson is truly treasured. I’ve heard urban legends about criminals getting stuck in the chimney (true, it turns out) or calling 911 on themselves (also true) but this one has a poetic justice that appealed to me.

Darker_nights_are_here_–_burglary_advice_(8124500096)In New Zealand, a young man illegally entered what he thought was a vacant home to burglarize it. He ran screaming after bumping into a hanging corpse in the darkened home. To his credit he phoned the police to report the body and turn himself in. It was determined that the person had hanged themselves a day or so before. Inspector Greg Nicholls is quoted by the New Zealand Herald as saying “I’m hopeful that this might be a career-changing moment for that burglar.” You think?

Halloween has become one of the highest grossing holidays in America. Americans spent nearly $7 billion last year on costumes, decorations, and candy. Halloween attractions, such as haunted mazes or haunted houses can earn an upwards of $3 million in just a little over a month. I’ve seen some really well done holiday displays in front yards. Some I had to take a second look at they seem so real. I thought that’s what I would find behind the urban legend of people mistaking a real corpse for décor but I was wrong.

In 1990 as part of a haunted hayride attraction, a young man was supposed to pretend to be hung on a gallows set. He had successfully pulled it off for several nights but on this night something went terribly wrong and he accidently hung himself. The hayride driver became concerned when the boy didn’t finish his spoken lines as the wagon came by. There have actually been several tragic reports of accidental hanging during Halloween pranks.

This one is little more macabre and a twist on the first story. A few days before Halloween of 2005, a Delaware woman committed suicide by hanging herself from a tree near a busy road and in sight of many homes. She was first spotted around 7:30 that morning but people thought it was part of a Halloween prank. She stayed there until the police were notified at 11 am being observed by numerous passers-by. It’s quite sad and astonishing that it took that long for anyone to report it. Around here the HOA police would have been all over it in about 10 seconds, not that I’ve been in trouble for over the top Halloween displays or anything.

hangingtree

Hanging Tree by Joy Yehle

That’s just a small sampling of true urban legends that I found. So the next time someone starts a story with “my cousin’s-best friend’s-uncle’s-sister” keep these in mind. Lastly, never turn off the lights because that roommate in the dark…well she may not be what you think she is…alive, that is! Tell me if you know what urban legend that is and I will be very impressed!

Krampus and other Christmas Terrors

Christmas is a time of light, good tidings, and peace on Earth…mostly. Just like everything else there has to be a balance of light and dark and Christmas is no exception. These strange and scary Christmas traditions may make more than sugar plums dance in your head.

That cute, funny, creepy, unsettling little spy, Elf on the Shelf is a newer tradition. He or she shows up right around Thanksgiving to keep an eye on the children and report behavior back to old Saint Nick. He moves around the house while you’re sleeping for different vantage points from which to narc. He’s watching you. All the time. In your house. There is just something unsettling about a doll that moves around, especially if neither parent can remember doing it.

 

Elf on the Shelf wasn’t the first little Christmas creeper, however. Greece has had the Kallikantzaroi, or Christmas goblins way before Santa even had elves. These half-animal-half-human hairy creatures live underground and spend their days sawing away at the World Tree. This tree holds up the whole earth and when it collapses so will the world. Christmas is the only time these monsters can come up on the surface and the draw of wreaking havoc on humans makes them forget about the tree even though they were almost all the way through the trunk. For 12 days these scary little devils try to sneak into homes to spoil food, tip things over, break things, and pee in flower beds. To keep them out Greek families will sometimes hang the lower jaw of a pig behind the front door or inside the Chimney. Finally on the day of Epiphany (January 6) the Kalikantrzaroi must return to their underground home only to find the World Tree has healed itself and they must now start over. Hard to tell what is worse, little black devils running amok in your house or a pig’s jaw hanging around.

 

Aside from the Christ-child only Santa Claus is a widely accepted symbol of all that is goodness and light about the holiday season. But he too has dark counter points.

In Belgium and the Netherlands Saint Nicholas dressed in red bishop-like robes travels from his homeland of Spain by steamship to reward well behaved children. He carries a huge book in which he records children’s behavior. He comes with his helper, Black Pete, sometimes in the plural. Black Pete performs like a jester and takes care of Saint Nicholas’ horse. Good children get a gift from Saint Nicholas’ huge bag dropped down their chimney (some say bad children are in the bag too, what’s with bad children in bags?). According to a traditional holiday song, naughty children get a spanking with Black Pete’s bundle of twigs, and no presents. There is some controversy around Black Pete being a racist symbol but most Dutch parents tell their kids his skin is black from chimney soot. Uh-huh. Let’s not forget he is a total stranger and he gets to spank your naughty kid. Terrifying.

Black Pete and St. Nick circa 1948

Black Pete and St. Nick circa 1948

 

In other parts of Europe Saint Nicholas gets a little more hard core and horrifying. Forget elves, forget joking spankers, even goblins don’t compare. Here Saint Nick shows up with Krampus. He’s a hairy, horned, long-tongue wagging demon looking creature who takes his job seriously. He not only whips naughty kids with birch branches but likes to stuff particularly bad kids into his basket that he carries on his back. Guess where they are going? To hell, of course! Those are not the only punishments in his tool bag. He also has been known to pull ears, rip out pigtails, and drown children in ink. Way worse than coal, right?

Think you’ve outgrown this silly story used by adults to control you, well think again. In Germany they celebrate  Krampusnacht or Night of Krampus. Grown men dress up like the demonic character and descend on entire towns with torches, chains, and large clanging bells. Parents with pre-teen and teen-aged children will sometimes let the Krampuses into the house for a drink and permission to torment the children. Invited. By your own parents. Into your house. Relieved you don’t live in Germany? He’s making inroads into North America with appearances on television and growing Krampus parties. Coal is looking pretty good right about now for some of you.

Disturbing Image of Krampus in Action

Disturbing Image of Krampus in Action

 

I really hope you have all been good this year. Wishes to everyone for a Merry Christmas. Eat lots of treats, read lots of books, be kind, be generous, think about the baby Jesus, and enjoy your family. Keep a watchful eye on that Elf. For some of you, you know who you are, I trust Krampus doesn’t find you. But if he does can you send me some pictures? Thanks!

Double 13 Whammy

Perhaps you have realized that tomorrow is Friday the 13th, 2013!

Friggatriskaidekaphobics (people who suffer with a phobia of Friday the 13th) will certainly not miss the double 13 whammy of this date. Even those who don’t overly fear Friday the 13th, this date looms in the back of their minds. Perhaps they won’t fly on this date or drive any further than necessary or avoid eating out.

friday-the-13th-meme

How did Friday the 13th get such a bad reputation? Well horror fans will tell you it’s because of the movie franchise, but no, there’s more to it than that. It can be nearly impossible to tell when a superstition very first come to be but there are some interesting ideas around why 13 is so feared.

Christianity had a hand in it. Judas, the betrayer of Jesus, was the 13th guest at the last supper and Christ was crucified on a Friday. According to historians Friday was already known as Hangman’s day so it wasn’t a stretch for medieval Christians to marry the two fears. There is also an obscure belief that Cain murdered Abel on a Friday the 13th, role model for Jason? Perhaps.

jason

Even earlier than that there is a Norse myth about a party of 12 gods being crashed by a 13th uninvited guest, Loki. He arranged the assassination of Balder the Beautiful, god of joy and gladness, causing the whole earth to mourn. This may lend to a superstition that if 13 people sit down to dinner one of them will be die within a year, bon appétit!

We couldn’t possibly forget about witches on this day, right? Ancient Romans believed that witches gathered in groups of 12, the 13th member was the devil.

witches

You may scoff at such superstition but it’s been estimated that hundreds of millions of dollars are lost in business on this day due to people avoiding business they would normally do. As for myself, this is the only date I ever buy lottery tickets because that’s how I roll. I have yet to win. Coincidence? Perhaps.