For years, Friday the 13th has been seen as the unluckiest date in the calendar.

Some people will spend their efforts avoiding breaking any superstitions such as walking under a ladder, crossing a black cat, or breaking a mirror.

Many people believe Friday the 13th carries bad luck because the number 13 is a bad number in the Bible.

While a lot of sceptics have attempted to rubbish the spooky day as nonsense, a number of real life Friday the 13th events have occurred.


Whether you believe in bad luck or not, here are 13 tragic and unfortunate events that happened on Friday the 13th.

Photos of the Andes plane crash in 1972. Photo / Wikimedia Commons
Photos of the Andes plane crash in 1972. Photo / Wikimedia Commons

1. Uruguayan rugby team plane crashes into Andes mountains

On Friday October 13, 1972, a plane carrying the Uruguayan rugby team crashed into the Andes mountains in Chile.

Disappearing into the night, it took two months for rescuers to find the 14 survivors.

In a grisly twist, many members had to eat their deceased teammates and flight crew in order to survive.

31 people perished in the crash.

2. On the same day as Andes tragedy, a plane crashed in Russia killing 174 people

At the time, the tragedy of Aeroflot 217 was the worst plane crash in Russian history.


All 174 people on board the flight (including the 10 crew members) died when the plane crashed while trying to land due to bad weather.

The plane ended up just 5km from the runway.

Rapper Tupac Shakur in 1996. Photo / AP
Rapper Tupac Shakur in 1996. Photo / AP

3. Tupac Shakur dies

Rap icon Tupac died on Friday, September 13, 1996, after he was shot four times while in his car in Las Vegas six days earlier.

4. Man who stayed in bed to escape Friday 13th dies in freak accident

New York resident Daz Baxter decided to stay home on Friday August 13, 1976, because he was scared of any bad events happening to him.

Sadly, his plan came to a tragic end when the floor beneath his bed collapsed and he plunged six floors to his death.

Photo / 123rf
Photo / 123rf

5. Teen struck by lightning

On Friday August 13, 2010, a teenager was struck by lightning in Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival in England.

What is even weirder is the BBC reported he got hit just after lunchtime at 13.13.

Jason Gillingham, county ambulance officer, said: "It was a minor burn to the boy's shoulder but he was conveyed to hospital and is recovering well."

6. Buckingham Palace bombed

Buckingham Palace was hit by five German bombs on Friday September 13, 1940.

Both King George VI and Queen Elizabeth came close to being killed. One member of the royal staff died and the palace chapel was destroyed.

Costa Concordia ship as it lies on its side on the Tuscan Island of Giglio, Italy. Photo / AP
Costa Concordia ship as it lies on its side on the Tuscan Island of Giglio, Italy. Photo / AP

7. Cruise ship crashes killing 32 people

The Costa Concordia cruise ship ran aground on Friday 13 in January 2012 off the western coast of Italy killing 32 people.

The captain was convicted of manslaughter in 2015.

8. Australia's Black Friday bushfires kill 71 people

The fires in Victoria from 1939 to 1940 were the culmination of a long, dry summer. But on January 13, 1939 the Black Friday bushfires consumed the area: 71 people died and 575,000ha were burned to a crisp.

9. Computers fell victim to the "Friday the 13th Virus"

On January 13, 1989, a computer virus swept through the UK. According to the LA Times, hundreds of computers were affected by the virus, which deleted personal files specifically on the unlucky date.

The virus also slowed computers down.

10. Swedish flight DC-3 vanishes, never to be seen again

According to National Geographic, a Swedish flight disappeared while flying over the Baltic Sea on Friday June 13, 1952.

For 40 years the Swedish Government said the plane was performing training exercises.

But in the 1990s National Geographic reported it was leaked that crew members were spying on the Soviet Union.

Russia responded, saying a pilot told a Swedish diplomat he had shot down the plane.

11. Tennessee bans teaching of evolution

On Friday, May 13, 1925, science took a bitter blow when the Tennessee Senate passed a law preventing the teaching of evolution. It provided fuel for a still-ongoing movement which battles the teaching of evolution in schools.

12. The stock market crashes

The "mini crash" crash, in 1989, wiped 6.91 per cent off the value of the Dow Jones after traders panicked about a news story about a buyout.

13. Couple stung by unfortunate wedding

On Friday 13th August 2003, Michelle and Gary Docherty's nuptials were plagued by a swarm of wasps that relentlessly attacked their guests.

One even flew right up Michelle's wedding gown when she arrived to walk down the aisle.