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The History Of Friday The 13th [AUDIO]

Courtesy of Hulton Archive, Getty Images

There are many beliefs as to why we associate “Friday the 13th” with bad luck. The one that sticks out in my mind is the story of The Knights Templar. That’s right Levack is about to get historic on your butts! The Knights Templar were a group that started in 1118 as protectors and guides for pilgrims going from Europe to Jerusalem during the Crusades. They came up with a banking system to protect the pilgrims money and then used the same system to protect their own money. The Templars became very wealthy, which made King Phillip IV of France decide it would be good to have their money. Phillip owed them a nice amount of cash too. So King Phillips gets together with the church and has the Templars declared heretics. The king’s orders were to engage and arrest every Templar in France. All Templar outposts, homes, wineries, mills, and castles were to be taken in the name of the King of France and Pope Clement V. These actions all took place on Friday the 13th, 1307.

King Phillip attempted to further bury the Templars in a public manner: a large event in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral would have Templar Grand Master Jacques De Molay publicly admit guilt of heresy. Instead, the defeated grandmaster took to his forum and apologized to the people and Templar Knights for his weakness and for signing forced confessions. He then rescinded his original confession and testified to the public that he, his men, and all Templar Knights were innocent, despite their forced confessions. An embarrassed King Phillip was enraged by the old man’s actions and had him burned at the stake along with his second-in-command. De Molay’s dying last words were to curse King Phillip and Pope Clement V, claiming that by the year’s end they both would meet their demise. To add to the superstition of the Friday the 13th and to the power of the Templars both men did die that year.

So either that or a scary dude in a hockey mask are why today is scary. In case you hate to read you can listen to this history lesson here.

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