It’s that time of year again, everybody! The day when we start our morning with a monstrous bowl of Lucky Charms and wear as many horseshoes and rabbits’ feet as feasibly possibly: Friday the 13th. While the rest of us do our best to stave off the bad karma, there are some that actually have the audacity to scoff at the aura of misfortune that dooms us all. But maybe after they read this list of 5 real life Friday the 13th horror stories, they just might ask to borrow that spare horseshoe of yours (if you're willing to share, of course).
1) The Fall of the Aztec Empire (August 13, 1521)
Conquistador Hernán Cortés and his Spanish military contingent led an expedition into South America to conquer and colonize the inland territory of the Aztec Empire in the name of the Spanish Crown. The Spanish war machine, in an alliance with the native Tlaxcalans, decimated one Aztec city after another before finally marching on the capital city of Tenochtitlan. Overpowered, the city’s forces fell to Spanish occupation on August 13th, signifying the end of the Aztec Empire and the beginning of Mexico City.
2) Cannibal Alfred Packer Faces Justice (April 13, 1883)
Five prospectors including Alfred Packer traveled toward Gunnison, Colorado on February 9th, 1874 in hopes of laying their claim to the gold in the area. A month prior to their journey, the chief of the Ute tribe, Chief Ouray, warned them to postpone their travels until spring to avoid the harsh winter. Choosing not to heed his advice, the five found themselves without ample supplies and exposed to the relentless cold. Their only survival option? Cannibalism. Packer was the sole survivor of the ordeal and was convicted of four counts of murder on April 13, 1883. In his defense, Packer claimed that one of his fellow miners had committed the actual murder of the others and started eating before turning on him. Packer was forced to kill his colleague and merely ate the bodies out of necessity.
3) Collapse of the Royal Plaza Hotel (August 13, 1993)
The Royal Plaza Hotel was once the pride of the city of Nakhon Ratchasima in Thailand, but that all changed when negligence on the engineer’s part led to the disastrous collapse of the structure. Unable to sustain the weight of three additional—and poorly constructed—stories added years prior, the ground level support gave in. Within seconds the building collapsed and led to the death of 137 people and the injury of 227 others. Thai law enforcement uncovered years of underhanded bribes by the engineer so inspectors would turn a blind eye to the gross construction violations.
4) The Arrest of the Knights Templar (October 13, 1307)
During the Crusades, the Knights Templar were highly revered by all of Christendom as they came to symbolize Christianity’s proper claim over the Holy Land. The Knights’ status allowed them to enjoy several benefits, including exemption from taxes and immense wealth. But as it became clearly evident that the Holy Land was slipping from the Christians' grasp, the public’s support of the Knights Templar began to wane. King Philip IV of France, already in considerable financial debt to the Knights Templar, took advantage of the public’s disdain and distrust over the order’s secrecy to demand that they be arrested for a litany of defamatory crimes including the purported desecration of religious idols and perverse acts in their initiation ceremonies. On October 13th, a number of Knights Templars were arrested and subjected to brutal torture and execution. The order had finally dissolved during the early 14th century.
5) Teen Struck By Lightening on Friday the 13th (August 13, 2010)
During the Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival in England, one teen spectator was literally given the shock of his life when he was struck by a stray bolt of lightening. Miraculously, he survived and was immediately treated for a minor burn on his shoulder. But what truly makes this a strange story is the fact that the boy was 13 years old, struck at 13:13 military time (1:13 p.m.) and it all took place on Friday the 13th! Now that’s lucky!
Any real life Friday the 13th horror stories you know of?