Superstitious people, beware: Not only is today Friday the 13th, but it’s also a full moon — an occurrence that also famously took place in the 1980 film “Friday The 13th.” According to the screenwriter of that horror classic, however, you should probably just chill out when it comes to the freak-outs today.
“One of my fans wrote me and said that this Friday the 13th there will be a full moon and the next time there’s a Friday the 13th with a full moon won’t be until 2049,” Victor Miller told MTV News in an interview that coincidentally lasted exactly 13 minutes (I am not kidding — it did!). “Well, I said, I’ll be 109 then! I’ll wait! I’ll wait for it!’”
The last time this phenomena took place was 14 years ago. As you can see, it’s a pretty rare and spooky kind of day we’re currently passing.
So how did Friday the 13th — the day — get such a bad rap? According to Professor Stuart Vyse, author of “Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition,” there are a number of reasons.
“The best is offered in the book ’13: The Story of the World’s Most Popular Superstition’ by Nathaniel Lachenmeyer,” Vyse told MTV News. “He finds the earliest references to 13 in 17th Century England to [say] that it was unlucky to have 13 people at a table, a reference to the Last Supper and Jesus’ betrayal by Judas. Later 13 was freed from the table and became generally unlucky. In the 19th Century it became merged with Friday, which had independently been unlucky. Often called hangman’s day, because public hangings were done then.”
We’re guessing that Miller’s film didn’t help matters, either — you know, what with all the camp counselors being murdered on a little dead boy named Jason’s birthday because of sex. Curiously enough, however, its contribution to the myth was almost a fluke.
“The irony of ironies is that the working title for ‘Friday The 13th’ — I’m terrible with titles, I really suck at it — the working title was ‘Long Night At Camp Blood,’” Miller said. “It was shown to the producer and director who called and said, ‘I got this idea — I wanna call it ‘Friday The 13th.’ I said, ‘Well, fine, but there’s nothing about Friday the 13th in the movie,’ and he said, ‘Put it in!’ So I did.”
“The policeman says, in probably the most obvious insertion in the history of cinema, when he’s driving along in his police car, he says, ‘All this — full moon and rain and it’s Friday the 13th besides,’” he added with a laugh.
And thus, a legend was born. Although Miller has not seen any of the other Jason films — he only wrote the first — he’s aware of their legacy (how could he not be?) and their impact on his life.
“The week before ‘Friday The 13th’ opened I’m very fond of remembering — because it keeps me centered — I tried to sell my blood to this company that was doing a study to see something about antibodies and they took a sample and they said, ‘If you have enough antibodies we’ll give you $15 for a pint.’ And I said, ‘Cool.’” he recalled.
Sadly, he did not have the right kind of blood for the study. “So I didn’t even have $15,” he said. “But after May of 1980, my worries were never again financial.”
Yup, the unluckiest day of the year — supposedly — was the luckiest for Miller. And, according to Vyse, it won’t necessarily be a walk-under-ladders, black-cat-passing kind of 24 hours for you, either.
“I don’t think there is any convincing evidence of bad things happening more often on Fridays the 13th,” he said. “Some years ago there was a Finnish study some years ago suggesting that women had more fatal car accidents on Fridays the 13th, but subsequent studies have not support this.”
Miller’s advice on the subject runs along the same lines. When asked what he would say to people who hesitate to make important decisions today or, you know, go outside, he said, “Get over it.”
You heard the man.