The number 13 has long been considered an omen of bad luck. In fact, researchers estimate as much as 10% of the U.S. population has a fear of the number 13, especially when associated with Fridays.
The fear of the day is so common that it has spawned not one but two words to describe it: paraskavedekatriaphobia and friggatriskaidekaphobia. Have fun pronouncing them.
Ancient Babylonians reportedly skipped the number when writing the earliest legal codes around 1790 B.C. Historians think it could have been a clerical error, but we know better. How many people attended the last supper? You guessed it: 13, including Judas.
You do the math.
The fear spawned the popular 1980s horror franchise that celebrated its 12th film release in 2009, a TV series, novels, comic books and even a 19th-century secret society. And good luck finding the 13th floor at hotels.
Despite its sordid past, Friday the 13th has become a makeshift holiday for tattoo shops across the nation. The tradition was made popular by Dallas artist Oliver Peck in 1995. Peck notes that he certainly was not the first to do 13 tattoos on the spooky Fridays, but he maintains that he was the first to make an event out of it.
Today, Friday the 13th is the busiest day for many tattoo shops, which offer discounts on eerie designs. In the good ol’ days, many shops offered small tattoos for $13 plus tip. In this economy, though, artists need a little more scratch, with prices typically ranging from $40 to $350 depending on size.
Here’s a list of some of the Long Beach shops offering Friday the 13th specials:
Ace of Hearts, 743 Pine Ave.
Over 150 new designs starting at $100.
First-come, first-served from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Broadway Tattoos, 1824 E. Broadway
Five artists are offering new flash for $40, $60 and $80, along with $25 piercings.
First-come, first-served from 11 a.m. to close.
Port City Tattoo, 4290 Pacific Coast Highway
Nine or 10 artists are offering new flash for $100-$350, depending on the design.
First-come, first-served from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (The shop may remain open after hours if it’s busy.)
Outer Limits Tattoo & Museum, 22 S. Chestnut Place
Two artists are offering new flash for $150-$350, depending on the design.
By appointment or walk-in on a first-come, first-served basis from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The Raven and the Wolves, 212 The Promenade N.
Two artists are offering new flash for $60-$130, depending on the design, and horror portraits will go for $300-$600.
First-come, first-served from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (The shop may remain open after hours if it’s busy.)