Has today’s date sent a shiver down your spine?
It’s Friday the 13th, a day many in Leeds and beyond believe holds a bad omen.
The creepy date, full of superstition, was largely brought to society’s attention by the 1980 slasher film franchise Friday the 13th, considered a classic within its horror genre.
However, the stigma of Friday the 13th may date back to Friday, October 13, 1307, when hundreds of Knights Templar were supposedly arrested, tortured and burnt across France – a myth which caught the public’s attention after it was used by The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown as part of his plot.
The Knights Templar were a wealthy and powerful Catholic military order and held strong influence within society. Their wealth is said to have ultimately led to many of them suffering an unpleasant end, as King Philip IV of France was deeply in debt with the order and he took advantage by seizing their assets and accusing them of conducting illegal activities.
Today in Leeds, there’s little chance of getting caught up in such gruesome matters – but the city’s Thackray Medical Museum on Beckett Street is making the most of the superstitious date by being the venue for a night time ghost hunt.
Hazel Ford of Haunted Happenings, which has organised the sell-out event, said: “On previous events we’ve experienced paranormal activity, including shadows and mannequins which have apparently moved.”
The venue was formerly the old Union Workhouse building, which housed nearly 800 of the poorest people in harsh and terrible conditions. Guests tonight will carry out spooky ghost hunting vigils and seances in small groups along with experiments such as glass divination, table tipping and Ouija boards.
Hazel added: “We take the guests around the most haunted rooms in the museum, encouraging them to film the experience which they can view at the end. “It’s an authentic experience and will give guests their own paranormal insight.”
Soon enough, Friday the 13th will be over and we can rest easy – until the 13th day of the month falls on a Friday once again, in July.
Find out more about Haunted Happenings’ events at www.hauntedhappenings.co.uk