How Did Friday the 13th Tattoos Become a Thing?
It's Friday the 13th and those tattoo needles are buzzin'!
By the end of the year, we will have seen three different Fridays fall on the 13th of a month. That's more than average. By the end of this year, we will also see some of our friends with three more tattoos displayed on their body. Most of these additions will be about the size of a quarter and will feature a '13' somewhere in the design.
It's become a trend for Friday the 13th.
I know several people who have jumped on this trend and will line up at tattoo parlors to get a Friday the 13th-related tattoo. Some follow suit with themes of the day like black cats or hockey masks while others will take the design into their own hands.
How did this start?
According to Vice.com, it started as a marketing gimmick. Tattoo parlors saw the fascination with the "holiday" as an opportunity to offer a $13 special. Since tattoos can cost between $50-$80 minimum, you can see how this would have some appeal. Other parlors began to offer what they call a "flash sheet" of special "13" tattoos that would fall under that sale price.
Famed tattoo artist Oliver Peck says the tradition goes even deeper than just a simple promotion.
Peck is based out of Dallas (Elm St. Tattoo) and was on the show InkMaster. Side note: he was also married to Kat Von D for a hot minute). He says that sailors used to get the number 13 tattooed on their body to ward off bad luck. Since 13 is considered bad luck, they would put it on their bodies as an antidote of sorts.
Bad luck would come your way, it would see the number 13, see that bad luck is already there, and it would pass on by.
Many parlors will extend their hours to accommodate the increase in customers. Some people may not be into "Friday the 13th" ink, but would rather use that $13 price tag to get their first tattoo. In a way, just being able to say you got a tattoo on a typically unlucky day is a story in and of itself.