FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Friday the 13th is here once again. But what makes this date so ominous that it has been cemented in pop culture as a day of bad luck and spooks?
According to History.com, it’s really more about the number. Part of it goes back to biblical tradition, as 13 guests attended the Last Supper and Judas Iscariot was the 13th guest to arrive. In western cultures, the number 12 has usually been associated with completeness. While 13 has had a long history of bad luck, it’s such a superstition that many hi-rise buildings in the United States don’t have a 13th floor.
The link between Friday and the 13th was cemented in 1980 with Sean S. Cunningham’s “Friday the 13th” film franchise. This was the birth of one of Hollywood’s deadliest icons, Jason Voorhees, who has since been featured in many films, books, video games, and merchandise. This franchise’s popularity and status in horror history would seem to be a major contributor to the mythos of Friday the 13th.
In honor of Friday the 13th, we have put together a list of some spooks and haunts from right here in the Central Valley. As you can see below, there may be more out there than meets the eye.
One early morning a Fresno man was woken up by his barking dogs. In his cameras, he catches a glimpse of a mysterious figure named the Fresno Nightcrawler. Years later the same strange figures were reportedly caught in Yosemite National Park. The figure has been featured in many paranormal series through the years.
UFO in Kerman
In 1978, a Kerman police officer saw what he thought was a large fire. When he got closer he claimed to have seen a circular type of thing, similar to a round fireball about 100 – 150 feet off the ground and estimated about 25 by 50 feet in size. The incident allegedly caused burns on his body that a private doctor said appeared to have been caused by high-intensity fluorescent pipe lights or a gamma ray.
This famous Cryptid has had many different names from Bigfoot to Sasquatch to Yeti. While the search for the creature has many people looking in Washington state, California has the second most credible bigfoot sightings in the country, according to the Bigfoot Researchers Organization. Some have even claimed to have seen him in Yosemite, leading to many searches in the area.
One of the most infamous haunted locations in the Central Valley was torn down in November 2014: Wolfe Manor. Built in 1922, it became a sanitarium that housed patients dying from tuberculosis (according to the Travel Channel). In 1942 it took on a new role serving the both mentally and physically ill. In 1997 it was purchased with the intent of creating a Halloween-themed attraction. However, it is said that dark spirits often harassed and appeared in front of staff.
The mischievous and sometimes dangerous creatures have been said to terrorize families in the past, including a family in Porterville that supposedly had an encounter with an evil gnome that was featured in the show “Monsters and Mysteries in America.” They were one of two families that were said to be affected by the supposed creature.
While it may seem like everything around us is fairly mundane, we might just need to look a little closer, especially on a Friday the 13th.