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31 Phobias: #13 the Fear of the Number Thirteen

Updated on December 8, 2019
Most people consider the number 13 as unlucky, but there are some who consider the number very lucky
Most people consider the number 13 as unlucky, but there are some who consider the number very lucky


The Fear of the Number Thirteen

Definitely one of the most understandable but yet, one of the most mysterious when it comes to phobias. Being uncontrollably emotional when faced with the number thirteen makes most people wonder if it's more than just a phobia but a mental illness as well. It's rare, but people who suffer with Triskaidekaphobia are very much capable of "starting a scene" when it comes to this number. Triskaidekaphobiacs and those who avoid the number thirteen will go to great lengths to stay clear of the number thirteen. The number thirteen is often avoided when it comes to gambling, especially sports gambling.

Triskaidekaphobia (the extreme & irrational fear of the number thirteen) is often confused with Friggatriskaidekaphobia (the extreme & irrational fear of "Friday the Thirteenth"). These are two totally different phobias, however those with Triskaidekaphobia often do feel a bit anxious when Friday the 13th comes around. Then you have those who suffer with Friggatriskaidekaphobia and have no problem associating themselves when the number thirteen is involved. As bizarre as this must sound, it's almost understandable.

Some agree that the fear of the number thirteen has been around longer than the fear of the number six hundred and sixty-six (666). The fear of the number 666 is called Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia.

Lucky Number?

Does the number 13 make you uneasy?
Does the number 13 make you uneasy?

Unlucky 13 Origin

Why '13' is Unlucky

More people consider the number thirteen as the most unluckiest number than any other number. Here are two common and strange facts that include the number 13 that possibly helped as to why it is considered unlucky to so many people:

  • King Philip IV of France ordered the immediate arrest of the Knights Templar on Friday, October 13, 1307.
  • An oxygen tank exploded on the Apollo 13 lunar mission and then was aborted.

The number 39 is also considered an unlucky number. Only because if you multiply the number 13 three times you get 39 as the total.

The number 13 has been considered unlucky long before Jesus Christ. An old story is said that Judas was the 13th person to sit down at the Last Supper who later betrayed his Savior.

The Popularity of the Number Thirteen

Thirteen is just a Number...That's it!

A group of popular New Yorkers in 1881, led by US Civil War veteran Captain William Fowler, decided to put an end to the number 13 superstition. A dinner club was formed and which was named "The Thirteen Club". The first meeting was held on Friday, January 13, 1881, at 8:13 p.m., thirteen people sat down to dine in Room 13 of the venue. The guests literally had to walk under a ladder to enter the room. At the dinner table, there were 13 piles of spilled salt in front of each of the thirteen seats. Soon, for the next 40 years, many other Thirteen Clubs started to spring up all over North America. What they did at the previous meeting was reported in local newsletters and newspapers. Thirteen Clubs started to develop various imitators, but they all gradually faded from interest.

FACT: 5 future US presidents, from Chester A. Arthur to Theodore Roosevelt were members of the Thirteen Club


How do you feel about the number thirteen?

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2014 James Timothy Peters


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