Are you afraid to step out of your house on the 13th day of the month? Or you changed your flat to avoid the “ Unlucky” number 13”? Then you’re more likely to be a Triskadekaphobe!
Triskaidekaphobia is fear or avoidance of number 13. The most common cause of the deeply rooted fear of number 13 is due to traditions as well as its Biblical association. It is also believed that a negative or traumatic event occurring in someone’s life on the 13th day of the month might also trigger Triskaidekaphobia. People already suffering from anxiety or panic disorders are more likely to experience it.
The question is, what made humans vulnerable to the fear of number 13? Here is a list of fascinating reasons that makes the number 13 unique and different from others.
The Last Supper: It is believed that 13 people attended the historical Last Supper before the crucifixion of Jesus. Some speculated that Judas being the 13th person sitting on the table betrayed Jesus. This made the consumption of bread and wine, especially on Maundy Thursday, a prevalent tradition among the Christians. One of the greatest controversies surrounding the Last Supper is whether or not it was a Passover meal.
“13” steps to the Gallows: When executions were public, the last one took place in 1936 people crowded the gallows to watch. Charlie Birger, accused of murdering the mayor of a local town, smiled at the crowd as he took last 13 steps to his death. If we look closely at old photos of public hangings, you will often count 13 steps to the gallows.
The perfect 12: It is believed that the phobia of number 13 is caused by it being an irrational number and 12 being the number of perfection. There are 12 months in a year, 12 zodiacs, and 12 hours.
Friday the 13th: No one is sure where the origin of the fear of Friday comes from. It can be based on the belief that Jesus was crucified on a Friday. Thus the day 13 being a Friday is considered especially unlucky. The term for fear of Friday the 13th is paraskevidekatriaphobia.
Room number 13? A big No!: The fear of the number 13 is also taken into account by airlines and hotels since many refuse to use this number while numbering their aisles, floors, rooms etc. Movies, news reports, and books on this topic all enhance this fear. One analyst claims that around a billion dollars a year are lost as people choose not to do business on Friday the 13th.
13 letters together– cursed name: According to an old superstition, if you have 13 letters in your name, you’re bound to be cursed. It becomes more convincing because several notorious murderers’ names contain 13 letters. Even Adolf Hitler’s baptismal name was Adolfus Hitler, consisting of 13 letters.
A “coven” has 13 members: A coven is considered a group of witches or vampires and it is believed to be made up of exactly 13 members.