Do you suffer from Triskaidekaphobia? It is also known as the fear of the number 13. We call the number 13 as unlucky thirteen but do you know why this is?
The number 13 has been known to give shivers to even the most sane amongst us. Friday the 13th is considered the unluckiest day in a year, hotels skip having a 13th floor, going straight from 12 to 14. And you know what they say happens to the first person to rise when there are 13 guests at a dinner party?
So, what scares the bejeesus out of people? We present 13 reasons why folk think that 13 is an unlucky number.
#1. There were 13 people at the Last Supper
It was Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus and he was the 13th man to take his place at the table. Many now fear that if 13 people share a meal together at a table, one of the diners will perish within a year.
#2. Similarly, there’s a Norse legend that has 12 gods sitting down to a banquet when the 13th (uninvited) god, Loki, shows up.
Loki killed one of the other gods, which led to events that eventually resulted in Ragnarok — the death of a bunch of gods, a slew of natural disasters, and the eradication of everything on earth save for two human survivors.
#3. The number 13 is an oddity
The number 12 has always seen as a sign of ‘completeness’. The Gods of Olympus were 12 in number. There are 12 hours of the clock, 12 months in a year, and 12 signs in the Zodiac. In Christianity, there are 12 apostles of Jesus. Hence, 13 is unlucky, period.
#4. TRADITIONALLY, THERE WERE 13 STEPS TO THE GALLOWS.
According to popular lore, there are 13 steps leading up to the gallows. Gallows actually varied wildly, but even then, the number was often brought up to 13. A park ranger at Fort Smith Historic Site once said, “[There were] 13 steps on the gallows—12 up, and one down.”
#5. WOMEN MENSTRUATE ROUGHLY 13 TIMES A YEAR.
Some suggest that the association with 13 being unlucky is due to women generally having around 13 menstrual cycles a year (based on a cycle length of 28 days).
#6. A WITCHES’ COVEN HAS 13 MEMBERS.
Although a coven is now considered to be any group of witches (or vampires, in some tellings), it was once believed that a coven was made up of exactly 13 members.
#7. Friday the 13th
There are several superstitions associated with the number – don’t cut your hair, don’t pass a cemetery, don’t walk under a ladder, and so on. Businesses avoid starting any fresh work on this day.
#8. Hotels refuse to have a room 13
There are many hotels that refuse to have a Room 13. The Carlton Hotel in London took it a step further and refused to have a floor 13 entirely. Similarly, you may have noticed that some planes also do not have a row 13.
#9. 13 LETTERS IN A NAME MEANS THE PERSON IS CURSED
There’s an old superstition that says if you have 13 letters in your name, you’re bound to be cursed. Silly, yes, but slightly more convincing when you consider that a number of notorious murderers’ names (Charles Manson, Jack the Ripper, Jeffrey Dahmer, Theodore Bundy, and Albert De Salvo) all contain 13 letters.
#10. ZOROASTRIAN TRADITION PREDICTS CHAOS IN THE 13TH MILLENNIUM
The ancient Persians divided history into four chunks of 3000 years. And although the exact timeframes can vary, some scholars feel that at the beginning of the 13,000th year there will be chaos as evil mounts a great battle against good (although good will eventually triumph).
#11. Tuesday the 13th is unlucky
It’s not just Friday the 13th that puts superstitious people on edge. In Spain, people believe that Tuesday the 13th brings bad luck. They are extra cautious on this day.
#12. Friday, October 13, 1972, was a bad day in the history of aviation
That’s the day that Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 infamously crashed in the Andes, killing 29 people. On the exact same day, 174 people were killed when a Soviet Aeroflot crashed in a lake about a kilometer from the runway.
#13. The execution of the Knights Templar
The mass execution of the Knights Templar – who protected the Holy Grail – began on October 13, 1307 which happened to be a Friday.