Friday the 13th: why people are afraid of this date

What is this phobia associated with and what other numbers are disliked around the world?

Photo: © Global Look Press/Christoph Soeder

Read in

Many people believe in omens associated with Friday the 13th. Some, not wanting to run into trouble, try not to leave the house on this day. A phobia associated with the fear of this date is called paraskavedekatriaphobia. But there are also people who are fundamentally afraid of the number 13 – triskaidekaphobes. Which famous people suffered from a similar disease? Why is the number 13 considered extremely unlucky in many European cultures? And what other numbers are residents of different countries afraid of? We tell you in the material REN TV.

Fatal number 13: the history of superstition

In many European cultures, the number 13 is considered extremely unfavorable, but researchers have still not come to a consensus on the origin of triskaidekaphobia.

The first mention of the fear of the number 13 can be found in Scandinavian mythology. According to legend, 12 gods were invited to a feast in Valhalla. But the god of wrath, Loki, was not among those invited. Then Loki got angry and snuck into the celebration, becoming the 13th. This led to disastrous consequences for the Scandinavian Olympus: a war broke out, as a result of which everyone’s favorite, the god of spring and light Balder, died.

In Ancient Egypt, the number 13 meant “death”, and in the Tarot deck, card XIII signifies demise. According to the myths about the god Ra, the soul must go through 13 stages of its development: 12 during life and the 13th after death.

Photo: © Global Look Press/Christian Ohde/face to face

In Christianity, the fear of the number 13 is associated with a religious story about Jesus Christ and his apostles. According to the New Testament, the 13th at the Last Supper was Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Christ. Hence the superstition that you should not gather 13 people at the dinner table. In France, there is even a tradition of “hiring” the 14th guest if there are 13 guests.

How the number 13 is avoided in different countries

Many European and American homes and hotels do not have the number 13 – the 12th house is usually followed by 12A, 12B or 14. In addition, some hotels do not have the 13th floor and room number 13, and restaurants do not have tables numbered 13.

Some airlines exclude No. 13 from seat numbering on passenger aircraft. Due to the superstition of American pilots, the United States never had an F-13 fighter; the 12th model was immediately followed by the 14th.

The Apollo 13 spacecraft, launched on April 11, 1970 at 13:13, is the only manned spacecraft to experience a major accident on board. The ship was supposed to enter lunar orbit on April 13.

Photo: © Wikimedia Commons

Known triskaidekaphobes

Many famous people have suffered from triskaidekaphobia. For example, the leader of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler and the Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg. The latter was born on April 13 and all his life he considered this a bad omen. Schoenberg was terribly afraid of his 76th birthday (which fell on Friday, July 13, 1951) because these numbers add up to the notorious number 13. According to legend, on the day of his 76th birthday, the composer lay in bed, preparing for his supposed death. His wife tried to persuade him to get up and “stop this nonsense,” and imagine her shock when he just uttered the word “harmony” and died. Schoenberg died at 11:47 p.m., 13 minutes before midnight.

Due to superstitions, American bard John Mayer released the album “Room for Squares” with 14 songs, although the 13th is only 0.2 seconds long and is silence. In the same way, the number 13 is neglected by the band Hot Hot Heat with the album “Elevator”: the 13th track does not appear in the list of songs, and in the recording it is replaced by 4 seconds of various noises.

They also try to avoid the number 13 in sports circles. Thus, the Spanish motorcycle racer Angel Nieto won 13 world championships and claimed that he had 12 + 1 victories. The film about his life is called “12 + 1”.

Photo: © Wikimedia Commons/Nationaal Archief

Paraskavedekatriaphobia: fear of Friday the 13th

Fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskevedekatriaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobia. The coincidence of Friday with the 13th of any month is considered a bad omen among many nations, but today there is no reliable information about when the myth of “Black Friday the 13th” arose. Some researchers believe that the sign appeared at the turn of the 19th-20th centuries from the fusion of two superstitions about the unfavorability of Friday and the number 13 – if the 13th falls on a Friday, then the chances of trouble supposedly double.

In addition, many tragic events occurred on Friday the 13th. The most famous is the persecution of representatives of the Knights Templar by the Inquisition of the Catholic Church. On Friday, October 13, 1307, King Philip IV of France ordered the arrest and burning at the stake of all Knights of the Templar Order accused of heresy and sodomy. This event became one of the black pages in the history of France.

There are many Christian allusions associated with the phrase “Friday the 13th”: Jesus Christ was crucified on Friday, the Day of the Lord’s Passion fell on the 13th according to the lunar calendar, the 13th chapter of the Gospel of John speaks of the betrayal of Judas, and the 13th chapter The Apocalypse is about the Antichrist.

Cinema also intensified fears of Friday the 13th. The number 13 can be found in the titles of some films, one of which is called “Friday the 13th”.

Photo: © New Line Cinema/ZUMA Press/Global Look Press

Movie “Friday the 13th”

The main character of Friday the 13th, Jason Voorhees, drowned in a lake at the age of 11 while vacationing at the Crystal Lake summer camp. On Friday the 13th, the day of his death, he comes to life and begins to take revenge. A maniac in a hockey mask stalks his victims and deals bloodily with them. A total of 12 films were made:

  • “Friday the 13th”, 1980;
  • “Friday the 13th – Part 2”, 1981;
  • “Friday the 13th – Part 3”, 1982;
  • “Friday the 13th – Part 4: The Final Chapter”, 1984;
  • “Friday the 13th – Part 5: A New Beginning”, 1985;
  • “Friday the 13th – Part 6: Jason Lives”, 1986;
  • “Friday the 13th – Part 7: New Blood”, 1988;
  • “Friday the 13th – Part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan”, 1989;
  • “Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday”, 1993;
  • “Jason X”, 2001;
  • “Freddy vs. Jason”, 2003;
  • “Friday the 13th”, 2009.

but on the other hand

At the same time, for many people the number 13 is lucky. For example, German footballer Michael Ballack and his Uruguayan colleague Sebastian Abreu, as well as Italian footballer Alessandro Nesta, played under number 13 for clubs and national teams for most of their careers. Canadian basketball player Steve Nash spent almost his entire NBA career wearing jersey number 13.

Photo: © TASS/Paul Kitagaki Jr./Sacramento Bee/

Superstitions associated with other numbers

In addition to the number 13, there are many other numbers that residents of different countries fear:

  • 4 – In Chinese, “four” sounds very similar to “death”, so this number is considered a cursed number. Many Chinese buildings do not have a fourth floor. Fear of the number 4 is called tetraphobia;
  • 7 – In many cultures, seven is considered a lucky number, but in China it is called a symbol of anger and death. The seventh month in the Chinese calendar is called the “Ghost Month”;
  • 9 – Just like “four” sounds like “death” in Chinese, “nine” sounds like “suffering” in Japanese;
  • 17 is an unlucky number for Italians. The number XVII, written in Roman numerals, can be converted to VIXI, which means “my life is over.” In addition, the number 17 is considered unlucky, since February 17 is the day the global flood began;
  • 39 – The supposed “curse of 39” forces residents of Afghanistan, especially its capital, to avoid this number at all costs. There is a version that the dislike for him is connected with the ancient abjad calculus. Afghans avoid the number 39 on car license plates, mobile and home phone numbers, and even building addresses;
  • 666 – “The Number of the Beast” from the revelations of John the Theologian still evokes strong emotions to this day. The fear of this number even has its own name – hexakosioyhexekontahexaphobia.

Source: Ren TV


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *