Triskaidekaphobia: Fear of the Unlucky Number 13

Tiffi AlarieRandom Fun, True HorrorLeave a Comment

Trigger warnings for: triskaidekaphobia, the number thirteen.

Have you jumped on the Friday the 13th bandwagon–complete with loose screws and flattening tires? Take a look in all thirteen shards of the mirror you just shattered, and ask yourself why. (Actually, no–you should probably get that cleaned up first. We can wait.)

(Gif credit:

Once we grow out of the doe-eyed, inquisitive children we all once were, we no longer question such things. We know that that heinous day and date gives some the willies, and that’s just how it is. Always has been, as far back as we can recall.

Clearly, it’s coined as bad luck–and that is not news. Be it a laughable rumor or validated dread, every member of our culture (and many others, since the nineteenth century) have been made aware of the whyfor.

But those who fear the infamous anti-holiday the most aren’t animal shelter volunteers who just received a truckload of black cats, nor those who commute beneath ladders. Hell, it’s not even the campers up at Crystal Lake (Okay–so maybe they’re tied).

It’s those who suffer from triskaidekaphobia: the literal fear of the number thirteen.

That’s a tongue twister. Photo cred: Empire International Studios

And we aren’t here to pass judgment. This is the horror community: a kinship who’d swim through a heap of intestines with glee, like the ball pit at a McDonald’s–yet, some of whom would still piss their pants at the sight of a porcelain doll.

And that’s okay! Unpleasant, albeit, but perfectly fine. We cannot handpick our phobias. If we could, we would all be impenetrable, after all–and this entire genre would never have seen the light of day.

But with an estimated some seventeen to twenty-one million people being affected, this phobia should be further explored.

Triskaidekaphobia on the 13th floor.


It gets debilitating: to the point where some victims will refuse to leave the safety of their beds, let alone operate heavy machinery, such as a car.

Wikipedia actually notes that, ironically enough, it’s actually safer to drive on Friday the 13th in the Netherlands, likely because so few people will be on the road. (And while Wiki can be edited by anyone, it’s doubtful that Jason Vorhees is all that tech savvy. Then again, he did go to space–and that’s more than most hackers can say.)

Some avoid the airways as well, rescheduling their flights to dodge the risks of the impending day.

They’ll engage in fewer business pursuits.

Finland even has what’s called “National Accident Day,” which–likely deliberately–always falls on a Friday the 13th.

The suspected origins of the fear seem to lie in religion. Judas was the alleged thirteenth guest to pull up a chair at The Last Supper, as was Norse god Loki the thirteenth guest to arrive at the funeral for a murder which he was said to be behind.

Ye olde fear-mongers likely preyed on the over thinkers of their time, who weren’t yet capable of knowing much better. (And, no… over thinkers has twelve letters.) The fear likely spread like a brush fire.

Every person affected likely has their own reasons–and some may not be consciously able to pinpoint their personal cause. But no matter the root of it, their fear–like every fear–is entirely valid. Work through it once you are able, friends. But until then, perhaps root for Freddy.

Gif credit: New Line Cinema, Crystal Lake Entertainment

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