Why is number 13 considered unlucky?« Back to Questions List

Number 13 is probably the most widely accepted superstition throughout the world. 13 is a natural number after 12 and before 14. It is the smallest number with eight letters in its name spelled out in English.The number 13 is the sixth prime number, and the smallest emirp (prime which is a different prime when reversed).

number 13, superstitious

There is not an  acceptable explanation for treating 13 unlucky.Still,fear of the number 13 has a specifically recognized phobia, Triskaidekaphobia, a word which was coined in 1911.Sufferers of triskaidekaphobia try to avoid bad luck by keeping away from anything numbered or labelled thirteen. As a result, companies and manufacturers use another way of numbering or labeling, like 12 A after 12 or omitting the number 13 itself,   to avoid the number, with hotels and tall buildings being conspicuous examples.

In Christianity, the fear trace it back to the Last Supper, total 13 members were present, 12 disciples and Jesus.

On Friday 13 October 1307, King Philip IV of France ordered the arrest of the Knights Templar. The Knights Templar was the  Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon . They were among the most wealthy and powerful of the Western Christian military orders.  In 1307, many of the Order's members in France were arrested, tortured and then burned.

A year which contained 13 full moons instead of 12 posed problems for the monks who were in charge of the calendars as it upset the regular arrangement of church festivals. For this reason thirteen came to be considered an unlucky number.

But, Number 13 is being considered as a lucky number by many.Basketball great Wilt Chamberlain wore the number 13 on his jersey throughout his NBA career. Park Ji-Sung, South-Korean footballer and midfielder for Queens Park Rangers  has worn number 13. Ozzie Guillén, manager of the 2005 World Series Champion Chicago White Sox, has worn the number throughout his baseball career.American born Horror-Punk singer and musician Joseph Poole (Murderdolls) uses the name Wednesday 13 as his stage name, taking "Wednesday" from the girl Wednesday from the Addams Family and 13 from Friday the 13th.

American country-pop singer-songwriter Taylor Swift was born on December 13. She considers 13 her lucky number due to lucky events happening to her when the number appears (her first album going gold in 13 weeks, being seated at awards shows in the 13th seat, row or section). She also wears the number written on her hand at her concerts so she has it with her everywhere she goes.The heavy metal band, Megadeth, released their 13th studio album entitled TH1RT3EN on November 1, 2011. It consists of 13 tracks including the final song "13".

Colgate University also considers 13 to be a lucky number. They were founded in 1819 by 13 men with 13 dollars, 13 prayers and 13 articles. (To this day, members of the Colgate community consider the number 13 a good omen.) In fact, the campus address is 13 Oak Drive in Hamilton, New York, and the male a cappella group is called the Colgate 13.

The American flag has 13 stripes in honor of the first 13 colonies. Apollo 13 was a NASA Moon mission famous for being a "successful failure" in that while the crew were unable to land on the Moon as planned due to a technical malfunction, they were returned safely home.Apollo 13 was the seventh manned mission in the American Apollo space program and the third intended to land on the Moon. The craft was launched on April 11, 1970, at 13:13 CST from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, but the lunar landing was aborted after an oxygen tank exploded two days later, crippling the Service Module (SM) upon which the Command Module (CM) depended. Despite great hardship caused by limited power, loss of cabin heat, shortage of potable water, and  the critical need to jury-rig the carbon dioxide removal system, the crew returned safely to Earth on April 17.