Who would have thought that something as innocent as numbers could cause such a stir, but there are some people who will do anything in their power to avoid a certain digit. Of course, the number 13 is a favorite amongst the superstitious. In this article, you will learn more about some of the most feared number in history and the world.
Fear of the Number 13
The number 13 has always been a scary number for many people ”“ whether you believe Friday the 13th is an unlucky day or not. However, the number is more powerful than you think. There are actually some buildings that won’t label the 13th floor. The fear of the number 13 is called tridecaphobia, tredecaphobia or triskaidekaphobia. People with this phobia are fearful of any situation that includes the number 13. It could range from visiting a house numbered 13 to getting a grocery store receipt with the number.
Fear of Friday the 13th
One of the most feared days of the year is Friday the 13th and on this day, stress levels are high. An intense fear of this historical day is called friggatriskaidekaphobia. People consider it highly unlucky to do important things on this date ”“ from going on a job interview to going on an airplane ride. Those truly fearful of the day won’t even get out of bed on Friday the 13th. According to National Geographic News, it is said that about an estimated $800 to $900 million is lost in business on Friday the 13th.
Interesting events that have taken place on Friday the 13th include:
”¢ January 13, 1939 ”“ The single worst bushfire in Australian history in Victoria, Australia. Seventy-one people died and a great deal of damage was sustained.
”¢ March 13, 1964 ”“ The murder of Kitty Genovese occurred in Queens, NY, which received national attention because the lack of reaction by her neighbors most likely played a role in her death.
”¢ November 13, 1998 ”“ The son of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau (Michel Trudeau) was killed in an avalanche in British Columbia.
”¢ August 13, 2004 ”“ The strongest hurricane to hit the United States since 1992 touched down in Southwest Florida. It was a Category 4 hurricane named Charley that directly killed 15 people and indirectly killed 20. The total damage that the hurricane caused was $16.3 billion.
”¢ April 13, 2012 ”“ An earthquake with a 4.3 magnitude hits Palermo, Sicily, Italy at 8:30 a.m. On this same day, a tornado traveled through Oklahoma at 4 p.m.
Fear of the Number 4
The number 13 is not the only feared digit in the world. For people living in East Asian and Southeast Asian regions, it is the number 4 that they tend to avoid. This superstition is called tetraphobia, and is mostly seen in China, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and Taiwan. It is not uncommon to see apartment houses and parking lots skip the number four. In Korea, hospitals have been known to skip the identification of the fourth floor. Military aircrafts in China will start their numbering at five to avoid the number 4.
In the article , “Interesting Phobias ”“ Death-Related Fears,” you will learn about another infamous number that scares the heck out of people.