What if on a stormy night on the highway, you find a single hotel, that is full but with only one room empty i.e. number 13? What will you do? Most of us will think twice. But with fear in mind and looking at the circumstances, we might stay. Noteworthy, we all know the reason behind this, it’s the trickery that our mind plays due to various myths and stories related to the number 13.
This abnormal fear of the number 13 is called triskaidekaphobia, one of the most common myths in science. Many people believe that 13 is an unlucky evil number. So whenever these people interact with the number 13, they are evoked by some thoughts connected to bad luck.
You might have seen, that many hotels do not have room number 13. Many apartments do not have the 13th floor, it is either skipped or named in some other way. All these are superstitious views.
It’s the 21st century and most of us still believe such spectre. But is it really a hoax or there is any source of truth behind it?
Yes, there is a lot of historical beliefs in Western culture to call number 13 “Evil”. And also some of the events in the history that added a flare to this. Let’s see some of the prominent ones:
The Myth of 13 Letters in a Name
There’s an old superstitious belief that says 13 letters in the name of a person, are bound to be cursed. Silly, yes, but slightly more convincing when you consider that a number of notorious people’s names (Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Jeffrey Dahmer, Joseph Stalin, Charles Manson, Jack the Ripper and many more) all contain 13 letters. In addition, Adolf Hitler’s baptismal name was Adolfus Hitler.
Either the Last Supper or the Crucifixion Occurred on the 13th.
There is a belief of people to call the number 13 unlucky. They believe that the Last Supper of Jesus or his crucifixion occurred on the 13th of Nisan (a month of the Jewish calendar). The Last Supper was the last dinner of Jesus.
13 people at the Last Supper
Vinci’s famous painting showed 13 people (Jesus and his 12 apostles). Judas (fourth from left) is said to have been the 13th guest at Jesus’ Last Supper. He was the traitor who deceived Jesus which led to his crucifixion.
Bible References of Number 13
In the Holy Bible, Adam and Eve fell to the devil’s temptation and ate the apple on the 13th of a month. Moreover, there’s also a story of Cain killing Adel on the 13th of a month.
The only unsuccessful mission of USA’s NASA – Apollo 13 (on its way to the moon) launched at 13.13 hours is probably the best example. There was an explosion of an oxygen tank of Apollo 13 on April 13, 1970.
12 is perfect, so number 13 must be unlucky
As we have 12 months, 12 zodiac signs, and a 12-hour clock too. People believe that a single addition to this perfect ‘12’ equation may unbalance the equation in the universe.
Alexander the 13th God
Alexander wanted to be the 13th God and as a result, made the 13th statue on the place of his capital. Instead, he died and people started believing that his will to be the 13th God (12 gods, one for each month) resulted in his death. This also led to the belief in the unlucky number 13.
In the ancient Egyptian culture, number 13 points towards immortality or death. It also indicates the end of life or afterlife. In Egyptian mythology, there are 13 steps on the ladder, which leads to eternity.
In the Persian myth, each month is associated with a constellation, and these constellations rule for thousand years. After the twelve constellations, they assumed that there would be chaos and connected it to the number 13.
Friday the 13th
Paraskevidekatriaphobia is a term for the fear of Friday the 13th, has its origin in many countries. A notable one is of Friday, October 13, in 1307, France’s King Philip IV ordered the arrest of 13 men from the Knights Templar, a monastic order. This put an end to the order. Could it just be an utter coincidence?
13th Tarot Card
In the tarot card reading, the number 13 symbolizes death, loss, and destruction. However, it could also mean the death of a suffering or a new beginning.
In Greek culture, they consider 13 as unlucky but rather they believe in Tuesday the 13th instead of Friday the 13th. It was due to the fall of Constantinople to the Fourth Crusade occurred on Tuesday, April 13, 1204
Other Terrible Events
Some of the very terrible events that happened on the 13th added flair to this superstitious belief. Noteworthy events are- the Black Friday fires, the bombing of Buckingham Palace, the Death of Princess Diana, Kitty Genovese’s murder, the death of Tupac, a deadly cyclone in Bangladesh, the Kansas floods, a freak blizzard in Buffalo, NY.
It might be goosebumping, but there are many positive sides of this belief. There are many famous people like Taylor Swift etc born on 13. In addition, there are many positive sides in Eastern countries like India, Thailand, China etc.
The 13th day of any month is an extremely auspicious day according to Hinduism. According to the Hindu calendar, the 13th day is Trayodashi ( a day for Lord Shiva). The Pradosh vrat of Lord Shiva usually falls on the 13th day of the month. In addition, on the 13th night of the Magha month, Hindus celebrate sacred and holy, Maha Shivaratri. Moreover, Thai people celebrate their New Year on the 13th of April and also, and Buddhists pay homage to 13 Buddhas which is a sacred thing. So, it’s up to us to call it a lucky or an unlucky number.
So do you think number 13 is unlucky? Share your opinion and experiences with us.