Triscaidecaphobia What is it and how to overcome it?

David Holt

The triscaidecaphobia It is the irrational and uncontrollable fear of the number 13. It produces in people who suffer from it anxiety, tachycardia or fear of seeing or thinking about the number 13. It can be developed by some popular belief, superstition or negative experience.

Number 13 is popularly believed to bring bad luck. It is a superstition that of course has no scientific basis whatsoever. A number in itself cannot have negative effects on people's lives.

Article index

  • 1 Origin
    • 1.1 Norse mythology
    • 1.2 Templars
  • 2 Symptoms
  • 3 Facts about triscaidecaphobia
  • 4 Treatment
  • 5 The 13th can bring good luck too


However, the myth that thirteen brings bad luck has very ancient origins, it seems. As you will see below, there are various theories about it.

One of the best known is that of the Last Supper of Jesus, who on his last night alive dined with his 12 apostles, totaling 13 people at the table. Hours later, Jesus would be arrested and executed, according to the biblical story that all Christians know.

Norse mythology

But it is believed that the myth of the number 13 could also have its origins in other cultures, before the Christian one. According to the Norse mythology of the Vikings, twelve gods were invited to a great banquet in Valhalla.

But Loki, the god of fights and evil, also sneaked into the meeting, so that the number of those present at the table rose to thirteen. In the fight to expel Loki from the dinner, Balder, one of the most esteemed gods, died..

This is one of the oldest references to bad luck brought by the number thirteen. It is likely that from Scandinavia this myth has spread to southern Europe, later transferring to Christianity.


Another important event that may have contributed to the bad reputation of number 13 was the capture and death of the Templars, who were sacrificed at the stake on Friday, October 13, 1307..

It is said that that day, the last great Templar named Jaques de Molay, being already at the stake, summoned Pope Clement V and King Philip IV of France to the court of God, who had ordered the destruction of the Order of the Temple..

In less than a year, they both died, just as the last great Templar had requested or predicted..


A person with triscaidecaphobia may have, when seeing or thinking about the number 13, the following symptoms:




-Panic disorder.

Facts about triscaidecaphobia

According to the data collected by a researcher named Donald Dossey, there existed in France a group of noble people called the “quatorziennes”, that is, the “fourteenths”, who were people who attended dinners, meetings or other events as the fourteenth guest, when for some reason someone canceled their attendance and only thirteen people would attend the celebration.

Currently, there are many important international companies, such as hotel chains or airlines, that favor triscaidecaphobics by avoiding the number thirteen in their rooms or in the rows of seats on their planes..

For example, in Iberia aircraft, the rows of seats go from 12 to 14 directly, and the same happens in Alitalia, Copa Airlines and Emirates.

In many hotels there is no 13th floor, no rooms with that number, and even in some cities there are no streets or avenues with the "damn" number.

So that you can see more examples that indicate how deeply rooted this concept is, in Madrid there is no bus line number thirteen, in many portals this number is avoided and in Formula One races (as well as in many other automobile or motorcycling events ), no competitor is assigned the 13.


There are those who try to avoid the bad luck number always and on any occasion, but if for some reason they cannot avoid it, they tolerate the discomfort..

But as with any other phobia, there are people who can present a significant picture of anxiety when encountering the number thirteen, with sweating, tachycardia or chest pain, such as in a panic attack.

If you are in the first group, then you probably don't need any treatment. You just avoid the number (many hotels, buildings and transport companies will help you) and that's it.

But if you really have a phobia, then it is best that you seek professional help. Psychological therapies can be very helpful, and medication to control anxiety may also be helpful..

As with all phobias, gradually tackling the reason for your phobia is a good way to start overcoming the problem. Specifically this technique can help you.

Another tool that you can use is to write what you think about this number and then try to change these irrational and negative thoughts for others, more reasonable and positive..

Deep breathing, yoga, or meditation techniques can be helpful in managing your anxiety when you accidentally bump into the "bad luck" number..

The 13th can bring good luck too

As if to counter the myth, there are many professional athletes who believe that the number thirteen can bring good luck..

This is the case of basketball players Steve Nash and Wilt Chamberlain. The former has always considered 13 a lucky number and has worn it on his jersey on every team he has played for except the Los Angeles Lakers, where he wears 10, because jersey 13 was removed after Chamberlain left. of the team.

In the German national soccer team, the team's star has worn number 13 for several decades now. This trend began with Gerd Müller in the 1970s, and continued with Michael Ballack and Thomas Müller..

As you can see, thirteen can actually also be considered a good luck number, although it is probably not one or the other..

If you really have a bad time with this number, follow the advice in this article and you will surely get over it..

And do you have Triscaidecaphobia? What is he assuming in your life?

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