What is Triskaidekaphobia?

Triskaidekaphobia is a common fear of the numeric figure 13. The term ‘Triskaidekaphobia’, is derived by joining 3 Greek terms. ‘Tri’ means three, ‘kai’ means and, and ‘deka’ means ten. Although the term is a bit uncommon, the fear is not. There is a common superstition that number 13 is a symbol of bad luck.

This term was coined by Coriat in 1911. However, not many people knew about it. Later, in 1953, the term appeared in the New York Times on November 8.

This superstition has been into existence since many years. Most people who believe in it tend to avoid the number wherever possible. In fact, many hotels and high-rise apartments around the world have no 13th floor. Some buildings skip numbering flats as ‘13’.

However, this was not the case during the ancient era. In fact, number 13 was considered to be a positive symbol. However, a series of unfortunate events took place involving 13 people marked the beginning of this superstition. Among the very popular ones is the Last Supper of Jesus, which was attended by 13 people.

Most believers consider 13th day as the unluckiest day of the month. However, if the 13th comes on a Friday, it is considered worse. This fear of Friday the thirteenth is known as paraskevidekatriaphobia, which started becoming popular in the 18th century. Later, many publications started preaching that Friday the thirteenth would be an unlucky day to commence a business, go on a trip, go for a new job, etc. Besides, the Crucifixion had taken place on a Friday, which gives another reason for believers to strengthen their views.

Millions of people in the US seem to have Triskaidekaphobia and Paraskevidekatriaphobia. Many prefer to get home soon on the 13th of the month. And most do not step outside, if it is a Friday. Due to this belief, it is estimated that about $900 million is lost every Friday the thirteenth, since people avoid travel tours, marriages, and shopping.