Posted: January 11, 2013
I have never been very superstitious. If a black cat crosses my path, I walk under a ladder or a pane of glass breaks in front of me, I do not believe any of those incidents have a negative impact on me. Likewise, a four-leaf clover, a horseshoe or a rabbit's foot are not things that I hold onto for good luck.
But as I researched why the number 13 has such a bad rap, I got a creepy feeling. After all, this is the year 2013, and I'm sure some people think the entire year could bring misfortune.
People who are afraid of the number 13 have triskaidekaphobia. The superstition began in Biblical times with the Last Supper. Apparently, a stigma developed after Jesus Christ sat down with his 12 disciples. Legend has it that if 13 people sit down to dinner, one will die within the year. (This phobia has nothing to do with my reasoning for not attending dinner parties, however).
For example, the number 13 is considered such a bad omen that some hotels or high-rises do not have a 13th floor. At least one airline does not offer any seats in the 13th row; and some municipalities do not list a 13th Street or 13th Avenue in their directory.
The weirdest fact about the number 13 and its association with creepiness is that serial killers Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer and Theodore Bundy all have 13 letters in their names.
If you're not sure if you are unnerved about the number 13, ask yourself how you did when there were three Friday the 13ths within six months of one another in 2012. That only happens once every 28 years. But, it should be noted that Friday the 13th occurs three times during a calendar year every 11 years.
Whether you have a phobia about the number 13 or not, it's never a good sign when the year starts off on a "fiscal cliff ". For that reason alone, it may be wise to keep a watchful eye for unusual things to occur in 2013. Either way, I wish you the best of luck this year.
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