Triskaidekaphobia is a morbid fear of the number 13 or the date Friday the 13th.
“Thirteen people, pledged to eliminate triskaidekaphobia, fear of the number 13, today tried to reassure American sufferers by renting a 13 ft plot of land in Brooklyn for 13 cents… a month.”
Daily Telegraph, January 14, 1967
Famous disaster linked to the number 13:
Apollo 13 mission, launched on April 11, 1970 (the sum of 4, 11 and 70 equals 85 – which when added together comes to 13), from Pad 39 (three times 13) at 13:13 local time, and struck by an explosion on April 13.
Triskaidekaphobia is a fairly new word (first found in print in 1911) formed from Greek treiskaideka, triskaideka, thirteen (treis, three + kai, and + deka, ten) + phobos, fear.
There are many theories about the origin of triskaidekaphobia. In medieval Christian countries the number 13 came to be considered unlucky because there were 13 persons at the Last Supper of Christ. Fridays are also unlucky, because the Crucifixion was on a Friday. Hence a Friday falling on the thirteenth day would be regarded as especially unlucky.
Some famous triskaidekaphobes:
* Herbert Hoover
* Mark Twain
* Richard Wagner
* Franklin Roosevelt