Do you fear Friday the 13th? If so, this has not been a good year for you because there have been three of them (including today). Most years have either one or two months with a Friday that falls on the 13th. This year we had three because it also happened in consecutive months in February and March.  The good news for those who are superstitious is that next year, we’ll only have one Friday the 13th month and we won’t see another three month year until 2026.

So what is it about the number 13 that some people fear?  Some say it goes back to the Bible. There were 13 people at the Last Supper and some say Judas, who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th person at the table. Others say it’s because it’s one number more than the perfect number ‘12’. There are 12 months in a year, 12 hours in a clock, 12 zodiac signs, etc.

There’s even a fancy word for the fear of the number 13… triskaidekaphobia. It’s a Greek word and it breaks down like this: tris means ‘three’, kai mean ‘and’, deka means ‘ten’ and phobia means ‘fear’.

The fear has become a part of our everyday culture. Some buildings, along with their elevators, don’t have a 13th floor. Some hotels don’t have a room #13 and some planes don’t have a 13th row. Studies have shown about 10% of Americans are superstitious about the number 13.

As for Friday, it’s considered to be an unlucky day in some cultures, some say due to the fact that Jesus was crucified on a Friday. So when you combine the two…13 and Friday…well, that’s when the double-whammy of bad luck hits.

Personally, I’ve never been freaked out by the number 13 and Friday has always been one of my favorite days of the week. However I do have one strange phobia. I have a fear of misspelling the word “triskaidekaphobia”. I usually have to triple-check to make sure I got it right. (Probably less than .001% of people share my unusual fear).