October 13, 2017


Who’s afraid of the number 13? 

Well for starters, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was so afraid of the number 13 that he refused to travel on that day of the month and refused to sit with 13 people at a table. So much for the great man’s famous quotation “We have nothing to fear but fear itself”.

According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, printed mention of the fear of 13 dates back only to the late 1800s but “by 1911, it was prevalent enough to merit a name. The Greek word for “thirteen” – treiskaideka was attached to phobia (“fear of”) to create “triskaidekaphobia”

Adding Friday to the equation makes the fear of 13 even more pronounced. Friday is considered to be an unlucky day by many people possibly because it is believed that Jesus was crucified on a Friday.

Triskaidekaphobia has proven to have a negative effect on business because some people delay doing business on the 13th of any month (believe it or not, Henry Ford was one such person). Statistics indicate that there is a high rate of absenteeism on the 13th and less people take commercial flights on that date.

Additional Friday the 13th trivia:    

  • Napoleon Was a triskaidekaphobiac but that phobia was not quite as intense as his fear of open doors and his Ailurophobia’(fear of cats).
  • According to livescience.com, triskaidekaphobiacs in France can hire a quatorzieme, a professional 14th (No word if President Roosevelt availed himself of this service.)
  • 40 percent of real estate agents say that houses that have 13 in their address are difficult to sell – and often must be sold at a discounted price.
  • Formula-1 cars cannot bear the number 13.

On a final note, President Roosevelt died in 1945 on Thursday, April 12. “He avoided traveling to the beyond on the 13th,” joked Bob Clark, head archivist at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum.

Have a great weekend and If you have a spare moment check-out our recent blog on the Black Dot Messaging Website: Finding the Perfect Customer


Best Regards,


Ted Curtin