Why the Number 13 is Sinister?

Why the number 13 is sinister? Although we live in a scientific age, some superstition beliefs continue to maintain their effects. One of them is, adoption of the number thirteen. This superstition belief seriously affects many people’s life, especially in the United States this belief turned into a phobia. For example, the cancellation of bus and plane reservations, decrease in the number of the people who go shopping or going out to the street if that day corresponding to thirteenth day of a month. Even the case is such exaggerated that, there are no any thirteenth floors in some well known hotes (they pass directly to either 12A or 14), and they do not number the door numbers with 13 in some countries. So, do you know the origin of this belief which affect the lives of many people?

As it is known, there are 13 people with Jesus in his last dinner. After that famous dinner, what happened to Jesus is also well known by everyone (to remind it briefly, Jesus’ apostle Judas betrayed Jesus which ends with crucifixion). So it is told that the belief’s origin is the Jesus’ last dinner and the number of the people who attended to it. However, this assumption may seem logical at the first glance, the jinx about the number thirteen goes back to much earlier. There is an event described in the Scandinavian mythology as follows; God Odin gives a feast for the his dead heroes where they live in eternal bliss. There are eleven people who are invited to this feast. There is also God Odin’s son Balder who organizes the feast. With him all of them equals to twelve people. But very shortly after an uninvited guest comes to the feast. This one is actually an evil spirit that led to the death of Balder. As seen in both expressions there is a betrayal of thirteen people and both betrayals end with death.

In some places there is a belief that bad things may happen to the one who leaves the table first. And in some other places there is an another belief that bad things may happen to the one who leaves the table last. In Oxfordshire, England, there is a belief that being in the same room with twelve people, especially staying close to the door while there are twelve people in the room leads to catastrophes. In each cases the number thirteen is believed to be bad luck, hoteliers are not putting the number 13 in their rooms, sailors are not leaving the harbor on the 13th day of a month.