Is 2013 An Unlucky Year?


Just because the year ends in a 13 doesn’t make it any more or less of an an unlucky year.

At least the Philadelphia Inquirer, reporting on the fear some superstitious people have, had the good sense to talk to Margaret Downey about it:

Triskaidekaphobia — the fear of 13 — is a dread so common that some buildings don’t label their 13th floors, some workers fall “sick” every Friday the 13th, and some passengers reschedule a flight if their only choice is a seat in the 13th row.

For Margaret Downey of Pocopson, Chester County, a self-styled “treatment nurse” with the campily named Friggatriskaidekaphobia Treatment Center, 2013 is an opportunity to “poke a little fun” while “easing anxiety through education.”

“I went to Fresh Market in Concordville the other day, and my bill came to $13.13,” Downey said Monday in an interview about 13 hours before the start of the New Year. “The cashier said, ‘Oh, my goodness, $13.13! Do you want to buy something else?’

“I just handed her my business card and said, ‘Come to one of our parties. You are way too superstitious.’”

Margaret’s group, the Freethought Society, plans to hold an Anti-Superstition Bash on the next Friday the 13th, in September.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    As a former firefighter I have stood under many ladders and I’ve stepped on plenty of cracks and never broke my mother’s back. I’ve broken a mirror, twice. I’ve opened many umbrellas inside and I love it when my total comes to 6.66 because the cashier normally freaks out. I always laugh and say, of course not when they ask me if I want to add anything to it.

    And for the 13th floor I present – Mitch Hedberg 13th Floor

  • JenniferT

    If the cashier freaks out when the total comes to 6.66, ask them for a discount.

  • ミッコ

    i have broken 13 mirrors

  • Achron Timeless

    There’s a place I grab breakfast every so often that I get a major discount at when that happens. Well, if the pentecostal girl is working anyway.

  • allein

    I broke a full-length mirror a while back. About 1/3 of it was in small enough pieces to safely put in the trash can (inside two bags, just to be sure) but the other piece was a big shard, so I brought it to my parents’ garage, put it in a heavy duty trash bag, and took a hammer to it to break it up. I managed not to injure myself or anyone else, and I was forced to vacuum my entryway, which kinda needed it. Plus, the mirror was left behind by the previous owner of my place and I didn’t really like it, and hammering it to bits felt pretty good. So all in all, I think it was pretty lucky that it happened. ;)

  • James Maehling

    If you want to talk about years being unlucky, the next year that will add up to 13 will be 2029 and will repeat every nine years after that until 2092.

  • A3Kr0n

    Just wait…

  • Pseudonym

    Either you’ve wasted a lot of perfectly good mirrors, or you’re a hoarder. I’m not sure that either of these is an improvement on being superstitious.

  • Lee Miller

    Oh no! We’re all gonna die! Oh . . . wait . . . we’re all gonna die anyway . . . never mind . . .

  • ミッコ

    it was 13 small mirrors for a mirror wall that i was building

  • Pustulio

    It’s bad luck to be superstitious.

  • JohnnieCanuck

    To be clear, 2029 will be the first year this century where the last two digits add to 13. This year doesn’t.

    Numerology is a rabbit hole many people have fallen down. Some never get out, especially the ones that make it part of a religion.

  • Bubba Tarandfeathered

    the Tibetan philosophy, Sylvia Plath sense of the word, I know we’re
    all–we’re all dying, all right? But you’re not dying the way Chloe back
    there is dying.” Tyler Durden

  • Pseudonym

    I stand corrected. Carry on!

  • TiltedHorizon

    2012 gave us two raptures, an apocalypse, and the reelection of the ‘Kenyan Muslim Socialist Antichrist Obama’. Considering the world was slatted to be demolished to facilitate the intergalactic highway construction project. And that we should all be roasting in hell, while ‘True’ Christians throw rocks at us from heaven, I’d say 2013 has been lucky so far. (Through I may be lucky solely because I know where my towel is)

  • Aguz

    I found this funny since the “unlucky” day in my country is Tuesday 13 so no one cares about Friday. lol

  • Eldoon Feeb

    However, looking back at my life, years ending in 3 haven’t been so hot.

  • Renshia

    Bad luck. Hell, after job hunting since August. I just got a new job in the exact industry I wanted, doing what I wanted, for more money than I was thought possible. I can renew my CFI membership now… I don’t know bout anyone else but, it’s off to a damn good start as far as I can tell.

    Bet that will piss a few out of work xians off.