Today is the day for paraskavedekatriaphobiacs.

As irrational as it is, many people harbor a little phobia here and there. Today is one of the biggies:


Now for be it for me to cast aspersions to those who give some credence to this being a not-so-lucky day. I have to admit that I don’t tempt fate when it comes to today, or even with events centered around the number 13.

For me I will NEVER sit in row 13 on a plane. I know it’s stupid and irrational, but I feel more comfortable in row 12 or 14. Those of us who don’t tempt fate are not exactly alone:

  • I have seen buildings where the floors run 12, 12A, 14, or 12 then 14
  • Some sailors will not sail on the 13th
  • Many cities do not have a 13th Street
  • Continental and Alitalia airlines have no row 13 on their planes
  • How many players wear 13 on their uniforms?
  • The Mesopotamian Code of Hammurabi (ca. 1760 BC) omits 13 in its numbered list
  • Remember Apollo 13?

Phobias are part of the human condition and are as varied as there are people – a short list from Anxiety, Panic and Health:

  • Achluophobia or Scotophobia — Fear of darkness
  • Acrophobia — Fear of heights.
  • Aichmophobia — Fear of needles or pointed objects.
  • Amaxophobia — Fear of riding in a car
  • Arachnephobia or Arachnophobia — Fear of spiders
  • Aviophobia, Aviatophobia or Pteromerhanophobia — Fear of flying
  • Brontophobia, Ceraunophobia or Keraunophobia — Fear of thunder and lightning
  • Claustrophobia — Fear of confined spaces
  • Cynophobia — Fear of dogs or rabies
  • Dermatophobia — Fear of skin lesions or cuts
  • Hydrophobia or Potamophobia — Fear of water, rivers or running water
  • Ophidiophobia — Fear of snakes
  • Hemophobia, Hemaphobia or Hematophobia — Fear of blood
  • Insectophobia — Fear of insects
  • Kenophobia — Fear of voids or empty spaces
  • Lygophobia — Fear of darkness
  • Musophobia or Muriphobia — Fear of mice
  • Oneirophobia — Fear of dreams
  • Pathophobia or Bacteriophobia — Fear of bacteria, germs or disease
  • Somniphobia — Fear of sleep
  • Spermatophobia or Spermophobia — Fear of germs
  • Stenophobia — Fear of narrow things or places
  • Triskaidekaphobia or Terdekaphobia — Fear of the number 13

I would add to this list:

  • BSODiphobia – Fear of Windows choking
  • Linuxophobia – Fear of Linux taking market share from Windows; very common among Microsoft employees
  • W7updateiphobia – Fear of having to redo everything to move from XP to Windows 7
  • Vistaphobia – Fear of installing an OS and having nothing work right
  • Malusdomesticaphobia – Fear of non-Windows OSs
  • Fenestraephobia – Fear of Windows OSs

These are relatively new to the scene but in some cases quite debilitating. For an extensive list of phobias see The Phobia List – incredible!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to throw salt over my shoulder while circling a four leaf clover four times.

About Joe Citarella 242 Articles
Joe Citarella was one of the founders of in 1998. He contributed as a site administrator and writer for over 10 years before retiring. Joe played an integral part in building and sustaining the community.

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