Lucky Number Thirteen?

photo from Pixabay

By Lois Winston

Triskaidekaphobia is defined as the fear or avoidance of the number thirteen. There are some people so paranoid about the number that they won’t live on the thirteenth floor of a building. Many hotels completely skip the thirteenth floor, going from the twelfth to the fourteenth because people will often refuse to stay in a room on the thirteenth floor.

I was born on the thirteenth. Maybe that’s why I’m not a superstitious person. I’d hate to go through life thinking my entire existence has been cursed ever since I couldn’t hold out another twenty minutes before making my way down the birth canal.

Truthfully, I’ve never given much thought to the so-called unlucky number. I also don’t avoid black cats, knock on wood, or toss spilled salt over my shoulder. However, I’ve been thinking a good deal about whether I should worry because my upcoming new release is the thirteenth book in my Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery Series. Sorry, Knot Sorry is currently on preorder and will release June 4th. Suddenly, I’m keeping my fingers crossed (LOL!) that none of my readers suffer from Triskaidekaphobia.

The origin of the unlucky thirteen is often traced to both Christianity and Norse mythology. At the Last Supper on Good Friday, Judas Iscariot, the apostle who betrayed Jesus, was the thirteenth guest to arrive. Likewise, the god Loki was the thirteenth guest at the feast of Valhalla. After arriving, he tricked another guest into killing the god Baldur.

However, in some cultures, the number thirteen is considered lucky. Prior to World War I, thirteen was considered a lucky number in France. The numeral was a good luck symbol often found on postcards and charms. Thirteen is also considered lucky in Italy where it’s thought to bring prosperity and good fortune, especially when it comes to gambling. The same is true in Spain. In Egypt, it’s associated with prosperity and blessings.

Although many countries have a negative reaction to the number thirteen, quite a few have mixed feelings about it, and many simply view the number as ordinary and free of any superstition.

What about you? Are you superstitious? Post a comment for a chance to win a promo code for a free audiobook download of any one of the first nine Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries.


Sorry, Knot Sorry (preorder now, on sale 6/4)

An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery, Book 13

Magazine crafts editor Anastasia Pollack may finally be able to pay off the remaining debt she found herself saddled with when her duplicitous first husband dropped dead in a Las Vegas casino. But as Anastasia has discovered, nothing in her life is ever straightforward. Strings are attached. Thanks to the success of an unauthorized true crime podcast, a television production company wants to option her life—warts and all—as a reluctant amateur sleuth.

Is such exposure worth a clean financial slate? Anastasia isn’t sure, but at the same time, rumors are flying about layoffs at the office. Whether she wants national exposure or not, Anastasia may be forced to sign on the dotted line to keep from standing in the unemployment line. But the dead bodies keep coming, and they’re not in the script.

Craft tips included.


USA Today and Amazon bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and nonfiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery Series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is a former literary agent and an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry. Learn more about Lois and her books at her website where you can also sign up for her newsletter and follow her on various social media sites.

16 replies
  1. Brooke Terpening
    Brooke Terpening says:

    Does calling the 13th floor the 14th change its numerical order? I’ve often pondered this while riding in an elevator. It’s like calling a cat a dog and expecting to have it fetch your slippers and newspapers 🙂 And your thirteenth book will be awesome! Can’t wait.

  2. Gay Yellen
    Gay Yellen says:

    I once lived on the 13th floor of a high rise. Fortunately, we managed to escape bad luck before we moved to another one, which skips from 12 to 14. Though we live above that, I wonder if any resident on 14 worries about the superstition, because, in reality, it’s still the 13th level.

    • Lois Winston
      Lois Winston says:

      Gay, as I said to Brooke, it’s mind over matter for some people. You can convince yourself of anything. 😉

  3. Donnell Ann Bell
    Donnell Ann Bell says:

    I’m currently reading number 13 and if superstitious people refrain for buying for this reason, it’s their loss. What a fabulous read. Can’t put it down — well if I didn’t have these darn doctor’s appointments.

  4. Saralyn
    Saralyn says:

    I think your book is safe. And if you were born on the 13th, the number is a lucky number for you. (That’s how I’ve always heard the superstition ‘rules.’) So Sorry, Not Sorry is poised to be your luckiest book yet! Happy book launch to you and Anastasia!

    • Lois Winston
      Lois Winston says:

      Thanks, Kathleen! I had heard at some point that the superstition also had something to do with the Knights Templar, that there were thirteen murdered. I’d have to look it up to verify, though.

  5. Barb Eikmeier
    Barb Eikmeier says:

    Good luck with your book launch. In South Korea 13 was considered lucky while four was the unlucky number. Elevators in high rises listed an F in place of the number four for the fourth floor. But for those Koreans who weren’t superstitious the rent was cheaper on the fourth floor! Fun post.

  6. Lois Winston
    Lois Winston says:

    Barb, I guess it pays not to be superstitious in Korea. I wonder if rents are cheaper on the thirteenth floor in high-rises in the US and other countries where thirteen is considered an unlucky number, whether they label the thirteenth floor or skip to fourteen.

  7. Susan Oleksiw
    Susan Oleksiw says:

    I don’t know about readers but I know lots of writers were superstitious. Some won’t start work without a special pen, or a certain time on the clock, or papers arranged a certain way. We are at the core desperate for certainty and success, so we use our quirky superstitions to help us along. And no, I wont’ tell you what mine are. I’m sure your 13th book, Lois, will be a success. My reordered desk tells me so.

    • Lois Winston
      Lois Winston says:

      Thanks, Susan. Baseball players are also extremely superstitious. I’m sure there’s a certain percentage of people in every walk of life who are. Whatever helps you get through the day, right?

  8. Mary Beth Magee
    Mary Beth Magee says:

    Lois, you always come up with the most fascinating blog topics! What a treat. Since I’m a New Orleans native, I grew up with plenty of stories of superstition, including the infamous gris-gris. But I think I prefer my superstitions in food form, as in eating hopping john (blackeyed peas and rice) and greens on New Year’s Day to insure good luck and prosperity in the upcoming year. Could be why I’ve fought a weight problem all my life, LOL!

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