One of the most widespread superstitions is that thirteen is unlucky,and so generalis this idea that many hotels do not have a room number thirteen. Some people will not start a trip on the 13th day of the month,especially if it happens to be a Friday. Various explanations have been given as to the origin ofthis superstition. The most popular explanation that there were thirteen persons at the Last Supper, Judas being frequently represented as the thirteen. The superstition about the number thirteen is universal. We can find it in France, England, throughout almost the whole of Europe, and in America. It has long been a matter of etiquette in France to avoid having exactly thirteen guests at a dinner or party, and the person who is invited to fill the fourteenth seat at the table is usually known as quatorizieme.
The English writer Addison, who wrote early in the 18th century, tells us a story about the superstition in his time." I remember I was once in a mixed assembly that was full of noise and mirth, when on a sudden an old woman unluckily observed there were thirteen of us in company. This remark struck a panic terror into several who were present, insomuch that one or two of the ladies were going to leave the room, but a friend of mine, taking notice that one of our female companions was big with child, affirmed there were foufieen in the room, and that, instead of portending one of the company should die, it plaidy forebode one of them should be bom. Had not my friend formd this expedient to break the omen, I question not but half of the women in the company would have fallen sick that night."