SURRATT: Are you triskaidekaphobic?

Published 4:00 am Friday, October 13, 2023

Do you suffer from triskaidekaphobia?

For those of us who are not aware of the term, it’s the fancy name for the phobia known as fear of the number 13. And today is your unlucky day.

Out of curiosity, I wonder what people who suffer from triskaidekaphobia do when they wake up on Friday the 13th or any other day bearing the number 13. Do they call in sick from work and stay home within the safe confines of a familiar setting? Do they take something to calm their nerves and head out ever-so-cautiously into the world or do they get up, get dressed, open the front door, take a deep breath and charge ahead full force, putting their fears aside?

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As humans, it’s amazing how some things affect us, whether it’s something like triskaidekaphobia or one of many other phobias or fears that we either experience or think we experience. I went to the Internet (again, out of curiosity) and came upon a website called, which provided a list of 100 common phobias. And given that this is Friday, Oct. 13, I thought I’d share a few with you.

I’ll go with a few that affect me and I’m sure a few others: trypanophobia, the fear of needles. I hate getting shots. I would rather someone hit me flat in the face with a paddle than get a shot. When I have to go get a shot of any kind, my blood pressure goes up, my palms sweat, I get pale and the nurse puts the ambulance on standby.

I guess trypanophobia ties in with my other worse phobia, hemophobia, which I’m sure many other people have. Now at this point, I have to explain that hemophobia occurs only when it comes to either me or a family member being cut or injured. Over the years, I’ve seen some very bloody sights from wrecks to homicides and never flinched. But when it came to holding my then-7-year-old daughter’s hand while the dentists removed two baby teeth, Daddy almost keeled over.

Let’s look at another phobia that I know affects many people: herpetophobia, or a fear of snakes. Now don’t get me wrong, I like snakes as long as they are about 20 yards or more away from me. I’ve had a lot of people tell me the same thing. My wife and daughter have herpetophobia and the philosophy that the only good snake is a dead snake; a sentiment that I’m sure is held by others.

And there is acrophobia or the fear of heights; that phobia that keeps people from riding glass elevators, roller coasters, Ferris wheels and going to the top of the State Capital in Baton Rouge.

I’ve been to the top of the State Capital and rode glass elevators without fear but I ain’t getting on a roller coaster or Ferris wheel.

So there are a few phobias to ponder while you spend a Friday the 13th. If you’re triskaidekaphobic, stay calm and relax. If you’re not, enjoy the day.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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