December 12, 2013 08:42 ET

Superstitious Britain: A Third of British Adults Have a Phobia of Friday the 13th

60% of Britons suffer from Triskaidekaphobia - the fear of the number 13

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwired - Dec. 12, 2013) - Tomorrow, a third of Britons will be feeling totally out of sorts, on edge and fearing the worst as it is Friday the 13th - the traditional day of bad luck.

Although Friday 13th only happens a few times during a year, it impacts upon Britons daily lives as three quarters (72%) say they have experienced bad luck on this date. As a result, on Friday 13th, a third (33%) of adults say they will avoid travelling, as they fear they may be involved in an accident, will reschedule important meetings, not take any risks and put off making any large purchases.

Ideally 34% of adults say they would prefer to hide under the duvet and emerge the following day in a bid to avoid experiencing any bad luck. So big is this phobia in Britain that it has its own special name - 'friggatriskaidekaphobia' - a fear of Friday 13th.

In addition to the fear of Friday 13th, 60% of Britons say they suffer from Triskaidekaphobia - the fear of the number 13, in the belief that the number brings them bad luck.

The study by the hotel chain, surveyed 2,500 adults across the country to seek their views on whether they believe certain numbers bring them good or bad luck. This study was conducted alongside analysis that Travelodge conducted with its 500 hotel managers on customer behaviours.

Key findings have revealed that half of Britain's adult population (50%) believe in the power of lucky numbers, and will always use their personal lucky number to help them get ahead in life.

In support of this finding, Travelodge hotel managers have reported seeing a growing trend for business and leisure customers to request a room associated with their lucky number when checking into a Travelodge hotel. When questioned why they have requested a particular room number, customers state that the number makes them happy, more positive and luckier in life.

Key findings from both surveys revealed that we are a nation that lives in fear of the consequences associated with the number 13. With six out of ten Britons fearing this number, Travelodge hotel managers also stated that they regularly have customers who will not stay in room 13, with the room often the last one to be taken up each night.

Customers will especially avoid staying in room 13 if they have an important date the next day, such as a job interview or wedding - as they feel the number will bring them bad luck.

After the number 13, Travelodge hotel managers reported room that 101 is the second least requested room number. Room 101 is a place in the novel 1984 by George Orwell. It is a torture chamber where a person is subject to his or her own worst fears. The third least popular room number is 666 which is the number of the Antichrist.

In contrast, the number seven was cited as Britain's luckiest number - with a quarter (26%) of Britons reporting this as their lucky number. Seven is strongly associated with bringing David Beckham good luck as he played in a number seven shirt for Manchester United, and he even gave his daughter the middle name Seven.

In second place, 12% of Britons stated number eight brings them good luck, and one in ten (10%) adults reported number 16 also brought them good luck too.

Fifty per cent of British adults believe having a lucky number brings them good fortune.

Four out of ten (37%) adults reported the day they were born as a lucky number for them, and they will try and use this number as much as they can to bring them luck.

Nearly a fifth (18%) of married adults stated that their wedding date is a lucky omen whilst one in ten (10%) adults associates their partner's birthday date as their lucky date.

Listed below are the nation's lucky and unlucky numbers:

Top Ten Lucky Numbers Unlucky Numbers
1 7 13
2 8 3
3 16 666
4 21 23
5 1 6
6 4 2
7 5 66
8 22 101
9 10 99
10 32 33

Shakila Ahmed, Travelodge Spokeswoman said: "It's evident that Triskaidekaphobia is hitting Britain hard. Britons really do have a fear of the number 13 and will avoid this number at all cost. At present just half of our hotels have a room 13 and we are now looking to see if we can rename these rooms."

Further research findings revealed that 13% of Britons confessed that they believe in the power of lucky underwear, and will wear their favourite pants for an important meeting, interview and date.

In addition to believing the number 13 will bring you bad luck, two in three adults (68%) are so superstitious that they cannot get through the day without some kind of lucky gesture and will refuse to walk under ladders, always throw spilt salt over their shoulders and even say good morning to a magpie when it crosses their path.

Seven out of ten Britons follow the same ritual to pick out the same lottery numbers - using their lucky numbers.

A fifth of adults believe that breaking a mirror will bring seven years of bad fortune.

Eighteen per cent of Britons create their own superstitions and rituals in the belief it will change their luck.

Listed below are the nation's top ten superstitions:

  1. Friday the 13th is an unlucky day
  2. If you walk under a ladder you will have bad luck
  3. To break a mirror will bring seven years of bad luck
  4. To open an umbrella in the house will bring bad luck
  5. Putting new shoes on the table brings bad luck
  6. Avoid stepping on cracks to avoid bad luck
  7. Throw salt over your left shoulder
  8. You must get out of bed on the same side otherwise you will have bad luck
  9. Say good morning when you see a magpie
  10. Wear your lucky pants to bring you good luck

Listed below are some examples of Travelodge customers who have requested to be moved to another room after they were allocated room 13 in a Travelodge hotel:

  • A business customer staying at London Bank Travelodge asked to be changed from room 13 to room 16 as he had an important job interview the following morning and wanted to stay in room 16 as it was his lucky number. Interestingly he got the job and sent the receptionist a bouquet of flowers.
  • A bride checked into Brighton Travelodge in room 13 the night before her wedding, being superstitious she asked to be moved to room 7 as she feared the number 13 would bring her bad luck.
  • A couple staying at Liverpool Strand Travelodge booked a year in advance of their stay so that they could secure their lucky number room the night before the Grand National.
  • A customer from China who was staying at Edinburgh Central Travelodge booked rooms: 1, 3, 8 and 9 as these rooms are associated to bring you good luck in the Chinese culture.

Notes to editors:

The Travelodge survey was conducted in December 2013 with a sample group of 2,500 adults across the UK and 500 Travelodge hotel managers.

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