Saturday, May 6, 2017

Even Writers Have Their Fears...!

Many times I have curled up with a good ol' King story and have enjoyed the development of his stories and characters immensely. I never knew this fact about him, however.

I guess this just shows that anyone can be afraid of something as offbeat as a number. I find it very interesting, considering his main theme in his books, which can only be classified as horror.

Stephen King Is Scared Of The Number 13

Photo credit:

Stephen King is the most popular and successful contemporary horror writer in the United States. He has published over 260 titles, sold over 350 million copies worldwide, and continues to produce best-selling literature at a rate of about one book per year.

As the creator of The Shining (1977), Cujo (1981), Pet Sematary (1983), IT (1986), and Misery (1987), King has built the reputation of being the godfather of modern horror, both psychological and supernatural. Many believe that his taste for the horrific means that King is comfortable with the darker side of literature and life and has nothing to fear himself. But as King described in 1984, he is mortally afraid of the number 13.

Fear of the number 13[9] (aka triskaidekaphobia) can result in physical symptoms, such as panic attacks, and affects up to 10 percent of the US population. For King, this phobia manifests itself in more impractical ways. For example, he has to take the last two steps of a 13-step staircase in one stride, meaning that he only takes 12 steps. He also refuses to finish reading if he lands on pages 94, 193, 382, and so on, because the individual digits within these numbers all add up to 13.

King is especially frightened of what he calls “triple-whammy years,” in which Friday the 13th occurs three times. It’s even worse when these dates are 13 days apart. In one of these years, 1984, King stated that he was particularly fearful because he had been married for 13 years, had a 13-year-old daughter, and had published 13 books to date.

To King’s relief, most hotels do not have a 13th floor, many airplanes do not label the 13th seat, and France promotes the hiring of a professional 14th guest to avoid having 13 people sit at a dinner table.

I hqave to say that this is a total surprise to me. I can't imagine someone being afraid of a number, but there is just no way to explain the human mind and it's fears...even if they seem foreign to us.

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Sorry I.m running late!


Harry Flashman said...

I was born on April 13th, so I guess it's a good thing I am not a Stephen King fan. ;-)

Gorges Smythe said...

I've never had anything bad happen to me on Friday the 13th. I don't see why I should start worrying about it after six decades+. People are silly.

HermitJim said...

Hey Harry...
I am a fan, but this is something I never knew about King. Guess we all have something that makes us nervous.
Thanks for stopping by today!

Hey Gorges...
I'd say that if you haven't worried about it by now, it's probably too late to start. After all, it's only a number!
Thanks for coming by today!

JO said...

I worked with a girl who wouldn't come to work on the 13th because she was afraid of an accident. But the she would tell you about all the great things she bought at the Mall, she didn't live in walking distance to any Mall.