We all have fears. Some of us fear heights, water, or public speaking—those are pretty common. Others have fears that are considered highly irrational, and these are typically referred to as phobias.

In Western culture, the number 13 is seen as unlucky, so it’s understandable why we avoid it at all costs. But have you ever heard of someone being afraid of the number 4? It’s called tetraphobia, and yes, it’s a real thing. Here’s why…

In East Asian and Southeast Asian cultures, the word for the number four sounds remarkably like the word for “death.” For this reason, referring to four is never a good omen. A fear of the number four is called tetraphobia.


The number four is commonly eliminated from dial pads, house numbers, entire floors of buildings, and even parking spaces.


Electronics manufacturer Samsung even eliminated phone model numbers that include “four.”


When a loved one is sick, the number four isn’t even mentioned in their presence, for the sake of avoiding bad luck in health.

sick-womanModern Cancer Hospital Guangzhou

Do you think you suffer from a fear of the number 4? I’m not superstitious, but it can’t hurt to avoid it, can it? Better safe than sorry!

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