6 Unlucky Numbers From Different Cultures Around the World

You're probably aware that thirteen is an unlucky number in most Western cultures, just like you know that seven freaks out six because seven ate nine. But if you extend seven's cannibalistic pattern, you realize that six is actually most likely not the next victim — it’s after five. Seven always goes for numbers two number removed from itself. And it will keep killing and cannibalizing other numbers until its number of victims is not just one or two, but skip a few and ninety-nine one-hundred. There is only one number that can stop seven now. We hoped we would never have to call on him again. But now we must get… Negative seven. Code name: The Equalizer (voiced by Denzel Washington) in Se7en 2: This Time Literally 7 Is The Killer. Next Summer… You do the math… Anyway here are some other unlucky numbers from around the world.

4 (China)

unlucky number four

In Chinese culture, the number four is seriously unlucky. The Chinese word for "four" sounds tonally almost the exact same as the word for "death", which has led to it being one of the most omitted numbers in Chinese society. Similar to how the 13th floor is left off of elevators in Western culture, the fourth floor and in some cases all floors with the number four are left out of Chinese buildings. That means you'll go straight from floor 39 to floor 50. Ironically though, the 54th level is left on many buildings because five is tonally similar to the word "not" and combining it with four is consider lucky because it sounds like "no death".

9 (Japan)

unlucky number nine

Another case of superstition caused by homophones is the number nine in Japan, which sounds similar to the Japanese word for "torture". This has led to some hospitals and airlines removing the number nine from their interiors so as to not cause anyone bad luck.

17 (Italy)

unlucky number seventeen

The unluckiness of seventeen in Italian culture dates back to the Roman times. Seventeen in roman numerals is XVII, which is an anagram for VIXI, which is Latin for "I lived" and a common marking on Roman tombstones — kinda like if R.I.P. was a anagram for wait… wait… R.I.P. is an anagram for Pi and R. Numerically Pi is 3.14159etc.and R is the gas constant in physical science which is equal to 8.31blah blah blah or something and if you add or maybe multiple 8.31blah blah blah with 3.14159etc. then you’ll end up with the most unlucky number in the world. So your homework is to figure that all out and then get back to me on it. Thanks.

0888 888 888 (Bulgaria)

unlucky number eight

0888 888 888 is said to be a jinxed or cursed phone number in Bulgaria after a sting of high profile people with the number all died. The authenticity of this claim is questionable, but the story goes that the owner of a Bulgarian mobile phone company originally had the number and he died of cancer. After that, the number was passed to a mafia boss who was assassinated, and then to a businessman who was shot. The number was suspended after that.

I’m not saying that number is for sure cursed, all I’m saying is that they don’t suspend non-cursed numbers and that the number is definitely cursed. OH MY GOD you should call that number and see what happens! Do it! I dare you. I double dog dare you.

26 (India)

unlucky number twentysix

A combination of numerology and tragic events has led to 26 being considered an unlucky number in India. The numerology side of that is that the number 8 is considered the harbinger of destruction, and what do 2 and 6 add up to? No one can be sure so we must be cautious and assume it is 8. Combine that bulletproof reasoning with the fact that an earthquake, a tsunami, and several different terrorist attacks all happened on the 26th day of different month within a 15 year span and it all adds up to people believing 26 is an unlucky number.

191 (United States)

unlucky number 191

You're probably saying "I didn’t know that 191 was unlucky in the United States", and that’s because you were living in simple, unassuming bliss. Now I can inform you of something that will cause you fear for the rest of your life. Congratulations! 191 is a number that is specifically considered unlucky in U.S. aviation. Five separate flights with the flight number 191 have all crashed with different degrees of notoriety. The largest of which was the 1979 American Airlines Flight 191 that crashed at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport killing all 258 passengers on board, the 13 crew members on the plane, and two people on the ground. It is the deadliest aviation accident to occur in the U.S.

Then, in 1985, Delta Airlines Flight 191 crashed outside of Dallas/Fort Worth International and killed 136 of the 152 passengers, 11 crew members, and one person on the ground. Most airlines retire flight numbers because of crashed planes, which is why to this day, there are no Delta or American Airlines flights numbered 191. So be sure to check your boarding passes from now until the end of time.

Know any other numbers that are bad luck in some culture? Tell which ones on Twitter or in the comments below!


Check out these people who must not have believed these numbers were unlucky!