13 brings together forgotten history and unknown facts about unlucky 13 to create the compelling story of the rise of a single belief. It is also a book about superstition in general -- why people believe what they believe and why they stop believing when they do. 13 draws on history and the range of contemporary superstitions; in so doing, it touches on the fate of mythmaking in general. 13 answers the following questions, among others: When did the 13 superstition begin, and why? Why is Spain divided over whether Tuesday the 13th or Friday the 13th is the traditional unlucky 13th day? What other number superstitions exist in other cultures? Which is the only major hotel in New York City that has a 13th floor? What are the top three conspiracy theories about unlucky 13? What is the Thirteen Club, and why did it count three U.S. presidents among its members?