Numerology is the study of the occult meanings of numbers and their supposed influence on human life. Within numerology, certain numbers are considered to be lucky or unlucky. Unlucky, inauspicious, or “evil” numbers are thought to be associated with bad energy and even predict unfortunate events. Evil numbers in numerology have been feared throughout history across many cultures. Understanding the numerological meanings and superstitions around evil numbers can provide insight into numerology and popular beliefs about numbers.

What Are Evil Numbers?

What Are Evil Numbers
What Are Evil Numbers

In numerology, specific numbers are thought to have innate energetic properties. Certain numbers are considered evil or unlucky based on their numerological meanings or for other mystical reasons rooted in spiritual traditions and folklore. While opinions vary, the most commonly cited evil numbers in numerology are:

  • 13
  • 666
  • 616

Other numbers that may sometimes be deemed unlucky or inauspicious include:

  • 4
  • 8
  • 14
  • 17
  • 39

The Unlucky Number 13

The number 13 is widely considered an unlucky number in many cultures. Fear of the number 13 is known as triskaidekaphobia. The superstition around this number dates back to ancient times.

Origins of 13 Being Unlucky

There are a few theories around why the number 13 became associated with bad luck:

  • In Christianity, Judas was the 13th person to join the table at the Last Supper. Judas later betrayed Jesus, leading to his crucifixion. This gave 13 a negative connotation.
  • Ancient Babylon’s Code of Hammurabi reportedly omitted a 13th law from its legal code.
  • There were reportedly 13 people at a Norse mythological dinner party right before the god of mischief Loki killed Balder, the god of joy and peace.
  • The number 13 has long been associated with death and the underworld. For example, in ancient Persia, the 13th day of the Persian new year corresponded with the day of death and the underworld.
  • The number 12 has historically been considered a fortuitous number, representing completeness in many traditions (12 months, 12 zodiac signs, 12 gods of Olympus, etc.). The number 13 was viewed as beyond completeness and thus in excess.

Superstitions Around 13

Due to its reputation as an unlucky number, many superstitions and taboos are associated with 13. Common superstitions include:

  • Avoiding living on the 13th floor of a building or room number 13 in a hotel. Many buildings skip numbering the 13th floor or room 13 entirely.
  • Friday the 13th is considered the unluckiest day of the year.
  • Having 13 people at a dinner table is bad luck.
  • Starting important ventures on the 13th day of a month should be avoided.
  • In tarot, the 13th card of the major arcana is the Death card.

The Devilish Number 666

The number 666 is commonly referred to as the “number of the beast” and associated with Satan, the Antichrist, or evil in general. The number’s religious significance comes from the Bible’s Book of Revelation.

666 in the Bible

In Revelation 13:18, the number 666 is described as the number of “the beast” and referenced ominously:

This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666.

Due to this passage, 666 has been ingrained in popular culture as the symbolic number of ultimate evil and the devil.

History and Meaning of 666

Beyond the biblical reference, there are other theories around why 666 became linked with the devil:

  • In ancient Greek and Hebrew alphabets, letters represented numbers. Using gematria (assigning numbers to letters), some people have speculated that 666 was code for the name of an enemy ruler, such as Nero or Caligula.
  • 6 is right below the divine number 7 and recurring triples (666) may represent the unholy counterpart to holy perfection (777).
  • 666 is believed to indicate chaos, imperfection, imbalance, and man’s weakness.

Superstitions About 666

The number 666 evokes fear and apprehension among the superstitious. Common superstitions around this number include:

  • Being wary of the date 6/6/06, considering it a day of bad luck.
  • Avoiding phone numbers, addresses, or other figures containing 666.
  • Believing that 666 signifies the devil at work when it appears.
  • Newborns and adoptions may be deterred on June 6 (6/6) for fear of the child being cursed.

The Unlucky Number 616

Similar to 666, the number 616 also has associations with the Antichrist in biblical prophecy. 616 appears in some versions of Revelation as the “number of the beast.”

616 in the Bible

In the oldest known copy of Revelation, from the 3rd century Papyrus 115 fragment, the number of the beast is cited as 616, rather than 666. Some scholars believe this original 616 was later copied incorrectly as 666.

Meaning of 616

The significance of 616 is not entirely clear, but some speculate:

  • It may refer to the pagan deity Zeus or the Roman emperor Caligula.
  • 616 represents an undiscovered symbolism aligned with 666 as a number of evil.
  • 616 echoes 666 as a number connected to Satan and wickedness.

While 666 endures as the predominant “number of the beast,” 616 maintains a similar aura of menace and mystery in numerology.

Other Potentially Evil Numbers

Other Potentially Evil Numbers
Other Potentially Evil Numbers

A few less commonly cited numbers are occasionally deemed ominous, inauspicious, or evil in numerology and superstitions.

The Number 4

In some Asian cultures, the number 4 is avoided because it sounds similar to the word for “death” (Chinese si, Japanese shi, Korean sa). Tetraphobia is the fear of the number 4.

The Number 8

In Chinese numerology, the number 8 represents prosperity. However, the double 8 or 88 can take on negative meaning because the Mandarin word for 8 (ba) sounds like the word for “prosper” (fa). Repeating this number is seen as greedy.

The Number 14

Because it contains 1 and 4, the number 14 doubles the negative connotations associated with those digits in parts of Asia.

The Number 17

In Italy, the number 17 is viewed as unlucky because when rearranged, it spells out the Roman numeral XVII, or anagram of VIXI. This translates to “I have lived,” the past tense implying death.

The Number 39

In parts of Afghanistan, the number 39 is considered cursed or a badge of shame because it sounds similar to a word that means “pimp” in Dari.

Using Evil Numbers in Numerology

Using Evil Numbers in Numerology
Using Evil Numbers in Numerology

While numerological meanings of evil numbers are often negative, these numbers can provide valuable insights in numerology readings and analysis.

Evaluating Evil Numbers in Readings

When evil numbers emerge in a numerology reading, their negative attributes should be considered in context:

  • Are there patterns or frequency around a specific evil number that give it heightened meaning?
  • What other energetic influences surround an evil number and interact with its vibrations?
  • Does the individual have superstitious beliefs that may unconsciously manifest around evil numbers?

Balancing and Neutralizing Evil Numbers

There are numerological tactics for counteracting evil numbers, such as:

  • Adding numbers with positive meanings (like numbers 1 through 9) to neutralize the charged meaning of evil numbers.
  • Using number combinations to shift or diffuse negative vibrations. For example, while 39 contains the evil number 13, together they form 12 (3+9=12) which reduces to 3, considered a very fortunate number.
  • Intentionally focusing positive energy and affirmations related to evil numbers that arise. This can transform perceived bad luck into opportunity.

While evil numbers hold stigma, examining their presence with nuance allows for empowered interpretation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes a number evil or unlucky in numerology?

Numbers are considered evil or unlucky in numerology due to historical events, sacred texts, mythology, superstitions, similarities to words, or numerological meanings tied to their vibrations. Certain numbers have taken on negative connotations that permeate culture and influence perspectives on numerology.

How seriously should evil numbers be taken in numerology readings?

While evil numbers hold cultural stigma, their negative meanings can often be balanced with other numerological influences in context. Their significance relies heavily on an individual’s existing beliefs around the numbers. Personal superstitions regarding specific evil numbers may validate their perceived unluckiness.

Are some evil numbers worse than others?

The most commonly feared evil numbers are 13 and 666. This is largely due to their prominence in religious scriptures as well as enduring superstitions. Other numbers like 4, 8, 14, and 39 have regional or cultural taboos but lack the widespread notoriety of 13 and 666 as ultimate evil numbers.

Can evil numbers ever be considered lucky?

While usually avoided, evil numbers can occasionally take on positive meaning. For example, Friday the 13th has an enthusiastic following among some who consider it a day of good luck. For others, confronting evil numbers provides the chance to overcome superstition. Some businesses intentionally incorporate evil numbers to be provocative. Reclaiming evil numbers can transform them into auspicious numbers.

Should evil numbers always be avoided?

How one approaches evil numbers is an extremely personal choice based on beliefs. While most avoid perceived misfortune associated with evil numbers, that power can be diminished by facing such numbers deliberately or with positive perspective. Other numerate traditions wholly disregard certain numbers as evil. Ultimately, the meaning derived from evil numbers depends on one’s own worldview.


The existence of evil numbers reveals the profound impact numerology holds in culture and the human psyche. Despite having no inherent mystical properties, certain numbers like 13 and 666 carry an air of fear, taboo, and fascination. While evil numbers are best interpreted carefully in numerology, examining their history and influence provides insight into the compelling allure of numbers beyond the mathematical. Rather than avoiding evil numbers, dismantling their negative power may be the key to unlocking their potential, transforming darkness into light.

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Derek Le, the passionate founder of Numerology Hub, is a respected figure in the numerology community. With a profound understanding of numerology's applications and significance, Derek is dedicated to providing invaluable insights and resources for self-discovery and personal growth. His multicultural background and love for badminton bring a unique perspective to his work, ensuring accessible and relatable content that empowers individuals to harness the transformative power of numerology.

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