Are you afraid of the number 666 ?

Are you afraid of the number 666? If you were issued an automobile license plate or a telephone number that included a string of three sixes would you ask for a different number? Do you think the number 666 is inherently evil? Do you believe any number can in and of itself be evil?

The issue of FATE magazine that you are holding in your hands right at this moment is issue number 666. The 666th word in this article is "dead." Does this make you just a little bit nervous?

If it does, you are not alone. There is a name for your condition - "Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia" - the fear of the number 666.

Everyone has at least one or two superstitions that we feel somehow comfortably obliged to observe. My father was a geologist and a high-degree Freemason. He was for the most part a very logical and scientific man. Still, he was oddly superstitious about little things like spilling salt and walking under ladders.

For a lot of people the number 666 is particularly terrifying. After all, it's the devil's number, isn't it? For the better part of 2,000 years many in the Western world have certainly thought so. What is it about these three digits that makes so many of us uncomfortable?

Read the full article.