While the number 7 is thought of as lucky and 13 is believed to be unlucky, number 23 is often described as the number of incident. Many events can be found to have a connection with the number 23. Belief in these connections is known as the 23 Enigma...


The 23 Enigma refers to the belief that many incidents and events are directly connected to the number 23….

William Burroughs, the author of The Naked Lunch, is one of the first known people to have come across the 23 Enigma. In 1960, he heard a sailor called Captain Clark talk about having successfully sailed for 23 years without incident. Later the same day, Clark’s ship sank, killing him and everyone else aboard. Also that day Burroughs listened to a radio broadcast, which reported on an airliner crash in Florida. It was flight 23 and the pilot was another Captain Clark.

Burroughs told this story to another writer, Robert Anton Wilson, who was intrigued enough to include references to the number 23 in his and Robert Shea’s triogy of novels, The Illuminatus! an influential series of books that deal with conspiracy theories.

Here are just some examples of the power of 23…

1. In humans, each cell normally contains 23 pairs of chromosones. 22 of these pairs look the same in both men and women, the 23rd pair is the sex chromosone and that is different for men and women. Women have two X chromosones while men have one X and one Y chromosone.

2. Julius Caesar was stabbed to death by numerous enemies in the Roman Senate. His stab wounds were said to number 23

3. William Shakespeare is believed to have been born on 23 April 1564 and he died on 23 April in 1616, aged 52. The number 23 was the constant in these two dates.

4. Psalm 23 (The Lord is my shepherd…) is the most famous and quoted of the Psalms.

5. The first Morse code transmission was ‘What has God wrought?’ This is a passage from the Bible, Numbers 23:23.

6. Famous occultist Aleister Crowley credited himself with inventing William Churchill’s V for victory hand sign. He said he created it as a mystic symbol to counter the Nazi’s usage of the swastika. The V sign is made by a hand keeping 2 fingers up with 3 digits down…

7. Whilst at Manchester United, David Beckham wore a lucky number 7 red shirt. When he transferred to Real Madrid, he wore the number 23, which he also wore in America for LA Galaxy.

8. One of many conspiracy theories about the terrorist attacks known as 9/11 is that the numbers involved in the date (9+11+2+0+0+1) add up to the number 23. Is it possible as some do to believe in the power of a number?


Has anything spooky to do with the number 23 happened to you? Let us know in the comments below…