Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Superstitions of the 13th Floor


That number 13 thing is a strong superstition. In fact, buildings built in the heyday of fear, didn't post a 13th floor!

Here's is what Wikipedia says about the 13th floor:

"Reasons for omitting a thirteenth floor include triskaidekaphobia on the part of the building's owner or builder, or a desire by the building owner or landlord to prevent problems that may arise with superstitious tenants, occupants, or customers. Based on an internal review of records, Dilip Rangnekar of Otis Elevators estimates that 85% of the buildings with elevators did not have a floor named the 13th floor. Future building designers, fearing a fire on the 13th floor, or fearing tenants' superstitions about the rumor, decided to omit having a 13th floor listed on their elevator numbering. This practice became commonplace, and eventually found its way into mainstream culture and building design."

The Trump tower in Chicago has no 13th floor. It is called mezzanine instead.

Because the fear of "unlucky 13" is strong in many, hotels often call the 13th floor something else. Admittedly, people would get spooked to be given a key relegated to 13th floor. Buildings in New York are often noted to use 12b or 14a as the label for the 13th floor.  

One curious horror movie delved into what would happen if there was a hidden 13th floor - "Nightmare on the 13th Floor." (YouTube)

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