Reasons Why Hotels Skip the 13th floor

Have you ever been in a hotel elevator and realized upon closer inspection that the number thirteen was missing? This is no mistake. In fact Otis Elevators state that up to 85% of elevator panels purposely leave out the thirteenth floor. But why?

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Originally when skyscrapers were becoming more common there were critics that claimed there would potential problems if the building exceeded 13 floors. A few of the issues were that ominous shadows would appear and property value would decrease.

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Nowadays though the most common reasons the 13th floor is omitted is due to superstitions and phobias. Triskaidekaphobia is the extreme fear or suspicion of the number thirteen. While this may seem humorous to some, this is a very real and serious anxiety that can lead to acute anxiety, panic, sweating and nausea.

Hoteliers realize that some of their potential customers may suffer from this phobia therefore “skip” the thirteenth floor when writing up the hotel blueprints. Instead of having a 13th floor they may call it 12A or simply go to floor 14.

Many hotels still have a 13th floor but simply use it as a mechanical floor, restaurant or put it to some other use. An example of this is the Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago where the 13th floor is a Mezzanine Floor. So the next time you are in a hotel elevator have a look at the panel and see what occupies your 13th floor.

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