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Why Don’t Hotels Have a 13th Floor?

Why Don’t Hotels Have a 13th Floor
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Have you ever wondered why many hotels skip the number 13 when numbering their floors? It’s a curious phenomenon that can be seen in hotels around the world.

This article will explore the intriguing tradition of omitting the 13th floor in hotels, delving into the origins, superstitions, and cultural beliefs that contribute to this fascinating practice.

Join us as we unravel the mystery behind the missing 13th floor in hotels and uncover the reasons behind it.

Why Don’t Hotels Have a 13th Floor?

Many hotels do not have a 13th floor due to superstitions and the fear associated with the number 13.

Architects and hotel owners often omit the 13th floor to cater to superstitious guests and create a more comfortable experience.

This practice is widespread, with an estimated 85% of buildings with elevators not having a named 13th floor


The absence of a 13th floor in many hotels is primarily driven by superstitions and cultural beliefs surrounding the number 13.

These beliefs have led to the fear of the number and a desire to avoid any association with it.

Architects and hotel owners have taken this into consideration and chosen to omit the 13th floor in order to cater to the fears of their superstitious guests and create a more comfortable experience.

According to a 2007 Gallup poll, 13% of Americans reported feeling uneasy staying on the 13th floor, and close to 10% indicated they would request a room on a different floor if given a room on the 13th floor.

This data suggests that a significant portion of the population is uncomfortable with the number 13, which has influenced the decision to exclude the 13th floor in hotels.

The absence of a 13th floor is not limited to hotels in the United States but is a common practice globally.

The Otis Elevators company estimates that approximately 85% of buildings with elevators do not have a named 13th floor.

This widespread omission of the 13th floor suggests that the practice is not only influenced by specific cultural beliefs but also driven by the desire to attract a larger customer base by avoiding potential issues with superstitious guests.

The Superstition Surrounding the Number 13

Superstitions surrounding the number 13 have been prevalent in many cultures for centuries. This fear of the number, known as triskaidekaphobia, has deep roots and has influenced various aspects of society.

From avoiding the 13th floor in buildings to skipping the 13th row in airplanes, the fear of this number has left its mark.

Origins of the Omission

Ancient Influences on Superstition

The aversion to the number 13 can be traced back to ancient times. One popular theory is that it originated from the Last Supper, where Jesus and his twelve disciples gathered, making them a group of thirteen.

The events that followed, including the crucifixion, associated the number 13 with ill fortune and tragedy.

Cultural Beliefs and Historical Context

Cultural beliefs and historical events have also shaped the superstition surrounding the number 13.

In Norse mythology, the mischievous god Loki was considered the 13th guest at a banquet, leading to chaos and calamity.

Similarly, in Hinduism, the number 13 is associated with the god of death, Yama.

The Influence on Architecture and Buildings

Skyscrapers and High-Rise Buildings

The practice of omitting the 13th floor is most commonly observed in skyscrapers and high-rise buildings.

Architects and developers often choose to skip the 13th floor to cater to potential guests or tenants who may have superstitious beliefs.

By removing the 13th floor, they aim to avoid any negative associations and ensure a wider appeal.

Hotels and Hospitality Industry

Hotels, in particular, have embraced the tradition of excluding the 13th floor.

The hospitality industry places great importance on guest satisfaction, and omitting the 13th floor is seen as a way to provide a more comfortable and pleasant stay for guests who may hold superstitious beliefs.

This practice is especially prevalent in Western countries where triskaidekaphobia is more deeply ingrained.


The omission of the 13th floor in hotels is a fascinating tradition rooted in ancient beliefs and superstitions.

Architects and hotel owners embrace this practice to accommodate guests who may hold triskaidekaphobic beliefs.

By skipping the 13th floor, they aim to create a more comfortable and welcoming environment for their guests.

While the superstition surrounding the number 13 may vary across cultures, the practice of omitting the 13th floor continues to be a curious phenomenon in the modern world of hospitality.


Is it true that some hotels have a hidden 13th floor?

No, the omission of the 13th floor is not about hiding it. Instead, it is a conscious decision made by architects and hotel owners to accommodate guests who have a fear of the number 13.

Are there any legal requirements to skip the 13th floor?

No, there are no legal obligations to omit the 13th floor. It is purely a cultural and superstitious practice followed by many hotels.

Do hotels in all countries skip the 13th floor?

While the practice is widespread in Western countries, it may not be observed in all countries or cultures. Some hotels in Asia, for example, may include the 13th floor without hesitation.

Are there any hotels that include the 13th floor?

Yes, there are hotels that do include the 13th floor, but they are relatively rare. These hotels either cater to a more rational clientele or simply choose not to adhere to the superstitious belief surrounding the number 13.

Does the omission of the 13th floor affect room availability?

Omitting the 13th floor does not affect the total number of rooms available in a hotel. The floor numbers are simply renumbered, skipping from the 12th to the 14th floor.

Are there any similar practices in other industries?

Yes, the omission of the number 13 can also be observed in other industries. For example, some airlines exclude row 13 on their planes, and some residential buildings skip the 13th floor as well.

Do any hotels have a 13th floor?

Yes, some hotels have a 13th floor, but it is less common due to superstitions and guest preferences associated with the number 13.

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