why are there no 13th floors in hotels

The Superstition Surrounding the Number 13

First and foremost, it is essential to understand the origins of the superstition surrounding the number 13. Throughout history, the number 13 has been regarded as unlucky in various cultures around the world. This belief, known as triskaidekaphobia, has deep roots in mythology, religion, and folklore. Many people believe that the number 13 brings misfortune, and this fear has had a significant impact on various aspects of everyday life, including architecture and design.

The Absence of 13th Floors in Hotels

When it comes to hotels, the superstition surrounding the number 13 is a well-known phenomenon. It is common for hotels to skip the 13th floor altogether, jumping directly from the 12th to the 14th floor. This practice is so widespread that it has become almost customary in the hotel industry. But why do hotels avoid having a 13th floor?

Historical Significance

The superstition regarding the number 13 can be traced back to several historical events and cultural beliefs. For example, in Norse mythology, there is a story of a banquet in Valhalla that was attended by 12 gods. The mischievous Loki, the god of mischief, crashed the party, making the total number of guests 13. This led to chaos and ultimately the death of one of the gods, cementing the idea that the number 13 brings bad luck.

Religious Influences

In Christianity, there is a similar belief that the Last Supper, the final meal that Jesus shared with his disciples before his crucifixion, had 13 attendees, including Jesus and his 12 apostles. This association with betrayal and subsequent tragedy has contributed to the negative connotations associated with the number 13.

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Modern-Day Applications

Today, the fear of the number 13 is so ingrained in society that many buildings, including hotels, residential complexes, and office buildings, omit the 13th floor altogether. This decision is made in an attempt to avoid unsettling and potentially superstitious guests and residents. The absence of a 13th floor is seen as a way to cater to the psychological comfort of the general public, even if some may view it as irrational.


Ultimately, the absence of 13th floors in hotels is a testament to the enduring power of superstition and the impact it has on our everyday lives. The fear of the number 13 has deep roots in history, religion, and culture, and this has led to its systematic avoidance in various aspects of design and architecture. While some may see it as a harmless tradition, it is a reflection of the collective beliefs and fears that shape our world.


1. Why do hotels skip the 13th floor?

Hotels skip the 13th floor due to the widespread superstition surrounding the number 13, which is believed to bring bad luck.

2. Do all hotels omit the 13th floor?

Not all hotels omit the 13th floor, but it is a common practice influenced by the fear of the number 13.

3. Is the absence of a 13th floor purely superstitious?

While the absence of a 13th floor is influenced by superstition, it is also a practical decision made to cater to the psychological comfort of guests and residents.

4. Are there any other superstitions that influence hotel design?

Aside from the absence of 13th floors, some hotels also avoid room numbers ending in the number 4, as it is considered unlucky in some Asian cultures.

5. Can hotel guests request to stay on the 13th floor?

While it is rare, some hotels may accommodate requests to stay on the 13th floor if the guest does not subscribe to the superstition surrounding the number 13.

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