Ever wonder why you’ve never stayed in a hotel room on the 13th floor? The answer is simple: The floor doesn’t exist.
It all comes down to triskaidekaphobia, or the fear of the number 13.
You see, as USA Today reported, the fear of the number 13 isn’t just some small-time phobia that leads people to avoid going out on Friday the 13th, but rather, it can cause people to suffer from acute anxiety when they come across the evil-sounding numeral.
By skipping the 13th floor of a building, hotels could help spare customers who suffer from this particular fear a lot of heartache and anxiety.
It may seem frivolous to skip an entire floor for a few fearful patrons, but as a 2007 Gallup poll noted, 13 percent (coincidence?) of respondents said they’d feel uneasy staying on the 13th floor of a hotel.
But, as rational thought will dictate, hotels and buildings higher than 12 floors of course have a 13th floor, however, they do away with it by simply renaming it something else.
Many buildings in New York City will go the way of calling it “12B” or “14A,” The Atlantic explained. A survey by CityReality found that out of 629 condo buildings listed with 13 or more floors, only 55 labeled the 13th floor as the 13th floor. That means 91 percent of buildings with a 13th floor renamed it something less sinister in the hopes of attracting would-be buyers and renters.
While this seems like a lot of effort, it’s good for business to not alienate 13 percent of potential clients. As J.W. Bill Marriott Jr., chairman of Marriott International, told USA Today in 2007, “It was one of the first things I learned: Don't go to 13.”