The number 13 has long been associated with bad luck in many cultures. So much so that some hotels and other buildings skip numbering the 13th floor entirely. But is it really true that hotels don’t have a 13th floor? The short answer is: sometimes.

In this comprehensive article, we’ll dive into the history behind the superstition around the number 13 and explore why some, but not all, hotels really do omit labeling a 13th floor. We’ll also look at some interesting examples of how different hotels handle floor numbering and share tips for travelers who want to avoid staying on the 13th floor.

The History of 13 Being Unlucky

For centuries, the number 13 has been associated with bad luck and superstition. This belief has had a significant impact on various aspects of life, including architecture and design. One common example of this is the absence of a 13th floor in many hotels and buildings.

Origins of the superstition

The origins of the belief that 13 is unlucky are not entirely clear, but there are several theories. One theory traces it back to Norse mythology, where the god Loki was the 13th guest at a dinner party, leading to the death of another god and the eventual destruction of the world.

Another theory relates to the Last Supper, where Jesus dined with his 12 disciples, making them a total of 13. It is believed that one of the disciples, Judas Iscariot, betrayed Jesus, leading to his crucifixion.

These and other stories have contributed to the idea that 13 is an unlucky number, leading to various cultural superstitions and practices.

Triskaidekaphobia: Fear of the number 13

The fear of the number 13 is known as triskaidekaphobia. This phobia can manifest in different ways, including avoiding any association with the number 13 and experiencing anxiety or panic when encountering it.

Triskaidekaphobia has influenced various aspects of everyday life. For example, many buildings skip the 13th floor altogether, either by numbering it as 12A or jumping from the 12th to the 14th floor. Hotels often follow this practice to accommodate guests who may have triskaidekaphobia or be superstitious about the number 13.

While the fear of the number 13 may seem irrational to some, it is a deeply ingrained superstition that continues to shape our culture and influence our behaviors.

Do Hotels Really Skip the 13th Floor?

Many people have heard the superstition that hotels often skip the 13th floor, but is there any truth to this belief? Let’s dive into the topic and explore whether hotels really avoid having a 13th floor.

It’s not universal

While it is true that some hotels choose to skip the 13th floor, it is not a universal practice. The decision to omit the 13th floor is largely based on cultural beliefs and superstitions. In some cultures, the number 13 is considered unlucky, leading some hotels to skip this floor to appease superstitious guests.

However, it’s important to note that many hotels around the world do have a 13th floor, and guests can find rooms and amenities on this floor without any issues. So, if you’re staying at a hotel and happen to be on the 13th floor, don’t worry – it’s just a number!

More common in North America

The practice of skipping the 13th floor is more common in North America, particularly in the United States. This is due to the prevalence of triskaidekaphobia, the fear of the number 13. Many Americans have a deep-rooted fear of the number, leading hotels to cater to these concerns by omitting the 13th floor.

Interestingly, this fear is not as widespread in other parts of the world. In Europe, for example, it is not uncommon to find hotels with a 13th floor. So, if you’re traveling abroad and find yourself on the 13th floor, it’s likely just a reflection of cultural differences and not a sign of bad luck.

Varies by hotel brand

Whether or not a hotel skips the 13th floor can also depend on the brand or chain it belongs to. Some hotel chains have a consistent policy of omitting the 13th floor across all their properties, while others may leave it up to the individual hotel’s discretion.

One interesting aspect to note is that some hotels that skip the 13th floor may label the floor above it as the 14th floor, while others may simply skip from the 12th to the 14th floor. This discrepancy reflects the diversity of practices within the hotel industry.

Examples of Hotel Floor Numbering

Skipping from 12 to 14

One common practice in hotel floor numbering is to skip the number 13 altogether. Instead of having a designated 13th floor, some hotels jump directly from the 12th floor to the 14th floor. This is done to avoid any potential superstitions or negative associations that people may have with the number 13.

While it may seem peculiar, it is a way for hotels to cater to the preferences and beliefs of their guests.

Using 12a instead of 13

Another approach that hotels take is to label their 13th floor as “12a” instead. By using this alternative numbering system, hotels can avoid having a floor labeled as the 13th floor while still maintaining the sequential order of the floors.

This method allows hotels to acknowledge the superstitions surrounding the number 13 without completely omitting it from their floor plans.

Labeling the 13th floor as 14

Some hotels choose to label their 13th floor as the 14th floor. This is a straightforward solution that avoids any confusion or potential discomfort for guests who may be superstitious. By simply relabeling the floor, hotels can maintain a traditional numbering system while appeasing those who have a fear or aversion to the number 13.

Having a normal 13th floor

While it is true that many hotels avoid having a designated 13th floor, there are still some establishments that embrace it. These hotels have a normal 13th floor, without any alterations or alternative numbering.

They consider it a matter of practicality and transparency, believing that guests should be aware of the actual floor they are on. It is worth noting that the decision to have a 13th floor or not ultimately depends on the hotel’s management and their understanding of their clientele.

Tips for Travelers Who Want to Avoid Floor 13

Many hotels are known for skipping the number 13 when it comes to their floor numbering system. This superstition stems from the long-standing belief that the number 13 is unlucky. While it may seem like a trivial matter to some, for those who are superstitious, staying on the 13th floor can be a cause for concern.

If you’re one of those travelers who want to avoid floor 13, here are some tips to keep in mind:

Ask when you book your room

When making a reservation, it’s always a good idea to ask the hotel if they have a 13th floor. Most hotels that skip the number 13 will be upfront about it and inform you during the booking process. By asking this question, you can ensure that you won’t be assigned a room on that floor.

Look for clues when you arrive

Once you arrive at the hotel, take a moment to examine the floor numbering signs in the elevator or stairwell. If you notice that the numbers jump from 12 to 14, it’s clear that the hotel has skipped the 13th floor.

This will give you peace of mind knowing that you won’t accidentally end up on that floor.

Request a higher/lower floor

If you have a preference for floor numbers, don’t hesitate to request a room on a higher or lower floor. Most hotels are accommodating when it comes to these preferences, as long as there are available rooms.

By requesting a different floor, you can ensure that you feel comfortable and avoid any potential superstitions associated with the number 13.

Remember it’s just a number

While it’s understandable that some people may have concerns about staying on the 13th floor, it’s important to remember that it’s just a number. Hotels skipping the 13th floor is simply a way to cater to the superstitions of some guests.

In reality, there is no evidence or statistical data to support the notion that staying on the 13th floor brings bad luck. So, if you find yourself on the 13th floor by chance, don’t worry too much – it’s highly unlikely that any ill fate will befall you.

For more information about hotel superstitions and floor numbering practices, you can visit

The Superstition Around 13 Continues

Have you ever wondered why many hotels don’t have a 13th floor? It turns out that this superstition has deep roots in various cultures and is still prevalent today. The fear of the number 13, known as triskaidekaphobia, has led to the omission of the 13th floor in many buildings, including hotels.

A Historical Perspective

The fear of the number 13 can be traced back to ancient times. In Norse mythology, the mischievous god Loki was believed to be the 13th guest at a dinner party, which resulted in the death of the god Balder.

Similarly, in Christianity, the Last Supper is said to have had 13 guests, with Judas Iscariot being the 13th person to arrive and subsequently betray Jesus.

These historical associations have contributed to the negative perception of the number 13 in Western culture. Many people believe that encountering the number 13 brings bad luck, and this belief has influenced the design of buildings, including hotels.

The Omission of the 13th Floor

Hotels, along with other tall buildings, often skip the 13th floor entirely. Instead, they label the floor above the 12th as the 14th floor. This practice is not limited to hotels; it is also seen in office buildings, hospitals, and even residential complexes.

The rationale behind this omission is to avoid any potential negative connotations associated with the number 13. Hoteliers and architects do not want to alienate guests who may be superstitious or have a fear of the number 13.

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

The Impact on Hotel Industry

The superstition surrounding the 13th floor has had a significant impact on the hotel industry. Hotel developers and operators are well aware of the negative perception of the number 13 and take it into consideration when designing their properties.

They want to ensure that their guests have a positive experience and feel at ease during their stay.

While some may argue that omitting the 13th floor is purely a marketing tactic, it is essential to recognize that superstitions and beliefs can have a real impact on people’s mindset and behavior. By catering to these beliefs, hotels can create a more inviting atmosphere for their guests and potentially increase customer satisfaction.

It is worth noting that not all hotels adhere to this superstition. Some hotels proudly include the 13th floor and embrace the uniqueness of their design. However, they are in the minority, and the omission of the 13th floor remains a common practice in the hotel industry.

So, next time you find yourself in a tall building or a hotel, take a look at the floor numbers. You might just notice that the 13th floor is mysteriously missing, all because of an age-old superstition that continues to influence our modern world.


While the omitting of a 13th floor is less common today, the superstition surrounding the number 13 persists. Some travelers specifically request not to stay on the 13th floor when booking hotel rooms.

At the end of the day, whether or not a hotel has a 13th floor is usually just a matter of numbering. But for those who suffer from triskaidekaphobia, avoiding this so-called unlucky floor provides peace of mind.

The superstitions around certain numbers are deeply ingrained in some cultures. But most travelers understand there’s no magical reason to fear a floor number. So if your room happens to be on the 13th floor, there’s no cause for concern.

It’s simply a matter of comfort and personal preference whether travelers specifically request another floor. Just don’t be surprised if you have to take the stairs or a service elevator to get to your 13th floor accommodations.

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