Superstition Gone Mainstream – No 13th Floor!

Elevator buttons showing the missing 13th floor

Image via Wikipedia

So there I was, in the elevator of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota–one of the finest health care providers in the world.  My 2-year-old son and I were headed to see his specialist on the 15th floor, and my eye caught the anomaly on the elevator keypad.  On this particular day, in this particular building, the number 13 did not follow the number 12.  No.  Fourteen was next in sequence!  How would I explain this to my son someday?!?  I know what you are all thinking–no building has a 13th floor!  This is not unique to the Mayo Clinic.  Right you are, and therein lies one of the most ridiculous things one could ever imagine.  Because some of us humans are just gullible enough to believe in superstitions, NONE of us gets a 13th floor in the building.  Is there really anybody who believes there is a 13th floor, but the elevator just skips past that one (really fast)?  Of course not!  The 14th floor is really the 13th floor, but the same people with the silly superstition are also easily duped into believing they are on the 14th floor, not the 13th.  Heaven help us all.


8 responses to “Superstition Gone Mainstream – No 13th Floor!

  1. Majority does not rule…they might as well stop making ladders & mirrors.


  2. Can you see it now….

    “Excuse me, Sir, can you tell me where can find the Psychology Department of Irrational Fears and Phobias?”

    “Why certainly, just go right on up to the thirteenth floor, walk under the ladder on the left and it’s just after the sleeping black cat. You can’t miss it.”


  3. Umm… Not always.
    Have you ever been to the Plummer Building? It really does have a thirteenth floor, but you have to be in the freight elevator to get to it. (I ended up going into the wrong elevator by accident.) All the normal elevators in that building skip the thirteenth floor, because it is nothing but pipes, water heaters, and a little bit of storage.


    • Thanks for your comment. No, I have not been to the Plummer Building. However, your tale is a humorous one, as it suggests an architect with a conscience. Rather than LYING to people by calling the 13th floor the 14th floor, they actually designed the building to have a 13th floor that is a mechanical/storage floor where people do not go. It is amazing that people would go to such lengths for a SUPERSTITION! How about a real 13th floor that houses a self-help group meeting for people who cannot get over superstitions? –Dan


  4. I think the one labeled “14” in the regular elevators is actually the fourteenth floor, not the thirteenth. It is just that the only elevator with access to the thirteenth floor at all is the freight elevator.
    Confusing, yes.


  5. I would like there to be some building somewhere that actually has a thirteenth floor with public access, though. Just for the fun of it.


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