We recently spent one of the times of the year with more superstitions, the party we have adopted from the American continent, Halloween. For most people it is a holiday in which they can disguise themselves, watch horror movies and scare others. Even children have a great time as they not only celebrate parties in schools, but for years we also adopted the habit of going out to ask for sweets and candies.
However, there is a small part of the population that lives with real terror, this time true, all the elements that make up this holiday. Superstitious people suffer phobias and fears that prevent them from leading a normal life, one of the most common revolves around a number capable of making them feel an irrational fear that seriously affects them, the number 13.
A question of superstition
Considered the number of bad luck par excellence, both literature and the world of cinema have made, through horror films and novels of the same genre, the dark stories that revolve around this digit are increasingly popular. There are people who are even unable to mention their name, saying thirteen to them can be an episode as unpleasant as it is anxious.
12 + 1
For this reason, a 12 + 1 is often used to refer to the number 13. In countries such as Japan, they go further and consider that 4 gives the same bad luck because the sum of the digits that make up 13 results in 4 , 1 + 3. For this reason, in addition to not having a 13th floor, they also do not have apartments that contain the number 4.
Floors that do not exist, plants that disappear, nonexistent lockers, apartments that go from 12 to 14, alternative names to designate a thirteenth element ... There are several alternatives that over the years have had to be adopted, both buildings and business, to be able to have their superstitious clientele safe and secure in their facilities.
Has anyone ever climbed an elevator without a 13th floor?
If you have been in a modern hotel with several floors, in a skyscraper or tall building, chances are yes. We may have been struck by not finding the button on that floor, even that we have imagined that behind this fact is the famous superstition of the digit 13, 12 + 1 for the most sensitive.
The superstitions around number 13 in buildings are relatively recent, more or less, since the height buildings began to be built. However, as regards popular beliefs and the phobia that suffers, it is worth redundancy, 13% of the population goes back several centuries and even has its own name, triskaidekaphobia. Who has ever heard that word? For the remaining 87% it will surely be their first time.
What is Triskaidekaphobia?
It is an uncontrollable fear of everything that surrounds the number 13. Some people consider it a phobia and other disorder, whatever it may be, it is an extremely annoying and anxious situation for everyone who suffers it. When the guests of a hotel, or the visitors of a skyscraper, they go up in the elevator and they verify that there is no 13th floor, even room 13 in their plant, they experience a sensation of relief and improvement in their state of health.
This phobia is really complicated and the symptoms of sweating, shortness of breath or rapid heart rate, are added to the feeling of panic, which can lead to nausea. Such is the power of a number. There are consultations of psychiatrists around the world specialized in triskaidekaphobia and with the arrival of Halloween visits are increased. It is not a good time for the superstitious and some see their health really affected.
What is the reason for not putting a 13 in the elevator?
Both the owners of buildings and the world of hospitality, simply, have nothing to lose by not including the 13 in their facilities. Quite the opposite. To people who are not superstitious, this fact does not affect them beyond considering it a simple anecdote. But for people with phobia number 13 can assume the purchase or not a home or staying or not in that hotel. These facts have caused the phobia to derive in a kind of business for establishments based on superstition.
A building lacking a 13th floor gains an extra height that can mean the difference between a building or a skyscraper, just as a hotel can call its highest floor, a luxury penthouse when in reality it is a height that is not really real. After all, it is proven that superstitions are good for business. The prices of the houses become more expensive and with them the derived taxes, the hotels can swell their attractions without really missing the truth and, without hesitation, there will be who will be calmer sleeping away from the fateful number.
What stories are hidden behind?
On the one hand, it is estimated that the origin of the non-construction of the thirteenth floor in the skyscrapers was born in New York. In 1885, with the construction of the first skyscraper, the Home Insurance Building, the height was not exceeded 12 because it was considered that the shadows that would be projected on the streets of the city would bring much darkness besides increasing the pollution. Critics at that time put the cry in the sky to consider that those heights would lower the prices of the properties.
On the other hand, the old stories have only increased the phobia of triskaidekaphobia. In numerology the number 13 is considered out of place, in religion the treacherous disciple Judas is the thirteenth to sit in the historic last supper; and in the matter of gods, there are several of them that in some translations of ancient languages are called 13.
How can we get to the elevator on the 13th floor?
There is a bit of everything in this aspect. Sometimes there are elevators whose 14th floor is actually 13, in others it is listed with the number of the previous or later floor and a letter is added, for example 12A or 14A. However, in other buildings take advantage of that floor to use it in common areas such as a gym, a pool or laundry. Thus they can assign the name of the service and do not see themselves in the obligation to use the digit: the floor of the gym, the community pool or the floor of the laundry. They have come to spend at that height at times, although it is not usual, the mezzanine floors or lobbies.
Does this affect the safety of the elevator?
From Astarlifts we can deny it categorically. You can continue using the elevator without any danger since, beyond any belief, superstition or personal fear, the quality and safety of the current elevators is total. Yes, even on the 13th floor.
Currently, the chances of suffering a fatal accident in an elevator have been drastically reduced to even disappear. The fundamental safety measures are guaranteed, first of all, by advances in the world of technology that makes very safe last generation lifts. On the other hand, the exhaustive maintenance tasks and constant revisions to which the elevators are subjected, allow them to always be in perfect condition to guarantee the safety of their occupants.
Maximum safety also in the thirteenth floor
These reviews are always carried out by highly qualified professionals who solve any type of error, check that all parts are in perfect condition and eliminate the slightest incidence that may be caused by the continued use of the elevator. In addition, there are regulations that must be complied with in a mandatory way that not only guarantee the safety of the lifts, but also, thanks to technological advances, support the safety guarantee. An example is the directive Directive 2006/42 / CE.
Among the advances that have been implemented over the years to make safer lifts are, for example, the emergency lights located inside the cabin, the distress and alarm buttons, the telephone or intercom that connects directly with the emergency center and acoustic signaling that informs of an excess load. To avoid a fall in the cabin, they are reinforced with immediate-action parachutes, auxiliary rescue mechanisms, sensor detection of damaged or loosened suspension cables and mechanisms that level the cabin automatically.
In short, do not take lightly the people who suffer triskaidekaphobia or any other type of phobia derived from superstitions. Around the number 13 will continue to have more stories that 87% will continue to suffer mere legends, but the remaining 13% will cause fear and bewilderment. Anyway, you can continue climbing in the elevator without problem and pass by the 12 + 1 floor.