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[2017.01.13]
There is something about the number 13 which, when included in a building's layout, gives it an even more creepier and ominous feel than that in which the number already possesses. We've talked about the number's superstitious origins and how, even twelve centuries after the omens of Charlemange's death, hotels and skyscrapers in the Western world still refuse to add the number into a building's layout. Triskadekaphobia, or "fear of the number 13" plagues many people as an irrational fear that affects them profusely. Businesses lose money, because people don't like flying, lodging, or pretty much anything else on Friday the 13th. We've talked about how the absence of the number in a building's layout affects the abilities of service and rescue professionals to properly reach victimes on floors higher than the 12th.

Many buildings are slowly adding 13th floors into their layout, as superstitious patrons become farther and farther between. Does this make it right? Of course not! Humans as a whole have possessed superstitious beliefs for millenia, and it is that irrational fear of the unknown which keep the human spirit on the edge, letting it know that it is alive. To take away superstitions would be to take away a part of our existance which would change us for the worst. We are not meant to know or understand everything, even though many people aspire to understand everything around them. And while superstitions do not mean as much to some people as other (ie, as a carpenter, I have to walk under ladders all of the time, so that superstition, among others, doesn't bother me) it doesn't make their perceived meanings any less valable.

Yes, there has been an increase in the number of "fans" (of this film, I hope!) who are so fascinated about this superstition that they actively search out buildings which contain a 13th floor. And just as many who are disappointed the building they visited didn't possess that floor. The increase in 13th floor aficiandos is one of the biggest reasons for the slow dispelling of the superstition, the myth, and the legend. So many buildings are now adding 13th floors, but that, in essence, steals away from the floor's mystique, and we can only hope that the mystery and intrigue of the 13th floor will never disappear, at least not in our lifetimes.

Whether it's true or not, as in, whether there's anything to be scared of or not, remains a mystery. The effects are felt in many different ways, and superstitions affect everyone differently, depending upon their beliefs. They were created when people believed much differently, and when the number of souls residing in a village were few and far between. That doesn't make them any less special. It makes them more special, actually, because those fears have persisted over generations who have kept their memories alive. And we need not mess with the system now!

So even as the concept of the 13th floor becomes more and more popular, and more and more buildings add the feared and noxious number to their layouts, what about the buildings who do have a 13th floor already. Or more specifically buildings that do not possess a 13th floor, even though they actually do. The staff may say the building doesn't not possess a 13th floor, but that doesn't necessarily mean it doesn't.

Conspiracies revolving around the 13th floor have existed for decades now, and movies such as "Nightmare on the 13th Floor" enforce the reason for the need. A lot of buildings are said to not possess a 13th floor, but that hasn't kept aspiring conspiracy theorists from assuming that they do. People lie all of the time, and why not lie if it means protecting secret operations a company doesn't want exposed. Several do already, right?

And what it is about government buildings that always screams "something's amiss!"? Several government buildings tall enough to possess a 13th Floor claim they do not possess a floor labeled 13, skipping over the controversial number in their count and going from 12 to 14, just as hotels do all the time. Well, government buildings are not hotels, and some conspiracy theorists suggest that the 13 floor in those buildings is not actually missing, but is in fact real, and contains top-secret governmental departments. They are conviced the denile of its existence is proof of something more sinister or clandestine going on. And it is with good reason, right? The government has always wanted to "protect" its people. Think about Roswell. When you think that after 1947 America started receiving its most technological advancements, it sure makes you think something could be going on (think finding, commandeering, and reverse engineering!)... But that isn't the only reason to suspect somthing is wrong. There is a lot of compelling evidence that proves the event real, despite the governments almost 70 year long denile of its existence. Could there really be a 13th Floor that nobody knows about, tucked away in those buildings, carefully hidden from the naked eye? At least not known to anybody not directly working with the building in question? Of course there could be! Does that mean something's going on? Of course not, but that hasn't stopped the notion from being carried over, both implicitly or explicitly, into popular culture.

Several films, television shows, books, songs, video games and comic books have made allusions to the possibilities of hidden 13th floors, where the the missing floors really do exist, hidden to the public, and that house some of the most scientific, other-worldly, dangerous, or questionable practices known to man. It could be! We really don't know what goes on behind the scenes in places such as those. Is the staff in there worshipping Satan? Is it just an empty floor? A multitude of scenarios are possible and as long as the possibility borders on the fringes of reality, rather than the scientifically impossible, anything's possible. The floor would have to be hidden in a way to not appear inconspicious from the outside. But can government buildings possess a hidden 13th floor? Absolutely.

A superstitious hold over, it was said that in the 1920s and 1930s, there were some government buildings that didn't possess a 13th floor, even though the buildings possessed more than 13 floors. Well it was stated that if you pressed the buttons for the 12th and 14th floors at the same time, it'd take you to the 13th floor. Pretty clever. Even our government thought they were being creative when designing that function. So is this evidence they could exist? It is indeed. They even say there is a building where a code breaker group was housed on a hidden 13th floor back during World War 2. So while more modern buildings have a 13th floor, should you ever find yourself in one of the old government buildings that doesn't have a 13th floor, try pressing 12 and 14 at the same time, and you just might find that which they claim doesn't exist. While they just might, the bigger question to conspiracy theorists is just what is going on behind those locked and hidden doorways. Humans, as a species, have done some very horrific, very questionable things over the years, and if something fishy is going on behind closed, locked and hidden doors, it certainly can't be good. I think the real question that should be asked is do we really want to know what's going on in those hidden 13th floors? Human nature and a burning desire to understand the unknown say yes, but sadly, when push comes to shove, the majority of Americans would probably answer with a resounding "no!".