The Triskaidekaphobic Elevator

The Hotel Palmerston has a central elevator lobby, where banks of elevators serve the various floors. Four elevators run from floors 1-12, another four run from floors 13-24, and a further four serve the “executive levels” 25-30. That’s pretty standard in hotels as old as it is, given that each used to be manually operated by a bellhop.

Cabs 5-8 make up the second bank of elevators, serving floors 13-24. And Cab 7 will, for whatever reason, never stop on the 13th floor. It will call at floor 12, at floor 14, or go all the way up to floor 30 and back down without opening its doors.

You might notice that Cab 7 is newer than the others, though they’ve tried to make it blend in. This is because it’s been replaced three times with the hope that this strange behavior might stop. They even switched Cab 6 and Cab 7 in 1974. But no matter the actual cab that is Cab 7, it will not stop on the 13th floor for any reason.

Ultimately, the hotel management closed the 13th floor and renovated it into a luxury restaurant. It’s now accessible only with a room key from Cab 5 and Cab 6. One would think this meant the end of any strangeness, but a few years ago a grease fire broke out in the 13th floor restaurant. The firefighters used the override key to take every elevator up to 13, but Cab 7 still deposited them on the 12th floor all the same.

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