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"My hotel doesn't have a thirteenth floor because of superstition, but come on, man. People on the fourteenth floor, you know what floor you're really on. "I'm in room 1401." No you ain't. If you jump out the window, you will die earlier!"

Every building housing a top secret spy or military operation seems to have a "beyond top secret floor". Like a Secret Room, except it's a whole floor. There's no obvious button for it in the elevators, you can't reach it by stairs, and of course nobody has ever heard of it. Most realistic is a sub-basement, but it could also be higher than the highest official floor, or even squeezed in between floors — though in the last two cases, it's questionable how they've managed to keep it hidden at all, since anyone looking out a window could get suspicious.

Typically either magic or sufficiently advanced technology is involved in keeping such a floor hidden. Finding it is a major plot point.

It might have been closed off long ago (since it houses a Dark Secret or Black Site) or it's still being used by the Beyond Top Secret club. In any case, don't expect to just walk in here, not even if you do have security clearance.

A variation of this trope involves lettered building wings (like those of airports) or suite/room numbers (like in an office complex or a hotel). You might be going down a hotel hallway and there will be rooms numbered 210, 211, 212, and 214 — no room 213.

While it could technically be any number, four and thirteen are fairly common choices.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Cage of Eden, while Akira and co. were in the pyramid, they encountered a staircase which had a missing floor. It ended up being a double-floor room for huge generators.
  • Dragon Ball: Muscle Tower's floor numbering does not make sense. The Mobile Maze floor that comes after the 4th floor is unnumbered even though you have to go through it to get to the 6th floor so logically it should be the 5th. The floor that is numbered 5th, which is the home of a dangerous monster, is only accessed through a trap door in the 6th.
  • The fifth The Garden of Sinners movie contains a variation in that it's an entire half of a building that's hidden through the use of an elevator that slowly rotates as it ascends and deposits you on the opposite side of the building than you expected. This is so Araya Souren can carry out a magical experiment with Artificial Humans in one half the building reenacting their last day alive and their original (dead) selves in the other, with their original brains located in the basement powering the whole system.
  • The manga Oldboy concerns a prison where rich folks who want someone out of the way, but not dead, can pay dearly to have it done. It's set in a sub-basement accessible by only pressing two buttons on the elevator at the same time.
  • In One Piece, the World Government's great prison Impel Down has multiple underwater floors, with the prisoners assigned to a level based on how dangerous they're considered to be. Level 1, the closest to the surface, is for the least dangerous prisoners, while the most dangerous go to Level 5. When Luffy sneaks into the prison to rescue his older brother, the infamous pirate Ace, naturally he's assumed to be on Level 5. It turns out that Ace was actually being held on Level 6, a secret level where the World Government places even more dangerous prisoners such as Crocodile and Jimbei. There's also Level 5.5, located between Levels 5 and 6, that was created by prisoners who escaped from their cells but had no means to escape from the prison itself.
  • In both Read or Die OVA and the sequel R.O.D the TV series, there's a secret bookstore that plays a role in the plot. It's hidden in the basement of a skyscraper, and can only be accessed by hitting the buttons in a specific order – unlocking a card-slot where the 'members only' card-key can be inserted.
  • In ×××HOLiC, characters are telling Ghost stories, and Himawari tells one of a hotel that was missing a room; from the outside, you could see the window that belonged to the missing room, but inside, the room was blocked off by a wall. When the owners tore down the wall they indeed found another room, which had the words 'FATHER LET ME OUT!' scrawled all over the walls in blood.

  • Comedian Mitch Hedberg commented that some hotels don't have a thirteenth floor due to superstition and hates to break it to them but the fourteenth floor is the thirteenth floor — it makes no difference.

    Comic Books 
  • In New 52 Batman comics, it turns out the Court of Owls has secret bases between the 12th and 14th floors of various buildings in Gotham City, including several owned by the Wayne Foundation.
  • In Paperinik New Adventures, the Ducklair building has officially 150 floors and a small number of underground ones. In reality, there is a 151st aboveground floor and an Elaborate Underground Base..
  • In the pre-Crisis Superman comics, the Daily Planet building supposedly had no 13th floor. In reality, the 13th floor existed and was secretly used by an alien tourist bureau dealing in vacations to Earth.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: The basement of the sciences building at Holliday College is not on the regular floor plan nor meant to be accessed by regular faculty and students and houses lots of maintenance things. Paula von Gunther's post-Heel–Face Turn laboratory is also hidden there behind a panel in the wall.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The corporation running the hotel in 1408 believes that 13 Is Unlucky, so they pretend there's no 13th floor. Hence the thirteenth floor is re-numbered as 14 (just as is the case in many real-world hotels).
  • In Being John Malkovich, Craig Schwartz works on the 7 1/2 floor of the Mertin-Flemmer Building. It isn't a secret or anything, it's just an architectural oddity created to access the portal into John Malkovich. Without a button, it can only be accessed by using the emergency stop on the elevator halfway between floors 7 and 8 and then using the supplied crowbar to pry the doors open.
  • In Brazil, the protagonist reaches a hidden floor by entering a sequence of buttons that play the recurring title motif.
  • Hidden Floor, a Korean horror film, takes place in an apartment building haunted by spirits that dwell on the supposedly non-existent fourth floor.
  • When Neal starts to actively seek the mystery girl who has been appearing to him in dreams and on billboards in the movie Interstate 60, he's directed to an appointment on the 13th floor of a building. When he gets in the elevator, however, there is no button for the 13th floor. Luckily, there's a new poster from his dream girl on the wall of the elevator. This poster reminds him that 10 + 3 = 13. He pushes the buttons for 10 and 3 simultaneously, and the elevator takes him to the missing floor.
  • The Matrix Reloaded: "There is a building. Inside this building there is a level where no elevator can go, and no stair can reach. This level is filled with doors. These doors lead to many places. Hidden places. But one door is special. One door leads to the source."
  • There are several missing floors in Mirage (1965):
    • On his way down the stairs of the Unidyne building (Manhattan), the hero notices that the 13th floor is missing. His Love Interest remarks that this is because the natives are superstitious.
    • Later the hero uses a special key to get to the Major's office on the otherwise inaccessible 65th floor.
    • There are four other missing floors. At the beginning the hero chases a woman down the stairs in the dark (the power has been shut off) and goes down four sub-basements to emerge in the boiler room. Later those floors aren't there. He has amnesia but doesn't know it yet. Those four floors below ground is where he worked in a lab in California. It's a random memory.
  • In Nightmare on the 13th Floor the hotel floor has been closed after a maniac murdered several guests many decades ago. On the outside the windows have been hidden with statues and other decorations. It's only accessible by using a special key in the elevator. A cult worshiping said maniac continues to murder people there.
  • Implied in No Country for Old Men when Carson Welles is talking to his employer (note that this doesn't stop Anton Chigurh from finding and killing Welles' employer later on).
    Welles: You know, I counted the floors from this building to the street...
    Employer: Yes?
    Welles: And there's one missing.
    Employer: (dryly) We'll look into it.
  • In Oldboy (2003), the illegal prison that Oh Dae-su was held in for 15 years is located in an unlisted floor in a high-rise, which is accessed by pressing the elevator buttons for floors 7 and 8 at the same time. The "warden" of the prison refers to the location as "floor 7.5".
  • In Oh, God!, protagonist Jerry Landers first talks to God on the 27th floor of a building that has only 17 floors.
    Jerry: How do I get to the 27th floor?
    Worker: In this building?
    Jerry: Yeah.
    Worker: I'm afraid you'd need a can opener. We only have 17 floors.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger is infiltrating The Mafia in Raw Deal (1986). In one scene he gets into a hotel elevator and tells the operator to take him 'down'. When the operator replies "There is no 'down'", Arnie gives him a big tip and is taken down to an illegal gambling den.
  • Red (2010): Bruce Willis' character is sneaking into a CIA file room that's so secret most agents don't know it exists. He gets into the elevator and presses the bottom button marked P2, holding his finger there as the floor indicator goes past that number to P3, B1 and finally B2 before the doors open.
  • The apartment in Satan's Slaves 2: Communion supposedly only has fourteen floors, but, as seen from the outside, it actually has fifteen. Floor 15 is inaccessible by either elevator or stairs. One of the rooms in Floor 14 has a hidden staircase leading to Floor 15, which is used by the Satanists to conduct their rituals.

  • The Day of the Jackal: The OAS leaders hiding out in a hotel in Rome create one by renting the top floors and welding shut the lift doors on all but one floor, which is guarded by their men.
  • In the short story/prose poem "E is for Elevator People", author Harlan Ellison describes certain elevators via which, if you accidentally press the Basement button too many times, you are taken down to "the caverns". Awful things happen there.
  • The Last Dragon Chronicles: The sixth book; Fire World, features a massive Librarium in which the only way to navigate between floors is to imagine your destination. Floors beyond the 42nd floor are inaccessible to all but the very best.
  • Platform 9¾ from Harry Potter is a variation, accessed by walking through the barrier between platforms. 12 Grimmauld Place (the Black family home) could be considered the street address version of this trope, as the house at that address is only visible by magic.
  • Hive Mind (2016): Level Zero, a double-height interlevel above Residential Level 1 and below Industrial Level 50. It holds industrial equipment and cargo belts, and is accessed by entering a special code into the lift control panel. Most people in the Hive have no idea it exists.
  • In Mirror Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold, the Durona Group has a set of secret subbasements (in which they store the protagonist while they're resurrecting him after cryogenic suspension).
  • Level 13 of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy building in Mostly Harmless is hidden. Ford is so used to Earthly superstition that it takes him a moment to notice this. It turns out to be where the sinister new Guide is being made.
  • In the Necroscope saga by Brian Lumley, the ESPionage group E-Branch has their base on the top floor of a hotel. Although people working at the hotel — and anyone who cared to count the hotel's floors, go inside, and ask for a room on the top floor, and look at the floor number — know that there is a top floor, it has its own elevator and fire escape, and is stated to belong to a group of "International Entrepreneurs"note .
  • Night Watch (Series): The home base of the Moscow Night Watch is in a hidden floor, not normally accessible and not noticeable from the outside by non-magicians.
  • Patriot Games: While discussing Irish terrorist Kevin O'Donnell's CIA dossier, Jack Ryan notices that O'Donnell allegedly got plastic surgery in a certain hospital in Moscow. One of his wife's friends, a fellow surgeon who does plastic surgery, has been there and noticed that the top two floors of the hospital are closed off, accessible only by special elevators and stairways.
  • In the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, Mount Olympus is accessed through the 600th floor of the Empire State Building.
  • In Stalking the Unicorn by Mike Resnick, every building in New York supposedly has one of these for its 13th floor, reachable by climbing stairs in the surrounding floors in an elaborate sequence ("It depends on the weather and the day of the week.").
  • In the Star Trek: A Time to... series, the Federation embassy on Qo'nos has a secret subbasement.
    • In book 7, A Time to Kill, Section 31 has a listening post there. The listening post is moved elsewhere after Ambassador Worf visits it; although he's the Federation ambassador to the Klingon Empire post-Deep Space Nine, he isn't supposed to know about the post.
    • In book 9, A Time for War, a Time for Peace, Worf puts the now-empty subbasement to good use as he retakes the embassy from a Klingon terrorist group.
  • Ogden Nash wrote a poem "A Tale of the Thirteenth Floor" in which a would-be murderer gets into an old-fashioned elevator, with an operator, in a hotel. The operator chooses to stop at the 13th floor — to show him murderers chained to the corpses of their victims in a ghastly dance of damnation. (The whole hotel is kind of hellish, but the 13th floor is true Hell). The point is made, the plan abandoned.
  • In the children's book The Thirteenth Floor, the building is supposed to be one of the ones where the numbering just skips from 12 to 14... but when the protagonists manage to get into the thirteenth floor, it turns out to be a Time Portal.
  • In the 1952 short story "The Third Level" by Jack Finney, the narrator gets lost in the maze of hallways within Grand Central Station and comes out on a third level. (Officially, Grand Central Station has two levels of tracks, Upper and Lower.) Take the right doorway and walk far enough, and you find the third level, which is smaller and older, with gas-lamp lighting and wooden gates instead of metal... and is in the year 1894.
  • The War Against the Chtorr. The Uncle Ira Group is located on the 13th floor of a hotel in Denver, reached by a private elevator. The first-person protagonist mentions that "controlled-access architecture" is nothing unusual in this 20 Minutes into the Future world, as hotels use them for guests who need extra security and privacy. You'd only realise it was there if you walked the fire stairs, and if asked the hotel would claim it was a service floor. They just wouldn't mention what service.
  • The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathon Hoag by Robert A. Heinlein. A husband-and-wife team of private detectives are shadowing the title character, only to find their memories of what happened are completely different. The husband remembers following Hoag to his office on the thirteenth floor of the Acme Building, but when they return they find that floor doesn't exist, even after they check the fire stairs and the time the elevator takes to pass between the floors.
  • The Wayside School book series takes place in a 30-story school building. (It was supposed to be one story, with thirty rooms... The builder was very sorry.) Miss Zarves teaches on the 19th floor. The nineteenth floor doesn't exist. How can that be? The builder forgot to include it. Each book is thirty "stories" long, and in each of the first three books the nineteenth story is about Miss Zarves.
    • In the first book, the nineteenth chapter is simply "There is no Miss Zarves. There is no 19th story. Sorry."
    • In the second book, one character Lampshades this and wonders why the numbering isn't just shunted down after floor 18. She ends up stuck on the nineteenth story for three chapters, which are naturally chapters 19, 19, and 19. While there, she meets students that other characters made up in previous chapters. The next chapter fixes the numbering by being "Chapter 20, 21, & 22".
    • In the third book, the nineteenth chapter features Miss Zarves complaining about never being noticed, as well as a cow who won't leave her room (which is a Call-Back to the beginning of the book). Later, in chapter 27, some students play a game where they bounce a ball off the school, scoring points based on which story it hits. At the end, the janitor takes a shot at it, and gets the ball somewhere between the eighteenth and twentieth stories. The ball doesn’t come back down. There is no nineteenth story.
    • In the fourth book, Miss Zarves shows up eight chapters late, when Mrs. Jewls and her students need a place to hide from the Cloud of Doom. They end up spending chapter 28 in the nineteenth story, until one of the kids volunteers to cut off Miss Zarves' longest fingernail.
  • In Max Barry's Company there is no 13th floor in Zephyr's office building, which is standard for most tall buildings in the United States, but it's a company-wide joke that the elevator seems to take just a little bit too long to cross between floors 12 and 14. Protagonist Jones eventually discovers that there is a 13th floor, it's where the secret Project Alpha monitors the whole company to use as research for publishing the Omega Management System. You can only access the floor by calling the elevator with a specially-coded keycard, pressing the 12 and 14 buttons simultaneously, and then hitting "Door Open" at just the right time between the floors. It also turns out that there's no "top" floor of the building at all: To keep people from noticing that the number of stories visible on the outside don't line up with what they can access on the inside, the elevator and stairway access open onto the roof. Since the top floor is supposedly the CEO's private office, nobody has access to go there anyway.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Angel, the "White Room" in Wolfram and Hart is accessed by pressing a specific set of buttons in the elevator.
  • In the eponymous Are You Afraid of the Dark? episode, the thirteenth floor exists, but its occupants have long since disappeared. Turns out that the former residents are aliens, and they're coming back for their daughter, Karin.
  • Arrow: For a short time, the Arrowcave is in a subbasement accessed via a secret elevator in the Palmer Technologies building, that the board of directors don't know about. Spoofed in the Fight Club promo where our heroes take the elevator with a fangirl Palmer Tech employee who starts squeeing over them. At the end of the promo, Ray Palmer smashes through the ceiling in his Powered Armor because he didn't know about the elevator.
  • The last season of The A-Team had an episode where Murdock is infiltrating a mental hospital. He and Hannibal discover a secret floor because the elevator takes longer than usual to go between particular floors.
  • In an episode of The Avengers (1960s), a hotel actually has an unlisted 13th floor which is used to capture and brainwash scientists. No one expects there to be a 13th floor so they don't suspect there are two "12th" floors.
  • In the Babylon 5 episode "Grey 17 is Missing", all the levels in sector Grey beyond 16 are mislabeled, with Grey 17 actually being the 18th level and so on. The actual 17th level had been sealed off during construction of the station and the elevators programmed to stop according to the new numbering system. Since sector Grey consisted entirely of the station's industrial facilities that were only visited by maintenance crews, it took four years before anyone noticed that the elevator takes twice as long to get from level 16 to 17 than between all other levels, and that was only because the Properly Paranoid security chief took it upon himself to investigate the discrepancy between the station's plans and the actual numbering when he found out about it. The hidden level was used as a hideout by a doomsday cult who sealed themselves in with an alien monster.
  • In the Evil episode "E Is for Elevator", the team investigate a missing teenage couple in a NY high rise. They discover that the couple had been playing the urban legend "Elevator Game", where supposedly if you get on an elevator and go to certain floors in a certain order, the elevator will go all the way down to Hell. Ben ends deciphering the number order and the elevator takes him to a forgotten sub-basement that the building management is completely unaware of. The missing couple both independently became trapped down there with no cell service and no way to recall the elevator once it departed, and they died of thirst. Ben ends up trapped as well, but David and Kristen are able to rescue him.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Runaway Bride": The elevator of the H.C. Clements building has a button for the "Lower Basement", which the Doctor notes is curiously absent on the official floor plans.
    • In a rare example involving stairs instead of an elevator, in "The Lodger", people who go up the stairs to the second floor loft above Craig's flat tend to disappear. When Craig's best friend/secret crush Sophie visits the second floor loft, Craig and the Doctor follow her. Meanwhile, Amy (who is stuck in the TARDIS outside of space and time) contacts the Doctor and informs him that she was able to find the plans for Craig's apartment building. "There is no upstairs!" Turns out there's a spaceship parked on top of the building, disguised as a second floor and using a Perception Filter so people won't notice the building only used to have one floor.
  • Dollhouse: Agent Ballard locates the building containing the Dollhouse, but after going on site can't find anything suspicious. So he does some research and discovers that in addition to the usual contractors the builders hired an environmental systems consultant, an expert in buildings that recycle their own air, water and power — which you'd need for underground floors that you're trying to keep secret from anyone else in the building.
  • The I Dream of Jeannie episode "One of Our Hotels is Growing" has the main characters attempt to book a room in a filled-up hotel, so Jeannie just magically creates a 13th story and books the room there, when the Bellows know that the hotel in question only has twelve floors. Cue much confusion from the hotel staff and the Bellows, while Tony and Jeannie simply denied that there was anything unusual about the floor at all.
  • In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Hand have a fondness for this trope. In Daredevil (2015), Daredevil and Elektra have to break into the security-restricted thirteenth floor used for the more illicit activities of the Roxxon Corporation, while in Iron Fist (2017), Danny Rand is shocked to find Madame Gao is running her operation from the thirteenth floor of his own Rand Enterprises building.
  • Person of Interest: In "Dead Reckoning", the 21st floor of a building can only be accessed by pressing a combination of buttons in a particular elevator. It turns out to be a secret Department of Defense facility for cyberwarfare.
  • The Pretender has sub-level 27, which became a major focal point for the series — as it progressed, it became hard to find anything that wasn't a result of something that happened on SL-27.
    • Although strictly speaking almost everything in the Centre took place on 'missing floors'....from the outside the Centre was just a few stories tall, but it had 27 floors underground. The part above ground was used for counseling and legit psychological testing, and the basement sublevels were used for all the illegal stuff. It's just that SL-27, the very bottom sub-level, was even secret from most of the people who worked there.
  • In Red Dwarf, Floor 13 is believed not to exist by most of the crew. It houses the ship's brig and is accessed by using a key to reveal a secret panel in the lift.
  • The Rockford Files episode "Sticks and Stones May Break Your Bones, But Waterbury Will Bury You".
  • Smallville has a fertilizer plant with a hidden sub-level 3. The 3 button on the elevator is invisible. More specifically, it's a black marble button in a black marble control panel.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959):
    • The episode "The After Hours" has a 9th floor in a department store that's less than 9 stories high. It's where the store mannequins hang out when they're waiting to have their month out among living people.
    • The Devil has a travel agency on the 13th floor in "Of Late I Think of Cliffordville".

    Video Games 
  • Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth The second game has a 51st floor at the top of a skyscraper. It was being used as a secret storeroom as well as an secret entrance (complete with cargo elevator) into the meeting room bellow.
  • ANNO: Mutationem: At Skopp City, a SideQuest is centered around looking for a murder suspect who suddenly vanished in a Empty Elevator. After solving the clues left behind, Ann is suddenly taken to an unknown floor within the building, and moments after finding the suspect, the elevator returns to its proper place.
  • Deus Ex gets a Wham Episode moment out of revealing that the secret Majestic-12 prison you've been trying to break out of is, in fact, the restricted-access-only bottom level of your employer's headquarters.
  • The thirteenth floor in the Macintosh Doom clone Sensory Overload has no button in the elevator, and can only be accessed via ventilation ducts. Beyond that is the sub-basement, only accessible via the hidden express elevator in the Big Bad's office.
  • In Ghoul School for the NES, the left half of the school can only be accessed via the roof. To get there, you must get on the elevator, press up, and hold it down, at which point the elevator will shake as though resisting, then rise to the unmarked ceiling. There's no indication that you need to do this.
  • In Grim Fandango, Maximino's High Rollers' Lounge has an extra floor between its main area and the wine cellar. You need to figure out how to stop the kitchen elevator at the right point in order to get there. Also you can't Sequence Break by getting in there before you know about it.
  • In Hell Cab, pushing a red button on the elevator in the Empire State Building would take you down to hell.
  • Last Window: The Secret of Cape West: There is a secret room hidden between floors accessible via a hidden hatch in the elevator.
  • In Outlast, the main elevator can descend to a secret floor where the Morphogenic Engine experiments are carried out.
  • Silent Hill:
    • Silent Hill: Inverted with the fourth floor of Alchemilla hospital. The hospital actually only has three floors, but a fourth floor button mysteriously appears in the elevator after you've looked around for a bit. It takes you to the nightmarish Otherworld.
    • Silent Hill 2 subverts this trope in Toluca Prison, whose basement level is shown on the map, but the morgue on said level and the door leading to it are not.
    • Similarly, in Silent Hill 3, after the phone call in the hospital, you go through a Missing Door that wasn't there before, that leads you to the alternate hospital.
    • Several floors of the Office Building in Silent Hill 3 only exist, or at least can only be accessed in the Dark World. The sixth floor is not accessible at all.
    • The Evil Brookhaven Hospital in part 3 has three basement floors (two of which don't exist in the normal world), but only B3 is accessible.
  • In Space Quest II: Vohaul's Revenge, the elevator in Vohaul's space station has no 2nd floor button. To reach that area, you must solve a gauntlet of puzzles that require items from the other floors.
  • Tower Of The Sorcerer has three. The first one is obvious, since the stairs from floor 42 go direct to floor 44. The intervening floor 43 can only be accessed by obtaining the "wings to fly up", which move you up one floor wherever you use them. There are also "wings to fly down", and one puzzle depends on using these to access floor 0. Finally, the floors come in groups of ten, but the highest floor accessible by stairs is floor 49. There is a floor 50, which you reach during the game's ending.

  • Appears in S.S.D.D., where a supposed "storage installation" in the middle of the desert hosts a top-secret research-lab in a hidden basement. Once again, it can only be accessed by hitting the elevator buttons in a specific order. Or by blasting the panel, apparently.
  • In Thunderstruck, every building that goes from 12 to 14 in their numbering still has a metaphorical 13th floor. Which a mage can enter and walk around in. Makes for a good place to stash your Doomsday Weapons.

    Web Original 
  • On We're Alive, the Tower is stated to be 15 stories tall but its really only 14 because there is no thirteenth floor.
  • Whateley Universe likes this one; all the cottages have at least one hidden basement floor, where they keep the exercise equipment and cottage vaults that Muggles shouldn't see or have access to, and the required display is hidden as well (because, after all, you don't want people just walking in and seeing that you've got several tons of gold just sitting around). And that's not even counting the hidden tunnels, and laboratories and workshops, and the testing areas that are all buried underground, too. It's Lampshaded in mentions that they have to be very careful about where they tunnel these days, or risk sections of the school falling into a sinkhole.
  • SCP Foundation:
    • SCP-476 is a road map listing several nonexistent locations which can only be reached by people regularly consulting the map.
    • SCP-1483 is this trope applied to an entire continent: it is a much warmer version of the continent of Antarctica, with a "Third Antarctic Empire", that can only be accessed through a portal hidden in a crevasse in our universe's Antarctica.
    • SCP-3790 has a seventh sub-basement level that is visible through the floor of the elevator, but the lift mechanism has been modified so that it's no longer accessible.

    Western Animation 
  • Castlevania: The Belmont manor has a secret (and enormous) basement that holds all of the family's knowledge on how to fight the creatures of the night.
  • A Freaky Stories story has an obsessive man trying to figure out the secret of a building's 13th floor. When he finally gets to it, he finds that the door to the 13th floor locks from the inside, trapping him with everyone else who had discovered it.
  • Kappa Mikey has a secret floor in Lily Mu Towers, which is accessed by pressing the buttons 9 and 4 (9+4=13). It is home to a mad scientist (who, according to Ozu, hasn't paid rent in 40 years).
  • This was used to great effect in an episode of The Real Ghostbusters, when Janine dons her 5th Ghostbuster gear to track down the missing quartet. She traces them to a building, but can't find them anywhere within it. When she rides the elevator, she notes the missing thirteenth floor but dismisses it as superstition, until she notices that it takes too long to go from floor 12 to floor 14. One emergency stop button and one proton-pack charged "lock-pick" later and she's found a ghost floor, complete with ghost receptionist.

    Real Life 
  • The US Coast Guard has the country divided up into districts for organizational/command purposes. However, due to various reorganizations over the years, the district numbers that remain today are 1, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13, 14, and 17.
  • Truth in Television, sort of: some buildings actually do omit floor number 13 or floor number 4 (the latter in Japan and China, since Four Is Death there). This is just a renumbering to cater to the superstitious, though: the floor isn't missing, the number is.
    • Some Chinese buildings go as far as to skip any floor number with 4 in it — having the effect that you can buy a 50th-floor Chinese apartment in a 36-storey building.note 
    • Due to its history, Hong Kong buildings can occasionally defer to BOTH superstitions. The result? Well, see the photo at the top of this page. (yes, that particular elevator is in Japan, but it's more common to see 13 skipped in Hong Kong)
    • This custom makes it a little more convenient for fictional entities wanting to make a "real" missing floor – since no-one expects to visit a floor numbered "13", they won't be surprised when the ordinary everyday elevators skip by that floor.
    • Many skyscrapers have dedicated mechanical floors used for heating/cooling units, electrical junction boxes and maintenance equipment storage. The horizontal bands on the former World Trade Center towers were a visible example. These types of floors are not typically accessed from the main public areas but usually count in the floor numbering. Of course, 13 is a popular choice.
    • In some cases one or more floors will be called by other names in order to avoid having to designate a 13th floor. For example, the Plaza 425 Building in Cedar Rapids, Iowa the first level was labeled as the ground floor while the second level was designated as the skywalk level, then the floors above were numbered. As a result the building's physical 13th floor is labeled as the 11th floor.
    • This is quite common in Moscow. Because button panels were manufactured in a limited variety of sizes, elevators would often be installed with panels with more buttons than necessary. For example, in some buildings with ten floors only nine of them are served with the elevator, while the panel in the elevator has 10 buttons, however.
  • Moscow State University's Main Building has several 'tech floors' which are hard to get in (not mentioning top floors with restricted access). There are also underground tech rooms between Main building, Chem Building and Phys Building for sure and urban legends exist about even more hidden undergrounds there.
  • Many building from USSR times in Moscow have bomb shelters with hardly available entrance.
  • The Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, MA has no sixth floor in its main wing. Or at least none that can be easily gotten to – none of the public elevators go to it, and its door is locked from the stairwell. It's mostly maintenance and engineering stuff.
  • In a subversion of this trope, back in the 1980s and 1990s, the elevators in Cincinnati and Hamilton County Library's Main Library building had floors numbered A, B, 1, 2, C, D, 3. Only the numbered floors were accessible to the public. The lettered floors were for the stacks. (There were also references in the building to a floor "M" (for Mezzanine) between the first and second floors, but it was only accessible via stair or wheelchair ramp.)
  • At the main station at Hannover in Germany the departure platforms 5 and 6 are nonexistent. However there is a rather unspectacular explanation for this: Track 5 and 6 are solely used for the transport of goods, and because of that a platform is unnecessary.
    • Some subway stations in New York and London have non-existent (or Dummied Out) platforms.
    • As do some surface stations; Stratford Regional has no platform 7. In general, it's because renumbering a platform requires the signalling system to be redesigned, and it's much simpler just to stop using the number if the platform closes. Thanks to repeated rebuilds of Stratford, its platforms are now numbered in the order 4A, 4B ,3A, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 10A, 11, 12, 2, 1, with 13-17 in a group on their own.
    • For this reason, Edgeley Station in Stockport has a Platform Zero and not a Platform Five.
    • Terminals at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York are numbered 1 through 8. Each terminal was intended to be used by a specific airline. 3 and 6 are skipped, as their primary tenants (Pan Am for the former, TWA and JetBlue for the latter) had eventually gone out of business and were subsequently demolished to allow other terminals to expand.
  • Relatedly, sometimes subways and other rail networks have "missing" stations.
    • During the Cold War, East Berlin had a number of "ghost stations" (Geisterbahnhof) in places where U-Bahn and S-Bahn lines originating in West Berlin would briefly pass through East territory. Trains would pass through without stopping, and many of these stations remained deserted and unchanged from 1961 to 1990. The term "ghost station" remains in common use for stations that are closed, but have not been demolished.
    • Philadelphia's rapid-transit network has two "ghost stations": Spring Garden Station on the little-used SEPTA Broad-Ridge Spur, and Franklin Square Station on the more-used PATCO line between Center City and New Jersey. The Broad-Ridge Spur is so little used that there's little chance Spring Garden will reopen, but reopening Franklin Square is an idea that is periodically floated, considered, and then withdrawn. As of PATCO's December 2014 agenda, it is being considered.
    • The New York Subway has ghost stations, too, including several that were closed due to the lengthening of platforms at adjacent stations. A number of them are also still intact, but trains don't stop there.
    • Mornington Crescent station on London Underground's Northern Line closed in 1992 so that the lifts could be replaced. However funding ran out and the work was stopped, and for six years trains would pass through slowly but never stop. The station itself still appeared on Underground maps, but crossed out. The work was eventually completed and the station was reopened in 1998 by the cast of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue.
    • The Métro de Paris has many stations that were either fusionned with other ones or never reopened after World War II, but the two most well-known "ghost" ones are Haxo and Porte Molitor. Both were built in the 1920s, the former as an intermediate station between two other lines that was quickly abandoned while the latter was supposed to provide access to the nearby Parc Des Princes sports arena. In both cases, a lack of interest caused them to be abandoned before their external access were built.
  • There are also at least a few subway systems, typically ones that have been built according to decades-old master plans, that sequentially number their lines but have a conspicuously missing one.
    • In Vienna, the U-Bahn has a U1, U2, U3, U4 and U6. The U5 was considered since the beginning, but has repeatedly been put off and redesigned before eventually starting construction in 2018. As a further bit of fun, the U4 was the first line to open, followed by the U1, U2, U6 and U3, so this system has always dealt with its lines being collectively numbered in an odd way.
    • The Milan Metro features the M1, M2, M3 and M5. In this case, a lack of funding meant the M5 was opened before the M4 even began construction.
    • Torino's SFM commuter system features six numbered lines, SFM 1 to SFM 7, skipping the still under-construction SFM 5.
    • The Sydney Trains system has eight lines numbered from T1 to T9, skipping T6. T6 was previously the Carlingford Line, which closed in 2020 for conversion to light rail.
  • At Utrecht Centraal railway station in The Netherlands, there are 16 platforms numbered from 1 to 21, skipping 6, 10, 13, 16 and 17. Platform 6 was abandoned during a remodelling in order to allow for more efficient arrivals and departures, while the rest are missing because they represent tracks that merge just before entering the station.
  • For decades during the Cold War there was a secret bunker beneath a wing of The Greenbrier resort in West Virginia, built in order to house the U.S. government in the event of nuclear war.
  • It's common for ships not to have a deck numbered 13 – maybe to cater to the superstitious clientele, maybe due to the traditional superstitiousness of sailors.
  • In Brazil, there is a TV station/college building (the Gazeta Building) that actually has a Floor 3½. It can only be reached by one of the stairs, and no elevator stops there. Disappointingly, the only things on that floor are a few ATMs and a small bank agency.
  • The Netherlands:
    • The office block on top of The Hague central train station passes over one floor. This is used by the railroads, as far as we know.
    • A building in Rotterdam used by Dutch insurance company Nationale Nederlanden has several of these. Certain elevators do not have a 1st or 2nd floor (ground being 0th in the Netherlands) because the entrance hall is three regular floors high, and some of the building's towers have service floors only accessible by a special separate staircase. An engineer who needs to service something but is unfamiliar with the building's layout is in for fun times.
  • O'Hare International Airport in Chicago:
    • Before the 1980s, the airport had three terminals. Terminal 1 was for international flights, and Terminals 2 and 3 served domestic flights. However, in 1985, the original Terminal 1 concourses were demolished and replaced with the current pair of two concourses. So from 1984 until 1993, a temporary "Terminal 4" was erected on the ground floor of the main parking garage for international passengers, who would check in for their flights there and be taken directly to their aircraft by bus. When the current international terminal was opened in 1993, though, it was numbered Terminal 5, and the Terminal 4 designation was dropped entirely. There is rumor that Terminal 4 may return if expansions and increases in air traffic at O'Hare justify the need to build additional terminals.
    • O'Hare's concourses are designated B, C, E, F, G, H, K, L, and M. Concourse D was demolished in the 1980s when Terminal 1 was rebuilt, while Terminal 3 has never had a Concourse I or J.
  • Almost all airlines have seating algorithms where certain seat row numbers are skipped. Some noticeable instances:
    • On all narrowbody United Airlines aircraft, some row numbers in the forward section of the Economy cabin are skipped so that rows 20 and 21 are always the numbers used for the overwing emergency exits.
    • Lufthansa's Boeing 747-8 planes have two major number skips: First Class and Business Class on the main deck are rows 1-11 or -14. Then there's a skip to row 16 or 22 at the front of the Economy cabin. However, Business Class is actually split between the main deck and the entirety of the upper deck. The upper deck Business Class seats are numbered rows 81-88. Economy Class on the main deck ends at row 49, so there's a big number skip.
  • Toronto Pearson International Airport has two terminals: terminal 1 and terminal 3. The former terminal 2 was replaced by a pier for Terminal 1 and was primarily used for transborder traffic to the United States.
  • The former Hotel Alexandria in Los Angeles has a "phantom wing" that was sealed off from the rest of the hotel due to a rent dispute in 1938. As a result, access to all seven floors was bricked up by Alexandria's management. The ground floor could still be used, and the seventh could be accessed from nearby rooftops, the ones inbetween became inaccessible, as they relied on Alexandria's staircases and elevators for access. They remained sealed off until 2012 when the wing was sold as a condo entirely separate from the hotel.
  • The Box Hill train station in Victoria, Australia, has platforms 2, 3 and 4. Platform 1 for whatever reason has been made inaccessible from the shopping center, and has had its tracks stripped.
  • Similarly, for many years the platform numbers at Clapham Junction in London started with 2, after the 'banana arches' supporting the trackbed for Platform 1 became structurally unsound. It now has a new Platform 1, created by splitting Platform 2 in half; if the original platform 1 were to be repaired, it would have to be numbered 0.
  • Boston's Logan International Airport has terminals A, B, C, and E, but no D. Well... Terminal D technically existed, but to all intents and purposes it was just a set of three gates in a nondescript wing of Terminal C, so in March 2006, they were renumbered and labeled as part of Terminal E (E1C, E1D & E1E) on February 28, 2006. In 2016, following construction of an airside connector between Terminals E and C, these three gates were renumbered again to become the present gates C8-C10 (as part of Terminal C).
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Arizona has terminals 2, 3, and 4, but no 1. Terminal 1 was torn down in 1991 and replaced with a parking lot, but the others kept their numbers because of familiarity.
  • During their initial expansions in the 1970s, Breckenridge Ski Resort in Colorado used letters and numbers for their chairlifts. Skips in the numbers/letters exist due to some of these lifts getting replaced, as the replacement lifts have used names.
    • Fixed grip chairlifts on Peak 9 are lettered. At one point, there were Lifts A, B, C, D, E, and F. Today, only Lifts A, C and E operate. Lift Fnote  was converted into a high speed quad and renamed the Falcon SuperChair after just a year of operation, Lift Dnote  was replaced by the Beaver Run SuperChair in 1990, and Lift Bnote  was replaced by the Mercury SuperChair in 1997.
    • Originally, fixed grip chairlifts on Peak 8 were numbered 1 through 7. Only 5 and 6 are still around: Lift 1note  was replaced by the Colorado SuperChair in 1986, Lift 2note  was removed around 1997 due to lack of use, Lift 3note  was removed around 1980, Lift 4 was replaced by the Peak 8 SuperConnect in 2002, and Lift 7 was renamed Rip's Ride in 2009 before being replaced by a high speed quad in 2022.
  • The city of Vancouver zig-zags this. A law was passed in 2016 that forbids new towers from omitting floor numbers; however, the law isn't retroactive, so previously existing buildings can keep their oddly numbered floors.
  • San Jose International Airport in California averts this trope now, having Terminals A and B, but before Terminal B was constructed in 2010, there was a Terminal C (i.e. there were Terminals A and C, but no B).
  • Europeans who come to the United States (or other countries that adopt its floor-numbering scheme, like Japan or Canada) may feel like this trope is in effect when they are in multi-floor buildings with American-style numbering. European buildings designate the street-level floor as "ground floor", the floor immediately above it as "first floor", and the floor immediately below ground floor as "first basement" (which can be interpreted as "floor -1"), which can evoke the idea that street level is "floor 0". In the U.S., however, ground floor is labeled "first floor", the floor above as "second floor", and the basement floor immediately below American first floor is "first basement" just like in Europe, so going from street level to the floor below is basically going from "floor 1" to "floor -1" with just one floor's descent, with "floor 0" nonexistent.
  • We all know of MI5 and MI6, the big British intelligence agencies made famous thanks to fiction, but what about MI1 through MI4? They did exist, but as they were intended to provide exceptional services during the World Wars, their duties were largely absorbed into other government departments once they were no longer needed around the clock. MI1 was responsible for codebreaking, and is arguably the predecessor of today's GCHQ. MI2 handled international intelligence (and Scandinavia), MI3 handled European intelligence, and MI4 dealt with geographical mapping. The MI branches ultimately went all the way up to MI19, among which MI13 and MI18 were never used.