Apartments and Superstitions

It’s Friday the 13th. Does this conjure up fears and bad omens and Jason (or Mrs. Voorhees, depending on your predilection. Uh, spoiler alert. Sorry) chopping up pretty teenagers with a machete?

Of course not, right? We’re all mature adults with busy lives who don’t have time for all that superstitious nonsense.

Or not.

We apartment people are apparently a very superstitious bunch.

Seriously, look at our high-rises. Are any built with a 13th floor? According to a blog post on MSN, fewer than 5 percent of high rises in New York are built with a 13th floor. And that’s just in New York! Plus, if there’s construction going on in the building, we all know not to walk under the ladders. Neighbors apparently shouldn’t give knives as housewarming presents, because then that neighbor will become an enemy. But you can give a new resident a loaf of bread, salt and a new broom as a welcome gift (so they won’t go hungry, to season their lives and to sweep away sorrows, respectively). At least we usually don’t include a no-black-cat clause in the pet section of lease agreements, but still!

Superstitions actually do shape a lot of our development projects. And not just in multifamily—remember when they were building the new Yankee stadium a few years back and had to tear down a section because someone buried a Red Sox Jersey and everyone thought it would bring bad luck to the Yankees? I’m surprised they don’t spray the field with holy water before each game just to be safe (or maybe they do? I’m not really a baseball fan).

This all might sound silly, but maybe it’s silly like a fox. After all, why risk offending someone if it’s just as easy to avoid it. If you don’t think people would rent certain apartments because of the floor number, why not just eliminate that floor number and get the whole building leased? If a building is “cursed,” why not preform some sort of ritual to get rid of it, so that everyone is happy?

Anyway, just wondering if you have any superstitions about your apartment community. Does your community have a 13th floor? Would you have an apartment unit numbered 666? Do you have any problem building on an area that was once an Indian burial ground? And what about smaller things? If you’re showing prospective residents around, do you go through a specific ritual or carry a good luck charm with you?

Or do you think all this superstitious stuff is just a lot of bunk?

Then again, maybe that’s what they want us to think. (Insert evil Vincent Price laugh.) Happy Friday the 13th, everyone!

-Jessica Fiur, Senior Editor

Photo credit: Everett Collection