Some hotels will omit unlucky floors from their building. You step into the elevator and find the 13th floor missing. Sometimes even the 4th floor is gone, too, because the number 4 sounds like death in Chinese and Japanese. Yet there is an even more mysterious effect of elevators on modern culture. An urban legend has developed around elevators to different dimensions.
It All Started with a Malfunctioning Elevator
Lucia Peters, author of The Encyclopedia of the Impossible, delved into the backstory of this urban legend. In June 2006, a Japanese in Tokyo elevator began to ascend with the doors still open. A sixteen-year old student was crushed between the floor and the door frame while trying to exit. This led to an investigation revealing that this brand of elevator had a series of deaths attached to it.
Even after the elevators were replaced, people were understandably nervous about riding after the incident. The myth of an extra-dimensional elevator was born.
Ascend to Another World
In order to travel to other worlds, you need to enter the elevator alone and it must be in a building with at least ten floors. You will need to travel to the following floors in this order. You will not exit at any time. Additionally, if anyone gets on the elevator, the whole ritual falls apart.
- Starting on the ground floor, travel up to 4th
- Then down to 2nd
- Up to 6th
- Down to 2nd again
- Up to 10th
- Finally back down to the 5th floor
At the fifth floor a lady will enter the elevator. You are not supposed to look at her. This aspect of the legend might have originated with a short story by William Sleator in 1993, called simply “The Elevator”.
At this point you should press the button for the first floor. If the ritual is successful, instead of going down, the elevator will travel up to the tenth floor.
When the doors open, you will be in an alternate reality. It may look like a hotel floor, but it’s not the same world as the one you left. You can explore all you want, but the elevator is the only way back to your world. Should you get lost, you will be stuck in this world.
Feel free to check out the full comic I created on the Elevator to Another World