Traveling around the world means staying in all sorts of places, including beds and breakfasts, hostels, and small hotels. You know, like they have in horror movies. Sometimes those scenes even play out.
A now [deleted] user asked travelers of Reddit: What is your creepiest hotel story?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
15. Creep level: expert.
My mom was traveling for work and sat next to a man (fellow business traveler) on the plane. They had a casual conversation and exchanged business cards. Later that evening she's in her hotel watching TV and gets a phone call from the front desk that her husband is here and they want to know if they can give him a key to the room. Turns out the creep on the plane was pretending to be her husband to try to get into her room.
14. Don't think that was the desk.
I was traveling out of the country right after finishing up a huge 5-day work event where I had about 10 hours of sleep total during the 5 days.
I got to the motel, which is kinda run down and the carpet and blankets are damp but I'm so exhausted I don't even really think about it.
I fall asleep pretty much immediately at like 8PM local time.
At maybe 11pm or so, I get a call from the motel phone saying there's been a complaint about noise. I tell them that's impossible, I've been sleeping. They ask me if maybe it's someone else in the room and I tell them nope, I'm here alone so there's definitely no one else making noise. They ask me again if I'm sure I'm by myself and not causing any noise. I say yes again. Fall back asleep immediately.
When I woke up and thought about it some more, I realize how weird the entire interaction was. There was absolutely no noise I could hear anywhere nearby and I don't know why the motel staff would need to clarify so many times that I was alone.
Apparently they never called. So I assume it must've been someone calling the different rooms to see who was in the rooms and how many people. I've never been so glad to always always use the extra latch chain lock.
They ask me again if I'm sure I'm by myself
"Well, it's just me and these three large bikers with baseball bats, but they don't make much noise" - never tell a stranger that you are alone.
13. Creepy? Or strange.
While in the isles of Scotland, we stayed in a B&B. It was owned by a couple. The bedrooms were extremely well done and beautiful, but on everything there was signs to not "touch". To use the shower, you would have to ask the couple and the Internet ended at 11pm. The woman would also check on everyone at random times in the night, we would hear creeping in the hallway to make sure "everyone was sleeping" and not doing any illegal things like using the Internet. When we checked out of her B&B, she came into our room and said that we "stunk", and opened the window to prove this and demanded for money immediately.
Another traveller was kicked out of the B&B because the checkout time was 10am, and they were forced to stand outside (she wouldn't even let them stay inside) in the thunderstorm while their taxi came. Another traveller had to go a check (we were in an isolated place) to pay for the room and she took their bags and wouldn't give them back. But on the way out...she asked everyone if they enjoyed their stay!
EDIT: so I took a look at their trip advisor page and the ownership seems to have changed to a much nicer couple since we visited it in 2015. However all of the negative reviews are from before the change. Location was Isle of Skye, Portree
This is the sort of thing you should share on one of those lodging review sites so others are aware. Peculiar behavior, to say the least.
12. Don't get exterminated!
Found a hotel in Yangon (Burma) the day we got there for pretty cheap. They mentioned the rates were low because maintenance was being done on several floors. We sleep fine, wake up and head to breakfast. At breakfast we met some Germans who had also stayed the night in our hotel. They said they had not slept well because during the middle of the night someone woke them up to move them from the floor they were on. We (us and the Germans) found out later that they had been moved because they were on one of the levels reserved for maintenance, and part of the maintenance included gassing the rooms for bugs.
During the middle of the night they were just going around the rooms shoving the gas nozzle or whatever under the doors and letting them run; wound up killing the two people next to the Germans before they realized they'd accidentally booked people on that floor. We weren't on that floor thankfully but it has always stuck with me how seemingly easy it could've been to have gotten mixed up in that.
Goodnight, sleep tight, don't let the bedbug asphyxiation spray kill you at night.
11. As if the movie weren't freaky enough...
Family vacation. 1am. My brother and I had just finished watching The Shining on TV. Neither of us had seen it before. We heard someone trying to open our door. No one else was supposed to have keys.
Someone tried to swing open the door, but the hotel lock stopped them. They kept trying to open it multiple times, banging the door against the lock. After a few tries, they gave up. The hotel desk clerk accidentally entered the wrong room for their keycards.
It was probably best way I saw The Shining. I can't be scared more than that from that movie.
That's happened to me once. The housekeeping ladies weren't given an updated room rental schedule and tried to get into my room at 6am one morning. I had used the chain bolt thing and everyone was very confused. Super terrifying way to wake up though.
10. Bikers FTW.
When I was 12, I was staying in a motel with my mom on a road trip. We were in the middle of nowhere in Texas at a motel that had a decent rating in our guidebook and was really cheap, so we went for it. In the middle of the night, the owner knocked on the door and told us we had to leave because he wanted the room for someone else (!!!) My mom was outside arguing with him while I was gathering our things, and I was terrified because I heard him start yelling.
I looked out the window and saw about half a dozen bikers in vests appear out of nowhere (maybe a nearby room?) and start confronting the owner. My mom came inside quickly and we watched them start harassing the guy, things like "she's paid to be here. You're gonna let her stay tonight! We don't want to ever hear sh*t like this from you again!" And the owner was saying things like "I don't want any trouble!"
Everybody left fairly quickly and we didn't ever hear anything about it the next day at checkout. We weren't able to sleep very well because we were so shook up, but it was better than getting in the car again.
Thank you, anonymous biker gang.
9. Someone was watching.
In 1996 while air-drying naked after a shower lying on my hotel bed in Beijing with the curtains drawn, I received a call demanding I put on clothes.
Oh my god what was your reaction?
I agreed that I would be more comfortable clothed, and obliged them.
8. Hostels seem fun.
Oh I have one! Though this has turned out quite long to describe.
So mine takes place in a London hostel a few weeks ago. I have 2 friends with me that are both male, and we're staying in a 9 bed mixed dorm. There's 3 sets of 3 tier bunk beds. I'm in the bottom bed of the right bunk, friend 1 in the top of my bunk, friend 2 in bottom bed of middle bunk.
So, we get in at 2am and all just quietly get in our beds, after a few minutes of lying there trying to sleep I hear rustling behind me (I'm lying on my side facing the wall). So I think it is just someone going through their bag and ignore it.
Then I feel a hand on my hip over the cover, I turn round and it's a random guy telling me to move over and trying to pull at my cover. I initially thought he was drunk and wasn't sure which bed to be in so I tell him to go find his own bed, and then he shuffles away to bottom bed of left bunk.
Then he comes back again, i again tell him to go back to his own bed and he shuffles back to his own again. This happens another couple of times, with me gradually speaking louder and getting less polite telling him to f--- off.
So I'm shaking cause the situation is making me nervous, and message my mate that's on the top bunk, saying I don't think I'm going to be able to sleep that night. He messages back casually thinking it's cause of someone's snoring. This is when I find out both my mates have ear plugs in and although they've heard me speaking, they each thought I was speaking to the other friend. So I tell him the situation and he starts keeping an eye out.
I hear the guy go to the bathroom that is en suite, but I can tell from the light he left the bathroom door open whilst doing so and refused to look. My mate fills me in that the guy was walking round with his pants down and deliberately left the door open to get me to look, but either way the guy goes back to his bed after and we think the situation is finally over.
Then it happens again, my mate keeping an eye out shines his phone light on the floor and shouts for the guy to f--- off. Apparently he was crawling across the floor again towards me.
The guy suddenly takes offence at my mates light shining on him and starts actually climbing the bunk ladder like King Kong to get to my mate on the top and was trying to take his phone. They wrestle for a while with my mate actually kicking the guy in the neck to try and keep him away, only for the guy to swing backwards and come straight back at him again.
I use this time to run for security, who find the guy still hanging on the bed when they get there, then call the police and have the guy taken away in a riot van and banned from the building.
Whilst the police had dragged him outside waiting for the riot van, the guy even head butted the brick wall several times.
No idea what that guy was on cause it wasn't alcohol, but definitely on something to take a kick to the neck and still act like nothing happened afterwards.
The guy kept trying to blame my mate when security came as well, saying things in broken English like "come up here and see how violent this guy is".
My other mate that had slept through the whole incident kept saying the next day that he couldn't believe how friendly everyone in London is.
Edit: please don't let this put you off hostels. I've travelled in them alone around Europe and never had any problems before. Usually hostels are a great way to meet people or find activities to do in the local area.
7. Smart if true.
A friend and I once stayed at a pretty fancy B&B for the night. The lady who owned it was absolutely lovely, but would appear out of no where. We'd be sitting alone in a large room with one doorway and suddenly she was in the room with us. Either this joint had secret doors or something really creepy was going on. She seemed to know things that we'd said or done as well. The thing that tripped us out the most was hearing someone trying to open our door during the night. She was super lovely and the building was beautiful, but we were relieved to check out the next morning!
I'd bet money she had secret passages and used them to make people think she was a ghost, in order to build reputation as a haunted B&B. Would get pretty popular.
6. Fire? What fire?
I arrive at a secluded, coastal hotel south of Marmaris Turkey around 2 AM. It had been a long day in Istanbul followed by a flight and long bus ride into Marmaris where I haggled with non-English-speaking taxi drivers... who were not even aware that this small resort exists. When the taxi pulls up to the hotel... it's on fire. When the owner, standing out front sees us he opens the taxi door excitedly, "You come. I have nice room for you!" I point out that the hotel is on fire but he simply gestures and says "Small fire. No problem. You come." I. Am. Utterly. Exhausted.
I find myself following the owner into the hotel, stepping over fire hoses, waving away smoke, passing fire fighters as they run up and down a very nice staircase. We pause at the second floor landing and the owner tells me, "See. Fire only on this side of hotel. This side no fire. You come." My exhaustion removes every ounce of common sense and I follow him to a room down the hall. The room is indeed fire-free. I quickly scan the in-case-of-fire message on the back of the door, checked the window escape, and promptly pass out with my gear and boots on. In the morning I awake [alive] wondering if I dreamt the entire thing. I go down the smokey stairs past the charred other side of the hotel. The owner is so happy to see me [still alive] that he eats breakfast with me.
I went back a few years later and the hotel had fully recovered.
5. No word on the identity of the phantom pooper.
I toured around in bands a lot in my twenties, and not once but twice came back to my hotel room to find a turd in my shower. I was the only person with a key to the room. One was in Germany and one was in Belgium. Two years apart, completely separate tour and crew.
4. Pedophile Buddha.
Did the couchsurfing.com thing with a friend a few years ago. We are both big guys so typically feel safe everywhere we go.
Show up at the house, 60-year-old guy opens the door while on the phone. Hes only wearing sweat pants. He signals for us to enter. He continues his conversation and ends with an I love you. He turns to us and says welcome, and apologizes for being on the phone. He starts talking about his GF, who he was talking with, and how she lives overseas. He mentions he has several GFs and boasts about being a ladies man. He then starts to show us pictures. These girls looked like they were 14, while sliding through the pic he accidentally showed us one of their passports. This weirded us out a lot. We were early twenties and didn't really know what to do, so we said we were tired and wanted to sleep. He walked us to the room while rubbing his belly. Told us he we make breakfast in the morning.
We decided to sleep the night, but leave before he woke up. My friend slept on the bedroom door so he couldn't sneak in. We got up super early and bolted.
We got super weird vibes from the guy and just felt gross/weird about the whole thing.
3. I nope out at dolls.
Stayed in a B&B in Pennsylvania that seemed cute enough. They did have a wall of antique dolls in the main room but otherwise no signs of weirdness.
That's until we were settled in the room. I noticed some scratches on the floor near a book case and after some inspection realized it was a secret door. When I asked the owner, who gave a creepy vibe if it worked he said yes and showed me that it opened to their office (which was a cluttered room with a computer and piles or crap). It had a lock on their side and when I asked if there was a lock on my side he smiled and said "no." When I showed some concern that there was an unlockable entrance to my room that was camouflaged that they didn't tell me about he just kept smiling.
So that night no sex (fear of cameras) and I barricaded the f*cking door and barely slept.
It was many years ago (before FB/Twitter etc) so we're racking our brains to remember the name. It was near New Hope, PA is all we can remember at this point.
New Hope is lovely except creepy place...
2. "Mi scusi."
When I was 12, my family took a vacation to Europe. At our hotel in Rome, there was this amazing indoor pool...and being a child of my age, I would have spent the entire vacation there if I could. During one such swimming excursion, some random gentleman, I think probably around 40-something, comes over to me and starts tickling my feet. My mother is with me, but is preoccupied with one of my other siblings. He speaks English as well and starts teasing me for being ticklish and telling me how I'm "simply adorable." Through my giggles, I keep shyly asking him to stop. He doesn't, and just keeps teasing me and touching my feet and lower legs. This went on for maybe 2 minutes tops before my mom sees what's happening and goes into super protective mode and tells him to back the f*ck off.
1. You're supposed to sleep in your room.
Im not sure if this qualifies or not. Let me know.
When I was like 14/15, I went with my family to Las Vegas and we stayed off the main strip in a 2 bedroom suite. It was a smaller casino/hotel. My parents left to go out and enjoy the night while I stayed with my younger siblings. They slept in the bedrooms and I was in the living room watching tv. I think I dozed off at around midnight and when I woke up, I was in a stairwell. Outside of the hotel room. I had no shoes on. I had no cell phone. No room key.
I went to the front office and told them I was locked out of my room and they believed me and gave me a key.
I still don't know why I was out there. To this day, I have never sleep walked. I don't know what happened. Maybe I did sleep walk, maybe something happened during those hours that I cannot remember. But it was creepy enough for me to share.