You’re in town for the weekend and looking for a great hotel to rest your head. Fortunately, you discover one right within your price range. You think it’s going to be a simple process, but some unusual things occur during your stay. These people managed to walk away from a simple hotel visit with some bizarre stories. That’s why you always read the reviews!
50. Taxi Cab Confessions
I was finishing up a solo backpacking trip and decided to treat myself to a hotel for the final night. I went to request a room, and the front desk explained that they were all booked. They offered to arrange a cab to take me to one of their other chains across town and I obliged.
The first part of the cab ride was just a basic conversation, and then it turned creepy. The driver started to ask if I had a boyfriend and if I was going to be meeting anyone at the hotel. I noticed that we appeared to be driving away from the city and into a rural area with farmland. I asked him where we were going and he explained that he knew a shortcut.
He proceeded to ask me what I would do if anyone attacked me. At this point, I was terrified and explained that I carry a big knife on me at all times (totally fake!) and that I wasn’t afraid to use it. Moments after this, he pulled a u-turn and took me to the hotel. I ran into the hotel and told the staff what happened, and spent the rest of the night with my door bolted shut with a chair against it. I creeped out my window for any signs of him and left the country early the next morning.
49. Who You Gonna Call?
I was in a B&B in rural Virginia and I saw a full-bodied apparition of a lady in 19th-century clothing holding hands with a young girl. It was preceded by sounds of the door handle jiggling from the bathroom. In the morning I didn’t say anything to anyone, not even my wife, and the owner asked if I heard the noises. I said that I did and he said that others have seen the ghost of a woman and her child. I was like, really? You got me!
I don’t know if he was messing around with me or what, but if it was fake, I’m not sure how he made the ghosts appear. It was almost like they were burned into my mind more than physical manifestations.
48. Walking The Dog
Around 2014, I was on a tour playing with a band that had stopped to play a show in the NYC Brooklyn area. After the show, we met someone who offered for us to crash at his house and having nowhere to park the van in the city, we jumped on the opportunity to stay right away. The guy told us that we had to be super quiet because his wife was pregnant and would be asleep.
When I got to the house, I grabbed a couch and fell asleep. In the middle of the night, I woke up and there was a man standing in the kitchen area with a dog quietly looking at us and directing his dog in the direction of the door. It was dark and hard to make out his face but I got up and scoped out the situation (no one around).
In the morning I brought up to the owner about him having a roommate with a dog and he looked at me more confused than ever and reassured me that it was only his wife and him in the tiny apartment. Still curious about what the heck happened there.
47. Ceiling Crashers
in the ’90’s, I got a great deal on a hotel that was being renovated in Houston, Texas, near the 6 Flags Amusement Park. I was legally carrying a weapon and had it in the hotel room. I was the next to the last room on the floor, and there were noisy kids next door.
The bathroom was in the front of the room, and it had a suspended ceiling. I went to sleep and woke sometime later when I heard the toilet flush (I was alone in the room).
I got up to check it out, and there was a towel in the toilet, and the ceiling tile was moved out of place. It took me a few minutes to put it together: the kids next door got into the ceiling and into the room, putting their feet on the towels on the rack; knocking one into the toilet, making it flush because it soaked up so much water.
I called the front desk, and explained; they sent someone up to the room; I told them I was armed. I think it settled down after that.
46. A Haunted Experience
My dad was a steward in his youth, and this happened to him in a hotel in Switzerland. So he (Muslim) was about to do his prayers in his hotel room when the lamp on his nightstand suddenly turned off on its own. He went to turn it back on and it turns out the plug had been disconnected from the socket. He plugged it back in and went back to pray, and the same thing happened again, right as he was starting to pray. Creepy enough? Not nearly.
Now, to be honest, I don’t really believe in ghosts and spirits, nor the stories about the subject when people tell them. This next part, however, makes me think there’s a possibility they do.
While he was sleeping later that night, he was awakened by a strong wind suddenly blowing the windows completely open and letting cold winter air into the room. He got up to shut them and discovered that the windows opened outwards instead of inwards.
45. Walking With A Ghost
My family stayed in a famously haunted hotel in New Zealand when I was about 6. I didn’t notice anything creepy and neither did my brother or my mum. But my dad did.
He said that while he was in the bathroom he could hear someone moving around in my mum’s and his room. When he called out to ask what she was looking for, there was no reply. He just figured it was her but then when he walked back in, she wasn’t in there and had been reading a story to my brother and me for about 10 minutes.
Afterward, we asked the front desk if maybe there had been some housekeeping or something but they said that housekeeping is only in the mornings. My dad’s always been very critical of people who believe in supernatural things and used to tease my mum when she talked about the time she saw a ghost, but after that night he’s been a lot more open about the possibility.
44. Handle The Situation
I stayed in a hostel in London (near Paddington station) with my three friends two years ago. We found this hostel last minute because we were initially going to stay in an Airbnb but when we got there, the owner/area was really weird and we later found out he didn’t have locks on the bedroom doors (he also changed his name on Airbnb and restarted his profile or something later).
Anyway, the hostel was actually pretty nice but during the night someone tried to open the door by VERY slowly pushing the handle down and upon realizing it was indeed locked, they then VERY slowly pulled it back up.
My friends should be lucky I’m a light sleeper because none of them woke up…
43. Eyes On You
I was staying in a hotel in Amsterdam with a female friend. Our room was located on two sides of a tiny little courtyard, with another room occupying the other two sides. The bedrooms looked into each other and so did the bathrooms. The widows took up almost a whole wall so you could see practically the whole room through them.
We left the bedroom curtains closed most of the time, otherwise, they could see right in. The bathroom windows were frosted so we thought that would be OK. My female friend went for a shower and I happened to glance out the bedroom window. It was at that point I realized that the frosted glass didn’t actually hide that much. I also noticed a guy in the other room watching her whilst being weird.
He sees me and disappears, I quickly alert my friend and we both go storming to reception. They tell us that the rooms have just been renovated (which was true) and that they didn’t realize it was an issue. They have no other rooms for us but do refund us basically all we paid for the room, move the guy, and fit a net curtain to the bedroom and a waterproof curtain to the bathroom that day.
They also left the guy’s room empty for the duration of our stay. Kind of creepy but I do think it was a genuine mistake as the windows had only recently been replaced.
42. A Hot Mess
My Mom, my Dad, my sister, and I drove across Canada. We stayed at three motels along the way because my dad was cheap and I still don’t know why. Both mom and dad had great jobs and we didn’t want for anything but the principle of sleeping in hotels and paying bothered him, I guess.
Anywho, it’s 10:00 p.m. and we are in some godforsaken place called Wawa and just need to crash. So my Dad goes in and pays and then we drive super far down the road in a separate building. We walk in and it is the most messed up room I have ever seen. Mattresses on the floor. Rat traps everywhere. Those sticky fly strips hanging from the ceiling. Stains everywhere; just gross. Funny thing is, my mom had to yell at my dad that we were NOT going to stay there. It was so gross.
41. Don’t Stop Living In The Red
The 2-star hotel in Vietnam during my school trip…it had these weird wooden statues; I don’t know if you can picture them but they had a very creepy red stain on some of them and stuff like that. We stayed there about 2 days until the teachers decided to go away when one of the younger students started screaming and crying because she saw some weird things outside her window…the next one we had was much better and actually comfy compared to the other one.
40. Surprise Husband
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.
39. Spirit In The Night
I was in Washington DC almost a decade ago and had gone to bed somewhat early (about midnight-ish) since I had an event to be present at around 9 am. I woke from a dead sleep, around 3 am or so. I looked to the right side of the room and saw a woman in a long, flowing, white dress peering out the window. She then turned to the left and flowed to the other side of the room and dissolved.
I was too groggy to actually piece what I had seen until I got home and thought about it. I wish I had remembered the hotel I stayed at so I could do research on it and figure it all out.
38. No Way Out
I booked this strange motel in advance for a business trip. The lobby was on the same level as the ground, but the first and only floor was up half a flight of stairs, and the furthest room back was about 400 square feet with no exits or entrances save for some fire exits.
Also, the floor was partially damp. It later dawned on me to wonder why I was put in the room furthest from the entrance to the motel when I had never heard or seen anyone and there were no cars in the parking lot…
37. Chain Of Fools
Stayed at a historic hotel that has a haunted reputation. Locked my door and used the chain as well. Went to bed, got up the next morning and went to the bathroom, and noticed my door was cracked open, held shut only by the chain… Ghost or creepy hotel employee?
36. Fighting My Way Back
I was 12 years old visiting London with my sister, who was 21 at the time. We were staying in a hostel and our window opened onto an overhang, so we were sitting out there relaxing and enjoying the night air. There was a bar right below us and a few people were leaving when a fight broke out. A bunch of yelling turned into a bottle being broken over a guy’s head. He fell to the ground and the others all booked it. About a minute later he got up. His face was absolutely covered in blood. He looked up at us, smiled, and asked my sister if she wanted to go out with him sometime.
35. Brand New Wardrobe
When I was around 10 years old, my family went to Thailand on a holiday. We were staying in a nice resort in Pattaya one night (who knows why Mum thought that was a good idea) when a local Thai man climbed at least three floors onto our balcony and stole the clothes we had drying outside after we went swimming. Mum called reception and someone came up with a broom 15 minutes later to get rid of the intruder but he’d already left. In retrospect, I think he was just poor and wanted some clothes so no harm done.
Then there was the time we were in Fiji and housekeeping came into the room at 6 AM thinking it wasn’t occupied. That was more awkward than scary though.
34. Peep This Out
In high school, a Greyhound bus full of us drove down to Tijuana to build houses. We stopped in Montana the first night and were booked to stay in this hotel. Like 5 of us girls were put in a room that wasn’t really close to the rest of the group. They were all next to each other and we were on the floor above.
We didn’t think much of it at the time, but as soon as we got in, I just had a feeling that something was off and I had a feeling to check out the peephole in the door. Turns out, it was installed backward, so someone on the outside could look in, but we couldn’t look out. We covered it, but sleep was hard that night.
I’m so amazed by how a gut feeling just led me right to the problem. Everyone was blown away. We had just dropped the bags off and I just had this feeling and walked straight to the door. Freaked everyone out. But now every time I’m in a hotel I check the peephole.
33. A Dollar Disaster
Many, many years ago, I was a 25-year-old American hippie chick traveling by myself in Colombia. I stayed in a hotel that cost $1.00 a night and all these men kept knocking on my door, trying to get in. I put the bed in front of the door and went to sleep. I was an idiot.
32. Seeing Red
I checked into a motel while driving from Atlanta to Miami. I was exhausted and somewhere south of the Orlando area. I went into the room and it was a bit stinky and the floor was carpeted and sticky. I wanted to leave but I felt like I couldn’t drive another mile safely so I just got into the bed and fell asleep.
A few hours later I woke up needing to pee. I went into the dark bathroom and the floor was wet, like soaking wet above my flip flops (that I wore to the bathroom because of the sticky carpet). I grabbed a towel and wiped my feet just before I got back into the bed. I went back to sleep easily and awoke just after dawn.
I turned on the light, slipped my feet back into my flip-flops, and noticed the towel on the floor with pinkish stains on it. I walked back to the bathroom and the floor was flooded from the tub overfilling. The water looked bloody. My heart fell into my stomach and I noped the heck out of the room. The desk clerk assured me it was not blood, but rather a “cleaning solution.” I did not buy it but did not want to stick around to fight it.
31. Punk Rock Towels
Mystery man showed up in my room in Richmond, Virginia.
Traveled to Virginia for a conference at a mid-range hotel, signed in and spent the first night alone. I was a 20-year-old girl at the time. My (platonic male) friend stayed in my room with me the second night.
I wake up around 2 am and see a strange man in my room. My friend wakes up and sees him too. He stutters and says that he was just dropping off some towels and must have made a mistake. I didn’t report it at the time because I would have felt bad if the poor guy got fired over an honest mistake, but I wish I had.
Richmond is still punk as heck, though.
30. Hidden Intentions
When I was a little kid, like elementary age, I was at a beach resort in Hawaii and playing in the sand with a boy my age. Some older guy came up to us asking to help him find his lost dog; we had common sense and were insistent that we wouldn’t go even though he kept asking for our “help.”
Later that evening, before even telling our moms about the incident, apparently they saw a few guys hiding behind a palm tree and some bushes who were watching us and that is why they had us take a break from the beach. To this day, I still sometimes wonder about what their intentions were.
29. Light Goes Out
Staying at a BnB owned by Christians in Tel Aviv. They left Bibles on TOP of all the pillows in our room. As a devout atheist, I started reading Genesis to my roomies but in a super silly valley girl kinda way (and God said, like “let there be light” or whatever, and there was, like, light, and God was like that light is totally awesome, etc.). We went out for a bite, then came back and they had come into our room and taken away the Bibles. So they were listening in.
28. Snooze I Say!
Was in a bed and breakfast near Savannah, GA. The room had an alarm clock in it, but it wasn’t set. Around 3 am the alarm went off with a bunch of white noise. I unplugged and we went back to sleep, about 30 minutes later it went off again with white noise and it was powered on. It didn’t seem to have a spot for batteries so I don’t know how it could have happened. Not the type to believe I ghosts but that was too spooky for me.
27. An Old Haunted Hotel
I traveled to Liverpool a few years ago with an ex-gf. We stayed in the Adelphi Hotel for 2 nights. I found it on a booking website for cheap and I am a massive history geek so I thought it would be perfect!
For those unfamiliar with the building, it been in continuous use from the 19th century. It has these really old fashioned rooms with high ceilings and generally victorian furnishings. I thought it was great if our room was a bit creepy (there was a massive mirror right across from the bed). Just so, there was nothing out of the ordinary so we went out to explore the town.
When we came back at night we were too tired to even take a shower as we normally do. We fell right into bed. Something to be conscious of before I begin about the actual creepy part is that the room was an ensuite with a tiny foyer in between the bedroom and the bathroom where the front door to the hotel room was also located along with a storage closet. I always like to lock things before I go to sleep, it’s kind of a habit of mine. So I locked both the front door as well as the chain lock on the door leading to the bedroom. So far, everything was normal and we drifted off to sleep, or so I thought.
Less than 15 minutes after I had closed my eyes, but not yet fallen asleep I experienced the most intense terror of my life. I’m not talking normal terror. This was the most afraid I’ve ever been in my life. I was consciously aware that someone was watching me and didn’t want me to know it. There was a feeling of dread in the air like something wasn’t right.
I jumped out of bed and turned the light on. Nothing. But the door was wide open… I woke up my ex and asked her if she had gotten up to use the toilet since we had gone to bed. She said no so I asked her again, with more intensity. No, she was certain that neither of us had gotten up in the 15 minutes since we had turned off the lights.
So I turned on all the lights in the room and locked the door again. Trying everything to take my mind off of what was seemingly just an empty room, every now and then glancing nervously up from my laptop to see if anything was still there.
Hours later, I was too tired to stay up anymore and I fell asleep without realizing. But when I woke up in the morning, the door was once again open. Once again my ex denied either of us using the toilet in the night. The same sequence of events was repeated the next night as well.
After the first night, I began to suspect something was not normal, however, I refrained from googling “adelphi hotel” and “haunted” until I was on the train out of the city. Apparently, the Adelphi is the most haunted hotel in Britain. I dont know if I believe in ghosts, but I was really frightened that night. I will never forget it.
26. Kick Out The Jams
I checked into a hotel on vacation. Everything was going okay. Woke up one night to erratic movement of the door handle as if someone was trying to get in or break the door down. It always happened in the dead of the night when in deep sleep. As soon as I woke up, it would stop.
I spoke to a hotel manager about it and he told me it was a patient who was recently released from a mental institute who does this, as he still thinks he is locked up in the institute. A combination of not taking his medication and sleepwalking makes him randomly try to kick doors down within the hotel. The family was very wealthy and connected, and the manager didn’t want to kick up a fuss for chucking out someone who can shut his business down very quickly. I left after a week because it got worse.
25. Here’s Johnny!
Family vacation. 1 Am. 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 that I saw The Shining. I can’t be scared more than from that movie.
24. Too Much Poo For You
Kind of creepy but also really gross. We got to our hotel and the rest of the room was clean but the toilet was filled to the top with poop. Like more than a normal human being could drop in one trip. Maybe it was a disgruntled employee who decided to leave his or her mark and we were the lucky ones, or they just forgot to clean it. Either way, we were thoroughly disgusted and got a free night. We even got moved to another room because the smell was so bad even after it was cleaned.
23. What About Bob?
My mom was in China visiting her family when she got a phone call from a number she didn’t recognize. She picked it up and didn’t recognize the voice and asked who the person was. The person pretended to be a friend of my uncle (I’ll call him Bob). My mom was suspicious so she didn’t really talk to Bob; she just hung up.
Fast forward to when my mom arrived at her hotel. She got a call from the phone in the hotel room and she picked it up and it was Bob. She was kind of freaked out because she didn’t say anything about where she was staying. And Bob told her to meet him at a restaurant that was really far. She didn’t go and she checked into another hotel.
22. Into The Darkness
One time, between deciding if I wanted to go back to college or not (didn’t feel like my major was what I really wanted — didn’t go back), I stayed at the Hampton Inn that was here in town (didn’t live in the city and didn’t register for another semester just yet).
The room felt off the moment I walked into it. I thought it was just me since I’ve always had roommates (boarding school) and family around. So first time with some true privacy oughta feel weird right? Well, I started Facetiming with some friends from high school and all was well and fun like old times when suddenly someone walked across the screen behind me.
It didn’t really register that I was supposed to be alone in the room until I saw the look on my friend’s face. I searched all around the room, underneath the bed, in the closet, the bathroom and everywhere someone could’ve disappeared to in two or three seconds. I was alone.
I went to bed later on that night with the bathroom lights and desk lamp on. I woke up a few hours later with everything totally dark and the sensation of someone in bed with me. Freaked the heck out, turned on the bedside lamp and the figure of someone else’s body disappeared on the bed. Noped the heck out of there and took a midnight flight out of town.
21. Gotta Go Fast
I was in Texas in a pretty shady hotel. At first, I didn’t think too much of it. Then when I was walking downstairs at around 7 PM to go to a friend’s room, I saw a huge burly man with tattoos all over him. He was listening to this strange noise and whispering unintelligible sounds. I saw him go to a storage room and he left the door open. I look inside and he was gone. I was spooked at this point so I take the stairs down. By the time I get down, he was already there.
20. A Late Night Accident
Mild, but when a friend and I were visiting Norway, our hotel was set up with pairs of rooms sharing balconies. Kinda weird, but they were really small and not really meant for hanging out on, plus it was winter, so whatever. We were sitting in the room hanging out, my friend sitting in the chair next to the balcony door. Some older guy from the next room starts trying to open the door into our room. Waving to us and rattling the doorknob. It freaked us out a bit, but I think he had just had a bit too much and left after we locked it and closed the door curtain.
19. I Want Your Skulls
About 15 years ago, I was staying at a hostel in Freiburg, Germany. The dorm room I was assigned had maybe three other travelers. One of them was a young, muscular guy who seemed normal at first. I tried to talk with him but he would just stare back at me blankly. I assumed because he didn’t speak English or German, or he just didn’t feel like socializing. Anyway, later during my stay, I noticed that he was using a human skull as a piggy bank. Maybe it was fake, or maybe it was real. I didn’t dare get a closer look. I never felt as though I was in danger, but it was definitely creepy.
18. Miss Know It All
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 nowhere. 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!
16. Get Over Here
Was in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua last year. Massive spiders all over the room. I even woke up with a couple of little scorpions in my bed the first morning. Next night I’m sitting at the bar, drinking and chatting with a mate, and feel a tickle on the back of my neck and think it’s a mosquito or something. Brush the back of my neck and another darn scorpion, this time way bigger, plops on the ground at my feet. I stared at it for a moment in shock, squealed like a girl, squashed it, and kept enjoying my beverage.
15. You’re Not From Around Here, Are You?
I went on a weekend trip with my SO. We went to a little town in the middle of nowhere in Australia. Just getting off the train I could almost hear the banjo music from Deliverance. She got stared at. We thought it was funny at first since I’m white and she’s Asian, it just seemed… quaint.
After a few hours though, the hairs on the back of my neck got restless. She didn’t like it either so we decided to call it a day fairly early. We were staying above a pub. The patrons there stared even worse, not just curiously but… lustily? I guess? Enough to make my normally very happy and bubbly partner feel subdued and creeped out.
Long story short, I caught a staff member of the pub/hotel removing a video recording device from the cupboard after we’d left the next morning when I ‘unexpectedly’ returned to the room to see if I’d left my book in there… zero stars.
14. The Shining Hotel
Last August, we went hiking in the Rocky Mountains and the last two nights of our trip, we stayed at the Stanley Hotel (the hotel in the Shining) and stayed in a “haunted” room on the 4th floor.
As we were getting settled in, I was putting our stuff in the closet & I heard a light switch loudly switch on. I peeked out of the closet to see what was going on & my partner was standing in the middle of the room frozen in place. Neither of us was near a light switch. And the bathroom light was now on when it had been off before.
We’d also left our do not disturb sign up all the time and our room had been tidied. That could’ve been housekeeping just ignoring our sign, but previous guests had commented that their stuff had been completely unpacked & put away, which the hotel said they don’t do. Housekeeping also worked evenings, which seemed unusual.
We didn’t spend much time in the hotel as we were out hiking most of the day, but that was creepy, plus the TV was acting very strangely, flickering & just freezing up, then the screen would turn pink across part of it. There was also a young child, maybe 2 years old hanging out outside our room. I’m pretty positive he was a real child, it just seemed weird that he was alone for a few minutes. (His parents were probably not far away, just didn’t see them). There were also bizarre noises coming from a room by the elevator, strange mechanical noises.
13. 98 Bottles On The Wall
During a school trip (age 16-17) to Rome, the school booked us in some cheap hotel. We shared this hotel with other school trip groups from Germany and France.
At night, me and my bro were hanging out at the window of a 4th floor 6-bed room. Outside was a little square, where residents had a baby in a crib. We were just talking when we suddenly hear glass shattering outside. We spot the shards near the baby. We didn’t know what happened, but it became clear what had happened when a couple of minutes later a red-headed man barges into our room and threatens us. Some jerk threw a glass bottle at his baby. Never found out who did it.
12. Three Doors Down
My wife and I were driving across country to a family vacation. It was getting late and we were tired of driving and needed a place to stop. Most hotels were already full for the night, but we found a motel with vacancy and booked a room.
It was your typical run-down motel right off the highway in Indiana. When we got to our floor with about only half of the hallway lights working we walked past a room with red tape on the door. As a good husband, I could sense my wife’s uneasiness, so to be as supportive as I could I joked to her that I bet someone died in that room. She didn’t appreciate the joke but we were both tired and headed to our room about 3 doors down.
When we got to our room the wife went to use the bathroom to find that someone had already used it and just left it in the toilet. No paper, no flush. The entire room gave off a “you’re going to get a disease or leave with bugs” vibe, so we slept with our clothes and shoes on and made the best of it.
The next morning during checkout I made the same joke to the front desk clerk. “What happened to the room down the hall from us. Did someone die?”
The clerk didn’t hesitate to reply that yes, someone had died. They fell asleep while smoking in bed.
My wife and I just said “oh…” at the same time as we soaked in the poor taste of my joke as it became a reality and turned and left. I searched online to confirm the story, and sure enough, it was true. This motel didn’t have a fire alarm system that reported to the fire department, so when the room caught fire the occupant died of smoke inhalation before someone was alerted to the fire.
We haven’t stayed in an Indiana motel since.
11. Heavy Sleeper
A crazy guy busted into my hostel dorm room with knives in his hands. My friend and this other guy tackled him to the ground, then a couple of minutes later the police stormed into the room with weapons drawn and riot shields and stuff and grabbed the guy.
I pretty much slept through the whole thing.
10. Who Drinks Peppermint?
My friend and I stayed at a motel in Berlin and when we came home after a night out it was obvious that someone had been in our room. Not because there was something missing (some money and passports still there), but there was peppermint beverage all over the floor and our beds. My friend, looking very out of sorts went to the staff asking for clean sheets, telling them what had happened and they clearly thought we must’ve been more messed up than we actually were. For a second I doubted myself, but I’m 100% sure we would never buy or drink peppermint anything, so pouring it all over our room definitely didn’t happen. The memory of confusion on the staff and my friend’s face still makes me chuckle every now and then. Good times.
9. Just A Bit Of Blood
My parents took my sister and me around the US quite a bit when we were young. In Alabama when I was about two, we checked into the Heart of Auburn Motel after a long day on the road. Once in the room, I immediately turned down one of the two double beds to find the pillow completely covered – literally caked – with blood.
To my mind, this was awful. My mother saw it as simply a failure of proper housekeeping. She called the front desk, had the sheets and the offending pillow changed and then tucked me into the formerly messy bed.
She said someone probably had a nosebleed but my mind was filled with images of massive head wounds.
Much later in life, when my work took me onto several crime scenes, I saw blood splatter and pooling up close. This experience has convinced me someone actually bled out on that motel room pillow in the Heart of Auburn.
8. The Homeless Hotel
I travel a lot and have gone to plenty of 3rd world countries etc. But, my worst hotel story, by far, came in Sullivan County, NY less than 2 months ago.
We got hit with 2 storms that decimated that area and knocked out power for 10 days. I was there doing emergency work, and the entire area was a mess. So they put me up in a “hotel”, I’m like “sure whatever”, don’t really check it out because our logistics person takes care of it and I’m swamped doing 18 hour days.
So I arrive at this hotel around 1 am, exhausted, and I show up and it’s locked. There is a handwritten note in crayon on the door that says “Not here, call xxx-xxxx”. I notice at this time that the hotel is legitimately crawling with sketchy folks. Not just weird people, but people screaming, running through the halls, slamming doors, crying etc.
Finally, the guy comes and lets me in. The place smells like a sour mix of poo, death, and mothballs. I really don’t have a need for the finer things in life, but this was a little much. So I get to my room and have to walk through these dingy, filthy halls. It was a motel, so my room was exposed to the outside, with a little walkway. I show up and immediately see a huge brownish stain on the floor. The lampshade was riddled with burns and the room itself was filthy. Someone obliterated the bathroom in what I can only assume was a messed up Jackson Pollack imitation.
I was so tired and had to be back at work in like 4 hours that I tried to just say whatever and pass out (in my clothes, with my boots still on). The door didn’t close though so the wind was whipping on me through a large crack, and the heat didn’t work. I wrapped myself in the duvet like a human taco, to no avail.
About an hour in, people started scampering around outside, screaming and yelling. I got up and jammed a chair under the door handle because, of course, the door didn’t lock. I seriously considered sleeping in my car but it was cold and I felt like I had a better chance of being attacked in a parking lot than a room. Some guy crashed into my little bay window thing shortly after and I sat straight up, grabbed my leatherman, and prepared myself for having to deal with someone that night.
When I got back to my station in the morning and told the guys where I stayed, they didn’t even believe me. Two of the cops there said they investigated suspicious deaths there…not together, two different ones. The Red Cross rep said they used to send their homeless population there…but now they don’t because it’s too dangerous.
It’s a big running joke now, but at the time it sucked and was the only time in my life I was genuinely worried about where I have slept.
7. Don’t You Dare Touch Cleo
My wife and I were moving from Boston to California. We needed to find pet-friendly hotels along the way because we had our cat, Cleo, with us. One of these stops was in Albuquerque, NM.
The night we get into Albuquerque, we check in, get settled, everything’s fine’n’dandy. I also took a shower that night and didn’t notice anything wrong with the bathroom, other than the shower being old and in need of some updating.
The next morning, we’re getting ready to head out. I go to the bathroom, and notice on the back of the bathroom door, written in (what looked like) dried bar soap, “C L E O ☹️”.
This was definitely NOT there the night before. I would have seen it before and after I took my shower. I called my wife into the bathroom to check it out and she didn’t see it the night before either. We then made sure Cleo was ok, scooped her up, put her in her crate, and packed up as quick as we could.
We did not want to investigate. We did not want to hang around. We checked out of that hotel and quickly got out of Albuquerque.
By the way, other than that hotel room, Albuquerque’s lovely!
6. Don’t Be Afraid Of People’s Disabilities
When I was about 10, my family and I took a rare vacation to Atlanta and stayed in a budget hotel. Dad checked in, got the key, and we all filed into the room from the car. As soon as we get in the room, Dad tells us kids, “Now, kids, there’s a woman downstairs checking in who has elephantiasis of the face.” He proceeded to describe in vivid detail about how distorted her face was. “I’m telling you this so you won’t freak out if you see her. She can’t help it, and I don’t want you to hurt her feelings.” Which, I suppose, is a good way of getting in front of an awkward situation, but it had the effect of sending my 10-year-old mind reeling as to what she would look like.
Naturally, I was sent to go get something from the car. Which I did. I got back to our room, knocked to be let back in, and nothing happened. I knocked again, frantically this time. Nothing happened. I started to panic, thinking that I had the wrong room. I started running up and down the balcony, calling out for my folks at the doors. I came to the end, which led to the stairs leading down, and saw the woman my dad described sitting on the ground. She smiled and waved.
Now, I’d already had this construct in my head about how this woman looked. In retrospect, she didn’t look THAT disfigured. But to a 10-year-old mind that was already on the edge and panicky over having lost an entire family in an unfamiliar place, I froze and screamed at the top of my lungs Macaulay Culkin style. My older brother finally poked his head out of one of the rooms, saw the scene, and hurriedly grabbed me and pulled me back in the room.
Not so much creepy in retrospect as I probably just ended up making a disabled person feel worse. But for a dumb kid like me, it might as well have been The Shining.
5. Where Was Cat Noir?
When I was 4 or 5, my parents and I stayed in a Motel 6 somewhere in Arizona. In the middle of the night, we hear a bunch of screaming and doors slamming and people running down the hallways. As we’re all waking up, it also feels kind of like it’s raining in the room — only the rain is moving. My dad throws on the lights and the ceiling is crawling with tiny ladybugs. And they are falling off the ceiling, so the beds and carpet are also covered in tiny ladybugs. And apparently, ours was not the only room affected.
4. Biker Sweet Talk
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 stuff 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 shaken up, but it was better than getting in the car again.
Thank you, anonymous biker gang.
3. A Knock-Knock Here And A Knock-Knock There
Stayed in a hotel in Puerto Banus that wasn’t really open. We’d booked and everything, but when we arrived, it was clear the hotel wasn’t finished. We were taken to a room anyway, which had bare wiring and no water. A different room was found, and we were so tired, I just wanted to sleep, so I said it was fine, even though it was not decorated, tools were left in a pile in the corner, and the plaster dust was still hanging in the air.
I was woken at close to midnight by someone trying to get in the room. I figured they would realize their error, and leave it alone in a minute. They didn’t. I ended up getting out of bed and ripping open the door and shouting “What?!”. I was faced with two people, clearly a sketchy guy and his woman. They tell me I’m not supposed to be there. I asked where I was supposed to be, and they said they didn’t care, but just not there. I told them to leave, closed the door, and went back to sleep.
About an hour later, someone is trying the door again, but this time, they’re not just trying the handle. They’re trying to take the door out. I happened to notice a hammer in the pile of tools, so I grab it, get close to the door, and shout through the door, asking what they want.
The response was that they were here for the meeting. I shouted that there was no meeting, and was told that if I didn’t let them in, then the deal was over. It became suddenly clear that the room I was in had been earmarked for some sort of deal, and my being moved to this room had ruined the whole thing.
I opened the door, after tucking the hammer into the rear waistband of my boxers. I found three guys in the corridor, one clearly on something, and the other two looking like bailiffs, with the big torsos and pecs. I explained I was moved here by the hotel, and that the previous attempt to enter the room had been a guy and a lady, who had been turned away too. The 3 guys accepted this and left.
I was awoken 6 more times that night, by people trying to get into the room, and each time I had to jam a hammer down my boxers, answer the door, explain that no, this room wasn’t available, and then try and sleep a bit more.
That room must have been used for all sorts as I believe there were at least 3 deals to be arranged there that night.
2. It’s Mime Time
I once stayed in a B&B that had a shared bathroom. The first night, I got up at probably around 2 am and I was bursting for a pee. The bathroom was down the hallway, not too far but seemed like such an effort in my tired state. I got to the bathroom and open the door and there was this guy just standing in the bathroom, dressed head to toe in a mime costume. Face painted and everything. He was squatted down on the floor but his trousers were still up. I looked at him for a second; he gave me a wave with a smile and began just silently pushing. I just ran back to my room, locked the door and decided to pee in a bottle. I’m still not sure if I was just really tired and seeing things or something. It’s seriously the strangest thing I’ve ever seen.
1. Splitting Heads
A little hotel in London, I remember it being a couple of blocks away from King’s Cross. We got there late and there was only a reception guy, he told us about breakfast and internet services, etc.
“You can come back upstairs around 8 and the guy in charge of the Internet café will be back.” “The cook starts serving breakfast at 6” “The cleaning crew usually start cleaning rooms at 10”
Things like that. The creepy part? He was the only employee there. He was the cook, and the cleaning guy, and the one in charge of the computers but he has different personalities for each and spoke of “the others” in third person. We only stayed there for a couple of nights and we were never really sure if he was crazy or just being funny.