You never know what you're going to come across in hotel rooms. These people share their scariest encounters with strangers and their experiences that made them want to check out!
What an experience! Content has been edited for clarity purposes.
Don’t Trust The Motels In Kansas!
“I was in Topeka, Kansas.
It is the final night of a long trip. I decide to stay at a Motel 6 to save some money. I get in the bed and feel something crawling on my leg.
I throw the cover off, and insects are all over my legs. I get dressed and get the heck out of there PRONTO.
I go to the front desk and say I want my money back; I’m leaving. They say I can’t have my money back because I already paid; no refunds. I tell them to give me back my money. Trying to be polite, but this chick behind the counter is dumber than a sack of hammers and just being completely obtuse.
Finally, she says I can have a different room. I say no, I don’t want to stay at your insect-infested motel. I’m out of here; give me my money back.
She says she can’t do a refund. I say give me back my refund now or I will have American Express block the charge. She says no; she can’t do that, only the manager can. I say bring the manager out. She says she’s not here.
I walk out and get a room at the Holiday Inn across the street. Wonderful people. A clean spacious room. I get to my room and go to bed.
Next morning, I call the manager and ask for my money back. She says no. I say my next call is going to be to American Express and tell them to block the charge.
She gives me my money back. Forget you, Motel 6 in Topeka, Kansas.”
What Happened To The Mattress
“My family stayed the night in a decent hotel. We checked in, brought our bags to the room, and planned to change clothes and head out to eat dinner. I sat down on the side of the bed to tie my shoes and noticed it felt cold. I pulled back the duvet, and everything looked fine. I pressed my hand down on the sheet, and water seeped up from the mattress.
We called the front desk and they sent someone to change the sheets. As they’re changing them, my dad pressed down on the mattress again and more water seeped up through the mattress and soaked the sheet. No idea what was spilled on the bed, why it was cold, or why it wasn’t noticed when the sheets were changed.
The front desk said to hang tight, and they would switch us to another room. So we stayed, clustered on the other bed watching TV and starving, waiting for the phone to ring, telling us where to take our suitcases.
After two hours, the manager showed up at the door with a large pizza and a two liter of soda as an apology. There were still no rooms available, but he had called and booked us a room at a hotel down the street. We ate the pizza, then headed to the other hotel. I still find myself pressing down on hotel beds with my hand before climbing in, just to make sure nothing gross will seep up.”
The Motel In The Woods?
“Does a motel count?
My cousin and I were driving to our last stop on a road trip. We passed several smaller, broken-down hotels and motels as we drove farther away from town. I see the last motel before the woods and jokingly say it’s ‘right up against the woods because that’s where they drop the bodies,’ and then gravely realize that’s where our reservation is. I get out to check in while my cousin waits in the car. Everyone stares at us. I walk into the tiny, dirty ‘lobby,’ and a man with two teeth emerges from his apartment behind the front desk. Blatantly staring at my chest, he’s friendly and smiley. He makes strange small talk and tells me I don’t look like a Fatty Patty, I look like a Stephanie and he’s going to call me Stephanie. He goes into a back room to check on our keys. After taking a while, he emerges with just one key for the two of us (two small, young females.) He told me he got off at 11 p.m. and that he gave us the best room, right above his apartment. He’s overly friendly and gives off a creepy vibe, but I shrug it off.
I return to my cousin’s jeep and she looks horrified. She said a man came up to her jeep, touching it and peeking in until he realized she was still inside. He bolted. I was too nervous to tell her of my awkward encounter and just said the man was a little too friendly. We moved the jeep in front of our room and headed upstairs. Our room was the last one, in front of a large deck and next to a ladder leading down to the man’s apartment. I think our door looks flimsy, so I ram it with my shoulder before trying the key. It doesn’t budge, luckily, so I open it with the key. The handle jiggles, and we get inside. We quickly realize that the conjoining door to the room next door is open and has no way to lock. We prop something up against it to keep it closed and unpack. We see scratches down the walls and dents on the walls– signs of a struggle. We also open a long, low cabinet that seems out of place, and the bottom is pushed out from something too heavy — a body? We decided to tough it out because we don’t need to be divas and stay in a nice hotel.
As I’m in the bathroom, the door has about a half inch between the door and the frame where anyone can see through. It’s weird, but I deal with it. My cousin calls to me. ‘Get out here now! There’s something creepier than the scratches and unlocked door!’ I emerge and she points to the main door, where the deadbolt is busted clean off. There’s a latch, but nothing to latch onto. The peephole is also covered by a plastic sheet. ‘This is the room,’ my cousin says gravely, and we wonder why we only received one room key.
My cousin wants to leave, but I tell her we have until 11 p.m. until the worker’s shift ends and we can sit and think about it. Just then, my mom saw some photos I sent her of the room and sends back two words: ‘Leave now.’ We pack up the jeep, hearts racing. I walk unsteadily to the man at the desk, but this time he has a cold, piercing eyes instead of a smile. ‘We need to go now. We’re checking out,’ I tell him. He attempts to refuse, to ask why, to change rooms, to tell me I won’t be refunded. I tell him that’s fine. He asks why, and I lie about a family emergency. He tells me he will need to call backup. A tall, muscular man appears behind us and we both jump. I guess this is back up. We feel cornered, and my hands are unsteady as I hand over my key. And then, like a miracle, they both step into the back room for a minute.
My cousin and I run to the car and speed out of that parking lot, never turning back. We stayed in a populated Marriott that night, and they took excellent care of us after hearing of our near-death experience.”
Someone Tried To Break Into Their Room
“My friend and I were working a fitness expo in Vegas and stayed at the Palace Station to save some money. They have two sections to this hotel. The tower when you first walk in, which is equivalent to a nice hotel. Then they have the back section which you get to by walking through the entire hotel, EXITING the building, and entering another building. There was no elevator, so we climbed the stairs with our luggage and went to our less than average room. This building is next to some type of alley and anyone can just walk in without being seen by any type of employee or security. It’s an actual entrance in an alley. We weren’t comfortable with this, but whatever. We saved some money and wouldn’t be spending much time in the room anyway.
That night, somewhere around 2 a. m., there was a pounding on the door. It woke me up out of a dead sleep. I could see feet under the door and I just stayed as still and quiet as possible. He kept pounding and pounding on the door. My adrenaline was off the charts. I had that horrible feeling that something terrible was about to happen. I didn’t even want to call security because I was afraid of moving. He stood there for almost five minutes in silence (I could hear his heavy breathing and see his feet under the door). He then started pounding and kicking the door angrily, while making crazy noises. He eventually kicked one last time and then ran down the hall. Less than a minute later, we heard four shots down the hall. I have never been so scared in my life. We stayed up all night and talked to the front desk the next morning. They claimed they knew nothing about any shots and happily switched us to the secure portion of the hotel.”
The Hostel In Cambodia
“Not a hotel, but a hostel.
On my last night staying at a bad party hostel in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, this fat Indian guy checked into my room with six beds. He was the kind of guy who likes to be the center of attention, and went around the hostel talking to everybody trying to convince them to go party with him at the bars; I declined since I had to catch an early bus the next day.
I eventually go to sleep and get woken up by him stumbling into the room at about 3 a.m., somehow he finds his bed after waking everyone up and passes out. I went back to sleep and woke up again at 6 a.m. to the sound of running water. I opened my eyes and saw a dark figure standing at the end of my bed. I grabbed my flashlight from under my pillow turned it on and aimed it at the dark figure only to see this fat dude standing in his birthday suit at the foot of my bed, peeing all over the floor. I yelled at him to stop and go into the bathroom, which was just two feet to his right; but he was out of it and continued peeing until he was done, then with my continued yelling he finally found his way into the bathroom.
By this time, everyone else in the dorm room was awake, wondering what was happening. Someone turned on the light and this dude had peed all over this French girl’s bag and soaked all her clothes. Indian guy then pokes his head out of the bathroom asking us what happened and why he was in the bathroom without any clothes. The French girl was in tears, and her boyfriend agreed to pay for dry cleaning costs, and we went to the hostel management to get the rest of the mess cleaned up, but the American woman who owned the place just laughed at the story and the girl’s misfortune. The peeing guy ended up trying to sneak out of the hostel without paying for anything but got caught. I packed my stuff and got out of there.”
She Wanted To Leave A Bad Review!
“Jackson, Mississippi. It was the halfway point when we were moving to Atlanta. We booked ahead knowing we were going to stop there and it was the best rated, so it’s not like we careened into a dive at 3 a.m. We got a non-smoking room. Our room was on a floor that was designated non-smoking but had clearly once been a smoking floor. The smell was strong and unmistakable. When we exited the elevator, we were hit by a STRONG body odor. We get to our room and realize we are in a bad place, so we inspect the bed. The velour blanket had multiple burns in it.
The real prize is that there were dried stains on the duvet. We called the office and they argued that it was impossible that there were stains. I told them I’m a married woman and I KNOW what stains look like. The only other room they had was a smoking room which we refused because I’d spend all night sneezing/miserable and wouldn’t sleep. All the other hotels in Jackson were rated a full star below this place, so we were afraid of what that might entail.
We got them to take $25 off our fee after a LOT of arguing and them refusing a full refund. It was $125/night, so this was insulting. They gave us new bedding and we had just driven for 12 hours, so we just wanted to sleep. We had our dogs with us, who are normally well behaved. One of them peed all over the bed skirt, so we were thinking maybe someone else had peed on the bed.
After the fact, I tried to leave negative reviews of the place but they kept getting bounced back because they violated community standards. I finally worded it nicely as ‘male fluids.’ No matter what I did, I couldn’t get my review up, so I said: ‘Forget it.'”
At Least He Got A Refund
“I had a room reserved at a place in Tampa. It looked nice online and had good reviews. When I was driving in the nearby area, I noticed it was sketchy, but I wasn’t worried.
We checked in and opened the door and turn on the lights and the walls were covered in roaches of all sizes. Usually, they run when you cut the lights on; these guys all looked at me like they were saying: ‘Are you going to turn the lights off, prick?’
Nope. I ran out of there to the front desk and demanded my money back. The guy at the front desk was apologetic and insisted on looking at another room. At that point, I said, ok buddy, humor me. I opened the door and this time the roaches yelled at me to get out.
Go back to the front desk and just laughed at the guy as he did the refund.”
The Power Outage Inconvenience
“I stayed in a hotel in Greece as a part of a tour package.
When we got there, we were told that hotel, as well as the neighboring buildings, had no power or water. We were forced to carry our bags to the third floor with no help from the any of the staff. After hauling all our luggage upstairs, we were told it would be another two hours before anything was fixed. Our tour guide decided to take us for a walk around town to pass time. Fast forward two hours later with no progress whatsoever. I decided to go to the hotel next door, only to see it is fully functioning. When I ask the front desk if they were having power issues they had no idea what I was talking about. I also noticed the room prices were half the price of what the hotel next door was charging.
I go back to my hotel to confront the staff about the situation. They look at me confused when I told them the hotel next door has power and water. When I mention the rooms prices there was nearly half price the last lady at the front desk became passive aggressive. The power was magically restored within five minutes.”
It Was Supposed To Be Pet-Friendly
“Coming in after registering online with a pet-friendly hotel we’d stayed in before. They left us alone our entire stay and the moment we left I had a nasty email explaining how they were going to do an extra charge of $40 for our dog. They had no additional pet fee, so I asked for an explanation.
The next email was from the owner of the hotel, going on a hateful rant about how we stayed there often enough that we knew they had a pet fee, and that we were going to pay it because it had been charged to our card. If we didn’t like it, we could just go somewhere else.
I’d like to point out that their first email had spelling and grammatical errors, so I was confused and responded as such and politely. Their second email had things like ‘forget u haha!!’ – that type of weirdness, so I thought it might have been a joke or someone messing with their emails.
So, I forwarded it all to regional after contacting the company via Twitter for the address. We had been charged an extra fee, so I was concerned. If someone got into their system and was doing this, I wanted the company to know. We weren’t getting responses calling the hotel directly.
A few days later, the entire hotel stay is refunded to my card along with the fee. I’m confused. I have a new email from the president of this global hotel chain. He’s apologizing for the local hotel treating us so poorly and made the owner call and apologize. He then credited over a hundred dollars to our reward card for their company so we can go out again at their expense.
Never been back to that hotel but have happily stayed in other hotels by the chain.”
Mystery Of The Sleepwalker
“I was on holiday in Tunisia with two friends, my brother and his friend, and my mum and dad. This would be around ten years ago now, and I was in my mid-teens.
We had three rooms between us, and they were all grouped together on the same floor. One evening, in that period of having a shower and getting ready before going for food and out for the evening, our room received a knock on the door.
I was on the bed at that moment, one friend was in the shower, and the other one answered the door. Standing there was a guy in his swimming shorts. He was incoherent and probably a couple of years younger than us at the time. He just stood there, staring blankly into the room. My friend shouted over to me: ‘Who is this guy?’ Still no response from the kid, I got up and looked around the corner to see this kid, and was as confused as my friend.
The kid proceeded to stroll straight into the room past my friend and I. At that time, we were as confused as we were angry that some guy had come to make himself at home. The kid gets onto the bed and pulls the covers over him. By now, it was apparent this kid was sleepwalking.
Being the little pansy that I was, the first port of call was knock on my parent’s door. We were rambling on trying to explain it, and my dad came out and over the corridor into the room. He didn’t dare touch this kid, and by this time there were six of us standing around this kid asleep in my bed, with the one friend still in the shower.
We didn’t have a clue what to do at this stage. We were thinking about calling security, maybe chucking water over him; we had no idea.
All of a sudden, he started to stir. He peered through the covers to see six people standing around his bed like a vigil. He darted out of bed, still dazed and confused, just in time for an older girl, probably around 20 or so, to arrive in the doorway. She explained that he had been sleepwalking following a long flight.
Several mysteries remain from this day. A) How did the girl know where her, presumed, brother was? B) They were Dutch, and the flight from the Netherlands to Tunisia isn’t long. So how was he jetlagged? C) My friend who was in the shower, to this day, still doesn’t believe any of this happened.”
So Many Red Flags!
“So the best worst hotel I ever stayed at to save $20 is no longer open. Anyway, on to the story.
It was about 10 p.m. and we wanted to stay somewhere not too pricey. This being the ’90s, that meant less than $70.
I found this one place (a highrise) that ended up being something of a converted apartment building. They offered $50 a night for four guests.
The first red flag was that the office was separate from the rest of the building. After checking in, we went outside and went back to the stairs and headed up to the room. On the second floor, there was a huge window duct-taped onto the frame, and on the other side was a stereotypical streetwalker spreading lipstick around her lips. That was the second flag, we were tired and continued to the fourth floor.
Getting to the fourth floor, we had to take a left to go out to what seemed like an outside walkway. We got to the door and noticed that there was no lock on the door; it was held closed from the outside with a chair. We pulled the chair and looked inside to see three rooms and a shared bathroom. The door had a latch inside and another convenient chair supposed to be placed under the doorknob.
We were hungry and ordered pizza and one of my friends went to pick it up. While they were gone, the rest of us explored our squalid abode for more atrocities. There was a fridge filled with mold and mustard, an attic door that led to somewhere dark and crusty, and stains in the bathroom, scary terrible stains. One of us looked in the bedside tables and found nothing of the usual hotel staples like a phonebook, bible, town tourist book, etc, just an old dirty business directory.
The pizza comes back and the first thing we hear is, ‘We need to get out of here, there are some guys with knives hanging out in the third-floor window above the streetwalker display.’ We recounted the horrors of the hotel room and decided to get out of there.
We race down the stairs, the guys on the third floor were taking part in illegal activities now, the second-floor streetwalker was gone, and the first floor smelled bad. It sounded like a few fights, or something else, coming from somewhere and we weren’t going to find out more than that. We went to the office and ask for a refund.
‘No, you went into the room and were there a half hour.’
‘I don’t care. Give a refund; this place should be burned down. You couldn’t pay us to stay here.’
‘We are over 1,000 miles from home, give us something.’
‘I’ll give you half.’
Then rather than go the opposite direction down the street to the good $75 hotel, we drove until 3 a.m. and stopped at a small town motel for $50 a night that was actually nice.
Did I mention this was a family vacation?”