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It’s that spooky time of the year again. Are you looking for spine-tingling stories about hotels, Airbnbs, vacation rentals, and travel experiences? 

Well if you want paranormal tales that involve restless ghosts knocking on guests’ doors, 3 AM mirror apparitions, and travellers that never returned home, sorry but this is NOT the article for you. However, we’re here to list down the worst hotel horror stories that tend to be more horrifying than ghosts — like paying a huge chunk of money for a vacation that gives you nothing but injuries, lost items, gross discoveries, and travelling trauma. Be careless with your hotel planning and you might encounter these hotel horrors yourself. 

We’ve gathered hotel staff revelations and real-life experiences from travellers over the globe. From pesky cockroaches and bed bugs that’ll make you itch like crazy to thieves keeping you up at night, here are some of the worst things that can happen in your hotel. 

1. Uncovering the dark past of your hotel room

dark hotel room

If you want to sleep soundly during your vacation, we’d recommend you refrain from asking about the history of your hotel room. Just enjoy how elegant your luxurious Dún Laoghaire hotel room is. Marvel how beautiful the view is from your balcony, or how pretty the bathtub is. You might be unprepared to uncover the truth behind that mysterious brown stain or the bullet hole hiding behind that wonderful artwork. 

Okay, the truth is there’s a huge possibility that someone died there. It could be a murder case, suicide, drug overdose, accidents, or natural causes like a heart attack. The room turnover after someone passes away is super quick. The hotel staff will just sanitise, clean, and make the room available to the next guest right after the dead person is removed. 

2. Encountering traces of the filthiest hotel guest in the world

Aside from dead previous guests, you may also be “lucky” to book a room that’s previously inhabited by the filthiest people on the planet. We did our research and discovered appalling revelations from hotel staff: Poop all over the room (name it: walls, floors, TV, beds, A/C units, and bathtubs), used condoms in the bed, rotten egg under the bedsheets, and dirty diapers and birthday cake smashed into the walls.

And if you’re planning to ruin your stay, we dare you to bring a UV light with you. 

3. Pesky bed bugs that’ll send you to your dermatologist 

bed bugs

Bed bugs are tiny, apple seed-sized parasites that are lurking in the crevices of your mattress. The scary thing is, even if the hotel looks clean and decent, it’s not immune from these pesky critters. If you fail to watch out for the signs, you might spend the entire day scratching the itch, or worse, severe, whole-body reactions. 

Avoid this unpleasant situation by bringing a flashlight with you and inspecting the bed (including the headboard and underneath the bed), hotel room furniture, artwork, and carpet/flooring seams. Another sign of an infestation is the presence of dark, rust-colored spots on bedding and discarded exoskeletons. Avoid bringing the bed bugs home too by keeping your suitcase on the floor away from the bed. 

4. Having an ambulance trip due to allergies

ambulance

Recently, we saw a video of how a tourist’s travel experience went from bad to worse just because of one thing: peanuts. Apparently, she has a serious nut allergy. Just imagine planning your dream vacation for months in a wonderful destination only to find yourself cancelling your reservations and fighting for your life in an ambulance? 

Don’t let this happen to you by informing the hotel and the restaurant of your allergy triggers. Aside from food allergies, you should also be mindful of the comforters, pillows, curtains, and carpets which may hold potential allergens. Don’t hesitate to ask for fresh linens or quick housekeeping service. 

5. A room swarming with pests

Imagine switching the lights on and seeing a big family of cockroaches crawling everywhere. Or opening the tap and hundreds of ants come out of it. Or eating a nice dinner and then finding a rodent or two coming out of the hotel kitchen (unfortunately, it’s not Remy from Ratatouille). 

These aren’t scenes from horror movies — these are actually real-life experiences from hotels with poor disinfection and pest management measures. Make sure your next hotel isn’t one of them. 

6. A pricey hotel that looks like a haunted house

haunted house

Think about hotels with spider nests, stained beds, outdated furniture, foul smell, flickering lights, appliances not working, and dark hallways. What’s more horrifying is you didn’t pay a huge chunk of cash for such a horrible experience. 

6. Arriving to your hotel room with a missing laptop

What’s scarier than the undead? Living people doing criminal activities, of course. 

Aside from sleeping in rooms in poor condition, the possibility of theft is another scary story that may happen to you if you settle for cheap. There are a lot of hotel horror stories that involve guests losing their valuables after heading for a day trip. Whether it’s a result of an inside job or poor security measures, getting robbed is a nightmare you don’t want to experience. 

Avoid theft by picking your hotel and location wisely. Next, avoid staying in a room located on the ground floor, especially those with windows and doors that open to the hotel exterior. Use the in-room safe too or the safe at the front desk. Lastly, do the obvious: don’t share your hotel room number with others, don’t travel with your valuable jewelry, and avoid leaving items just laying around your room. 

8. Catching COVID-19 due to poor hotel maintenance

sick

What’s invisible, terrifying, and has the power to kill you? No, it’s not a ghost — it’s coronavirus. No haunted hotel can match the fear and paranoia of staying in a property that doesn’t care about health and safety. Name it — lack of disinfection measures, poor room air quality, zero contact tracing, social distancing, and hygiene protocols. 

When booking a hotel, make sure to go over their website to check the actions they’re taking to limit the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the safety of their employees and guests. If there’s none, feel free to look away. 

Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a free-spirited writer who hates being locked up at home. She loves traveling, eating, taking food and streetscape photographs, and simply enjoying new experiences and writing about them. To know more about hotels and travel blogs, you may visit Rochestown Lodge Hotel Dún Laoghaire.

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