Wanted: YOUR Hilarious Hostel Horror Story

We all know hostels aren’t the scary boogyman movies make them out to be. They are safe, budget accommodations for backpackers and I’ve stayed in some marvelous ones during my travels. So no, they aren’t inherently scary, but they ARE sometimes the settings for some crazy and sometimes terrible stories.

photo credit: xmacex

I was out to dinner with some backpacker friends last week when the subject of horrifying hostel stories came up.Over some cheap Argentinean wine I shared a couple of my weirdest experiences. For example:

Our first night in Buenos Aires we stayed in a hostel in Palermo. This was not one of the higher rated places but we wanted to save some money in an expensive city. As soon as we arrived I realized this may have been a crucial error: our hostel room was the size of a large broom closet and contained 9 beds- three three-story bunk beds. It was hot and poorly ventilated- kind of like being in the cramped hold of a ship.

I don’t know if you’ve ever been on a three story bunk bed but they are not the most stable things. My perch on the top bunk swayed nauseatingly back and forth anytime anyone on the bunks below rolled over. I’d never felt seasick from a bunk bed before!

It might not have been terrible except that the bottom bunk below Mike and I houses a large middle aged European man with a serious snoring problem. In between fits of deafening snoring he would mutter to himself in some unidentified language- possibly german?

Needless to say I didn’t sleep much, so I was wide awake when this unfortunate man’s sleep talking turned into sleep walking. He stumbled around the dark room knocking into walls and beds. Finally he settled back into bed- only it wasn’t his bed! Some poor guy, still out clubbing, got quite a surprise when he returned home at 5AM to find a strange overweight German man curled up with his pillow.


My pal Tony, from Landing Standing chimed in with his own.

We had arrived two days prior in Interlocken and had just finished what we came to do… skydiving in the Alps. The 4 girls I was traveling with were feeling great and ready to catch the early train back to Florence the next day when we went to bed early. There being 5 of us, only one bed of the 6 bed dorm was free… but not for long.

I woke up at 2am to a man in only a leopard print thong trying to climb into the bunk bed above me. This is difficult enough to do at night, but doubly hard when drunk and apparently requiring multiple thrusts of his leopard-thonged crotch to achieve. Hoping to forget what my eyes were witnessing, I closed my eyes and rolled over.

Miraculously, I was able to fall asleep only to wake up again at 3am to pee.

As I left the bathroom and turned off the lights, I heard a THUD. Immediately I knew that my drunken bunk mate must have fallen off his bed and broke something.

But then I heard shuffling and could see a silhouette as it crossed the window and realized my new friend was mobile. I quickly dashed to a corner of the room so as not to have an accidental boxer to leopard thong confrontation.

But instead of turning my way, he just began to pour a bottle of water on the carpet… weird.

And then…

No!!!” I screamed as I turned on the lights.

But it was too late. My screams had woken up the girls I was traveling with only for us all to witness my bunk mate, with his leopard-print thong around his ankles, peeing into one of the girls’ newly purchased (direct from Rome no less) $700 Gucci suitcases.

As the girls all cried and screamed, I laughed and laughed.

The most unfortunate stories usually make the best anecdotes a few years down the road. So, I want to hear your tail of hostel crazyness. It doesn’t have to include sleepwalkers (or pee-ers), it can be any sort of embarrassing, ridiculous or hilarious thing that happened to you in a hostel.

Leave your most hilarious and horrific story of hostel cohabitation in the comments. Next week I will post the best ones.

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Megan M
Megan M

We were in a hostel in Croatia and I was on the top bunk. My friend and I were arguing over who would win in a fight and she started kicking the bottom of my bunk to demonstrate her scrappy ability to “destroy you with my legs.” What we didn’t know was the bunk beds were incredibly cheap and had nothing except gravity keeping the bars supporting the top bunk mattress in place which unknowingly became dislodged from her kicks A few hours later I climbed up into my bunk where my bag was to change and got my shirt… Read more »


Last October, I traveled solo to Ireland for a couple of weeks and decided to spend a few days in London to top off my trip. My second night in London, I stayed in a hostel that had 10 beds. When I arrived there were 8 brazilians staying there, so I thought I had my bunk to myself…until I went to bed that night around midnight and a creepy man was alone in the room. He appeared to be homeless as he only had one tiny bag with him and it appeared he had not showered in a while. I… Read more »


I also have hostel horror story number 3 (I haven’t been having much luck with hostels lately): I booked what looked like iwould be a nice hostel in Willesden Green, London. Then when the booking confirmation came through, I was not given the actual address of the accommodation, but was told to go to Willesden Green tube station and call their number. I did this, and some time later someone from the hostel picked me up in their car and drove me to the location. It turned out to be a terrace flat in Willesden Green they had converted into… Read more »


I have a couple of hostel horror stories for you. Horror story 1: I was staying in an HI Hostel in London. They seemed to have a policy of allowing homeless men from around London to sleep in the hostels (perhaps in an arrangement with city authorities, I’m not sure). One of these homeless men was in the room I was staying in. He had a cheap bottle of wine which in indulged in and generously offered everyone else a swig as well – I declined. Anyway, one night at about 2am in the morning I heard a scream from… Read more »

Kelly Dennett
Kelly Dennett

Dublin, Ireland. Eight bedroom dorm. My friend and I had a 5am flight so we were in bed at 11pm. At 12pm the lights come on and four Brazilian girls proceed to giggle, eat, apply make-up, chat. Eventually I ask them to switch the lights off (as I was on top bunk the bulb was mere centremetres from my head. At 3am two more girls come in, one of them clearly on drugs. No sooner had she got into her top bed she started wailing and trashing, and then she threw herself off the top bunk onto the floor with… Read more »


I would call this “horrorlarious,” because it’s a combination of both. Back in 2000 when I hitchiked around Ireland by myself for 2 1/2 weeks (I was a single woman at that time) I stayed at one of the most gorgeous hostels I’d ever seen – this was in Wexford. The house was about 800 years old with old, winding stone staircases, stunning private rooms with authentic furnishings, spotless bathrooms down the hall, etc., all for $20 a night. Quite a deal! Except that the proprietress didn’t seen to understand English – in fact, I don’t think she understood anything… Read more »

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