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.

31 thoughts on “Wanted: YOUR Hilarious Hostel Horror Story”

  1. Not a hostel story, but a hotel – some friends and I were in Virginia Beach for a week of swimming and chilling out at the beach. The second night there, we had crashed in the room after a long day, and I wanted nothing more to stretch out and relax. My two friends were playing videogames on their laptops, and I was watching tv. The volume was turned down so no one could hear it and we wouldn’t disturb other guests.

    Around 2AM, we heard a knock on the door. When I opened it, a man stood outside (not a hotel worker!) with a large bundle of sheets, and tried to push his way into the room. He asked us, “Do you guys want some more sheets?” multiple times. My friends and I still get a good laugh out of that one.

  2. 25 bed hostel dorm room in Prague. Our first night there, there is a very drunk Canadian man who used to be in the military. He is massive. He is drunk. He is angry. He has arm muscles the size of beer kegs. He spends a good portion of the night yelling incoherently in his sleep — except for the part where he keeps demanding that everyone else shut up (we are silent) or else he’ll kill us all while we’re sleeping. He conveniently makes that part very coherent. No one says anything to him because we are all thinking, “He was in the military and looks like a character from a video game, so he has probably legit murdered people and isn’t kidding right now.” But apparently he’s bad with the follow-through because he lets us all live. Terrifying.

  3. The first story does not take place in an hostel but on a boat. We were diving on the Great barrier reef and were put up 4 per room. We were three friends and were matched with a Parisian man since we all spoke French. There was a rugby match that night between Australia and New Zealand so most of us went and watched that we the captain. The french man went to sleep first. After the game I went to my room to catch some well needed sleep. As I open the door, to my great surprise our new french friend was sleeping on his back completaly naked on the bottom bunk. No covers. I tried to forget that image ever since.

    The best part was to wait for my other roomates which came in a few hours apart. I had closed the light. They both came in separately and opened the light (unconsiderately!) and saw the same spectables I saw. The deer in the headlight reaction I had was pretty much the same with my two mates accompanied with a few swear words sayed in discust…

    I don’t think I ever saw 2 people close the light so fast!

    Another of my favorite story takes place in a hostel in Costa Rica. One of those that doesn’t have full walls going to the ceiling. Let say sound damping was not their priority. There were only two people per room but you could hear pretty much everything that was going on. Of course, a newly formed couple arrived after a few hours at the bar. We could hear the short courtship and small talk. This part was fairly entertaining as they were pretty inebriated and really did not know each other. However, the talk was very small and the action followed rapidly. We could hear them so well it almost felt they in my bed. Anyway, the intercourse went on for a fairly long time with the girl being quite vocal. Needless to say that no one was able to sleep and we were waiting for them to be done.

    At one point the girl was voicing the fact that she was about to climax to which the guy responded “really??”. This was followed by a “you’re an idiot!” from a fellow hostel mate in a different room which had the whole place in stiches. At this point it turned into “vocal group sex” with a british girl yelling “make her cum already so we can f***ing sleep!”.

    Needless to say that it was the main subject of discussion during breakfast. However, we never got to meet the participants…

      1. I just wish I would have had the lonely island song ‘i just had sex’ on my laptop. I would have played it as loud as I can for sure…

  4. I am normally an early-to-bed, early-to-rise type person compared to MOST hostel goers. I was staying in a hostel in Berlin with four beds in my room and when I went to sleep for the night, the other three beds were empty. I woke up around 7:30 and as I was leaving the room, I noticed my roommates had come in sometime while I was sleeping – two girls and a guy, all seemingly sound asleep. But there was still an empty bed as the two girls were sharing the small twin size hostel bed. I didn’t think much of it (some people like cuddling no matter the size of the bed) and I left for the day. I wasn’t more than 10 steps out the front door of the hostel when I realized I had left my camera back in the room. I hurried back up and swung the door open to a full fledged threesome between the guy and the two girls. This was all going down on the small twin-sized bed. They immediately stopped and had the most terrified looks on their faces. One of the girls grabbed the sheet, wrapped it around her and took off out of the room. Her action left the other two scrambling for something to cover their naughty bits. I smiled and remarked, ‘I forgot my camera’, quickly darted in and grabbed it, and left the room silently chuckling to myself. When I got back to the hostel room that afternoon, they had checked out for good and I never saw them again.

  5. I have a few different horror stories from hostels.. All short, but sweet.

    My most memorable horror in a hostel was in London. I was traveling with a girl friend, and stayed in a six bed dorm, (3 bunk beds) I was on the lower bunk, and my friend on the top. The space between our bunkbed and the next was no wider than two feet. I woke up, and sensed movement from the bunk beside me (a guy was sleeping in that one)… and I knew it was something naughty. So as a warning.. I started yawning, and making noises to let him know I was waking up and he should stop. Unfortunately, this had an adverse effect. Instead of stopping, the guy turned towards me, took his sheets off, and gave me a full frontal! He was absolutely naked playing with himself.. awkward! haha!

  6. I had been in India for three weeks already, so I thought I was prepared for any living situation in Delhi. Boy, was I wrong.

    It began when I was led into a room filled with 10 beds and zero lockers or shelves. While I was used to sleeping in hostel rooms filled with multiple other people, it was different to see 10 EMPTY beds. No bags, no people, nothing…in one of the busiest cities in the world.

    “Well, this is strange,” I thought to myself. At least I would have more room to put my backpack on the floor. I would soon find out why those beds were empty.

    It didn’t take me long to notice the heat. While there were multiple fans in the room, most were either broken or ineffective. Next to the bed I was assigned, I noticed a fan built into the window. I also noticed that it was broken, and I watched as a few mosquitos flew through the slits into the room.

    “Well, at least I have a bug net to put over my bed,” I said, noting to remember those anti-malarials the next morning.

    A few hours later, an Indian man moved into one of the empt beds. He didn’t speak much English, but he seemed nice enough.

    My first night there was horrible. Not only was the heat and humidity close to unbearable, but mosquitos clouded the air inside the room. I eventually slipped into a deep sleep, but a few hours later I was awoken by a strange noise. A wet noise. Also, grunting.

    Knowing that there was only one other person in the room, I was grossed out and a little terrified. Eventually, though, the noises subsided and I found sleep again.

    My second night there I simply couldn’t sleep, but not because of heat or bugs. My new roommate and a local friend were watching movies and talking at full volume. It was 3am. Not wanting to cause drama and knowing that hostels are often home to loud night owls, I found my earplugs, took a sleeping pill, and forced myself to sleep.

    The next night I struggled just as much to find sleep, but I eventually drifted off. This time, I woke in the middle of the night again. I sensed something strange, so I struggled my eyes open to scan the surroundings.

    I saw a man standing over my bed.

    I recognized him as an employee at the hostel, and I could tell he couldn’t tell I had spotted him. I stealthily felt around me for anything sharp and slowly wiggled as close to the wall, away from the man. I heard deep breathing and instantly regretted the boxer shorts I was wearing. Eventually, the man quietly left the room without incident.

    Needless to say, I left that hostel the next day after I started itching my arm and noticed bed bug bites.

    I’ve stayed at many sketchy hostels, and I’ve never had a hostel experience like I did at that place in Delhi. Never again will I trust an empty hostel.

  7. I have loads of stories from dorms, but my favourite comes from the very first night in a dorm…

    Having never stayed in a dorm before I eventually plucked up the courage and took my bottom bunk in a 8 bed dorm in La Paz. The dorm on reflection was huge and there was about 4ft between each, solid, bunk bed and I was sharing with only one other person. Perhaps surprisingly, I fell into a deep and complete slumber and woke the next morning – this is rare for me at the best of times.

    The next morning I woke to find someone had placed M&M’s at 2″ intervals all around my bed. I sat up in bed looking at them somewhat speechless. I couldn’t work out how on earth they had go there and kept staring at them and at the other lad who was just getting up as well. He wandered over to see what was up and we shared the “WTF expression”.

    I was convinced he’d done it, he was convinced I’d done it…

    To this day, I have no idea how the M&M’s got there and the following night, everything I owned went into the lockers!

  8. When I was in my late teens, a group of friends and I went on a tour around Europe.

    One night in Florence, the girls and I were in our room getting ready and we started hearing banging on the wall. Thinking it was the boys, we started laughing and banging back. This went on for a while, eventually escalating to fits of laughter and name-calling, all the while hearing this banging on the wall (but no words). After 20 minutes of constant banging, we got fed up and went next door to tell the boys to knock it off…only to find they weren’t there.

    Curious, we went down the hall to another room that held friends, and asked the boys what was going on. We went back to their room and found it empty, save for the bathroom door being closed. We grabbed the handle and opened it…and our friend RAN out! Turns out she had somehow locked herself in the bathroom and was trying to get our attention so we could get her out! The poor girl was in there beating her fists for almost half an hour.

  9. I got to Koh Phi Phi only a few days before New Years Eve and everything was booked. We found a room at this little bungalow hostel a few blocks from the beach and thought we were SO lucky. It was a proper shantytown – real crummy, mosquito nets, bathrooms not in our bungalow, obviously no AC etc. But what makes it hilarious ridiculous was our neighbors. They invited us to a shared dinner, we figured why not. Next thing you know – and I kid you not – a dude is using a slingshot to kill a pigeon for dinner. As a vegetarian, I had an easy out of that one. Later that night the guys poked each other w/ metal rods that had been heated on the BBQ to form tattoos. Unbelievable.

  10. The first time I was ever traveling alone was the last week of a semester abroad in Australia. I stayed in the typical bunkbed style room with a few Germans and a few Italians… no one speaking English. I was young and shy and ready to go back to the states now that all my friends had left so I didn’t really try to talk to anyone – just used the room to sleep in. Sadly, I am occasionally the snorer that everyone hates, and every night I slept there, I would wake up to the girl on my top bunk shaking the bed violently and yelling at me in German. It was terrifying.

  11. This a creepy story, not really hilarious, but I´m gonna share it anyway…
    Three years ago, I was with a friend in a hostel in Granada (Nicaragua) and we were only four people in the room, a german couple, my friend and I. I was spleeping when suddenly my friend wake me up. She told me that an employee of the hostel was crouched down beside her bed, looking at her when she wake up and saw him. He just run away from the room but we were so scared that we decided to go after him, and we found him in a chair pretending to be asleep… Incredible!!!! Needless to say that after that incident we didn´t sleep really good, and of course the netx day we left the hostel!

  12. AMAZING topic, Steph! Thanks for including my story, but the best part is seeing everyone elses hilarious horror stories! Such a great response from everyone…

    I’ll definitely feel better the next time something terrible happens at a hostel knowing that it is just part of the travel experience.

  13. Loving this post Steph. I did the Australian East Coast in 2010 and had plenty of experiences, thankfully most of them good. Seeing this post on horror stories reminded me of one eventful night in Surfers Paradise, staying with friends in a 20 bed dorm where we checked in for a week. On our 2nd night a crowd came in very late, most being loud and drunk. As things quieten down I become aware of 2 people kissing in the bunk below mine, then a female voice says “not without a condom” I’m in absolute shock at this point, after spending 5 mins working out which way the condom unrolls, next we hear her say “OMG you’re huge”. I didn’t want to say anything, thought I’d give them 10, then another 10 and eventually someone threw a shoe at them, they soon got the message and stopped so we were able to sleep again.

  14. Okay no horror stories but… girlfriend can afford a 700 dollar suitcase? What is she doing in a hostel?!

    Fun stories to read through!

  15. I’ll leave the name of the hostel out on this one because it was two of the staff members involved in this story.

    It was my first night at this hostel and when I arrived I hit it off with one of the female staff members but they had a pretty early and strict quiet time so I went to my bed around 10pm and started watching some TV on my laptop with my headphones in. I was in a 12 person dorm that was slight separated into 3 sections with some curtains and so there was only 4 beds in my section and it was dark when I went in so I couldn’t really see who else was in there. About an hour later I started to hear some moaning through my headphones and it sounded like it was coming from the bunk above me. At first I disregarded it as someone having a good dream until it started getting louder and more intense.

    I popped out one of my earbuds to try and figure out where it was coming from and couldn’t be sure but it sounded like it was directly above me. I’ve never had this happen in all the years I’ve traveled and just chuckled to myself and let them continue on and just went back to watching tv. I figured at some point I’d hear someone getting down from the top bunk and going back to their bed but it never happened and in the morning there was no one up there.

    It was pretty weird and when I was in the kitchen I ran into the girl who worked there and she asked how was my sleep so I mentioned what happened. Instantly her face turned red and sheepishly she looked up and said “guilty!”. I couldn’t help but laugh and high-fived her. It turned out it wasn’t on the bunk above me but just outside the window that was right beside my bunk where the drunken hook up between staff members took place.

  16. in kilkenny.
    owner rolling fatty ass blunts and surrounded by guard dogs.
    me and my friend are the only guests.
    no one is there at night.
    all heating (water and air) turned off at night in the middle of a freezing irish winter.

  17. This is why I love Hostels:

    I was staying in Paris at the end of my European adventures, waiting to catch my flight back to the states. However 2 days before I left I (irresponsibly) ran out of money! I was staying at the St. Christopher’s, Paris (which is great by the way) And circumstances being as they were, they said I could pay at the end of my stay and took my passport. For 2 days, I tried to contact anyone at home who could help out, but that didn’t work. So I meandered the Paris Museums (I could get into for free) worrying whether I could get my passport back before my flight. Thank god for friendly hostiliers like you guys because a wonderful girl from Seattle named Sara paid for my 2 nights and I was able to make my flight. I later paid her back, but I wanted to let other travelers know that I can’t wait to travel again so I can give some well deserved Karma back to hostel dwellers.

  18. 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 at all. I unloaded all my stuff and took off to explore the town. When I got back before dark (after having hooked myself up with a couple of Aussies – you other travelers know what that means – a craik of a fun time! 🙂 I found 3 American guys trying to get into the house, but it was locked. It didn’t occur to me until then that we were never given any keys! The 4 of us banged and shouted at the door to get in, but to no avail. One of the guys decided to scale the 12′ stone walls that surrounded the place, and we each helped the other over the wall to get inside the grounds. But once we got inside the walls we couldn’t see where we were going it was so dark by that time. After several hours of banging, climbing, searching and swearing, we each found our own rooms, which amazingly were unlocked and perfectly safe. The next morning we tried to find the proprietoress but she was nowhere to be found. Yet, we got a very nice breakfast of scones, coffee, juice and butter, all served at these very long wooden benches that were probably built around 800 years ago. It was very special, but also the most frightening experience I’ve ever had in my travels to 28 different countries. I left that place right after breakfast, and was very happy and sad at the same time. It was a special place, but way, way to weird for my taste.

  19. 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 a giant thud. Everybody in the room screamed, the lights come back on. The next few hours the poor girl was being consoled by her friend and the Brazilians started eating again. I don´t think we slept a wink.

  20. 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 one of the other bunks. The homeless man was standing completely naked over this other guy’s bed. I’m just glad it wasn’t me
    Horror story 2:
    I was staying in an otherwise nice hostel in Marseille, France and I was in a room with three other guys. I went to sleep, but was woken up at about 3am by a thudding noise of footsteps that was so loud I thought to myself ‘this guy is making as much noise as an elephant’. But it got worse. This filthy lowlife was blind drunk and the reason he was stumbling around noisily was he was looking for the toilet, but he couldn’t find it. His solution was to piss all over the floor in the room, then drunkenly sit back on the end of my bed. Next day, the hostel ejected him and I decided to leave and stay in a hotel instead.

  21. 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 a hostel of sorts – except there were no staff located on the premises. Guests were just left there with a set of keys and that was it. Well, it turned out that every local bum, beggar and petty crim also knew about this place and they had managed to get their own keys to the place and the rooms inside. One night at about 2am I was woken up in my room by about three of these people who had got into the place. They left when I saw them, but I had no idea what they had intended to do. I complained to the hostel and left, but they refused even to give a refund, even though their so-called ‘hostel’ was nothing less than a disaster waiting to happen.

  22. 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 didn’t feel comfortable falling asleep in there alone with him, so I went downstairs to the rec room to hang out until the Brazilians got back. (May I remind you I was a single 22 year-old girl traveling solo).

    Fast forward to 1 a.m. and no one had gotten back yet. Finally at 2 a.m. I noticed that two of the Brazilians had gotten back to the hostel. I was so excited to finally get some shut eye! I tucked myself in and fell asleep almost immediately knowing there were two others in the room.

    Around 3 a.m., I noticed my bunk was shaking. At first, I was tired and confused, but then quickly realized that this man was jacking-off in his bed below me. I was completely mortified and didn’t know what to do. I began to think of all the possible situations to let this man know that I was, in fact, awake…’I can jump out of bed! and run out of the room!’ or ‘politely tell him to stop.’ Then I realized that I had no choice, but to find humor in the situation and let the man finish.

    A few minutes later he finished and I was able to fall asleep again. Slightly mortified, I woke up an hour later from a nightmare of this man grabbing me in my sleep. I actually woke up whaling aloud in fear from this nightmare. No one appeared to have woken up, so I didn’t feel bad for disturbing anyone’s sleep. Not even the creepy man’s, who decided to start round 2 and made the bed shake knowing I was awake!

    It was awful! Despite that, I was able to get a few hours of sleep afterwards which was enough to sight-see London the next day.

  23. 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 half way over my head when I heard a crack as the top bunk gave way and I went crashing down onto the bottom bunk in a blind tangle of sheets and all the shit from my open bag.

    Stunned and shirtless, I was able to climb out of the mess while my friends laughed and took pictures. On the bright side, the staff gave us free shots of grappa as an apology for the incident!

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