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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    Fun stories to read through!

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  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.

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