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Hostel Horror Stories


Warning: Hostel newbs, these things don’t happen all the time. I’ve been very lucky with my hostel life, but just be warned that the accumulation of random people in one place has a higher tendency for weird experiences.

Not too long ago on Facebook, I mentioned that I had an interesting encounter in a hostel where a female dorm mate decided that sleeping, walking and talking to me while in the nude was an OK thing. She was Australian. This was awkward.

At the same time, I asked my Facebook friends what their most crazy and/or awkward hostel encounters were, and these are the horror stories they came up with!

hostel horror stories

Not every hostel leaves the best impression.

I don’t think I ever left a hostel as early. . .

Kami (Kami and the rest of the world):
I’ve just written a post about that when I stayed in a really lovely hostel in Chester, UK I shared a room with 3 Welsh guys who came there just to party. One of them didn’t come back at all, one behaved and went straight to sleep but the other one woke me up at 3am as he wanted to talk about Poland and England, cultural differences and eventually the meaning of life. Of course he was extremely drunk that he had huge problems speaking. When I finally got rid of him (all this time he was sitting on my bed) he just simply vomited all over the carpet next to his bed… to make things worse for me the reception was closed at that time so I couldn’t get myself another room… I don’t think I’ve ever left a hostel as early as then, at 8 or so in the morning.

A dude shit himself. . .

Kaylin Elizabeth Stephens (Kaylin Around the World):
A dude shit himself in my hostel and almost got arrested for coming out of the hostel naked from the waist down still covered in shit and banging on the neighbor’s door in Seoul.

A bloke brought home a hooker. . .

Alexandra Pucherelli (Fluent in Frolicking):
A bloke brought home a hooker to a 12 person mixed dorm room at 6:30 am. Stumbled into the bunk beds, turned on the rooms lights, laughed, talked, than climbed up to his upper bunk bed and started to have sex with hooker. Let’s just say the other 11 people sleeping in the room weren’t very happy! Oh, this was in Bangkok! Great hostel though I’ve stayed there three times and this was the only time anything like this happened.

. . .the previous occupant had pissed in the bed.

Ben West (The Red Rucksack):
Very, very tired I jumped into my hostel bed in Rio and curled up to sleep. Just as I was falling asleep my hip started to get cold and it started to dawn on me that the previous occupant had pissed in the bed. The hostel staff just threw new linen over it….not happy!! Then that night the ceiling fan caught on fire and nearly burnt the whole place down, I didn’t hang around after that night

I didn’t expect them to stumble back in with boys. . .

Jade Johnston (Our Oyster):
I was staying in a small hostel room in Mt. Isa Australia with two other girls (who I didn’t know). They were both long termers and it was their last weekend in town. I sort of expected there would be a lot of drinking going on, and that maybe they would stumble back into the room drunk at the wee hours of the morning – but I didn’t expect them to stumble back in… with boys… and turn all the lights on while they started going at it! There were too many naked body parts flying around, and much too close to me and my things – so I ended up grabbing my bag, storming out, and sleeping on the couch in the common room.

. . .and then some other paraphernalia started showing up.

Jan Triska:
How about some interestingly delicate drug stories, involving Amsterdam? A guy bringing a big bag of weed and starting to roll a joint in late morning… and then some other paraphernalia started showing up, including a smaller bag of white powder. In the early 90s, there actually wasn’t that much open drug use, even in Amsterdam. I, at a very innocent 19 years old, just looked the other way and didn’t want a piece of that action.

I shared a room with a very amorous Dutch couple. . .

Chris Walker-Bush (Aussie on the Road):
I shared a room with a very amorous Dutch couple my first time on the road. They paused to greet us as we came into the room and then went right back to it. And they weren’t particularly quiet.

. . .would sneak men into the dorm room – a female only room

Nicole Blaess-Smith (Bitten by the Travel Bug):
Worst was when I was living in a hostel in London for about three-months. I was one of four people in the dorm that was there ‘long-term’ and one girl in particular, a lovely Russian girl who had been there the longest, would sneak men into the dorm room – a female only room – every night to either watch movies with them (sans headphones), talk loudly, or worst of all have very loud sex at around 3am… every morning.

Unfortunately despite being a well-known and really nice hostel they wouldn’t do anything about the girl so I had to move out.

China made us decide not to sleep in dorms anymore.

Sparrow in Space:
We’ve had a lot of weird experiences in hostels, most of them in China. Apparently when Chinese men go to uni they sleep in an all male dorm for 5 years with little to no privacy so they are used to doing everything out in the open. A hostel dorm is definitely not the same as a student dorm, especially since there are girls there (me). On two separate occasions we had Chinese men jerking off in the bed next to us, they didn’t even wait till we went to sleep. We tried couching, laughing, sighing but they did not care! China made us decide not to sleep in dorms anymore.

I once had to share a room with a bunch of rather aggressive skinheads. . .

Ragne Kabanova:
I once had to share a room with a bunch of rather aggressive skinheads from Croatia, who weren’t particularly happy that some flaky blond chick is disturbing the peace of their Arian brotherhood. Up to that point I had never really thought about hostel dormitories and random people who get mixed up in there. Worse case scenario in my head so far had been that I get a snoring or loud partying room-mate, I never really even imagined such a clash of cultures. Needless to say I didn’t wait around for too long.

Have any juicy, disgusting, or awkward hostel horror stories of your own to share? Do it in the comments!


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41 Responses to Hostel Horror Stories

  1. Lisa Wood January 7, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

    I stayed in a Hostel in Melbourne – in the all girl dorm section…to wake up in the morning for a toilet break.
    To hear the room next to us with a couple who were loudly going at it…and not just the loud screaming…the bed was banging against the wall. You could hear him and her screaming out words.
    Felt bad for the people who had to sleep in that same room – it was on a floor where there was six bunks to a room! So much for an all girl room dorm!

    • Brooke January 11, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

      I just don’t get people sometimes. Like seriously, who thinks that’s OK?!

  2. Amanda January 7, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

    I was the horror dorm-mate when I went to England – in a 12 person dorm, I got into a long ‘lively discussion’ with a loud brash Texan who was spouting off about the Chinese menace, smelly Europeans, and English people with snooty posh accents. This ‘discussion’ (ie loud argument) went well past midnight, and probably kept the other 10 people awake…

  3. winopants January 7, 2013 at 8:00 pm #

    These are so good…
    My worst story, unfortunately, was caused by me. I was in Cuzco for just one night, stopping by to meet up with friends. I picked a super cheap hostel, since I was planning on being gone most the day anyways. So, around 9 or so, my belly starts rumbling.. a couple hours later, I realized I had the worst case of food poisoning of my life. Well, in my super cheap hostel, the water in the bathroom turned off at midnight. So I had to find anything I could to puke in, plastics bags, socks… the girl at the front desk gave me a plastic tub to hold this mess.
    The people sharing my room came home from the bars late, and I can only imagine the smell. I had to sneak away at dawn to catch a bus I’d already paid for, leaving them with that rank tub of puke. I felt awful about it, but I could barely stand up let alone take care of business.

    • Brooke January 11, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

      Oh man, that sucks! Getting food poisoning without privacy (own room and private bathroom) is like my worst nightmare πŸ™

  4. Chris January 7, 2013 at 11:27 pm #

    Ha! Loved reading these. Excellent compilation, Brooke πŸ™‚

  5. Bobbi Lee Hitchon January 8, 2013 at 5:35 am #

    Haha I love reading hostel stories like these. I think the most common thing I’ve seen happen is boys peeing in the hostel dorm after coming home drunk. A guy I knew at a hostel I was staying at long term in Oz had a wee all over my friends luggage, which was open one night.

  6. Alex January 8, 2013 at 6:28 am #

    I thought I had one of the worst experiences ever until I read some of these!

    Although, mine was pretty bad: staying in a hostel London one time whilst doing an internship. I ended up in an eight-bed room with five men – they were mainly okay, except for one older man. I thought he was a bit creepy, but there wasn’t much I could do. Then the second day, when I was alone in the room, he came in at 7pm, politely said hello, got into his bed and started giving himself a little treat!

    Traumatic times! And who says hello first?!!!? I’ve never changed rooms so quickly in my life.

  7. Forest @ Everyday Nomad January 8, 2013 at 8:36 pm #

    I’ve also experienced the “someone else in the dorm having sex story”, the thing is, it was a work colleague!

    We had booked a dorm in North Wales with work and filled every bed, so that should mean we have a hassle free stay but no! One of our work colleagues brought a local girl into the dorm and went at it even while everyone was throwing disgusted comments at them. The next day everyone was mad at him and he was just gloating and was sure they were mad because they were jealous!!!! WTF.

    As you point out at the start though, normally hostel stays are lovely.

    • Brooke January 11, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

      Oh now that’s wrong! That would make working with them awkward for sure. People!

  8. Kaylin January 9, 2013 at 6:03 am #

    Haha, omg I love some of these stories! And thank you so much for including mine!! That is the very condensed version but the full version is even crazier (which includes the old Korean woman who ran the hostel yelling and swearing in Korean and screaming “CRAZY MAN!!!!!” in English).

    PS I realize it’s totally my fault it’s not up there since I probably didn’t include it when I posted the story on your facebook page, but do you think you could maybe add a link to my blog next to my story? I’d really appreciate it. The URL is above.

  9. Audrey January 10, 2013 at 9:06 am #

    These are laugh out loud funny, yet really awful! Especially the guy shitting himself in Seoul and then running out nakers!

    • Kaylin January 11, 2013 at 8:56 am #

      One day (maybe of the anniversary of the event in August? haha) I will write the entire story of that on my blog… it’s a good one. every single person I’ve told the story to in person has laughed for like five minutes afterward!

  10. Sal January 10, 2013 at 11:52 am #

    “…who weren’t particularly happy that some flaky blond chick is disturbing the peace of their Arian brotherhood”

    This made me laugh pretty loud. Just what I needed, thanks!

  11. Cailin January 10, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

    OMG these stories make me cringe! I don’t have any too horrible to add but I can definitely say that I choose to now only stay in luxury hostels or at least a private room in a hostel when I can. Some people are just nasty!

    • Brooke January 11, 2013 at 7:04 pm #

      True true! I tend to go for private rooms now, too… mainly because I have so much work to do all the time… just better than being in a group dorm and having people be like “why are you on the computer all the time?!” ha

  12. Heather- Ginger Nomads January 10, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

    Excellet compilation. I look like a crazy person laughing by myself at a hostel right now. I of course had roommates that brought home male friends. But y favorite was a few friends of mine were in a four bed male dorm and a new old guy moved in. They went back to the room in the benign to discover this old man completely naked asleep at around 7pm. Luckily his hand was covering the essential bits

  13. Callie January 11, 2013 at 1:13 am #

    Haha! Just the other day I had a top bunk in a hostel and the guy in the bottom bunk brought a girl back. They were making the bed shake around so much for the next two hours that there was no hope of sleep! AWKWARD.

    • Brooke January 11, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

      I hope these people are drunk when they do this. Just wrong…

  14. Danuta January 11, 2013 at 4:15 am #

    Err.. the second one is just nasty! I really hate that moment in a dorm at 3 in the morning when the other roomies come back drunk, and always have to turn the lights on

  15. John January 11, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

    This is the funniest post I have read. Hilarious.
    I feel so boring, I have never had any issues in a hostel. Having someone Piss the bed, and then the hostel not cleaning it is not cool though.

    • Brooke January 11, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

      Hah, sometimes boring is GOOD.

  16. Tom @ Waegook Tom January 12, 2013 at 1:06 am #

    Ohmygod these stories!!!! I’ve never had any that bad, and I’m glad! The dude covered in shit sounds awful – and WHY do people ever think it’s acceptable to have sex in a dorm room when there’s other people in there?!

    My worst one was in Seoul, where the Serbian owner was speaking so loudly that he woke everyone in the 2 dorm rooms adjacent to the common area up at about 5am. People tried to ignore it, but finally after an hour of hearing him virtually scream about vaginas and high school boys, a girl in the other dorm room came out and yelled at him, forcing him to rant for a little while about how he didn’t have to be quiet (because the dorm rooms only cost $12, sigh) and then he passed out on the carpet.

  17. Ryan January 12, 2013 at 9:47 am #

    This is an awesome gathering of hilarious travel stories. I’ve had my fair share of shitty situations (literally) and even though it make you so pissed off at the time, it never stopped me from checking in to other hostels. Things happen, some travelers are inconsiderate assholes, but that comes with the journey.

    My most blaring one was when I Found a naked guy in my bed. When I woke up in my cozy bed slightly hungover from a night out, I decided to head downstairs and book another night (I was paying day by day). I left my room, booked another night, and ran back updlstairs to nurse my hangover. I opened the door and right before jumping back in bed I noticed there was something moving in my blankets. Suddenly it shifted and there was bare male ass looking at me. “What the hell?” I thought, and checked the room number. Yep, right room. Did I take a guy home last night?! No way. But that scary thought crossed my confused mind. For the next 10minutes I struggled to wake the seemingly dopped up dude naked planking in my bed. Finally he startled out of his state for a second, realized he was naked, and tried to take my clothes to wear.

    That is when I raised my Lonely Planet book in the air and threatened to wallop him.

    His took th blanket and waddled out of the room. Turns out he was kicked out of his room after coming home from partying and pissing on EVERYONE’S luggage of his room. Somehow withing the seconds it took for my door to close when I left, this naked ninja snuck into my bed! I proceeded to move rooms…

    • Jeff March 15, 2014 at 6:04 am #

      Haha what a story Ryan! I don’t know what I’d have done! πŸ™‚

  18. Ed Rex January 14, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

    Wow, these are amazing.

    Got quite a few but my worst one was being woken up by a 68 yr old nudist who wanted to climb into bed with me as he claimed he was ‘cold’. I told him no. Then I found out he had sex with his FIRST cousin later on next to my bed…

  19. Vee January 15, 2013 at 10:46 pm #

    These are crazy stories… my worse hostel story involve the following words: sleeping in a toilet stall at 3AM.

  20. Daniel McBane January 16, 2013 at 8:13 am #

    Reading these, I realize I’ve gotten pretty lucky with dorm rooms. The worst one I can think of was a Peruvian guy who never left the room and apparently had an aversion to all clothes other than a very small pair of not very clean briefs. This was in Beijing in July during a spell of unbearably hot weather and this guy’s method for beating the heat was to lay on his bed all day and all night in his tiny underwear watching Peruvian soap operas without headphones. Apparently that didn’t keep him cool enough though–twice I walked in to find him laying next to his little briefs, not in them…

  21. Kit Whelan February 4, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

    Oh god! All these stories have only reinforced my pledge to never sleep in a dorm again. I like other people to keep their bodily fluids to themselves, thanks.

    Hilarious post, though! πŸ™‚

  22. Lee Wood February 4, 2013 at 10:46 pm #

    Have a few interesting ones but one that stayed in my mind was having to stay in a “1 bed mixed dorm” in Kenting, Taiwan.

    The dorm consisted of two large beds, fitting three people each. My bed was filled by my girlfriend, me and a large, smelly man by the name of Kevin.

    He tried to spoon and snored like an Ox too!

  23. Madhu February 12, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

    πŸ™‚ What a list.
    The amorous dutch couple cracked me up.
    My worst experience has just been loud snorers and getting food stolen πŸ™‚ I guess I have been lucky.

  24. Katie Roach February 20, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

    Except for a few loud snorers, I’ve never had a really bad experience in a group dorm.

    Once, though, I was staying at a hostel in Cusco with my boyfriend in a private room, and we forgot to lock the door. My boyfriend was really ill with altitude sickness. I woke up in the middle of the night, and it was pitch black, but I sensed that something was not quite right. Then I saw a guy sneaking around in our room. I whispered loudly “Andrew, there’s somebody in our room.” The guy said, oh, lo siento, and left…but I sure am glad I woke up. I don’t know what he was up to, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t good.

  25. Angeline March 29, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

    Went backpacking in Europe last year, every hostel situation went smoothly except the one in Rome. Ended up in what was known for a party hostel (everything else was booked up), it was a mixed dorm of 3 bunk beds. My friend and I took two bottom bunks across from each other. The rest of the people showed up, they were young guys from Tennessee, and very drunk. They all passed out, then around 3 in the morning one of them woke up, started stumbling around the room, then made two attempts to get into my bed. I was so angry and pretty terrified as well. He then started pissing in the corner of the room….. THERE WERE BATHROOMS ACROSS THE HALL.

    Anyways it was gross. In the morning the room smelled so bad. Its kind of a funny story looking back though…

  26. Travel Blog of Pa Ul July 20, 2013 at 7:55 am #

    OMG! This is scary story indeed. This gives me goosebumps. I haven’t had similar experiences yet but I guess I will since I started to like traveling too.

  27. Andy October 13, 2013 at 7:52 am #

    That sounds like a pretty rough list. I suppose that I have been lucky so far…

  28. Steve March 15, 2014 at 4:28 am #

    Hahah! Some of these are hilarious. Seriously – Covered in Shit?!? Luckily I’ve not come across anything like that on my travels yet!


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