I don’t know about you, but I love staying in hotels – donning a white robe and slippers and checking out the room service menu is always a treat.
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For those working at hotels though, it’s a different story entirely from the experience guests will have. And having worked in a hotel myself, I know the kinds of crazy things that can go on at these places – sometimes these experiences can be downright weird and terrifying.
Reddit asked hotel workers for their most unsettling moments and boy did they deliver. From suicides to ghosts, these tales really make me grateful I didn’t encounter any of these situations during my employment.
1.“Why Is The Lift So Full Of People?”
Got into a lift from the top floor to head down. Lift stopped at 4th floor, door opened, saw people outside standing still, making no attempt to come in despite me being alone inside and there was room for them. The automatic lift door then closed and before it was completely shut, I heard someone outside said ‘Why is the lift so full of people?’
The comment could be completely innocent but it certainly holds the creep factor and I would be prying those doors back open to get out of that ghost-filled lift!
2.“A Disturbing Smell Hit Her”
This next one could be the opener of an episode of Criminal Minds.
Not me specifically but my mother used to work at a hotel in Washington DC…one day, a guest came, who will we refer to him as Mr. M because I don’t know his real name, and checked in to their most expensive suite.
As usual, the manager told my mom to go take care of his room. As she got there, there was a “do not disturb” sign so she told the manager she would come back later. What was weird was that no one was ever allowed in his room.
The man stayed there for over a month and not one time did he let a staff come in to clean. However, he paid a lot and he gave a warm welcome every time he passed a staff member/housekeeper so no one payed him any attention.
Then one day, people didn’t see him anymore so they assumed he checked out, even though the receptionist had no account of this. Since it had been so long since the room was cleaned and the “Do not disturb” sign wasn’t on the door anymore, the manager told my mom to go check it out and try to clean up what she could.
As she got to the floor and unlocked the door to the room, a disturbing smell hit her. She couldn’t figure out what it was but she continued to survey the room, which was disgustingly messy.
Her words were that, “it looked like someone had thrown a rave”, even though no other guests seemed to have ever gone into the room besides Mr. M. It had looked like Mr. M had deserted the place without telling anyone.
Anyways, my mom was still shocked by the smell so she tried to track it down. As she followed the smell, she could tell it was coming from the hotel room closet. When she opened the closet, there was nothing but a cardboard box on the ground from which the smell was resonating from. In the moment from being a housekeeper, my mother’s first instinct was to open the box to see what it was and clean/throw it out.
When she opened the box, what she saw scarred her to this day. It was the rotting/decomposing head of a young woman chopped off. My mother immediately screamed and got out of there, where she fainted in the elevator.
Once she woke up, cops were everywhere and the hotel was like a CSI scene. The manager told her that Mr. M wasn’t his real name and he used a fake credit card to check in. The head of the woman was identified to be like a call girl/prostitute type person.
So messed up. You really would never expect to find something like that just cleaning a hotel room, you don’t tend to expect guests to bring a severed head as part of their essential luggage. I hope this woman got some counselling after that one and hopefully they found Mr. M as it sounds like that maniac got away.
3.“I Notice Some Weird Looking Things Swimming Around In The Pool”
This third tale will make your skin crawl.
I worked at a hotel in Florida, a fairly upscale hotel. One day after a particularly bad string of thunderstorms, I went to go clean the pool. They had an actual pool guy they called from time to time, but only when the pool was really bad. When I first looked at the pool I brought the manager outside and told him I felt like it was out of my scope. The pool was covered in debris. Leaves, plants, mulch, dirt, etc…
He told me he thought I could handle it, though, so I was like, whatever, guess I’m scooping this fucking thing out with a net all day. So I start scooping, probably had been scooping for an hour or so, this 10/10 knockout girl comes to the pool in her string bikini and asks if its swimmable. I kind of look at her like she’s retarded and ask her if she really wants to swim in that, she just kind of shrugged and decided to lie down in a sun chair till I finished scooping the pool out. Which is fine by me, great scenery while I work.
We started making small talk and finally she said she just wanted to dip her legs in. She does so and after about 10-15 seconds I notice some weird looking things swimming around in the pool, and they’re coming RIGHT FOR HER FEET. I scream “YO GET UP… GET OUT.. GET OUT NOW.” She looks at me like I’m crazy, but gets out. I point and she looks down and about… oh.. 10-12 of THESE FUCKERS are now gathering near the wall where she was soaking her feet. She freaked out and ran off, and I assume went back to her room and had a nervous breakdown.
I went and got the manager, told him to either call the pool guy, or do it himself, because I wasn’t working with these monsters.
He actually opened one of the pool filters and came across about 15 or so MORE of them in the filter. It was a sight you don’t really unsee.”
If you were curious, “THESE FUCKERS”, are giant water bugs and they are pure nightmare fuel. They are also known as ‘toe-biters’ and ‘alligator ticks’ amongst other charming nicknames. They have a nifty little trick for when humans or larger predators come near; they ‘play dead’ so we foolishly assume they are dead until they ‘come alive’ and we learn about their excruciatingly painful bite.
Oh, and they’re huge too, averaging at 1.5 inches but some species can grow to 4 inches. Would have really preferred never learning that these things exist.
4.“Everything Was Like Nothing Happened”
Hotel bartender here. Started a few months ago at a more upscale place. It was a quiet evening and a distraught looking guy came to the bar and ordered a shot and a beer. I was catching some fucked up vibes.
To lighten the mood I tried to drum up some light hearted conversation. He tried to talk but couldn’t. So I asked him if everything was alright.
He said no. I asked well what’s wrong. Anything I can do to help? How about a plate of some food. On the house buddy.
He declines, proceeded to tell me the escort he hired slit her wrists and is dead in his rooms bathtub.
I jumped back and was like holy shit I’m calling 911. After calling 911 I ran back to the bar to find the man slumped on the bar not moving. I run over to check on him and his pulse is weak and he is pale and cold.
After the police and medics arrive and cleaned up the mess. Dead hooker and dead depressed business man. There was the mans suicide note found in the room by another guest a few days later (yup a few days) that said he wanted to feel a woman’s touch one more time before over dosing on something that killed him at my bar.
Fucked up. I got a week off work to deal with it and was shocked when I came back everything was like nothing happened.
Bartenders’ definitely see their fair share of unusual encounters with the endless types of people that can end up sat at their bar. This would really ruin your day.
5. “The Bum Was Wearing A Nice Suit Coat”
Worked as a chef for a Hilton. Remember speaking with one of the managers of a different downtown hotel, very high end, and he told me this story:
Manager was on his way out of the hotel after working one evening and saw a homeless guy a ways out sleeping on the lawn. He decided to walk back in and tell the front desk employees to try and get him off property.
Came back in for work the next morning and saw the same homeless guy still sleeping on the lawn so he ran in to chew out the front desk manager about how the employees didn’t do as he asked. They both walked out to get the bum to leave and they found the bum was wearing a nice suit coat.
Turns out it was a wealthy business man who had jumped off the 12th story balcony and had just been dead there all night and half the day. Turns out no one saw him fall.
Sad story actually.
What hotel just leaves someone lying on their front lawn? Whether a homeless person or anyone else, I find that mad that no one clocked for so long that this dude was dead. Bet those front desk staff got a right bollocking after that clanger. And it’s usually the nice hotels that have lawns.
6. The Look In Her Eyes Was Completely Blank
I guess not really creepy but it just happened and is pretty fresh for me.
I basically work in the ghetto so my hotel tends to attract some sketchy people. This afternoon room 518 was supposed to check out but the room was still occupied. My coworker went up to the room and when he knocked, a lady answered the door naked and the room smelled like shit.
We called the cops and went up there and it turns out this woman had overdosed or something. There were needles everywhere, a glass dildo, and she was naked on the bed. The look in her eyes was completely blank and she just rolled in her own shit while the officer tried to get her to put her clothes on.
As soon as we opened the door to the room, the whole fifth floor was flooded with the smell of shit. When we were brave enough to open the bathroom door, there was shit smeared just everywhere. The EMTs came and took her to the hospital. She only had a sheet on because she couldn’t focus let alone dress herself.
It creeped me the hell out seeing someone that far gone.
It just goes to show that sometimes the most horrifying things in this world are people and how messed up we can get. I think this situation would make me more sad than anything else. Saying this woman has some serious mental health/drug issues is an understatement. I feel bad for whoever got stuck with clean up duty for this particular guest.
7.“He Hulked Out”
I had to include this one as it just cracks me up so much. Truly haunting stuff.
Long-suffering hotel guy. One of my favorite stories happened just after I started at one of my first hotels:
The short version is the that a dude got amazingly drunk very late one night and didn’t sober up before check-out time. We needed the room so we were sorta nagging him to GTFO. At some point well after whatever time he was suppose to be gone, he Hulked out with rage but instead of physically threatening one of us, he just barricaded himself in the room, ripped off all his clothes, stood on the window sill (behind those monstrous hotel windows) and began masturbating furiously.
New check-ins were already arriving and his room was right above the front porte cochere so they were being greeted by quite the display. We ended up calling the cops and a couple firemen broke down the door to haul him away.
We charged him a late check-out fee and to replace the door.
Just imagine after a long journey, dragging your bags out of the taxi and gazing up at your home for the night, only to be greeted by some lunatic aggressively busting one out right in front of you. I’d be asking for a room far from that one, that’s for sure.
8.“They Always Said The Room Was Empty”
One costumer said he liked an specific room because it was haunted by a female ghost, he thought she was pretty hot.
I thought he was joking, but a coworker once told me that he stayed in that room and he felt like someone sat on the bed while he was sleeping.
Once again, I thought he just wanted to scare me, but, sometimes the front desk phone rang and in the screen I could see it was from that room, that was empty at the time, but when I aswered thinking It might be housekeeping, nobody talked. I used to call housekeeping to ask if they where in that room, and they always said the room was empty.
How that person stuck around long enough to evaluate whether a ghost was hot or not I’ll never know. I can’t imagine ever seeking out the company of a ghost, especially for romantic purposes, but each to their own I guess.
9,“Found A Man In A Complete Confused Haze”
(1) Seeing a man wheeled out of the hotel with a knife in his temple – shoulda paid the hooker man.
(2) Finding a guest from a famous family spreadeagled and handcuffed to the 4 posts of the bed – shouldn’t let the hooker rob you man.
(3) Found a man in a complete confused haze and panicking one morning – shouldn’t let the hooker use eye drops on you man.”
The three rules of hookering.
10.“The Workmen Needed Someone To Look Up To”
Friend of mine works in a hotel overlooking a huge motorway expansion, for weeks at a time the business bigwig in charge of this (I guess) would come and stay and request a room with a view of the whole thing. Multiple times and always in broad daylight, this disgusting fat pig of a man would bang prostitutes doggystyle against the window with the curtains open.
When confronted he apologised but said the workmen needed someone to look up to.
The Wolf of the M1? I hope I’m never in the wrong place at the wrong time and witness this on the commute; it would be scarring.
I have even more respect for hotel workers after those; finding dead bodies, battling off grotesque bugs and people killing themselves at your bar are definitely not on the job spec.
After all is said and done though, hotels are often fantastic places to work and it’s all part of the fun that you never know who’s going to check in…
For the hotel that gave a rapist the key card to a woman’s room click here.