22 Terrifying Tales from Airbnb Hosts: Hear their Nightmare Guest Experiences

by Alex

It is indeed regrettable that acts of kindness and hospitality are often taken for granted, and as illustrated by Airbnb hosts worldwide, bizarre and extraordinary accounts of tenant behavior can be easily found online. In today’s modern era, the act of opening your home to strangers, particularly those you have only met virtually, can be a significant gamble. A plethora of potential hazards loom, ranging from damages to unpaid expenses, presenting a broad spectrum of opportunities for things to go awry.


I had just joined Airbnb, so my rates were extremely cheap. I was 21 years old at the time and believed that only people like me used the programme. Basically signed up to chill out with other people my age, show them around the city, and have a good time.

A middle-aged lady who was going to a Robbie Williams performance in a nearby city was my first visitor. 

I spoke with her through Airbnb, and she struck up a friendly conversation, so I agreed to let her use my modest flat. (in which I live also). She arrived very drunk because she didn’t “check in” until three in the morning. I wanted to slumber so bad because I had employment the next morning.

She was making a lot of noise when I let her in. About thirty minutes later, she dozed off. She tried to “sneak” into my bed, but it wasn’t very seamless because she wasn’t in her right mind, so I was startled out of sleep. I enquired as to her activity and instructed her to use the adjacent chamber. She said she would have paid more but declined and wanted to hug me.

She received a stern warning from me to use the other chamber or depart. She then simply became angry with me. She broke the door open and returned to my room after about fifteen minutes, attempting to sell me some of her organic vitamin plus or whatever product. I was incensed. Before nearly falling unconscious in the door gap, she continued for about an hour. She rated me with 5 stars.

2. Unsettling Night in a Hippy Beach House in San Diego

My sister and I were staying in a cute little detached house in a wealthy part of San Diego. It was right by the beach, but the house was super hippy and relaxed, the man who lived there was out of town, so some of his stuff was out, he was literally making his own kombucha. He had a bathroom attached to his little house that had a door that led to outside. He shared this bathroom with a tenant in another house who didn’t have one. Around 4am she comes home drunk, goes into the bathroom, and starts banging on the door to our room viciously. She’s screaming about how he stole her phone yesterday…this man has been out of town for a week. It was scary to wake up in the middle of the night, but our stay was still great. 

3. The AirBnb that became a brothel

Colin’s experience with his Airbnb rental turned into a nightmare when he discovered that his trusting nature had put him in a precarious situation. An initial red flag arose when the guest offered to pay in cash instead of utilizing the secure payment system on the Airbnb website. A simple Google search of the guests’ names uncovered a shocking truth – they were high-profile escorts who had used the property as a pop-up brothel to entertain their clients.

Upon entering the rental property, Colin was greeted with a scene of debauchery – empty wine and Prosecco bottles littered the floor, used condoms and wrappers were overflowing out of the bin. It was evident that the escorts had made a small fortune of over £5,000 during their two-night stay in his £85/night rental. Colin’s unfortunate experience serves as a cautionary tale for all Airbnb hosts to trust their instincts and thoroughly vet their guests before accepting their bookings.


To make additional money, my wife leased out our spare room, but I had absolutely nothing to do with it. She remarked in passing that we had a couple from Germany staying with us when she met me for supper one evening after work. It’s no huge issue; we just went home after dinner. They were sitting on the sofa when we came home, and I knew right away that one of them was a student of mine from the university where I teach.

5. The Scary Encounter: My Solo Travel Experience in Prague with Airbnb

I was travelling solo in Prague, and I loved my AirBNB apartment. It was the only time I’ve used them. As I was going into the apartment, this old Czech guy started yelling at me in Czech, I said sorry I don’t speak Czech, and I went up the stairs. He follows me but heads up another flight. I didn’t go into the apartment until he was out of sight. 10 mins later the doorbell rings, and i look out the peephole and it’s the guy. I obviously didn’t open the door but my heart was beating so hard. He leaves after a few minutes. I talked to the host about it and he came over right away to calm me down and assure me. He was great. The guy never showed up again.

6. New Year eve that went wrong!

Rikki Campbell’s booking of Christina McQuillian’s London apartment for New Year’s celebrations resulted in a catastrophic disaster, the magnitude of which McQuillian could never have fathomed. At the time of accepting the booking, the host had no inkling of the tumultuous turn that events would take, ultimately culminating in thousands of pounds worth of damages. Reports trickled in from neighbours about a raucous party comprising over a hundred revellers who had commandeered McQuillian’s residence. The aftermath of the event left the premises reeking of cannabis, with flooring ripped out and a television set that had been pulled off the wall. With the benefit of hindsight, it is evident that the signs were there, and McQuillian should have seen the warning signs and known better than to host Campbell.


I had two of them. The first was an AirBNB executive who messaged me stating that he had previously stayed in my building, that his brother also resides in the building, and that he would be in and out with no problems. My apartment was a $2,000 per month luxury one bedroom in a big metropolis with a doorman and other amenities. When the visitor came, he messaged me to gripe about how noisy the building was, how uncomfortable the bed was, and how he wanted to leave early. Within the parameters of the listing, I consented to let him depart early.


The visitor who burglarized our home and took everything. When we returned from holiday, everything of worth was gone because they had used a false identity. Two months later, we’re still pursuing compensation from Airbnb for losses.


My mum managed some beachfront Airbnb rentals, and it appears that someone attempted to use drugs in one of the rentals’ kitchens. The most bizarre incident was that, but there were also many partygoers who vandalised homes, which was more obnoxious than bizarre.


Up until the final night, everything was fantastic. She phoned and said she didn’t think she would be able to sleep because the home was so warm. So I advised simply turning on the air conditioning. She didn’t reply to me until the following morning. She claimed that because the AC was broken, she could hardly make it through the night because it was so humid.

After that, when I got home, I saw that the air conditioner was on and blowing cold air, but that she had relocated it close to the bed and disconnected the exhaust pipe, so all the warm air was flowing out the rear and into the room.


One of my “tenants” worked on a pornographic movie while residing in my house. It wasn’t until I was browsing the internet that I realised it when I observed my living room and kitchen.


When Airbnb first began to appear in our area of the nation, my wife and I used to rent out our upstairs. All of the visitors back then were incredible. The German pair and their daughter were one of our favourites. The daughter and husband both spoke English fairly well, but the wife remained silent.

They remained for about three days and were very gracious. The wife had drawn a copy of one of our wedding photos that was displayed on the wall and left it behind for us when they departed. It was incredible, and now that it is mounted, it is hanging on our wall as well.


They arrived 8 hours late and were extremely irate that I had departed after I had received no communication from the visitors since the day of the reservation. called me that evening at 2:30 to let me know the key wasn’t functioning. When I went over, the key immediately worked. 

14. An Unexpected Act of Hospitality:

My fiance and I were staying at an AirBnB in Helsinki to visit family. When we got there and got settled, we were chatting about things we thought were missing in the apartment, specifically I remember saying I wished there was another towel hook in the bathroom (there were only 1 and obviously 2 towels being used). The next day we went out and were out pretty much all day, and when we got back that night there was another towel hook in the bathroom.

15. Privacy and Security Concerns at a Rome Accommodation:

Stayed at one in Rome. The door had 5 deadbolt locks on it. The windows were barred. Found out why. Randomly through the day people would try to open the door and look through the windows. Multiple times we would turn around and see people peeking through cracks between the curtains. We weren’t even there a lot. Usually a quick meal or drop stuff off then back out to see the sites. Really nice place though.

16. A Strange but Pleasant Airbnb Experience in Rural Kansas

I arrived at an Airbnb in a remote area of Kansas late at night. The house was located on a farm and the host was already asleep, so I let myself in and settled on the couch. I couldn’t sleep due to the eerily quiet and dark surroundings, so I explored the living room, which was adorned with various objects, including religious artefacts and books with cult-like symbols. Curiosity led me to research the religion, which was centred around UFOs, and I discovered that it was just very strange, not a murderous cult.

I also read through a journal belonging to the host, which contained entries about her travels and sightings of spaceships. Despite the odd decor and writings, the host was kind and hospitable, making me coffee in the morning and sharing her beliefs about her religion and various conspiracies, such as the government controlling tornadoes. We had a pleasant conversation before I departed, armed with materials to research and an Airbnb magazine. This was my best Airbnb experience, with the gay nudist hostel in Memphis as a close second.

17. The guests who didn’t want to leave their Airbnb

Cory Tshcogl’s experience with her Airbnb guests turned out to be a complete nightmare when two brothers who booked her vacation rental apartment in Palm Springs refused to check out. What seemed like a typical booking turned into a legal battle as the brothers cited California’s tenant rights, which allow guests to stay beyond 30 days and makes it challenging to evict them without paying relocation fees. The situation escalated quickly, and Tshcogl was left in a tough spot as she couldn’t force the brothers to leave. After two long months of legal negotiations and public pressure, the Pashanin brothers finally vacated the premises quietly in the middle of the night, but not without leaving behind a stressful and frustrating experience for Tshcogl. Fortunately, she managed to get through the ordeal with the help of lawyers and the support of Airbnb, who offered to cover the legal fees incurred.

18. The frustration of receiving a negative review for your vacation rental from a guest who never even stepped foot inside it.

In an unfortunate incident, an Airbnb host had to bear the brunt of a guest who booked a vacation rental for the MotoGP weekend. The host, who had impeccable 5-star reviews, had instant booking activated on her account, allowing a woman to book her property with ease. However, little did she know that the guest never intended to stay at the property herself, as her fiancé and male friends went on a rampage and wreaked havoc in the rental.

The group trashed the house, leaving behind a trail of trash and leftover food, and even went as far as stealing bottles of liquor that were hidden around the premises. Despite the host not receiving any complaints during the guests’ stay, she was shocked to find a scathing review left by the woman who had booked the rental. The review made no mention of the destructive behavior exhibited by her fiancé and friends, leaving the host unfairly blamed for the damage caused to her property.

19. The Guest who jumped off the window! 

Have you ever heard of a guest going to extreme lengths to access a property they booked, only to find out that it was already occupied by another guest due to a double-booking mishap? Well, one unfortunate host experienced this nightmare first-hand, as the guest resorted to climbing through a window to enter the property. However, such situations can easily be avoided with the use of channel manager software, which ensures that double-bookings are a thing of the past. Say goodbye to the stress and inconvenience of double bookings and hello to hassle-free management of your Airbnb property.

20. Breaking and entering: a story of redemption

We’ve all been there – arriving at your Airbnb after a long and tiring journey, only to be met with a delay in check-in. It’s frustrating enough when you’re just carrying a backpack, but imagine being laden with heavy luggage in the pouring rain. For one guest in Washington, this scenario proved too much to bear when they discovered that the key to the property was missing upon arrival.

After an unproductive exchange with the owner, the guest took matters into their own hands and threatened to find a way to enter the property themselves. And so, in a moment of desperation, the guest hurled a rock through the back door, gaining access to the property but also causing significant damage in the process.

Fortunately, the story doesn’t end there. After some reflection and a conversation with the owner, the guest offered to pay for the damage and took steps to temporarily fix the door until a new one could be installed.

However, this situation could have easily been avoided with the use of automated entry systems, such as Chekin, which allows hosts to provide virtual keys to guests for seamless check-in via their mobile devices. With this technology integrated into your vacation rental management platform, there’s no need to worry about lost keys or broken windows – just happy guests and stress-free hosting!

21. At 7AM, I was abruptly awakened by the sound of our host yelling “FIRE!” at the top of her lungs.

A New York Airbnb experience turned into a nightmare for one weary traveler. Upon arriving at the brownstone building in the Upper West Side, the host welcomed the guest with an unusual request: no speaking allowed. The host led the traveler to a pitch-black room with seven mattresses scattered on the floor, each occupied by an Australian backpacker. The guest was provided with a flimsy sheet for privacy, which covered only the face and chest. Exhausted from work, the guest passed out, unaware of what was to come.

In the morning, the guest was jolted awake by the host’s screams of “FIRE!” The host had knocked over a lit candle, causing hot wax to spray up the walls and spill everywhere. The guest attempted to speak to the host, but she was too busy crying and trying to clean up the mess. Sensing the urgency, the guest quickly packed up and left, leaving the key on the side table.

Despite the traumatic experience, the guest was relieved to receive a refund within 12 hours of requesting it. While this may not be the first or last time a traveler experiences a nightmare Airbnb stay, it serves as a cautionary tale to carefully read reviews and double-check details before booking.

22 .Upon my return, I observed the host sporting a pair of socks that looked strikingly similar to my own.

During my solo trip to Florence, I booked a cozy Airbnb that had all the makings of a typical Italian apartment, complete with a balcony and big windows. The host, a polite man in his thirties, initially seemed like a great guy, but my perception changed as I began to notice subtle changes in my room. My belongings started moving around without any explanation, and I brushed it off, thinking it wasn’t a big deal.

But one night, I returned to the apartment and caught the host red-handed wearing my stripey pink and blue socks. I confronted him, but he denied it, making up some flimsy excuse about finding them behind his bed. He washed and returned them, but things only got worse from there.

On another occasion, after returning from a bar, I found a few of my t-shirts lying outside my bag, and a white vest was missing. I was quite inebriated, so I confronted the host, but he merely claimed he wasn’t sure if I wanted my clothes washed. I made it clear that I didn’t appreciate him touching my belongings, and thankfully, nothing else happened for the rest of my stay.

However, things took a turn for the worse when I wrote an honest review of my experience, mentioning the issues with my clothes. In response, the host accused me of being a liar and paranoid, which was a frustrating and disappointing experience. In the end, I left feeling creeped out and disappointed by the host’s behavior.

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