18 Absolutely Terrifying Hotel Stories That Might Traumatize You For Life

by Ayoub

A couple of hotels have this really sinister look and feel about them, it's usually not that big of a deal but since we've all been traumatized by horror movies, we just can't help but impose those scenarios in a couple of situations that might seem like an almost perfect fit. But let's not talk about imaginative things this time, because some people have actually experienced some pretty terrifying things in real life which make us all wonder about the things in this world we don't know about.

1. My mom found a prostitute's decapitated head in a closet

My mother used to work at a hotel in Washington DC back in the 90s as a housekeeper/maid since she needed money because she was a refugee from Vietnam. Even though she didn’t know much English at the time, she knew enough to get by at her job and all the other staff and hotel guests loved her because of how sweet she was. Because of this, anytime high profile guests (such as the Backstreet Boys) would stay at the hotel, the manager always sent my mom to clean the room since she was good at it.

Anyways, 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. I don’t know much more and any nitty gritty details but i’m sure one can look it up on the internet for more information. Needless to say, my mom quit that day.

2. I was trapped with them

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?”

3. My wife's life was in danger

This happened roughly four years back. My wife worked at a Holiday Inn, and this isn’t unexplained, but more horrific. There was a guy staying there for more than month. I picked my wife up at night, and often used their lounge which is where I met him. He was early twenties, and a marine based on the uniform he always wore. To be frank, he kind of annoyed me.

One day while I’m not there waiting on my wife he calls down to the front desk and asks that they call the police. He says someone’s going to get hurt. They make the call and then see through their system that he also called 911. They, my wife yet, wife and the assistant manager, really can’t do anything at that moment but continue with work. Apparently police came about pretty regularly, mostly dealing with drunks.

The assistant manager had to deal with something out in hotel, and a minute or two later the police show up and my wife went out to show them to the stairs when she goes by the lounge, the marine is there with a pistol pointed at the head of the assistant manager, who is face down on the ground.

He points that gun at my wife.

A moment later he spots the police, and she manages to hide back in the office. She heard two shots, and that was it.

The marine had a pellet gun.

There are a lot of details left out here. My wife is fine these days. The marine had a rough go, and I hate to this day that I didn’t take the time to really talk with him.

4. A lady went full psycho a smeared feces all over the room

I worked at a hotel for about a year. It was usually pretty good. Some people would stay at the hotel for weeks or a month at a time for business reasons. But there was this one old lady that had been there even before I started working that just stayed in her room all day, occasionally leaving to go down the hill and pick berries or something along the street. Maybe get food or other supplies. Idk. She really wasn’t a problem other than not letting people into her room.

About January of this year, she started acting weird. Like yelling at people walking by her room, calling down to the front desk and being angry about things that had never happened. This goes on for about a week and then she just goes off the deep end. She starts standing outside of her room, yelling at people that entered her sight, no matter how far away they were. She would call down to the front desk, but now she would say eerily creepy things like “You shouldn’t have done that. You’ll be sorry for that. I can find you.” And then she’d hang up.

Eventually, after about 2 weeks, we forcibly ejected her after her credit card declined. She threw a fit and had to be removed off the premises by her son. Let me tell you, going into that room was like entering hell.

Stains all over the carpet, blood and feces spread across the walls in the bathroom, blood on the mattresses, empty cans everywhere, jarred foods that stank to high heaven, boxes sealed shut, some with black ooze dripping out of them. Light bulbs stacked in the corner, all in perfect condition but not used in the lights. It was horrible.

Found out she went off the deep end because she had been denied her pills for some kind of mental thing.

5. The ceiling had footprints on it 

Worked in a motel when I was 17-18. I was at the front desk not working when the housekeeping guy called me to check something out in a room that was being cleaned. I go up there and the housekeeping guy is standing in the middle pointing up to the ceiling.

There was a set of bare foot prints on the ceiling which is at least 10 ft high. Bare. Not shoes or slippers and only in the middle and no where else. There’s no way he jumped that high upside down and no prints on the walls either.

Also he left a single bullet on the bed.

6. I got approached by a shadow person

I used to work in my Aunt and Uncles hotel in a Scottish village about twelve years ago and the freakiest shit that happened to me was one night when I was sleeping in the staff quarters and heard a banging noise from along the corridor. This was about 3am after most of the staff had gone to bed. I got up to go and tell whoever was coming in late to shut the fuck up so I could go back to sleep but the corridor was empty. Well lit I have to add, this is key.

So I walk down the end of the corridor to see if it’s folk coming up the stairs drunk or whatever, I look down to see a figure stomping up the stairs. The only way I can describe it is as though a shadow of a person that was solid. There were no features on the face or clothes on its body. Imagine someone in a black morph suit walking along but you could see things through them.

I turned and ran back to my room and shut the door. I could still hear the stomping for some time and I don’t think I got a wink of sleep at all that night. I didn’t leave my room until the sun was shining through my window. I asked a few of the other staff if they heard the banging the night before but nobody else had, and like fuck was I gonna mention seeing shadow men coming up the stairs at 3am.

7. A man intentionally started a fire in his room 

One night a few hours after I had arrived for my shift a guest kept coming down and aimlessly wandering around the lobby and breakfast area. He was doing extremely odd things like talking to himself and sitting down at a breakfast table only to stand up and switch chairs at the same table every 2-3 minutes. Every time I asked him if he needed help he would jerk a little and mumble that he didnt need anything.

Well a few hours or so after he finally went to his room he came back down and said he had turned the heater on and it made him short of breath and needed me to call an ambulance. So even though I was confused I obliged. About a minute later the hotels fire alarms started to go off. The whole time the firemen where going up and down from his room they kept asking if he had anyone with him or if he was alone and I kept telling them that he was in fact alone and had no other guests in the room with him.

After the firemen left and everything was back to “Normal” I went to go look in the mans room. He had rearranged all of the furniture and put the TV in the bathroom and had put his trashcan in the middle of the room and set it on fire. The thing that troubled me wasnt the fact hat the man intentionally set his room on fire and could have possibly burned the hotel down, it was the fact that even though he was alone he had small children’s clothes spread around the room.

8. Apparently I have a creepy clone

Not my story, but I am involved in a way. Several years ago, my college roommate, call her E, worked as the night manager for a newly built hotel. As was par for the course, I would often bring coffee in around 1/2am and chat for awhile. One night I showed up to my find E sitting at the front desk shaking her head looking completely perplexed. Allegedly she had just checked-in what could only be described as the doppelgänger of our other roommate, M, who was alike down to the same height, hair style, eye color and southern accent (odd as we live in the North). E tried to speak with the new guest and show her a picture of M on her phone, but was rebuffed several times. We both chalked it up to coincidence as we knew M was visiting her parents and we went on to enjoy our coffee. Shortly after 2, I decided to head home. It wasn’t until a around 2:30 when I pulled into our garage that I checked my phone to see a series of texts from E to M and I at 2:17 “Stop…” “Not funny” “You guys suck” “What the hell”. Naturally I was confused and called her back. This is when things got weird and E sounded hysterical on the phone. Apparently M and I, inthe same clothes I wore earlier, had been standing at the end of the main hallway staring at her. E thought this was a joke and kept calling out to no response. Eventually the front desk phone rang and in the time it took to answer it, we both had disappeared. I calmed her down over the phone and the next morning we talked through the possibilities trying to rationalize what she “saw”. The guest who looked like M did come back to the front desk later that morning to inquire about some services and much to E’s surprise looked only vaguely similar. The only thing that scares me to this day and that I never told her is that when I got into our house, the kitchen clock was stuck on 2:17 and directly next to it sat a photo of M and I smiling that I had only developed that afternoon. Still no explanations and nothing ever weird happened at the hotel again, but it still makes me uneasy to this day.

9. I noticed the weirdest thing with my own eyes

I was once in a hotel with my sister and we were walking through the halls. Then we decided to have fun and see what staff doors were open. We got into the weight room (it was 3 AM was supposed to be locked) and started screwing with the weight equipment. Just as we are about to leave this one employe gets up from the dark corner and walks out in front of us. We rush out just to see him walk down the stairs. Still in the mood of adventure we head to the stairs and see her going down… and down. She went to the basement and then gone. The stairs ended in a cut off area, and there was no where to go, but she was gone. Creeped out we took a zig zag path back to our room to not be followed.

10. They were noises coming out of the empty room above me

I don’t work in a hotel, but my job requires me to travel a lot. The most unexplainable experience for me happened during my stay in a hotel I frequent. After a long day, I tried to get some sleep as I had to get up early the next morning, but for some reason, I would hear this noise from the room above me. It sounded like someone dragging a table or chair across the floor, as if they were rearranging their room. At first I thought nothing of it, but this continued every few minutes for about 2 hours. I finally got fed up and called the front desk, they sent Security to check it out, turns out there’s nobody in the room above. The noise continued after and I had no choice but to switch to another room.


The swinger parties were always extra interesting. Conventions of 60-150 mostly couples (you paid extra if you were a single due to “uneven number”) They would rent out whole floors and take over the pool area. We had to add black shades to cover up the entire indoor pool area as it had floor to ceiling windows. I was a bartender and saw so many business men pick up hookers. There were quite a few sting operations to sniff them out while I worked there. They arrested something like 65 one night. Worst ever was the wedding weekend riot. Four different wedding groups staying in the hotel drinking until I shut down at 3am. One bride felt a bridesmaid from another wedding was looking at her new husband. The bride and her bridal party jumped the other bridesmaid so badly her scalp needed to be reattached and she lost sight from one eye. Men soon got involved and cops stormed in from 8 different neighboring towns. The worst image was a man covered in blood holding a huge grey goose bottle over his head like a gladiator as he beat one of the grooms with it.

12. I couldn't believe my eyes

Before I was born, my parents decided to move to the coast and open their own little seaside hotel. The first thing to do when they moved in was to clean all the rooms, so they took half each to speed things up. My mum told me this story when I was little: She was in room number 8 doing some vacuuming when the whole carpet started ‘rippling’. When I was little, I didn’t think this sounded scary at all, as I just thought that maybe the carpet had got caught on the vacuum or something, and so I never really thought about it again. Fast forward to about a month ago: I remembered this old story and made fun of my mum a bit for thinking it was creepy, when it was obviously explainable. She looked confused and told me I must have not understood her when I was little…  Apparently what had actually happened was that the entire carpet had rippled in a constant fluid wave-type motion, and all the furniture AND HERSELF had been lifted up and down off of the floor for about 10 seconds. She then screamed bloody murder at my dad down the hallway and told him they were selling the place before it had even opened… He managed to convince her otherwise, but she never went back in that room..

It scares more because my mum doesn’t believe in the supernatural or anything like that and doesn’t have any other creepy stories at all, just this one that she doesn’t like to talk about often.

13. I felt something invisible sitting next to me

Not me but my cousin worked in a pretty popular hotel in New York City. There was a particular room that was always unoccupied and the hotel workers would use it to take naps. My cousin threw her coat on a chair that was facing the window and took a nap in the bed. She said she felt the weight of someone getting into the bed and she immediately sat up. There was no one in sight, but her coat was now on the bed and the chair that had been facing the window was facing the bed. Could’ve easily been her co-worker creeping but still spooky.

14. Some guy killed himself 

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.

15. The fitness room had loaded guns in it 

I used to work for a big name chain property in California, high touristy area. Relatively safe because of the high traffic of people. The people who stayed were mainly business people and families on vacation. Not at all on the same level of sleazy motels. One morning, one of the housekeepers comes running to the front desk and is freaking out. Turns out one of the guests discovered a bag of unattended, LOADED guns in the fitness room. We have no idea who it belonged to and cops are called. Management instructs me to sit in the fitness room and guard the gun bag and not allow anyone to take it while we wait for the cops to arrive. They didn’t even lock me into the fitness room in case the owner decided to come back and retrieve their cache of guns. Mind you, I am a 5ft, 115 lbs girl with no self-defense skills. By then, word is sweeping through the hotel that there is a loaded gun in the fitness room, so I was half expecting some criminal dude to burst in at any minute. As someone who never encounters this sort of shit, this was definitely high on scariest moments while working.

16. A suicide was committed 

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.

17. Someone painted a pentagram on the carpet

One of the hotels I work at was changing their room layouts, and when they moved a bed they found a red pentagram painted (I hope) on the carpet beneath it. Nobody could figure out how long it could’ve been there. Not too crazy really bit a little weird

18. A mystery man creeped out our guest

I work front desk. About an hour after checking a guest in, she came back downstairs asking to be moved. She happened to be in a room that connected to another room. After getting settled in she said she started to hear noises coming from the other room which weren’t a concern until the other people tried to open her connecting door from their side. The gap between her door and the door frame was just wide enough to see just a sliver into the other room, so when she went over to tell the other person to stop curiosity got the best of her and she peeked through and saw a man staring at her from the other side. She told him to cut it out and he just stood there at the door, trying the handle every once in a while.

Not wanted to deal with it anymore she came down and asked to be moved away from this creepy dude. Understandable.

So I check the computer and notice that there is no guest registered in that room, so either someone at the desk goofed and didn’t complete the check in, or someone is in the hotel that shouldn’t be. No one answered when I called the room, so I sent security up. He called from the room saying that no one was in there.

Our engineer happened to be at the front desk when I was discussing all this with another agent and he mentioned that he had to go into that room to fix something. Mystery solved, he was in there fixing the door, making a racket and spooking this poor woman. Except he was never able to get into the room because the door lock wasn’t working, even with his master keycard (no idea why it started working again for security).

Over the course of the night nothing else happened and no mystery man was ever found. The guest was a regular so I didn’t think she was screwing with us, although I’m sure she could have just seen something in the shadows or whatever. Still pretty creepy at the time.