The day of Halloween is finally upon us; the time for creepy stories around a fire, the day for scary costumes, the night for trick or treating neighbours. I love this time of year as it’s an excuse to dress up, ask strangers for sweets and generally have a fear-full time! And what better way to celebrate this holiday than a good ole horror story?
I’m sure anyone who’s ever been traveling has got a good ole story that they like to whip out when chatting about their worst hostel stay. We’ve all encountered them, we’ve all survived them and now we can finally laugh about them… I think. They make great stories despite the fact that we had to actually endure the Hostels from Hell! You’re bound to experience some weird stays, but don’t forget there are thousands of amazingly great hostels around too, so don’t let some little horror tales put you off them!
But back to embracing the spirit of All Hallow’s Eve. I collected a couple of good ones from friends and bloggers off Twitter, and they’ve made one hell of a read. Here’s a little collection of tales from numerous traumatized ladies, enjoy!


My boyfriend and I were staying in a cool tree house accommodation in Tasmania, Australia. We were loving it, except for that really weird smell that began wafting through on the second night. It was a mysteriously lingering and damp stench. After two more days, the smell was eye-wateringly bad! We got the owner to come and check it out, but he had no clue either! He suggested it was bad damp in the hollow walls, so we continued to endure it. On the morning of the fourth day, I woke up to the view of (what seemed to be) rice spilled on the carpet by the wall. However, on closer inspection it was a pool of maggots covering the floor! They were dropping from the inner wall cavity and dropping on the carpet! They were slowly crawling towards my bed, so I was frantically trying to sweep them up but more and more kept dropping out. It turns out a possum had died in the wall… Nice. – Heidi Bendall


In Vietnam, we had just undergone the worst bus ride ever. The journey to Hanoi had taken 13 hours and we’d poorly prepared ourselves so we were starved, thirsty and sleep deprived on our arrival. I usually read a bit about my destination from my guide book, but this time we were too shattered to care. We immediately jumped into one of the taxis at the bus stop and of course got massively ripped off in taxi fare. We couldn’t be bothered to argue as we’d got to the hotel listed in the guide book… but when we got to our room, we soon discovered that we’d been given a dining room which had planks of wood with sheets on top! We had fallen for the classic Vietnam ‘Fake Hotel’ scam. This is when a taxi is bribed to take tourists to someone’s house where a fake hotel name has been put up to impersonate a hotel in your guide book (one which has impeccable ratings of course!). In this house, they quickly set up random beds and take your money on arrival. We managed to get our money back and scarpered quickly –we moved pretty quick especially since we’d noticed the extent of the wood worm infestation!! – Katie Macrae


I had met a lovely English boy in Hanoi, Vietnam. He sweetly moved over to my hostel so we could hang out more, but then I got nervous as he asked if we could get our own room. That was too sleazy for my liking – I wasn’t that kind of girl! I stuck to my guns and persuaded him to sleep in the dormitory where there must’ve been about 20 people – it was the smallest dorm available!
During the night, some girl began screaming and screaming. People freaked out thinking someone was being attacked. Everyone was soon jumping around, shouting and banging around, trying to turn the light on to save this poor distressed damsel! But when the light came on, there was no horror scene. Just a load of very grumpy sleepy individuals. The next morning, it was the hot gossip of the hostel: “Who was that?”, “Was the hostel haunted?”, “Had we heard a ghost?”, “I wander what horrific murder happened for that ghost to be in such agony?” All these questions were whirling around, and I just couldn’t shut up about it to the boy who had stayed with me that night. I kept talking about it to the point that he looked really upset. I then began annoyingly pestering him about why he was getting upset… which is when he quietly took me aside and explained that he gets night terrors and sometimes screams in his sleep. He usually tries to get his own room to avoid creating such a scene, but had thought he’d be ok that night! Whoops. – Anon


My girlfriends and I were staying in this beautiful old hostel in Morocco. It was a huge shame that it was a hostel dedicated to partying but we got on board and joined the toga party that had been planned. Drinks were flowing, bed sheet dresses were on… then I suddenly needed the toilet. I scampered upstairs with bare feet to quickly visit the unisex toilets and popped in without the lights on. I was only going to be a minute! But as soon as I sat down, I knew something wasn’t right. I daintily reached out and pulled the light cord, to only find that someone had obviously not quite made it to the toilet in time! And they’d left this evident all over the floor! My eyes will never un-see that scene… – Jen Aitchison


My friend and I had trekked across the length of Malaysia to get to Penang Island. When we got to Georgetown, we walked for ages before finally settling on a hostel that looked alright… it was cheap so we thought “hell yes!”. Our delightful room was literally a small windowless box with carpeted walls, which was fine. No biggie! Unfortunately, the bathrooms were exceedingly bad. The shower was a hose over a deep squat toilet. On my first encounter with this bathroom stall, I fumbled my room key and dropped it down that hole in the floor. In the first 2 seconds I found it very funny, then I realised that I would have to pay for that key. Pay with money I couldn’t spare! So with eyes shut, I plunged down… there wasn’t enough shampoo in the world to clean my hand after! – Sophie Saint


I had just made the trek from Puerto Viejo to Montezuma in Costa Rica, and had finally arrived on New Year’s Day! Celebrations were raving which was fantastic, but unfortunately meant that all hostels and hotels were fully booked. Not even a hammock was spare! By 10pm, I still was frantically searching for a bed until finally I found something. The room looked fine (and I was in no position to be fussy) so I paid the manager and got my keys. But then I got a closer look. Tiny little mystery bugs covered every single surface of the room. They were all up and down the walls, all over the floors, and to make things worse there wasn’t a ceiling! Just a couple of tar mats stuck across beams! I had never felt my skin crawl so much, but I covered my body in all my clothes, hunkered down for a miserable night. But then I legged it to nearest hotel the next morning. I survived!! – Reima of Love a Traveler 


I had one night to spend in Sydney and couldn’t be bothered finding a super sweet place to sleep. I ended up in a huge chain hostel which had so many backpackers crammed into a sweaty sweaty building.i just wanted to get some sleep, but couldn’t stop noticing the cockroaches all over the bathroom floor. Thankfully, I had the top bunk…. But then I woke up at 3am with two in my bed. The buggers could fly!! AND to top it off, someone stole my food bag the next morning. Devastated. – Sophie Saint


Image 1 Friends Reunited, Image 2 Dragon Carp Direct, Image 3 Love these Pics, Image 6 Cheryl Howard, Image 5 Harlem Shuffle, Image 4 & 7 Sophie Saint, Image 8 Orkin

Sophie Saint was one of the original travelettes, from 2009 – 2017. After fleeing the UK with ink barely dry on her graduation certificate, she traversed the world with a backpack and spent a few years living in Melbourne – one of her favourite cities in the world.

She finally returned to the UK after a few years where she now whiles time away zipping off for European escapes, crocheting and daydreaming of owning her own hostel somewhere hot to live out eternal summers. See what she’s up to over on her blog and instagram: @saintsonaplane