These AirBnB Reviews Were So Bad We Wouldn’t Stay There if They Paid Us

Shannon Quinn - January 21, 2023

Since 2008, AirBnB has been a place for independent hosts to rent out their bedrooms or even their entire home online to strangers. This became an incredibly popular alternative to a hotel, especially for families who would prefer to stay in a house with multiple bedrooms and a kitchen. And in a lot of cases, people were able to save money on AirBnB compared to hotel rooms. However, in recent years, the fees have gotten out of hand. And with so many horror stories like these existing on the Internet, it’s enough to make you want to avoid taking the risk all together.

Credit: Reddit

The Water in this AirBnB is Yellow

Imagine turning the faucet at your AirBnB and watching as yellow water pours out into the sink or the bathtub. This was originally posted on Mildly Infuriating subReddit with the title, “Water has been pee-yellow and metallic tasting in our Airbnb for a week now. Owner says they can’t do anything about it.” It turns out that yellow water can be caused by naturally occurring sediment in the supply. This can also be caused by particles from corroding, unlined iron pipes. Replacing the rusty pipes may be the only option, which means paying a plumber to do an expensive job. So on one hand, it’s understandable why the owner of the property can’t do anything to fix it immediately, since they would need to send in a plumber. But if their water is yellow, they probably shouldn’t be renting it to paying customers in the first place!

Credit: Reddit

A Hot Tub That’s So Dirty, No One Would Dare to Get Inside

You should never, ever sit in a dirty hot tub. A lot of people can get a rash from the dirty water, have an allergic reaction, or end up with a UTI because of it. But it’s actually so much worse than that. Legionella bacteria in dirty hot tub water can cause Legionnaires’ disease, which is a fatal lung infection. Thankfully, the person who originally posted this decided to skip the hot tub during their stay at the AirBnB. This image came from a user named Forsaken_Storm_6397, and they left the following caption, “This is the hot tub of the Airbnb which was the main reason why I rented the spot. Smelled terribly and was obviously not cleaned in forever.”

Credit: Reddit

AirBnB Host Tries to Slander the Guest

When someone lies about you, it’s one of the most frustrating experiences in the world. And in this AirBnB horror story, the host tried to say bad things about the guest. They claimed that the guest was bashing the LGBTQ community, and that they lied about the condition of their home to get a refund for their stay. In their response comment, the guest said that the place was filthy, and that their seven year old found a bottle of used anal lube in the backyard. She said nothing regarding the LGBTQ community. The condition of the house was absolutely unacceptable, and she refused to stay there.” Yikes.

Credit: Reddit

These Air Fresheners Made The Home Smell Overwhelming

When you’re hosting on AirBnB, the last thing you would ever want is for someone to think your home smells bad. But in this case, the host really overdid it with the air fresheners, and it had the opposite effect. They wrote about this photo on Reddit, “The 6 air fresheners I was able to find in our AirBnB rental. I know there’s more I can’t find. When I opened the door the smell almost gagged me.” Some people are really sensitive to smell, and it can even give some people migraines. So if you plan to host for AirBnB, let this be a lesson to tone it down with the perfumey smells. One time, I stayed in an AirBnB where they left out a very classy, high-end room spray in the living room. So I had the option to use it as much or as little as I liked.

Credit: Reddit

This AirBnB’s Mattress is Literally Just a Slab of Wood

Most hotels pride themselves in providing comfortable beds. And during my AirBnB experiences, I’ve also had people who made sure to buy expensive mattresses before they started a business hosting others. But in the case of Reddit user izzydoesizzy, they got into bed at their accommodation and noticed that it felt a bit…hard. “Woke up in the morning after I felt like I had slept on a slab of wood. Turns out that was literally exactly what happened. Almost worth a post of its own is Airbnb’s customer service response: “We can make a host accountable for the things they promised in their listing’s description and didn’t provide the same. However, as there wasn’t any kind of specification for the mattress, that’s why we can’t hold them accountable in this case.” Upon further investigation in the comment section, this took place in China…Which explains so much.

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The Bed Had Pee in it, and AirBnB Refused to Issue a Refund

One of the major issues with encountering bad smells is that it’s impossible to prove it over the Internet. We don’t have smell-o-vision yet, obviously. So in this story, the guest was out of luck. When he was getting ready to go to bed at his AirBnB, he noticed that the bed smelled like someone had peed in it. This is obviously unacceptable. Even if a child slept in the bed beforehand and wet themselves, the sheets should have been changed before he arrived. So he tried contacting customer service to complain about the issue. They responded that without photo evidence, there was nothing they could do to help him. Since it didn’t look like anyone had peed on the bed (it had probably dried overnight) there was nothing to be seen.

Credit: Reddit

This AirBnB Had a Huge Number of Issues

Where do we even start with this one? A Redditor called weedandcatsandvans posted several pictures online, showing an apartment that was in awful condition. They said, “Last night when I checked into my Airbnb I was met with bug infestations, and rat droppings. The main house tenants were having an altercation downstairs, the host lied about parking, and an actively leaking bathroom ceiling. Host denies it all then lies in her response. Airbnb won’t refund me.” This one actually caused a heated debate in the comment section. Some people thought that the dirty apartment wasn’t a big deal, while others went to the other extreme to say that they needed to call the police on the host. Unfortunately, I’ve stayed in cheap motels that were in similar condition. There’s not much you can do, other than leave a bad rating and choose to never stay there again.

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The AirBnB Host Denies The Existence of Bed Bugs

This next story is truly frustrating to read. Basically, this woman stayed at an AirBnB, and the next morning she and her husband woke up to multiple bug bites on their bodies. There was also a live bed bug in the sheets. So they quickly took a picture, and sent it to the host. They responded that they knew about the bugs, and dismissed them as “carpet beetles”. All it takes is a quick Google Image search to see that truly is a bed bug, and not a carpet beetle. After denying it, the host quickly canceled the reservation and gave them a refund. He did this because it prevented them from leaving a bad review. After scrolling through the reviews, she discovered that other guests had reported bed bugs 2 years ago. So it was a known issue for a very, very long time, and yet the host continued to rent out the place to people. Disgusting.

Credit: Reddit

AirBnB Host Tries to Pass Off Their Closet as a Bedroom

This next image comes from an AirBnB listing in Munster, Germany. When you first look at the apartment, it looks very stylish and cute. However, once you scroll through the pictures of the bedrooms, it becomes a bit alarming. One of the bedrooms is in the attic space, which doesn’t leave a lot of head room. The second bedroom is a literal closet with a toilet installed inside. First of all, who wants to go to the bathroom right next to where they sleep? Secondly, I can imagine hitting my head on the closet bar when I got up in the morning.

This person found several creepy objects in their AirBnB. Credit: Reddit

A Very Creepy Discovery

As the saying goes: curiosity killed the cat. A woman posted on Twitter that she stayed in an AirBnB, and somehow got access to a locked room of the house. In it were several creepy objects, including two guns, an erotic painting, and a typewriter with keys made out of human teeth. She then jokes, “We’re going to die here, aren’t we?” First of all, that door was locked for a reason. At least the host had the common sense to hide away the objects that are clearly off-putting to most people. They shouldn’t have invaded the host’s privacy, and they would have never had any reason to feel creeped out or worried. But now that the cat’s out of the bag, they better run.

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The Host Installed a Creepy Mirror Directly Above the Toilet

Someone posted on the Oddly Terrifying subReddit that their AirBnB host had screwed a mirror into the ceiling directly above the toilet. In the comment section, a lot of people immediately jumped to the conclusion that this was a hidden camera. Sure, it’s possible. Or, maybe the person weirdly enjoys watching themselves go to the bathroom. Apparently, the original poster got a screwdriver to remove the mirror, and confirmed that there was no hidden camera. I’m not sure if this qualifies for a refund, but they definitely should report it to customer service. And if they were not comfortable staying there, they could have canceled their reservation and gone to a hotel instead.

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The Creepiest Doll in the World

What in the world is this?! Someone posted pictures of this doll on Reddit that they found in their AirBnB. It’s a vintage baby doll with its arms spread out like it’s being crucified. The doll’s body is wrapped in barbed wire, and there is something on top of its head that is impossible to identify accurately, but it looks like two clay tongues. To make matters worse, there are antlers or tentacles coming out of the baby’s mouth, making it look like a rabbit with the papillomavirus. In the comment section, people are making guesses as to what it’s supposed to be, while others are telling the original poster to run for their life.

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A Very Questionable Set Up

In this photo that was shared on Reddit, we see a bedroom that has a sort of makeshift bunk bed made out of a wooden pallet. On top of the pallet are foam pads, and a mattress presumably meant to sleep multiple people. Below it is a box spring with plastic over it, but no actual mattress. Even the couch is missing its cushions. If we have learned anything from the previous wooden mattress picture, AirBnB won’t do anything about something like this. Basically, they are being honest about the quality of the bedding they are providing, and they’re not promising anything better. So if you choose to book this listing after seeing the pictures, that’s on you.

The crazy random door 8 feet in the air. Credit: Reddit

The Mystery Door

Sometimes, houses can have weird details because construction is not complete yet. In the case of this AirBnB, there is a door 8 feet in the air that opens a crack, letting in some light. They have no way of accessing the door, so they think it’s sort of mysterious and cool. But when this was posted on Reddit, a lot of people thought it was creepy, and that the guests were like characters in a horror movie. Some joke that since they like Escape Rooms, they should solve the mystery and make a ladder that leads up to the door.

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No AC, Bugs, and A Lazy Host

In this next story from a user called Jagiord, they booked an AirBnB for two nights in Williamsburg, Virginia for a wedding they were attending. The owner’s son lived in the apartment, because he was supposedly running the rental business. In the listing, the host claimed that there was air conditioning, but that was a lie. The bedroom had a window, but there was no screen to stop bugs from coming in. They tried to open the window, but sure enough, they were covered in bug bites, and chose to shut the window and bake instead. The son who was living in the apartment was totally useless. He was gaming the entire time, and wouldn’t respond to simple requests for essentials like towels. They wanted to leave so badly, they passed on the open bar at the wedding so they could drive back a day early.

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Projectile Vomit

This next story is almost unbelievable, like something out of a movie. On the AskReddit page, someone asked for people to share their AirBnB horror stories. So a Redditor called courtoe wrote, “Someone came in the middle of the night and proceeded to projectile vomit all over the bathroom and hallway”. When someone asked in the comments for more information, they explained that the front door was left unlocked. So a random stranger entered the apartment, threw up everywhere, and then left. Maybe they were so drunk, they simply entered the wrong apartment. Technically, this is not the host’s fault at all. It was just dumb luck. But it is still a crazy story.


A Terrible Apartment in Los Angeles

A Redditor called Eleanorfigby wrote that her worst AirBnB experience happened in an apartment in Los Angeles. When she arrived, there was trash all over the floor, hair in the shower, and roaches in the fridge. Not only was the place dirty, but she suspected that the apartment building’s elevator was also haunted by two girls. She didn’t elaborate on why she believed this, but was basically terrified the whole time. The only saving grace was the fact that there was a 24-hour donut shop across the street from the apartment. Thankfully, AirBnB already had a policy in place of what to do if you enter an apartment that is dirty like this once you arrive. You’re supposed to gather evidence on your phone, and request a refund of the cleaning fee to your host. AirBnB customer service will also step in to help, if necessary.

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The Child Warned Him, So He Listened

Horror movies have a trope of a creepy child saying something foreboding. But in this story from CliffBoothTX, they actually experienced that first-hand. He and his wife booked an AirBnB in Denver, Colorado. The room was in the basement of a family’s home, so they were still staying at the house at the same time. When they were moving their luggage inside, he started to feel uneasy about the fact that there was only one way in or out of the basement, and that the windows were too small to escape in case of a fire. But what truly shook him to his core was the fact that their autistic son said, “You’re all gonna die tonight.” This creeped him out so much, he couldn’t fall asleep. Eventually, he packed up everything and left, driving all night to get home.

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Sleeping With the Host

I’m not sure if I actually believe the person who posted this story, since it sounds way too crazy to be true. But according to a user called JeyEskeetit, they rented a bedroom in an AirBnB. When they arrived, the host said that his dog had pooped all over the guest bed. So there was nowhere for them to sleep, except in bed with him. “Dude looked at me dead serious and said that with a straight face. Plus he snored in my ear all night so I barely got any sleep.” So basically, he went through with sleeping next to a stranger all night. If I was in this situation, I would nope right out of there and get a hotel room.

Credit: Reddit

Hidden Cameras

Unfortunately, a lot of people on Reddit reported that their AirBnB’s had hidden cameras in places like the bathroom and bedroom, which are meant to be private. Technically, someone can put a security camera in their home, but it must be in common areas like the living room or front door. If they’re in private areas like the bedroom, it’s illegal. And yet a lot of people still get away with it, because hidden cameras are so clever nowadays. They can be in clocks, smoke detectors, phone chargers, and even tiny screws. One person wrote that there was a camera in the corner of the bedroom, not even hidden just blatantly there. There was also one in the mirror in the bathroom. So they ended up showering at the gym instead.” On the same thread, someone simply wrote, “Camera in the shower”. Wow.

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Can a Brand New House Be Haunted?

When most people think about haunted houses, they imagine abandoned Victorian mansions. But in the case of EddieRando21, he was very creeped out when he stayed in a newly constructed house. It had concrete floors, and felt unfinished. Like when he tried to take a shower, it leaked all over the floor, probably because it wasn’t sealed properly. The light fixtures also did not work, so he tried looking for new light bulbs. That’s when he discovered shovels in the closet with fresh dirt on them. In one of the drawers, he found checks for thousands of dollars left behind, made out in someone’s name that was different from the person who rented to him. That night, the house was making a lot of noise. All of this was too much for him to handle, so he left in the middle of the night and stayed in a motel instead.

Credit: Reddit

The Man in the Garden Shed

Here is another story of a house that was apparently haunted. When sjookvest arrived at an older AirBnB house, he almost immediately got haunted vibes coming from it. In the house, the owner kept objects that looked like they came from various tribes around the world. There were also small bottles of holy water placed throughout the home, as if they were trying to protect themselves from demons. After reading through the reviews of the home, he discovered that other people had claimed that an old man was sleeping in the shed in the backyard. He never saw the old man himself, so he could not confirm. But the fact that it was even in the reviews in the first place was enough to seriously creep him out.

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Living in the Kitchen

Sometimes, people rent out their home on AirBnB because they have serious financial issues. And without the income they’re generating from renting their bedrooms, they might not be able to afford their mortgage payments. I suspect this is what was going on in the story from 1feralenginner. He said, “They rented out four bedrooms, the hosts (family of five) lived completely in their kitchen, and all NINE of us had to share the ONE bathroom.” To me, this just sounds very sad. Imagine living in a kitchen with your parents and three siblings while strangers got to sleep in your bed. I don’t think they would be doing this unless they were completely desperate.

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Accidental Halfway House

In case you are unaware, a halfway house is a place for people with a history of substance abuse. Many of them have criminal backgrounds. Most of the time, they have just been released from prison, and they need a place to stay that will help them transition into the real world. Somehow, a bedroom in one of these places was put up for rent on AirBnB! A user called -Multif0rms- wrote that he showed up to the residence, and realized it was a halfway house. It was filled with members of the Aryan Brotherhood- a gang known to be racist. Since he was Mexican, he was immediately uncomfortable and left as quickly as possible. Maybe a resident of the house decided to put the room online to bring in some extra income. It was probably against the rules of the facility, but they tried to get away with it anyway.

Credit: Your Tango

Ask And You Shall Receive (Thanks To A Hidden Camera)

Earlier on this list, we mentioned how some hosts will put hidden cameras in their homes. While she can’t prove it, this is what 15sunflowers suspected was happening at her AirBnB in Helsinki. When she and her fiance got there and settled, they were chatting about things we thought were missing in the apartment. She specifically remembers saying that she wished there was another towel hook in the bathroom, since there was only one. The next day, she went out with her fiance all day. When they got back that night ,there was another towel hook in the bathroom. Was it possible that she didn’t notice it before? Or was the host eavesdropping, and decided to surprise them with a second towel hook?

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Sketchy Accommodations in Rome

Rome, Italy is famous for its historic tourist attractions like the Colosseum and Pantheon. But unfortunately, it is also fairly well known that it’s a hotbed of crime. Pick pockets target tourists all the time. So if you look even remotely foreign, you’re almost guaranteed to have someone try to mug you. This story from a deleted user is even creepier than that, though. “Stayed at an AirBnB in Rome. The door had 5 deadbolt locks on it, and 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.”

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Hidden Drugs

This next story from a user called KingCarnivore is short and sweet. He said, “The remote for the TV wasn’t really working and I opened up the battery compartment to see if the batteries were in there correctly; there was a bag of meth in there.” Wow! You would think that the host would have known that their guest would need a working remote while they stayed at their house, and they would have found the meth. Laws vary from state to state, but in my home of New Jersey, you can be sentenced to three to five years in jail, as well as be forced to pay $35,000 in fines if you’re charged with possession of meth.

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The Host Was in a UFO Cult

One incredibly interesting story from a user called yourlocalnewtdealer landed him in the home of a UFO cult follower. It all started when he got an AirBnB in the middle of Kansas. To sleep on the couch was just $12 a night. When he arrived, it was the middle of the night, so he had to quietly slip into the house and lay down on the couch. But the entire house was filled with creepy artifacts, including a tapestry with the name of an organization on it. After searching on Google, he figured out that it was a cult that believed in UFOs. Because of this, he found it difficult to fall asleep. Sure enough, the next morning, his host almost immediately launched into a conversation about aliens. He left soon after having breakfast, along with a ton of pamphlets she gave him with information about joining her cult.

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This Person Wasn’t Sure Why They Began to Hallucinate… Turns Out There Was Real Danger

A Redditor called beanersalad shared the story that they went to an AirBnB where several people were staying. But they had their own private room with a mini-fridge. Since it was during the pandemic, they were self-isolating in this space. That’s when things got weird. They became short of breath, had vertigo, and forgot that they had drawn in their sketchbook. Then, paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions began to set in, and they were questioning their reality. To some, this might sound like the beginning of a psychotic break. But it turns out that they were suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning! Thankfully, they were still able to call the gas company. They left, and eventually got a refund for their stay, considering that the gas leak almost killed them.

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This AirBnB Was a Literal Biohazard

In the original post, you can read just some of the details of what was going on in this horror show of an AirBnB. But the original poster‘s title summarizes the situation pretty well. The AirBnB host had vials of live viruses, biohazard bags, syringes, and empty hidden camera boxes scattered around the living room and in the fridge. Apparently, they were just “props” for her video for her invention. If you’re interested in reading the entire text conversation, it’s very long. The AirBnB host clearly has something mentally wrong with her. It’s good that the guest got out quickly before things got weird.