The Creepiest Things You Don't Know About Hotels

By: Freelance Contributor
Hotel sign at Buffalo, Johnson County, Wyoming, USA Getty Images / Feifei Cui-Paoluzzo

Staying at a hotel is usually a fun experience, especially if you’re traveling for a vacation or other holiday but there are lots of things about hotels that aren’t so fun. Things that the hotels don’t even want you to know about; most of them pretty creepy. Aside from thinking about how well your room was cleaned or who stayed in it before you, there are a number of other issues you probably didn’t even think about, so let’s take a look:


People Leave Things Behind

RX pharmacy prescription bottle of pills on a white background with drop shadow
Matt Anderson Photography / Getty Images

This happens surprisingly often according to reports from hotel staff. Scary stuff gets left behind by seemingly ordinary guests like weapons, illegal drugs, and prescription pills. Most of it gets removed by cleaning staff but they don’t always find it all so you just never know when you could be sleeping with a loaded gun under your mattress!

You’re Not the Only Living Creature

Getty Images / Neleman Initiative, LLC

Most people are wary of checking for bedbugs in any hotel they’re staying at but these aren’t the only thing you might be sharing your room with. Fleas, ticks, and roaches can all be common occurrences depending on where you’re staying. If you’re in the tropics it only makes matters worse with reports of spiders and even scorpions being reported in some Tripadvisor reviews.

It Might Smell Clean…

Daily Cleaning Equipment
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You may walk into your hotel room and smell a pleasant perfume scent but that could be your cue to ask for a different room as many hotels use perfume scents to cover up stubborn odors. If you smell cleaning chemicals (slightly, not strongly) that’s probably a good sign but if the room reeks like a department-store perfume counter, they’re probably hiding something…and it ain’t pretty.

There Are Deaths

Hands calling 911
Getty Images / Fred Dimmick

While it’s not something we like to think about, people die and sudden deaths can happen anywhere. It’s also not uncommon for suicides to take place in hotel rooms, so much that Lodging Magazine even published a recent article for hotel managers addressing suicide prevention in hotels. Statistics on the issue are hard to find, however, as many incidents are ‘swept under the rug’ so to speak.


You Paid How Much?!

Jose Luis Pelaez Inc / Getty Images

This next issue is more annoying than it is creepy; it’s the little matter of hotel rates. There’s so much fluctuation in the industry that almost no one pays the same rate. Hotels use complex algorithms to determine rates which can even include factors like airline tickets sold and the weather. The best thing to avoid aggravation is don’t ask anyone else what they paid!


Getty Images / © Richard Williams Photography 2009

Hotel rooms have long been used as places for illegal acts like prostitution and taking drugs but in recent years, the illegal activity is getting more serious. Drug rings are now using hotel rooms as temporary meth labs which leave behind harmful and toxic chemicals in their wake. According to the DEA, 1,300 hotel rooms were used as meth labs in the US in 2013.

The Pool, The Horror

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The smell of chlorine usually makes us think a swimming pool is well-treated, safe, and clean but this may not be the case. Strong smells can actually mean dangerous levels of chemicals could be in use, which is usually a cover-up for poor water quality. Because swimming pools and fitness centers are bonus amenities that aren’t primary revenue-makers, they’re often overlooked as far as maintenance and upkeep. The last thing you want during your hotel stay is a soak in bacteria-filled water.