Working at a hotel may seem like a dull job, but that's far from the case. You come across all sorts of characters who can make your shifts interesting. Sometimes, the most memorable moments happen after guests have already checked out—the things they may have left behind in their rooms often have intriguing stories behind them. Here are the weirdest things hotel workers have found in a guest's room:
#1 A Call From Mom
I had a worried mom call the front desk and ask us if her son was staying at the hotel. We aren’t allowed to give away information like that, but she said that he had some mental issues and was at high risk. So we took down her information and called the police. I went to the room and knocked on it. I could clearly hear someone having a panic attacked inside; screaming and crying. I decided to open the room before the cops showed up and his room was absolutely trashed. I tried to comfort him before the cops came. The real fun part was trying to recover the damages afterward.
#2 His Time Has Come
I worked at a local cheap hotel chain in town as part of the housekeeping staff, shadowing the boss in my late teens. One room still had the "Do not disturb" sign on the door, and I didn’t think anything of it. I did the obligatory knock, and we were told that if there was no answer, we could just head in to clean. We found a man that checked in days before sadly passed away in his bed. He was already old, so it must have just happened suddenly. I still think of him years later.
#3 Not A Utensil
Frequent traveler here. I was staying at a full suite hotel and my room had a kitchenette. In the back of the utensil drawer, there was someone's underwear mixed in with the small items like the wine opener, measuring spoons, and such. I stopped cooking at that point and just went with takeout food.
#4 The Fingernail Man
I walked into the room and I immediately saw it on the desk: a fingernail man, comprised of clipped fingernails and arranged with expert care. My first reaction was horror and disgust, but the fingernail man did no wrong to me... I realized it was nothing more than socially-ingrained prejudices and a fear of the other. I instead sat down and poured two glasses of scotch. The fingernail man took one and quaffed it, the aromatic liquid sogging his nails as it dripped down and through his body. "Thank you," he said. "For not leaving like the rest."
#5 Balloons To The Brim
I didn't find it, but we did it. We were spending the night at a hotel and decided to blow up a bunch of balloons in the room. It was connected to another room so we did that room as well. It was just me, my aunt, mother, sister, uncle, cousin, and maybe my father. I don't think we cleaned it up. If the person reading this is the person who had to clean to room, I'm sorry.
#6 Indoor Motorcycle
I worked overnight at a Best Western. I checked a guy and his girl in. I got a noise complaint about 3 a.m. They somehow managed to get his motorcycle in the room (this still confused me as I really believe I would've noticed) and they were revving the engine while heavily intoxicated. What the heck are some people thinking man?!? When I asked them why they thought that was a good idea, they just said they didn't want anyone to steal it out in the parking lot.
#7 TV Thieves
I came into work one day to get the run-down from a coworker: "Room 223 needs service, extra towels to Room 341, and... well... who checked in that room?" What room? A room of someone who trashed the hotel room via the usual methods, but the most remarkable thing was what she said next: They took the TV." A huge freaking 55-inch TV. I asked how and her eyes went wide, erupting in shock with me. She had no freaking clue and none of us, no one at the hotel, could fathom where the heck the TV went. We have cameras on every exit, too...
#8 Cult Worship
Housekeeping called me because they were too scared to clean a room. I went up and the curtains were closed, the mirrors were covered with fabric, there were a bunch of candles and symbols with odd tokens placed all around the room. The whole set up was strange, but hey each to their own. So far so good, by the way—as far as I know, I haven't felt the effects of any curse or voodoo spell... yet.
#9 Everything's Dirty
I'm a catastrophic insurance adjuster. I work the hurricanes and big storms. I'm in a different hotel room every night and depending on where I am, and I don't always get to stay in the nicest ones. LA Quinta is the cleanest for the money usually. I have to say, I have stayed in thousands of hotel rooms over the years, but I'm still always grossed out by them. You just know that you are sleeping in a bed that many, many gross people have done lots of gross things in. I did find a big cockroach under a bed once when I was in South Carolina. They didn't even comp my room for that one. I buy sleeping bag liners so I at least have a barrier between me and the sheets and it helps me sleep better.
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#10 Myth Busted
I am a flight attendant. I have slept in countless beds. I always spray my bag for bedbugs and I constantly feel 'itchy' from dust mites. One friend of mine puts a plastic sheet down on the bed. What people don't realize is there is a gallon worth of liquid sweat from all the previous people probably soaked into that mattress. I think Mythbusters did a mattress sweat myth too.
#11 Loonies And Toonies
I was at some inn once and this chick we were with somehow bumped the ceiling tile above the desk area. It started raining coins. Like, Canadian loonies and toonies! We told the staff and they laughed it off. They gave us no offer to change rooms or discount our stay at all... which we really didn't ask for honestly... We were all in high school at the time so we laughed it off too.
#12 Disney Cares
On a Disney cruise, I left my sunglasses in the room, and when we came back, they arranged one of the towels into a monkey with sunglasses. The entire cruise they did different things with my sunglasses, one of them I think was an elephant as well. Apparently, they do this often on a lot of cruise ships, but I had never been on one, and seeing that extra effort from the staff made me really happy to tip them extra.
#13 Muffin Man
I was working as a part-time house cleaning service in a hotel. This is a bit weird, but not gross: some guy standing in swim trunks on the bed, with five fricking muffins balanced on his head. I just left and did the cleaning an hour later, and the guy looked a bit embarrassed outside of the door. I didn't say anything to him, but in my mind, I was impressed.
#14 The Counterfeiters
I knocked, and no answer. So I walked in... That's when I saw two sweaty men with dangerous objects around them... in the middle of the room, with the ironing board open and different trays of green dye. There was paper everywhere and a photocopier. They were attempting to make counterfeit money. I slowly shut the door and went about my business. I got a good tip when they left, and yes it was real money.
#15 The MacGyver Cook
One day, I got a call from a guest saying that the whole floor smelled like sucuk (Turkish sausage). Being the youngest, I was sent up to look. I got to the floor and the whole corridor was smelling really bad. As I walked through the corridor, the smell got stronger and stronger until I got to this intersection where the door of a room was half-open.
The policy is to call security but I just couldn’t help myself... I knocked once and barged in. In the room, I saw a guy who had pushed the two twin beds together, turned the iron on to the max, and was cooking eggs and sucuk on it. He said that his window wasn’t opening enough so he thought he would open the door to make current. He didn’t understand currents.
#16 The Poor Gerbil
Once, a client left a hamster or gerbil in the hotel's Rolls Royce. That car is almost never used (like, three times in the one year I was there). I only saw photos but apparently, when they were getting the car ready months later for a client, they found the Rolls with the back seats clawed and chewed. There was also the dead gerbil on the floor.
#17 Pointless Idea
I worked as a hotel maintenance. A light in the bathroom died, so I took the dome off and it was full of water. I figured it was condensation, as this was in Florida. Though there was no water erosion above the waterline, all the electrical parts were dry as ever, with no signs of condensation. The light died of old age, not water damage, and the water was there for a good while. Someone filled that thing with water and put it back up. Why though?
#18 A Book And A Boa
In one room, I found a notebook containing hundreds of names, socials, and birthdates with notes on whether they work or not, for identity theft. This person was arrested by the FEDs but the book was left behind. Also, another time, I found a big boa constrictor that a guy snuck into the hotel and then left. The snake was uncaged and worked its way into the vents.
#19 Chess Nuts
During Christmas time, the hotel I used to work at would host a convention of chess enthusiasts. They'd have tournaments all weekend long. At the end of their convention, they'd all hang out in the lobby, bragging about their various wins and whatnot. Being the Christmas season, we were extremely busy, and these folks were crowding the lobby. Eventually, the manager had to approach them and ask them to leave because we can't have chess nuts boasting in an open foyer.
#20 Heart-Shaped Sucker
I was staying in a hotel on a work trip and came back to find a note that said: "Do the whip, do the nae nae, and bark like a dog." There was also a heart-shaped sucker along with it. I thought it was weird and mentioned it over dinner and the company guy with us FREAKED. He made me tell the front desk and everything. I'd been a blue-collar worker up to that point and was like, dude, it's probably just the maids having fun. Calm down.
#21 Massive Hair Balls
I worked at a hostel. We kept finding massive balls of hair in the shared shower stalls like someone was trying to smash it down the drain. We checked cameras and found out who it was. I casually mentioned we were trying to catch a hair bandit to him. He ended his reservation early and left the next day. The amount of times I’ve found upset stomach medication under beds is insane, too. I guess American food really tears up the international guests.
#22 The Puke Cover Up
When I went with my school for the equivalent of spring break in Spain, Calpe, some guys one night partied so hard that they ended up puking inside the bedroom. Someone thought it was a good idea to grab all the clothes that were there, make a pile, and put it on top of the puke to "cover the stain and the smell." The next morning, they basically pleaded for the cleaning lady to clean it, and they ended up paying $20 or $40 to the lady.
#23 An Impressive Cake
My wife was working in a hotel when she sent our group chat a picture of a cake she found under the bed that read: "Mike, thank you for all your accomplishments and everything you've done for the wrestling community." So thanks, Mike. Also, we were all amazed that someone was able to fit that entire message onto the cake in icing. Props to whoever that guy was.
#24 The Aliens Got Her
My family owned a lower-end hotel in the '90s. It was one of those places that construction crews loved because you could rent out for a week at a time for a decent price. There were a ton of stories, but one, in particular, stands out. An older lady rented out her room by the week. She never let us in. She paid with an envelope taped to the door. She left out her dirty towels and sheets and we would replace them in front of her door, knock, and leave.
She would have food delivered in the same fashion. She lived there for a couple of months before she quit paying her bill and quit leaving towels out. We let ourselves into the room and the lady had passed away in the bed. Everything in the room was covered with aluminum foil. The TV, the windows, the faucets. We never did get the story of what exactly happened. But if it was aliens she was hiding from, they got her.
#25 Just Like The Hangover
I spent a summer doing housekeeping at a hotel. One day, I went into a room to clean it and there was an adult tiger laying on one of the beds. Thankfully, I was able to shut the door before it got up. I told my manager and they called the guests and animal control. I don’t know how they managed to get it in the room without anyone noticing or why they didn’t hang the "Do not disturb" sign on the door, but it was definitely the strangest and most frightening thing I find in a room!
#26 Goldfish Rescue
The morning after Valentine's Day, one of my housekeepers found the bathroom sink with six feeder goldfish in the "milky," dirty water. Three were already dead, and the fourth died about a week later. I still have the last two and when I got a job working at an animal rescue, they loved my story. To this day, I still don't really understand what kink involves leaving goldfish to die in the sink of a hotel room in the middle of Mormon-populated Utah. To each their own, but please don't bring living creatures into it only to abandon them for dead later. Thanks.
#27 Lover Of Pistols
I worked on a ranch in Montana for a while. The strangest thing I found was a pistol. Now, you might think, "Well, that isn't really strange, especially in a hunting place like that," but it was the amount and variety that was strange. The rented place wasn't just your regular hotel room, it was a two-bedroom cabin; and the pistols were everywhere. Many in their cases, but opened, and you could see that he had messed with it that day. There were pistols in the living room, passage, and both bedrooms. We also found a decorated pistol in the bathroom.
#28 My Stuffed Bunny
Let me first state that I have absolutely no memory of this. This was told to me by my parents. I had a stuffed bunny when I was around four or five. I loved this thing to pieces. One day, we left our hotel room and somehow we forgot my bunny. I was apparently really sad about this; not crying, but just bummed out. The hotel was not in our city and there was no chance to make the drive.
These glorious hotel staff shipped my bunny to our house. I was delighted. Again, I have no memory of this, but I think that the bunny is somewhere in storage, as I do remember the plushie itself. It's not really as weird or horrifying as the other stories on here but it's kind of wholesome that they wanted to return the bunny to some random little girl.
#29 Not Cursed... Yet
Two voodoo dolls and a dishtowel from the royal wedding. I live in the States and this was way after people stopped caring about the wedding. I took the voodoo dolls home. Two years later and I'm still not cursed. That I know of. By the way, I say voodoo dolls but they're not; they look like some folk art from somewhere but my coworkers wouldn't touch them.
#30 One Whole Leg
I used to work at a small, locally-run hotel as a housekeeper. We found a lot of strange things (a trunk of creepy Victorian dolls, a large snake in a dresser drawer, etc.), but the weirdest thing we ever found was a leg. A prosthetic leg wearing a red pump to be precise. It looked pretty worn, and we found it in the shower. People usually come back to collect the things they left, but no one ever claimed the leg. I'm pretty sure one of my coworkers took it home.
#31 A Bad Play
This is my father-in-law's story. He was a literal do-it-all at a popular expensive resort in my city. My city has a professional basketball team that frequented The NBA Finals. In one Finals season, the opposing team was staying at the resort and a Future First Ballot Basketball Hall of Famer decided that the only acceptable place to hang his clothes was on a fire sprinkler.
The weight eventually damaged the sprinkler and caused it to spray his clothes and the room, causing several thousand dollars in damages. The player did apologize, but given the outcome of The Finals, I don't know if he would have if it had been at the end of the series. My father-in-law was no longer impressed with his play on the court.
#32 Hurricane Katrina
I was working at a hotel during Hurricane Katrina, and we had a lot of evacuees staying with us for months. I walked into a room after a family left, and I found a mattress full of pork chop bones and Cheerios. Also, incense sticks in every opening that they would fit into. Also, during this time, we found a lot of rooms with nothing in them. Literally nothing. The people would take anything they could, so quite a few rooms were missing curtains, bedspreads, sheets, and towels. Katrina was quite the experience, and I questioned my sanity quite a few times during that ordeal.
#33 Pizza Prank
I worked housekeeping for a little while and a guest had ordered a pizza, taken each slice out of the box, and placed them between the sheets of the bed. Then he checked out, just like that. I had to wonder if they did it intentionally to mess with us since I didn’t notice until I was halfway through stripping the bed. I also ran into lots of blood on pillowcases.
#34 An Awkward Situation
I used to work at Disney as a bellman in one of the expensive resorts. I went to check out two guests. I came into the room and all the sheets were balled up onto the floor at the foot of the bed. The girlfriend or wife was in the fetal position sitting up. The boyfriend or husband gave me $50 for a small suitcase and a duffel bag. One of the weirdest interactions I had there. I worked for the mouse for almost 10 years. I have some awesome stories.
#35 Raunchy Confetti
So, you know how when you get married people traditionally will throw rice at you as you're leaving the church. Well, instead of rice people will go to a novelty store and buy confetti. I found little confetti flakes that were shaped as, well, ding dongs. The funny thing about that was it was hard to vacuum up the confetti because it would somehow find itself scattered at other parts of the hotel. I would be on the other end of the hotel in a closet and would find the same confetti shapes. They were so small that the debris of them would always be blown scattered in random places. Months later, I would still find pieces of them lying on the floor and other random parts of the hotel. You just can't get rid of them.
#36 Inventive Cooking
A couple had been making grilled-cheese sandwiches and reheating pizza on their iron. The steam vents were full of melted cheese and crumbs. Also, they made ramen and spaghetti in their coffee maker. Inventive of them, but the hotel had to toss the coffee-maker and the iron because the former was riddled with the taste of ramen packets, and the latter overheated because of the food stuck inside which the hotel's repairman didn't want to try to dig out. Another time, we found the guest's mattress taken off of the bed and leaned against the wall... they were sleeping on the box-springs. I guess the bed was too comfortable.
#37 "Complimentary" Goods
Nothing. They cleared out the room completely... even taking the mattresses and bed frames. The bulbs from the lamps and bathroom were missing. The shower curtain was gone. They couldn’t get the headboard off the wall, which is the only reason they did not take that. When we checked the security footage, you could clearly see them taking the stuff using the long way out of the hotel, at the exit not where the front desk was.
#38 Not Worth The Risk
I worked at a Hilton once and I was deep cleaning rooms. I went to flip the mattress and someone had taped a baggie to the bottom of it, which had about 50 grand worth of 100 Yuan notes. I had to hand them to management, as I assumed they were probably counterfeit or illegal. At the time, I was a poor student, so would've been nice to get some cash, but not worth the risk.
#39 A Nasty Fall
An old extended stay got tipsy, fell, hit his head against the table, pulled down water pipes in process, then tried crawling into the bedroom but passed out on the floor. We came into four inches of water in the room mixed with puddles of blood and bloody handprints on the walls. Fun time! He later complained that his carpet was damp...
#40 Buttered Bills
I worked in a hotel and casino as an overnight MOD. I had to issue a noise complaint one night and after about 5 minutes of standing outside the room knocking and the guest not coming to the door, I let myself in. This dude had like six friends in the room with him and the bed was covered in butter, as well as thousands and thousands of dollars. To this day, I don't understand what they were trying to achieve.
#41 The Missing Fridge
Well, it's not exactly something that was there, but more like something missing. I had to call some guests to see why they hadn't checked out with the front desk, but I didn't get a response. I went to the room (the room being a two-bedroom suite and they actually had two suites booked) and when I entered, there was no one there. The room was trashed with garbage everywhere and literally a freaking pizza slice was stuck to the ceiling. But that's not even the thing that stuck out.
The fridge was missing. I looked around but couldn't find it. "Did they steal it?" The moment I entered the other bedroom suite, which was as well trashed but not as bad as the previous one, and went to one of the bedrooms and I finally saw it. The fridge was there. They moved the fridge from one suite to the other and put it next to the bed. At least they didn't steal the fridge, so that's nice. Still charged them for the trashed room though.
#42 For The Love Of Steaks
We were visiting Miami and stayed at a hotel. My dad bought some steaks but we had nowhere to cook them. I had to fill the bathtub with ice to keep them from spoiling. It looked really stupid. And we went out the next day to buy a cooking station. When we came back, the bathtub was refilled with ice. We couldn't find a cheap electric grill, so we bought a waffle iron. The steaks turned out okay.
#43 Maggoty Chicken
Answering on behalf of my sister. She used to clean at a fairly fancy hotel. The worst find she told me about was a raw chicken carcass under the bed, which was full of maggots. She reckoned that the person probably left the chicken under the bed by accident somehow... It takes quite some time before maggots begin showing up, so that chicken must have been there for a while.
#44 Scared Of Aliens
The strangest thing was a tinfoil cage designed to keep aliens from abducting this one gentleman. He would visit his family twice a year and every time he would have this cage of vertical PVC pipe and horizontal tinfoil strips covering his bed so he couldn't be abducted in his sleep. He wasn't shy about it and was very concerned about the possibility of aliens. No one else in his family was worried about aliens.
#45 Creepy Spider
When I was like 10, I was forced to help one of my aunts by cleaning each room with her at the hotel she worked at and I found a tarantula enclosure. The spider inside was dead and the enclosure looked disgusting. It seemed like there were blood and mold in the dirt and the spider was originally yellow I think, but it turned brown for some reason.
#46 Plungers Galore
I worked at a hotel for four months. We had students come from all over and stay at our hotel and train at the local college for their trade jobs. They would stay for weeks. I had to clean a room after some students passed their tests and left. The closet of the room was filled with toilet plungers. An absurd amount of toilet plungers. Some used and some new.
#47 Riddle Me This
When checking out of a Columbus hotel, I purposefully left behind an odd memento for housekeeping or the next guest to find. Nothing too weird, just a note tucked in a drawer with made-up alien writing on it, and beneath that, in English, some promise that if they decoded the alien characters, they would be granted "powers beyond comprehension." I still wonder if anyone found it and whether they got a chuckle out of it. Or powers.
#48 The Stockpile
So way back during the 2002 Olympics, I worked for a vacation condo rental company. The FBI was renting a unit and we had a changeover scheduled to give them fresh sheets and towels. Not only did we find a few pistols in some of the closets but a stockpile of several autos in the laundry room. We opened the door, saw them, shut it quickly, and got out. It was wild but rather uneventful.
#49 Left Behind
It happened a week ago with a hotel client. The customer checked in during sometime during our lockdown, then checked out last week. Nothing notable about his activity, except for the fact he left behind a shotgun and five small boxes of shells. Cops are looking into it right now. But the bizarre nature of it is what keeps me up at night. Why leave the shotgun behind?
#50 Bottles Half-Empty
I worked at a hotel connected to a casino and during my training of cleaning the rooms, we entered a room filled with a concerning amount of half-empty drinks to the point where all of the counters and a portion of the room was covered with glasses and bottles. My trainer noticed my confusion and explained to me it was common for people to come to casinos for the free drinks and just take them back to their rooms after.